Amp simulator software? Any good? For me?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by JustinRhoads1980, Jun 15, 2018.

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  1. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    I have been looking to a quieter solution to my Marshall DSL40c and I planned on getting either a Boss Katana or selling my amp, buying an EVH 5153 and using the headphone jack and use it that way.

    Though I really do not feel like selling my amp and then spending upwards of $1000+ on gear that I really cannot experience it the way it should be. I do not plan on selling my amp either since there is no need to whatsoever.

    I was thinking if a Amp Simulator software would be a better option? I know that a lot of people use it and get really good sounds out of it.

    Though is it worth it? I am new to this stuff and don't know much about different softwares and how they work specifically.

    Any tips on this?
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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  3. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Get a proper audio interface and monitoring system that fits to your budget. Quality of dry DI-signal and overall gain staging is very important regarding to end result sound quality. Also keep in mind that it's a "recording tone", so it's never gonna sound like amp in a room, it sounds like a mic'd up amp coming out of studio monitors or headphones. Some people like it, some don't.

    Trying out different plugins is quite deep rabbit hole, in recent 2-3 years I've tried almost all of them. Another recommendation for Kazrog Thermionik from here, or if you want a good all in one solution Overloud TH3 is pretty good... or Peavey ReValver. Pretty much a matter of taste which you end up really liking, but good enough results can be achieved with many of those. Personally I don't like too emphasized low end or un-natural feel in amp sims or cab impulses.

    Then there is cab modeling, which is also very important and it can make or break your tone. Learn to use different kind of mic combinations with plugin's own cab modeling if it has one, or invest into good impulse responses. There is lot of information about this subject in recording and studio area. Oh, and you also need a DAW if plugin doesn't have stand alone software.
     
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  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    If you like your current rig, but just want it more quiet, maybe what you're looking for is one of those attenuation / load box type devices?
     
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  5. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Two Notes Torpedo Captor for example, but that setup still needs an audio interface and a daw. Pretty much every silent setup will need those, if it's not an individual modeler with it's own hardware.
     
  6. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Katana would be the easiest solution.
     
  7. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Did you try turning down? I had a dsl 100W halfstack for a few months, and it got pretty quiet.
     
  8. JustinRhoads1980

    JustinRhoads1980 SS.org Regular

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    yeah I have heard good things about the Overloud software. I know though that you have to learn a bit when it comes to that type of stuff.

    I have tried an attenuator, didn't really work. On another forum I was recommended the Two Notes Captor.

    Why would you say that is better over the Software?

    Yes I do turn it down and it has an ok tone, but it just sounds sooo much better at 2-5 on vol. I want an alternative though where I can get sounds like that through heaphones or such, just at a quiet level.
     
  9. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Not necessarily "better", but definitely "easier". You only have to buy the amp and plug into it. Software is great, and I use it regularly, but then you need an interface, and monitoring of some kind, and you have to set it all up. It isn't bad but it isn't as simple as "buy the box and turn it on and play".
     
  10. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    Something I found that can improve your sim tone is to use real fx pedals, as well as an eq pedal.
     
  11. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Mercuriall is REALLY really good stuff and so is TSE x50
    Mercuriall, Thermionik, LePou, and Ignite Amps Emissary make pretty decent stuff
    BIAS is the worst

    Mercuriall Spark does several Marshall sims. It's $120 for new customers though.
     
  12. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    My solution was to have a multifx unit with amp modeling (Line6 Helix Floor) that serves double duty as the main effects unit for my Bogner tube amp when I can play through it.

    I'm not a huge fan of computer amp sims because of the following reasons:
    • You need an audio interface that has very short round trip latency (not usually advertised in any spec but can be found in independent tests) to prevent any noticeable latency when playing and has a good high impedance input (or otherwise your sound will be dull and lifeless).
    • You need good studio monitors or headphones. Headphones are always a compromise but something you may have to do if you need to play quietly. The quality of these will heavily dictate the final sound you get, just like a guitar cab would for real amps. To be fair this applies to hardware units but you have more connection options with those as you are less tied to a computer.
    • Most amp sim software is not setup at all or is not easy to setup for any physical controls. Turning real knobs is always more pleasant than operating virtual ones with a mouse.
    To me hardware units are just much more convenient even if they are more expensive.
     
  13. tender_insanity

    tender_insanity SS.org Regular

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    Mercuriall all the way. I've bought some Kazrog sims, TH3, ReValver 4 and Mercuriall stuff and there's no competition IMO. I run plugins inside ReValver's standalone app and works really well. 5150 comes from ReValver but the rest is from Spark, U530 or ReAxis. Sometimes I use pre-FX from ReValver, sometimes Mercuriall's own, sometimes whatever. And same with post FX. The Internet is full of good free plugins to throw inside the host (ReValver).

    Once I fell in the IR rabbit hole too but after being there for a while I've returned using plugins' own cabinet sims. Good enough for me =)

    Here's some samples.
    Battery with ReAxis and U530 on lead guitar
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gdoz52pqhxwer6q/Battery-Full.mp3?dl=0

    Spark JCM800 noodling
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/glhpjr0uan99mw6/Mercuriall Spark JCM800.mp3?dl=0

    ReValver's sounds (Dual Recto and Powerball IIRC)
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lvza3i6rvwcm8do/ReValver 4 Demo Song.mp3?dl=0

    Some 80's Maiden sound with ReValver (GK250ML ish)
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlrtv2cgpc072xf/Somewhere In Time.mp3?dl=0

    Some more ReAxis
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/fy8fi80q93762xp/Lautturi-2018.mp3?dl=0
     
  14. ADADAD

    ADADAD SS.org Regular

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    Don't want to hijack the thread but this is probably useful for the OP anyways:
    1. How much would an interface with a good quality instrument input cost? There's a vid on youtube comparing the 1st gen scarlett to a di box and the difference is massive.
    2. How much latency can you have without it being noticeable? Is a thunderbolt interface required? (For practice / tracking)
     
  15. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    The TSE Suite is a great place to start since it has everything you need in the plug-in.
    NoiseGate - Overdrive - Amp - Cab - EQ.
    You don't need to go looking for additional plug-ins which can become a bit overwhelming when first getting into them.

    The Joey Sturgis Plugins are another really good choice since they have everything you need inside them.
     
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  16. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    About 140'ish if we are talking about dollars or euros. I've got Audient id4 which I bought especially because of it's jfet di-input. But there is also stuff like RME Babyface, Apogee Duet or Universal Audio Apollo, if you're willing to put more money in it. With usb2 interface and powerful enough computer you can run plugins with 32 or 64 samples and latency is barely noticeable.
     
  17. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    This. TSE X50 is great. It sounds a LOT like a mic'd up block letter 5150. You get a tube screamer, noise gate, and some nice cabinet impulses all built in. And the whole thing is a bargain price too.

    This would be my first port of all for a one-stop-shop guitar tone plugin.
     
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  18. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    The second gen Focusrite Scarlett works great. I mean, the instrument input probably isn't world class, but it's affordable and countless people are using them and getting great tones. It won't be the limiting factor in your tone.

    Latency, personally I think around 20ms is the cut off point. Bear in mind, sound travels 1 meter in around 3 ms. So a 10ms latency is like you standing 3 meters away from your amp... hardly a lot, right?

    (Or if you work in feet, 1 ms = around 1 ft of distance. So 10 ms latency is like standing 10 ft away)
     
  19. ADADAD

    ADADAD SS.org Regular

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    I was looking at the thunderbolt ones that start at about 500$ but the id4 looks pretty good. How much ms latency to you get when playing through an amp sim? I was also looking at getting a wireless which would add another 2-3 ms latency, do you think the combined latency would be too much?
     
  20. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    It says 4.8ms in Reaper at 128 samples. I can't get it lower with my system, because it isn't powerful enough, but I could get about 2.9ms with Overloud TH3 standalone software though. Mainly because TH3 runs very light on processor. Must say that Focusrite Scarlett drivers are better in terms of latency than drivers that Audient has. Added latency to that with wireless system would be too much, but with I assume it would be barely anything with thunderbolt.
     

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