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ML Sound Lab Amped ML5 guitar amp sim...
Old 7th August 2020
  #1
ML Sound Lab Amped ML5 guitar amp sim...

Mikko just released his Mesa Mark V plugin...holy crap does this thing sound great. The best clean tones I've heard in a plugin since Plini, and a whole bunch of excellent mid/high gain tones as well. 9 amp sims for 80 euros. Awesome stuff.

https://ml-sound-lab.com/products/amped-ml5-free-trial
Old 7th August 2020
  #2
Gear Nut
 
BrockJon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by feck View Post
Mikko just released his Mesa Mark V plugin...holy crap does this thing sound great. The best clean tones I've heard in a plugin since Plini, and a whole bunch of excellent mid/high gain tones as well. 9 amp sims for 80 euros. Awesome stuff.

https://ml-sound-lab.com/products/amped-ml5-free-trial
I have to agree. When Neural came out, I thought they set a new standard for amp sim plugins. To me, great as Neural's plugins are, ML5 is leaps and bounds above. The Neural stuff reminds me of the Axe-Fx - sounds great, but doesn't feel like playing a real amp. The ML5 actually feels like playing a real amp.

I did this quick shootout:

Please note, this isn't mixed or anything. There's no additional processing to any of the plugins.

It's a goofy riff, but I did it to test different aspects of the tone:
1. How tight the palm mutes are
2. How a sustained power chord sounds
3. How it deals with low notes (8 and 9 string range)
4. Clarity for complex chords

In two of the three Neural sims, you can hear extremely harsh and offensive frequencies in the "complex chord" part of the riff; in the other Neural, they're not present (but that's because Mikko did the IRs for that sim). Meanwhile, the ML5 sounds totally balanced. As a bonus - ML5 uses a fraction the processing power of the Neural plugins (and it works in standalone mode flawlessly in Windows 10 with a Thunbderbolt 3 sound device, which Neural's plugins do not).

This amp covers so many good tones I'd be surprised if I ever use another sim again. Oh, and it's sexy AF...
Attached Thumbnails
ML Sound Lab Amped ML5 guitar amp sim...-2020-08-04-15_16_09-window.jpg  

Last edited by BrockJon; 8th August 2020 at 07:50 PM..
Old 7th August 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Just downloaded free trial.
Old 7th August 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Interesting, popcorns out...
Old 7th August 2020
  #5
I prefer this to Plini, and that's no easy product to beat. But, as with so many amp sim companies, the demo is a highly limited representation of what this thing can do. I heard that clip and was eager to move past. But because it was being compared to Plini I decided to try the functioning demo. It took 60 seconds before reaching my Shopping Cart, and I am absolutely NOT in the market for yet another amp sim. The potential here is enormous!

The GUI is a slight mess, however. And the limited functionality of the pedalboard is also an area that needs large improvements. It's worth it for the basic tones, but there's work to be done.
Old 8th August 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Yeah ML sound labs did the IRs for the neural stuff so their stuff is on par or better.
Been using their free 5150 for a while
Old 8th August 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Only problem for me is the GUI controls are too small for my eyesight on the Demo. Can you increase the GUI any? I have tried both Stand-Alone and as VST 3 in DAW but can't seem to find a way to enlarge it as I am on a 4k monitor.

It sounds absolutely awesome though otherwise.

Thanks.
Old 8th August 2020
  #8
There's been chatter about their involvement with Neural DSP, but to what degree, and with which products? I see "IRs" mentioned but is that strictly related to cab IRs? Or did the guy(s) behind ML Labs have a deeper involvement in the amp emulations themselves?
Old 8th August 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
The GUI is a slight mess, however. And the limited functionality of the pedalboard is also an area that needs large improvements.
What's wrong with it and how could it be improved?
Old 8th August 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
marcpl's Avatar
 

No Windows AAX. That's surprising. Oh well.
Old 8th August 2020
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by lydfar View Post
What's wrong with it and how could it be improved?
Text is tough to read -- small and blurry at 4k. Screen isn't resizable. Most of the plugin's real estate is wasted on the fabric cover of the amp, which serves no purpose to the functionality of the amp. The trend of perfectly emulating the "look" of an amp is, I hope, fading. It was deemed important when the public was still weary of amp sims, but I think most of us have accepted them as capable of properly emulating amps. However, other companies have given us the look of an amp as well as a workable, legible GUI. It just needs some work, but that's not why I bought it.
Old 8th August 2020
  #12
Gear Nut
 
BrockJon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
There's been chatter about their involvement with Neural DSP, but to what degree, and with which products? I see "IRs" mentioned but is that strictly related to cab IRs? Or did the guy(s) behind ML Labs have a deeper involvement in the amp emulations themselves?
I believe Mikko did the IRs for Darkglass and Plini; and Nolly has done IRs for the plugins subsequent to Plini. It appears Neural has removed any mention of Mikko on their pages subsequent to the dissolution of their working relationship.

Pretty stark difference between Mikko's and Nolly's. To me, the non-Mikko IRs require a lot of attention to notching out whistle tones (pay special attention to the "complex chord" section of the demo of my post above). I didn't include Fortin Nameless in this comparison, but that one has tons of whistle tones as well - so much so that, to me it's not very usable.

I agree with others have have posted about the GUI needing to be bigger. I also agree he should step up quality of the FX. Neural knocks it out of the park in both these regards.

That said, I think the tone of this plugin is so far above any other guitar sim I've played (including Axe-Fx) that the detractors become insignificant. E.g., the built in FX are passable for jamming; and for actual tracking, I can use third party plugins.
Old 8th August 2020
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockJon View Post
That said, I think the tone of this plugin is so far above any other guitar sim I've played (including Axe-Fx) that the detractors become insignificant. E.g., the built in FX are passable for jamming; and for actual tracking, I can use third party plugins.
Yes, I've been bypassing FX and using others and that works well. And after more time with this plugin I'm only more impressed. The cleans in particular. Nothing else is as dynamic. And it's brilliant at emulating all the sound between the guitar strings. If you could remove the fundamental notes and just listen to what's left... in that regard, the Fat Clean amp sounds very much like my boutique amps.
Old 9th August 2020
  #14
Gear Head
 

This plugin is nice.
I don't think it's entirely valid to compare this to NeuralDSP in tone characteristics since Neural modeled different amps. I did some comparisons to Mercuriall Reaxis as it also models Mesa Mark series and it was tough to decide what I like better. ML5 seems to be more focused but at the same time a little bit more flat and two dimesional, while Reaxis is more detailed and the response is more nuanced, but it's somehow not as tight as ML5. If not for that tightness difference, I'd figuratively say that Reaxis is like a real amp and ML5 is like a Kemper clone of that amp.
As for stock IRs, they are pretty always meh in any plugin. NeuralDSP, Mercuriall, ML5 all have average quality nothing special IRs, so I always use some 3rd party ones.
Old 9th August 2020
  #15
Gear Nut
 
BrockJon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megakazbek View Post
This plugin is nice.
I don't think it's entirely valid to compare this to NeuralDSP in tone characteristics since Neural modeled different amps. I did some comparisons to Mercuriall Reaxis as it also models Mesa Mark series and it was tough to decide what I like better. ML5 seems to be more focused but at the same time a little bit more flat and two dimesional, while Reaxis is more detailed and the response is more nuanced, but it's somehow not as tight as ML5. If not for that tightness difference, I'd figuratively say that Reaxis is like a real amp and ML5 is like a Kemper clone of that amp.
As for stock IRs, they are pretty always meh in any plugin. NeuralDSP, Mercuriall, ML5 all have average quality nothing special IRs, so I always use some 3rd party ones.
I had a TriAxis/2:90/Recto cab for many years - at two points in my life around 20 years apart. I agree Mercuriall did a great job with the Reaxis. One thing I especially like about the Reaxis is how the purity of the tone of the guitar comes through - almost like like a Tube Screamer where some dry signal is blended in with the affected sound. That said, that is not what the TriAxis actually sounds like. I ended up selling the combo because it sounded fairly flat and lifeless, or, to use your words, two dimensional. Many current guitar tones, especially the heavier ones, are a lot more present than they were back when the TriAxis was current.

Comparatively, I think the ML5 sounds dynamic and three dimensional whereas the Reaxis sounds fairly flat and lifeless, and definitely lacks the transience of the ML5.

Regarding your point about the IRs - which IRs do you prefer? Can you post some clips using the ML5 with your preferred IRs versus the stock ones?
Old 9th August 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 

I have all the new Softube Amps, THU Full, Amplitube 4 Max, GR5, Plini, Nolly and Cory Wong from Neural, some PA amp sims, some Waves ones etc etc. and I would still buy this as it sounds good - if the GUI was just larger so I could read it sitting a few feet away from my 4k monitor. It's just too small to see for me at the moment unfortunately.
Old 9th August 2020
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockJon View Post
Comparatively, I think the ML5 sounds dynamic and three dimensional whereas the Reaxis sounds fairly flat and lifeless, and definitely lacks the transience of the ML5.
I completely agree. There's an unusual amount of sonic info happening in this sim, and I don't hear it as flat. Maybe this is an IR issue.
Old 9th August 2020
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrockJon View Post
Regarding your point about the IRs - which IRs do you prefer? Can you post some clips using the ML5 with your preferred IRs versus the stock ones?
I'm curious as well. Ownhammer gets mentioned a lot around here. I have a few of theirs but can't remember which. Personal IR libraries need librarians.
Old 9th August 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
theXbucket's Avatar
 

I Really like It through Torpedo Wall of sound. I think the celestion Ruby was Great.
Old 9th August 2020
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Any experiences comparing these ML amps with Nembrini, STL Tones?

Also what copy protection does ML use?
Old 10th August 2020
  #21
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cprompt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
Also what copy protection does ML use?
You download the demo plugin, generate a key from it, paste it in to their website and it gives you another key to unlock the plugin.

From their FAQ:

ML licensing works with a computer specific "Request Key" that you need to insert on the full license product page to be able to purchase a license. Please make sure that the Request Key is COPIED from Amped and not the Mikko plugin. Also to avoid issues with confusing 1 with I and 0 with O, please copy and paste the Request Key. Once you've received your full license via email simply copy and paste it to your Amped License Manager and you should be all set.
Old 10th August 2020
  #22
Lives for gear
 

OK, sounds like its C/R
Old 10th August 2020
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
OK, sounds like its C/R
What is C/R?
Old 10th August 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
 

They don't release AAX for Windows?
Old 10th August 2020
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune45 View Post
What is C/R?
Challenge/Response
Old 10th August 2020
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOh View Post
They don't release AAX for Windows?
Not yet. Their site claims that the product is a work in progress, so hopefully Windows AAX is coming soon.
Old 11th August 2020
  #27
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jimmydeluxe's Avatar
Fuse Labs F-59 is the one to beat for me now-interested to test this to compare.

Last edited by jimmydeluxe; 11th August 2020 at 04:23 PM..
Old 11th August 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmydeluxe View Post
Fuse Labs F-52 is the one to beat for me now-interested to test this to compare.
Their F-59 (that was probably a typo) is a great sim for the Bassman tone, and I use it often, but I think I'd still have to give the edge to ML5. Perhaps the difference is in the IRs. I'd be very curious to hear F-59 and ML5 (et al) -- with their default cab IRs bypassed -- into a great 3rd party IR common to all of them, to even the playing field.
Old 11th August 2020
  #29
Lives for gear
 

DISCLAIMER:I'm not a guitarist myself,but i do work with real guitar amps quite a bit and cabs to use with synths,drums,things like that and i sometimes but not often record guitar for other people.

I'd never heard of ML Sound Labs before so just spent some of last night checking them out.i'm not impressed.the only one i am rather familiar with that they modelled here is the MESA one but i noticed that the other models have a similar sort of breakup,grab and character to all of them and a samey quality to the distortion.. which doesn't make any sense to me,but like i said,i don't know what was modelled for the others so i can't say for certain if that should be the case(though i doubt it should be)..there's no sag to speak of going on here and the tone stack for the top end is pretty horrid on all 4 of them.the resulting spectrum i noticed is always very notched as well.the cabs are probably the best part of it, but i've moved on from static IR cabs and am mostly using dynamic models now

I don't know what people mean when they say that Neural sounds more plastic compared to this.we must have wildly different criteria for what constitutes plastic sounding as i don't think this is in the same league as anything NeuralDSP has done for articulation and dynamics of the distortion.come to think of it though,my guitarist friend really likes Amplitube and to me a lot of its models up to about the earliest version of Amplitube 4 sound like really basic clippers with EQ IMO,just utterly boring to non-existent break up and farty low mids from the almost complete lack of dynamics,so based on that and a few other sessions i've done with recording guitars for people i learnt that whatever most but not all the guitarists i have worked with covet from guitar amp distortion doesn't align with what i would imagine they would like and it's certainly not a real amp sound either

If i had to use amp sims the only ones i would consider are Neural anything except for the Granophyre,S-Gear,Thermionik and Revalver(though this one is fiddly) and the recent Sknote models with the dynamic cab simulation.also really liking the dynamic cab model in Tonelib GFX and their amp sims are pretty decent too,the whole thing is a bargain actually when you consider the price
Old 11th August 2020
  #30
Lives for gear
 
jimmydeluxe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Their F-59 (that was probably a typo) is a great sim for the Bassman tone, and I use it often, but I think I'd still have to give the edge to ML5. Perhaps the difference is in the IRs. I'd be very curious to hear F-59 and ML5 (et al) -- with their default cab IRs bypassed -- into a great 3rd party IR common to all of them, to even the playing field.
right, thanks. intrigued-will check out tonight
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