State of the art of amp sims in 2021?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by ogon, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. youngthrasher9

    youngthrasher9 SS.org Regular

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    Neural DSP is excellent, Overloud TH-U is awesome, as is Mercuriall. I don’t personally prefer ML sound labs strictly because they sound more like an album tone and less like a raw guitar tone, and they are generally more compressed feeling. To each their own. For free, I absolutely LOVE Tonelib G-FX. The Bogner Ecstasy model specifically sounds rad with an on board boost.
     
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  2. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    Runner Up:
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    Solid but unremarkable:
    Amplitude 5, SGear
    Also Ran:
    Everything else
     
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  3. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    So I tried that STL ToneHub thing and I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. I get it's essentially a preset bank but for me if I can't have the amp sim and tweak how I want it, I don't want to bother. I don't want someone handing me settings I either have to love or leave. Even the knobs to change things didn't really do what I wanted. Not to mention they have a million packs they want you to pay for to get certain things.

    Fuck all that. Give me a good amp sim and I'll do the rest. I'm not spending money on some pack from a bunch of youtube guitarists and modern metal dudes thinking it's gonna be "the sound". When you consider the IR is the real star of the show and not the amp anyways it just makes the Tonehub thing pointless to me. I'm good without it
     
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  4. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    STL Tonehub is basically Kemper ITB. It is great to dial up a preset and be done with it. Otherwise its tweakability is limited. It is going to geared more toward audio engineers who wants Kemper capability without the cost. Even so, some people has said that it is quite good and even better than Kemper in term of feels and adjustments. It is not my cup of tea since i do like to have total control over ny signal chain but i'd not lie if some of the presets and profiles are very tempting, like Mesa Mark JP-C2+
     
  5. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    That's the thing. Everything I get is pretty much geared towards home studio use. I write and record so I need stuff that facilitates ease of use. I get the point of the Tonehub but I don't like something I can't make deep adjustments to for mixing and whatnot. Not to mention it's not all that difficult to just use a regular amp sim. Cut some lows and highs, adjust the mids, get the bass guitar right and that's pretty much it. For my workflow the Tonehub doesn't really fit and I don't like the idea of having to pay a bunch for different sounds out of the same sim. I'd rather spend 12 bucks and get something fully functional instead of spending 10 times more just to be able to unlock some of the sim and not all of it
     
  6. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    Like many other have said, the sound is in the IR. Most of the modern amp sims can get you more than decent results; it is all about user interface, workflow, and -in some cases- playabilty/how it feels.

    I love Helix Native, as it is the perfect mix of the above characteristics. I use Bogren IR, and I am good to go.
    I have never been a fan of NeuralDSP stuff, the amps sound great but there is something "weird" with them that makes my playing not as comfortable. Mercuriall have the best sound, but for some reason I feel like they introduce some extra latency and therefore the amp doesn't respond as expected.
    Audio Assault amps are amazing, but they need some tweaking. Best bang for the money, definitely.
     
  7. TheBolivianSniper

    TheBolivianSniper SS.org Regular

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    so I ran through the Audio Assault suite and it was pretty good, the Pitbull, Archon, and Generator models all did what they do pretty well but it was kind of bland with the simplified switching and I could get all the sounds with my other amps, did have a really great set of IRs though, the metal magic 4x12 is amazing
     
  8. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Another big thing after IR's for me are how amp controls react, and how power section feels or saturates. Does it behave in similar way how it would with a real amp. Those are things that Neural DSP and Mercuriall for example have got right with their amp sims.

    As far as boosts go, I try to listen how much it cuts low frequencies and general eq curve with mids they emphasize.

    Also different IR's match well with some amps, and with others not so. Which mainly comes from brightness or darkness of an amp. I prefer to have brighter amp with darker IR and have little bit of post eq'ing afterwards along with at least low cut.
     
  9. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    Funny this topic is coming up because Neural DSP Archetype: Gojira just released.

    This is the first NeuralDSP that I will probably not very interested in. Mainly because I'm not a fan of Gojira (mostly because they never interested me) and also, Joe Duplantier uses EVH 5150iii mostly, so basically, a suite of 5150iii. That's a hard pass for me.
     
  10. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    I noticed that as well. I thought I was imagining things. They do sound good, but their TriAxis emulation falls apart as soon as you engage the Dynamic Voice (it sounds nothing like the real thing). The AMT SS-11A sim also sounds like a wet fart, which is not the case with the real thing either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  11. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    I suppose I need to check out Audio Assault. I got the Grind Machine 2 and it's horrible. It's so useless that it turned me off of all their stuff. People keep claiming that they make good shit but after what I experienced I'm sure not spending money on their stuff
     
  12. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    Try their Sigma. It is a sim of the Omega Ampworks Obsidian. It is miles ahead of the old shit that was GM2
     
  13. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    I've only used the profiling side of TH-U. The algorithm or whatever works great, amps sound pretty natural. Maybe it tends to the bright side but you can make it sit in a mix. The profiles fall apart the moment you touch the knobs, though.

    I will say, whoever does the tone packs isn't very good at dialing in metal tones. I've bought a couple different packs now and haven't liked any of the tones. Nothing great for metal - but you could do dad rock for days.

    They need to partner with guys who specialize in different types of music, cuz I get a distinct impression its just a few guys doing all the profiles and they are out of their wheelhouse most of the time. At least they're cheap when they're on sale.
     
  14. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    If it ever comes up for free I will. Otherwise I'll pass.
     
  15. profwoot

    profwoot SS.org Regular

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    Bias FX 2 Elite: Probably 100 different amps that all seem to lack much personality. Some nice bluesy/crunch tones, but I'd say avoid, especially for higher gain stuff where everything is really fizzy. I don't really use it at all anymore.

    STL Andy James: Worth it for the "arrival lead tone" preset by itself, if you're into it. For rhythm stuff I've mostly moved on though. They recently revamped the cab section in a nice way. The tuner UI isn't my favorite.

    NDSP Cali: Love it. For a single amp I find it very versatile for cleans, crunch, and high gain. A bit fiddley with all the different switches but therein lies the versatility.

    NDSP Cory Wong: Hasn't entirely replaced Cali for cleans, but provides alternatives I also really enjoy, and the effects are great (I sometimes use the post-effects section with other amps). The Dumble is king for blues/crunchy stuff (the other two are also probably great but come on).

    NDSP Nameless: does only one thing but does it extremely well.

    I've also tried:

    NDSP Plini: I mostly enjoyed it, but found it very boomy at high gain. Could have been something going on with my chain at the time, I guess.

    NDSP Nolly: Good at everything, but didn't really grab me for whatever reason.

    NDSP Abasi: Loved the clean amp, but the others didn't do much for me.

    STL Will Putney: Really enjoyed it. The Uberschall, TC100, and VH4 are all excellent high gain flavors. Not sure why I never bought it. Now that STL added a second free trial of everything I'd be interested to see how this VH4 stacks up to the Brainworx one.

    STL Howard Benson: Seemed cool but I was looking for a pretty specific quacky strat tone at the time that I wasn't able to get with it. Can't say much about it otherwise.

    Free stuff:

    STL Emissary: Great for high gain/djenty tones, but I prefer the paid stuff.

    Nalex: Tons of amps, all of which seem... fine? Wasn't feeling it.

    I should mention that I don't own any real amps so my opinions are based only on how they sound to my ear rather than fidelity to the modeled gear.

    Edit: If I were just starting out I'd look pretty hard at STL's Amphub. Tonehub doesn't appeal for the reasons itemized by others in this thread but Amphub could be really cool.
     
  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    Plini sounds very fat overall, the trick is using the graphic EQ to remove some low mids. It will sound clearer, but fucking massive compared to the rest of NDSP plugins. It also has the best lead tones for me.

    For tracking rythms I prefer Nolly, though.
     
  17. Obed1224

    Obed1224 SS.org Regular

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    That new Gojira plugin from NDSP might give it a run for its money for rhythm guitar it sounds huge!
     
  18. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    No Neural DSP plugin will ever give anything a run for its money :lol:
     
  19. Themistocles

    Themistocles SS.org Regular

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    deleted, wrong place
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  20. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    I mean they throw 7 bucks sale every now and then. Free is a bit much
     

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