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Best amp simulation software? Amp Sim & Guitar Effects Plugins
Old 28th January 2015
  #61
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sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Kemper, but it's a hardware solution. Nothing else comes close in either sound or usability, doesn't have 4000 tweak controls on the front, doesn't need them, just the important ones like treble, mid, bass, gain...

Software solutions just don't cut it so far for me, tried them all, best of the bunch currently is Bias Desktop (never liked Scuffam), but whatever works for you, YMMV.
Yep, Kemper is king right now. Hands down. Not even a close race really.

S-Gear is pretty damn good for software, though--love the Wayfarer amp. Bias has better clean than high gain sounds, in my opinion.

I can't believe people pay over 2K for the Axe FX--what junk.

Last edited by sanskara; 28th January 2015 at 10:54 PM.. Reason: Whatever.
Old 29th January 2015
  #62
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
I for one can't wait for the day someone releases a simple amp sim that just sounds great and doesn't have 4000 variables to tweak to "try" to get a usable tone. What is with the obsession on tweakability for these products? I don't want to change the tubes or cabinet or mic or add a rack full of effects or combine two separate rigs - please just provide an actual amp that sounds like an amp, without a ton of noise and without cluttering my screen with a DAW's worth of real estate - I'm looking at you guitar rig!

Rant over.
That's a really good idea, actually. Not unlike what Acustica are doing with their Acqua line. I'd quite happily pay for 'separates' - and I'd much prefer one faultless, amazing vintage AC30 sim to the current paradigm of a bundled collection of not-quite-there amps.
It'd make sense for the developers too - why sell all the amps at once when you can sell them separately?
Old 29th January 2015
  #63
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
I for one can't wait for the day someone releases a simple amp sim that just sounds great and doesn't have 4000 variables to tweak to "try" to get a usable tone. What is with the obsession on tweakability for these products? I don't want to change the tubes or cabinet or mic or add a rack full of effects or combine two separate rigs - please just provide an actual amp that sounds like an amp, without a ton of noise and without cluttering my screen with a DAW's worth of real estate - I'm looking at you guitar rig!
This is why I like Kuassa, it isnt trying to be like a 'suite'. It's just an amp, no effects, no stomp boxes.

Only effects are the in-amp effects like reverb
Old 29th January 2015
  #64
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Axe is junk? I've heard some very wel known artists who have used both kemper and axe say axe is superior. One being Ken Andrews, who also happens to be an acclaimed mixing engineer. So how can you say junk?

I will say this. I thought axe fx factory presets sounded meh, especially with my strat. Overly bright and not my style. After learning the controls and tweaking, I have a tone that rivals my tube amp, and in some ways I enjoy playing with more (blending various cabinet irs, second amps in parallel, great sounding verb, etc.)

One thing that concerns me about kemper is having to use other people's amps they captured. I've tried downloading other people's axe fx patches and didn't like any of them as they didn't work with my guitar or style that well. However, once tweaked to my taste it's shockingly good. My fear with kemper is i would have to model my own stuff and not be able to tweak the "factory" or other user models enough to my liking....

Since I'm not looking to model a bunch of tube amps I own, axe seems perfect, though I'd like to try the kemper at some point just to a/b
Old 29th January 2015
  #65
Gear Head
I've tried them all and Guitar Rig 5 was the only one - in my opinion - that reproduced the "just about to break up" sound that is so elusive. The Soldano model does this the best I think. Scuffham was great too but Guitar Rig was more flexible and fit into my workflow.
Old 29th January 2015
  #66
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sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMRECS View Post
Axe is junk? I've heard some very wel known artists who have used both kemper and axe say axe is superior. One being Ken Andrews, who also happens to be an acclaimed mixing engineer. So how can you say junk?
Because I have one, and I have ears. I have no idea who Ken Andrews is, nor does an appeal to "authority" constitute proof of any kind, as far as I'm concerned.

But if we were going to go that route, two words for you: Michael Wagener.



Quote:
I will say this. I thought axe fx factory presets sounded meh, especially with my strat. Overly bright and not my style. After learning the controls and tweaking
I have years of custom patches. I know the Axe FX inside and out. Whether you can hear it or not, the Axe has one sound, and every patch is just a variation of it.

Quote:
One thing that concerns me about kemper is having to use other people's amps they captured.
You're using Cliff's amps in the Axe FX that he's captured already. Never mind the fact that you can tweak the amps you download from Kemper, or even create your own. We have a host of tube amps here at the studio that we've profiled and can turn them into any sound we want.

Quote:
My fear with kemper is i would have to model my own stuff and not be able to tweak the "factory" or other user models enough to my liking....
You can tweak till the cows come home and change any sound into anything you want. Don't you think that a unit that is versatile enough to profile any amp out there can be tweaked to give you any sound you want?

Quote:
Since I'm not looking to model a bunch of tube amps I own, axe seems perfect, though I'd like to try the kemper at some point just to a/b
If you're going to blow two-plus grand on the most over-hyped box of all time, the Axe FX, you owe it to yourself to at least try the Kemper. It's the closest to the real thing out there. But hey, it's your dime...
Old 29th January 2015
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
nor does an appeal to "authority" constitute proof of any kind, as far as I'm concerned.
Man, I said Kemper looks cool and I'm sure lots of "authorities" also vouch for it...and I'm interested in trying it too...

But saying Axe is JUNK when everyone from Ken Andrews, to Dweezil Zappa to The Edge uses it, just pretty much discredits your opinion completely.
Old 29th January 2015
  #68
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guavadude's Avatar
I stumbled onto some cabinet IRs hidden in the warped patches folder of Logic's Space Designer.
I don't know what speakers and cabs these are or how they recorded them because they are just labeled 1-20 but I think half of these sound really great. I was able to get some nice tones out of pretty much every sim I tried. I really think it's the speaker emulation that is the weak link. I felt these sounded better than what I can get with other speaker IR plugs.
If you have Logic, turn off the speaker sims and check these out. Logics pedalboard is really great with lots of options. Logic's boutique retro pre and these cabs sounds very useable and the knobs on the pre becomes much more responsive in that a few clicks on the treble and pre gain make a big difference.
Old 29th January 2015
  #69
pjk
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by LejonBrames View Post
You tried Kuassa amps at all? I've been jamming exclusively on Kuassa Vermillion for a little while now.
I demo'ed Kuassa Cream and whilst the lows seemed very good, there was too much fizz which kind of put me off trying vermillion.

I can pretty much always get the tone i'm after from s-gear. It's just that it can take a long time, and sometimes ( especially for cleans ) involve extensive eq and duplicating the amp and changing eq, phase adjustment on second channel or combining and blending amps, eq, compression, phase adjustments, and occasionally even an extra power amp.....a lot of work just to get the right low end but its worth it and an sg with p90's going straight into the custom'57 on full gain followed by ignite amps TPA-1 ( kt88 ) sounds like a lovely real amp pushed, vibrant and full to me.

Last edited by pjk; 29th January 2015 at 01:09 PM..
Old 29th January 2015
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by LejonBrames View Post
This is why I like Kuassa, it isnt trying to be like a 'suite'. It's just an amp, no effects, no stomp boxes.

Only effects are the in-amp effects like reverb
That's great - I'll check them out.
Old 29th January 2015
  #71
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sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMRECS View Post
Man, I said Kemper looks cool and I'm sure lots of "authorities" also vouch for it...and I'm interested in trying it too...

But saying Axe is JUNK when everyone from Ken Andrews, to Dweezil Zappa to The Edge uses it, just pretty much discredits your opinion completely.
It's more commonly used as an effects box during live performance by those guys. The big wigs (although you haven't mentioned any I care about) rarely use it for tracking.

Even as an effects processor, you can get better sounds out of plugins in your DAW. The AD/DA in Fractal's gear is sub-par, which degrades the sound. But also, an inordinate amount of processing is being used to try and simulate the pick attacks and dynamics of playing a real tube amp. And failing miserably, in my opinion.

If Cliff had just put a couple of tubes in the back of the thing, and then spent his algorithms on effects processing, along with supplying a decent conversion process, then it might be worth 2K, but not as it is now.

But hey, if you want to play stuff because other people do, by all means. There's been a lot of ****ty gear endorsed by "celebrities" in the audio community. Go buy it all and enjoy.

Ten years from now are people going to view the Axe FX as a turning point in amp sim development? Probably not. Distance brings clarity. Remember when no one criticized the original Axe FX, without the fanboys getting their jimmies rustled? How about now that there's version 2, still off limits? Not exactly.
Old 29th January 2015
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
But hey, if you want to play stuff because other people do, by all means. There's been a lot of ****ty gear endorsed by "celebrities" in the audio community. Go buy it all and enjoy.
I'm not playing an Axe FX because other people do. I'm playing it cause it sounds awesome to me. I was simply saying that your opinion that it is "junk" is overruled by the fact that many "authorities" think it's awesome...

I would honestly love to hear the tones you are getting from the Kemper that are superior to the Axe, perhaps you can convert me, let's hear it!
Old 29th January 2015
  #73
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lysander's Avatar
 

I used to have an Axe FX ( 1st version ) and thought it was kind of crap to be honest. I was very disappointed with it.
Also there was A LOT of bull**** and mumbo jumbo on the forum, I think Cliff was a bit dishonest about what was really going on inside the box on the pretense of not revealing his secrets.
I think S-gear is far superior in every single way, and for my needs I don't really feel the need to try other simulations or even to have a real amp at home anymore.
Old 29th January 2015
  #74
Gear Head
 
sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMRECS View Post
I'm not playing an Axe FX because other people do. I'm playing it cause it sounds awesome to me. I was simply saying that your opinion that it is "junk" is overruled by the fact that many "authorities" think it's awesome...
We're well into dead-horse beating territory, but does it sound awesome to you through your studio monitors, or after you've tracked with it and then pushed out an MP3 for your ipod? Because in the first instance, you're essentially playing it like an amp in the room with you, as an analog tone. In the second instance, you'll hear that the sound breaks down and doesn't meet the same standard as a real amp (or the Kemper, for that matter.)

Quote:
I would honestly love to hear the tones you are getting from the Kemper that are superior to the Axe, perhaps you can convert me, let's hear it!
Trying to talk you out of a bad purchase, isn't the same as trying to convert you. Better than all sims is the real thing--nothing beats a real amp. But if you're looking for sim comparisons, and are serious about quality, you should have both units in your studio doing the comparison yourself. That's the only test that matters.

Beyond that, there are a plethora of artists who have done just that themselves and have the results readily available on YouTube. No need for me to reinvent the wheel. Since I have both, what possible incentive could I have to steer you towards one over the other, beyond I genuinely think that one's a rip-off and the other is pretty damn good?

One last point, and then I'm done talking to you until you graduate High School, any sound you get with the Axe Fx can be profiled by the Kemper, and tweaked into usability. There are plenty of people on Kemper's forums that have profiled the Axe FX, and you can have it for free. You cannot mimic the Kemper with the Axe FX.
Old 29th January 2015
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
Trying to talk you out of a bad purchase, isn't the same as trying to convert you. Better than all sims is the real thing--nothing beats a real amp. But if you're looking for sim comparisons, and are serious about quality, you should have both units in your studio doing the comparison yourself. That's the only test that matters.
I'm going to give a side by side comparison a shot. Ordering a Kemper today and will see how it goes...

Question now is power or non powered version...will mostly be using with in ears, live, but may eventually want to connect it to a speaker for feedback...aftermarket power amp a better idea or the built in one?

Last edited by IMRECS; 29th January 2015 at 07:54 PM..
Old 29th January 2015
  #76
Gear Head
 

Sanskara your attitude and demeanor here are amongst the worst I have seen on this forum. Clearly you have an agenda that has not been useful to this thread.
Old 29th January 2015
  #77
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sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMRECS View Post
I'm going to give a side by side comparison a shot. Ordering a Kemper today and will see how it goes...

Question now is power or non powered version...will mostly be using with in ears, ive, but may eventually want to connect it to a speaker for feedback...aftermarket power amp a better idea or the built in one?
I have no experience with their powered version, so can't comment on the quality of the Kemper power amp vs. after market. But I regularly get the non-powered version to feedback by sitting in front of the studio monitors with a guitar.

For testing purposes, make sure you log onto the Kemper site, update the firmware, and download the rig manager. That way you can easily preview other people's profiles, search by terms like Axe FX, or whatever. There's some really good stuff up there, that's totally usable right out of the box.

Good luck with your comparison.
Old 29th January 2015
  #78
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjk View Post
I demo'ed Kuassa Cream and whilst the lows seemed very good, there was too much fizz which kind of put me off trying vermillion.
.
Id give it a shot. I don't use Creme much, cause I rarely play high gain stuff, but vernillion is way better. Give it a shot!
Old 29th January 2015
  #79
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Neenja's Avatar
 

I get good sounds out of Pod Farm and Amplitube.
Old 29th January 2015
  #80
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cinealta's Avatar
 

AT3.
Old 30th January 2015
  #81
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

I think many people are relying on each little piece in the chain to do so much, and work perfectly with no tinkering.

Instead, dont add any pedals until the amp sounds perfect. Then dont add a second pedal until the first is perfect, etc.

It's the same as "Get it right at the source" and "Fixing in the mix". People seem to not spend enough time with each element, and instead just stack imperfectly tweaked elements to just crummy sounds.
Old 30th January 2015
  #82
pjk
Gear Addict
Will do eventually. There is so much choice nowadays though that you could keep demo products for a very long time.

Good points about right at source and that. Gain staging analogue and digital is also worth mentioning, especially with amp sims. They can really mess up processing if not set up optimally.

Cheers
Old 30th January 2015
  #83
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tomaburque's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post

I can't believe people pay over 2K for the Axe FX--what junk.
False.

I don't know if you are just indulging in fanboy behavior or you have some agenda. You are entitled to an opinion but the opinion that Axe Fx is junk means no one should listen to you. The truth is both of these boxes are superb and comparing them is like comparing Rembrandt and Michelangelo. Both are god boxes. One is the king of real world amp cloning, the other is more of a sound designers power tool, everything in pristine quality and deeply tweakable.
Old 30th January 2015
  #84
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stag's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tufa View Post
Sanskara your attitude and demeanor here are amongst the worst I have seen on this forum. Clearly you have an agenda that has not been useful to this thread.
Why is thar? It could be way worse.
I use a acoustic guitar mede with nail cutter and stringed with cat gut strings..
. There is no VST that can capture the intricate sophistication of my tone. Damn impossible. Not even with a tube amp.
SUCK IT, KEMPER!
Old 30th January 2015
  #85
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sanskara's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaburque View Post
you are just indulging in fanboy behavior
Quote:
both of these boxes are... like comparing Rembrandt and Michelangelo. Both are god boxes.
Talk about irony. Neither the Kemper or the Axe FX will be remembered a hundred-plus years from now, like Rembrandt and Michelangelo. And guess what, neither box replaces a tube amp to discerning ears. The real thing destroys them both. The Kemper is close; the Axe FX is overpriced junk.

Deal with it, Fractal cult members. And for God's sake, sack up. This is the Internet. Someone doesn't like something you wasted money on and disparages it in an open forum? Boohoo, you'll live.

Countdown to somebody saying that they tried the Kemper and it sucks. And my response in advance:
Old 31st January 2015
  #86
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tomaburque's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
Talk about irony. Neither the Kemper or the Axe FX will be remembered a hundred-plus years from now, like Rembrandt and Michelangelo. And guess what, neither box replaces a tube amp to discerning ears. The real thing destroys them both. The Kemper is close; the Axe FX is overpriced junk.

Deal with it, Fractal cult members. And for God's sake, sack up. This is the Internet. Someone doesn't like something you wasted money on and disparages it in an open forum? Boohoo, you'll live.

Countdown to somebody saying that they tried the Kemper and it sucks. And my response in advance:
As an old guy who's ears still ring from my '74 Marshall Super Bass I sold decades ago, I concur nothing moves air like a real amp. But an Axe Fx or a Kemper through some proper speakers like Atomic CLRs or some QSCs or any pro-level nearfield monitors sounds damn good. And mixed down by a skilled recording engineer I would bet money you could not tell the difference. Or it would be like spotting the Steven Slate drums replacements because you're thinking that drummer sounds too good.

I sold my Axe Fx intending to buy a Kemper but car needed repairs and S-Gear came along which sounds pretty damn good.

I don't know if you're trolling or you really do think the Axe Fx sucks. But I think it's a brilliant piece of DSP tech and many times more practical than a real amp if you are 100% on computer.
Old 31st January 2015
  #87
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Last edited by IMRECS; 31st January 2015 at 05:48 AM.. Reason: not worth it.
Old 31st January 2015
  #88
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
... for God's sake, sack up. This is the Internet. Someone doesn't like something you wasted money on and disparages it in an open forum? Boohoo, you'll live.
truth!
Old 31st January 2015
  #89
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Aceshighhhh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tufa View Post
Sanskara your attitude and demeanor here are amongst the worst I have seen on this forum. Clearly you have an agenda that has not been useful to this thread.
Seriously this. Long time lurker and I've never seen anybody go out of their way to bash a product this hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
The AD/DA in Fractal's gear is sub-par, which degrades the sound.
This is just objectively wrong. The Axe Fx II uses Cirrus Logic converters which are extremely high quality, along with Analog Devices op amps and other high quality components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanskara View Post
any sound you get with the Axe Fx can be profiled by the Kemper, and tweaked into usability..
This is also possible vice versa, with arguably much more possible "tweaked usability". It isn't difficult at all to tone match a kemper profile with the Axe. The kemper only takes a snapsnot of an amp's static tone settings - along with the guitar's signal chain baked in(including pickups, cables, strings, etc), so not exactly a faithful recreation. It also doesn't capture minute dynamics and harmonics of the circuitry, not to mention the multiple stages of complex gain stages and filtering.

Regardless, both are great products and I completely welcome the competition. But the silly bashing really just is unwarrented
Old 31st January 2015
  #90
pjk
Gear Addict
Back to amp sims and that. I am pretty new to them after many years with amps but I'm finding most can be made to work by really getting to know the frequencies that need reducing. They often seem to have overly represented frequency areas and resonances somewhere but it can take me a good while to find the worst offending spot and it's not necessarily one of the more obvious resonant frequencies but once I find it most if not all the harshness can be turned down by a reasonably sharp deep cut. Notching out the resonant frequencies can help but it can also take away some of the tone and I've found its worth the time to find the area that is really having the most effect on balance and tackle that.

Unlike some real amps, most of the sims I've tried seem to have areas of harshness in the upper mids and don't sound great without some work on this. I've fought with a few of them, trying to change the sound too aggressively but once I work with the tone that's already there it seems to really help.
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