The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

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Unaspected
KVRian
963 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am

Jafo wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:02 am
Yeah, it's power amp saturation that we old dudes are after, and which largely disappeared in the '90s. I've tried putting compressors before and after ampsims to get much of that feel; it's a definite improvement, but it just isn't the same. I got the best results with ThrillseekerLA and the exe ampsims (which ISTR also modeled poweramp saturation), but I claim no competencies. Anybody with an actual gear budget (and decent ears) try this sort of thing?
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.

User avatar
Blue Cat Audio
KVRAF
3995 posts since 8 Sep, 2004 from Paris (France)

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:40 am

Interesting thread! Thanks for mentioning Axiom, our guitar & bass amp sim and multi effects. :tu:
If it's what I remember, it's kinda hoggish and requires "imagination" in sound-scaping.
Not bad, but not with immediate results either.
Not sure what you mean, but if it indeed has a very large scope and lets you get very deep into sound design, it comes with several hundreds of presets that should help you get started.
I'm finding more and more that I want to use complex analog filtering instead of cabinet IRs, which usually sound kind of "filtery" to me (one reason I like the PRS SuperModels so much is they don't have that sound anywhere near as much as other amps). I even wrote an article about filtering-based emulation for Native Instruments' blog.
That's also the conclusion I came to after trying to use all sorts of hardware or software simulations for years. The very special color of most impulse responses sound strange to me, especially if you want to play live thru a PA or FRFR cab (the interaction with room reflections is usually pretty bad). There are however cases where the specific color of IRs is actually part of the style (many modern metal tones heavily rely on IRs filtering to get this very special multi-comb filtered tone).
Blue Cat, eh? Well, I've heard they make good stuff...
Thanks :). We would be more than happy to provide you with a NFR to let you check out Axiom without any limitation.

User avatar
audiojunkie
KVRAF
2873 posts since 19 Apr, 2002 from Utah

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

Blue Cat Audio wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:40 am
Interesting thread! Thanks for mentioning Axiom, our guitar & bass amp sim and multi effects. :tu:
If it's what I remember, it's kinda hoggish and requires "imagination" in sound-scaping.
Not bad, but not with immediate results either.
Not sure what you mean, but if it indeed has a very large scope and lets you get very deep into sound design, it comes with several hundreds of presets that should help you get started.
I'm finding more and more that I want to use complex analog filtering instead of cabinet IRs, which usually sound kind of "filtery" to me (one reason I like the PRS SuperModels so much is they don't have that sound anywhere near as much as other amps). I even wrote an article about filtering-based emulation for Native Instruments' blog.
That's also the conclusion I came to after trying to use all sorts of hardware or software simulations for years. The very special color of most impulse responses sound strange to me, especially if you want to play live thru a PA or FRFR cab (the interaction with room reflections is usually pretty bad). There are however cases where the specific color of IRs is actually part of the style (many modern metal tones heavily rely on IRs filtering to get this very special multi-comb filtered tone).
Blue Cat, eh? Well, I've heard they make good stuff...
Thanks :). We would be more than happy to provide you with a NFR to let you check out Axiom without any limitation.
Excellent!! There you go Craig! ( @Anderton ). You'll be able to give a full review for the app!! :D
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

User avatar
audiojunkie
KVRAF
2873 posts since 19 Apr, 2002 from Utah

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:47 am

Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:02 am
Yeah, it's power amp saturation that we old dudes are after, and which largely disappeared in the '90s. I've tried putting compressors before and after ampsims to get much of that feel; it's a definite improvement, but it just isn't the same. I got the best results with ThrillseekerLA and the exe ampsims (which ISTR also modeled poweramp saturation), but I claim no competencies. Anybody with an actual gear budget (and decent ears) try this sort of thing?
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
This might work in software that has a separate amp, separate effects, and separate cab, but how would you recommend placement of True Iron with these all-in-one software packages? I'm looking into the app upon your recommendation. :)
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

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telecode
KVRian
1037 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:08 am

I heard the Blue Cat audio stuff at a music fest. Not sure which product. It sounded very impressive to me. Mind you, the guy was also demoing it thru a $1000 audio interface and a $4000 swedish guitar.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

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Unaspected
KVRian
963 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:11 am

audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:47 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:02 am
Yeah, it's power amp saturation that we old dudes are after, and which largely disappeared in the '90s. I've tried putting compressors before and after ampsims to get much of that feel; it's a definite improvement, but it just isn't the same. I got the best results with ThrillseekerLA and the exe ampsims (which ISTR also modeled poweramp saturation), but I claim no competencies. Anybody with an actual gear budget (and decent ears) try this sort of thing?
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
This might work in software that has a separate amp, separate effects, and separate cab, but how would you recommend placement of True Iron with these all-in-one software packages? I'm looking into the app upon your recommendation. :)
I don't think I have used an amp sim that doesn't allow for the amp and cab to be switched off separately. Do you have an example? I guess with software that doesn't allow for that, you couldn't use this method. Otherwise, you would just be looking to switch off the cab in the first insert and the amp in the third - with True Iron inserted in the second.

User avatar
audiojunkie
KVRAF
2873 posts since 19 Apr, 2002 from Utah

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:34 am

Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:11 am
audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:47 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:02 am
Yeah, it's power amp saturation that we old dudes are after, and which largely disappeared in the '90s. I've tried putting compressors before and after ampsims to get much of that feel; it's a definite improvement, but it just isn't the same. I got the best results with ThrillseekerLA and the exe ampsims (which ISTR also modeled poweramp saturation), but I claim no competencies. Anybody with an actual gear budget (and decent ears) try this sort of thing?
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
This might work in software that has a separate amp, separate effects, and separate cab, but how would you recommend placement of True Iron with these all-in-one software packages? I'm looking into the app upon your recommendation. :)
I don't think I have used an amp sim that doesn't allow for the amp and cab to be switched off separately. Do you have an example? I guess with software that doesn't allow for that, you couldn't use this method. Otherwise, you would just be looking to switch off the cab in the first insert and the amp in the third - with True Iron inserted in the second.
Ah, so it would require two instances of the modeler and True Iron sandwiched between... it would be pretty CPU intensive... However, it's worth a try to see if True Iron improves things! :)
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

Mats Eriksson
KVRist
80 posts since 4 Sep, 2016

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:39 am

Ok, so the thing is to compare all amp sims out there? Does this go for hardware amp sims (Blackstar, Line6, AxeFx, Kemper) ? Kemper should be not compared then, because it's a modeller, not an amp sim, if you go hairsplitting about it.

And if you compare amp sims, well, all of them out there. 6 months later down the road, someone else comes out with something you can download for free, and it blow whatever before out of the water. I can't help myself, but all demos I've downloaded, and after a while, there's some kind of sameness to the sound, i e mostly in the "buffer rate department". When it's in 64 bit mode, the background noise is "CHHH" and in 32 bit it's "CHAAA" and on 512 it sounds "SHWOOO" and it's present in every note in every amp sim you download, regardless of Mac or PC or soundcard interface. The "phaze haze" as I call it in lack of better description.

There's not an amp sim that I haven't got tired of, in the long run, regardless how many options there are. I use them in tandem. I think where they excel is not in actual amp, but effects. IRL effects are what they are, especially digital effects, and I use recording of real amps, and put them through FX of the amp sims. Just changed strings on of my electrics, and played and toyed a little with the S-Gear. Couldn't hear that it was new strings on, really. I thought something was wrong. Went over to my real amp, and...jeeezzzz holy omfg....nuff of this.

I think amp sims is an alternative to effects and should be different from real amp comparisons. As far as they don't trump real amps and does real amps better i e they sound better than any IRL amp in all aspects, then you have to use amp sims differently. I do.

Amp sims comes today with too many and so many options, that the comparison between them are rather between different bells and whistles and options and tweaks there are. Not sound really.

User avatar
Unaspected
KVRian
963 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:44 am

audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:34 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:11 am
audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:47 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am
Jafo wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:02 am
Yeah, it's power amp saturation that we old dudes are after, and which largely disappeared in the '90s. I've tried putting compressors before and after ampsims to get much of that feel; it's a definite improvement, but it just isn't the same. I got the best results with ThrillseekerLA and the exe ampsims (which ISTR also modeled poweramp saturation), but I claim no competencies. Anybody with an actual gear budget (and decent ears) try this sort of thing?
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
This might work in software that has a separate amp, separate effects, and separate cab, but how would you recommend placement of True Iron with these all-in-one software packages? I'm looking into the app upon your recommendation. :)
I don't think I have used an amp sim that doesn't allow for the amp and cab to be switched off separately. Do you have an example? I guess with software that doesn't allow for that, you couldn't use this method. Otherwise, you would just be looking to switch off the cab in the first insert and the amp in the third - with True Iron inserted in the second.
Ah, so it would require two instances of the modeler and True Iron sandwiched between... it would be pretty CPU intensive... However, it's worth a try to see if True Iron improves things! :)
It shouldn't be too intensive, splitting functionality over two instances. The amp head will likely be the most CPU hungry. Of course some amp emulations tax the CPU much more than others with high quality modes engaged.

I hope this method helps you to get closer to the tone you are after. :)

User avatar
Anderton
KVR Expert
104 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
KVR Expert

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:31 am

audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

Excellent!! There you go Craig! ( @Anderton ). You'll be able to give a full review for the app!! :D
Already sent in my request :)

Craig
My educational website has launched! Read articles, see videos, read reviews, and more at https://craiganderton.org. Check out my music at YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit my digital storefront at https://craiganderton.com. Thanks!

guitarzan
KVRian
1152 posts since 3 Sep, 2005 from Outer Bongolia

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:20 pm

Anderton wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:16 pm
guitarzan wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:42 pm
Yeah, that's really the only reason I'm posting — plus I thought Craig Anderton was the only man alive who would understand my "stressing the power amp enough sends you into a quasi CV analog synth mode of operation" theory.
I totally get what you're saying, I just don't know if current algorithms/computer power are up to the task in the way you want...
I just want to make sure I'm clear about this.... all I am saying is that voltage sag causes the power amp to act like a Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA), and the voltage fluctuation acts as an Envelope Generator (ADSR), so power amp sag as experienced by the guitar player is a triggered Amplitude Envelope. We are really just talking about adapting long existing ADSR/VCA code to modeling a power amp. The guitar would be interactive with the envelope in complicated ways, so there would be a lot to learn, plus slew rate Wave Shaping, O.T. etc, but I don't think coding or CPU would be limitations.

User avatar
audiojunkie
KVRAF
2873 posts since 19 Apr, 2002 from Utah

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:16 pm

Anderton wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:31 am
audiojunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:44 am

Excellent!! There you go Craig! ( @Anderton ). You'll be able to give a full review for the app!! :D
Already sent in my request :)

Craig
Excellent!! Ask for their new "Re-guitar" too. That deserves a review and is innovative. :-)
C/R, dongles & other intrusive copy protection equals less-control & more-hassle for consumers. Company gone-can’t authorize. Limit to # of auths. Instability-ie PACE. Forced internet auths. THE HONEST ARE HASSLED, NOT THE PIRATES.

reggie1979
KVRian
1438 posts since 26 Nov, 2018

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:19 pm

Re guitar is awesome, but I didn't get it on sale so I'll wait for that to happen. Didn't care for Axiom. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it's just not to my taste.

User avatar
telecode
KVRian
1037 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:20 pm

Mats Eriksson wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:39 am
Ok, so the thing is to compare all amp sims out there? Does this go for hardware amp sims (Blackstar, Line6, AxeFx, Kemper) ? Kemper should be not compared then, because it's a modeller, not an amp sim, if you go hairsplitting about it.

And if you compare amp sims, well, all of them out there. 6 months later down the road, someone else comes out with something you can download for free, and it blow whatever before out of the water. I can't help myself, but all demos I've downloaded, and after a while, there's some kind of sameness to the sound, i e mostly in the "buffer rate department". When it's in 64 bit mode, the background noise is "CHHH" and in 32 bit it's "CHAAA" and on 512 it sounds "SHWOOO" and it's present in every note in every amp sim you download, regardless of Mac or PC or soundcard interface. The "phaze haze" as I call it in lack of better description.

There's not an amp sim that I haven't got tired of, in the long run, regardless how many options there are. I use them in tandem. I think where they excel is not in actual amp, but effects. IRL effects are what they are, especially digital effects, and I use recording of real amps, and put them through FX of the amp sims. Just changed strings on of my electrics, and played and toyed a little with the S-Gear. Couldn't hear that it was new strings on, really. I thought something was wrong. Went over to my real amp, and...jeeezzzz holy omfg....nuff of this.

I think amp sims is an alternative to effects and should be different from real amp comparisons. As far as they don't trump real amps and does real amps better i e they sound better than any IRL amp in all aspects, then you have to use amp sims differently. I do.

Amp sims comes today with too many and so many options, that the comparison between them are rather between different bells and whistles and options and tweaks there are. Not sound really.
Okay..so what's the difference between a moddeler and an amp sim?
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear

Image

Clearscreen
KVRist
180 posts since 11 Jul, 2004 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:01 pm

Unaspected wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:51 am
I suggested placing True Iron between the amp head and cab earlier in the thread but I'm not sure anyone noticed.
I haven't got true iron, but gave this a shot with Airwindows Powersag, and it certainly seems to give a bit more of that feel when you hit it hard...

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