The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

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Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Post Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:42 pm

I'm not sure how this would be done, are you saying record something direct to my daw, no amp sim and just post that in Wav format? Also, please, can you first listen to "Turning Time Around" By Lou Reed and tell me what you think of the guitars? I would like you to hear it and say, "I CAN DO THAT, I can sim that 3d reality medium, I can use a line-level guitar amp sim and simulate that room literally SUCKING the sounds away from that guitar sound wave and it will be just as detailed, real, intimate and sound like it is appearing inside your head"

You know that feeling when you walk in to a very well treated studio, you get that funny, weird tingly feeling and the sound of voices become clear, detailed, it's as if you are hearing the studio room suck all other sounds away from your ears. It takes you a few minutes to adjust if you haven't been in a studio for a while.

Yes, I am excited and passionate about the sounds in a wonderful studio, I love them so much, the intimacy of them.
There are some stunning newer albums that are beyond belief, who is that female singer, is it Allison Krous that has the album out that many engineers just love the sound of?

Now don't get me wrong. I know that amp sims of today can sound very very good with the harder sounds, the wall of sound stuff. For instance, I just saw a vid by Warren Huart on Youtube, I like his channel and he was demoing an Aidient interface, the cheap one that has auto level. Here it is, I found it.

https://youtu.be/KK9Uo6TrMZo

Check out the quality of his quick lttle tun. Obviously the Acoustic guitar is not DI nor his vocals but the guitars and bass are. I wonder what amp sim he is using.

But here is my thoughts, you need these distorted or walls of several guitar tracks not because the simulate a real studio room in physical reality, you need them to MASK OUT the fact that you DON'T have a simulation worth a darn that can ever simulate that real physical reality. This is needed and I admit it DOES WORK, but it works by HIDING the absence of that real room.

Another example I was giggling at. Check out the review of this new Pod Go unit. I set the link to go to the end where he does a lot of samples. Notice even when he takes it to a clean tone he has to DRENCH IT IN EFFECTS, gobs of reverb and delay. Why? I know why, because he has to somehow try to mask out the total absence of the medium of the real world of 3d reality.
https://youtu.be/L6f4slSLGlo?t=1164
There are no sound waves travelling out into a beautiful studio room and the room sucking or keeping ALL sound that would interfere with its detail and beauty away from that sound.

So I have no problem with the quality of what Warren got, but still I believe even distorted guitars are also better in a real stdio room, a good room of course. If you don't have a good room well then DI guitar amp sims many times will be better. There's nothing worse than a poor room where sounds are bouncing off walls and destroying the details of your guitar sound.

So for me, Hard guitars can work, or even clean guitars compared to trying to record in a bad room. This is why I made my panels into a kind of amp box, because I am in a small bedroom which is beyond horrible sounding. But my guitars sound are as cheap as they can get, I mean, Pod XT in to Art Tube MP, in to a Mackie mixer. Pros laugh at my equipment, but some have said they like my track and that I ised the pod XT and my cheap Squier strat and Tube MP to it's best abilities because I at least used the panels and an amp. Mine can't come close to Lou Reeds sound because my amp box thing only has a foot and a half of space inside and no matter how dead I try to get it, when the sound only has that small space to travel it is going to still get some bouncing frequencies. But If I had a good mic pre and a good mic and a real tube amp my guitars would have sounded much better. I am actually using the spring reverb on the Pod XT, not very good.

Anyway, I am going on and on, I have to get my bedtime chores done, lol I am enjoying this conversation.

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KVRAF
1786 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:23 am

Jeffguitars wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
edited for context t

without trying to get into a dick swinging gearslutz contest of real amps are better than sims.

it's sometimes good to think of sims at a different tool and instrument than a real amp. sort of similar to trying to compare Piano VST's with a real piano in a living room. We have both in my house. The real piano sounds and feels different in a room. The VST doesn't sound as real or have a real feel when playing it, but you can do all this weird and interesting stuff with a VST like PianoV such as apply various reverb and eq effects and basically tweak that piano sound any which way you want to and its super stupidly simple to capture that onto a wave file in a linear DAW like Cubase. You can't really realistically and easily achieve the same thing with a real piano. its going to sound the way it does in that room and it is what it is. the PianoV VST is the hands on someone that understands DAWs, mixing, EQ's really well can be a very powerful tool. The same thing applies to Amp Sims. But they are a different tool and instrument than a Marshall Stack.

I use and have GR5, AT4 and Stark in my collection so far and I use a lot of clean sounds. The JC-120 in AT 4 sounds much better than the one in GR5. So far in my travels, in feel that Sims are better at being able to represent solid state amp technology sonically.


https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... -responses

https://www.arturia.com/piano-v/details

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:54 pm

telecode wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:23 am
Jeffguitars wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:54 pm
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.
edited for context t

without trying to get into a dick swinging gearslutz contest of real amps are better than sims.

it's sometimes good to think of sims at a different tool and instrument than a real amp. sort of similar to trying to compare Piano VST's with a real piano in a living room. We have both in my house. The real piano sounds and feels different in a room. The VST doesn't sound as real or have a real feel when playing it, but you can do all this weird and interesting stuff with a VST like PianoV such as apply various reverb and eq effects and basically tweak that piano sound any which way you want to and its super stupidly simple to capture that onto a wave file in a linear DAW like Cubase. You can't really realistically and easily achieve the same thing with a real piano. its going to sound the way it does in that room and it is what it is. the PianoV VST is the hands on someone that understands DAWs, mixing, EQ's really well can be a very powerful tool. The same thing applies to Amp Sims. But they are a different tool and instrument than a Marshall Stack.

I use and have GR5, AT4 and Stark in my collection so far and I use a lot of clean sounds. The JC-120 in AT 4 sounds much better than the one in GR5. So far in my travels, in feel that Sims are better at being able to represent solid state amp technology sonically.


https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... -responses

https://www.arturia.com/piano-v/details
"without trying to get into a dick-swinging gearslutz contest of real amps are better than sims. "

Well, it's just far more complicated than such a simple either-or.

In fact, this breaks down to the components. You see, using amp sims live is just fine and i EVEN PREFER THEM LIVE FOR THEIR EASE OF USE AND CARRY WEIGHT AND SUCH.
But think about why. It is obvious when you ponder it, amp sim nits, like pods and Kempers and such, are just guitar preamps like the ones that are in amps, just not using tubes, but not all good amps use tubes either. So what do you do when you use one live? You use one and send it to A SPEAKER, either amp cab or PA sysyem a speaker is used, which still means the amp is a darn amp still, you are just using a different preamp, so the medium of physical reality is still used. You can still put a mic in front of that amp live or even in the studio. I mention the Lou Reed song, give me a really good amp sim, THE PREAMP PART and let me rin ut through an amp cab, in that same great studio, with the same great mic and you will get a great recorded sound just like in the original recording. The only difference may be that the amp sim preamp may noy sound quite as good as the real fender preamp with Tubes but nowadays they are simulating the TONE (or eq curves) of these amps and really getting close, the reverb as well, digital spring reverbs are getting very nice, so the point is, you would still have an AWESOME recording because you are still driving a speaker in a great studio room and capturing it with a great mic.

So the medium of actual physical reality is still applied, it's just the preamp used is different, that's all. That's no big deal. This is why there are many a post in the thread saying that playing live with amp sims is great these days, they sometimes just don'y\t finish the thought as to why it is, and it's obviously because we are only talking about using a different preamp and everything else stays the same, you still drive a speaker out into physical reality. Amp sims are a GODSEND for live purposes being as great as they are now.

But the situation TOTALLY changes when we SKIP the physical reality medium part and RECORD that sound. Now we have eliminated the physical world and contact between that real speaker sending real sound waves in the real world and those waves impacting the mic in a great studio room.
And really, it's only the mic and good room that are skipped because even after you record the guitar line amp sim you are still going to play it through speakers, even in headphones and earbuds, so one of the three aspects is still there, the playing of the preamp amp sim over speakers, they are just the speakers on your stereo or headphones, that's all.

But what CANNOT be done is to simulate that great studio room with those beautiful, delicate, intimate detailed sound waves travelling through the real air and hitting that mic. Amp sims cancel the room. That's a great thing if you have a CRAPPY ROOM. A crappy room is the absolute worst thing you can do to a recording, the sound bounces around canceling out some frequencies and building up others and causing standing waves and all sorts of horrible stuff. A bad room simply RUINS recording, on guitars, vocals, keyboards.... So the DI amp sim can at least put an end to having to worry about the horrible acoustics in a bad room. The problem is, while it can help with a bad room, it also cancels out a good room too. A good studio room is the most wonderful thing in the world, along with a good mic and pre.
So a DI guitar sound is down the center, it cancels out the room and mic part, it cancels out a horrible room, but also great rooms as well.

This is why I made my goofy little amp box by putting my panels all around it. I have a horrible little bedroom, but I also don't really like the DI guitar sound either, so my only hope of being satisfied was to try and make a tiny little studio room around my amp. It's far from a spacious good room for sure, not to mention I am using the old Pod XT and running it through a cheap, 40 dollars Art Tube MP, and in to an Acoustic brand 99 dollar Bass amp. If I had a Kemper, ran in to my Tube MP, then in to a better amp, or better yet, and real small tube amp and a better mic, a U87 and a Neve pre I would get far far better results than I got with this pod XT. But I can only get so far because my new STUDIO ROOM, lol is about 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet. No matter how much absorption I stuff in around the mic and amp, it just won't have the same good sound as when a guitar sound is able to come out in a big room and BLOOM outwards in total quiet and have it's detail incredibly evident.

So the word these companies use is "TONE" and it is a phony word that really means nothing. I could care less if my sim is 10 percent different than a Fender delux. In fact, line 6 and other amp sim companies make up their own amps too that you can use in their software. The TONE of those don't sound like famous amps nor are they intended too. My XT has several Line 6 MADE UP amps.

The "TONE" word is used to CONFLATE the sound of a real room with the TONE or eq settings of specific amps. There's no way a company would say in a commercial, "Hey, we really nailed the Fender Deluxe TONE, uh, but of course, this has nothing to do with the fact we can't make a real studio room, so you are still going to sound like a DI guitar, because you will be of course, eliminating the possibility of a good room buy, yeah, we sure did nail the TONE of a Fender Deluxe and a Marchal Plexi."

They use the TONE word to make you INCLUDE the studio room in your thoughts of the product when they present it to you. Line 6 has the cab and mic model and we can move it is and out, SO WHY DOESN'T IT SOUND LIKE that Lou Reed guitar recording? Because all they can really do is try to emulate the eq curve of that room and mic, they can NEVER REALLY give you anything other than JUST the eq curves, no matter how detailed the eq is. And this is why I say, if they ever are able to actually simulate that REAL studio room and the detailed sounds that travel through that deathly quiet space in that real physical reality medium, it will be long after all of us are probably dead and gone. Doing that is STAR TREK holodeck stuff.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed talking about this. No doubt Amp sims are great for live use just using them as a preamp just like any other preamp built in to an amp, as long as you are still powering a real speaker in a real space with a band, then the preamp used is just a matter of personal taste.

But it's the recording part, the part when you ELIMINATE the medium of physical reality that stuff get better or worse. You WANT to eliminate a bad room, but you don't want to eliminate a wonderful studio room. And since many great albums are recorded in world-class studio rooms, well, DI recording can't touch those, no matter how god the TONE of the eq. This is why I gigle watching these amp sim vids on yT trying to convince you to buy their sim, the word TONE is used about 50 times in all of them, then they play some clean guitar and it's drenched in reverb and effects trying to cover that they can never sim what a real physical studio sounds like.

I have Amplitube 4 and recently had to reload Windows, I reinstalled it last night and TRIED for a hour, sure sounded better than my CRAPPY, horrible little bedroom with a mic and amp in it, the Fender TONE is spot on or more than I would ever care or need it to be, but it DID NOT sound even close to that LOU REED sound or other great studio rooms nor did it sound as good as my recording above, not as close and detailed and intimate, but the TONE of their amp beat the holy hell out of my Pod XT TONE.

Anyway, stay safe from this darn Virus guys. I am 57 years old and diabetic as well. I think I would get through it but I would rather not put it to the test, and we all have older loved ones we could pass it on to, scary stuff.

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KVRAF
1786 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:34 am

@Jeffguitars

Sorry dude, I don't agree with you. As a guitar player who has been playing for over 40 years. I see the advances in amp sims and convolution similar to advances in email and letter writing. With the advent of email and texting, it just seems silly to write letters with pen and send via post.

The issues we have in the music consumption world is that its populated by a lot of old guys & gals that like old music and also by maybe young guys & gals that are enamored by "retro" music and artists, be it 80s, 70s, 60s.. I can related, I spent my late teens and most of my 20s enamoured by retro (American 70s and 60s music and blues). Nothing wrong with it but its completely detached from reality and progress. The only thing it's attached to is nostalgia and consumerism. Corporations in the music and entertainment business are in the sole business of exploiting it all and reselling it.

it makes very little sense to get a amp stack and blow your ear drums and the neighbors ear drums out when you can very easily get headphones and a Kemper and just blow your own ear drums out. There was a cool article in sound on sound or guitar player which showed the progress of sims. I got into them with the Line 6 Pod (still have that old sucker) and remember getting blown away by what it did. The technology and modelling has only gotten better and more powerful and will continue to do so.

Image

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:18 pm

Then PROVE IT!!. Download Lou Reed, "turning time around" listen closely, and SHOW ME TO CAN USE AN AMP SIM ON A DI guitar sound and match it for quality. You won't, because YOU CAN'T, it's flat out that simple.

Another song, pull it up on YouTube, even in poor compressed YT sound the studio room is utterly obvious.

The song "Hey Nineteen" by Steely Dan. Now put a set of good headphones on.

Now listen closely to the guitar riffing on the left. Isten to how utterly delicate, how shockingly detailed and just appears out of NOWHERE. It's because the " Nowhere" is the GREAT STUDIO ROOM. absolute quiet, no waves interfering in the guitar sounds, the detail an intimacy is ASTONISHING. No amp sim will sim that in our lifetimes.

Now, you disagree, so simply PROVE YOUR CONTENTION.
Use your amp sim, put on a clean tone, pan hard left and show me it can be as delicate and detailed.
In fact, I don't even really see the point of your argument. You really didn't talk of sound quality, you mentioned it's better to use an amp sim and not blow away family and neighbors?. Who said anything about the benefits of being stealthy in your recording. My entire posts have been about THE QUALITY of the DI recorded amp sim sound compared to a great studio room and how it simply doesn't compare. I also said direct amp sim is better than a horrible little bedroom to record it,. A bad room is the absolute worst thing for recording, just the worst.
But I'm sure you will SHOW ME, it's easy for you to plug your amp sim dI and just show me you can record me guitars that sound as good as that Lou Reed song or the Hey Nineteen song, just one guitar, panned hard left, use your speaker sim, any amp sim, play some clean guitar something similar and just show me that same intimate, detailed, and impactful guitar sound.

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KVRAF
2239 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:25 pm

i can't play like lou reed. I'd easily produce a sound like that ITB.

if lou reed played it for me it'd sound just like that.

sorry :D

amplitude tho, imo, is utter garbage. I tried their mesaboogie... Compared to my (now sold) Boogie Mark V, and it wasn't even close.
I use Fuse Audio Labs VPRE-2C in conjuction with his Fender Bassman (Fuse Audio Labs F-59)

I can get a better mesaboogie sound from VPRE-2C and F-59 than i can from the amplitube mesaboogie. :D

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KVRAF
1786 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:51 pm

Jeffguitars wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:18 pm
You won't, because YOU CAN'T, it's flat out that simple.
Yes. you can't. No one ever said amp sims can replace tube amps of yester yore or high end $2000+ tube amps. The amp sim is a different tool than a tube amp. You use it differently. What an amp sim does do is it allows you to quickly and easily record electric guitar into a DAW and you can get very very good results. The sounds you can get are going to be much more versatile than what you are limited to with your regular amp. Your Fender Pro is always going to sound like a Fender pro, unless you buy a Marshall stack.

FWIW.. Steely Dan were a professional rock group and legendary group that recorded in the most expensive recording studios at the time. They also had at their disposal high priced engineer, Roger Nichols , who had 30+ years experience with the equipment in those studios. They had much more fire power when making those records than Joe Shmo today who tinkers with a DAW in his 1 bedroom. Different times, different folks. ;-)

imrae
KVRian
1077 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:44 pm

"I can't reproduce the sound on this record. The digital modelling must be bad." It's such a bizarre conclusion to draw. I wouldn't be able to reproduce those sounds even with the original equipment; we're talking about some of the best recordings ever made here.

I'll happily agree that software doesn't ship with equivalent IRs, but I'm quite confident that if you could recreate the setup and captured an IR from it, the result would be satisfactory.

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Anderton
KVR Expert
153 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:59 pm

I agree that room sound is a big part of a perceived guitar sound. Of course, there are ways to add room sounds to sims. So then the question isn't whether there's a problem with amp sims, the question is whether there's a problem with convolution reverbs, and whether they can reproduce the nuances of "real" rooms accurately. 10 years ago, I would have said "not really." However, some of the recent convolution reverbs, like Waves Abbey Road Chambers, sound very much like "the real thing." The tradeoff is a big CPU hit. But just as we continue to hear progress with amp sims, there's progress occurring in the field of modeling acoustic spaces. Whether the result is equal to physical rooms by the standards of the person doing the recording is something only the person doing the recording can answer. However, I don't think it matters too much to the people who listen to music.
My educational website has launched! Read articles, see videos, read reviews, and more at https://craiganderton.org. Check out my music at http://YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit my digital storefront at https://craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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Anderton
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153 posts since 4 Mar, 2004
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Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:05 pm

And now...I'm back, with another review. Why, you might ask? Well, the KVR powers that be asked me to write some more in this thread, and I found a product that is so off-the-wall, and so fascinating, it really deserved being written about. It definitely falls under the "why be normal?" category, and when I first saw it at Winter NAMM, I couldn't wait to check it out. As it so happened, it does a lot more than I thought originally.

Image

Yes, there it is...Blue Cat Audio's AcouFiend. Every now and then, something comes along that violates the laws of physics—like when Melodyne showed polyphonic pitch correction, or Studio One added harmonic editing that generated chord tracks if you played chord progressions on guitar. And now, we have a plug-in that generates acoustical feedback, like what happens when you hold your guitar close to a speaker, and play really loud.

Until this came along, I had four choices to generate feedback with plug-ins.

• Split the guitar into an amp and the computer’s audio interface. Driving the guitar into feedback with the amp was captured by the DAW’s audio track.
• Layer a faux feedback sound with the guitar, like by transposing the note up by an octave and a fifth, and fading it in at the end of notes.
• Softube’s Acoustic Feedback plug-in. It’s pretty cool, but a little picky about playing style, and doesn’t work with chords.
• The good ol’ Ebow, still one of the coolest inventions for guitar.

Now we have AcouFiend...let’s see if it really works.

BASICS

AcouFiend costs $79/€79, and in typical Blue Cat fashion, supports pretty much anything—VST, AU, AAX, and 32- or 64-bit host software. According to Blue Cat, it will even run on a Pentium 4 Windows machine running 32-bit Vista. (And if that’s what you’re using, maybe the good-hearted folks at KVR will start a GoFundMe on your behalf.) However, if you want to use AcouFiend live, you’ll need a VST hosting program because it doesn’t run stand-alone.

I believe in reading manuals, but to gauge a product’s user-friendliness, I also believe in just trying something out until I get confused. According to my rating system, AcouFiend gets a 5 x 5 – after five drinks at five in the morning, you can still figure it out. I really didn’t need to get into the manual until I ventured into the advanced MIDI functionality (which you don’t really need to know if all you want is guitar feedback).

The main controls are Dry, Wet, and the harmonic you want (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or subharmonic). Note that you don’t have to follow AcouFiend with an amp sim, although that does give a more “authentic” rock feedback sound. AcouFiend will also work with an electrified acoustic guitar, although all the harmonics and resonances do tend to be more of a challenge. But that’s not all—it works with sound sources other than guitar (more on this later).

At first, I was a bit surprised that the Dry and Wet levels had separate controls—it seemed a single Balance or Mix control would be more efficient. However, the virtue of this approach becomes obvious if you’re into automation, because you can play with the Wet sound level independently of the Dry one. Also note that if you use only the Wet sound, the resulting sound is kind of like an EBow

After getting the sound squared away, you can tweak the feedback effect’s Fade In and Fade Out times. The music, tempo, and style will determine what’s the correct setting, but I did find an interesting use for the Fade In. I sent the guitar to two buses, and inserted an AcouFiend in each one, which were both followed by an instance of the 3rd-gen Ampire sim in Studio One. This allowed setting each AcouFiend for a different interval, with each fading in at a different time. For example, you could have the 2nd fade in fairly quickly, and hae the 3rd or 4th fade in later. This makes the feedback effect even more guitar-like.

LIMITATIONS

As with anything that seemingly violates the laws of physics, there are some limitations. Of course, AcouFiend isn’t actually driving your stings, so feedback will happen only as long as the string is vibrating. That said, it will work with chords by grabbing a note (not the full chord; usually the root), and provide the feedback effect. In fact if you play a chord, the feedback will continue for a surprisingly long time—as long as there’s some kind of vibration happening, the feedback keeps happening as well.

One limitation of Softube’s Acoustic Feedback is that the pitch had a hard time staying stable toward the very end of a note. AcouFiend has the same limitation, but to a much lesser degree.

PLAYING STYLE

The Threshold and Sensitivity controls allowing tailoring the response to your playing style and instruments, but the defaults worked out of the box for me. It’s really quite non-critical, far less so than, for example, the average octave divider. I was able to set Threshold very low to get the maximum sustain, although you’ll need a “clean” signal (minimum hum, clean playing) to get the most out of this.

The Sensitivity controls are more about personal preferences than adjustments to your playing style. Think of Attack as a ducking control for the feedback—you make the feedback go away depending on how hard you pluck the string. Set Pitch to match bending; lower values follow bending, higher values turn off the feedback when you bend.

After you use AcouFiend for a while, you’ll start to “partner” with it. For example, you’ll mute notes past a certain point, because trying to get the feedback to last as long as possible isn’t always appropriate from a musical context anyway. My absolute favorite real-world feedback effect is bending a note up, letting the feedback come in, and then cutting the note and feedback abruptly. This is something Jeff Beck does really well, and AcouFiend’s version of this is pretty much perfect.

I also like letting a power chord sustain until it goes into feedback. Although the full chord doesn’t feed back, one of its notes will, which provides the same kind of overall vibe. I also found a cool technique with 12-string (yes, really). When playing chords, if I let the chord sustain, AcouFiend provides a sort of background “bed.” This can be quite beautiful with just the 12-string by itself—no amp.

ADVANCED FIENDOLOGY

AcouFiend works well with synths, although I don’t think I’ll be ditching my “faux feedback” technique just yet. Of course, you can try anything with it for sound design, but it even works with vocals—imagine a sine wave pitch tracking, and you’ll be close. I’ve been experimenting with using it to augment sustained, choir-type sounds and layered vocals. I have found that AcouFiend does want a consistent sound, so I had the best results applying it after using pitch correction to flatten notes. Also, there’s a pitch of a pitch falloff at the end of vocal notes that’s more noticeable than with guitar. Although I haven’t found the “killer app” yet for using it with voice, I’m sure there’s one in the AcouFiend toolbox, and I’ll find it at some point.

The scary-looking keyboard stuff toward the bottom is actually pretty straightforward. You can limit the note range that triggers feedback, as well as transpose the feedback, key (as well as major/minor, which affects the third), and fine tuning. Transposition is particularly useful with chords, because AcouFiend’s natural tendency is to grab a chord’s root note.

Enabling the Control Settings button adds MIDI control possibilities, and in typical Blue Cat fashion, they’re deep. The little green arrows show automatable/MIDI controllable parameters, and clicking on the arrow opens up the MIDI Learn menu (Fig. 1).

Image

Figure 1: All the parameters with green arrows are eligible for MIDI control, automation, and MIDI learn.

You can even get a sort of guitar synth sound for solos by setting the controls as shown (Fig. 2). This creates more of a tracking effect for the feedback sound, rather than having it fade it.

Image

Figure 2: It's possible to get guitar synth sounds. Because there's no pitch-to-MIDI conversion, you don't have the usual latency associated with MIDI guitar synths.

The sound is kind of flute-like, but you can create parallel harmonies with additional AcouFiends. Because the attack isn’t instantaneous, the sound lends itself to ethereal solos. If this had existed in the 80s, new age music people would have flipped out.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Although AcouFiend works as advertised—and yes, you can certainly obtain credible feedback effects from it—it would be a shame to think of it as doing only that. Despite what appears to be a limited amount of controls, the overall functionaly is highly customizable, and suitable for more than guitar. I was particularly impressed by using it simply to track guitar, and augment the guitar sound, or pull down the Dry control and create diaphanous harmonies. If you have an experimental bent, or just want to rock with feedback guitar, it’s well worth downloading the free trial to find out what this sucker can do. It’s impressive.
My educational website has launched! Read articles, see videos, read reviews, and more at https://craiganderton.org. Check out my music at http://YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit my digital storefront at https://craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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KVRAF
1786 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:40 pm

Anderton wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:59 pm
I agree that room sound is a big part of a perceived guitar sound. Of course, there are ways to add room sounds to sims. So then the question isn't whether there's a problem with amp sims, the question is whether there's a problem with convolution reverbs, and whether they can reproduce the nuances of "real" rooms accurately. 10 years ago, I would have said "not really." However, some of the recent convolution reverbs, like Waves Abbey Road Chambers, sound very much like "the real thing." The tradeoff is a big CPU hit. But just as we continue to hear progress with amp sims, there's progress occurring in the field of modeling acoustic spaces. Whether the result is equal to physical rooms by the standards of the person doing the recording is something only the person doing the recording can answer. However, I don't think it matters too much to the people who listen to music.
any thoughts on comment on the Sunset Sound reverb?

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KVRAF
11398 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:10 pm

Yes, AcouFiend is certainly deceptive - it doesn't seem to be as configurable as it actually is, but works very well to produce something not too far from real world feedback. I found it varies quite a bit based on which amp sims/models you pair it with, but that's a good thing, as it allows for a wide range of variation.

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:50 am

Ploki wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:25 pm
i can't play like lou reed. I'd easily produce a sound like that ITB.

if lou reed played it for me it'd sound just like that.

sorry :D

amplitude tho, imo, is utter garbage. I tried their mesaboogie... Compared to my (now sold) Boogie Mark V, and it wasn't even close.
I use Fuse Audio Labs VPRE-2C in conjuction with his Fender Bassman (Fuse Audio Labs F-59)

I can get a better mesaboogie sound from VPRE-2C and F-59 than i can from the amplitube mesaboogie. :D
Point 1. NO ONE ASKED YOU to play like Lou Reed. I asked you to simply play some clean riffing panned hard left and post it so we can compare the quality of the recorded sound. You didn't for an obvious reason, and it's because y

ou know as well as I do I imagine, that it simply will not sound as intimate.
Point 2. I am noticing a desire by the responders to simply avoid doing such a simple thing, use your amp sim and play me some clean guitar riffing, just chords. The quality of that sound on the LR or the Steely Dan song is obviously and clearly because it's done in a wonderful room with good amps and mics.
It has ZERO TO DO with who is playing or what licks they are playing on a personal level.

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:06 am

telecode wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:51 pm
Jeffguitars wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:18 pm
You won't, because YOU CAN'T, it's flat out that simple.
Yes. you can't. No one ever said amp sims can replace tube amps of yester yore or high end $2000+ tube amps. The amp sim is a different tool than a tube amp. You use it differently. What an amp sim does do is it allows you to quickly and easily record electric guitar into a DAW and you can get very very good results. The sounds you can get are going to be much more versatile than what you are limited to with your regular amp. Your Fender Pro is always going to sound like a Fender pro, unless you buy a Marshall stack.

FWIW.. Steely Dan were a professional rock group and legendary group that recorded in the most expensive recording studios at the time. They also had at their disposal high priced engineer, Roger Nichols , who had 30+ years experience with the equipment in those studios. They had much more fire power when making those records than Joe Shmo today who tinkers with a DAW in his 1 bedroom. Different times, different folks. ;-)
And again, right in the first sentence we see either an diliberate or misunderstood comment.
"Yes. you can't. No one ever said amp sims can replace tube amps of yester yore or high end $2000+ tube amps. The amp sim is a different tool than a tube amp. You use it differently."
Again, THIS HAS NOTHING to do with a guitar PREAMP. There are wondersful sounding amps that are NOT tube and plenty of wonderful sounding amp sim PREAMPS. IT IS THE GREAT ROOMS and MICS INTERACTING in those rooms that amp sims CANNOT DO!!! Put a great amp sim through a good power amp section, tube or not, put it in a great studio room and record it into a good mic in that great room and YOU WILL GET A GREAT RECORDING of that space that a DI sim cannot do and will not be able to do in our life times. It's that simple. I understand some wanting to defend amp sims, but I see the same SUBTLE attempts to cloud the issue, when will the dreaded "TONE" word start being tossed in? Let me make this clear again. WE ARE TALKING THE ROOM, a real studio room and the interaction of that room with a good mic and speaker. It's the room that these amp sims CANNOT simulate because in the end they are simply 2d digital copies that will NOT IN OUR life times be true 3d. They can't be and the sims just cannot give you that real 3d acoustical space, they just can't. I WANT THEM TOO, I want someone to show me this so I can finally have what I have been after all these years.

Jeffguitars
KVRer
20 posts since 22 Jul, 2019

Re: The Big Guitar Amp Sim Roundup + Review

Post Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:19 am

imrae wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:44 pm
"I can't reproduce the sound on this record. The digital modelling must be bad." It's such a bizarre conclusion to draw. I wouldn't be able to reproduce those sounds even with the original equipment; we're talking about some of the best recordings ever made here.

I'll happily agree that software doesn't ship with equivalent IRs, but I'm quite confident that if you could recreate the setup and captured an IR from it, the result would be satisfactory.
I said NOTHING about digital modelling is all around bad. I said it can be GREAT for live use. I said it can be wonderful used as a preamp and that preamps in amps are still preamps. I said amp sims GET RID of the acoustical space of a Studio. That is either good or bad. There is nothing worse than a horrible room with reflections cancelling out frequencies and destroying details. Amd simps can at least get rid of that. But when you use them for DI recording that is just the point, they also prevent REAL GOOD ROOMS too. They stop the band AND GOOD stuff too by BYPASSING the acoustic space.
This has ZILTCH to do with what band or what amps were used, THIS IS ABOUT THE ACOUSTIC SPACES, PERIOD. I could find THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of recorded guitars that were done in beautiful studio rooms and it would be the same thing, those sounds COULD NOT BE duplicated BECAUSE THOSE SPACES cannot be duplicated, it has NOTHING to dow with what bands, what guitar amps, what albums. Amd sims REMOVE THE ACOUISTIC SPACES, and that means OF ALL GOOD STUDIO rooms around the world and cannot duplicate ANY OF THE thousands and thousands and thousands of great, delicate, warm and detailed sounds of any amps by any bands that have taken place in any great room over the span of decades of recording.

I'm sorry, but the attempts to conflate the issues is an attempt to cloud the fact that some don't want to face. One more time, it is the ACOUSTIC SPACE of a great studio room that amp sims CANNOT do and will not do in our lifetimes and probably won't do in your grand children's life times. EQ curves are NOT ACOUSTIC SPACES. This is not "TONE" as amp sim makers want you to believe.

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