Follow us on...
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Watch us on YouTube
Register
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    5150
    Join Date
    12.13.02
    Age
    45
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    575
    Favorite VH Album

    1984
    Last Online

    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
    Likes
    4
    Liked 49 Times in 30 Posts

    Default The current state of amp and fx sims

    I've been using amp modelling pretty much since it was first invented, going back through the early Roland hardware (the Boss GX-700 was great in its time), through Line 6 gear, and then onto software like Amplitube. In fact, I haven't had a proper stage amp since I bought the Marshall JMP1 preamp more than twenty years ago. We seem to be coming up on a new generation of sims, and I wondered what everyone is using, what you've tried, and what you think of it?

    I'm still using Amplitube 3 in my main recording setup, though it's very much showing its age. Some of the models included are nearly ten years old and sound it. Having said that, they've been adding new amps and stomps through the custom shop, and the newer amp sims have been terrific. Their version of the Marshall JTM45 is stellar, and their Dr Z amps are terrific. Problem is, these newer models make it clear how far behind the older ones really are. I've preordered their upcoming official Mesa/Boogie pack because (a) if the models continue to improve the way they have, these should be excellent, and (b) I had a bunch of credits in my IK Multimedia account lying unused. But the overall experience of using Amplitube 3 is suffering because it's getting so dated, and IK Multimedia's unresponsiveness to user requests has been a real problem; I and a bunch of others have been asking for a few years for model of the Dallas Rangemaster treble booster for 60s and 70s style classic rock tones, but IKM have simply ignored those requests, even though pretty much every rival amp sim includes a treble booster of some kind.

    I've tried the demo of NI Guitar Rig through various versions, but I've never quite gotten to grips with it. Although I got some decent tones, I find the interface too clunky. Lately I've been using Positive Grid's Bias Amp and Bias FX on the iPad, and found it really, really good. Some great Marshall tones, and I was able to make some pretty convincing Angus Young patches. I've tried the demo of the desktop version, however, and Amplitube is still in front.

    The other sim I've taken note of is Recabinet. Its current version seems to be aimed towards, and very much favoured by, the metal/djent players, so wouldn't be for me. There's a new version coming, however, that seems to be broadening its scope, including a lot more vintage amps, including hot-rodded 70s Marshalls, which is right up my street. I'll be keen to demo that when it appears. But I'm not sure if it integrates stomp models too; if it doesn't, then I might not be so interested.

    I've considered things like the Eleven Rack and Axe FX, but I'm pretty wedded to the software approach now. I don't gig any more, but if I did, then one of those solutions might be more attractive.

    Anyway, over to you guys - where do you see the current state of amp and fx sims, what do you like or dislike, and where do you see it going?
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  2. #2
    Good Enough kowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    06.10.02
    Age
    32
    Location
    Peoria
    Posts
    1,917
    Last Online

    12.03.17 @ 11:54 AM
    Likes
    12
    Liked 35 Times in 15 Posts

    Default

    I use Guitar Rig 5 almost every day for practicing and recording. Some of my favorite guitar tones have actually come from Guitar Rig's simulations of the Hiwatt DR103 and the Bogner Uberschall. Most of the effects and many of the cabinet models sound great and are easy to adjust. I also like having the ability to tweak stuff like the bias of the amp or the mains voltage, or being able to split the signal to different amps via a frequency crossover. All of those features see use in the presets I have made.

    I also have ReValver and it lets you tweak even more, like changing tone stacks, tubes, and transformer characteristics. It is fun to play around with those kind of features, but in general, the tones I get from Guitar Rig sound better to me. ReValver always seems to sound a little sterile and harsh to my ears no matter which amp model I use.

    I did have an old version of Amplitube years ago, and I remember liking it, but I never used it much (and didn't have a decent audio interface at the time to use with it). I am very curious to check out both the newer Amplitube amps and the Bias products you mentioned. What did you like more about Amplitube versus the desktop version of Bias?

  3. #3
    5150
    Join Date
    12.13.02
    Age
    45
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    575
    Favorite VH Album

    1984
    Last Online

    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
    Likes
    4
    Liked 49 Times in 30 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kowski View Post
    What did you like more about Amplitube versus the desktop version of Bias?
    The first thing I try to do with any amp sim is create a basic warm Marshall vintage rock crunch, seeing as that's the cornerstone of my sound. Dialling up what should theoretically be the same amp with the same cab and mic in both Amplitube and Bias, the Bias version was harsher and fizzier. I couldn't get that EQ'd out. Also, Amplitibe has much more flexibility when it comes to mic placement, phasing, dual mics, and a bigger selection of mics to choose from.

    Strangely, I found the opposite to be true for the iOS versions. Bias on iPad blows Amplitube out of the water.

    All this is subjective, of course, others will likely have different preferences.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  4. #4
    5150
    Join Date
    12.13.02
    Age
    45
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    575
    Favorite VH Album

    1984
    Last Online

    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
    Likes
    4
    Liked 49 Times in 30 Posts

    Default

    Actually, having spent the evening messing around with the Bias Amp demo, I'm reconsidering my position on this. For some reason, the Marshalls within Bias FX are a bit weedy sounding, but the equivalents in Bias Amp are actually very good. Working within Bias Amp I was able to get some pretty decent Fair Warning era tones, as well as a very close replication of Clapton's Bluesbreaker tone.

    The way Bias works is a bit odd: You tweak the amps in Bias Amp, then import them into Bias FX as part of the signal chain. I don't really get the logic of that, and it makes it harder to demo because you can't move amps you've made in Amp to FX unless you buy.

    Anyway, on a head-to-head test Bias was actually getting me some better Marshall tones than Amplitube. Its range of reverbs is far superior, and it also has some very nice clean amps - the Dumble model in particular is exceptional. Bias does some stomps very well, such as a treble booster, which Amplitube completely lacks. I think it has the better Tubescreamer, too. On the other hand, I couldn't get a usable sound out of its Phase 90 model.

    The other thing I don't much like with Bias is that its amps' front panels don't mimic their real world equivalents; this is something Amplitube does better.

    I tried a demo of Recabinet 4, and it was completely unusable on my fairly new Mac - terrible latency stuttering, as if the system was overloaded. I don't want to judge it too harshly on that, as it might have been something in my setup that hampered it.

    So it looks like I'll be experimenting for another while. I'm tempted by Bias, but Amplitube have a v4 coming down the line, and it may catch up with Bias.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

    Summer 2017 UK & North America

  5. #5
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
    Join Date
    02.16.00
    Location
    Pekin, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,745
    Last Online

    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
    Likes
    22
    Liked 724 Times in 341 Posts

    Default

    i have Amplitube and JamUp Pro, and I have to say that I think JamUp Pro combined with Bias is the most realistic sounding software I've heard.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. The current state of VH?
    By leroy in forum Main VH Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10.11.02, 06:03 AM
  2. April 29th, 2001--the epitome of the current state of VH
    By lovemachine97 in forum Main VH Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05.07.02, 12:23 PM
  3. VH Sims Skins?
    By Mean_Street in forum Main VH Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05.01.02, 11:28 AM
  4. VH Sims Skins?
    By Mean_Street in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Non-Music)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04.28.02, 01:02 PM
  5. State of Rock: Current Bands [list]
    By Stuff No More in forum VH Fans Meeting Place (Music Only)
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11.30.01, 06:13 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •