Guitar Modeling in 2020

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
Dewdman42
KVRAF
1773 posts since 14 Mar, 2006

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:54 am

I fell for the recent IK group buy, picked up every possible Amplitube pack and quickly realized, I still don't like Amplitube.

This led me to try out some other stuff that has been out recently...and compare against what I already have... and wondering what to do for 2020 and beyond..

The one the impressed me the most as if right now is Mercurial ReAxis...wow, it sounds and feels great, if that's the sound you're after of course.

Anyway, its been a while since I really investigated this stuff, so just wondering what is the latest stuff worth thinking about. There are also now some hardware modelers that I'm wondering about. And there is always the choice to go back to a real amp too...

I have a Vox Tonelab which I have always loved, mainly because it has a real tube "feel" unlike any other modeler I've ever tried, but its not the greatest at getting the big metal sounds. Have any of the modelers really started capturing that feel aspect yet? Especially in the software modelers? By feel I mean not only the sag, but also the dynamic response that you get from a real tube amp (ie, play lightly and the signal is cleaner, pick harder and its more disorted, etc.) I feel that modelers have been able to mimic the basic tone and timbre of guitar amps rather convincingly for quite some time, but I feel no joy when I play them.

What is up in 2020 and beyond?
MacPro 5,1 12core x 3.46ghz-128gb 10.14, X32+AES16e-50

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
7141 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:29 pm

Can't speak to the future, but I was a hardcore Amplitube user for a while. Still use it quite a bit. That said, these days, I'm using other things like:

Neural DSP Plini - I've only been demoing this, but it's insanely good and I'll be buying. 3 modeled amps (Fender-ish clean, a crunch amp, and a lead), a few modeled stomp boxes, and just amazing sound. Really just a stand out product. Their new amp sim, Nolly, also sounds amazing. To me, these guys are doing the best amp models in the business right now.

Overloud TH-U Rig Player Models - So, I really DON'T like the modeled TH-U amps and cabs or the clunky interface. But I really LOVE the Rig Player feature. I've got the third-party British Collection, the AC-30 pack, and one more, and they're all terrific. This is more along the lines of a profiled amp than a modeled one, but when they sound this good, there's not much else that's needed.

I really like the Nembrini amps. I missed the intro price on their Soldano, but I bought their JCM800. It's dark, but I actually really dig that about it compared to Amplitube Slash which sounds too bright for my ears.

Other than that, I'll still bust out Amplitube on the regular or use Blue Cat's Axiom whenever I'm looking to experiment more.

Cooker
KVRian
833 posts since 29 Jul, 2008

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:53 pm

For hardware I'd say try a boss gt1000; try the X amps mainly.

Mercuriall; I get the best idea when playing through backingtracks, the spark is the best sounding to my ears for a while now. Adjusting isn't a breeze but not too difficult either.

TH-U Rig player; If you're ok to invest on presets you'll like it. Very easy to find tones, I've always hated presets but the adjust-ability of the rig player is really good you'll find something that works very quick.

Bias; Friend of mine has the elite version, my experience is limited with it but we got really good tones from the amp models. Presets sucked though.

STL; Recently started trying horward-benson. Has an overall sound which feels very amp-like through monitors and very lively. Perfect if one wants something simple to work with, it feels a bit limited though when trying different gain ranges and can be harsh sometimes (keep a high-cut eq present). Will try the Andy james too...

jens
KVRAF
19977 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:23 pm

There's currently this IKMM Group Buy going on where you get insane value for money. You can get an incredible amount of Amplitube models for relatively little money.


Mind you: some people may tell you that Amplitube isn't very good and some may even prefer some crappy old Korg Tonelab over it but then they just have no clue what they're talking about. ;)

jens
KVRAF
19977 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:28 pm

Dewdman42 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:54 am
I feel that modelers have been able to mimic the basic tone and timbre of guitar amps rather convincingly for quite some time, but I feel no joy when I play them.
Maybe you need to invest in a better input solution then. Many audio interfaces have really crappy wanna-be DI-ins that just suck and no matter what you'll do and try, your tone will be weak and lifeless. All amp-sims rely on a proper signal. Crap in means crap out, simply put.

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
19684 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:46 pm

I'm hoping for Thermionik successor in 2020. Will blow everyone's heads off. :)

Dewdman42
KVRAF
1773 posts since 14 Mar, 2006

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:56 pm

What suggestions for input devices? I use a motu z box right now. I think that’s one reason hardware modelers are good because they have better high z inputs on them
MacPro 5,1 12core x 3.46ghz-128gb 10.14, X32+AES16e-50

jens
KVRAF
19977 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:12 pm

I had never heard of that thing - just looked it up - it's certainly not going to render you broke, that's for sure.

I have a Radial J48 but haven't used it (A/B comparison aside) since I got my Audiofuse. Sometimes it really makes sense to invest a little more. If you look at the manuals for some of the Radial DI-boxes you'll learn something in regards to the science behind it.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/radial-j48-jpc

Dewdman42
KVRAF
1773 posts since 14 Mar, 2006

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:27 pm

I have a radial jdx it’s great stuff but I would need to hear more compelling reason then it costs more to spend more on high-z conversion. In any case that is an interesting discussion for sure but I do not think that accounts for the loss of feel when playing through modelers compared to tube amps. There is a sponginess when playing all analog through tubes, and a dynamic response that I never feel with modelers. I get that feel with the tone lab but it’s sound capability is not as good as newer offerings. The tonelab has the valveteonix tube in it that is used to emulate some of that, it’s not used for the preamp, it’s used in the amp stage and adds a lot of that feel. I haven’t ever been happy with the feel of any other modeler ever since. But tone wise the tonelab is old news.

I guess I had it running it through 2:90’s and 20/20’s also which may have added some sponge
MacPro 5,1 12core x 3.46ghz-128gb 10.14, X32+AES16e-50

deastman
KVRAF
7402 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:09 pm

I really like my Helix Floorboard...
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

jens
KVRAF
19977 posts since 12 Jul, 2003 from West Caprazumia

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:41 pm

I have quite a few analog devices (both tube & transistor) and personally I couldn't tell the difference - and my playing is rather dynamic and depends on good dynamic reaction of whatever I play through.

But I advice you to try BlueCat Destructor - you can make it react dynamically in exactly the way you want - it's absolutely brilliant in that regard.

Dewdman42
KVRAF
1773 posts since 14 Mar, 2006

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:52 pm

EvilDragon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:46 pm
I'm hoping for Thermionik successor in 2020. Will blow everyone's heads off. :)
I'm happy to see him reaching some success. Have been a Recabinet customer since v1. Thermonik hasn't won me over yet, I do own it all already, but I need to spend more time with it. I absolutely love True Iron! I bet he's doing very well with that one. Looking forward to anything new from Kazrog.
MacPro 5,1 12core x 3.46ghz-128gb 10.14, X32+AES16e-50

Bouroki
KVRist
393 posts since 16 Jun, 2013 from Morocco

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:48 pm

If you stick to the more recent Amplitube 4 models (Brit Collection, Dimebag, Mesa, Fender 2, even Orange), give their matching cabs a chance, and gain stage properly into it, it's actually pretty damn good. I'm much preferring at the moment the sound through their own cabs than thru my Celestion impulses.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
11472 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:27 pm

I think Tech21 make some great amp emulation pedals.

acousticglue
KVRian
895 posts since 27 May, 2008

Re: Guitar Modeling in 2020

Post Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:00 pm

The main thing is not using the all in one package. Get some free and paid for delays such as Cocoa Delay, Eos2 plates, IKM plates, Valhalla, Replika XT, Modnetic, Plexitape, HyDelay4, Xenoverb etc and mix and match and it sounds amazing.

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