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Logic Amp sims vs Brand X
Old 31st July 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Logic Amp sims vs Brand X

Hey I mostly just use Logic amp sims. I've been relying on the m increasingly just due to ease of use and bedroom recording etc.

I think they sound pretty good, but since I might need to do "real" non demo recordings with them going forward, does anyone think that Softubes amp sims or Bias Amp 2 sounds significantly better?

I mostly use it for vintage-y indie Vox tones and Fender tones.


Any advice is helpful. Thnx.
Old 31st July 2019
  #2
abi
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Hi!

I don‘t think that the Logic amp sims are useless, but there are definitely better ones out there. Just try some free demos.

My personal favourites are S-Gear, Kazrog Thermionik and Peavey Revalver.
Old 31st July 2019
  #3
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I like having the Logic Amp Sims but they seems to have extremely poor expression of playing dynamics.

I feel like most of them are severely compressing the input before any other stage in the amp.

I have an extraordinarily difficult time making them quieter in a mix without becoming too quiet, as they all seem to be dynamically crushed and too loud.

I'm definitely interested in what others who feel the same are using.

Just a quick note that the Kazrog Thermionik listed above is apparently discontinued now.
Old 31st July 2019
  #4
Theyre ok but Id just assume use my old POD Farm plugin the same, thats how 'wow' they are. Amplitube is the one that Ive found comes the closest to sounding like my real rig (it even has my Boss pedals in it too), which still isn't anywhere near it but good enough for government work.. Alot of newer ones out there I haven't tried yet, and knowing Apple, Logic's are probably still the same amp sims they've been for the last 10+ years heh.
Old 1st August 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
BCProject's Avatar
 

I'll echo what others have said. They're not *useless* but they're not great either. Shame. Functionally they're great and I love that they're baked-in - they just don't sound very good.

They are more free or low-cost amp-sim options than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Just google "free amp sim" and be prepared to invest time in trying them out.
Old 1st August 2019
  #6
I must have just glazed over TheoryNotes reply but that nailed exactly what I dont like about most of them! They sound like they are squeezing the crap out of the life of the input to me. Thats the best way I can explain what I call 'that cardboard sound' of just about every one Ive heard! The midrange just has no energy whatsoever in a really weird way. Ive played a real JCM800 for ages so yeah I was gonna have a hard time with them but they actually work very well 'in the mix' like they require almost no processing afterwards (not even the 'glue' comp I use on a bus for em). I guess thats what they were really designed for but I still want to hear a REAL gnarly breathing amp when Im just sitting there playing by itself. Still sounds so weird to me to play the 'finished product' when I like the mistakes and randomness a real live distorting amp and 4x12 gives you.
Old 2nd August 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Cool. Im gonna give amplitude a try, and also S-gear, softtube vintage amp room look good. S-gear gets rave reviews but doesnt seem to have an obvious AC30 tone
Old 2nd August 2019
  #8
Between all the ones Ive tried, NOBODY gets the AC30 right. I have an AC15 here, and Im not sure what amp any of those guys are using to model their software with but it doesn't sound like any Vox I have ever heard hah. The Marshall and Fender models are way more accurate than any of the 'Top Boost' or 'AC' models out there.
Old 4th August 2019
  #9
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They're garbage but they work.
Old 8th August 2019
  #10
abi
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i use the amps from time to time for synths (without the cab). the clean preamp does a quite nice job!
Old 10th August 2019
  #11
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Turn off the speaker simulator in the amp sim and use Space designer to load an actual speaker IR. There are some in SD that are really good and Celestion has some that are great. The speaker sim is the weak link.
Old 17th August 2019
  #12
Gear Head
 
memetto's Avatar
Logic Amps are fine. Change the guitar player
Old 17th August 2019
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
Turn off the speaker simulator in the amp sim and use Space designer to load an actual speaker IR. There are some in SD that are really good and Celestion has some that are great. The speaker sim is the weak link.
I toyed with this a bit. Is there a recipe you can recommend?
Old 19th August 2019
  #14
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Load Space Designer -> Warp Spaces -> Speaker SIMS -> Guitar Cab 1 thru....30 (?) - I think I'm close.
Old 19th August 2019
  #15
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheoryNotes View Post
I toyed with this a bit. Is there a recipe you can recommend?
I used the Logic Pedalboard into the Toaster amp quite a bit, set the speaker cab to Direct. And as mentioned use Space designer/Warp/Speakers 1-21

The image below were my favs and I relabeled them and saved into another folder. The names are just how I thought they sounded. The Celestion IRs are the best I've heard and I used Rosen Digital's Pulse, free IR loader, as the host for those but these Logic IRs are useable.

Whatever amp sim you use, turn off the speaker simulation and use the loaded IRs instead. Huge difference.

The Scuffham S-Gear amps are good and I used the Orange AD-30 in Amplitube a lot, pretty much my goto since it covers clean and grungy.

I'd follow the speaker IRs with tape delay or another pedalboard and another SD with room or spring IRs for verb.

Now I use a Kemper!
Attached Thumbnails
Logic Amp sims vs Brand X-screen-shot-2019-08-19-3.48.48-pm.png  
Old 20th August 2019
  #16
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Thanks for the info. I really want to like (dare-to-dream: love) the Logic Amp Sims. They look great, they should cover the bases nicely - they just sound so "meh".

These days I've grown tired of managing so many 3rd party plugins and extra-stuff across multiple computers etc. I'm finally realizing they don't make my music sound any better really. LPX has 90-95% of everything I need baked in.
A big chunk of that missing 10% is inspiring guitar/bass amp & FX sims.
Old 22nd August 2019
  #17
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Thanks for the suggestions. I went through this method yesterday and recorded the entire experiment. Unfortunately all the guitar audio was recorded in realtime through the screen recorder, so it's not exactly optimal audio.



So, I was quite happy with the experiment and felt I was able to get near one of my favorite tones I would get from a Blonde Character Series SansAmp I had 10 years ago.

The takeaways:

1. The problem with the Cab Simulation might be that the Cabs are directly fused to the Mics capturing them. We can't turn off the Mics if we use the Cabs, so we have to choose one. So I don't know if the problem I'm having with them are the Cab sim, the Mic sim, or if they are just both too annoying together for me. I'm going to run some pink noise through them today to see just what is going on, since I'm not even sure that the Mic sim isn't effecting the direct out from the amp. It didn't sound like it but I do want to be sure.

2. It seems important to balance the dry and wet values in Space Designer instead of the default amount of wet and 0% dry. I have to assume these patches were designed for a send aux with those settings. But if I put them in the same channel as I did with 0% dry defaults, they sounded too suffocating for me. As soon as I mixed in the dry, the sound opened up. So, basically I feel like what these IRs are doing is suppressing whatever out of control EQ curve was built into each amp as its character.

3. This makes the pedals sound so much better to me, so an entire world is definitely opening up here in front of me to be explored.

4. I'm going to play with the tube distortions in PhatFX and see what I can squeeze out of it. I'm wanting some sag/breathing out of the sound and am trying to figure out where I could get that into the chain.

So that's pretty much it. I'm going to look for the Celestion IRs next.
Old 23rd August 2019
  #18
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It’ll work much better if you use an elec Gtr, then you’ll want the Space Designer mix to be 100% wet.
For an acoustic a blend of direct and cab would be right to keep some splang from the ac pickup.

Use the Logic pedalboard for pre and post amp effects.
Old 23rd August 2019
  #19
Gear Nut
 

wow appreciate all the info from people

Yeah I did a lot of free trials and honestly..... the logic sims are pretty good.

I felt like the S-Gear amps reallly had a better "feel". But I struggled to get a good ac30 tone that felt authentic and also its kind of fiddly... I sort of just appreciate the logic ones are quick and easy to get up and running.

Ill give a shot using the logic amp sim into a diff cab sim, that sounds interesting
Old 23rd August 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lossleader View Post
wow appreciate all the info from people

Yeah I did a lot of free trials and honestly..... the logic sims are pretty good.

I felt like the S-Gear amps reallly had a better "feel". But I struggled to get a good ac30 tone that felt authentic and also its kind of fiddly... I sort of just appreciate the logic ones are quick and easy to get up and running.

Ill give a shot using the logic amp sim into a diff cab sim, that sounds interesting
I'm still not sure I've ever heard a good AC30 sim. Yeah, I agree S-Gear is fiddly and you can't easily switch between amps without having to tweak over and over. And idk why but the IR's in S-gear don't sound as good as when I used the same IRs in a separate loader.

Another thing to try is to hit your pedals before the interface and Logic. Pedals can really help a signal out on the way into the interface.
Old 23rd August 2019
  #21
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I think you get a better amp sound using the silver compressor and overdrive plugin, plus a bit of reverb
Old 23rd August 2019
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Interesting...

yeah overall the amp sims are good in logic but I think mainly for demos or later reamping.

I decided to ordered a Fryette Power station to hopefully be able to both practice w my main amp and silently record with it... expensive but cheaper than renting a prac spot at the moment. Its driving me nuts not being able to use my favorite gear.

Yeah it depends on your style of guitar for sure. My friend does more 90s style tones like Weezer etc and his DI stuff sounds great. But for slightly overdriven stuff that crunches when you hit it harder.... ive found lots of things quite good but nothing close to my real amp. At least not yet
Old 24th August 2019
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
It’ll work much better if you use an elec Gtr, then you’ll want the Space Designer mix to be 100% wet.
For an acoustic a blend of direct and cab would be right to keep some splang from the ac pickup.

Use the Logic pedalboard for pre and post amp effects.
Would you run Space Designer in this situation as Mono or Stereo?

I did stereo in the video but am thinking that's not wise.

Also, I read your comments above again and you mentioned using Rosen Digital's Pulse as your IR loader.

So is that saying the IR should be used in a different way instead of in Space Designer, or what does that plugin do differently is what I'm wondering (I'll check it out in a minute)?

From putting white noise through the amps yesterday and doing all kinds of tests, I'm thinking that Amp Designer is half Space Designer.

I think they actually recorded an IR of each of those cabs with each of the different mics listed, so I'm thinking there are 7 different IRs for each cab.

Then I think the mic distance animation we can manipulate is just a reconfigured control scheme for Space Designer.

It's just that the more I thought of it any IR has the Mic used to capture it baked in, so of course we can't disable the mic emulation on the cabs if they are an IR.

I was originally thinking the Mics were just an EQ curve thrown on top.

This is also somewhat confirmed in Bass Amp Designer as it has a cross-feeding wet/wet slider between amps and the direct box like I was doing with space designer in the video.
Old 24th August 2019
  #24
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I would always use SD in mono like a guitar amp, then turn it into stereo with modulation and delays if you want that.
Sometimes when using the Pulse IR loader I'd try a different speaker on each side and that can work. If you have a dense track with a bunch of parts, simpler is better.
I used SD to load the Logic speakers but I sometimes would load the Celestion speakers there too. I usually used the Rosen since you can blend or have a near and far thing loaded. The Celestion IRs to me seem to be the best but they all can work if you mess with them enough.
Old 27th August 2019
  #25
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Apart from some clean to slightly chunky tones (which you can for example get from the Tweed amps), which I find to be useful, IMO the Logic amps just suck. Once you're into overdriven territory, the already mentioned over-compression gets very noticeable in form of excessive noise and almost zero dynamics (and yes, I do have a decent input path, in fact more than just one...).
Do yourself a favour and check out the free Ignite Amps. Make sure to set things up right - some are preamps only, but they offer a separate poweramp plugin, plus, they need a cab sim loaded behind. I'm using Space Designer and a bunch of quality IRs for the latter. Unfortunately, there's no Vox to be found in that suite and the clean sounds aren't exactly Fender-ish, either, but you may find some goodies, though. IMO, the single best Fender-rendition is coming from S-Gear and Amplitube apparentlxy has some pretty great Vox tones (can't tell myself, I hate pretty much everything Vox).
Old 27th August 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
Apart from some clean to slightly chunky tones (which you can for example get from the Tweed amps), which I find to be useful, IMO the Logic amps just suck.
Indeed I could never get a solid heavy metal tone out of Logic's amps. Nowhere near Amplitube or TH3 at least.
Old 27th August 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x1810 View Post
Indeed I could never get a solid heavy metal tone out of Logic's amps. Nowhere near Amplitube or TH3 at least.
Yeah. There's just no definition. So I do as well suspect that there's some kind of compression (or maybe just a wrong input gain staging) happening. For less overdriven an clean tones, that might as well be what the doctor ordered, but especially for riff sounds, it's the antichrist. And it also adds a most horrible noise floor.
Old 31st August 2019
  #28
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by loaf View Post
I think you get a better amp sound using the silver compressor and overdrive plugin, plus a bit of reverb
This has been an informative thread. Thanks especially to loaf who got me to try Overdrive as the "amp". It's simple and sounds really good. Here's my plugin chain at the moment:

Pedalboard (often deactivated) --> Overdrive --> Space Designer (cab sim from Ownhammer or RedWirez) --> Compressor (of choice) --> Effects

RedWirez offers a free Marshall 1960A IR pack and the OwnHammer Core Tone Pack is an incredibly great value, IMO. I also recommend Space Designer Manager for anyone using 3rd party IRs with SD. Not free, but a huge time saver.
Old 31st August 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
I also recommend Space Designer Manager for anyone using 3rd party IRs with SD. Not free, but a huge time saver.
I can only second that. Converted my library of something around 40k (yes, it's that much, the Redwirez big pack already taking up half of it) into SD presets in a matter of seconds. It was pretty much not manageable in a meaningful way before but now all it takes is opening Logics library browser and using my arrow keys to go through all the cabs. Turned SD from one of the least useful cab IR loaders into one of the most powerful (I wish there would be parallel inserts in Logic, though, so combining multiple cabs/mics would be easier - using busses simply isn't the same).
Whatever, Space Designer Manager has been one of the few things I bought that paid of just instantly.
Old 31st August 2019
  #30
Gear Head
Realized after reading Sascha's comments that I neglected to post the link to Space Designer Manager. Besides guitar cabs, I used it to import some excellent free reverb IRs from Bricasti and Lexicon which I use all the time.
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