State of the art of amp sims in 2021?

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

  1. X1X

    X1X SS.org Regular

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    The Audio Assault Sigma is very buggy for me. The amp requires registering at almost every time it's launched and the audio engine crashes often too. Version 1.02 works fine but version 2 not so much.
     
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  2. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    It used to bother me, but since Neural and STL are all using it, and the iLok software hasn't got in the way for a very long time, it doesn't bother me at all now. And when I formatted my Mac and had to reinstall a bunch of stuff, reactivating those in iLok was much faster than all the others where I had to go around finding serial numbers etc.

    FabFilter method is kinda worse, to be honest. Needing to copy-paste a big long chain of crap into the plugin isn't fun either, especially if you purchased several at different times. To that regard, iLok is relatively elegant that you can log in once. It also has the cloud benefit, if you are using multiple computers (which I am not).

    Why is it a poor analogy? If you want *that* sound of the Meshuggah amp, you have two choices:

    1. Buy amp

    2. Buy plugin

    One is much cheaper than other. So if you want that specific sound, the comparison is perfectly valid and it not a bad deal IMO.

    And sure, if a $100 plugin gives you the 50K mixing console sound that you want, it's definitely good value.

    Honestly, I never got people griping so much about the price of these things. €100 for something high quality which you will use for many hours just doesn't seem worth complaining about.
     
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  3. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    In that case you should paypal me 100 bucks.

    I'm not gonna give you anything for it...but just send it just cause.

    I'm sure you won't...why? Because why would you just throw money away for no reason.


    Same for amp sims. Why would anyone pay 100 dollars when you can get similar or better for free?

    Not to mention NO plugin is gonna give you 50k mixing console sound.

    If you want the studio sound you'll need to replicate it with studio methods. The amp itself isn't the key, it's everything around it. After a certain point you can't tell one amp or amp sim from another, BUT how you mix it, what speakers you use, etc is what gets you all the way there.

    So paying 100 dollars for an amp you think is gonna completely nail a sound is completely pointless and flat out inaccurate.
     
  4. twitch

    twitch SS.org Regular

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    I heard "synthwave" and followed the link. I like the music and the the whole discography was such a good value I bought it. Well played sir... well played. ;)
     
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  5. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    holy shit you've been a member here for 14 years and this is the first thing you ever posted?

    Thanks a bunch! I feel so special right now wow :lol:
     
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  6. twitch

    twitch SS.org Regular

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    I didn't reallize that this was my first post, guess it may have been one of the following;
    1. I'm slow but steady (ie. old)
    2. Pandemic and being locked in and all.
    3. I like syntwave and your music is fun to listen to.

    Cheers!
     
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  7. Obed1224

    Obed1224 SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys sorry if this is slightly off topic but where can I get some good IR's? Could be paid or free Idc. Thanks!
     
  8. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    these are OG classics from waaaaay back when and still sound great

    Catharsis Impulses – PluginFox

    s-preshigh is the "best" one but all are great and there's a room IR in there too. They are too colored to use with an Axe FX but they do great with software VSTs. Really like em with the brainworx stuff
     
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  9. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    ML Sound Lab, Ownhammer, York Audio are my picks
     
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  10. profwoot

    profwoot SS.org Regular

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    This opinion makes sense if you think of amps like how I think of, idk, a table. They all resist the pull of gravity on food or whatever equally well, so why pay for one in a store when you can wait for Big Item Garbage Day and just collect one from a neighbor? Let alone buying an actual nice, solid-wood table!

    Music is art. If your artistic vision is best fulfilled by a specific sound, and that sound costs 150 dollars, then fam, it might be best to just pay 150 dollars (budget willing). This remains true even if said $150 vst turns out to be indistinguishable from a free one in a mix -- maybe it allowed you get to the point where there is a mix to judge! If it ended the tone chase for a minute and allowed you to just make music, it was still a bargain.

    Look, I'm a scientist/professor in real life so I think I understand the appeal of a logical outlook. But I've more recently learned the importance of embracing the lizard brain even the most reasonable person has living inside them. It can be tempting to reason one's way out of the illogical tendencies we all have, and there's a lot of people in america right now that could sure do with literally any of that, but it can also be reasonable to just embrace one's artistic impulses and see what happens. Sure, marketers thrive on that, but so does art, and it's ok to occasionally prioritize one's artistic process over one's concerns of corporate hegemony or whatever.

    Here's an example, hopefully not too off topic:

    I love bare knuckle pickups. All my guitars have them. It's worth an extra ~$50 for me to just put a pickup I know I'll love into a guitar and never think about it again than it is to get a cheaper one that might sound fine but that I'll keep wondering about.

    At this point in my life, my time and headspace is far more valuable to me than the little bit of extra money it takes to just "solve" the whole pickup thing for now. Maybe that means a corporation is taking advantage of my unwillingness to endlessly compare the tones gotten through every pickup in the world, perish the thought. This doesn't make me a fanboy either (or if it does, then I am, I guess). But it's not about defending the honor of my chosen brand or whatever. I really appreciate the folks here and elsewhere trying to contribute to an objective discussion of pickup tech and tones, and it's totally possible sometime in the future I'll have a different impulse re pickups. But for me right now the priority is to get all of those types of things out of the way so I can just make music.

    Sorry if this comes across as high falutin'; I literally have no plans for anyone other than my wife to ever hear my music. I just think it's ok for people to have different priorities from each other and at different points in their lives, and all people should be embraced at whatever stage of their process they happen to be in, even if it sometimes involves using a paid vst over a free one.

    (This wasn't really directed at the quoted poster; I've been thinking about this stuff lately and this got a little long.)
     
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  11. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic "That" guy.

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    I'm trying to find ways to like this more than once.
     
  12. Paul McAleer

    Paul McAleer newborn baby

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    Idk man, just buy a used up POD xt and use some external IRS.

    we’re just spending extra money on trying to achieve tones that meshuggah farted out in 2002 with line 6 I’m drunk
     
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  13. DrakkarTyrannis

    DrakkarTyrannis

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    Problem with that analogy is a premium amp sim isn't a new table and a free one isn't a used one.

    Both sims are pretty much the same thing. It's just a means to get a sound. It's not even the biggest factor, so getting it expecting to nail a tone might not work in your favor since the IRs and mix matters more.

    If ya just wanna buy new shiny stuff then great...but the idea some amp suite is "the (insert band here)" and it being simple as that is misleading.

    If I think something is worth the money then I'd pay, but to me it's highly illogical buying stuff like Neural when it doesn't really do anything 100 dollars better than cheaper options.
     
  14. profwoot

    profwoot SS.org Regular

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    Quick PSA for anyone who might find this useful or interesting:

    My current project has various single-vst guitar tracks, and their idle CPU use breaks down like this:

    -NDSP (Nameless, Cali, Wong) all seem similar, with each varying between about 3.3 and 4.3% CPU usage.

    -STL Andy James, on the other hand, uses ~1.1-1.2% with post-fx and ~0.8-0.9% without.

    The usage of Nameless & Cali is more than half attributable to the amp section, with most of the rest from the cab section. For Wong, the amp section is a little less taxing, but post-fx adds quite a bit, basically equal to each of the amp and cab sections.

    Pre-fx add minimal processing if you're already using the amp, maxing out at ~10% of the total even when using all available pedals. If you're only using the pre-fx section, that goes up to more like 20-25% of the total, however, so NDSP pre-fx are about equal to STL pre-fx+amp+cab

    These numbers are all in mono with high oversampling. Normal oversampling reduces usage by a third or so, and going stereo roughly doubles usage in every case, as one might expect.

    Those with a nice CPU or few tracks won't need to worry about all this, but for now I'll be replacing NDSP tracks with STL ones on guitar parts that aren't very prominent, and using STL for stand-alone post-fx (instead of Wong), until I can build a new computer or it's time to worry about final mixing.
     
  15. profwoot

    profwoot SS.org Regular

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    Just about finished with this track and the Wong suite is definitely the biggest offender. I had to render all the clean stuff because any instances of Wong made the whole thing choke (and the AC30 in the STL AJ suite just isn't close to what Wong can do).
     

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