Modeling Amp Vs Hybrid/Tube Amp + Pedals Vs Amp Sim...Save me from GAS!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Tripotnik, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Tripotnik

    Tripotnik Member

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    Hey all!

    This probably has been beaten to death already, but this padawan to the recording world requires some assistance (save me, Obi-Wan!)

    Currently, I have the following gear;
    Focusrite Scarlett Interface
    (small) M-Audio studio monitors
    Yamaha THR10X

    Despite having this setup, I have been eyeing an Orange amp+cab and a number of pedals...I simply love the Orange tone! Also note that playing my Yamaha through a PRS SE might make it not sound ''metal'' enough too...(new guitar will be purchased, not part of the question)

    In terms of bang for your buck and ease of recording, is it wise to make this investment or is there a cheaper and better option out there? I would be looking at an investment of 2000 to 2500 Euro. Could that be better spent elsewhere to achieve that sort of tone?

    Obviously pretty confused about what exactly would be the best course of action here. Hoping someone could give me some insight
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    buy a used kemper or axefx. they're both quite recording friendly and should come in under that price point. then you can get any manner of tones (including orange amps) and not have to worry about pissing off neighbors or whoever lives with you. The cheapest option though is to just use amp sims like thermionik or bias and record direct into your daw.
     
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  3. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    If you'd be happy with just the orange tone, then get the orange amp. If you'd be happier with many different tones but not quite that 100% amp tone, get a modeler. Authenticity vs. versatility.
     
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  4. HerbalDude420

    HerbalDude420 SS.org Regular

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    If you know how to setup the Helix/AXE/Kemper they nail the recorded sounds or if routed differently nail the tone of which it models. Modelers have caught up to there tube counterparts. If you really really listen there are subtle differences but then your just being nitpicky.
     
  5. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    You mention looking for a “metal” tone but that isn’t nearly specific enough. I mean if you’re in love with the Orange tone then go for it but I normally wouldn’t immediately think Orange if someone is going for metal unless we’re talking about sludge or doom or thereabouts.

    You don’t mention any need for versatility. An Axe FX, Kemper, etc. is a great option for recording, especially if you need the versatility of having a ton of amps and different effects and stuff available, but if you’re just trying to build a tone you love and record it well, there are probably more efficient and logical options.

    For example, you could get your amp (and cab if you want) of choice and something like a two notes torpedo unit which will get the signal into your computer.

    Lastly, what PRS SE are you using? Those are solid and there’s no reason most of the stock SE models couldn’t do a good job at most metal tones.
     
  6. Leberbs

    Leberbs SS.org Regular

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    atomic amplifire is supposed to be pretty decent.
     
  7. Tripotnik

    Tripotnik Member

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    Looking at some second hand websites, I could get an Axe FX Standard for a much cheaper price than a Kemper (500-700 Euro Vs 1400, roughly), would you say the Kemper is that much better? And yes, not pissing off my roommates is a consideration :)

    Aye, I wasn't specific about the tones, true. Let's say what i'm inspired to write is progressive stoner/sludge with a touch of psych a la Tool. Orange seems to come closest to me in terms of tone for what I have in mind. Thing is, can this be done cheaper and easier without sacrificing tone (much) than getting the amp, cab and pedals?

    And i'm using a PRS SE Standard 24. Neck feels great to me and playability's good. When switching between different tunings it doesn't stay in tune that well though, might have to look at better machine heads. For practice purposes, I like to not neccesarily play what I end up writing (for instance Megadeth and Iced Earth tunes), and it seems to fall a bit short in ''tightness'' if that makes any sense (could be me not dialing the tone in correctly or...well, my playing, if you claim to not have any complaints :) )

    Only heard of these by name, i'll have to check 'em out
     
  8. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    The primary issue with your current setup is that all the speakers are small. I have the THR10's bigger brother, the THR100HD and thru some decently sized studio monitors it sounds so much bigger than its small brother.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    The axe standard is good from what i've heard, though i can't say whether it's better than the kemper. It's a lot more granular and tweakable than the kemper though. The kemper is more about having snapshots of specific tones that sound very close to the real amp instead of modeling how the amp responds (like the axe does). The kemper has its quirks, like how it works best if you don't mess with the gain on the profile much, since it doesn't reproduce how each amp treats gain/saturation across its range.
     
  10. Tripotnik

    Tripotnik Member

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    I can imagine that being an issue in how ''full'' my tone is. My studio monitors are 3 inch with a 1 inch tweeter. What should I go for, like 8?

    The Kemper does seem more ''plug and play'', and has the advantage of being able to profile of course. But then again, that last bit isn't that big of a concern to me as I don't have that many people near where I live right now with a kickass rig i'd like to profile. The Axe FX takes some more tweaking but I don't think I could justify the price difference for the sake of a couple hours of fiddling. Especially since I initially forgot to even consider bigger monitors...
     
  11. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    Buy what inspires you to play. If it's the Orange + cab + pedals? Do it!
     
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  12. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Okay so I think that yes, you could do that cheaper and “easier” than going with an amp and cab and still get good tones.

    As has been mentioned, and as you’ve acknowledged, you’ll want to upgrade your monitors. I’ve personally only tried a couple: KRK Rokits (6” I think) and Yamaha HS7s. I didn’t care for the Rokits but I like the HS7s and still have them (tried both with Axe FX II).

    After the speakers you’re probably looking at either straight computer software like Bias or similar, or a hardware option of which there are tons. Fractal, Kemper, Boss, Line 6, Atomic, Headrush, etc. Honestly they all do a decent to excellent job depending on who you ask. Any of these options could be said to be “easier” than using an amp/cab but that totally depends on you. Most of them allow deeper diving into your tones than any real amp and that can easily cause you to build a tone you like, then constantly be searching for one that’s better. If you can just plug in the modeler, build a decent tone, then just play then they’re simple. Otherwise you can get lost in the tweaking rabbit hole.

    Also keep in mind that because of the initial cost of the modeler and rabbit hole effect your costs can be higher than you anticipate. Doesn’t mean it’ll be higher than an amp but it could be.

    You might consider something like a used Line 6 HD500 or one of the Boss GT series. See if you get along with its amp tones. If not, get the Orange amp and use the multi FX unit as effects only.
     
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  13. Tripotnik

    Tripotnik Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far. And I have heard good things about the Yamaha HS series, should've gone with those in the first place I'm guessing...
    So as you mentioned, another option would be to get an amp I like and hook it up to an FX unit to fiddle around with? So long as the amp can be hooked up to the interface directly, that's an option. I'll also have a look into FX units then, as before I was looking only at full modelers/profilers. Feel free to make recommendations :)
     
  14. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    I asked a similar question years ago before I bought my kemper and people that had owned both recommended the kemper to me. There's still a fair amount of tweaking that can be done on the kemper but it's a relatively different animal compared to the axefx. Both can lead to constant setting/profile tweaking, but the kemper is a bit easier to plug and play from my understanding.

    Biggest piece of advice I can give if you go the digital route is find some good IRs from ownhammer or sinmix or whoever and use them. most cabs that are attached to profiles are hit and miss. DIs tend to play better with the IRs though other profiles work fine with them as well.
     
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  15. Tripotnik

    Tripotnik Member

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    By IRs you mean cab simulation, right? The Kemper's a great bit of kit obviously, but as I was thinking now, I'd run an amp through a DI and into the interface, add any effects I'd want by using software. I would imagine that good software has cab sim built in?

    Now to figure out which DI and software to use....The plot thickens
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only pointy guitars remain

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    you could use torpedo's wall of sound as an IR loader/free cab sim with your DAW/amp/sims of choice. you don't really need to do that with the kemper/axe, but IRs in general will give you a consistent cab sound. If you want to use IRs for axe or kemper you have to convert them to their respective file type to use them, but that's pretty easy to do.
     
  17. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Don't understand why anyone would want to deal with a tube amp JUST for at home recording these days.

    Makes no sense to me.

    Now, if you have plans to go and jam live with some friends or get into a band or something...then yes, tube amps rule.
     
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  18. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    Well who plays a tube amp at home purely for recording? If you have one you're also going to jam on it in a non-recording setting, with amp and cab moving air in the room, and that's where the experience is fundamentally different.
     
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  19. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Well, the OP's topic is "in the recording world"...

    so I just assumed they were asking if the $$$ and issues of dealing with a tube amp for at home recording was worth it.

    To me no.

    Buy all the nicest mic's and preamps and stuff needed to get a good tube amp/speaker cab setup to sound great into a DAW... it's not that easy.

    Digital modeling/VST + some good IR's is a LOT less frustrating and usually produces quicker results.
     
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  20. Stilicho

    Stilicho SS.org Regular

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    Just to give my two cents here, TH3 is an amp sim you need to get whether it's for your main rig or just for convenience when you're recording. I've got Amplitube, Bias (which is terrible), ReValver, and all the free amp sims, but TH3 is much better.
     

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