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"Amp sims don't sound as good as the real thing" Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 22nd February 2012
  #1
Gear addict
 
gingataff's Avatar
 

"Amp sims don't sound as good as the real thing"

OK so we've heard this argument a million times and I'm not looking to start a debate on which, if any, sim comes close to a real amp.

One thing that I've noticed in threads about amp simulators is that people never seem satisfied with the tone of a sim played through their monitors compared to a real amp through a cab.

Come on now, do you really expect anything to sound the same through your Mackies or Behringers as through a 4x12 Celestion filled backbreaker?

And the same goes for softsynths. "That Arturia sim doesn't sound as good as my model d through a kickass amp/PA"
Old 22nd February 2012
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingataff View Post
Come on now, do you really expect anything to sound the same through your Mackies or Behringers as through a 4x12 Celestion filled backbreaker?
But isn't that what an amp sim claims to do: simulate the real thing while not using the real thing at all?

The manufacturers claim that this is possible, so why would it be unreasonable to expect them NOT to lie about it. They say "Yes, it sounds the same", so an end user bites and discovers that it doesn't sound the same. I'm sure you can see why the user would not be "satisfied" with the product.

As you said, I won't debate whether or not it is possible, or which sim is best, but you can see that, using your own example, if a product doesn't do what it says it should then the consumer has a right to be dissatisfied.

If you're saying that users should be smarter than that, you're probably right. But truth in marketing and the quality of the product are bigger issues IMO.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #3
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The thing that cracks me up is that if you listen to clips or youtube videos for boutique amps and pedals most of the time it's the most generic beer commercial bloooze sound imaginable that sounds like a bad Rockman or something anyway.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingataff View Post
..
One thing that I've noticed in threads about amp simulators is that people never seem satisfied with the tone of a sim played through their monitors compared to a real amp through a cab...
In the studio, only the recorded sound is what matters. While I like playing with a real amp much more, they also give a much better result in the end.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
benherron.rrr's Avatar
I hate to say it but. . .

It depends on the situation.

If I'm writing for a client, nothing can beat an amp sim just because it is so easy to change the tone/effects without needing to re-record anything if the client isn't happy.

I always think it's a good Idea to take a dry output from the guitar just in case.

I find amp sims are really great for certain tasks, like if I'm trying to get some nice delays going on (edge style) I find GR can create a cleaner sound then my pedals can, but if this is the case I usually record the amp as clean as it gets rather then DI.

They are also great if you want to create some complex ambient sounds.

Generally I always prefer recording the amp and getting the sound/tone right from day 1. I always give a better performance, and IMO a recorded amp always sounds more natural and sits better in the mix. I always think that amp sims sound like they are just effects layered over a clean take, rather then a complete recording, if that makes any sense.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #6
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I'd rather hear a player who can play, use an amp sim than a hack killin it on a real rig. Use whatever floats it. A great song is more important IMO.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama View Post
..A great song is more important IMO.
That's not what we're discusssing though.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #8
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brockorama's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
That's not what we're discusssing though.
Oh well, this topic has been done to death. At least you are in the right place to moan about me derailing this thread.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #9
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ksandvik's Avatar
 

Old 23rd February 2012
  #10
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InternJesse's Avatar
 

To beat a horse, which if not dead, is certainly close to expiring.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #11
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T_R_S's Avatar
"Amp sims don't sound as good as the real thing"

If that statement was true this thread would not exist.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #12
Gear addict
 
gingataff's Avatar
 

Thanks for the input guys. I certainly don't want another hardware/software debate, that would be like comparing online scrabble to the real thing, or talking to people on an internet forum versus going down the pub

My point is that many people quickly blame software for it's shortcomings without really thinking about the rest of the setup.
Perhaps much of the blame lies at the feet of the marketing guys, giving consumers false expectations, but there seems to be a lack of common sense on the consumers part too.
Of course you're not going to get a that same punch in the gut from your laptop speakers as from a Mesa cab.
Yet some people continue to be surprised by this.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #13
Gear addict
 
gingataff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
In the studio, only the recorded sound is what matters. While I like playing with a real amp much better, they also give a much better result in the end.
This is a fair comparison.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #14
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kennybro's Avatar
One important factor is the way the sim vs. real amp affects the guitarist. I have a difficult time resonating with a sim. I resonate with real amps. I play better through real amps. Just can't seem to get over that hump.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #15
It's not an amp simulator, per se, but the Marshall JMP1 sits in your rack and has balanced outs that interface at perfect line level into your Avid or other audio interface and can produce every marshall sound from the 60s til today - even though it's a mid 90s unit. It can get quite Fendery and Voxy to boot.

It's a mainstay in my studio and I have tracked (literally) thousands of guitar parts with it from country to metal and everything in between.

2 valves/tubes and midi and the programmability of the unit is top-notch.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Sorry, but I'm too gone to understand the outcome/consensus of which is the best, so can I please just get the answer straight out no BS? I use a SansAmp PSA-1 into a Palmer "The Junction" box then direct to my Mackie mixer pre and into my host. Got a CAE wah, a dunlop volume pedal and a small clone (not in that order) in the mix as well. you know what fu*k all that is this supposed to be an alien emoticon ? cuz if so i don't like
Old 23rd February 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth Apparatus View Post
Sorry, but I'm too gone to understand the outcome/consensus of which is the best, so can I please just get the answer straight out no BS? I use a SansAmp PSA-1 into a Palmer "The Junction" box then direct to my Mackie mixer pre and into my host. Got a CAE wah, a dunlop volume pedal and a small clone (not in that order) in the mix as well. you know what fu*k all that is this supposed to be an alien emoticon ? cuz if so i don't like
Exactly.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #18
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mr. torture's Avatar
 

Eddy VanHalen uses a Palmer, basically recording direct in, not much different than an amp sim in my opinion.

Nobody cared and everyone seemed happy with their albums.

Def Leppard used Rockmans and sold like 80 million records.

Bottom line if it sounds good, use it.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #19
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. torture View Post
Eddy VanHalen uses a Palmer, basically recording direct in, not much different than an amp sim in my opinion.

..
The Palmer and Rockman consist of analog filters and opamps, I believe. It's impressive what can be done with analog. "The main principle in Eddie Van Halen's amp and effects rig is the principle of tapping a line-level signal from the Speaker Line Out from the tube amp head .. to the Palmer"

Analog synths too, sound wicked they do:

Old 23rd February 2012
  #20
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kim olesen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
It's not an amp simulator, per se, but the Marshall JMP1 sits in your rack and has balanced outs that interface at perfect line level into your Avid or other audio interface and can produce every marshall sound from the 60s til today - even though it's a mid 90s unit. It can get quite Fendery and Voxy to boot.

It's a mainstay in my studio and I have tracked (literally) thousands of guitar parts with it from country to metal and everything in between.

2 valves/tubes and midi and the programmability of the unit is top-notch.
Same here.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #21
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kim olesen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. torture View Post
Eddy VanHalen uses a Palmer, basically recording direct in, not much different than an amp sim in my opinion.

Nobody cared and everyone seemed happy with their albums.

Def Leppard used Rockmans and sold like 80 million records.

Bottom line if it sounds good, use it.
Trust me. It's very different.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #22
Registered User
 

It could be argued that a lot of the complaints come from preset surfers who don't bother to dial the thing in.

I have a Vox blueface Valvetronix that does an excellent simulation. But the factory presets are tailored to twelve-year-old teenage metalhead ******s in Guitar Centers on Saturday afternoon. All the sounds I used are my own that I dialed in. Having good guitars helps too. For ever better authenticity I use cabs loaded with period-correct speakers like celestion alnicos, vintage 30s, etc.
Old 24th February 2012
  #23
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doom64's Avatar
Amp sims simulate the sound of a miked cabinet. Not the sound a cabinet produces itself. I think IK's Amplitube 3 does the best job and their Fender plug-in really was the first one that sounded "real" to me. I use a good DI box coupled with nice vintage guitars though so YMMV.

The Line 6 Pod, not so much although I haven't tried their new HD units.

One of the amps we have at the studio is a Marshall JCM900. I think the http://www.simulanalog.org/ (free VST) plugin simulator came extremely close to sounding like this amp!

For bass guitar I'm pretty much all Amplitube Ampeg SVX at this point. I could never get a good recorded bass sound in my basement. Direct always sounded meatier and Ampeg SVX adds tone that direct can't bring. Not to mention a closet of bass rigs I could never afford to own without selling my car.
Old 24th February 2012
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
It's not an amp simulator, per se, but the Marshall JMP1 sits in your rack and has balanced outs that interface at perfect line level into your Avid or other audio interface and can produce every marshall sound from the 60s til today - even though it's a mid 90s unit. It can get quite Fendery and Voxy to boot.

It's a mainstay in my studio and I have tracked (literally) thousands of guitar parts with it from country to metal and everything in between.

2 valves/tubes and midi and the programmability of the unit is top-notch.
How do you guys use it?

With poweramp, or with its speaker simulator?
Old 24th February 2012
  #25
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brockorama's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC View Post
It could be argued that a lot of the complaints come from preset surfers who don't bother to dial the thing in.

I have a Vox blueface Valvetronix that does an excellent simulation. But the factory presets are tailored to twelve-year-old teenage metalhead ******s in Guitar Centers on Saturday afternoon. All the sounds I used are my own that I dialed in. Having good guitars helps too. For ever better authenticity I use cabs loaded with period-correct speakers like celestion alnicos, vintage 30s, etc.
A lot of guitar parts in a lot of arrangements are eq'd and filtered to fit sonically with what is going on. It isn't the kind of tone, in a lot of cases, that you would pull out for your buddy during a jam session. I tend to be pulling out mids and lows all the time when mixing guitars. I love those same mids and lows when playing by myself for fun. Hmmmm...we are just creating an illusion folks!!
Old 24th February 2012
  #26
Gear maniac
 
PTbreaker's Avatar
I've found that while I prefer playing through a real amp the truth is that both can provide usable good tones that add to a mix. I think if people did more blind tests with modeled amps and real amps played through the same system they would at time have a hard time telling the difference.

I think often people make the mistake of wanting it to sound exactly like the same thing in real life. If it sounds good then it is good.

I don't pull up a B3 plugin and curse that it doesnt sound like a "real" B3.
Old 25th February 2012
  #27
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Red Box is as close as it gets with your amp.
Old 25th February 2012
  #28
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
"Amp sims don't sound as good as the real thing"

If that statement was true this thread would not exist.
Is that one of those 'what is the sound of one hand clapping' Buddhist koans? Why wouldn't it exist?
Old 27th February 2012
  #29
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
Red Box is as close as it gets with your amp.
If you want the sound of a 4x12 loaded with celestion ceramics.

If you want the sound of a Vox loaded with alnico bluedogs or a vintage Fender loaded with alnicos, the Red Box doesn't cut it. You need the old Groove Tubes Speaker Emulator.
Old 27th February 2012
  #30
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by initialsBB View Post
The thing that cracks me up is that if you listen to clips or youtube videos for boutique amps and pedals most of the time it's the most generic beer commercial bloooze sound imaginable that sounds like a bad Rockman or something anyway.
I agree. I've never understood why people post these bedroom videos stating "ignore my s**tty playing, but hear my great amp", and then record some crappy tone with a laptop mic.
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