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Wow, It Just Hit Me Why Modelling Is So Hit An Miss With People....


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#1 smrybacki

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:12 AM

maybe I'm just a dumb lollipop and everyone else already thought of this, but still...

So, I'm watching this video in which they are demoing how the Kemper profiling amp works and it hit me why modelling is so hit and miss.

You only get the sound the from the place it is miced up and with the guitar you are playing through.

Now, I really don't know how Line6 or anyone else (other than this Kemper deal) does things, but if they are all basically the same -- that's what's wrong. I know my amp sounds different from wherever I am standing and even more so depending on what guitars are running through them.  So unless they have some sort of method where they mic from multiple places with an omniscient guitar and can somehow sum them into one cohessive package, it's gonna sound different to different people stranding in different places with different guitars.

Where's the Tylenol....


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#2 cruisinon2

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:20 AM

maybe I'm just a dumb lollipop and everyone else already thought of this, but still...

So, I'm watching this video in which they are demoing how the Kemper profiling amp works and it hit me why modelling is so hit and miss.

You only get the sound the from the place it is miced up and with the guitar you are playing through.

Now, I really don't know how Line6 or anyone else (other than this Kemper deal) does things, but if they are all basically the same -- that's what's wrong. I know my amp sounds different from wherever I am standing and even more so depending on what guitars are running through them.  So unless they have some sort of method where they mic from multiple places with an omniscient guitar and can somehow sum them into one cohessive package, it's gonna sound different to different people stranding in different places with different guitars.

Where's the Tylenol....

 

Yep...so where's the "sweet spot"? What's the formula? Depends on the circumstances, and who you are, and whether or not you cleaned your ears that day. And as someone else pointed out in another thread, no two strats, LPs, or plexi heads are gonna sound exactly the same. It also doesn't help that guitarists are overly picky, crazy, or some combo of the two.


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#3 smrybacki

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

Yep...so where's the "sweet spot"? Depends on the circumstances, and who you are, and whether or not you cleaned your ears that day. And as someone else pointed out in another thread, no two strats, LPs, or plexi heads are gonna sound exactly the same. It also doesn't help that guitarists are overly picky, crazy, or some combo of the two.

Crimony, it's a perfect storm of ambiguity!


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#4 cruisinon2

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:25 AM

Crimony, it's a perfect storm of ambiguity!

 

And on the days when you just don't have "it" (whatever it is), is it the gear, your fingers, your ears, phase of the moon? Almost everything discussed on this forum is entirely subjective...pretty much anything that happens with your rig, unless something just flat out won't turn on, is open to debate/interpretation. Why did everything sound fine yesterday, and now its like nails on a chalkboard? 25 years of playing and I've yet to figure that out.


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#5 smrybacki

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:29 AM

And on the days when you just don't have "it" (whatever it is), is it the gear, your fingers, your ears, phase of the moon? Almost everything discussed on this forum is entirely subjective...pretty much anything that happens with your rig, unless something just flat out won't turn on, is open to debate/interpretation.

But to be fair, so are regular amps, effects and guitars subject to the same stuff.

I cannot tell you how many times I have shut down my gear, totally happy with my sound only to come back the very next day turn it on exactly the same and think it's total gah....


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#6 Triryche

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:39 AM

air pressures caused by vibrations of varying frequencies and amplitudes make absolutely no sound until a sentient being perceives them.


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#7 gunpointmetal

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:41 AM

I would think  they probably send a full band tone through an amp's pre-amp, measure it, then do the same through the power amp hooked up to a load box, to see how the internal components affect frequency, how it compresses, etc...then probably take the cab they want with the flattest possible amplifier and do the same thing with the different mics in on/off axis settings. I think the ER is simulated, though, meaning not "modeled" in the same way.

 

Thats what I'm still not sure of, and what turns me off the Kemper...it seems like it profiles a sound rather than an amp, then an adjustments after that are approximations...more like EQ and adjusting a pre-recorded guitar track or something..whats there is there, no changing it, just adding to it or subtracting from it.


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#8 smrybacki

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:57 AM

I would think  they probably send a full band tone through an amp's pre-amp, measure it, then do the same through the power amp hooked up to a load box, to see how the internal components affect frequency, how it compresses, etc...then probably take the cab they want with the flattest possible amplifier and do the same thing with the different mics in on/off axis settings. I think the ER is simulated, though, meaning not "modeled" in the same way.

 

Thats what I'm still not sure of, and what turns me off the Kemper...it seems like it profiles a sound rather than an amp, then an adjustments after that are approximations...more like EQ and adjusting a pre-recorded guitar track or something..whats there is there, no changing it, just adding to it or subtracting from it.

And it might be a $2200 oopsie....


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#9 silverhead

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:10 PM

air pressures caused by vibrations of varying frequencies and amplitudes make absolutely no sound until a sentient being perceives them.


... If a tree falls in the forest.......does it make a sound?

(Yes - my university major was philosophy )
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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
.... John Lennon

 

 


#10 bjnette

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:25 PM

On the why the amp and pedalboard settings sounded great last night.

Apart from the stimulants there is a well known and highly desirable tone from

an overheating tube amp.

Apart from recent amp desgins in the older designs the hotter the amp ran the better the tone and output.

Anyway you've all heard the story of the messa tone of heaven as it cooked.

 

This is so well known most  guitarists who can afford a Tech have highly modified amps so that they do indeed run a little hotter.

 

These profile snapshots of amps I hope have it all up running hot.

I can see the profile name now.

Cooking Mesa


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#11 smrybacki

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:42 PM

On the why the amp and pedalboard settings sounded great last night.
Apart from the stimulants there is a well known and highly desirable tone from
an overheating tube amp.
Apart from recent amp desgins in the older designs the hotter the amp ran the better the tone and output.
Anyway you've all heard the story of the messa tone of heaven as it cooked.
 
This is so well known most  guitarists who can afford a Tech have highly modified amps so that they do indeed run a little hotter.
 
These profile snapshots of amps I hope have it all up running hot.
I can see the profile name now.
Cooking Mesa


Yes indeed...
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#12 Brazzy

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:41 PM

On the why the amp and pedalboard settings sounded great last night.

Apart from the stimulants there is a well known and highly desirable tone from

an overheating tube amp.

Apart from recent amp desgins in the older designs the hotter the amp ran the better the tone and output.

Anyway you've all heard the story of the messa tone of heaven as it cooked.

 

This is so well known most  guitarists who can afford a Tech have highly modified amps so that they do indeed run a little hotter.

 

These profile snapshots of amps I hope have it all up running hot.

I can see the profile name now.

Cooking Mesa

 

and so the gasoline engine runs it's best just before it goes KABOOM!!!!


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#13 tim1953

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:17 PM

I tried to get my point across in the "done" thread when I said

"A real amp in a room is just too complex of a sound to capture with modeling".

 

The sound changes each time you move the mike 1 inch in any direction.

Also all mics sound different even if they are the same model and brand.

The room the amp is in affects the sound.

But even before that happens the way each guitar drives the amp will have a major affect on the tone & distortion levels.

There is so much interaction that happens between the guitar and amp you select.

Every little change in volume, pick attack, the amount of preamp drive, power amp drive, transformer & speaker interaction, etc. affects the sound.

It's just impossible to capture all of that in a snap shot of sound.

I don't think anyone can even know of or think of all the variations that happen with a players touch, the guitar and amp.

Even if they did I don't think the CPU in the HD 500 is capable of storing all that information.

It's actually truely amazing that modeling an amp works at all.

 

If you've never had a chance to play through great amps you might not notice all the subtile differences between

a modelled amp and the real thing.

If you get a chance to play them side by side like I have you find out quickly that there's a world of difference.

 

When I first got my HD 500 3 years ago the first thing I did when I got it home was canned all the presets - they pretty much suck

and are unusable in a normal gig situation.

Almost all the patches have too much ear candy that doesn't work on the average song.

 

I spent the next few days with my HD 500 plugged into the JBL Eons that I use for my duo gig.

I had the rig set up next to my real AC 30, AC 15, Fender Deluxe and Marshall 800 and built my own presets.

I went back and forth tweaking the HD 500 until I got close to the sound of the real amps.

I realized that (for what ever reason) my amps sounded better than the modelled ones in the HD 500.

It doesn't respond to touch, dynamics and guitar volume control changes like a real amp.

The HD 500 sounds good enough to fool the average listener but it will never replace the real amps.

When my full band goes out on the road again I will be taking out the Fender and Vox amps like I always did in the past.

 

This is not a knock on Line 6 or the HD 500.

It does a pretty good job for my duo gig and that's the reason I bought it in the first place.

I surely didn't need another amp since I'm totally happy with my real amps.

It's just not practical trying to fit my traditional amp rig in the space that is given to my duo on most of our gigs.

I'm sure a lot of players can relate to that.


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#14 bjnette

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:32 PM

It is very true the real guitar amp is the combo of the player, guitar, amp and room. some rooms suck no matter how good the amp.

 

To a degree if the modeling or profile snapshot is of the close mic'd amp then realistically it'l sound similar to the amp'd mic'd thru the PA. 

 

To me it is unfair to compare the amp modelling compared to the real amp.

 

It should be the real amp compared to the mic'd amp thru the same PA.

 

If you monitor on stage with a real amp then it gets closer.

 

If you have the real amps and can lug them in and out then use the real amps as you are getting paid.

 

I totally agree that the modelling doesn't compare in the response dept even if close in tone.

 

And that responsiveness is a big deal if you have used great valve amps.

 

To me it is like the difference between a scooter and a motorbike.

You can have a lot of fun on a vespa but it aint for racing. 


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#15 cruisinon2

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:05 PM

 
To me it is like the difference between a scooter and a motorbike.
You can have a lot of fun on a vespa but it aint for racing.


Well, you can get around on a vespa...but I dunno about 'fun'. I'd be hiding my face, lol.
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#16 brue58ski

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 12:58 AM

You can pontificate forever on this and I get and agree with most of each sides arguments.  In the 50's, Link Ray sliced his speaker with a razor blade and liked the sound.  Jimi Hendrix had to label his master tapes(1st album) when they went for mastering with a message saying the distortion was on purpose and to not try and fix it.  Whatever you use to get a "sound".  If it sounds good to you it is good.  Make up your own mind and forget about everyone else.  Me, I love modeling and this is where I'm staying  It seems like the main argument has to do with things only the player can feel and notice.   I haven't found many listeners that can tell the difference from a well modeled amp compared to the real thing.  Especially when recorded.


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#17 joel_brown

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 06:41 AM

Although I agree that modelling is not as good as a real amp, we perform for the average listener that can't tell the differance.  Which is why I use a hybrid of PODHD and real Marshall amps.  For me, the combination is better than either by itself.  My friend who has an AXE FXII does and says the same thing.  He's the one who recommended this particular setup to me.

 

As far as something sounding good one day and bad the next.  That's happens with audio and ear fatigue too.  I don't know how many recordings I've mixed that I thought sounded great then came back a few days later and said "What was I thinking, that sucks".


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#18 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 07:07 AM

As recording solutions, modelers will give the average player (not a studio engineer) the best recorded sound possible as even if they had the mic and gear it's a hit and miss using specific mics.

If you find a sound that inspires you to play, then modelers are an amazing solution because they'e no longer different from the recorded sound on a CD. Since most listeners associate the guitar sound they hear on CDs with the what they expect guitars to sound like, it's a win win situation. On the other hand if you're going to spend countless hours tweaking and never finding a sound that inspires you to play, then modeling is not for you unless you enjoy the tweaking part of it and that's cool too.


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#19 cruisinon2

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:05 AM

I haven't found many listeners that can tell the difference from a well modeled amp compared to the real thing. Especially when recorded.


There's a reason for that...the average listener also thinks that Britney Spears is actually singing whilst engaged in a choreographed gymnastics routine. I've met people who couldn't distinguish between steel string acoustic, nylon string, or clean electric. Some probably can't tell guitar from bass.
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#20 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:14 AM

There's a reason for that...the average listener also thinks that Britney Spears is actually singing whilst engaged in a choreographed gymnastics routine. I've met people who couldn't distinguish between steel string acoustic, nylon string, or clean electric. Some probably can't tell guitar from bass.

True but a recorded POD HD, Ampitube, Eleven, and many other modelers are indistinguishable from a real world amp recorded in a mix with drums and bass, even for most if not all guitar players and tone snobs. In a recording many modelers can sound better or equal to the real thing. Even POD 2.0 is on more records that anyone is aware of.


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#21 tim1953

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 01:11 PM

True but a recorded POD HD, Ampitube, Eleven, and many other modelers are indistinguishable from a real world amp recorded in a mix with drums and bass, even for most if not all guitar players and tone snobs. In a recording many modelers can sound better or equal to the real thing. Even POD 2.0 is on more records that anyone is aware of.

Actually that's only half right.

It depends on how deep you listen to the sounds in the recording.

I agree that in the frame work of a recording some modelled sounds are hard to pick out - most of the time it's the over the top distorted sounds that are already smashed down by compression.

Clean sounds are easier to tell the difference.

There's always a clue that gives it away.

Mostly dynamics when the player goes from a light picking to really digging in hard on the instrument - modelling doesn't deal with that style of playing as well as a real amp.

The analog front end on the HD 500 always gives it away because it clips out when you push it too hard and it's not the same kind of clipping that a tube amp does - it's more of a transistor over load sound which is added to the modelled sound.

 

It's the same way with sampled strings, horns and piano sounds.

It can fool a lot of listeners but I doubt you'll fool a top notch horn, string, or piano player.

I don't think Elton John will give up his baby grand for a digital piano.

It's all the little things that are left out of the model or sample.


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#22 billlorentzen

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:33 AM

This topic has been done to death, but, just for old time's sake: you may not have seen the article a few years back in Electronic Musician where the writer got a bunch of pro LA recording engineers to listen and spot the modeled amps from the real thing in a blind test. These were all computer based amp modelers from several years back.
They could not tell the difference - a statistical tie. I, however, as both a guitarist and an engineer could pick out the models about 95% of time. In the real amps there was a low end cloudy rumble that the model programmers had obviously cleaned up (by the way, that's one of the things that made me like modelers even with the original Pod).
My point is, I'm a pro and I use what gets the job done and makes me happy. The uniformity of sound from a modeler through the PA is actually a good thing. The old days of the super bright amp sound hitting the guitarists legs and deafening the people in the front row was not a good thing!
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#23 joel_brown

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Elton John may never give up his real Grand Piano but he doesn't have to lug it around himself either...lol.

 

I look at it this way.  If it takes a professional recording engineer/guitarist to be able to tell the differance, that's good enough for me.  Can it be better ?  always....


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#24 MIKEY9966

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:10 PM

Wow and I thought  I was all ways doing something wrong , its so hard to get it right and always trying to make it better,  but reading about the 11 rack it seem this would solve a lot of work twicking ,, the  best sound I ever had was in the early day just plug in and go, now I any fighting my rig all the time


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#25 arislaf

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:44 PM

Let's not forget Ola and the tone he achieves, or our guy, Hurghanico that he doesn't even post process his pod..


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#26 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:47 PM

POD HDs have improved significantly with every firmware update. The amp models are very close to the originals. The most misunderstood or misused parameter from my experience with the PODs is the bass level. If there's a universal tip for the HD series (and most other modelers) it would be to remember that if any 4x12 cab is selected and the bass knob on the amp is anywhere past noon, you will struggle significantly to get a decent sound. This corresponds with real world application. An example would be Toni Iommi from black sabbath who always had the bass at zero.


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#27 gunpointmetal

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:26 AM

Everyone wants to plug in and have it sound like the guitar in a full mix on a record, and when it doesn't they spend countless hours tweaking, forgetting that those tones come from multitracking, EQing, mixing, other instruments, the original recording equipment, etc. and so on...My POD sounds just fine if I pull up a blank patch, load up the Mesa model, and turn the gain and tone knobs a little bit...I can get it better with more tweaking, but there is nothing "wrong" with the sound without fighting the device for an hour. I'd say 1/3 of the people I talk to in the real world are thinking good modeling will make them sound better....and it doesn't work that way.


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#28 cruisinon2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:28 AM

Everyone wants to plug in and have it sound like the guitar in a full mix on a record, and when it doesn't they spend countless hours tweaking, forgetting that those tones come from multitracking, EQing, mixing, other instruments, the original recording equipment, etc. and so on...My POD sounds just fine if I pull up a blank patch, load up the Mesa model, and turn the gain and tone knobs a little bit...I can get it better with more tweaking, but there is nothing "wrong" with the sound without fighting the device for an hour. I'd say 1/3 of the people I talk to in the real world are thinking good modeling will make them sound better....and it doesn't work that way.

 

Yeah, I agree. We've all been bitten by the instant gratification bug.

 

"Better" is subjective anyway. Better than what? Practice makes you better. I think some players expect these amps to turn them into something they're not. In 25 years, I've never been able to get a really convincing EVH tone...you know why? 'Cause I'm not Eddie and I'm not playing a Frankenstein strat with pickups wired out of phase, and wired to a dimmer switch that he stole from a ceiling fan (not sure what he was trying to accomplish, but he swore he did it...laughed hard when I read that in some guitar rag years ago). I suspect that for most players (myself included), unless you happen to be a REALLY well rounded session player, covering a multitude of styles, most guys are gonna gravitate towards only a handful of tones anyway. I love the 500X for the sounds I can get, and for the convenience factor, but honestly it's overkill.  Many of the amps, I'm never gonna use.  I have 4 or 5 that I really like, and that works for me. But I'm never gonna sound like Wes Montgomery no matter what amp I've got...I'm not a jazz guy.


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#29 joel_brown

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:55 AM

I've also found chaning the tone control capacitors can make a significant differane in tone. I have 2 guitars that are virtually identical with the same pickups (I have two of them for differant tunings).  I couldn't get them to sound the same so one day I started checking everything and found the capacitor in one of them was completely differant than the other.  This made a fairly siginificant differance once I matched them up between guitars.  Problem solved.

 

Talk about something that will drive you crazy...

 

Was it better back in the day when I just plugged into an amp ?.  Oh hell no.  It was a pain in the !@# back then and I had to buy a bunch of pedals with crappy transistors in them that sucked, hummed, and squeeled with wires everywhere.

 

If guitar was easy then we wouldn't have people calling themselves musicians who make funny noises from a record player.  That's my grumpy old man post for the day...lol


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#30 smrybacki

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:00 AM

I've also found chaning the tone control capacitors can make a significant differane in tone. I have 2 guitars that are virtually identical with the same pickups (I have two of them for differant tunings).  I couldn't get them to sound the same so one day I started checking everything and found the capacitor in one of them was completely differant than the other.  This made a fairly siginificant differance once I matched them up between guitars.  Problem solved.

 

Talk about something that will drive you crazy...

 

Was it better back in the day when I just plugged into an amp ?.  Oh hell no.  It was a pain in the !@# back then and I had to buy a bunch of pedals with crappy transistors in them that sucked, hummed, and squeeled with wires everywhere.

 

If guitar was easy then we wouldn't have people calling themselves musicians who make funny noises from a record player.  That's my grumpy old man post for the day...lol

I thoroughly believe that the real trick is to make whatever is in your hands (and whatever that is plugged into, if anything) sound great despite any limitations either real or imagined.  I think that is what other people mean by "tone is in the fingers"...


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#31 bjnette

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:02 AM

Here is another reason.

A confession if you will.

I started playing guitar when amps were solid state.

It was many a year before I noticed that those expensive amps were tube amps.

And while I palyed into a few mates tube amps the differences escaped me at the time.

 

Then I got a Yamaha multi FX 500 to record int my Tascam 244.

 

It gort more use than my amp as I could play anytime with h'phones.

 

Then I got into computer recording and along came Amplitude and Revalver.

But a freind playing thru his marshal live really had me wanting that tube tone.

I wanted a unit that could be used for live and recording and got the HD500.

I tried it out and I like the feel response and the tone.

Then I got interested in tube amps and picked up a Peavy Royal 8 and it enhance the experience somewhat going from the HD500.

I got a numbve rof live option for the HD500.

At home I record musical ideas mostly for fun and the HD500 gets plenty of use.

I still haven't mastered it either.

The only thing I  do not like is the click the foot switches make, even while playing live the click is audible it is very annoying when recording along with vocals.

Oh yeah the other reason.

The modeliing is good enough to get you interested in the actual amps modeled.

I believe more than a few have been lured to the real thing and see the HD modeling as inferior now.


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#32 cruisinon2

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:03 AM


 

Was it better back in the day when I just plugged into an amp ?.  Oh hell no.  It was a pain in the !@# back then and I had to buy a bunch of pedals with crappy transistors in them that sucked, hummed, and squeeled with wires everywhere.

 

 

 

Which 9V is gonna die today, lol? No thanks...I'm not going back either.


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#33 smrybacki

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:21 AM

Which 9V is gonna die today, lol? No thanks...I'm not going back either.

I haven't used 9v batteries in 10 years.  VooDoo Labs Pedal Power 2....


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#34 tim1953

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:44 PM

I think if it works for you - use it.

But it's kind of worthless talking about a hand full of players using this modeling stuff when 99% of all touring musicians in every type of music still use and prefer to use real amps, real pedals and real guitars.

They have the budget and it's their choice to use what they use.

If modeling was up to snuff more guys would surely be using it and this is not to knock Line 6 or modelling in general.

But facts are facts most of us who've had the chance to use both prefer real amps and pedals.

 

I use my HD 500 for my duo gig where most of the time space doesn't allow me to use my full rig.

Certain things work fine but other things are a struggle.

No way the modelled effects work the same way as the real pedals.

Each month I seem to be adding more of my real pedals to the rig to the point that I'm almost not using any of the modelled pedals at all.

I have lots of the pedals they modelled - Butler Tube Driver, compressors, flangers, phasers, echos, reverbs, etc. they do not respond to the player's touch or the guitar's pickups the same way.

They also don't drive the HD 500 amps the same way as the real thing so all those subtile tones are lost.

The Variax Rickenbacker 12 string model through the HD 500 Vox AC 30 model is never going to be a serious contender for a real Rick 12 and Vox AC 30 - not even remotely close.

The HD 500 is a usuable tool for certain things but let's not try to fool ourselves into believing that its ever going to replace the traditional rig in most instances.

As time goes on the younger guys will get use to the sound of digital and many more will use the modelling stuff but that doesn't mean it will sound better.

In this day of crappy MP3 files many of the younger guys aren't even aware how much better the hi-def, hi sample/bit rate stuff sounds.

All they know is that they can fit 10,000 songs on a player that will fit in their shirt pocket.

But I do trust that there will be enough guys out there that will seek out and find the best sound no matter how big or costly it might be.


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#35 WardMan

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:14 PM

Interesting discussion on this topic.

 

I came into the modelling world via an ART SGX2000 (google it!). I went back to amps for a while but then got a Behringer V-Amp and then moved onto a POD XTL, then the X3L and now the HD500x along with a DT25 amp. And I've had a Variax 600 for quite a few years.

 

I got to the stage where it became simply about value for money. I liked the sound of Fender amps, but I also liked the Marshalls. And the Vox AC30. But I couldn't afford all of them. And what about pedals! I wanted a Tube Screamer, and an Echoplex, and others. Also, I was playing at a church where we were trying to reduce the on stage sound as much as possible. So the modellers became a great compromise.

 

When it comes to amps, there are so many variables - where are you standing, where is the microphone, what type of microphone is it, how hot are the valves etc. I love the fact that with the POD I can DI into a PA and I know the tone is good going to the desk. What the PA operator does with it is beyond my control!

 

I think the discussions about whether a POD will ever be exactly the same as the real thing are missing the point. It's more about convenience. I can't afford all those amps and effects (and guitars) but the POD / Variax combo gives me access to those tones. If you can afford all those amps - go for it.

 

And why do we assume the goal is to sound exactly like the amp? IMO the goal should be to find the right sound for the song we're playing.

 

Do keyboard players have the same discussions? I'm sure they'd all love to play a grand piano on stage, but they're probably very content playing a keyboard with access to a multitude of sounds that they could only dream of ten years ago.

 

Bottom line - find what works for you. Great tone will take a while to get from whatever gear you're using.


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Variax 600 > HD500X > DT25  | Pro Tools  | Amplitube

By day I'm a financial planner - at night I play guitar and blog about guitar stuff over at Strictly Guitar

 


#36 tim1953

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:01 PM

Interesting discussion on this topic.

 

I came into the modelling world via an ART SGX2000 (google it!). I went back to amps for a while but then got a Behringer V-Amp and then moved onto a POD XTL, then the X3L and now the HD500x along with a DT25 amp. And I've had a Variax 600 for quite a few years.

 

I got to the stage where it became simply about value for money. I liked the sound of Fender amps, but I also liked the Marshalls. And the Vox AC30. But I couldn't afford all of them. And what about pedals! I wanted a Tube Screamer, and an Echoplex, and others. Also, I was playing at a church where we were trying to reduce the on stage sound as much as possible. So the modellers became a great compromise.

 

When it comes to amps, there are so many variables - where are you standing, where is the microphone, what type of microphone is it, how hot are the valves etc. I love the fact that with the POD I can DI into a PA and I know the tone is good going to the desk. What the PA operator does with it is beyond my control!

 

I think the discussions about whether a POD will ever be exactly the same as the real thing are missing the point. It's more about convenience. I can't afford all those amps and effects (and guitars) but the POD / Variax combo gives me access to those tones. If you can afford all those amps - go for it.

 

And why do we assume the goal is to sound exactly like the amp? IMO the goal should be to find the right sound for the song we're playing.

 

Do keyboard players have the same discussions? I'm sure they'd all love to play a grand piano on stage, but they're probably very content playing a keyboard with access to a multitude of sounds that they could only dream of ten years ago.

 

Bottom line - find what works for you. Great tone will take a while to get from whatever gear you're using.

You are pretty much saying what I said.

If the HD 500 or Variax works for someone that's great and by all means use it.

I use it on smaller gigs and it works for that.

 

As far as assuming that the goal is to sound exactly like the amp - well that's Line 6s fault.

They are the ones that put pictures in their owners manual of the amps they model which leads the consumer to believe that they worked for years to get the model to sound just like the real thing.

Model names like Class A 30 with a picture of a Vox ac 30 under the title or Blackface 'Lux with a Fender Deluxe next to it - what else could the consumer possibly think?

It's like anything else that uses samples or models - when you first hear it you think wow they really nailed it this time.

I'm sure that after Line 6 developed the HD 500 they we're excited and thought the same thing.

But after you work with it for a while you start to hear it's weaknesses and that starts to annoy you.

I've had that happen to me repeatedly over the past 25 years with keyboards based on sampling.

At first I'm blown away but in a while I hear the faults and before too long I'm ready for another keyboard - it's an endless cycle that sucks your wallet dry after a while.

The only thing that keeps me using the sampling is that I don't want to carry around an acoustic piano, B3 organ and leslie -

my balls can't take it anymore!


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#37 bjnette

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:04 PM

When the guitars are heavily distorted this is true it is hard to discern the mic'd up clipped amp compared to a model of it in a mix but it is different. I can hear it as a lacking depth when simulated.

 

There is something about a amp pushing air and that pushed air being captured by a mic. admittedly the mic diaphram is about the size of a dime and is picking up only a portion of the air being pushed but there is a difference. There is more depth with a mic'd amp where the soft sims sound flat and two dimensional.

 

The HD modeling is a step up from soft sims to my ears and only the cleaner tones let the side down in depth.

 

It is also true that a great amp badly mic'd can sound shite too.

 

Now if you mic an amp being fed by a model amp it'l have that pushing air tone to it.

 

Do try it.

 

compare a sim to the HD model's to a mic amp via a HD model.

It doesn't have to be scientific but try to get the best results you can from each set up of the same material using different tracks and then toggle between the three.


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#38 brue58ski

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:25 PM

One thing that really impressed me in regard to the accuracy of the HD500 was the Deluxe Reverb recorded with an SG and an SM57 in this Youtube

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=G0NQf0CyiQI

 

And comparing it to the HD500 modeled one.  I can't remember what the HD500's settings were but I think I just cranked the gain all the way (like he did) and I don't remember what SM57 sim I used (again I probably just use what came up automatically).  I was able to play each one directly through the same system and speakers at the same time.  They were essentially indistinguishable to me.  If you have the ability to hear this Youtube and the HD500 both through the same system at the same time, then give this a shot.  I think you will be amazed, as I was, at how close they were.  Oh I was also using a Variax with the Special 1 model which I think is the closest to an SG.

 

And as I said before, if it sounds good to you it is good.  Forget about what anyone else (especially the "experts") say.  There were many of those "experts" back in the day who kept telling the rock, etc. musicians to "turn it down. It's too loud." and "distortion is bad" among other things.  This doesn't mean if you like the sound you've arrived at, everyone should, or will, like it.  In fact you may be the only one that likes it at the time.  So, make your own sound your own way.  If no one comes to hear that sound then you may want to reconsider it.  But the only people that really count in the  "does it sound good" department are you and whatever people you can get to listen to and like you.


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#39 radatats

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:47 AM

And as I said before, if it sounds good to you it is good.  Forget about what anyone else (especially the "experts") say.  There were many of those "experts" back in the day who kept telling the rock, etc. musicians to "turn it down. It's too loud." and "distortion is bad" among other things.  This doesn't mean if you like the sound you've arrived at, everyone should, or will, like it.  In fact you may be the only one that likes it at the time.  So, make your own sound your own way.  If no one comes to hear that sound then you may want to reconsider it.  But the only people that really count in the  "does it sound good" department are you and whatever people you can get to listen to and like you.

 

That is it in a nutshell...  Forget about the "tonal nuances in the third harmonic" and just play what you feel.  It actually all sounds good and its really not about getting the perfect imitation of anything...  as far as pushing air goes, maybe I should mic my PA speaker playing my modeler at full blast to get that pushing air tone but then it won't sound good until I actually play it back through my PA speaker at full blast so it can push some air... I guess you are referring to the difference between a USB recorded signal and a mic'd amp recording.  Naturally the mic'd recording benefits from natural reverb and spatial reflections that post production would have to emulate for the USB.  There is the magic that occurs when the speaker/cab combination actually converts the signal it is being fed to real audio. 

 

I'm not saying they are identical (sims vs real), just that the comparisons are pointless and getting too small to fret about.  In fact my experience is the harder I try to manipulate my settings and add pedals, effects, etc to chase a tone, the further I get from where I want to be.  Most often it is counter intuitive and I have to back off my settings a bit and let the tone develop.


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#40 cruisinon2

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:09 AM


I came into the modelling world via an ART SGX2000 (google it!). I went back to amps for a while but then got a Behringer V-Amp and then moved onto a POD XTL, then the X3L and now the HD500x along with a DT25 amp. And I've had a Variax 600 for quite a few years.

 

 

Wow...blast from the past! I forgot about that thing and it's hideous pink/purple faceplate, lol. I guess it's official...I'm now old enough to have forgotten entirely pieces of gear that I lugged around for months/years... :huh:


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