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


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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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