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Tired of guitar sims. Is Tech 21 the answer? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 8th September 2011
  #1
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Tired of guitar sims. Is Tech 21 the answer?

OK, I live in a apartment and had to sell the last marshall I had because of complaints even at .5 volume! Now I have great guitar sims and recently been using softube stuff along with the line 6 and peavey sim. I'm just weary of the digital sound! I'm running a les paul through a great river, api into my rosetta 200. I've done all the equing, low passing, high passing to get rid of the crap that comes out of sims. They do work sometimes, but are a bitch to track and eq. It takes a bit of work to get the sound compared to micing my old marshall with a sm7b.

Is anyone familiar with the Tech 21 series? Is it better to use one on a highend setup rather than amp sims? Also I'd be looking forward to cutting down processing power as amp sims eats up more. I also looked at the vox 4 watt amps, but my neighbor is a huge dick. If he moves out I'd probably be able to use it in a closet or normally. Also, does the tech 21 pedals get rid of that nasty digital distortion a lot of amp sims can put out? I've lpf them, but still digital distortion is digital regardless.

So pretty much my only options are stick with amp sims, tech 21 type pedal or wait for this guy to possibly move at the end of october and get the vox 4 watt which might be more tolerated than say a 100 watt marshall on 1 in a apartment.
Old 8th September 2011
  #2
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BB Bill's Avatar
 

Axe-FX is by far the best amp sim unit out there. Infinitely better than Tech 21 imo.
Old 8th September 2011
  #3
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And very pricey! I'm trying to find a DI or maybe not 100% sure low wattage amp solution. Leaning more towards the DI solution to be safe and not waste my money. I'm only looking to spend up to $275. Isn't the axe 1,200 plus or something?
Old 8th September 2011
  #4
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santangelo's Avatar
 

Palmer Audio pdi-04. Basically a guitar cabinet simulator. Sounds great in my opinion. I use both in the studio and live, very flexible and very handy tool to have if you need to record guitars at little to no volume.
Old 8th September 2011
  #5
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Awesome...I'll google it and check it out. Really the key here for me is DI and better than a AMP sim. It's not so much speaker emulation I have a issue with it's the sterile sounding distortion and tone of amp sims. Sure they can get by and be workable, but just want a better solution. Mostly the tones I'm looking is a vox/orange kind of sound. Or something that's between a vox and marshall sound.

edit: The Palmer Audio pdi-04 looks super cool, but I sold my last amp and would have to buy it plus a new amp. That would be the cost of the axe at that point nearly. It still looks super awesome and never knew it existed. Wish I would of known when I still had some amps. no more than $275 is the budget, so still on the tech 21.

I don't think anyone really answered yet, but I wanted to know how the Tech 21 compares to a top guitar sim when comparing a analog distortion sound and how it sits in the mix?
Old 8th September 2011
  #6
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LeMauce's Avatar
IF you already own real amps but can't play loud but want the "drive" sound... well powerbreak between amp and cabinet... You can build them your self.
Old 8th September 2011
  #7
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frans's Avatar
In my 20 years+ experience as a live engineer: NO.

The tech21 stuff sounds okay as long as nobody else plays. When the band comes in, the guitar simply disappears. You can turn it up, up, up and eq it to death... meh... it's still a good bit from standing on it's own. Other people had more luck with it, I didn't.
Go for those tube amps with 1 watt. Cheapest solution. The things like AxeFx, Kemper profiling amp and so on and so on look promising, but they all cost a lot of money.
Another solution would be to record your guitars clean and reamp them where you have an amp and can turn it up.
Old 8th September 2011
  #8
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I have to state also I am running DI directly into my great river as it has a output trim and my API 512c which is a bit nasty when cranked. I use my apogee softlimit sometimes to help out with the api. Would I maybe be better off getting a good tube DI box or somehting and see how that helps with amp sims?

I will admit when I miced my great river up with a marshall and sm7b it was a huge great tone than any DI guitar I ever got through it!
Old 8th September 2011
  #9
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zabukowski's Avatar
Try Scuffham S-gear, you won't regret it

Zabukowski
Old 8th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabukowski View Post
Try Scuffham S-gear, you won't regret it

Zabukowski
Wow, I checked out the demos and it sounds nice. Seems to have a lot of fans when I looked it up and raved as the best AMP sim out there. The demos though only had light distorted sounds really accept one that sounded very clean distorted. I'm wondering how it sounds cranked for hard rock, metal and industrial stuff.

ONE huge issue...It's WIN only.
Old 8th September 2011
  #11
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zabukowski's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
Wow, I checked out the demos and it sounds nice. Seems to have a lot of fans when I looked it up and raved as the best AMP sim out there. The demos though only had light distorted sounds really accept one that sounded very clean distorted. I'm wondering how it sounds cranked for hard rock, metal and industrial stuff.

ONE huge issue...It's WIN only.
Mac version will be released soon (i think at the end of September).

You can do all styles with it, but for really heavy stuff i usually use Revalver & TH-2.

Nevertheless, if you put for example Ignite Amps TS-999 in front of it, you'll be in a heaven.

Zabukowski
Old 8th September 2011
  #12
Get an amp head again and put a Two Notes Torpedo VB-101 as a load box and speaker sim behind. Record with the power amp cranked up at room volume from the VB-101 straight to your DAW.
Old 8th September 2011
  #13
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Stolle's Avatar
 

I'm finding my H&K Tubeman 2 really helpful when recording guitars in my apartment. I just love the crunch channel on that device. I've used it for more than 12 years now and I'm still happy every time I fire it up.
Old 8th September 2011
  #14
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guavadude's Avatar
The amp sims aren't the problem, the speaker emulation is. Get the RedWirez big bundle with the new IRmixer and then use any amp sim that lets you bypass the cabinet sims. $125, done.
Old 8th September 2011
  #15
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guavadude's Avatar
Not sure why ur running the GR pre into the API?
just go Gtr, Great River, Apogee. Don't distort the front end of the GR and dont record too hot. Use your pedals if you like on the way in.
When you get the red wirez try the vintage cab with G12h30's, blend a Royer 1" off the cap with an SM57 1" off the cone. Add a room mic if you want more depth.

The IRmixer is game changing.
Old 8th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
The amp sims aren't the problem, the speaker emulation is. Get the RedWirez big bundle with the new IRmixer and then use any amp sim that lets you bypass the cabinet sims. $125, done.
+1!!!

This has solved my NYC apartment problem 100%. I'm getting the sounds of all of my big amps I've ever owned at quiet apartment volumes. It wasn't until I used these that I realized how huge that part of the "sim" process is. I'm even getting sounds out of Ableton's AMP plugin that I'd consider for the final tracks on songs as opposed to just being a scratch demo.

It really breathes new life into the idea of guitar amp sims. They have a free Marshall cab you can download to try. Just load the IR's into a convolution plugin. (like a reverb, or LAConvolver which is free). Redwirez' irmix plug will take it up a million more notches.
Old 8th September 2011
  #17
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Pretty much hate all Amp sims other than an occasional line/double (NEVER a lead) bought an AxeTrak iso speaker box and it kicks ass use it with clients amps or my Zvex Nano!
Old 8th September 2011
  #18
Vibro champ xd for low low volumes. Inexpensive and a very good small low wattage amp imo.
Old 8th September 2011
  #19
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I don't think you're going to be able to mic a speaker and get the sound you want, too many compromises at volume that won't piss off the neighbor. So, what choices do you have for going direct?

1. Load boxes and a real amp: some folks have had great success. You can use a Redbox DI and a loadbox and have less than $300 in the rig, or go Palmer for a bit more or Torpedo for a lot more. I have no experience with this solution, although I have used a direct out from an amp and a cab sim box for live work and it was OK.

2. Pedals that are or sound like amps: lots of choices here. I have a couple of the old Sansamp pedals and they work really well for my stuff (don't tend to have 100s of guitar tracks, just rhythm X 1or 2 and lead and in that context it works great). The Character pedals are supposed to be even a bit quieter, but the most fun might be the PSA1, which gives you a lot of different sounds even if it is a bitch to program.

Other choices in this line: Kingsley, Stage Hog, H&K "Machine" series (little tube amps in a 1/2 rack with Red Box speaker sims), Boogie Vtwin etc. I've also had pretty good success with these.

I'd probably start with the Tech21 stuff. Buy a used Character pedal and if you don't like it sell for what you've got in it. Check out the Gear Page classifieds...
Old 8th September 2011
  #20
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Well, with whatever I get the red box looks to solve the issue if i went amp or a pedal and the price is great at $120. I saw some other ones that did cab emulation, but they were $299. The red box would take care of any DI issue with my API 512c as well. I'm thinking the red box would be a strong buy no matter which way I chose to go. So I'm thinking a small wattage amp either vox or orange and the red box. That way I could have the both of best worlds...miced and di depending on which one works out better in my apartment situation. Cool, affordable solution.


wow, on ebay i can pick up a vox ac4 for dirt cheap! I could probably get something like that and the red box under my range. $139 on ebay for a new vox ac-4 when everyone else has them for $250 new and the red box for $120. That's a $260 solution! Looking at the orange ones too which seem to be really cheap like $100, but I'm guessing solid state and maybe on the thin side. Ha even found a used red box for $35. that's under $200!
Old 8th September 2011
  #21
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ksandvik's Avatar
 

NI Guitar Rig.
Old 8th September 2011
  #22
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^ got it. Just trying to get rid of digital all together. The distorted high tones on digital always get low passed and it takes a good bit of work for things to sit in a mix. When I bought my rosetta and high end pres these things became way more noticable that amp sims work sometimes. It wasn't until I miced a marshall on a very low volume with a sm7b great river combo that I heard how damn lush it was compared to a amp sim. I mean like instant gratification record sound after mic placement, and this was a solid state marshall! It was just so much thicker right out the box adjusting on the amp than a sim.

Amp sims still have their place if used in moderation mixed in or for a solo in the mix with some lpf,hpf and a little verb or waves doubler. Hands down my favorite sound was mixing a few sm7b miced amp tracks, adjust eq on the actual amp and using vocal align for some parts. It just raged studio quality and ultra thick guitar tone that sat nice in the mix. The pres and mic really made a world of difference. Otherwise if I was running through my old digi or m aduio interface I'd proably care less. No point in having a high end setup without a non digital solution imo.
Old 8th September 2011
  #23
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
Here's what I am doing:
I practice, noodle and actually record using a passive Palmer DI-box into my DAW running Amplitube (5150 model and some cab emulations). This is basically silent, as I can use headphones.
Then after I nailed the perfect DI track, I run the track out through a Palmer Daccapo Reamp-box into my Bugera 6260 (5150 clone) and a 4x12 Mesa cabinet that is miced with a Shure SM57. A double-tracked 3 minute song creates about 6 minutes of sonic hell for your neighbors. The nice thing is, you can go over to them with a can of beer while your tracks get reamped to calm them down.
Old 8th September 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
wow, on ebay i can pick up a vox ac4 for dirt cheap! I could probably get something like that and the red box under my range. $139 on ebay for a new vox ac-4 when everyone else has them for $250 new and the red box for $120. That's a $260 solution!
there's an H&K blues master on the 'bay right now, $148, no bids yet. i'd expect it to go for around $250 or so. great little box, half-rack, and has the red box built in....
Old 8th September 2011
  #25
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Have you tried the new FREE AmpliTube with the Custom Shop?
Old 8th September 2011
  #26
Registered User
The Tech21 Character range is very good - combine that with some tasty compression, and then use IR of real cabs and you would have some great tones that could fool most people.
Old 9th September 2011
  #27
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I have the Vox AC4 with the 10" speaker. Even at 1/4 watt it is loud for an apartment. It sounds very nice at 1/2 watt, but it is loud.

I have owned a lot of Tech 21 gear. I played live for 10 years using the Trademark 60 (blues, country, rock, no metal). I've also owned the GT2, PSA-1, Bass Driver D.I., and now 2 of the character pedals- Liverpool and Blonde.

The only one I wasn't thrilled with for recording electric guitar was the PSA-1. It sounds great on a lot of sources, I used it for bass tracks, but I didn't like the sound on electric- there was a fizziness.

The character pedals sound very good, a real step up. I found the Blonde (Fender style) pedal and the British (Marshall style) pedal to be the most responsive to my picking techniques. I ended up buying the Liverpool instead of the British because I wanted some bright Vox jangle. The Liverpool sounds good but is not as fun to play through as the Blonde or British pedals.

I owned a Line 6 PodXT. I was able to dial in some interesting sounds using the Pod and recorded a few all right lap steel tracks with it. I can't say I ever enjoyed playing guitar through it much.

I own Guitar Rig 3 and Flying Haggis as well as most of the free amp sims. I've gotten some decent sounds out of them, especially Flying Haggis with selected modulation plugins. I wanted very badly to go all digital- I think Guitar Rig is well laid out and fun to make noises with. But digital sims were taking the fun out of playing guitar for me.

The SansAmp Character pedals aren't "just like" playing through an amp. Nothing beats that feeling and sound for me. But they are quiet, they sound very similar to the amps they emulate, they sound good regardless, and they have a lot of tones per pedal. (You just have to take a quick picture with your phone camera when you hit on a good setting.) I'm having fun recording guitar again.
Old 9th September 2011
  #28
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mikymike's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
In my 20 years+ experience as a live engineer: NO.

The tech21 stuff sounds okay as long as nobody else plays. When the band comes in, the guitar simply disappears. You can turn it up, up, up and eq it to death... meh... it's still a good bit from standing on it's own. Other people had more luck with it, I didn't.
Go for those tube amps with 1 watt. Cheapest solution. The things like AxeFx, Kemper profiling amp and so on and so on look promising, but they all cost a lot of money.
Another solution would be to record your guitars clean and reamp them where you have an amp and can turn it up.
A little OT, but you might want to change one of the words in your sig, you know, being German and all.
Old 9th September 2011
  #29
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
If you like the sound of a tube amp (like I do) than use the tube amp. Pair it with a speaker level attenuator and an iso box and you can record fully over driven amps at in room SPLs on par with how loud most people watch the evening news.
Old 9th September 2011
  #30
Sansamp is OK only for Rammstein-style guitars.

But I love it for bass ! I am bass player, I own Ampeg Classic and Sunn 300T...but I often prefer to record bass like that:Sansamp PSA-1>Chandler Tone Control>Tube-Tech CL1B. Usually it's heavy distorted bass.
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