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Thread: Has modelling "topped out"?

  1. #141
    Let it B JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Some good posts in this thread..thanks to all who have stayed on topic I agree re: the price factor in modellers. Why invest big $ in modelling when no-body wants to pay for the absolute best? And I also agree about Pritchard amps (the SS amps Aleclee mentioned): they sound phenomenal, but no-one wants to pay that kind of money for them.

    I like my little vox AD15VT amp. It gives me some great "cranked tube amp" * like* sounds. Especially the 2203. For someone like me, its a god-send, as I just cannot utilize a real all-tube marshall or whatnot. My Rivera Chubster sounded glorious cranked, but I could hardly ever crank it, and it sounded horrible otherwise (FWIW, My POD XTL sounded better through the front input of this amp, than through the poweramp, or my Atomic Reactor).

    I've got serious GAS for a Mesa Stiletto Ace, but I'll remain hopeful for some new tech in modelling. Either that or I need to win the lotto and buy a big house and get a soundproof studio
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  2. #142
    Showmasterologist Robert Delahunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffB View Post
    Some good posts in this thread..thanks to all who have stayed on topic I agree re: the price factor in modellers. Why invest big $ in modelling when no-body wants to pay for the absolute best? And I also agree about Pritchard amps (the SS amps Aleclee mentioned): they sound phenomenal, but no-one wants to pay that kind of money for them.

    I like my little vox AD15VT amp. It gives me some great "cranked tube amp" * like* sounds. Especially the 2203. For someone like me, its a god-send, as I just cannot utilize a real all-tube marshall or whatnot. My Rivera Chubster sounded glorious cranked, but I could hardly ever crank it, and it sounded horrible otherwise (FWIW, My POD XTL sounded better through the front input of this amp, than through the poweramp, or my Atomic Reactor).

    I've got serious GAS for a Mesa Stiletto Ace, but I'll remain hopeful for some new tech in modelling. Either that or I need to win the lotto and buy a big house and get a soundproof studio
    To be fair, I was thinking about running my ME-50's amp "simulator" as my "amp" through some keyboard amps, so that I had a sound no one else had ...
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  3. #143
    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Most of my favorite amps are tube amps, but I don't care that they have tubes inside. The amp not sounding the same everytime I fire it up is not a positive thing, IMHO, and if I were in the market for a $1000+ amp, I'd go with a solid state if that's what sounded good.

  4. #144
    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I think that what Zhangliqun said in post #116 and Aleclee said in post #136 are the crux of the problem. A tube amp has a certain sonic characteristic, but that character changes, not only with amplitude, but with attack. Then you have the rectifier sag and recovery. Most modelers just simulate an amps frequency response at a set amplitude.

    The answer won't come from someone sitting down and working the algorithms that define that complex 3D sonic map. It will come from someone who wrote the software to analyze jet engine stress modes by using a microphone to listen to the engine rev. Then someone else will say "hey . . . I wonder if this works for audio."

    It will be software that writes the software for the next generation of modelers. Then we'll see some cool stuff.

  5. #145
    Ultimate Tone Slacker davedvdy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
    And having a amp filled with a controlled fire to power your sound isn't as cool?



    Quote Originally Posted by firebirdV View Post
    It's not actually fire, it's closer to a lightbulb.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
    /sigh

    I guess you take things to literally...

    I LOL'd at this


    I agree, Mephis, it is very cool

  6. #146
    Tone Member spacecaptain21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I haven't read this whole thread, so forgive me if my point has already been stated...


    What do you think the reaction would be if we told people 50 years ago about all the technology we have now? IPods, computers, the HDTVs, everything. They'd probably think we were talking crazy.Technology has advanced so much that the limits it could reach are probably not believable to us right now. Who knows what things could be like in the guitar playing world 25 or 50 years from now? We could all be playing air guitars with air cables and air amps and we could get all our tones just be snapping our fingers or clapping our hands. Who knows?!

    My point is, you can't say anything has topped out, because things will always be improving.

    That said, I still don't think modelling will ever recreate the real thing (tubes). Maybe some day, far off, but for right here and right now, it just isn't the case.

    However, there IS good modelling out there. I think the H&K Zentera is a GREAT amp. However, at the price tag, you could probably buy a couple of the amps you'd be modelling! I also think the Vox stuff is excellent for the price. I'd get another Valvetronix in a heartbeat if you told me to get a modeller. Lots of more than usable tones in that thing. None of these things recreate real tubes though, which is why I will take tubes over modelling every time. I'd rather have one or two GREAT sounds then, a bunch of OK ones, and I know a lot of other people feel the same way.

    Just my ramblings...

  7. #147
    Red&Goldologist joelap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    So, because you dislike modelling, it's advanced as far as possible? I don't like to eat at Crackerbarrel, but that doesn't mean they're never going to offer more food choices in the future.
    You dont like to eat at Crackerbarrel? Are you on f*cking DRUGS?

    Wait let me rephrase that... are you on hard, reality-altering drugs?
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  8. #148
    Red&Goldologist joelap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    OK I'll stay on topic.

    I have a Line6 Toneport UX2 and I bought every single model pack for it... in hindsight, it was kind of dumb of me. I use two or three amp models at best. I find a lot of the models just kind of sound the same. But here's my take on modeling:

    1) I dont like the "feel" of modeling. When I recorded with my last band, I ran direct into the UX2 and used my favorite setting there. Sure, its awesome to use a RAT into a HiWatt in one channel and then a cranked JTM45 goosed with a chandler tube driver in another, but TBH it is uninspiring while playing. Its not "your" amp, "your gear", or IMO "Your sound". Its not the same feel as having that amp nice n loud with a mic in front of it for everyone in the studio (or in my case, bedroom) to hear.

    2) Modeling amps loose the touch-sensitivity and attack tubes seem to have.

    3) Modeling amps and multi-effect units give way to stupid guitarists, if thats all they have experience using. So many guitarists do the GT-6/8 thing into an amp, and just click on presets. "I want Texas Blues" or "I want Rock Solo". Sure, those patches sound great alone and really nail the cliche tone of their patch name, but put those presets in a band situation and the sound DOESNT gel at all! And then either the guitarist doesnt understand why or doesnt hear how bad it doesnt gel. I know guys who I'd kill to have their technique, but they just dont understand the concept of getting the sound to mix together.


    I wont say I feel modelling has topped off, but I will say while it had many positive drawbacks, it has as much negative. I played a show with my UX2 into my laptop into a poweramp into my cab, and it was very uninspiring for me. I would only use modeling amps when they become as touch sensitive as tube amps and have those characteristics Artie mentioned that they are lacking.
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  9. #149
    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    I think that what Zhangliqun said in post #116 and Aleclee said in post #136 are the crux of the problem. A tube amp has a certain sonic characteristic, but that character changes, not only with amplitude, but with attack. Then you have the rectifier sag and recovery. Most modelers just simulate an amps frequency response at a set amplitude.

    The answer won't come from someone sitting down and working the algorithms that define that complex 3D sonic map. It will come from someone who wrote the software to analyze jet engine stress modes by using a microphone to listen to the engine rev. Then someone else will say "hey . . . I wonder if this works for audio."

    It will be software that writes the software for the next generation of modelers. Then we'll see some cool stuff.

    I think you actually hit it on the nail. What you're talking about is called 'convolution' and its a very very powerful technology, but it requires more horsepower than we could hope to have in affordable stand-alone amp emulators right now. The best way to start off toying around with convolution is to down load the free Voxengo Boogex VST plugin. Great speaker cabs. Pretty nice amp section too (although I bypass the amp section and use other stuff for that instead). Convolution works by applying an actual recorded sample of a device to your audio stream. So this works great for components that are essentially linear in their operation (room reverbs, guitar speakers under most circumstances) but not for devices that are affected by input amplitude (preamps, power amps, compressors). That technology is called 'dynamic convolution', and unfortunately Focusrite has a patent on it (other companies and individuals have developed the same technology but can't release it because of legal reasons).

    So, I think amp modeling will get (for most peoples' needs) pretty close to nailing the real thing, but is unlikely to ever perfectly get there. Which is fine, really. But I don't honestly imagine our little $100-$300 DSP-based modelling units getting there too soon. Right now you still need the firepower of a full computer (even my 2Ghz Core Duo gets a little weak at the knees from convolution).

  10. #150
    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by joelap View Post
    OK I'll stay on topic.

    I have a Line6 Toneport UX2 and I bought every single model pack for it... in hindsight, it was kind of dumb of me. I use two or three amp models at best. I find a lot of the models just kind of sound the same. But here's my take on modeling:

    1) I dont like the "feel" of modeling. When I recorded with my last band, I ran direct into the UX2 and used my favorite setting there. Sure, its awesome to use a RAT into a HiWatt in one channel and then a cranked JTM45 goosed with a chandler tube driver in another, but TBH it is uninspiring while playing. Its not "your" amp, "your gear", or IMO "Your sound". Its not the same feel as having that amp nice n loud with a mic in front of it for everyone in the studio (or in my case, bedroom) to hear.

    2) Modeling amps loose the touch-sensitivity and attack tubes seem to have.

    3) Modeling amps and multi-effect units give way to stupid guitarists, if thats all they have experience using. So many guitarists do the GT-6/8 thing into an amp, and just click on presets. "I want Texas Blues" or "I want Rock Solo". Sure, those patches sound great alone and really nail the cliche tone of their patch name, but put those presets in a band situation and the sound DOESNT gel at all! And then either the guitarist doesnt understand why or doesnt hear how bad it doesnt gel. I know guys who I'd kill to have their technique, but they just dont understand the concept of getting the sound to mix together.


    I wont say I feel modelling has topped off, but I will say while it had many positive drawbacks, it has as much negative. I played a show with my UX2 into my laptop into a poweramp into my cab, and it was very uninspiring for me. I would only use modeling amps when they become as touch sensitive as tube amps and have those characteristics Artie mentioned that they are lacking.
    Plugging your amp modeller/laptop into a power amp/guitar cabinet wont work since you're effectively applying a 'power amp' and 'cabinet' to the signal path twice. Not saying it will be as inspiring as a real tube amp (digital, especially on a laptop, DOES have a time-delay), but you'll get better results running it into something like a keyboard amp.

  11. #151
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I hope they keep working in the geek lab. I had a gt8,gnx3000 but they both have IMO that digital fizzy sound.
    One the other hand they have a sound thats not dry that a tube has thats not been through the mastering radio ready process and that part I LIKE.

    I like the finished sound they have but it NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.

  12. #152
    Ultimate Tone Slacker davedvdy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by joelap View Post
    OK I'll stay on topic.

    I have a Line6 Toneport UX2 and I bought every single model pack for it... in hindsight, it was kind of dumb of me. I use two or three amp models at best. I find a lot of the models just kind of sound the same. But here's my take on modeling:

    1) I dont like the "feel" of modeling. When I recorded with my last band, I ran direct into the UX2 and used my favorite setting there. Sure, its awesome to use a RAT into a HiWatt in one channel and then a cranked JTM45 goosed with a chandler tube driver in another, but TBH it is uninspiring while playing. Its not "your" amp, "your gear", or IMO "Your sound". Its not the same feel as having that amp nice n loud with a mic in front of it for everyone in the studio (or in my case, bedroom) to hear.

    2) Modeling amps loose the touch-sensitivity and attack tubes seem to have.

    3) Modeling amps and multi-effect units give way to stupid guitarists, if thats all they have experience using. So many guitarists do the GT-6/8 thing into an amp, and just click on presets. "I want Texas Blues" or "I want Rock Solo". Sure, those patches sound great alone and really nail the cliche tone of their patch name, but put those presets in a band situation and the sound DOESNT gel at all! And then either the guitarist doesnt understand why or doesnt hear how bad it doesnt gel. I know guys who I'd kill to have their technique, but they just dont understand the concept of getting the sound to mix together.


    I wont say I feel modelling has topped off, but I will say while it had many positive drawbacks, it has as much negative. I played a show with my UX2 into my laptop into a poweramp into my cab, and it was very uninspiring for me. I would only use modeling amps when they become as touch sensitive as tube amps and have those characteristics Artie mentioned that they are lacking.
    I know someone who does a Boss GT-5 directly into the PA. His sound is really good...I would never say that it would replace a great amplifier, but he does have great tone, and his last live project was recorded w/10,000 people. Sounded great...

  13. #153
    Red&Goldologist joelap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I'm not saying you cant get good tone with a GT-x, but there's more sh*tty tone than good tones. A good guitarist can make them work, a dumb one wont be able to.

    And when I used the laptop at the show I turned off the cabinet emulation before running it into my 4x12... still uninspiring. Didnt notice a time delay, or anything like that really.
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  14. #154
    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by joelap View Post
    I'm not saying you cant get good tone with a GT-x, but there's more sh*tty tone than good tones. A good guitarist can make them work, a dumb one wont be able to.

    And when I used the laptop at the show I turned off the cabinet emulation before running it into my 4x12... still uninspiring. Didnt notice a time delay, or anything like that really.
    Yea, I can understand that. It going through your laptop there definitely would have to be, from a technical level, a delay. It was probably small though, like 2-5 milliseconds, which is equivalent to standing 2-5 feet further from your amp.

    To be fully honest, I never like the Line6 'sound' and probably would never find it inspiring either. I bought/returned the Guitarport twice. Seems like the consensus around here is that the Roland technology is the best? I'm eying a Cube 60. I've got a really tiny/cheap Korg 'Toneworks' that has surprisingly great clean tones but crap heavy distortion.

    In my opinion the computer-based stuff is far superior, but its a huge pain in the ass (what?! I have to close all y duncan forums pages before I play guitar?!). The most 'natural' commercial product out there is probably Amplitube 2 (I hated Amplitube 1). They hired the guy who did Simulanalog. You can still download the Simulanalog Guitar Suite from simulanalog.org. It was a research project at an Italian university. The built-in cabinet modelling is unexceptional, but the modelling of the Fender Twin and especially JCM800 amp sections is phenomenal, and they throw in some good pedals too.

    My 'amp' of choice at the moment is the free BTE Juicy77, modelled after a Soldano preamp. Like the Simulanalog stuff, its very good and very dynamic. In Juicy77 I switch off the cabinet section (can't do that with Simulanalog) and then run the output into Boogex (where I switch off the amp section and use the excellent cabinet modelling).

    For anyone curious about what the future might bring, I recommend downloading some of this stuff. Everything I mentioned except for Amplitube is free, so there's no real pain in it. Remember: don't send the output to a real guitar amp. You want flat-response/full-range. Also, its only going to sound as good as your input quality, so make sure you have a decent audio interface with guitar-impedance inputs.

    Finally, if you want a very powerful free program in which to toss all these guitar plug-ins into, I recommend REAPER.

  15. #155
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by joelap View Post
    I'm not saying you cant get good tone with a GT-x, but there's more sh*tty tone than good tones. A good guitarist can make them work, a dumb one wont be able to.

    And when I used the laptop at the show I turned off the cabinet emulation before running it into my 4x12... still uninspiring. Didnt notice a time delay, or anything like that really.
    Right- with the Roland stuff, you gotta do some work. I have the GT-Pro, which sounds a lot better than the GT-5...and I like the idea of using 2 amps at once...either panning them or changing them simply with picking dynamics. To most guitarists, sitting in front of the computer and switching the order of effects isn't fun at all either, but then there are still some guitarists who will spend $400 on an overdrive pedal. We are a crazy lot, we are.
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  16. #156
    Tone Member sumitagarwal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Right- with the Roland stuff, you gotta do some work. I have the GT-Pro, which sounds a lot better than the GT-5...and I like the idea of using 2 amps at once...either panning them or changing them simply with picking dynamics. To most guitarists, sitting in front of the computer and switching the order of effects isn't fun at all either, but then there are still some guitarists who will spend $400 on an overdrive pedal. We are a crazy lot, we are.
    Yup, while I can get great tone out of my computer I really don't like sitting at it and being all clicky clicky. When I just want to quickly and effectively rock out I either throw some headphones on my Korg Ampworks (whoops, said Toneworks before. Its not) or I plug into my modded Galaxie 10 (all-tube Class A with a Weber alnico speaker).

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I'm new here, so I'll duck my head as I say... yes it's topped out,
    ... for now.

    There might be a technological advance in the next few years that we haven't considered. But I think lots of people are burnt on the modeling stuff & want 'the real deal' & are searching for new versions of old things or just old things in general.

    POD's can 'kinda sound' like lots of things, but much like many recording plug-ins boasting replication of vintage tones, when you put it up side by side against the real thing, there IS, no comparison.

    It's shocking really, the difference.

    Much in the same way that a great stylus on a turntable (that's a good needle on a a good record player for those who never had an LP collection), playing well recorded, vinyl, into a good amp & speakers will absolutely kill CD versions of the same material, plugged into the same amp & speakers. The amount of information that is lost in the lower mids is staggering.

    I think Neil Young had it right when he said that digi recording needs to up the sampling rate by 10-20 times & THEN we might have some gas for the fire.

    I see positive uses for both kinds of amps, but (for now) in a desert island situation... you can keep the digi whizz-bangamathang & I'll keep my Supro & tubes, thanks!

    I used to have the Vox ADT120 & it sounds better to me than the L6 stuff (at least when the two 12ax7 "tubes" in it are new, lol), but ParameterMan said it best, "I use a tube amp for me, because that's the environment I'm the most creative in."

    That & the comment he made about modeling amps having a time lag are spot on (imho). One of my bigger gripes is that you can't put a modeling amp up with a tube one in a recording (using multiple amps on one guitar track) without having phase problems resulting from the lag of the processor in the modeling amp.

    Oh, & any modeling amp used alone in modern recordings probably used several thousand dollars worth of microphones & vintage gear (maybe even tube mics plugged into old tube Pulltech eq's, & then vintage Neve or API pre's.. you can see where I'm going here) . It's not "setting #23" plugged straight into a laptop, I assure you.... Not yet, at least.

  18. #158
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Low_fidelity2100's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Ok, I tried to read through all of that...But......Ya know theres 8 pages of repeatative stuff.....so I stopped reading.

    heres all I have to say/think about the "has it topped out" thing....


    In the 70's and most of the 80's people said the Personal Computer would never catch on, and the internet would never really be THAT popular. Because The speed of computers wasn't that quick, and people are impatient. And the speed of internet connections weren't quick (unless you were at a university, or government buildings), so people wouldn't wanna wait around for 2 days for a page to load. And Countless other reasons why "the internet Just WON'T be popular" or widely used, or whatever.

    But here we are, setting here, reading this crap on our computers. Listening to songs we downloaded over the internet, watching videos, playing games, having gay little conversations on forums (haha thats suppoused to be funny) etc....Things that 15-20 years ago were thought to be, Not impossible, But just Improbable. But here we are. Not to many people really thought this would happen, but it did. I'm sure there were plenty of people that said "Oh well I love my Comadore64, its the best ever, even if something newer comes along, **** that ****, I'm keepin my comadore." Etc......But you know Damn well, No one is setting there right now, reading this on a frickin comadore. Ya know?


    Thats not to say I'm gonna go out tomarrow and Buy a Vox Modeling amp, sell my tube amps, and declare "Tubes are dead." Not to say I'll Ever not own tube amps. But at some point, Modelers will get "just as good as the real thing"(they are FAR from that right now). It might be several decades from now. But its gonna happen eventually.
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