The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

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Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8137 posts since 12 May, 2008

Post Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:55 am

Thanks for the thoughts. After quite a bit of testing different things I decided I still mostly prefer Amplitube. Part of why I wanted to ditch it was because some files it installed interfered with the Anaconda python package and it was documented that Amplitube put some files where it shouldn't have, but this has actually been remedied in recent installers, so no more conflict. I also wanted a simpler interface but I've realized that for the most part I haven't found any full guitar amp/pedal board software that I like all that much better and I'll just live with the annoying preset being shown for products I dont' own.

I did however find a few simpler amp sims that I like for when I want a simple amp sim, mostly when I am using external plugins before and after it. I picked up Klevgrand Stark in a recent sale for $29 and the clean tones aren't bad in that (Don't like the high gain sounds in it though). Also I plan to pick up at east Matchlock at some point, maybe some other kuassa amps as well. Hopefull yin a sale. What I like about the these and Stark is the single window and multi-touch screen compatibility.
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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telecode
KVRAF
1819 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:12 am

I will also throw my vote in for Klevgrand Stark. I picked it up at last sale and have started using it. Basically, if you need your 'ole blues and rock & roll sounds, go with Amplitube, if you need a more modern clear type sounds for EDM, Chillstep or Hip-Hop sounds, try Stark. It seems to lend itself better to that sort of genre. I am sure you can manipulate the software to do either or, but those are just my general impressions.

I am waiting for a more powerful system and have on my horizon to try Plini.

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leo007
KVRist
209 posts since 2 Feb, 2020

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:15 am

thank for great post

robrobrob917
KVRer
1 posts since 25 Mar, 2020

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:46 pm

jinotsuh wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:59 pm

Oh, re Ampire, the new one is leaps and bounds above the old one, it's actually very usable, where as I never touched the old version after initial run through. Don't know if there is a demo, just had a quick look and couldn't find anything, mine came with the S1 update.
There is a trial for Studio One Pro which includes the new Ampire. The Blackface Twin model on it is nice, it has a good feel to it and the included spring reverb is better than Amplitube 4 spring. The stock cab for the Blackface is a good match, I briefly opened some IRs in NadIR and found them to sound cleaner, but not better.

I like Fender style amps, but the Marshall seemed decent. The FX pedals standouts are the Fuzz, Phaser, Chorus (sweet!) and the TS. The included hall reverb is good for playing with headphones.
It seems to run best in Studio One (44khz 64 samples), I got some crackle in Reaper and Mixcraft below 256 samples (lower without fx).

For a while I only used the Fender 2 collection in Amplitube, it was more to my liking than anything else I demoed including S-Gear, Helix and Plini. The cab room with the room mic up is a good ITB solution for headphones.

Last week I looked for something to demo and discovered Fuse Audio Labs F-59 and Bx Bassdude. Both are on another level from what I have tried before. They are not based on the same Bassman circuit. The Fuse F-59 has a rich sound that is really great for clean to light drive sounds. It works best with a 3rd party IR and some reverb (I favour PSP Springbox). I find this amp very easy to dial in and it makes me forget I am playing through a computer. I just get into playing. It is also light on the CPU. The BX Bassdude does not quite have the same caliber of clean responsiveness, but it has fatter and ballsier gain sounds that are great fun for rocking out. The built in cabs are top. These two complement each other really well. Worth a demo!

TobyB
KVRist
66 posts since 18 Dec, 2018

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:30 am

Ampire with S1 I have, but yet to try out. I have Helix and Fractal options which I like ... never been impressed by Scuffham. UAD options on my Apollo interface sound good though... not a reason to buy into ... but if you have, the Ampex bass and Fender tweed are usable...

Arp_
KVRer
27 posts since 6 Sep, 2011

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:45 am

I've tried just about every amp sim there is and IMHO there are two companies that are above all others - Neural DSP and Mercuriall. Their amps are most responsive and give you closest feeling that you're playing a real amp. Along with Kemper, I think they are best digital amp sims at the moment (and yes I think they are better than even Axe Fx).

I think one problem with the amp sims from big companies is that most of them emulate dozens of amps and effects and it's just impossible to do properly in short time. Making a truly realistic amp model takes a lot of time, so if there are 50 amps in one program then they DEFINITELY had to cut some corners and not go all the way to perfection. Kemper is an exception because they found a way to avoid modeling and capture the actual amp response directly, at the cost of not offering realistic tweaking.

Ploki
KVRAF
2295 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:44 am

Arp_ wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:45 am
I've tried just about every amp sim there is and IMHO there are two companies that are above all others - Neural DSP and Mercuriall. Their amps are most responsive and give you closest feeling that you're playing a real amp. Along with Kemper, I think they are best digital amp sims at the moment (and yes I think they are better than even Axe Fx).

I think one problem with the amp sims from big companies is that most of them emulate dozens of amps and effects and it's just impossible to do properly in short time. Making a truly realistic amp model takes a lot of time, so if there are 50 amps in one program then they DEFINITELY had to cut some corners and not go all the way to perfection. Kemper is an exception because they found a way to avoid modeling and capture the actual amp response directly, at the cost of not offering realistic tweaking.
I agree.
Try Fuse Audio Labs F-59. I use it as a "power amp + speaker combo" sort of thing. I feed it with various high-gain drives and tube emulations and it behaves very very well.
I have BIAS i'll be selling because of it.

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:04 am

Hey guys. This thread is perfect for me today because I have decided that for me, DI recording is not there yet for the type guitar I want to record. I would still much rather put a mic in front of an amp for my type of recording. Now, having said that, I realize also that for some styles DI guitar is absolutely wonderful, like the huge rock guitar wall of sound.

I did a song yesterday and started from scratch at 3 in the afternoon and finished at 10 last night. The 2 electris guitars, clean guitars, were a scm-1000 condenser in front of my 99 dollar Acoustic brand bass amp. I was using a line 6 XT Pod bean, then into an Art Project series Tube MP, then from that into the MP3 line input of the Acoustic amp. The mic was preamped using my little Mackie 402 mixer the VLZ3 (not onyx pres, those were added to the 402 later). Then in to my Line 6 Toneport UX2 as an interface, no effects or anything used in Amp farm, just used as an interface. Link to the song below

But I feel that a speaker and mic, with sound waves passing through air, actually, physical reality, IS AN ACTUAL MEDIUM, like tape or anything else. Bypassing that entire medium of physical reality, the real univers we live in just doesn't work for me and what style of guitar I play and record.

Now, here is my song done yesterday. The bass too was recorded through the pod and Tube MP, same chain. I am doing all vocals and instruments, and drums are loops.

I did this song as a joke song aimed at the HiGH END forum guys over at gearslutz and posted it there but the mod moved it to the mix section, but it is also in the low end theory forum too because the song is called Low End Crowd. The high end guys shouldn't take offense, I was just having fun and was talking gear in the song.

But I recently took my sound panels (Owens and Corning 703 and 705 panels 2x4 foot) and surrounded my amp which is sitting on a milk crate and then put a panel on top and recorded my amp with it and the mic inside.
So please enjoy trhe song, but pay attention to the guitars on the sides and let me know what you think. For me, anayway, I prefer clean guitars be recorded with a mic and amp. Hope you like it. Here is the link.

https://soundcloud.com/user-281809016/low-end-crowd

Ploki
KVRAF
2295 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:21 am

Jeffguitars wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:04 am
Hey guys. This thread is perfect for me today because I have decided that for me, DI recording is not there yet for the type guitar I want to record. I would still much rather put a mic in front of an amp for my type of recording. Now, having said that, I realize also that for some styles DI guitar is absolutely wonderful, like the huge rock guitar wall of sound.

I did a song yesterday and started from scratch at 3 in the afternoon and finished at 10 last night. The 2 electris guitars, clean guitars, were a scm-1000 condenser in front of my 99 dollar Acoustic brand bass amp. I was using a line 6 XT Pod bean, then into an Art Project series Tube MP, then from that into the MP3 line input of the Acoustic amp. The mic was preamped using my little Mackie 402 mixer the VLZ3 (not onyx pres, those were added to the 402 later). Then in to my Line 6 Toneport UX2 as an interface, no effects or anything used in Amp farm, just used as an interface. Link to the song below

But I feel that a speaker and mic, with sound waves passing through air, actually, physical reality, IS AN ACTUAL MEDIUM, like tape or anything else. Bypassing that entire medium of physical reality, the real univers we live in just doesn't work for me and what style of guitar I play and record.

Now, here is my song done yesterday. The bass too was recorded through the pod and Tube MP, same chain. I am doing all vocals and instruments, and drums are loops.

I did this song as a joke song aimed at the HiGH END forum guys over at gearslutz and posted it there but the mod moved it to the mix section, but it is also in the low end theory forum too because the song is called Low End Crowd. The high end guys shouldn't take offense, I was just having fun and was talking gear in the song.

But I recently took my sound panels (Owens and Corning 703 and 705 panels 2x4 foot) and surrounded my amp which is sitting on a milk crate and then put a panel on top and recorded my amp with it and the mic inside.
So please enjoy trhe song, but pay attention to the guitars on the sides and let me know what you think. For me, anayway, I prefer clean guitars be recorded with a mic and amp. Hope you like it. Here is the link.

https://soundcloud.com/user-281809016/low-end-crowd
nice track. Can't say i hear anything i couldn't do within a DAW.
My point of reference when slowly migrating to a DAW based guitar sound was Mesa Boogie Mark V - now sold.
I'm more keen on crunch and cleans than on higain sounds.

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telecode
KVRAF
1819 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:45 am

Jeffguitars wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:04 am
I would still much rather put a mic in front of an amp for my type of recording. Now, having said that, I realize also that for some styles DI guitar is absolutely wonderful, like the huge rock guitar wall of sound.
Sure. whatever works and sound best for you. IMO, Sims are the way to go for recording. Real amps , once you get into the high end stuff, recorded and captured with high end mic properly are unbeatable, but IMO, Sims are 80% there, and once you start to bury el. guitars in a mix, you can't tell the difference. I think the Neural DSP stuff is making giant leaps and soon the other amp sim clones will catch up. In a few years, you are going to see a lot of advanced in Amp Sims than have happened in last 10 years.

Ploki
KVRAF
2295 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:08 am

telecode wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:45 am

Sure. whatever works and sound best for you. IMO, Sims are the way to go for recording. Real amps , once you get into the high end stuff, recorded and captured with high end mic properly are unbeatable, but IMO, Sims are 80% there, and once you start to bury el. guitars in a mix, you can't tell the difference. I think the Neural DSP stuff is making giant leaps and soon the other amp sim clones will catch up. In a few years, you are going to see a lot of advanced in Amp Sims than have happened in last 10 years.
i agree.
and for live use, Kemper is so close it's practically unbelievable.
I can appreciate real amps, and i had them for a long long time - but i just don't anymore.
Looks like guitar amps are going the hardware compressor/equalizer path.

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morelia
KVRAF
4633 posts since 16 May, 2002 from Brisbane , Australia

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:24 pm

telecode wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 4:12 am
I will also throw my vote in for Klevgrand Stark. I picked it up at last sale and have started using it. Basically, if you need your 'ole blues and rock & roll sounds, go with Amplitube, if you need a more modern clear type sounds for EDM, Chillstep or Hip-Hop sounds, try Stark. It seems to lend itself better to that sort of genre. I am sure you can manipulate the software to do either or, but those are just my general impressions.

I am waiting for a more powerful system and have on my horizon to try Plini.
Ahh that explains it. After several desperate demo sessions, searching for an auv3 amp solution I started to think it was just crap. I assume from that it may not be meant to be so much an amp sim as a amp sim/effects driven effects concept?
My Music >>> °morelia ° Intel Core i7 8700K, 16gb, Windows 10 Pro, Focusrite Scarlet 6i6

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:54 pm

Ploki wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:08 am
telecode wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:45 am

Sure. whatever works and sound best for you. IMO, Sims are the way to go for recording. Real amps , once you get into the high end stuff, recorded and captured with high end mic properly are unbeatable, but IMO, Sims are 80% there, and once you start to bury el. guitars in a mix, you can't tell the difference. I think the Neural DSP stuff is making giant leaps and soon the other amp sim clones will catch up. In a few years, you are going to see a lot of advanced in Amp Sims than have happened in last 10 years.
i agree.
and for live use, Kemper is so close it's practically unbelievable.
I can appreciate real amps, and i had them for a long long time - but i just don't anymore.
Looks like guitar amps are going the hardware compressor/equalizer path.
You know what, I couldn't disagree more. I am going to ask you to PROVE this contention. You see my song came about because I was trying to copy some revordings I heard someone talk about and I listened and was simply floored. The guitars on each side are so beautiful, so delicate, so emotionally moved that at times I felt like I could literally faint.
These song are from the Lou Reed album Ecstacy. This was recorded in a world class NY studio I think around 2000.

Yes, recorded to tape, but this has nothing to do with the raw sound we love.
The guitar meandering on each side is different, so not a wall of sound.
Here is my claim. Hoping to get beauty like this with a line level do guitar amp sim is IPOSSIBLE and is as far in the future as a holodeck from Star trek. It can't be done and I claim you can't even get half the quality of these astonishingly delicate recordings that seem to appear out of nowhere.
The "Nowhere" is that unreal, totally quiet, anti noise studio room. You know they were using the best mics I'm sure, and they sound like big Fender amp. At one point when the reverb comes in to your headphones it is darn near an orgasmic feeling.

This is what a great studio room sounds like, it literally SUCKS the sounds out of you and the mics too. The sounds are so pristine, so lovely, so moving that it actually seems impossible.

I claim that this room and great rooms like it are not possible to simulate with speaker impulses. Impulses are just very detailed eq representations. But there is no way that a sim can sim the deathly quiet that a studio room has that allows you to hear details in such delicate fasion that it literally moves you with emotion and astonishment.
Alright, the songs Lou Reed Tatters, and "Turning time around". . Please download them put on a good set of cans, listen to them and tell us what you think of the guitars, then pop your amp sim and speaker impulses on, just do some doodling one on the left and one on the right and post your track so we can put them side by side with these songs.

If you can get even close to these pristine, beautiful guitar sounds in that wonderful studio room, well, I'll admit I am wrong, and I will buy the amp sim you are using and only use that forever and will proclaim to the world that the amp, mic, and room are on the way out.

Please listen to Turning Time Around first. I'm thinking you may not even attempt the challenge once you hear it. Listen to how IMMEDIATE delicate and Rich the sound of those guitars are, the vibrato, the intimate feeling of them. They appear out of THAT ROOM in to that mic. You might as well claim we can make a Star trek holodeck to me. But I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to be right and to PROVE to me that you could even get 75, heck, 50 percent there.

Please be right, please, because I WANT THIS GUITAR RECORDING QUALITY, LIKE, REALLY REALLY BAD. I will be in your debt forever and ever.

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:15 pm

Oh man, also listen to Lou Reed's Paranoia Key of E. Lol, listen to that buzzing bass, that awesome guitar coming on the right side. What a cool song.

Ploki
KVRAF
2295 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:37 pm

this sounds like a challenge!
I like challenges.
Would you record a riff for me? I'm rusty on guitar, and my style was always somewhere out there (i'm a classically trained guitarist originally, but played electric all the time and some time after, i recently stopped actively playing guitar because i play bass and do other things)

i also very much like your passion about it

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