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Amp sim for people that hate amp sims? Amp Sim & Guitar Effects Plugins
Old 20th November 2016
  #1
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Robert Randolph's Avatar
 

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Amp sim for people that hate amp sims?

I've seen all the threads. |_____| amp sim plug-in/box/faerie is just the best and blows away everything else. You've sold all your equipment and you couldn't be happier. I roll my eyes every time I see it, since it just doesn't fit my personal experience.

I've tried every amp sim that I can get my hands on. Scuffham, Revalver, Amplitube, Softube, Thermionik, Bias, Line6s offerings, Kemper, AxeFX, Yamaha's thing and probably 2 dozen more. None of them sound right to me.

So, I'm curious what is the amp sim that 'people that hate amp sims' settle on, and what type of music do you make with it.

Old 20th November 2016
  #2
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If you can't find one amp sim, especially s-gear, that you can't get anything out of, then it's time to start working on your guitar. Change the pickups, upgrade the wiring and caps. Run a tube pre before the sim. Etc, etc.
L.
Old 20th November 2016
  #3
Gear Addict
I use Amplitube or Kazrog Thermionik. With Amplitube I bypass its cab sim and throw an IR loader usually with a couple Redwirez impulses on the chain. It takes a lot of time and tweaking, but I'm happy with the tones I've been getting. I've been using em for rock a la Thrice and chuggy metal.
Old 20th November 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
If you can't find one amp sim, especially s-gear, that you can't get anything out of, then it's time to start working on your guitar. Change the pickups, upgrade the wiring and caps. Run a tube pre before the sim. Etc, etc.
L.
I have multiple rigs that I'm perfectly happy with and a decent selection of guitar with varying pickup types and arrangements. I've tried a couple pre-amps that I have and a few germanium boosters (that I use with my amps). I've also tried a bunch of equipment that musicians bring in.

If I can get a sound I like with one of many amps, then I should be able to get something acceptable with an amp sim theoretically. However everything I've tried fails short.

So if you think S-gear is awesome and basically infallible, great. You're not going to help me much then.

edit: Think of it this way: I hate coffee. I'm not looking for opinions from people that like coffee on how they like their coffee, what coffee they like, and how I clearly just haven't had the right kind of coffee or prepared it correctly. I'm looking for opinions from people that have figured out how to tolerate being in the same room as a cup of coffee. Replace coffee with amp sim.
Old 20th November 2016
  #5
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I feel you. I have a hard time getting amp sims to sound real. If I want the sound of a real guitar amp, I'll use my amp. However, my amps are limited in their ability to produce every tone under the sun, especially more extreme butt-chugging metal type tones. So, if I need something like that, I'll usually reach for Steinberg's VSTAmprack or the free LePou sims with an external IR loader using the Redwirez impulses too.
Old 20th November 2016
  #6
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Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I have multiple rigs that I'm perfectly happy with and a decent selection of guitar with varying pickup types and arrangements. I've tried a couple pre-amps that I have and a few germanium boosters (that I use with my amps). I've also tried a bunch of equipment that musicians bring in.

If I can get a sound I like with one of many amps, then I should be able to get something acceptable with an amp sim theoretically. However everything I've tried fails short.

So if you think S-gear is awesome and basically infallible, great. You're not going to help me much then.

edit: Think of it this way: I hate coffee. I'm not looking for opinions from people that like coffee on how they like their coffee, what coffee they like, and how I clearly just haven't had the right kind of coffee or prepared it correctly. I'm looking for opinions from people that have figured out how to tolerate being in the same room as a cup of coffee. Replace coffee with amp sim.
I think you need to drink a little less coffee, and maybe you might lose that snarky attitude. I didn't say s-gear was awesome and infallible. It's usable.
When people are trying to be helpful, you might try being a little less contentious.
L.
Old 20th November 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
I think you need to drink a little less coffee, and maybe you might lose that snarky attitude. I didn't say s-gear was awesome and infallible. It's usable.
When people are trying to be helpful, you might try being a little less contentious.
L.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
If you can't find one amp sim, especially s-gear, that you can't get anything out of, then...
Implying that S-Gear you think if S-gear isn't the solution, then something else is broken. That logically means that you think S-gear is not a potential source of issues, i.e. basically infallible. Maybe I've misinterpreted this somehow, but this seems to be a reasonable interpretation of what you said.

I'd gladly be more accommodating if you were in the selection of people that I'm looking to solicit information from and capable of providing that information. Thus far that hasn't been the case. You may feel that I'm being 'contentious', but I think you're not being helpful.

Basically, if you're happy with some specific amp sim, I'm just not interested in your opinion. Consider that 'pre-contention' if you want, but it is the selection of people I'm looking for opinions from.
Old 20th November 2016
  #8
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Robert Randolph's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHarper View Post
I feel you. I have a hard time getting amp sims to sound real. If I want the sound of a real guitar amp, I'll use my amp. However, my amps are limited in their ability to produce every tone under the sun, especially more extreme butt-chugging metal type tones. So, if I need something like that, I'll usually reach for Steinberg's VSTAmprack or the free LePou sims with an external IR loader using the Redwirez impulses too.
This is the first time I've heard of someone preferring the VST Amp Rack for anything.

I suppose I shall give this another shot. Thanks
Old 20th November 2016
  #9
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You mentioned that you tried the Kemper. Which profiles did you try? The Kemper lives and dies by the quality of the profiles. I suggest getting the tones you like from your amps, profiling them, then playing those profiles before ruling th e kemper out. It is the "amp sim" for this guy who didn't like amp sims. My amp problems are solved, from clean to crunch and beyond.
Old 20th November 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
This is the first time I've heard of someone preferring the VST Amp Rack for anything.

I suppose I shall give this another shot. Thanks
VSTAmprack sounds like hot garbage with the included cabinets (IMO), but with external IRs, it can be usable. Like you, I have nice amps, so sims only cover the most extreme (unrealistic) tones that I need.
Old 20th November 2016
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddachile View Post
You mentioned that you tried the Kemper. Which profiles did you try? The Kemper lives and dies by the quality of the profiles. I suggest getting the tones you like from your amps, profiling them, then playing those profiles before ruling th e kemper out. It is the "amp sim" for this guy who didn't like amp sims. My amp problems are solved, from clean to crunch and beyond.
The Kemper that I tried had a bunch of amp factory profiles and some others I can't recall the name of (They were an uncommon first/last name). The guy that owned it also had some of his own amps profiled.

Honestly, the Kemper was the least awful thing I've tried. It certainly didn't blow me away though, and for $2k I rather be throwing bills at it than acquiescing to it being the least awful. At this point if I can't find anything else in the next couple months I'm just going to get one.

I do have another Kemper user coming over in December, so I'll certain give it another shot. If you wouldn't mind letting me know the types of sounds you enjoy and what profiles you like, I'll see if I can't give those a shot as well.
Old 20th November 2016
  #12
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Muser's Avatar
I must say it's a curious thought to think there could actually be places where resentful amp sim users can gather together to share similar experiences.

where do I sign up
Old 20th November 2016
  #13
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I don't "hate" ampsims like you do but I get your point

I've settled on S-Gear, specifically their Stealer amp in mono through the included RedWirez IR of a 4x12 Marshall with 25w Greenbacks, selecting a 57 on the edge of the cone

I have a JCM900 with 2 cabs (Vintage 30s & Greenbacks) + JMP1 with a EL84 20/20 power amp to give you an idea of the sounds I enjoy, and S-Gear gets me there

To record my real amps I use Suhr's Reactive Load with Wall Of Sound
III which may be an option for you if you're left dissatisfied with ampsims
Old 20th November 2016
  #14
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

A few times I've recorded guitar parts while listening through a sim, with the intention of reamping later. Then I've done the reamping, trying several different amps and settings and mics, and been unable to top the sim. Maybe it's because I'm bad at recording "real" electric guitars. Maybe it's because there was something about the interaction between the playing and the sim that a real amp couldn't replicate. Dunno.
Old 20th November 2016
  #15
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I love S-Gear, but it has it's limits like all sims.

Namely, the High E and B strings for anything in melodic solo mode. Mostly brittle and weak. That's just my experience, and no-one needs to agree or disagree.

If I need an important part captured, I mic up and play.

Sims are generally acceptable for rythym power chords with higher gain. Good for track sketching rythym parts, and I sometimes keep them.
Old 20th November 2016
  #16
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kafka's Avatar
I'm totally not an amp-sim guy. I have really great amps, and I can play them as loud as I want. I have no need to compromise on anything. So, with that, I have to say that some of the UAD sims are really, really good, and a lot of fun to play. I think they tend to do better on Marshall tones. The Friedman DS is just a great, great sim. I like the JTM45, also.

One thing that I've learned is that you really need to get some ambience for anything to feel right. A super short room sound, often with surprisingly high levels, like 40%, can significantly improve a sim. I've done really well with Valhalla Room and Plate.

I've also taken a liking to some of the sounds I've been getting from Amplitube, although I haven't really developed my tones with it. They probably use a simple convolution for the room sounds, but they have really good models. That was one of the best changes IK Multimedia made with that product. I should probably try to take an IR of their room sounds so I can use that with Reverberate and the UAD.
Old 20th November 2016
  #17
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For me UAD Fender 55 Champ is pretty damn good! I like it for blues and rock which are my main genres. I have a bit different opinion than yours in that I can get sounds that I am happy with using a variety of sims...S Gear and Amplitube 4 being two I am most successful with. I have also had moderate success with Revalver and Karzog.....all need real attention to tweaking, which I like to do.

I have a good collection of Marshalls, Fenders and a few others, all tube amps. So I think I know a decent amp tone. I have songs on SoundCloud where I challenged a friend to listen to two tunes and tell me which was a mic'd amp and which was a sim....he couldn't. I think they both sit well in the mix.

I guess I would ask, why bother? Why not just use your amps? My regulars are mic'd and ready to go and almost as easy as the sims.
Old 20th November 2016
  #18
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Robert Randolph's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c View Post
For me UAD Fender 55 Champ is pretty damn good! I like it for blues and rock which are my main genres. I have a bit different opinion than yours in that I can get sounds that I am happy with using a variety of sims...S Gear and Amplitube 4 being two I am most successful with. I have also had moderate success with Revalver and Karzog.....all need real attention to tweaking, which I like to do.

I have a good collection of Marshalls, Fenders and a few others, all tube amps. So I think I know a decent amp tone. I have songs on SoundCloud where I challenged a friend to listen to two tunes and tell me which was a mic'd amp and which was a sim....he couldn't. I think they both sit well in the mix.
Out of curiosity, when are you picking S-Gear over Amplitube?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c View Post
I guess I would ask, why bother? Why not just use your amps? My regulars are mic'd and ready to go and almost as easy as the sims.
Increasingly as I work outside my own studio and likewise expand the styles of music I work with, I find that my own arsenal of equipment is unavailable or inappropriate.

Usually I'd just wait around until I can get myself in to an ideal situation with the exact equipment I want to get some work done. Either waiting till I'm back in my studio to re-amp things, or calling in favours/renting equipment. The more time I spend waiting on various things, the more time I spend thinking, "I bet if I _insert amp sim_ could nail this, I'd be done already."

So I've spent a lot of that waiting time trialling various amp sims, plus the time I've spent with them out of curiosity over the years.

It's not really a make or break it situation. It's just 75% desire for efficiency and 25% curiosity of capability.
Old 20th November 2016
  #19
Chances are your problem is not the sim, but you expectation. Amp sims do not provide amp in the room sound through studio monitors. The Kemper is the closest if you enable the "Pure Cab" option which is designed to try and eliminate the sound of the mic. But amp sims are designed to sound like a mice up amp in perfect isolation, not the amp in the room. To get the amp in the room you must disable the cab portion of your amomsim and run it via a power amp of some sort into a real cab (I.e. Have it work as a ore). That's what the Kemper powered rack and toaster are essentially.

The Kemper offers so called merged profiles which allow you to run the mixed up sound to a desk while driving a real cab with a direct profile giving you the player an amp in the room sound which the desk gets the pristine sound.

So I suggest checking how you are monitoring, and also checking your own expectations. If you really want your eyes opened then when the next Kemper guy comes along, set up your real amp in isolation to record and make a profile of your own amp then compare them side by side. Or forget about in isolation and run both through the same cab and do a direct profile of you amp (assuming you have a decent attenuators/di box for the amp with line level out so you don't fry anything).
Old 20th November 2016
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
The Kemper that I tried had a bunch of amp factory profiles and some others I can't recall the name of (They were an uncommon first/last name). The guy that owned it also had some of his own amps profiled.
That's what I suspected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I do have another Kemper user coming over in December, so I'll certain give it another shot.
Great. Do take the time to profile amp tones you know you are 100% happy with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
If you wouldn't mind letting me know the types of sounds you enjoy and what profiles you like, I'll see if I can't give those a shot as well.
Here is an example of my use of the Kemper (not a final mix btw): https://soundcloud.com/buddachile/ready-now

Keep in mind that my comments pertain to the use of the Kemper for recording. I have not used it extensively in live situations as I haven't been playing live since I got it.
Old 20th November 2016
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I have multiple rigs that I'm perfectly happy with and a decent selection of guitar with varying pickup types and arrangements. I've tried a couple pre-amps that I have and a few germanium boosters (that I use with my amps). I've also tried a bunch of equipment that musicians bring in.

If I can get a sound I like with one of many amps, then I should be able to get something acceptable with an amp sim theoretically. However everything I've tried fails short.

So if you think S-gear is awesome and basically infallible, great. You're not going to help me much then.

edit: Think of it this way: I hate coffee. I'm not looking for opinions from people that like coffee on how they like their coffee, what coffee they like, and how I clearly just haven't had the right kind of coffee or prepared it correctly. I'm looking for opinions from people that have figured out how to tolerate being in the same room as a cup of coffee. Replace coffee with amp sim.
What exact rigs are you happy with?Be specific as to what mic,mic preamp,and studio monitors you're listening through.
Old 20th November 2016
  #22
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Originally Posted by Slicklickz View Post
What exact rigs are you happy with?Be specific as to what mic,mic preamp,and studio monitors you're listening through.
That's totally irrelevant. I'm not looking for help. (Thought I do appreciate the desire to do so).

I'm looking for other people's experiences, specifically people that have come from a similar predisposition as I.

This thread exists because I'm trying to find out what other people think about a situation. So it'd be more topical if you told me what you are using and what you think.
Old 20th November 2016
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I have multiple rigs that I'm perfectly happy with and a decent selection of guitar with varying pickup types and arrangements. I've tried a couple pre-amps that I have and a few germanium boosters (that I use with my amps). I've also tried a bunch of equipment that musicians bring in.

If I can get a sound I like with one of many amps, then I should be able to get something acceptable with an amp sim theoretically. However everything I've tried fails short.

So if you think S-gear is awesome and basically infallible, great. You're not going to help me much then.

edit: Think of it this way: I hate coffee. I'm not looking for opinions from people that like coffee on how they like their coffee, what coffee they like, and how I clearly just haven't had the right kind of coffee or prepared it correctly. I'm looking for opinions from people that have figured out how to tolerate being in the same room as a cup of coffee. Replace coffee with amp sim.
So, this is one of those sorts of questions where there isn't a binary answer.

That being said, one of the biggest source of confusion with sims (including Kemper) is that the end result is supposed to sound like your guitar through a cabinet.

It is not.

Sims are supposed to make your signal sound like it went through a cabinet that was mic'd and fed through a mixing console. The difference is not remotely subtle.

Sims have been used by producers for years to make records that you've undoubtedly heard and loved. Now, would these same producers cop to using such voodoo instead of mic'ing a cab? Probably not... It's worth keeping in mind that that you are the reason your amp sim isn't producing the sound you want... Whether it be through unrealistic expectations, bad sims, or engineering.

Is there a reason you want to use an amp sim? Recording at home/neighbors, lack of recording gear, etc?

There are more than a few online articles on how to make a good amp sound great, but they usually boil down to eq cuts. Putting a pedal in front of your interface, putting some hair on your signal through a mic pre's DI... There's a bunch of things you can do to make that signal sound more realistic.

There are some folks here who are reliably expected to chime in on a thread like this and give their opinion that all sims are evil and that nothing beats playing loud through an amp and mic'ing a cab. I shan't argue that point. I will however urge you to pick one sim and really dig in, play with eq, compression before and after the sim and discover for yourself that you can indeed get great tone through products like these... As they say, 10,000,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong.

Last edited by bgood; 20th November 2016 at 08:24 PM.. Reason: Sp
Old 20th November 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
That's totally irrelevant. I'm not looking for help.

I'm looking for other people's experiences, specifically people that have come from a similar predisposition as I.

This thread exists because I'm trying to find out what other people, with similar starting opinions as I, think about a situation. So it'd be more topical if you told me what you are using and what you think.
Rather rude response, mate.

Call it help or not, you're here because you seem unable to make his work. I'll add that this thread has been ask and answered here on GS about 137,000 times. So, if you're interested in simply hearing others share your "similar disposition" you may be better served by using the SEARCH function.

Predisposed ideas are bundled within rudeness is a bad look.
Old 20th November 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Rather rude response, mate.

Call it help or not, you're here because you seem unable to make his work. I'll add that this thread has been ask and answered here on GS about 137,000 times. So, if you're interested in simply hearing others share your "similar disposition" you may be better served by using the SEARCH function.

Predisposed ideas are bundled within rudeness is a bad look.
Can you please point me to another thread where someone is trying to ask people that dislike amp sims which amp sims they like?

I actually looked before I made this thread and didn't find anything.

I'm also confused as to how if this thread is so common, why so many people seem unable to respond to the actual question asked. I know the question was intelligible because some people gave some great responses. If someone else has managed to phrase it better then I'm quite eager to learn from that.
Old 20th November 2016
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
That's totally irrelevant. I'm not looking for help. (Thought I do appreciate the desire to do so).

I'm looking for other people's experiences, specifically people that have come from a similar predisposition as I.

This thread exists because I'm trying to find out what other people think about a situation. So it'd be more topical if you told me what you are using and what you think.
No wonder you're having problems.It's totally relevant.I can tell you a good solution to get a sound close to your hardware if I know what hardware is working for you.
Old 20th November 2016
  #27
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
If you can't find one amp sim, especially s-gear, that you can't get anything out of, then it's time to start working on your guitar. Change the pickups, upgrade the wiring and caps. Run a tube pre before the sim. Etc, etc.
L.
Wait, what? You can't get a fake amp to sound like a real amp/speaker and you blame the guitar? I don't think so.
Old 20th November 2016
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I've seen all the threads. |_____| amp sim plug-in/box/faerie is just the best and blows away everything else. You've sold all your equipment and you couldn't be happier. I roll my eyes every time I see it, since it just doesn't fit my personal experience.

I've tried every amp sim that I can get my hands on. Scuffham, Revalver, Amplitube, Softube, Thermionik, Bias, Line6s offerings, Kemper, AxeFX, Yamaha's thing and probably 2 dozen more. None of them sound right to me.

So, I'm curious what is the amp sim that 'people that hate amp sims' settle on, and what type of music do you make with it.

I settled on Bias Amp Desktop - I play everything from blues, funk, prog, heavy'ish prog. I only use it for quiet practicing and quickly demoing ideas. I like it because it's just an amp sim - no fx or other UI clutter like from Guitar Rig or Amplitube. I use Waves H-Reverb and Mjuc compressor in my chain and I find those help make it more palatable.

I bought the regular version on sale for like 50$ so it was well worth the price. It certainly is not replacing my tube amp anytime soon, but it's the best plugin sim I've used yet.
Old 20th November 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slicklickz View Post
No wonder you're having problems.It's totally relevant.I can tell you a good solution to get a sound close to your hardware if I know what hardware is working for you.
I appreciate that you're eager to help me solve a problem, but that's not the information that I'm looking for.

I'm really not trying to be rude (as two people have said I'm being), but I don't know any other way to communicate that I don't want help making amp sims work. I'm looking to know what other people, that also in general have not found satisfaction with amp sims, have done.
Old 20th November 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I appreciate that you're eager to help me solve a problem, but that's not the information that I'm looking for.

I'm really not trying to be rude (as two people have said I'm being), but I don't know any other way to communicate that I don't want help making amp sims work. I'm looking to know what other people, that also in general have not found satisfaction with amp sims, have done.
Ok here's my current setup:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12170440-post2094.html
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