Let's talk guitar VSTs good, bad, ugly

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

  1. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    Here's a question off but on topic. I love my boost VSTs but have any of you guys had better results with a hardware (actual pedal) boost out front of your interface? I have been missing my protone dead horse since I stopped playing live and started just recording. I was thinking of buying a dead horse and doing just that with it because it's such a unique boost.
     
  2. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Yeah, I don't like to run too many VSTs; just bugs me, seems like there's extra noise (even though I know there isn't) and it messes with my levels. I don't really like any of the VST boosts, even though I know they're good for most anything I'd want to do. The fact that I'm already sitting in front of a computer playing into headphones just makes me not want to mess with any more programs. I'd rather have at least one pedal to mess with.

    Most of the time lately I'm using an AMT P1 with a PlxFx Bion boost in front of it...it's a Naga Viper clone built by a guy on another forum...got boost/gain/range controls and it makes dialing the setup for each guitar easier. The sweep on the Range knob is huge...goes from wooly fuzz tones to razor sharp surgical metal tones without changing anything else in the chain.

    I'll use it in front of everything, even if just using Amplitube Mesa Boogie for a drumjam or something. I really like the control and the way it make everything sound.
     
  3. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    Considering a savage drive or another dead horse. Not sure yet.

    Oh and I am just messing with the JST (Joey Sturgis) amp sims right now and so far The Menace is pretty solid, the guilty pleasure is ok but I am not bothering with the Richardson because the graphics and settings look exceedingly stupid and annoying. Sturgis plugs are supposed to be about simplicity not irritation. The Menace will forsure have a spot on something I am working on.
     
  4. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    There is no Thermionik Complete on their website. There is this, but it's $250 https://kazrogplugins.com/amember/product/complete1

    Other than that you're stuck adding the contents of this page to your basket, which they then add a discount to, to reduce your total to $188 - https://kazrogplugins.com/amember/cart/index/index?c=11

    At which point you're *still* spending just under half the cost of the Helix plugin, to get no effects and only what cabs and impulses you can scrounge up from online somewhere.

    This doesn't make any sense at all.

    They're not "Abandoning" it - Why would they? They're the biggest company in the category and they sell really, really well. It's just that a hardware Helix is 3 times the price and aimed at a totally different market of players. It's silly to treat it as a "POD Farm Update" - They're for totally different markets of players.

    People dislike it because it was incredibly hyped up and marketed - Misha, Ola, Merrow Glen Fricker et al, *all* said it was fantastic.

    Then it actually came out and to be honest, it's just not that incredible. Amp matched tones sound great, yeah, but the tones it's capable of producing without an amp match are just not that good, and for a lot of people, it's just a pain in the ass to go trawling libraries of Amp-Matched tones to try and find the best ones, when the software should be able to get 90% of the way to that result, without even going online. BIAS gets more like 50% of that result before you *need* to Amp-Match to improve it.


    I agree, but their primary advantage is that they're free. The paid products *do* sound better in the majority of cases. Maybe only 1% better, but they do.

    Does anyone need to pay for this sort of thing? No.
    But if they want to pay for the best stuff they can get, well, the fact is that Helix at $399 isn't actually going to be terrible value - it offers a *lot* of options at a high quality for that $399, and when you compare it to other paid competition, it's not significantly more expensive for what you're getting. In fact it's much cheaper than some options that are out there.
     
  5. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    I think a real distortion pedal in front of a clean-ish amp sim sounds better than a dedicated high-gain amp sim. Sim high-gain/distortion always sounds too harsh/scratchy/abrasive to me, whereas the gain from an actual pedal sounds a lot more "natural."

    Personally, I like Boss pedals, as they seem to work with just about everything.
     
  6. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    I feel like most of your argument regarding Bias is that you didn't get a tone that worked for you, and the marketing hype gave you a negative experience.

    The problem here is that everything I say or you say is subjective, in fact most of this thread is. What works for me doesn't work for you and vice versa, I lost my trust in L6 after the HD line up and finding out they once again had an expansion system. And I honestly do see Helix as a Pod Farm 3.0, Considering the POD XT did the same thing with PF I don't feel like I am wrong on this front.

    Regarding Thermionik, I bought it for the guitar amps, not the fx. Considering if I need FX I can just as easily open up a delay in my DAW or get a hardware unit. If I need compression I have my plugs. Sure it would be nice to have it in the plugins, but then again, I like to use FX bus's for all of that. for 399 I don't see the value in a helix plugin, when most of the features I've probably bought or downloaded already. Impulses matter too when it comes to making these plugins sound good. And right now, the best place I've found are the free ones, or Rosen Digital. Most of the time people are using impulses 3rd party on most of their software anyway (even the developers know this and allow third party IR's in their plugins, see TSE, Bias, TH3, Revalver etc.)

    The tl;dr of this is basically if it works for you great, if it doesn't then oh well on to the next one. Again everything is subjective.
     
  7. heathenhotel

    heathenhotel SS.org Regular

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    What I didn't like about BIAS products is that they were garbage period. I didn't get anything close to a tone I would use on anything apart from a few nice clean tones. The other thing is that BIAS tends to put their products out in a broken state. There were plenty of bugs in the BIAS stuff I purchased. There was also a lot of false advertising and their customer service was a pain to deal with.

    Personally, I know money is nice but for guys like Fluff, Ola, Merrow and other notable youtubers / demo guys to praise the BIAS products was kinda lame when they know a lot of people will buy based on their demos. If you listen to those demos, there's just no way they aren't layered with tons of other plugins to sound that way.

    It's just bad software that provides poor results for too much money. The price wouldn't be as bad if they didn't have to pay everyone to say it was cool though.
     
  8. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    I mean you are saying that an originally exclusive app built on apple architecture (Jam Up) was supposed to be flawless on release on the windows platform? Now I know little about coding, but I know enough to know that logic is flawed. Considering it's working in a great state now, personally speaking.

    I mean I'm like a broken record at this point but this is really subjective on if it sounds good or not :lol:

    Plugin count wise most chains I've done for my self or others has always been the good ol guitar buss:Gate> TS808 (if not already going in) > Bias (for examples sake) > IR > Q2 (to remove anything I hate) and that's it. I guess it really burned when people were early adopters or something.
     
  9. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    What should be SOP for all YouTuber gear reviewers should be

    1) Full disclosure if they are in any way receiving any kind of renumeration/compensation for their review

    and

    2) What kind of post-processing has been applied to their demo tracks.

    As for BIAS, I bought it, fiddled around with it for awhile, and then gave up, as I couldn't get any high-gain tones worth a damn. Same with the TSE-X50 and the Thermioniks amp sims. Anything over a light crunch, and it started sounding like scratchy canned crap or flubby uselessness pretty quick.

    Also, I'm done being systematically blackmailed by companies like Line 6 who keep forcing you to pay for their expansion packs/nouveau gimmicks.
     
  10. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    I mean...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHnLofQuta8

    you can see what Ola does here...

    I agree about the disclosure though 100%, alot of tech channels I watch do it and if anything it reinforces their credibility.
     
  11. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    SO MUCH THIS.

    I get that you're Ola or Fluff or whoever...but don't try to sell me something that you had to throw 49 other plugins on to make sound good, especially if I don't have those plugins. Don't try and make it seem that you got those tones straight out of the box and that I can do the exact same tones, because I've tried it and you can't.

    I dig the vids, but I've basically given up buying anything because of them, because none of them sound like they do in the videos, and it's pretty much a waste of my time to watch them as research for a purchase anymore.

    I get that these companies want these guys to make the product sound as good as possible, and no one wants to put out a ....ty vid or clip, but just SHOW ME WHAT THE ....ING THING SOUNDS LIKE OUT OF THE BOX.

    OR, do a clip with just the product, then double it and throw it in a mix, and then show me what you used afterwards to make it sound like we all want to, ya know?
     
  12. Akhenat0n

    Akhenat0n SS.org Regular

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    Couldn't agree more.......:cheers:
     
  13. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Hasn't Ola done a video "debunking" the "It all sounds the same" thing people say about his videos?

    I always thought he claimed, specifically, not to be doing post-processing on his stuff.
     
  14. oc616

    oc616 Control Deck Wins

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    It's not really about what sounds the same (I never thought so anyway), but I'm still skeptical at taking his word on no post-processing. He may as well do it and say he didn't.
     
  15. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    If they did, then who'd buy their stuff? :fawk:

    When looking at a new potential pedal, I skip the well-produced, big-name "review" vids and instead go straight for the crappiest sounding low-fi cell phone mic'd ones. I figure if something sounds reasonably good/usable under those recording conditions it's going to sound alright on my end.

    Unfortunately, given the costs involved, you'd have to be independently wealthy in order to be able to host a truly non-partisan review channel.
     
  16. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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  17. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    The U530 is great, if only a little hungry for CPU usage and no option for stereo :(
     
  18. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    There is so much back and forth about all these amp sims, its boggling my mind. The real factor in the amp sim tone equation is the IR's. ....ty IR's = ....ty tone. FWIW, I've found maybe 3 or 4 decent IR's after sifting through Bias, TSE, Amplitube and Revalver. 90% of the time, I always disable the cabinet simulation and load up my go to IR's (Fredman collection) in mixIR.

    Taking the Peavy 5150 (or similar) from all 4 of those amp sims produces damn near the same results for me with the same set of IR's. So the arguments about amp sim X being complete .... compared to amp sim Y seems to minuscule in the grand scheme of "tone chasing".

    Use whatever amp sims you want, hell, even use Guitar Rig. But, invest in some decent IR's to get decent amp sim tone.

    I'm looking at the Ownhammer Heavy Hitters collection as well as the JST IR packs next.
     
  19. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    I own that pack and jesus those IR's are good. I also like Rosen digitals packs too. I am skeptical of JST's if only because they seem to go well with their sims than others for what I've found.
     
  20. BlueTrident

    BlueTrident SS.org Regular

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    The JST Jason Richardson VST is actually quite tasty when paired (like everything on this thread) with a solid IR. I'm using the free Clark Kent IR and with a noise gate in front I've gotten the settings to be perfecto. The only downside is that the gain nob is universal which sucks when changing channels.
     

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