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Amplitube...where's the crunch?
Old 25th January 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Amplitube...where's the crunch?

New to Amplitube, and so far, it's not making sense.

Few if any of the "Crunch" Amp or Compete Rig presets have any crunch.

For example, the 90s Pop Crunch1 & 2 presets don't sound crunchy at all.

The only amps that sound really crunchy/distorted to me are the Metal Leads.

I am almost wondering if there is something wrong with my install.

I know I can add distortion via stomps/pedals, but shouldn't a number of the amps themselves already do this, especially if they are categorized as "crunch"?
Old 25th January 2015
  #2
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Pollo's Avatar
 

I have the opposite problem. I hear these presets that are called 'clean' this and 'clean 'that and they are distorting like crazy.
I finally decided that it was a matter of perception.

I like Amplitube though. It's the only amp simulation that occasionally gets me enthusiastic.
Old 25th January 2015
  #3
Gear Addict
YMMV, (and this may not have a lot to do with the original post) but I have never like the crunch (what I think of as medium OD, which I use most of the time) on modellers.

High gain and clean are often very nice, but the crunch I can almost hear that it's fake.

That may just be me though.
Old 26th January 2015
  #4
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sam c's Avatar
 

Something is wrong. Amp has a variety of crunch sounds from mild to extra crispy. Clean sounds too. Check your installs, something is wrong.
Old 26th January 2015
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollo View Post
I have the opposite problem. I hear these presets that are called 'clean' this and 'clean 'that and they are distorting like crazy.
I finally decided that it was a matter of perception.

I like Amplitube though. It's the only amp simulation that occasionally gets me enthusiastic.
There will be a variety of different results people will get depending on how hot the input is that they are using. I am still trying to figure out this aspect, but it seems that very high impedance DI's (or instrument inputs on an interface) may be the key to getting accuracy. Although some adjustment can be made using the input knob in Amplitube (down at the bottom).

The goal, whether through hardware or through software, is to make it so that a guitar with pretty hot pickups will still sound clean through an amp sim that's supposed to be clean (i.e., Twin Reverb or JC120). Once that is set, the other amps should work out similar to their real life counterparts. For example, an AC30 will be somewhat dirty/crunchy without being extremely distorted, and higher gain amps will fall in line with where they should be.
Old 26th January 2015
  #6
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Amplitube is the best "hi gain" amp sim to me, so I'm thinking you're having some issue. Have you inserted any FX pedals? There are plenty of overdrive and distortion pedals to choose from. You should be able to get way more "crunch" than you could ever want. Whether or not you think it sounds good is subjective, but there is no lack of crunch in amplitube.
Old 26th January 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
could be low output pickups, try boosting input volume somewhere
Old 26th January 2015
  #8
Gain staging is very important for these types of modelers and you need to make sure that you have a healthy input level and that your output meter isn't clipping. With Amplitube I found that not many of the presets worked/responded well with my guitar and my style of playing. I always load an amp/cab and set it from scratch.
Really love Amplitube, especially the Fender and Ampeg ranges. Also the Roland JC-120, JH Gold and SilverTwelve amps are some of my faves!
Old 26th January 2015
  #9
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Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikHz View Post
Gain staging is very important for these types of modelers and you need to make sure that you have a healthy input level and that your output meter isn't clipping. With Amplitube I found that not many of the presets worked/responded well with my guitar and my style of playing. I always load an amp/cab and set it from scratch.
Really love Amplitube, especially the Fender and Ampeg ranges. Also the Roland JC-120, JH Gold and SilverTwelve amps are some of my faves!
I came here to say this (at least the first part). Well said and on the money. Gain staging important in any analog-modeled plugin.
Old 26th January 2015
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for all the replies. I think my levels are fine, but will take a closer look.
Old 27th January 2015
  #11
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Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Also, make sure you are using a Hi-Z/Instrument input on your audio interface of course. Can't assume anything, so no offense meant by asking a front-line question
Old 27th January 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
add a tube screamer sim to the chain
Old 27th January 2015
  #13
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RE: GAIN STAGING

I just demoed an amp sim tonight and I didn't think it was any better than Logic's stock guitar sim. But maybe I don't understand gain staging. The only sounds that sound decent are the ultra clean sounds, and then maybe those that are the Mesa Boogie sounds which are really only half decent. The problem with all the others, even the classic Fender sounds, is that there is like this sort of flappy borderline clicky sound that is similar to that sound you get when you first realize a speaker is going bad. This happens both with my PRS and with my Tele. And the volume level almost doesn't matter.

Which volume level you ask? Good question. I guess I mostly mean the one in my fingers. But also the one on the guitar.

I run things through an RME into Logic. So, if you know RME Total Mix, should I turn the input gain dial?

I'm tying to figure this out because I see people say Logic's sims aren't as good as others, but they all sound similar to me. Most sounds are bad. Only a few ultra clean ones and ultra clean ones with some effects and maybe a few Boogie sounds seem good to me. And even the Boogie sounds aren't great. They just don't do the flapclick thing. Seems like the sims are still a zillion miles from anything remotely creamy. It's either super clean or fuzz. I'm not looking for crunch. Just one decent Fender rich, one Marshall cream setting, and one Carlos setting. Actually, I'd settle for one Fender sound that is 3/4 way decent.

S @#(*&$ What's up with Youtube? Such crap. Can't find a decent Santana clip that is 720 quality.

OK, here's one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu6dg4XuO14

Last edited by jster; 27th January 2015 at 02:56 AM..
Old 27th January 2015
  #14
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

So is there any special gain-staging rules we need to adhere to with this that are different that just normal gain-staging?

I'm actually happy with the sounds I'm getting out of my set up with Kuassa amps, but I just want to be sure.
Old 27th January 2015
  #15
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guavadude's Avatar
I only use the Amplitube Orange AD30 but I turn off the IK speaker sim and use either Redwirez MixIR or Recabinet.
The speaker sims are the weak link. The effects and amps sound great. By adjusting the pre gain and my guitars vol and tone, or switching guitars, I can get some great low to mid gain crunch with just the Ad30.
Old 27th January 2015
  #16
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LejonBrames View Post
So is there any special gain-staging rules we need to adhere to with this that are different that just normal gain-staging?

I'm actually happy with the sounds I'm getting out of my set up with Kuassa amps, but I just want to be sure.
Buy the Klanghelm VU meter or similar and record at -18db VU. Put the meters everywhere in the chain until you get an idea of how much gain is added by each plug in.
Use the level control on the VU meter to keep your signal consistently at -18vU.
Amp and speaker sims will screw with your gain structure but once you dial everything back it all sounds better.
Old 27th January 2015
  #17
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
Buy the Klanghelm VU meter or similar and record at -18db VU. Put the meters everywhere in the chain until you get an idea of how much gain is added by each plug in.
Use the level control on the VU meter to keep your signal consistently at -18vU.
Amp and speaker sims will screw with your gain structure but once you dial everything back it all sounds better.
Ah ok, so standard practice
Old 27th January 2015
  #18
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dullfangs View Post
add a tube screamer sim to the chain
Even better to add a real tube screamer after the guitar before the interface.
A pedal will naturally compress the guitar signal on the way in and will give you a recording with less peaks and valleys. It will limit you in that you need to dial in the correct tone because you'll be recording with some dirt so use a little less than you need and you'll have better tone AND flexibility.
Even better is to record your guitar, with or without a tube screamer, into a real amp set fairly clean. Now add an amp sim and you'll have a great signal to play with.
Old 27th January 2015
  #19
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LejonBrames View Post
Ah ok, so standard practice
Yes but be sure to check before and after each plugin. People say that if a DAW is 32 bit floating then you don't have to worry about levels because there's so much headroom. This is true, but converters and plugins can easily distort and there isn't any sort of standard gain structure.
I LOVE how Guitar rig has the gain "learn" button, where you play and it sets your level. I wish all plugins had this.
Old 27th January 2015
  #20
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guavadude's Avatar
@ jster ,
I have an RME and you need to try reducing the input gain. You also need to check the input settings because you can set it for low gain, -10db and +4db. I usually use a Great River Pre into my RME UFX but you have to try all the settings until you can find some clean headroom. Buy the Klanghelm meter. Set it for -18db VU. I can get amazing guitar sounds out of every sim but some take more work than others. If you switch from humbuckers to single coils and aren't changing your gain structure, you'll never get there.

Logic's blue amp that looks like a toaster sounds great once you turn off the speaker sim and use an IR. Logic's pedal board and tape echo are really good. I often use Logic's pedalboard, with the IK AD30, Recabinet followed by Logic's tape echo.
Old 27th January 2015
  #21
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
My experience with AT is that the usual gain staging rules (-18 dBFS) do not apply nicely with this plugin.
If I roughly match settings on the sim with the real amp that I have sitting behind me, I see that the signal fed into AT needs way more level than -18 dBFS to get the same amount of distortion. So I'd say, krank the input level as much as it needs to sound good.
For example, my real Rectifier's gain is at about noon when it gets me a nicely saturated higher gain sound and to get the same amount with AT's model (Metal Lead, IIRC) at the same gain setting, I have to go beyond -18 dBFS input level and usually land somehere peaking near -6 dBFS.

And regarding crunch, I'd stay away from the presets and start with just an amp model (and cab emulation, which is part of the amp model) in the chain. The Orange amps are good starting points and sound fairly good, IMHO. And +1 to what guavadude said in post #15 .

There some info about this on the IK Multimedia Amplitube forum (including replies from IK):
http://cgi.ikmultimedia.com/ikforum/...php?f=5&t=7510

Last edited by RiF; 27th January 2015 at 01:06 PM..
Old 27th January 2015
  #22
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guavadude's Avatar
That's exactly right. More input gain equals more dirt.
I was just saying to start conservative if you want low to mid gain sounds. Seems like most people have trouble
because they are recording too hot.
Use your guitar volume too. Sometimes a notch or two down can really help.
Old 27th January 2015
  #23
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guavadude's Avatar
I read that article and they are talking about peak levels and I'm talking about VU or average levels.
If you use a real VU meter or the Klanghelm sim which is the best I've found, by keeping your input around -18vu, your peaks will be between -10 and -6 dBFS but it depends on the part you're playing.

That's why I was saying to use a pedal or an amp because it will give you a more consistent, less peaky average signal.

I recently read in a thread about gain staging and he said to record at "-18VU or -10dBFS (peak), whichever comes first." That is great advice and should get you a good solid starting point.
Old 27th January 2015
  #24
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
I recently read in a thread about gain staging and he said to record at "-18VU or -10dBFS (peak), whichever comes first." That is great advice and should get you a good solid starting point.
Thats not necessarily accurate, but decent enough advice.
Old 27th January 2015
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LejonBrames View Post
Thats not necessarily accurate, but decent enough advice.
Hey man, don't you play for Cleveland?
Old 27th January 2015
  #26
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guavadude's Avatar
Here's the quote:
Dead simple. -18dBFS RMS or around -10dBFS peak, whichever you hit first.

But as mentioned above, you have to try stuff to get a balance that works with the track and the plugins.
Old 27th January 2015
  #27
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
Here's the quote:
Dead simple. -18dBFS RMS or around -10dBFS peak, whichever you hit first.

But as mentioned above, you have to try stuff to get a balance that works with the track and the plugins.
Yes I'm familiar with the quote. Not entirely accurate, but close enough.
Old 27th January 2015
  #28
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LejonBrames's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teachingking View Post
Hey man, don't you play for Cleveland?
Nah man, it's Vleceland
Old 28th January 2015
  #29
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Thanks guava. I'm studying and trying things out. I haven't read the IK article yet. I just do RME into Logic. I have to reread the RME manual as I am an idiot. Or at least, I have little experience setting levels. On my RME UCX, I use channel three, an instrument channel, and I choose +4, i set the gain to 0, and I have Auto Set off. I don't use any of the dynamics stuff. How does that sound? I would have thought -10db would have been better than +4, but +4 sounded noticeably better. Good news is that I have gotten rid of most of the flapclick stuff and I am getting better sounds. But I haven't experimented yet with the Tele. Only the PRS. I tried an IR response but that seems more like fine tuning the sound.

The blue toaster amp sounds ok. But I am also trying out S-Gear. I like it because it doesn't open up a bunch of Aux tracks like Logic's presets.

I've been so focused on the flapclick stuff both before and after this thread that I have trouble judging S-Gear. I want to try out a few others. Was thinking about Bios, but their web site is super confusing and their youtube videos almost blew out my ears. Loudest videos on youtube ever.

Great thread though. Huge for me actually. I gotta do more homework today for this stuff.
Old 28th January 2015
  #30
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Oh, what's wrong with Logic's stock meters? Why do I need Klanghelm?
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