Are we close to the last generation of modelers?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by James Freeman, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. mtmartin71

    mtmartin71 Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Denver, CO
  2. sxcustom

    sxcustom Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Philly Suburbs
    I've wondered this about digital amp makers. Why limit yourself to recreating the analogue sounds when there may be amazing new toanz to be had if we move beyond the limitations of the past. I get that most consumers are going to want to their digital to sound like their analogue, especially players older than say 30. But for the new kids, I'd like to see them experiment with expanding the tonal palate. I think Tosin Abasi is doing this and Aaron Marshall has a really cool tone that does not sound possible in the analogue world. Hey, I love the old analogue tones but I'm kinda sick of everything being some modern version of product from the 50's. Let's experiment making music with new.
    Coalface1971 likes this.
  3. timbuck2

    timbuck2 Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    Yes-I mean the 2-12 powercab alone is $$$
  4. John K.

    John K. Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2015
    Suwanee, GA
    If the market worked like that, we would have already reached the last generation of smartphones and cars.
    Ben Furman likes this.
  5. markmann

    markmann Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Don't write off the Super Champ XD's modeling channel so quick though. In my case my humbucking guitars love the tube channel but my Strat absolutely loves setting 4 and 5 on the modeling side. That's awesome because it's like having dedicated amps for each guitar that I can switch between with the footswitch. And I can get that sometimes elusive "edge of breakup" sound really easy. The XD is only 25 lbs.
    StummerJoe likes this.
  6. Quad4

    Quad4 Member

    Apr 20, 2019
    Current modelers are pretty amazing. Here are some areas we can do better:
    • Output Stage Modeling - IR's and beyond.
      • Lots of room for improvement, both incremental (e.g., alternate IR capture approaches like farfield) and other approaches (e.g., Kemper Cabinet/Kone).
      • Current state of the art is "finicky" and is biased for recorded sound.
    • Easier Tone dialing. It can be hard to dial in tones and they seem very sensitive (or insensitive) to changes in the environment (guitar, playback device, small tweaks to settings, volume, ir's). This might be just the tradeoff on complexity of the models versus ease of use (where the Strymon Iridium is easier to use but not as capable/complex); someone called this "Classic" versus "Simple" controls. Also there is a "sound engineer" in a box expectation. I think there's more to this.
    • Amps not based upon real world devices.
      • A bit odd that we are tweaking digital analogs of hardware that were developed before many people on this thread were born
      • Also a bit odd that we are mostly using the same controls (basic knobs as well as low level amp "design" parameters) that these devices were able to support in hardware. I think this relates to the comment above tone dialing.
      • Neural DSP seems to be doing some interesting stuff here with their plugins.
      • Caveats:
        • Most buyers of modelers expect models of the basic amp types
        • Modeling legacy amps might be the best (or a known good way) way to get "real (or great) sounding" amps.
        • Perhaps the amp designers of the past nailed the basic, practical flavors of sound processing for a guitar.
    • Low end and mobile/portable modelers catch up and target different types of usage.
      • What will the next generation of iphone, android (with low latency solved), nux mighty plug, AmplifireBox, iridum, and Waza Air provide, at what cost, and what target use cases? Some of these are pretty good and those examples cover quite a range today.
      • Probably this will happen naturally as new, cheaper, less power hungry, and more capable hardware devices (DSP, mobile CPU's, etc.) emerge.
      • This is probably off topic from the OP.
    LaXu likes this.
  7. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2018
    I've had my SuperChamp XD since early Feb. 2012. I've gotten to know it pretty well. :aok
    I'm just not a fan of the modelled sounds, but the clean channel is fantastic.
  8. guitarbilly74

    guitarbilly74 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Simpson, PA
    I hope not. I don't think they're there yet for live sound but I'm excited about future generations.
  9. roachone

    roachone Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    north carolina
    SD, 720P, 1080p, 4k, 8k...........The answer is no. Only gets better.
  10. GreatSatan

    GreatSatan Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    well when they decide to start putting tubes in the things, have real analog wiring, and start calling them 'amps' then sure!
    But digital will always only ever be 'almost' like analog. To whichever degree you're willing to put up with is down to you; maybe its there yet & maybe it ain't.
  11. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    5868 ft above sea level
    Are we close to the last generation of personal computers?
    JiveTurkey likes this.
  12. bbsomm

    bbsomm Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    I still use mine for silent practice. just run out of my pedalboard, into that, set it on "boutique"(matchless) plug my phone into the aux jack, and jam along through headphones all night

    MIJLOVER Member

    Mar 22, 2013
    They don't need to release a new unit, though, just make them reflection free IRs.

    Really? Somebody always ends up comparing an electric piano with a grand piano. :confused:

    An electric guitar - IMO - no practical application if not amplified! A grand piano is an acoustic instrument. How can it be compared to an amp?

    Now about you preferring tube amps to modelers, sure. Personally, I find very little difference between my Powercab and RF FF IRs, if I turn it up some. ;)

    To the op, people have probably wondered about this for years, but the tech and innovation keep going forward. And I don't agree, at all, that it's only marketing gimmicks, that some here seem to imply?:)
  14. timbuck2

    timbuck2 Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    Dont they do this with nano tubes? and spidervalve mk2 used valves in the power section.Vox used tubes in the VR tech of older valvetronix. The new bluamp x floor thing will have the nano tube in the power section. I think the better in modeling must be from dsp power more then anything because like the fender TM amp-fender stated the ability to give all the dsp to 1 amp model made it way better then any past or currect fender modelamps: so the dsp is what made it so amazing to them?
  15. iam_krash

    iam_krash Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    Not even close...
    Modelers are still behind way behind the curve.
    Modelers DO have their place, mainly when it comes to home recording, private rehearsing.
    However, "replacing" tube amps is another story at this time.
    People believe that they can replicate a JTM 45 or vintage amp in room, just by dialing up a preset and tweeking to taste are suckers for marketing. Henceforth, revision 3.762541 of the axe/helix/kemper software FINALLY sounds like the "real thing"?
    Ask yourself, why do tube amps retain/increase their value and why modelers are worth 1/2-1/3 of their original value a few years after purchase, yet even mid priced fender deluxe reverb reissues still sell for 80% or more of their original purchase price?
    Yet a mid/upper priced modeler isn't worth **** 2-5 years after purchase.
    Lastly, how many people that are trying to emulate a real JTM45 or vintage tweed twin have actually OWNED or played through one?
    A ten year old helix/axe/kemper won't be worth ****.
    I have yet to see a recording artist rant and rave about how good their modeler sounded on a particular track/album.
  16. timbuck2

    timbuck2 Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    i wonder if companies purposely dont release the best modeling they have.I mean gotta keep people buying with new this and that right?
  17. SleepingSG

    SleepingSG Member

    Mar 3, 2020
    I mean a piano is a grand piano in everyone’s mind. And in an electric guitar it’s a tube Amp
    MIJLOVER likes this.
  18. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    south of no north
    my first "rig" was a V-amp into two JBL powered speaker things.
    stuff got better when i got an amp, and i haven't looked back, yet.
    i do use the UA models for some tracking stuff, some of those are pretty good!

    my rig is stereo - a '63 Vibrolux and a Tyler tweed/princeton-y thing.
    i just need to play a modeling rig, on a stage, with a band, that sounds *better* than my rig, and then i'll sell whatever i need to to get into the modeling game.
    *or* to hear someone live who absolutely blows my socks off tonally - to the level of Derek Trucks, Ry Cooder, Lloyd Green, Jim Hall, etc. - rocking a modeler, and again, i'm in.
    i can't imagine how cool it'd be to be able to switch between a Dumble to stereo Magnatones at the flick of a switch.
    i just haven't heard it yet.
    i imagine there are a lot of people like me out there.

    generally, i do quite a bit of amp tweaking during gigs, so i'm at a disadvantage re: interface using any modeler, but even that i'm willing to compromise on if the sound is there. *and*, i'd still be carrying just as much gear, since i'd still want two cabs onstage.

    now - all that being said, i use UA modeling for plugins all the time. i don't have any outboard studio gear. and, i'm going to buy a Townsend modeling mic, when i can find a decent price on a used one. i'm onboard with all that.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  19. primal

    primal Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Not if you plug your modeler into a real cab
    timowens316 and scott58 like this.
  20. SleepingSG

    SleepingSG Member

    Mar 3, 2020
    well then you aren’t modeling the cab lol

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