Helpful ReplyGuitar sims and hardware processors

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yellowcake64
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2016/05/12 09:01:50 (permalink)

Guitar sims and hardware processors

Hi folks
 
I need to invest in a means of processing electric guitar and at the moment I'm torn between a software sim like Guitar Rig 5 or a hardware-based solution like the Boss GT 001. Has anyone used the latter specifically? I'd be eternally grateful for any advice/pros/cons etc.!
 
Thanks
 
YC 

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#1
rsinger
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/12 14:02:35 (permalink)
I haven't used it, but there is a subforum on vguitarforums for the GT100/GT001. You can ask over there.
 
http://www.vguitarforums.com/
 

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#2
fret_man
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/12 14:21:31 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby mettelus 2016/05/13 02:29:16
If you're considering a GT-100 I suggest you also consider the Line6 HD500X. I've used both and sold the Boss unit. The boss unit has more flexibility, allowing you to tweak everything, but this also makes it more complicated to use. I am computer savvy. I love to tweak things. But this was so complicated I felt I had to learn it all over again each time I got it out. The Line6 unit is much more streamlined and straightforward. I spend time making music, not figuring out how it works. You can get great tones out of either unit. But usability was much more accessible with Line6 for me.
 
Please don't forget, both of the options you mention are really software simulators. The HW boxes run on their embedded DSP. The software ones run on the PC's CPU. There is very little "real" hardware involved in the HW boxes other than IO, knobs, switches, and a selectable input impedance. The "tone" is all due to software in both cases (granted, the selectable input impedance can have an effect as well).
 
I am big fan of the HW units for live performance. And, since I'm so familiar with it, I also use it for recording. But if I were to start now and only use something for recording, I'd go with the software option. The HW boxes are limited by HW. How much memory, how fast the CPU, etc. They are virtually impossible to upgrade. With the software simulators you have tons of RAM, tons of processing, and the upgrades are plentiful. They have a lot more potential for higher quality in my opinion.
#3
Slugbaby
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/12 15:00:32 (permalink)
I have NI Guitar Rig for recording, and love it.  Along with the range of products in it, i like that it's flexible - i can dial in the settings I want, but then adjust them as the song evolves.
I have a Boss GT-8 (not the 001, i know, but a similar hw system) that I sometimes use for live work.  I have 3 or 4 user presets that I'll use. 
I like the HW gear for a performance, it's a simple setup with easy switching.  But for recording I'll take Guitar Rig anyday - If I recorded with the Boss unit, I'd be stuck/ committed to the original guitar sound.
 
Different tools for different jobs, IMHO.

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#4
Soundwise
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/12 15:07:24 (permalink)
Slugbaby
I like the HW gear for a performance, it's a simple setup with easy switching.  But for recording I'll take Guitar Rig anyday - If I recorded with the Boss unit, I'd be stuck/ committed to the original guitar sound.
 
Different tools for different jobs, IMHO.

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#5
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/12 15:21:55 (permalink)
I don't know if it's in budget, but if you're looking for the best sounding guitar processing, I'd checkout the big three:
  • Axe-FX
  • Kemper Profiler
  • Helix
All three are IMO significantly better sounding than any (current) software plugin.
You can get great sounds out of all three...

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#6
Afrodrum
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/13 07:15:36 (permalink)
You don't need to spend much on this. I have/had Fractal Axe Fx2, Vox Tonelab Le, Digitech 1101, Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig5 and TH3/TH2. Eventually sold Fractal, trying to sell Digitech, will keep Vox for its wahs.  IMO TH2/TH3 is a winner, AT3 comes close. Also check Rosen IRs, that I sometimes put in place of  stock TH2 cabs. Unless you play a lot live you don't need (expensive) hardware.

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#7
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/13 08:50:47 (permalink)
I've owned and used the Kemper, Axe-FX XL+, and Helix extensively (live and studio).
 
I've got a Bogner Ubershall (heavy crunch) sound that I've put together in Helix.
The distortion, dynamics, and response to picking and guitar volume is exceptionally good.
I've yet to find that level of detail in any software plugin.
 
Though not an inexpensive solution, Helix isn't outrageously expensive.
It's about the cost of a decent Tube head.
It's a whole lot easier to cart to gigs than a 60-lb head and 75-lb cab.
The Helix UI is super easy to use, it's extremely flexible with I/O, and the form-factor is great when playing live.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#8
BobF
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/13 09:13:15 (permalink)
yellowcake64
Hi folks
 
I need to invest in a means of processing electric guitar and at the moment I'm torn between a software sim like Guitar Rig 5 or a hardware-based solution like the Boss GT 001. Has anyone used the latter specifically? I'd be eternally grateful for any advice/pros/cons etc.!
 
Thanks
 
YC 




I have GR5 and a GT-001
 
Something to keep in mind about the GT-001.  It's a USB interface as well.  The re-amping feature requires it to be connected via USB.  This is problematic with ASIO as you can only have a single USB audio device selected.
 
So you'll end up using the audio outputs.
 
I've had several including POD, Digitech RP-7, RP-1000, GR5, Amplitube3/4, ReValver, TH2/3 and most recently picked up GTR as part of Waves Gold.
 
For now I'm quite content with GTR.  It's right there, efficient, sounds great ... for special times, I fire up my Laney IRT Studio and feed the direct out of that to GTR or one of the others for cab/mic emulation and effects.
 
IMO any of these can sound great or awful.  It's all how you tweak them and what you're mixing them with.
 
I'm NOT a Pro
 
 

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#9
Cactus Music
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/13 13:58:06 (permalink)
I spent a few hours in a Music store trying a bunch of hardware sim pedals and amps. I bought the Blackstar ID15 TVP for around $250 Can. I give it 5 stars for tone. 
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ID15Combo
 
I wanted it originally to see if I could simplify my live rig and pedal board for the rock band I was playing in. I didn't expect it to be so loud on stage! My plan was to just use it at rehearsals and double it up with my beloved Princeton at gigs.  It keeps up as well as any 30 or 40 Watt tube amp I've owned. I soon started leaving the Princeton at home.  It's all worked out perfectly for me and I removed all but 3 must have pedals from my 8 pedal board set up.
 
I didn't buy it for recording but this is actually one of it's strong points. It has a master volume so you can shut the speaker off and just use the stereo line out to the Daw. It has almost totally replaced my old Fender Princeton and after 1 year of gigging and getting banged around is still going strong. 
I bought the Blackstar because out of all I tried that day, it seemed to get "tone" right for me. Of course we all have a different sound in mind but this amp does all of my favorites.  

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#10
vintagevibe
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/15 20:47:08 (permalink)
I have most of the software sims and a GT-100.  (I spent a year deep diving into an HD500 and could never get just a decent plain clean amp sound - sold it - much prefer the GT-100).  Anyway the feel of hardware is always better than any sim at any latency setting IMO.  Having said that I can quickly adapt and it feels fine until I go back to the
GT-100.  The sims are easier to work with and try different sounds.  The GT-001 can re-amp but it's a few more steps.  Good sounds can be had by all.   YMMV
#11
musicroom
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/17 11:41:01 (permalink)
Cactus Music
I spent a few hours in a Music store trying a bunch of hardware sim pedals and amps. I bought the Blackstar ID15 TVP for around $250 Can. I give it 5 stars for tone. 
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ID15Combo
 
I wanted it originally to see if I could simplify my live rig and pedal board for the rock band I was playing in. I didn't expect it to be so loud on stage! My plan was to just use it at rehearsals and double it up with my beloved Princeton at gigs.  It keeps up as well as any 30 or 40 Watt tube amp I've owned. I soon started leaving the Princeton at home.  It's all worked out perfectly for me and I removed all but 3 must have pedals from my 8 pedal board set up.
 
I didn't buy it for recording but this is actually one of it's strong points. It has a master volume so you can shut the speaker off and just use the stereo line out to the Daw. It has almost totally replaced my old Fender Princeton and after 1 year of gigging and getting banged around is still going strong. 
I bought the Blackstar because out of all I tried that day, it seemed to get "tone" right for me. Of course we all have a different sound in mind but this amp does all of my favorites.  


 
Software-wise, I have S-Gear, GTR Rig 5 and of course the cakewalk offering of TH2/3. I've recorded with all of them several times and like them. If I could only have one, I would choose GTR Rig 5 by a slim margin. They're all decent to impressive.
 
I would be inclined to go with a Helix if I was choosing from one of the big three. With that said, I have a recording pal who has the axe-fx and kemper. He jokingly complains that he can't stop playing the axe-fx once he starts because it sounds so good and is sensible for him to tweak. He likes the kemper a lot, but will part with it at some point. I still use a J-Station. Love that thing! I've had it for so many years that I've found my signature sound more often than not.
 
Piggy backing on Johnny's comments above and a little off topic from the OP.  I was taken back by the nice tones inside of the Blackstar and Peavey Vypyrs amps. It takes a little tweaking, but there are some surprisingly rich and full sounds. I was initially shopping tube amps and surprised myself by buying a Vypyr II.  I know it's appears almost ghetto/cheap go that route, but to that point; for the cost of a couple of pedals these amps are very impressive and worth a listen. They also both offer deeper programing via software, direct USB recording along with direct outs. Not much to not like.
 

 
Dave
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#12
batsbrew
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/17 18:52:02 (permalink)
wow, the pete thorn vid of the helix is off the charts

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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/17 19:00:16 (permalink)
I agree about the Pete Thorn video.
He makes everything sound pretty good.   
 
Helix is pretty nice...
Nice for bass too!  There's a Mesa bass amp (forget the model) that I love.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#14
ston
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/19 04:51:05 (permalink)
I think the main difference between using an external hardware unit and a software plugin is that you're likely to be recording the guitar 'wet' with a hardware unit (unless you record dry and then use an external fx loop from the DAW, which depends rather on the capabilities of your interface), but you have more ease of flexibility when using a plugin (typically the guitar is always recorded dry then and you can post-record tweak the sound to your heart's content).
 
At the end of the day, the guitar signal is going to be sampled, then maths will be applied to the samples, whether you're talking about a hardware unit or software plugin.
 
If you want to go analog, the SansAmp PSA-1 is very good but expensive.  Too expensive for me when my original broke down, so I went for a Digitech DSP1101 which is somewhat more expensive than the Boss, but very nice indeed.  I use a Rocktron Widowmaker for *clean* sounds; its a solid state analog, pre-amp only (no effects) unit but this would not be my choice for any overdriven or distorted type sounds.
 
#15
tlw
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/19 22:44:18 (permalink)
The Sansamp Character series are worth investigating. Only one "make" per pedal but they do a pretty good job of capturing the feel and sound. Only thing to watch is the gain controls need winding back a bit from the suggested settings, especially on the British (Marshall) when set to a vintage sound. Like most amp sims these pedals have way more gain on tap than the amps they're emulating, but unlike most digital simulators they can do a pretty good clean and touch-sensitive edge of breakup as well.

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Andy Stone
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/22 20:08:41 (permalink)
 
+1 for the Kemper. Incredible bit of gear.

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streckfus
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/23 10:09:54 (permalink)
I have the Eleven Rack and I'm quite pleased with most of the amp models and effects it has to offer.  When I track with this I'll typically record a wet & dry signal to keep options open, but usually do my best to get it right on the first attempt because re-amping is a little more "labor intensive" since you have to mess around with routing as opposed to just slapping a plugin on there. Controlling the Eleven Rack with the editor software is pretty slick.
 
As far as plugins go, I recently jumped on the discounted TH3 upgrade and I'm quite happy with that solution as well. Like Amplitube, TH3 allows for two amp/cab chains in a single setup, so for those who want to get a bit crazy with their rigs, it's more flexible than the Eleven Rack. The drag & drop interface is cool beans.

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MakerDP
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/24 23:23:36 (permalink)
I am a tube-amp geek. I even build my own so I can get exactly the tone I want.
 
BUT, if I could only afford one amp to do it all, I think it would be a Fender Mustang III amp. You can record direct with it, you can use the Fender Fuse software (bascically IK Amplitude) to record direct to DAW with it, you can use it for a low-volume practice amp, headphones for silent practice, powerful enough to use on-stage unmiked, run it direct to PA... and it won't break your back moving it around or your bank buying it.
 
I use a Mustang I as my practice amp and take it to gigs as my backup. Occasionally I will record with it too. They really do sound very nice.
 
#19
batsbrew
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 14:26:03 (permalink)


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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 14:58:59 (permalink)
Nothing beats the real thing (under ideal circumstances)
 
With the Kemper, Axe-FX, or Helix, it's not 100%... but it's so close that (to me) it just doesn't matter.
The Helix form-factor is perfect for live use, it's easy to program, sounds good, and weighs a whole lot less than a tube-head and 2x12 cab.  In my circumstance (live), I was talking out guitar amp/cab, keyboard, and vocal stuff.
It was getting to be a real drag.  Soundman was nearly beating me out of the building...  
 
 

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batsbrew
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 15:52:29 (permalink)
nobody knows what 'rock and roll' means anymore.
 


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#22
streckfus
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 18:04:10 (permalink)
I don't think anyone would make the argument that amp sims are preferable to the real thing. But there's a reason amp sims exist - because most of us can't afford nor have the space for a huge collection of classic amps.  So if I have a choice of spending a few hundred bucks on some amp simulators or tens of thousands of dollars on real amps and their matching cabs (and a new house to keep all the stuff), sorry, I'm going with the amp sims.

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MakerDP
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 19:21:42 (permalink)
streckfus
I don't think anyone would make the argument that amp sims are preferable to the real thing. But there's a reason amp sims exist - because most of us can't afford nor have the space for a huge collection of classic amps.  So if I have a choice of spending a few hundred bucks on some amp simulators or tens of thousands of dollars on real amps and their matching cabs (and a new house to keep all the stuff), sorry, I'm going with the amp sims.




I hear you, but I guess it depends on your goals.
 
If you are looking to define "your signature sound" then you should spend the $$$ on ONE top-quality amp and pedals if you think you need them (or do what I do and save thousands by building it yourself) that will define your signature sound.  Learn how to mic it properly (or use impulse responses and a reactive load box) and be able to quickly reproduce that setup live and in the studio.
 
If your needs are akin to a session guitarist and you need to sound like anybody at any given moment in your own home studio, then yeah, buy some quality sims.
 
Not to toot my own horn but to show what you can do if you are DIY savvy... This is my current amp collection:
Matchless DC30
Fender-ish (custom modified build - think Princeton/Deluxe Reverb on steroids)
Marshall 18-watt (1974)
Marshall JTM45 (preamp section only)
Custom self-design harp amp based on old 1954-ish Fender Tweed Super
 
If I were to buy all those original amps outright, I would spend well over $15,000.
I built them all for less than $2,000 and only the DC30 was from a kit, the rest from scratch (less $.)  A DC30 alone will cost you around $4,000 but I built my clone from a kit for less than $700 including cabinet and speaker. Still not chump-change but geez if you know your way around a soldering iron and have the willingness to learn a bit as you go, you should really go for it!
 
Hope this doesn't come off as bragging... it's really just an encouragement to engage in an extremely rewarding hobby that can save you some serious $$$ as you go and open your world up to tone you only ever dreamed about obtaining!
 
#24
streckfus
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 20:17:09 (permalink)
MakerDP
streckfus
I don't think anyone would make the argument that amp sims are preferable to the real thing. But there's a reason amp sims exist - because most of us can't afford nor have the space for a huge collection of classic amps.  So if I have a choice of spending a few hundred bucks on some amp simulators or tens of thousands of dollars on real amps and their matching cabs (and a new house to keep all the stuff), sorry, I'm going with the amp sims.




I hear you, but I guess it depends on your goals.
 
If you are looking to define "your signature sound" then you should spend the $$$ on ONE top-quality amp and pedals if you think you need them (or do what I do and save thousands by building it yourself) that will define your signature sound.  Learn how to mic it properly (or use impulse responses and a reactive load box) and be able to quickly reproduce that setup live and in the studio.
 
If your needs are akin to a session guitarist and you need to sound like anybody at any given moment in your own home studio, then yeah, buy some quality sims.
 
Not to toot my own horn but to show what you can do if you are DIY savvy... This is my current amp collection:
Matchless DC30
Fender-ish (custom modified build - think Princeton/Deluxe Reverb on steroids)
Marshall 18-watt (1974)
Marshall JTM45 (preamp section only)
Custom self-design harp amp based on old 1954-ish Fender Tweed Super
 
If I were to buy all those original amps outright, I would spend well over $15,000.
I built them all for less than $2,000 and only the DC30 was from a kit, the rest from scratch (less $.)  A DC30 alone will cost you around $4,000 but I built my clone from a kit for less than $700 including cabinet and speaker. Still not chump-change but geez if you know your way around a soldering iron and have the willingness to learn a bit as you go, you should really go for it!
 
Hope this doesn't come off as bragging... it's really just an encouragement to engage in an extremely rewarding hobby that can save you some serious $$$ as you go and open your world up to tone you only ever dreamed about obtaining!
 




Nope, don't see that as bragging at all. Some folks are quite skilled in the DIY world, yourself obviously being one of them. Myself, however, not so much. Not at all, to be honest.
 
And yeah, you are correct: if you are a bona fide guitar player looking for your signature sound, then yes, absolutely. Spend the money and get an amp or two. But for hacks like me, I play the guitar but I'm not a guitarist, catch my drift? Most of the stuff I write is classic rock/bluesy with some folk/country thrown in. So in my case, sometimes I want my Les Paul to snarl through a TubeScreamer into a Marshall stack. Other times, I'd prefer to have my Telecaster twang through a Twin Reverb. Or maybe run the Strat through a Soldano...and so on. Different tunes call for different tones, and in that regard amp sims are more a matter of necessity than preference. Ideally, yeah, I'd love to have all those amps for real. Then again, I'd also like to have the real guitars I mentioned above as well.  My Les Paul is an Epiphone (although it is the Joe Perry Boneyard, which is pretty slick). My Telecaster is a Squire Classic Vibe. My Strat does have "Fender" on the headstock, but it was made in Mexico. 
 
Not saying this about you, but we as musicians are a competitive bunch and unfortunately there's a tendency to play the superiority card when it comes to gear. "If it don't say Gibson, it ain't a Les Paul." "If you ain't tracking through a tube pre-amp, you ain't tracking through nothin'." There are obviously advantages to having top-of-the-line stuff, but it's not as though a person can't make good music with cheap gear.  (Real life example: I played an American Telecaster then picked up the Squire...the Squire sounded better, believe it or not.)
 
I will say, though, that I don't see that so much on this particular forum. Gear snobs are rampant elsewhere on the web, but overall this particular community is refreshingly focused on helping each other out and much more "tolerant" of those who don't have all the expensive toys. :)

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#25
MakerDP
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/25 22:31:20 (permalink)
You are absolutely correct streckfus... in your case and for those in similar situations sims make the most sense.
 
I was somewhat impressed with the TH3 bundled with SONAR. It has a pretty decent sound to it.
 
And to be brutally honest, if someone isn't going to go through all the effort required to get a really good mic'ed-up tone for whatever reason then they are better off with modelling.
 
BUT just as easy though is a great sounding amp with a reactive load and impulse response cabinet sims for silent mic-less recording. I am going to start experimenting with this type of setup hopefully this summer.
 
#26
Genghis
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/26 04:32:10 (permalink)
MakerDP
BUT just as easy though is a great sounding amp with a reactive load and impulse response cabinet sims for silent mic-less recording. I am going to start experimenting with this type of setup hopefully this summer.


I've been recording my 5150 III with mics and using a THD hot plate to get it down to a reasonable level, but wanted to have a way to record silently for late night as well. Since it will load an amp as well as attenuate, I picked up a Torpedo Cab and just started playing around with it today.  I think it will do the trick for the night time recording, plus when I record during the day I can mix in a track of a simulated 4x12 along with a mic or two on my attenuated 1x12 and it sounds really thick and juicy.  Really happy with it.  Of course they have the software Wall of Sound as well if you would rather just buy a few select cabs and do it on the cheap, but I like having the hardware version myself.

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#27
MakerDP
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Re: Guitar sims and hardware processors 2016/05/26 11:32:48 (permalink)
I've been looking at the Radial Headload Prodigy or the Suhr Reactive Load and RedWirez or Ownhammer for IR's.
 
I've experimented a little bit with a preamp going into the demo versions of some IR's and was happy with the results. I'd imagine it would only get better with the power amp factored into the equation as well.
 
But, I've also decided that, no matter what method I use for tracking I am going to start using a splitter and always record a dry DI guitar track so I can go back and reamp if I need to do any major tone tweaking or layering. I just got an ART RDB reamping box yesterday and so far I really like the functionality and price.
#28
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