Amp, Cab and Effects Simulation in 2018

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by eayottes, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    I've been using BiasFX for the last year for bedroom practice. Since I'll start recording more seriously this year since I've sold all my physical amps, I was wondering what your suggestions are for simulation (amp, cab, effects). Note that I don't want to invest into an AxeFX yet, but I don't mind shelling money for quality.

    Based on suggestions made in other threads and online documentation/videos, I'm leaning towards Thermionik for amp simulation and OwnHammer impulse responses (e.g. heavy hitter collection). For cab simulation, is Recabinet worth it ? Should I go with TSE ?

    Thanks for any suggestions/comments.

    P.S.: I'm aiming for a cyber shred tone (e.g. Per Nilsson, Paul Wardingham, Syndrone, etc.).
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    By a used axe fx ultra?
     
  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    I was using Bias FX for awhile but I’d never go back to it after playing Line 6 Helix Native. I haven’t played Waves or Thermionik but I’ve heard good things for both.

    For cab IRs I use Red Wire IRs almost exclusively now. OwnHammer is pretty good but I much prefer Red Wire, especially with all the mics and mic placement options you get.
     
  4. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    I have TSE X50 2.4, and it's decent. Amp sims in it are bit noisy when compared to Thermionik or what Mercuriall has to offer, and sound is not as three dimensional. Feel isn't that great and knobs don't react as they would in real 5150. I'm not saying that every amp sim would have to react like a real amp, it just leaves you more space to dial in a tone if knobs react how you want them to do so. Still again that's a matter of taste.

    Ownhammer cabs tend to sound really pre-mixed, some are after that kind of tone and it seems to work for them. I stumbled into this small company from Austria called ValhallIR and their cabs are super awesome, raw and realistic. I have two of their Mesa cabs and Engl Standard cab, all with V30's and one Mesa has Mesa Boogie C90's in it. Same can be said from RedWirez impulses, they're raw sounding and have lot of options that don't sound too pre-processed. My advice would be to get some more processed sounding IR's and some that are raw to see what you like.

    If you're willing to dive in more deeply into this subject best thing is to try everything by yourself. Buy couple (or maybe even more) IR packs along with amps from Thermionik, Mercuriall and TSE.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  5. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. It helps a lot to have actual user feedback.

    Regarding the axe fx II, what would a typical home studio recording setup look like ? More precisely, could I ditch my current audio interface and have the Axe Fx connected directly via USB to my computer (and to my monitors) ? I've read on some other forums that this is feasible. However, what was less clear to me were the pros and cons of doing so.

    Also, is Axe Fx 2 XL+ retro compatible. i.e. can it read .syx files from older version of the Axe FX ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  6. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Axe-FX is much more expensive, whereas the Thermonik suits and some impulses are less than $100. So I'd say it largely depends on your budget

    Most people are running the Axe-FX into an audio interface, not connecting it directly by USB. Personally, I wouldn't buy an Axe-Fx for home recording.
     
  7. eayottes

    eayottes SS.org Regular

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    Why do most people use an audio interface with the Axe Fx ?

    Yeah, the price is in another range than VSTs that's for sure.

    Why would you not buy one (besides price considerations) ? I guess it partly depends on what's your definition of "home recording".
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  8. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

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    Toneforge jason richardson is great, the misha mansoor version coming seems to be awesome too. Overloud Th3 is probably better if you want more variety and not stuck with a few amp sims.
     
  9. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Personally, I think plugins are easier for home recording. Record your DI with whatever sound you enjoy for tracking. Then you can process the sound however you like - not even any need for "re-amping", since you just tweak the plugin chain live. Use groups. Use plugins on the bus. All of that seems easier than using a "real amp" sound from the Axe Fx.

    I know you said price isn't a factor, but I really can't tell the difference of good plugins vs Axe FX from sound samples and comparisons that I've heard. The main factor, as always, is the cabinet impulse. One plus for the AxeFx is the number of commercial and free presets out there. But still, it doesn't seem worth the money to me if you don't play live. The beauty of AxeFx is that it's a reliable standalone unit which could be plugged into the PA, or into a cabinet. For home recording, I wouldn't be using those benefits.

    Just my thoughts anyway. And sorry I don't know why most people plug their AxeFx into another interface.
     
  10. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Thermionik and Ignite Emissary are both awesome. Ive had no issues with Lecab and theres so many IRs out there you could go on all day. GODS cab is cool so is ownhammer but im hearing Celestions are some of the best. Will be getting some soon.

    Also check out the Two Notes Captor and record your real amp.

    IMO: Real amp > AX8/Helix/etc > Amp sims. However the right hands and ears can make them all sound amazing.
     
  11. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Probably easier to integrate with other setups. Most studio monitors only have one set of inputs so hooking up your Axe-Fx to an audio interface means you can also hook up other stuff and multiple ASIO drivers can be a mess in Windows.

    At the moment I feel that the Line6 Helix is the best price vs performance option. While its amp sims are not as good as Fractal, they are still great sounding and with tweaking can get very close. The UI on the Helix is excellent though and the Helix Native software is also one of the best VSTs available - certainly the most feature packed.

    I prefer hardware units because having physical knobs to adjust is nicer than dragging stuff with a mouse. Integration for MIDI controllers is pretty weak in VSTs in my experience.
     
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