Let's talk guitar VSTs good, bad, ugly

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by heathenhotel, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. rahnvu

    rahnvu SS.org Regular

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    At least one thing can be concluded from a thread like this: Tone is very subjective!
    I have only used Thermionik amp sims since the last versions were released. I even used them coupled with Rosen Digital IRs on my bands latest record and I think it sounds great. A lot of this imo is the fact that the amp plugins have a power amp and a "dynamics" knob that seems to give the amp more lifelike response.
    Other than that: TH3 is one of the better ones, Bias is really disappointing and I'm looking forward to the Helix release!
     
  2. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    Isn't Helix supposed to be coming out as a stand-alone app?
     
  3. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Yeah, called Helix Native. Plugin with all the same stuff the Helix has. Should be good, but it's like $399...
     
  4. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    F@#! that.
     
  5. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Agreed. Should be good but I'm not giving Line6 $400 for anything ever.
     
  6. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    Just tried a new one today. Brainworx Rockrack. I thought it would be fairly low quality for some reason but wow, right off the hop the tones are usable without much tweaking. Good value because you get a bunch of amps in the package. I recommend it forsure.

    I am really wanting the Brainworx Friedman amp plugin but I am not spending a grand on a Universal Audio Apollo interface for it. I think it's absolute garbage that the Friedman plugin isn't available outside of UA. Sure it's pricey as well but that's probably due to UA inflating all of their prices.
     
  7. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    I've tried most of them.


    S-Gear: My go-to. Everything just sounds good. I don't really care about anything else. The fact that the amp models are "inspired by" designs instead of simulations keep the comparisons at bay. Although it's true it lacks a proper "modern metal" amp, I get good results with the Wayfarer. They could improve the interface, though. It's also a bit expensive considering it only has 5 amps. :yesway::yesway::yesway::yesway:

    Thermionik was my favourite back when it was "Recabinet 4". Now I just can't be bothered to fiddle with 30 separate VSTs (amps) every time I want to jam. I just prefer suites with on/off modules (WAY faster to browse presets or create tones). Some of the amps sound really good and there is a great selection, but I just find it cumbersome to use nowadays. :yesway::yesway::yesway:

    Mercuriall stuff: Warm and nice sounds. Similar to S-Gear tone-wise and a good addition to compliment it with hi-gain british and german tones. They are very expensive to be single amps, IMHO. :yesway::yesway::yesway:

    Positive Grid BIAS: The "Michael Bay movie" of the VST ampsims. Flashy graphics and a bazillion of nerd-candy features that no one would touch in a physical amp, but zero substance. No matter which model I selected, they all sounded shrill and harsh with a clanky attack I could never dial out. This software is the best example of what Youtuber advertising can do. Even the tone of those Youtuber demos of it suck. :yesway:

    TSE X50: Considering most metal players only care about the 5150 tone, this is a very valid choice since it's a ready to rock suite with all the typical effects people use. It also sounds great. Shame is 70$ for a single amp sim. :yesway::yesway::yesway:

    Overlouds's TH3: I hated the interface so damn much that I discarded it immediately, since it didn't wow me sound-wise anyway. :yesway:

    Amplitube 4: Amazing interface, "Meh" sounds. They ported all the stuff from Amplitube 3 so obviously they didn't improve much sonic wise. They added better models like the Mesa collection and my favourite Ampeg SVX, but the plugin had the bad habit of disappearing from my DAW. I ditched it for Kuassa Cerberus', which destroys it for bass tones. :yesway::yesway:

    Revalver 4: Sounded OK, but didn't wow me much either. Enough options to make your head explode. A valid choice I guess :yesway::yesway::yesway:

    LePou Plugins: Being free, these plugins work a treat. The LexTac plugin as previously mentioned sounds really great. They sound a bit "dated" to me compared to other commercial options, but again they're free. Most of the people advocating them actually tried them years ago and didn't try other ones since they're not very interested in ampsims to begin with. They still are a great alternative to commercial ampsims and you can cover a very wide territory with them. If the guy had managed to create a suite, it would have sold quite well. :yesway::yesway::yesway::yesway:


    Phew! That's it I guess. I'm VERY interested in the upcoming Helix Native. They will drop the price as soon as they realize VSTs are not Pedalboards and could make me move on from S-Gear if it sounds good enough. It definetely covers a wider territory.
     
  8. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Thanks for the heads up on that Kuassa Cerberus. Been looking for a good bass VST.
     
  9. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Lol.

    How dare Line 6 try to sell the entire capability of their flagship modeller for 1/3rd the price to those people who don't need or already have a hardware solution. How dare they!
     
  10. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger Contributor

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    At the moment I really like Thermionik, TSE X50 suite and Ignite Emmisary. To be honest once you put TSE 808 or a similar overdrive in front, your go to impulses and your usual EQ settings for the guitar you're using they all sound quite alike.

    I also like what I've heard from Joey Sturgis's amp sims but I keep missing any of the 24 hour sales.
     
  11. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    Well, if you're buying....
     
  12. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    I just think it's a ridiculous statement. You and the other guy sound like you're really annoyed at Line6 for what they're charging, thing is, it's really not that different to what anyone else is charging.

    To buy all 30 Thermionik Amps, even with the discount from their site, is $188.58, and you'll have no Cabinet Models. Add in the full-fat version of Recabinet 5 and you end up paying a little more than half the cost of the $399 Helix plugin to get:

    26 Fewer Amp Models (46% Fewer)
    12 Fewer Cabinets (40% Fewer)
    8 Fewer Microphones per Cabinet (50% Fewer)
    95 Fewer Effects (100% Fewer)

    I know that the Thermionik stuff (*some* of it) comes with the option to select amp channels, and Line 6 are listing each channel as a different amp model, but they more than make up for that with the inbuilt effects, and much wider range of cabinet responses and microphones.

    Overloud TH3 is arguably a better deal, with a few more of all those things for $300 instead of $399, but I'm not particularly interested in 12 different variations of Lynch head, and frankly I didn't think it sounded that incredible when I used it.

    Amplitube MAX is $599, so way more expensive and, again, sound quality isn't really on-par with Helix anyway.

    Guitar rig is cheap but sounds like ass unless you tweak the crap out of it.


    etc etc.

    Line 6 asking that much for Helix isn't even close to the worst deal in VST Guitar, and a lot of the stuff recommended in this thread so far is way more expensive for what you're actually getting.

    And if money really is an issue, well, there's Ignite's plugins, LePou, and god knows how many free IRs and other effects out there that can get you 90% of the way to these sounds for literally nothing.
     
  13. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    There comes a time when you simply say I've paid enough out of pocket already. This is one of those times. ;)
     
  14. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Not ragging on Line6 for doing business, not sure how you got that from what I said. They're free to charge what they want, just as I'm free not to buy it.

    Not annoyed at Line6 for what they're charging, it's not the price. I've paid way more for certain things. It's the company itself. Like said above, burned too many times for sub par products, not coming out of pocket for this. Was just stating a preference...they've done a good thing with the Helix AFAIK, but I'll never experience it because they lost me as a customer a long time ago. No hate, and more power to them for what they're doing.
     
  15. IdentityDevice

    IdentityDevice SS.org Regular

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    Have any of you guys checked out the Black Rooster Audio Cypress TT-15? It's pretty killer. Try it with the Ignite Amps TSB-1 Boost and your favorite cab sim (turn off the stock sim). :)
     
  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    You're welcome! :yesway:

    On a side note: I don't like Line6 either but things may have changed since Yamaha bought the company. The Helix is the first "POD style" processor they release and it's getting rave reviews.

    I definetely won't be shelling 399$ for it, but I might buy it for 199$ which is a more reasonable price for a modeller. I love S-Gear but compared to the Helix is obviously very limited in scope.
     
  17. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I am pretty much done paying for vst modelers, period. Spent too much money on things that in 2-3 years become obsolete.

    Look at Amplitube's full suite - that's $600, which gets me a Carvin V3, and I can't still use it when the next version of Windows or Mac comes out :)

    Same thing with hardware modelers although in lesser degree. I remember spending tons of $$$ on Roland, Digitech, Rocktron modelers to be eclipsed next year by the next best thing, and all of a sudden you get a somewhat plasticky sound that was always there but you kinda talked yourself out of hearing it as you loved the switching or ease of use of the unit :)
     
  18. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    Except if you buy Thermionik complete and get Recab 5 + previous impulses, or Thermionik's bundle's you could just download free IR loaders and get the catharsis impulses and be in the ball park :rolleyes:

    My issue with Line 6 as a whole is this is another POD Farm upgrade. Looks like they abandoned the HD platform for Helix and will double down on the price cause they think it's that much better and will probably make you pay extra for any expansions in the future, something Line 6 was notorious for in the past... 400 bucks for an amp sim? Sounds sketchy if it can emulate the hardware (and the tones I have heard don't sound that good either).

    Personally, I think this thread really just shows what we prefer and we want to all show our epeen on what we've bought. I know Johnny sings the praise out of TH3 , personally I thought it sounds as good as others at this point. I only like the GUI of it tho.

    People seem to hate Bias, this one I don't get. Sure it's the most advertised one out of em all... but who gives a crap if it sounds good. I love the amp matching feature, and I've found plenty tones in the past to warrant it a good amp sim. I prefer it's AMP variant but FX has some good qualities (as a former POD Farm user). It takes work, but I don't mind tweaking and crafting.

    The Freeware sims are great (especially early TSE x50 v1.0) LePou, TSE, Ignite are all amazing sims.

    I think though really each and every sim is only as good as the user behind the desk. And honestly, if it's not working for you move on to another until you find one you do like... There's my twocents.
     
  19. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    You son of a bitch lol, as if I needed more amps to look at, now there's the guilty pleasure and the menace etc. I am gonna have to try them out in my pursuit of tone.
     
  20. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    It seems we feel the same way about a lot of the market. Your review on the BIAS stuff is probably one of the best things I have ever read. :lol::lol::lol:

    Pure gold!!
     

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