Do you own an FX processor / Modeler?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by GoldDragon, Apr 11, 2020.

Do you own an FX processor / Modeler?

  1. NO

    9 vote(s)
    8.1%
  2. Yes, Line6 Helix or Variant (HX FX, Stomp)

    33 vote(s)
    29.7%
  3. Yes, Fractal (FX3, FM3, FX2, AX8)

    21 vote(s)
    18.9%
  4. Yes, Boss (GT1000)

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  5. Yes, Headrush or Variant (Gigboard)

    1 vote(s)
    0.9%
  6. Yes, Other Brand (TC, Amplifire, Iridium, Zoom, etc)

    22 vote(s)
    19.8%
  7. Yes, Older Modeler/ FX processor (Line6 HD500, Boss GT-1/10/100, Eleven Rack, etc)

    31 vote(s)
    27.9%
  8. Yes, Amp Integrated Modeler (Katana, Fender GT, PV Vypyr, Line6 Spyder, etc)

    14 vote(s)
    12.6%
  9. Yes, Kemper Profiler

    11 vote(s)
    9.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    @nickgray the original axe fx did sound like a tube amp. They still hold up. People still wont know the difference in a blind test. I know I've said it before, but it is easy to make most tube amps sound like trash.

    But now things are better in the III. Worth it? Up to the prospective buyer.

    (Incoming car comparison) classic cars are still revered and beloved by car enthusiasts the world over. But a Tesla will still eat them in nearly every category (engine noise likely being the main loss). Both types sell, but to different markets. Nostalgia makes money.
     
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  2. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    I don't necessarily doubt that, it's more the inconsistency of seeing "it's super close to a tube amp", while on the other hand I've definitely seen a lot of forum posts over the years where people said that the newest update made all the difference, or something along those lines.

    Anyways, I think the point of my post was that obsession over accuracy as the ultimate bottom line is kinda questionable. Some guitarists deliberately chose SS amps, plenty of pro records used old PODs back in 2000s and unless you knew it I seriously doubt you'd be able to flat out figure it out. With Axe Fx, an inaccurate Recto model was added back because Meshuggah's guitarist liked it (iirc they kept some other older models as well, but I might be mistaken). And there's confirmation bias, coupled with the fact that there's a lot of very black-and-white advice on the internet regarding gear (i.e., only gear X is good, the rest is pure garbage), it's easy to end up with certain preconceptions. You still see the occasional "digital is not as accurate because the waveform is square instead of smooth" here and there.
     
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  3. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    I had the Pro GAP. And the MP1. And a rockmaster.

    The Pro Gap was a midi controllable solid state preamp with noise gate. It was damn cool. I sold it because it wasn't "tube" and I didn't know anything back then.
     
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  4. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    Preamp modelling has been spot-on for the past ten years, even in the lower cost processors.

    In the fractal, the improvements have mostly been in the cabinet emulation, and the processing power which allows much denser and smoother reverb. And of course many more options.

    I wouldnt buy an original AX. Horrible interface, not supported, and overpriced because fanbois. That doesn't mean its a bad unit.
     
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  5. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Yes, The 2101 was and still is amazing. It really depends on how good somone can program it. It sounds amazing in the right hands. I've oftern thougt about getting one to try out again because they are so inexpensive nowadays. As a portable all in one rig it's very appealing.






    - I always have a laugh when I see that one. These people aren't totally wrong, it's they just don't have the technical knowledge. They also don't understand the end result and the overall experience with the product is what matters most. This is gonna vary for each person.

    - Digital has normally been worse because it's been in the experimental and development phase for 30+ years. With these new units coming out it's finally starting to become competitive on a serious level letting people unload rooms full of gear because they are so functional. When this technology really takes off (yes, I think it's still just barely waking up) we're gonna see hybrid systems. It's already begain with keyboard and synth modules like those from Moog and Elektron etc. - Hybrid systems are the epitome of what everyone is gonna want in the next 10-20 years, maybe sooner. We're probably gonna see stuff like the AxeFx III with integrated tube preamps and even minature tube power amps that are programmable and selectable in one unit. It's obvious this is the dream and where to go with it. Companies like BluGuitar with thier micro tubes, all the other companies with thier load boxes integrating tubes power sections such as Fryette power stations. The introduction of many low wattage tube amps etc goes to make me think this is gonna happen. To take the minature tube sections and reactive dummy loads combined with modelling technology that can jus modify an idealized take on the real thing will give everyone what they're after which is tube feel and breakup response 100% real, A low wattage tube (or solid state swtichable) power section for stage volume gigs and home practice, digital control and flexibility etc. Think about it. The fact I thought about it means some brainiac has probably already been trying to develop this for years already. These are gonna be units like the ART SGX 2000 and Digitech 2101 were. You could select actual tube or solid state preamps and they also combined digital effects and such The ART was way ahead of it's time but was noisy. These new imaginary units will take those to the next level.

    - If one thinks really hard about it they would see that it's all analog, in a sense. -Tube, solid state, digital is all analog technology. I see digital technology as a part (or component) of analog. Digital depends on analog, but analog does not depend on analog. The "brass tacks" is that it's all just the manipulation of electricity. Analog binary function computers exsisted before digital. Digital binary function is just a new take on an old analog component, almost akin to when integrated circuits came about. It's all part of the same realm of electical manipulation. There's no such thing as digital vs analog, only digital electical binary conversion stored in certain mediums vs analog binary conversion stored or performed through various means. The real difference is the medium of storage.

    - Units like the AxeFx are great. They are in reality an analog solid state preamp with digital processing, storage and conversion options. In the end it's an analog solidstate preamp. How it functions is controlled by the digital processor telling the analog components what to to. If there was an analog computer the size of a skyscraper the results would be the same, but probably worse because of all the crap involved to process it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
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  6. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I have thought about grabbing a Digitech 2101, or 2112, or TSR-24S also, lol. Seems like hours of fun. It makes you sad when you look at those units, and realize how much just about everything made today is so dumbed down.


    Speaking of Johnson, I had a J-Station for years back in the day. I liked it better than Line 6. One of those things I kind of wish I still had, but I know realistically it probably wouldn't sound great compared to new stuff. Back around 2001 I recorded a lot with either the J-Station, or a Peavey Rockmaster+ADA Microcab.
     
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  7. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    I had one of those too. It was in a box, unused since 2000 or so. A few years ago I pulled it out and tried it. The sounds were OK, there was a good lead guitar sound and a good clean, but there wasnt very much you could do to tweak the sounds. It was generally too thick and dark. So I put it on the bay.

    I probably should have kept it as a time capsule.

    I also had a microcab II that I used with an MP-1! But I got just as good results using the MP-1 with the cab sim in the Gp100. Those three I wish I still had. I think the microcab used on an amp with a reactive load would sound as good as a Palmer.
     
  8. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    @GoldDragon
    Those new ADA cab sims look pretty cool. Wonder how they compare to the Microcab. Microcabs are going pretty cheap nowadays and sound pretty good. I use to have the DMC Cabclone and SysteMix Plus units a longite ago. Those were similar and also sounded good too.
     
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  9. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    Revisionist revisionist history.

    Where to start?

    Technically, the first digital modeling MI product was the Nord Lead synthesizer, followed by the Korg Prophecy. The GP100 wasn't even the first Roland/BOSS modeling product; that goes to their JP-8000 synth. Yes, the GP100 was probably the first guitar-centric product with what is now called digital amp modeling released to the public, but it was developed at the same time as Line 6's AxSys 212 modeling amp (also released in '96).

    DigiTech/Johnson's first amp shipped over a year after the AxSys, and its J-Station was likely a reactionary product to POD (admitted by friends who worked at DigiTech at the time!), and POD appeared earlier and sold many times more units. (5x? 10x? More?). POD bean was the leader in that space, full stop. In the late 90s/early 00s, you'd see it on the console of almost every major studio on the planet.

    Also, the Line 6 Vetta amp had a movable effects loop (plus it could be serial or parallel) fourteen years before Helix. As did several floor and rack-based PODs between Vetta and Helix. Many people used PODs in 4CM, whether their efforts reached your personal threshold of "successful" or not.

    If you did indeed coin "4 Cable Method," that is really cool tho'. Hat's off to ya'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  10. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    I stated that the GP100 wasnt the first Roland GUITAR modeler, if you read my post. There were a few before that, but some of them had analog preamps, so I'm not sure which was the first all digital modeler.

    The point was that Roland/Boss created the digital GUITAR modeling space, years before Line6. Its kinda funny that a L6 employee would try to take that achievement from Roland by citing some digital synthesizers as first.

    Don't take this personally; most tech startups that I know either copied or outright stole technology from existing products to get their start.

    The person I was responding to said that Line6 created the space. That absolutely was not true.

    IDK if the bean sold 10x more than the J-station. Making it bright red was a stroke of genius, when everything else was black.

    Last L6 product I bought was a HD500x. It didn't work in 4cm very well, not as well as the GP100 from 20 years prior. I think the problem was that it doesnt have enough headroom for a hot preamp signal. When tweaking the gain levels so that it would work, the s/n ratio got pretty horrible. I seem to remember that if you lowered the preamp gain so it wouldn't clip the HD, there wasn't enough make up gain on the output to drive the amp.

    You would know more about that; you fixed it in the Helix.

    IME, the Helix was the first true guitar MFX from L6. The others products were all derived from the bean and were years behind Boss in terms of amp integration, gain staging, FX quality, and real time control.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  11. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I'm pretty sure the first Roland modelling stuff (for guitars at least) was with the VG series guitar synth stuff. You didnt' have to use a hex pickup with it. That was only needed for polyphonic stuff, but it modelled amps and effects.
     
  12. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    IDK much about the V-guitar.

    The GP100 was from 1995. Pretty sophisticated for the time.

    http://cdn.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/GP-100_OM.pdf
     
  13. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Oh yeah, I had one of those for a short time. I liked it but went Rocktron shortly after so didn't have to long. I didn't know that was a modelling unit. I looked it up and it is a modeller, meaning they say it's an "emulator". That's before the Vg series I'm fairly sure.
    - I meant to say Vg-8 which came out in 1995. This stuff is getting old. What's funny is stuff like the Vg-8 was being used by guys like Steve Vai and the like. It was the big deal like AxeFx's and stuff are today. It's this cycle that keeps happening and I can tell you that though not as perfect as an AxeFx the Vg-8 can sound really good live and in the studio and they can be had for REALLY cheap (like $200).
    - Here's a track that uses the VG-8 exclusively. I love these guys.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  14. Necky379

    Necky379 SS.org Regular

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    POD Pro XT, great through IR’s. Big Bottom is so much fun to play through with a drum track.
     
  15. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    By definition, "modeling" IS digital. JMP-1, SansAmp, DigiTech, Rocktron, ART—there have been a ton of rackmount, belt mount, and tabletop preamps (with or without built-in effects) before the GP100. One might as well call the Rockman from the 70s a modeler if that's all it takes. Or hell, the first distortion pedal.
    Even if you specified digital GUITAR modeling, you're wrong—The Axe212 and GP100 were developed concurrently. One wasn't years before the other, and honestly, the GP100 wasn't even touted as having some crazy new digital technology; IIRC, Roland was concerned that guitarists might dismiss it so they marketed it as a preamp/effects box. The whole modeling thing for guitarists was completely under the radar until VG8 (which also squeaked in before Axe212).
    Source: I worked at Roland/BOSS for 5 years and still have friends there. I intimately know and appreciate what they've accomplished.

    They've built hundreds (thousands?) of pedals and guitar synths and other cool guitarist-centric boxes over the decades, but if you're gonna use the word "modeling" and "guitar" in the same sentence, it all starts with the GP100 (first modeling tech in a rack), VG8 (first on the floor), Axe212 (first in an amp), and POD (first on the console/desk).
     
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  16. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    Honestly, Line 6 wasn't on my radar when I graduated and started having money to buy these things. All the guitarists I knew were talking about the GP100.

    Researching this, GP100 was 1995, Line6 was founded as a company in 96, so there was at least a year lag before the AX amp. And if you compare the products, the GP is tons more sophisticated. It has a moveable FX loop, stereo path, had enough headroom to deal with pro audio signals, cabinet simulation, had real time control using assigns, had much more processing power, intelligent harmonizer, list goes on. This was the blueprint for all the products that followed, including the helix.

    It looks to me like Line6 may have been developing the technology, but when they saw the GP100 they realized how far behind they were and they put out a "simple" product, making the most of what they had. (Wonder how much of this technology leaked from the companies founders defected from?)

    If you compare the technologies, the GP100 had the sophistication and features of the HD500x about 20 years earlier. (HD500 UI sadly not as good as the GPs.) And the HD500 couldn't even handle pro audio levels. It wasn't until Yamaha purchased you guys were you able to step it up and copy the pro features that had been in Boss boards the prior 20 years.

    My perspective all along was that the Line6 products were toys, but they had a great marketing department. Helix is first legit MFX you've had. I've purchased and owned a couple Line6 bass products. The Lowdown 110 amp was very decent practice amp, and the bass XT floor was good too, but never liked the guitar products.
     
  17. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    That's fine, but anecdotal. In my neck of the woods (LA, Austin, and NY studios and touring acts), it was practically nowhere. JMP-1s tho? SansAmp PSA-1s? Everywhere. Which is a shame, because I'll agree the GP100 was groundbreaking. IIRC, guitarists didn't like how hard it was to get good tones on the thing.
    Line 6 started out as Fast Forward Designs who developed and engineered products for Digidesign, Alesis, Tascam, Oberheim, and many others throughout the late 80s and early 90s. They were working on Axe212 for years—on their free time—before they went public as Line 6 in 1996.

    True story: The name "Line 6" comes from when their clients would drop by their offices/lab in Santa Monica. The receptionist would get on the intercom and announce "[So and so], you have a call on Line 6" and that told everyone to stop working on the Axe212 and cover up their work. You see, their phone system had only five lines.
    Again, DigiTech, Rocktron, and ART all had all-in-one preamps+effects in a box before. In fact, the Alesis Quadraverb GT—designed by Marcus Ryle and Michel Doidic at Fast Forward—predates the GP100 by at least a year or two. It and the others simply didn't utilize "modeling" at the time.
    Huh? What are you talking about? Marcus and Michel started out at Oberheim in the early 80s. They helped design the Alesis ADAT, which is touted by most to be the one piece of gear that kicked off the home recording revolution. They last thing they'd need to do is rip someone else off.
    I just wanted to clear up the actual history of modeling products.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  18. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I think the term "modeller" should be a more specific term even though it's not. It's semantics but I think modeller should refer to when something is actually modelling something, even if said something doesn't exsist in real life. For example you could model a Marshall component by component or model an amp that doesn't exist. I know when I looked at the GP-100 manual earlier they used the term emulator, which in my mind is different than model. The Vg-8 used the term modelling etc.
    - These terms are used interchangabley but I don't think they should be. For some reason when I think "modeller" I think of a guy coding a program or in front of a computer with CAD drawings on it trying to duplicate something using a computer program. When I think "emulator" I think of any type of technology potentially being in play to attempt to emulate something which may or may not be equal to worse or better than the original. Semantics.
     
  19. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    "Well, based on my personal experience, these are facts, unsubstantiated by evidence, or bearing any actual factual information other than 'I was there, man'...."
    Well, from MY personal experience, modeling didn't exist until the AxSys212, because I saw one in a guitar shop before I saw any of the other stuff, so it had to be first.
    Maybe Boss did a better job of handling "professional" levels, but they couldn't make an amp model worth two shits until probably the GT-10 or GT-100 unless you like the sound of a wah pedal stuck on 75%.

    Anyways, who cares, because of all those companies' hard work now we have pro sounds in little tiny boxes that we can take anywhere and plug into any decent PA and have nearly identical tones in every room.
     
  20. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    The consensus is that "modeling", at least in these circles, means using DSP tools to digitally replicate analog circuits. Whether those circuits are synth filters, synth LFOs, or preamp tubes, the process is the same. Boxes before the GP100 may have had digital effects built in, but their preamp sections were analog.

    For most people, the Roland VG8 is commonly thought of as the first available guitar-centric product to utilize what we now call modeling, even though the GP100 contained similar tech earlier. Both VG8 and the Axe212 were announced at Winter NAMM 1996, but the former ended up beating the latter to market by several months.
     
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