Amp/Cab Sim options on the cheap

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by ARch, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    A little backstory
    I know this comes a lot, so I want to say up front that I have searched and read through quite a few articles on this forum. It seems that each gathers opinions from completely different people and eventually every piece of hardware is "the best!" :D

    I'm looking for a new recording option for myself. I have stopped upgrading my computer making multi-track recordings using Guitar Rig or Amplitube a little too taxing on my PC (p3-2.4, 1Gb Ram). Normally I would run:

    "The Right Way"
    Fender Twin/Mesa Mark III -> Shure SM57 -> PreSonus Firebox -> PC.

    "Quick and Dirty"
    PreSonus Firebox -> GR3 or Amplitube 2

    Between clipping from processor/memory issues, waiting for software to load up and prep a track with the Quick and Dirty solution, or waiting for everyone to leave my house so I can pump some tone out of my overpowered amps with the Right Way, I started leaning back towards a hardware modeler. *Some recent family issues also may mean that money and sound levels may become even more of an issue.*

    Getting to the point
    I'd like to look at some sort of inexpensive hardware amp/cab simulator/modeler that I can run my pedalboard through to either jam quickly or record easily. I'm not willing to sacrifice absolutely all of the tone in order to solve this problem, but I'm not expecting it to sound like my Twin cranked.

    - The Line6 Pocket Pod comes to mind because they appear to be going super cheap used ($75-80). I had an older POD 2.0 way back, and have heard that the XT line sounds a multitude better than even that.

    - Sansamp GT2. Obviously not as versatile as the POD, but all I really need is something to sim the Fender clean sound well - I've got all the effects I need on my pedalboard.

    Anything else? Please consider the gear listed in my sig before you reply. I'm not looking for a ton of effects, just recording fidelity, some portability, and a nice clean amp/cab sim.

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  2. Kenny D

    Kenny D Member

    Messages:
    1,668
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    The middle of Nowhere
    Considering that you are from Austin TX, I would just drink the water down there. The tone should just flow out your fingers like magic.

    Just kidding, of course.

    There is a guy on this board who goes by MarinBlues. He gets the best tone out of a POD that I can remember hearing.

    I am not one for the "quick & dirty" way myself, preferring to spend the cash on amps and mics to do it the "right way." I sure know where you are coming from though. I am also not a pro engineer and am still working on that elusive mic'ed tone.

    I have owned the Boss GS 10 and used a VOX ToneLab for a while for scratch tracks. I don't like either of them. They are way two gritty - too direct sounding.

    I own a SansAmp PSA-1 and absolutely love it for clean tones. Recording distortion direct, however, I don't care for it. I can't get my recordings to sound like the clips at Tech21NYC.

    Check out Marin's stuff. He can give you the best advice based on his clips that I have heard. I think he uses a POD XT.
     
  3. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    No argument here, lamotta -- I simply meant right/quick and dirty per my own normal methods. That said, I'm definitely not looking to even compare or contrast live mic'ing vs. modeling. Here's the deal:

    Modeling is quick and dirty to me because they're no warming up, and one you save a preset or stop mucking with the dials, you're instantly ready to go. I could be an expert and get better results than a 57 and combo amp, but that's not a priority to me. "Close enough" is good enough.

    For mic'ing, I love my results, but I have to get out the mic and stand, find the sweet spot, warm up the amp, fire up the PC & recording suite, ask everyone to leave my house (which won't be an option in about 9 months).

    Direct recording through a software amp/cab sim, is fairly painless until I start multi-tracking and then it's clicks and clips and static galore. My machine just can't handle complicated recording setups. Single tracks? Just fine.

    I hope that makes sense. If I had to rephrase it all, I'd just say I'm looking for a good fidelity, inexpensive modeler/simulator -- effects optional. Specifically, the Pocket Pod and Sansamp GT2 seem to be in the price range. Does anyone have any opinions?
     
  4. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,573
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    I have a Pocket Pod and a Trademark 10, which is basically the GT2 with a speaker. I generally prefer the PP. Broader range of quickie tones. On the downside, I have been completely unable to get the editing software to work. If you go their support site, they have all kinds of fixes that involve editing the registry. Sorry...that's lame. I should not have to edit the registry for my software to work. Even after trying several of them, I still couldn't get it to work. Thankfully, there are plenty of available tones without editing...just strip off all the effects and lay down some tracks.

    The Sansamp does have some nice distortion sounds in there though.

    A
     
  5. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I'll have to check into which version I'm running at home -- I'm an IT Pro by trade, but I haven't delved too deep into the recording software I have so I haven't noticed a feature like that yet.

    Anyone else comment on the V-amp 2 vs. the Pocket Pod?

    Found a little youtube help:
    - Pocket Pod direct: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL-wZPbwbTc
    - No real direct recordings of the V-amp, and most of the playing on the first page or so isn't as good as that clip :D
     
  6. thesteve

    thesteve Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    maybe useless in terms of versatility, but what about one of the Digitech pedals with a built in amp/cab sim like the Bad Monkey OD or Hot Head Distortion?
     
  7. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I didn't know those had sims built-in. All I really need is a good clean palette since I use my board for all my ODs, so anything like that would work - I'm just looking for a little experience/insight :D
     
  8. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    I use AMT pedals direct thru a tonebone. I record one clean track for later re-amping and the AMT British or California for direct. It sounds very real. The AMT pedals have built in speaker simulation. Check out some samples at www.myspace.com/deadhouse1
     
  9. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

    Messages:
    6,310
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    mpls
    Does your recording software have a track-freezing mechanism? It should. When plug-ins start eating my cpu, I'll "freeze" tracks with expensive plug-ins to free the cpu. I can always un-freeze them later if they need more tweaking. I use Tracktion fwiw, but I'm sure most software has similar functionality.

    If you're happy with the Amplitube tone, this is as good a mechanism as any.

    For a hardware solution, I use a Morley JD-10 (you can buy a newer version of it from Award-Session in England). It'd take golden ears to tell it from a mic'd amp.
     
  10. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

    Messages:
    3,632
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Location:
    FL
    I have a Digitech RP50. It actually has a pretty good palette of amp choices from clean to overdrive (and each amp has settings to up the gain or ramp it down cleaner). Switching cab simulations is a little less direct than switching amps but there are several pretty good ones to choose from. And the pedals are pretty cheap ($50ish).
     
  11. thesteve

    thesteve Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Award-Session is a great company. I have one of their amps (Sessionette 75) from back when they were just Session, and it's definitely a great sounding amp. I just wish I had the money to get the pots cleaned so it would sound like it did brand new.
     
  12. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    It's not cheap but I just pick-up up a Palmer speaker simulator and it's great...My pod will now be collecting dust!!
     
  13. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    We ditched our palmer for the AMT pedals
     
  14. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Would you rec the Fender Blackface/Tweed pedal they put out for cleans? I plan to run my full board (including drives) through it for easy recording.

    Man, I didn't realize how cheap the Bad Monkey was. Found one on CL for $20 -- has anyone actually used it in Mixer mode?

    Another option was a little pignose 7-100 that popped up on CL, but I couldn't find from their site or any other if it had a recording out (it says it can be plugged into the mixer, but doesn't really talk about much else).
     
  15. ARch

    ARch Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I just noticed another thread on the Behringer Ultra-G -- would this work for me as well? Twin Rev speaker output into the Behringer, into the Firebox for direct recording?
     
  16. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
     
  17. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

    Messages:
    6,310
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    mpls
    I dunno about plugging a Pignose directly into a mixer, but they ain't real loud... you can talk over one with a loud voice. I've gotten some EXCELLENT recorded tones by sticking a dynamic mic in front of a Pignose.
     

Share This Page