State of the art of amp sims in 2021?

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

  1. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    After having the grind machine, 7 dollars is 7x too much for a company that's already left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd try a free demo or something but I wouldn't pay a dollar for it, let alone 7
     
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  2. Veldar

    Veldar Is Post-Thrash?

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    Hope this isn't taking this off topic too much (if it does I'll make a different thread).

    What are the sampling rates for these modelers? are they all 44.1/48 or are they getting closer to audio rate these days?
     
  3. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    What Neural says:
    https://support.neuraldsp.com/help/sample-rate-buffer-size

    For example Mercuriall has more room to adjust actual sample rate inside a plugin, and some others too. Some plugins don't have this option, and by default they should be around 44.1.
     
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  4. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    As explained, higher salple rate would take unnecessary CPU power that would either be taken away from other areas far more important (actual algorythms) or need higher requirements, which would mean less sales
     
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  5. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    The setup stuff is standard. Most plugins are using iLok these days. Thankfully you don't need the physical dongle stuff any more.

    I can see Nameless and Granophyre being a matter of taste. But Cali sounds amazing though, and it's super versatile. What did you hate?

    And all of those are super expensive boutique amps. For value, if you're actually recreating the recorded sound in a way which is indistinguishable from the real thing, I think $100 or whatever is a bargain.

    Shit, you get a perfect recreation of the Fortin 33 pedal, which by itself costs way more than the plugin. (That said, I think the pedal sounds like shit and ruins tone, but some people still pay a ton of money for it)
     
  6. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    bEcauSe iT's A foRTiN!

    Seriously, Cali and Nameless have that stringy presence in top end, which is not for everyone. Or it's low end thumpy sound they have.
     
  7. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    100 dollars is a bargain? On what plannet when there are free amps that sound better? The 33 is pretty much a useless pedal, I paid 12 bucks for an Omega Amps sim that sounds much better than the 100 dollar Granoyphyre they are trying to pass.

    The Nameless took all of 3 minutes to realize I hated it. The Cali was more of the same. Thumpy Fortinish take on the modern tone which is just grating on my ears.

    There's no way in hell I'd pay 100 dollars for those. I'm honestly not sure I'd even want them for free. As for the setup, I have a shitload of sims. I download them and it's done. Far less work than the iLok crap
     
  8. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    I've used a ton over the years

    Absolute favorites:
    • Line 6 Helix Native
    • Overloud TH-U and TH-3
    • Line 6 POD Farm 2.5 (even in 2021 it still sounds great, especially when paired with a good IR)
    • Toontrack EZMix 2 with various add-ons
    • Kazrog Thermionik (5153, BE-100, etc)
    Other good ones:
    • Cubase VST Amp Rack (Meshuggah tones)
    • Mercuriall stuff
    • LePou LeCto (one of the best free amp sims ever made, pair it with free TSE 808 and the s-preshigh impulse and you've got 99% as good of a plugin tone as you can get)
    • TSE X50 (if you want a 5150 sound and nothing else, Brian Hood has a great video on it)
    Decent but I personally wouldn't buy as I didn't jive with them as much as others:
    • NeuralDSP Nolly/Plini/Gojira
    • Scuffham S-Gear
    • ML Sound Lab stuff (try out the free ones though)
    • Amplitube (Jakub Zytecki is a big fan of this and this tones are top tier)
    Ones I really don't like and would recommend against:
    • NeuralDSP Fortin and Omega stuff (sounds horrible, I seriously don't know how they get away with charging that much for them)
    • Positive Grid anything (feels and sounds horrible + they're a scummy company, JamUp was leagues ahead of BIAS)
    • STL Tonehub (trust me I wanted to love it due to Will Putney and Brian Hood presets but I just didn't like it one bit)
    Ones I need to try:
    • Brainworx/Plugin Alliance stuff
    • STL Amphub
    Really though, the best thing to do is just watch videos and try demos. Even many of the free ones like the aforementioned LePou LeCto and ML Sound Lab Stevie T/Roots are worth trying.

    Impulses make a difference though, after years of trying tons of free and paid ones I consistently settle on the free s-preshigh from Catharsis and Julep IR from the Telos Mini Free IR pack. Never liked any paid impulses and I've tried a ton from Ownhammer, ML Sound Lab, etc. Some of these plugins have actual good cab sims where as others don't.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting some plugins but that covers the basics. 99% of the time I'm rocking Helix Native or TH-U/TH-3.

    Honestly though, I've had an easier time getting a great tone with an Axe FX or Kemper on the few occasions that I've had to try one than I ever had with a plugin. One day I'll buy an Axe FX III or Kemper with some good profiles (ie Lance Prenc, Will Putney) because it was that big of a difference compared to plugins imo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  9. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    The IRs are the key. You get a shitload of them and you can make damn near any sim work
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  10. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    I recently discovered the Purple Reign sim. It's a 10+ year old sim that clearly shows its age BUT because of that I think it'd be great for some doom type stuff.

    The problem though is it's a mono only amp. It won't get much use from me because of that and it's the big reason I'd never buy the ML Soundlab stuff. It makes no damn sense for them to charge what they charge and the shit doesn't even have a stereo/mono option
     
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  11. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I agree that sound is not for everybody. I said exactly that in my post.

    Cali is really versatile. Can do nice cleans, blues breakup tones, Gary Moore-type leads, and of course the brutality. Nameless much less so, and it isn't really to my taste.

    "Better" is a matter of opinion, but you are stating it as if it's fact. You listed Helix Native as your number one, but when I demo'd it, it sounded like shit to me.

    Also, sounds like you didn't actually give either of them a shot if you only spent 3 minutes playing with it. The way those amps works is pretty complex, balancing the two gain knobs etc.

    Then you say it sounds shit... because it sounds like a Fortin. But it's a model of a Fortin amp. It's supposed to sound like one. So that's just because you don't like that sort of tone, not because the plugin itself sucks. Same for the Omega. If you don't like the plugin, that's probably because you don't like the amp.

    As for value, it's a bargain IF you want the sound of the original $4000+ amp. There are plenty of A/B comparison on YouTube. With the plugin, you're getting a tone which is essentially identical/indistinguishable, for 2.5% of the price. If you want that sort of Meshuggah tone, how is that not a bargain?

    For me, I'm not a massive Fortin fanboy, but the sound is a nice tool in the arsenal, and the plugins are reasonably priced IMO. Costs less than a pedal and they release a few every year. Hardly budget breaking.
     
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  12. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    Edit: Reformatted to not sound so harsh

    I don't like Fortins. Even though I don't like them, I've been wrong about some amps and there's usually something redeemable about almost any piece of gear. The Nameless was the worst of the bunch, The Cali was somewhat better but still did nothing to justify its price tag, and the Granophyre to me was just a total waste of time.

    I like Omega amps. I think they sound cool, but the Neural version for 100 dollars was a complete "No" considering my 12 dollar Omega sim I liked more. The Neural didn't do anything worth the extra 88 dollars, at all.

    Neural's shit isn't complex. It's just an amp sim. You can spend 3 minutes running it through its features and thrown into your own workflow situation and decide if it's for you. I own a shitload of amp sims, I have yet to find one that takes special time to make sound right and if it does, then it's not a keeper.

    100 isn't a value if I'm more impressed with amps that are less than 20 bucks all the way to free.

    All the way around there was absolutely nothing to justify the 100 dollar price tag for me.

    Do me a favor and show me where I've said my opinions on those amps are facts. I don't need to preface everything by saying 'This is just my opinion'. Of course it is. We're talking about how something sounds, that's always going to be opinion.

    When it comes to recording I want results and I want them the easiest way possible because it just makes the most sense. Neural stuff just makes no sense in any way. It's out priced, out performed, and just plain out done by a lot of things I already have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  13. ogon

    ogon SS.org Regular

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    Which one is that?
     
  14. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  15. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    Not sure where you got that idea. Most plugins definitely don't use iLok. Off the top of my head: u-he, FabFilter, NI, Arturia, Valhalla DSP, anything from Plugin Alliance, Spectrasonics, TAL, XLN, Toontrack. The funniest thing is that iLok plugins still get cracked, so legit customers basically end up paying for an inferior product.

    Not exactly a good way of looking at things. Original gear's value can be inflated due to rarity and/or brand name (with Fortin it's certainly the latter, seems like it's at the core of their business strategy). Not to mention that it's still just a plugin. You can justify monstrously expensive UAD plugins (and hardware) in the same manner, for example.
     
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  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    I'm tired of that poor analogy. You're buying a plugin, not an amp. When I buy an amp I don't compare its price to plugins to determine if it's overpriced. I compare it with other amps.

    Now think about those Console Emulation Channel Strip plugins that emulate mixing consoles worth 50k. Do you still think a 100€ single ampsim is a bargain?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  17. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    LePou Legion and Ignite Emissary. Doesn't matter to me that they are completely free. I stack these up against any $$$ amp sim plugin out there. And IMO, no need for a boost for either one of these. And now that's got me wanting to try and make a Pod GO patch for both of these to try and match the tonez.
     
  18. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    The Nalex Ninja is an amp sim that doesn't benefit from a boost. It's the only amp sim I have that sounds boosted already. Anything that helps cut stuff out of the process is a winner to me. When I first got it I thought it was kinda weird and I didn't like it much but I've grown to really like it a lot more than I thought I would, mainly because I realized it sounds better without a boost.

    I used it on that black metal song I did. It really lends itself to that sort of thing very well
     
  19. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    So I will have to eat crows over what I said about Neural DSP's Archetype Gojira. Their amp sets are great and so far probably up there in term of amp sims. Their 5150s sims are great (even as a hater of 5150 lineages), easy to dial in, and sounds monstrous. Granted, I used my own IRs vs stock IR but I can already dial in different rhythm and lead tones that sound great.

    Now if only Neural DSP come out with some other out there amps that haven't been simulated yet (Fryette Pitbulls, etc etc)
     
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  20. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I did not like those plugins either. Cali had maybe a couple of presets I liked, same for Granophyre. I actually found Nameless the best out of the bunch but none of them were worth buying for me considering I already have Helix Native and ML5. There's only so many high gain amps until they all start sounding the same to me with varying amounts of low cut and mid boost.

    The thing about these amp sims is that you can do a lot to mangle the sound more to your liking. Its evident from the big pile of presets they offer. Most of it is all about how the cab sim and effects are set up and less so about the amp sim itself.

    One of the reasons I like the ML Sound Lab ML5 so much is that most of its stock presets are good, I don't need to work much to tweak them a bit to my liking and the paired cab sims are great match. If I have complaints its the lack of high and low cuts for the cab sim and not being able to see which cab sim is being used. It's rare for a plugin to sound so good to me I want to get the real amp now.
     

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