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Amp simulators
Old 14th December 2019
  #271
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
I think you missed the point.
Maybe what you meant to say is that what you find amusing is the claim that sims can't sound like tube amps and the claim that it's a factual and non-subjective matter?

If you meant that then yeah, I would of course have to agree.

The way you wrote it made it sound like you were actually making that claim.
Old 14th December 2019
  #272
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eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
Maybe what you meant to say is that what you find amusing is the claim that sims can't sound like tube amps and the claim that it's a factual and non-subjective matter?

If you meant that then yeah, I would of course have to agree.

The way you wrote it made it sound like you were actually making that claim.
I do find the fact amusing, but I'm on the side of factual either way. If I liked sims I would not claim they are as good because I just can't stand to hear different.

Whatever way the building tumbles ...that's why I'm an engineer. 5 + 5 = 10 in my life even though a room full of people that don't like the answer may be unanimously unhappy with it and unite against it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
Ok. Well some of us don’t, which effectively proves that it’s actually subjective.
I was thinking you were pretty bright until that one. Have fun.
Old 14th December 2019
  #273
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Snorktop's Avatar
 

Can't we like, focus on things we all agree on?

We all love electric guitars if not amps right? You don't play a sim guitar do you?

Can we argue if vintage guitars are actually worth it, or if Gibsons and Fenders actually suck?
Old 14th December 2019
  #274
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snorktop View Post
Maybe I misread you. Sorry, clearly I am confused.
In my original post, I said:

Quote:
guitar-based rock music is currently going the way of jazz, soul, disco, funk, etc.
I didn’t say rock is dead, nor that any of those genres are dead.

My point was that the mainstream relevance of guitar-based music is in a lull right now, from which it may or may not recover.

This is due in large part to the people who make guitar music shifting their focus away from great songwriting and instead focusing on trivial BS like whether you used a plugin or an amp.
Old 14th December 2019
  #275
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Am I the only one that thinks the UAD Fender 55 Tweed and Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959 sound absolutely bitchin?

(Lots of fighting in this thread so I didn’t read everything )
Old 14th December 2019
  #276
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post
I do find the fact amusing, but I'm on the side of factual either way. If I liked sims I would not claim they are as good because I just can't stand to hear different.

Whatever way the building tumbles ...that's why I'm an engineer. 5 + 5 = 10 in my life even though a room full of people that don't like the answer may be unanimously unhappy with it and unite against it.



I was thinking you were pretty bright until that one. Have fun.
You’re misunderstanding me.

This is subjective by nature because it’s unquantifiable. Saying some sound has more “depth” or “sparkle” or whatever terms we throw around when evaluating guitar tones is not mathematical analysis. It lives in the realm of impression and emotional impact.

I’m in the middle of an engineering degree myself and 5 + 5 most certainly = 10 but that’s neither here nor there when talking about the effect a given guitar tone has on a listener.

Also, insulting someone’s intelligence while showcasing your own confusion isn’t a great look.

Last edited by Ragan; 14th December 2019 at 07:49 PM..
Old 14th December 2019
  #277
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brockorama's Avatar
 

I've been playing a week with the choptones RR 1959 British classics.

This rig library is really well done.

I have never owned these vintage amps but I've heard them all my life.

Choptones did a nice job. If you can play at all, you won't be disappointed.
Old 14th December 2019
  #278
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brockorama's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snorktop View Post
Can't we like, focus on things we all agree on?

We all love electric guitars if not amps right? You don't play a sim guitar do you?

Can we argue if vintage guitars are actually worth it, or if Gibsons and Fenders actually suck?

I got my first Gibson knock off for Christmas. It's a 2015 Epi Les Paul Custom Pro in alpine white.

It's got the pull pots for coil tapping. Will make a few extra tone variations.

Saved 500 bucks buying used and this guy really babied this thing. Not a mark on it.

Primarily I'm a fender strat guy, but I've played a lot of Les Pauls and this one feels comfy cozy in my hands like an old ball glove.
Old 14th December 2019
  #279
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dcwave's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalsound View Post



Guitar music died in the '90's.
I guess metal isn't guitar music?

A 154% increase in metal streaming and downloads year over year
Heavy metal is the fastest-growing music genre
https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/...g-music-genre/

Country music, while adopting hip-hop rhythms (Hick-Hop™), is very guitar heavy and very popular - you might say its guitar music.

Rock on
Old 14th December 2019
  #280
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcwave View Post
I guess metal isn't guitar music?

A 154% increase in metal streaming and downloads year over year
Heavy metal is the fastest-growing music genre
https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/...g-music-genre/

Country music, while adopting hip-hop rhythms (Hick-Hop™), is very guitar heavy and very popular - you might say its guitar music.

Rock on
Let's not forget that the guitar continues to show up in music of all genres but often affected to the point that it's no longer sounding like a typical guitar. I think the axe is alive and well. Further emphasizing the importance of having tonal options. We often twist the normal guitar sound into something we can use to cover orchestral, piano, rhythmic parts, etc. Software (in-the-box and/or on the pedalboard) allows most of this. And it's enhanced by digital delays, choruses, harmonizers, reverbs, bit-crushers, etc. The options are nearly endless.
Old 14th December 2019
  #281
Gear Nut
 

Overloud TH-U is probably the best....
Old 14th December 2019
  #282
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Well said @ elambo .

If you’re done investigating and you’ve written off DSP, great. Who cares? It’s totally irrelevant to a conversation about DSP.

The compulsion to always butt into conversations about something you claim to have no interest in and assure everyone just how much you’re not interested in it is...odd.
Old 14th December 2019
  #283
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I don’t think it makes sense to write off digital amp emulators or real amps. Both have their places in certain styles, and both are more called for in certain situations.

I don’t think a product out there can TRULY replace a real Fender or Marshall Amp yet when you need that sound. There are products that get close. But the very fact that the real thing is an analog signal with tubes in it means there’s a bit of extra color and character that will be introduced just from the fact that no two analog circuits behave the same way, especially with tubes. You might have a Fender Deluxe that just has a certain something none of the rest of them have. Digital emulations don’t quite work the same way (although modeling that ‘magic sauce’ amp with a Kemper might get you close).

Pick your favorite rock producer (and I use the term rock here very broadly to encompass all the genres we associate with having come out of rock) from Butch Vig to Bob Rock to John Feldmann, and ask them “amp emulators or real tube amps?” They’d say both are equally valuable tools that have their places when the situation calls for them.

For what it’s worth I have a little bit of inside information that Mark Hoppus really loves the Kemper and has modeled all his favorite amps into it, and carries it around with him as a substitute.
Old 15th December 2019
  #284
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
And, as we're discovering, there's huge bias against digital.
I think this perception is false and utterly fundamental to the conversation. I think there is a massive bias in favor of analog and especially tube analog amps but that comes from a huge body of evidence. In the digital world there has been nearly universal acceptance of its viability at the very least in some areas. For example, tape echo devices are all but extinct because digital delay proved it was adequate and offered substantially more benefit than any perceived "cost". CDs superseded vinyl not because they were some major audio improvement but more because they were cheaper to mass produce and store.

Who wouldn't prefer to carry less weight and have more features for a given price point? There is a massively important difference between "huge bias against" and lack of proven superiority. Features does not trump fundamental quality. To once again employ the food analogy, a smorgasbord of numerous soy-based faux food products does not make a soy burger taste as good as a beef burger, Same for turkey bacon etc etc etc. Digital games have gotten absolutely amazing but The Uncanny Valley still exists and it still exists in guitar amplification as well. I, and I suspect nearly every other musician, will gladly give up the downsides of analog tube amps for digital, or for whatever can deliver the same experience with either more versatility or at less "cost" whether that cost is in money or experience.

The point is I don't see any cause for bias against digital any more than there was huge bias against SS amps. They just largely did not do the job and were not able to establish a large body of evidence that they were worth what one loses. Maybe digital can accomplish that and everyone will be happier, but it hasn't yet. That doesn't mean digital is useless or hasn't improved a great deal or has specific use cases that are a wiser choice. It's just that anyone can plug into almost any tube amp and sound decent immediately and that's not yet the case with digital, and to many that base is far more important than quantity of features. Digital is just not done yet but very likely will get there at some point in the future.

In the meantime if you find a situation where it works for you, that's perfectly fine. I have found my own, too, but there is no point in asserting digital does exactly what analog tubes do because it demonstrably does not, even to many who can't wait for the day it does.

Please don't slip into a Victim Syndrome and instead recognize there is room for disagreement. People aren't just being stubbornly biased just because they hear and/or feel something important to them that isn't apparently important to you. "Old" and "New" have little to do with quality and value judgments should never be based just on those terms.
Old 15th December 2019
  #285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens L. View Post
No, of course not - but what's your point? I mean… if you really need that as a player to play well, then fair enough - but many of us don't need that huge stack in our back to play our stuff, so...
It depends - there's some stuff you just can't do without it. Conversely, there's some stuff you just can't do with it.

And I also dispute the assertion that there are many (or any) amps sims that are capable of making a smooth transition from clean to dirty using the guitar's volume control - they always seem to not quite get one of the other.

There's a good reason for that - it's because the front end of the sim isn't interacting directly with the guitar circuitry, and, due to the phenomenon of reflected impedance, changing the controls on the guitar actually changes certain things about how the front end of a real amp functions - the pickup and guitar controls are actually part of the amp input circuit. With a sim there's no real "circuit" to the "preamp" of the sim so there's no interaction possible - even ignoring the fact that the signal is being buffered by the preamp and the analog front end of the interface.

Note that this may apply less to the Kemper because it's a profiler, not a sim. Or maybe not. The hardware input circuitry of the Kemper is specialized for guitar applications, whereas the physical front end of a sim running on a computer via a recording preamp and interface is not.
Old 15th December 2019
  #286
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
I'd love to hear someone explain, in detail, the differences they "feel" or do not feel due to this phenomenon, and perhaps some words about how it is a problem. Very little is being said in the way of practicality -- merely general theory -- and never citing which product(s) they've tested.

And btw there are developers who've taken this into account. Based on the products people seem to be mentioning above, they're using software which does not. They're using software which feels and sounds like mere approximations of hardware, as is the case for most plugins in the genre.
The software does not because it can't a physical electronic circuit can't directly interact dynamically with a computer simulation because the simulation does not present the same impedance, inductance, and capacitance and recording preamps and interface front ends are specifically designed not to.
Old 15th December 2019
  #287
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
The only real noteworthy "interaction" between an amp and a guitar is volume. Volume feeding back into the guitar from the cab, enhancing the strings to produce longer sustain and/or feedback.
No. Changing the controls on the guitar actually affects the impedance of the front end of the hardware amp, as well as the sensitivity.

Quote:
Anything else is pretty much neglectable and voodoo at best.
It's only "voodoo" if you don't understand the finer points of how it works.

And no, it isn't "neglectable" unless you can't hear it - or are not aware of the reasons for what you're hearing. (BTW, I think the correct word is "negligible".)

Quote:
The volume based interactions however work every bit as well with modelers in case you can turn things up as loud as you would with real amps/cabs.
No, because on a real amp there are effects in addition to simple volume.

Quote:

Fwiw, I'm sure someone will come up with input impedances and such - but you can have that from modelers as well, even with greater detail (such as in being able to freely switch between input impedances).
You can't use a software modeler to switch input impedance. Input impedance is determined by hardware. Software is not hardware and can't physically effect the laws of physics and electronics the same way.

Programming is not magic - it has limits. It's like trying to program a dog to be a chicken. Conceivably you might be able to raise a dog in an environment where it THINKS it's a chicken - but it still can't lay eggs. And maybe it can bark and howl but thank (insert deity of your choice) it can't crow at sunrise every morning!!

One can be "sure" of a lot of stuff that just ain't so.

Faith is a strange thing.....
Old 15th December 2019
  #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
No. Changing the controls on the guitar actually affects the impedance of the front end of the hardware amp, as well as the sensitivity.
The same happens with a typical 1 mOhm instrument input of an audio interface.

Quote:
You can't use a software modeler to switch input impedance. Input impedance is determined by hardware. Software is not hardware and can't physically effect the laws of physics and electronics the same way.
Well, cable a pedal in front and you're there. That was easy, wasn't it?

And once we're talking hardware amp sims, at least the Axe FX and the Helix feature digitally controlled analog impedance switching input circuits.

Seriously, you should update your knowledge about modelers before dissing them all the time. A tip: Trying some out actually makes a lot of sense.
Old 15th December 2019
  #289
Good one. It is, of course, as false as it is predictable. It's always exciting to look back at all the "impossibles" that have become commonplace.
Old 15th December 2019
  #290
Gear Nut
 
cubic13's Avatar
Maybe I'm missing something in this raging debate, but something seems to be missing : convenience.

Using an amp sim, at least here and just to play (not even record), I have to :
- boot my DAW
- launch Cubase
- load a project in which I have a predefined audio track, with an amp sim already put in the input track
- power on my monitors
- be sure that I'm able to hear it (monitor settings)
- and more than the above : be sure that I have a decent latency setting (which means 5 ms at worst - IOW, I have to set my Fireface unit at 128 samples. Not a problem with my recently acquired system, but I guess that this could be a serious issue with a not so recent laptop...)

A lot of things to set and check, IMO. Using my Laney IRT Studio + Palmer 12" cab, I just have to :
- power on the amp head
- Wait few seconds for the tubes to be usable. Done !

This with, unlike stated in several posts back, a very predictable sound at hands and available at any SPL value : I exactly know how the amp will react. There is also the very linear response of the whole thing : I have never been able to set precisely an amp sim as I can with my "real" amp set. The sound obtained is a whole debate by itself : I'm in the "real" tube amp camp, just for both the linear and immediate response of it, beside the more or less accuratly modeled results obtained from a sim. But I must be honest : I have no experience of the recent amp sims, probably because I just feel like I don't need any of them...
Old 15th December 2019
  #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubic13 View Post

Using an amp sim, at least here and just to play (not even record), I have to :
- boot my DAW
- launch Cubase
- load a project in which I have a predefined audio track, with an amp sim already put in the input track
- power on my monitors
- be sure that I'm able to hear it (monitor settings)
- and more than the above : be sure that I have a decent latency setting (which means 5 ms at worst - IOW, I have to set my Fireface unit at 128 samples. Not a problem with my recently acquired system, but I guess that this could be a serious issue with a not so recent laptop...)
I'm switching on my main power switch and am up and running in a matter of seconds. Booting my Helix takes less time than tubes warming up.
Sure, isn't exactly in line with the OPs question, but your suggestion of using a real amp isn't, either - after all, the OP wants something for around 150 bucks. Yeah, we have went far beyond that already, but still, real amps are losing big time within anything close to that budget range.
Old 15th December 2019
  #292
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Snorktop's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
My point was that the mainstream relevance of guitar-based music is in a lull right now, from which it may or may not recover.

This is due in large part to the people who make guitar music shifting their focus away from great songwriting and instead focusing on trivial BS like whether you used a plugin or an amp.

The amp or sim is an intrinsic part of the electric guitar, like the chamber of an acoustic. I don't agree that the instrument which creates the quality of sound is trivial or BS. Especially with electric guitar.

As important as songwriting? Sure it is. Many popular songs may be not very special songwriting, but we love them because of the amazing, inspiring, exciting guitar work. Other songs we may love for the great songwriting, not necessarily the musicianship or the tone.

Great music - the kind that could help reverse the decline in popularity of guitar-based music, has both.

Really sounded like you were almost celebrating its decline. Interesting.
Old 15th December 2019
  #293
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Snorktop's Avatar
 

Are amp sims more convenient? Yep. Are they more versatile? Nah, I call that a tie. Are they cheaper? Yep.

Do they sound and play as good or nearly as good as a great tube amp capable of holy grail tones?

Come on now, be honest. No they cannot. Not even in the same universe.

Why do you fear the grail? You flee from its power and grace.
Old 15th December 2019
  #294
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snorktop View Post
The amp or sim is an intrinsic part of the electric guitar, like the chamber of an acoustic. I don't agree that the instrument which creates the quality of sound is trivial or BS. Especially with electric guitar.

As important as songwriting? Sure it is. Many popular songs may be not very special songwriting, but we love them because of the amazing, inspiring, exciting guitar work. Other songs we may love for the great songwriting, not necessarily the musicianship or the tone.

Great music - the kind that could help reverse the decline in popularity of guitar-based music, has both.

Really sounded like you were almost celebrating its decline. Interesting.
You have a real penchant for putting words in my mouth. I’m not celebrating the decline of rock — I make rock music.

Of course great music has both great songwriting and great tones. Thankfully, great tones can be achieved with amp sims. This has been done hundreds of times over at this point. Do they sound identical to their tube amp counterparts? No, but aside from a handful of jaded grumps on Internet forums, who cares? If it sounds good, it is good. Doesn’t matter how you got there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snorktop View Post
Why do you fear the grail? You flee from its power and grace.

Last edited by tkaitkai; 15th December 2019 at 10:31 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 15th December 2019
  #295
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaitkai View Post
Do they sound identical to their tube amp counterparts? No, but aside from a handful of jaded grumps on Internet forums, who cares? If it sounds good, it is good. Doesn’t matter how you got there.
You know the cliche about "If you point a finger at someone else you have 3 more pointing back at you" ? It's trite but it's true. You write off preference to "jaded grumps" when the very same could be said about anyone with a preference. An example of this would be guitar players who have never played electric, only play acoustic, and always will. They do this not because they are jaded or grumpy but because they feel some emotional connection in one that they don't in the other.

You apparently greatly enjoy the convenience of simulators and that's perfectly valid but it would be wise and more effective if you didn't harbor and reveal your preference as a prejudice. There is a difference and some prefer that difference.

I'm not actually singling you out on this but trying to help this conversation actually be fruitful instead of a bi-polar echo chamber. We've already established that most tube guys, myself included, are not hugely biased against digital in any form. Some forms are awesome. Amp sims are not quite there yet. They may well arrive any day but even to be considered as more than mere convenience, to be considered as a viable contender, is just lately on the threshold. That some, including me, have not yet played through a sim we like is something that may change over time and probably will but until that is widely acknowledged and millions have heard and felt it's viability it remains valid to argue that point.

One might consider that at the dawn of the invention of the automobile there were hundreds of companies and some were gasoline based while many others were steam or electric. Over time gasoline won out for what became it's obvious advantages. Obviously such advantage can be fluid so maybe we should be as well... that is, if we wish to be reasonable
Old 15th December 2019
  #296
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
You apparently greatly enjoy the convenience of simulators and that's perfectly valid but it would be wise and more effective if you didn't harbor and reveal your preference as a prejudice. There is a difference and some prefer that difference.
I have not once stated that amp sims are my preference.

I actually prefer real amps by a wide margin, my favorites being the Bogner Ecstasy and Suhr PT-100.

I am not arguing that amp sims are superior to real amps — I'm arguing that they aren't inferior. They are equally viable tools which, when used properly, can sound just as awesome as real amps in their own unique way. This is really all that matters.
Old 15th December 2019
  #297
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
You know the cliche about "If you point a finger at someone else you have 3 more pointing back at you" ? It's trite but it's true. You write off preference to "jaded grumps" when the very same could be said about anyone with a preference. An example of this would be guitar players who have never played electric, only play acoustic, and always will. They do this not because they are jaded or grumpy but because they feel some emotional connection in one that they don't in the other.

You apparently greatly enjoy the convenience of simulators and that's perfectly valid but it would be wise and more effective if you didn't harbor and reveal your preference as a prejudice. There is a difference and some prefer that difference.

I'm not actually singling you out on this but trying to help this conversation actually be fruitful instead of a bi-polar echo chamber. We've already established that most tube guys, myself included, are not hugely biased against digital in any form. Some forms are awesome. Amp sims are not quite there yet. They may well arrive any day but even to be considered as more than mere convenience, to be considered as a viable contender, is just lately on the threshold. That some, including me, have not yet played through a sim we like is something that may change over time and probably will but until that is widely acknowledged and millions have heard and felt it's viability it remains valid to argue that point.

One might consider that at the dawn of the invention of the automobile there were hundreds of companies and some were gasoline based while many others were steam or electric. Over time gasoline won out for what became it's obvious advantages. Obviously such advantage can be fluid so maybe we should be as well... that is, if we wish to be reasonable
I think this is all perfectly valid and well grounded as long as you add the qualifier “...that I’ve played” to your statement about sims not being there yet. I felt exactly as you do until I played one that was “there”. And I still feel that the vast majority of them aren’t “there”. But once there was one that fooled me in tests, the broad, categorical “they’re not there” lost its validity for me.
Old 15th December 2019
  #298
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragan View Post
I think this is all perfectly valid and well grounded as long as you add the qualifier “...that I’ve played” to your statement about sims not being there yet. I felt exactly as you do until I played one that was “there”. And I still feel that the vast majority of them aren’t “there”. But once there was one that fooled me in tests, the broad, categorical “they’re not there” lost its validity for me.
Agreed and if you add to that it will take some time yet for both sims to all get up to the task so that your experience becomes commonplace for a majority of musicians, then you understand why this is still controversial and there is no case for "jaded grumpy"... well you could easily have added instead of just implied... old farts. It really isn't all about Old vs/ New. It's about experience.
Old 16th December 2019
  #299
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64gtoboy's Avatar
I have several ITB amp sims and a handful of actual amps but no profiler or external amp sim product. i have one simple question for any expert sim users- please tell me a sim and its settings to get the exact sound of Ronnie Wood on The Faces track "Stay with Me" so i can try/buy it. Thanks
Old 16th December 2019
  #300
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy View Post
I have several ITB amp sims and a handful of actual amps but no profiler or external amp sim product. i have one simple question for any expert sim users- please tell me a sim and its settings to get the exact sound of Ronnie Wood on The Faces track "Stay with Me" so i can try/buy it. Thanks
Tell us the exact amp, guitar, room, engineer and complete settings at every stage, then we could try. And get us Ronnie Wood, too. Should be easy enough.
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