Dynamic Response

19 posts since 2 May, 2010 from Han's Island, Disgraced by O'Hara's Treachery

Post Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:32 am

The dynamic response of Thermionik is absolutely phenomenal. It's very weird to be able to get soul out of any amp, or to use it punishingly. I wanted also to say thank you for the fantastic choice in amps to model. I had never heard of Jose Arredondo, and after absolutely falling in love with the Jumpy79J, I was prompted to engage in a long night of research; what a phenomenal choice to model that amp; that tells me everything right there. I'm very thankful to have access to a whole suite of accurate amps, especially less ubiquitous ones. Everyone is familiar with Soldano, but where the hell else will you get a chance to use the tone of a Soldano modded Marshall? This feels like an exclusive privilege. What's next, a Dumble designed for John McLaughlin?

You can have 50 models of a particular amp, but you've got to have the ears to know if the one you're modelling has something not right in it; you've got to know if the tone is right or not. I feel that I've experienced models from others that may actually contain a degree of accuracy, but maybe were sourced from inferior specimens, if you will. I think the Thermionik collection really started first with finding a good working amp in the real world, representative of what the amp ought sound. Yeah, you'll be hard pressed to find utterly identical early PAFs due to their hand-winding, but you know if an old Les Paul just isn't sounding right.

With Thermionik it's very tough for me not just to play around like a kid in a room full of top shelf amps with a tremendous range of expression . I feel like I've truly been set free to let the tone in my fingers do the talking unimpeded. That's probably as much an admission of my own limitations as a musician; regardless, it's my genuine feeling.

Recently I wrote with a minor bug report about parameter MIDI control in Reaper (no audible response to Gain knobs from CC messages), and Shane responded quickly in a friendly message not only that he's working on a fix, but that there is a functional workaround (the Input Trim knob, which shows up as Amp_Trim in the Parameter list in Reaper, is currently audibly automatable). I'm not at all used to support that actually gives a holy damn and treats the product with care.

I can't get over the fact that really each amp in Thermionik is immediately and powerfully useful. It's way more important to play than mess endlessly with tone, but I'll tell you, Thermionik and Recabinet 5 make it very difficult not to pretend I'm a recording engineer rather than a guitarist. It's not a question of finding one good tone out of a mess of garbage, it's picking which incredible tone out of a suite seemingly endless combinations suits you at the moment. I think good tone starts with your feel and taste, then your fingers, knowing your axe, knowing your pickups, choosing the right strings, using the pick (or fingerstyle) that expresses your ideas the way you intended, then finding the gain structure and cabinet / speaker combination that has the right character for your work. I feel that the Kazrog models really free one to explore further what you're trying to say and simply to use the amp as pure conduit to your ideas. This is in stark contrast to the frustrating situation of viewing the amp as a basic backdrop for tone that requires endless pre or post processing to achieve artistic, or even usable results.

I tend to listen as much as I play, and I find myself breathing the rarefied air of experiencing the joy of a listener soaking in great guitar sounds as much as a player just saying what they think with an axe.

I don't really have anything useful to add to this forum other than my lay perspective, but I thought my experience may be similar to what others have had with McFee's work, so it's in that spirit I'm offering my experience. I think it's really a gift when a tool is produced whose work is utterly the product of pure passion for excellence, and, having had some time really to familiarize myself with Thermionik and Recabinet 5, I just had to express my gratitude for what this has provided to me as a musician.



User avatar
3020 posts since 15 Nov, 2006 from Hell

Re: Dynamic Response

Post Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:14 am

that was a rather long-winded way to say, Thermionik is great and Shane is a cool guy 8) but yes, i agree!
From Russia with love

User avatar
766 posts since 24 Oct, 2009

Re: Dynamic Response

Post Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:57 pm

I don't even know how to respond. This is the best user feedback ever. Wow.
Shane McFee
CEO/CTO - Kazrog LLC

Return to “Kazrog”