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Old 11th August 2020
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