Beyond... Modelling

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by soundbee, May 27, 2015.

  1. soundbee

    soundbee Member

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    I've been flipping back and forth between different modelling platforms for years. From the original Line6 bean, to analog flavors (SansAmps, AMT, etc..), to 11Rack, to Kemper, AxeFX, to various iOS flavors... and of course regular "real" amps & pedals. One thing I keep coming back to is that I think all "modellers" set themselves up to ultimately fail. It's Coke vs. Pepsi. As many times you take the "Pepsi Challenge"... you'll still keep coming back to "the Real Thing". Modellers are simply modelling their real world counterparts - and whether it sounds better, same, or worse - humans are pre-wired to only want the originals (in most cases).

    So, will there going to be a new paradigm / way of thinking when it comes to guitar sounds and gear? Or are we as guitarists doomed to live in the "glory days" and seek out back friendly, modelled versions for gear of yore?

    Things like the Boss SY-300 seem to lend to the "new paradigm" approach, but what other gear like that is out there and would it really find a market in order to survive?

    ... too much coffee...
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Personally I think the limitation of modeling in that way of thinking is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If that's your only goal, then you are limited to only what is possible in the analog world. If your goal is sounds beyond what is rooted in tradition, then a guitar is just a controller and you are better suited to a synth of some sort to create sounds.

    As simple as what I do is, it is far beyond what you can practically do in the real world in terms of routing, control and using controllers to manage how I work in real time with my rig at a performance or in the studio. Is it some revolutionary stuff that sets the world on fire? No.

    I use modeling gear - again personally - to do what I want to do, how I want to based completely on what my personal 'tone' is in my head. I also do not need a wall of amps, cabs and a full studio of effects and patch bays behind me when I play.

    We can go way out - there is a long legacy of odd guitar based synths and then more esoteric stuff; but guitars have a very long tradition and a certain familiarity that draws people in. Going too far can run the risk of not being musical and what it ends up being won't appeal to the mass of players or the audience.

    The answer is use the tools out there to communicate in a musical manner that best defines and communicates what it is you have to say as a musician. I for one do not need to play synths, I love guitars and guitar tones rooted in the tradition of guitar music so for me... the tools fit the task.
     
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  3. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm very happy to be done with tubes and cones. Been at this game for 55+ years and am thrilled with the tones I get from the Amplifire (effects from GT10). Minimal tweaking, nothing to break down, to haul and injure myself, and I love the form factor (small, light, and relatively inexpensive). It just sounds great. I don't sit there with a high end tube amp A/Bing to struggle with which is best. Been there. It's unnecessary now. But I'm sure we all fall on different points of the curve. Some must have 'gear of yore'. Some prefer to run a modeler into an amp and guitar cab. Etc, etc.
    No coffee here.... just a spot of tea from yore :)

    jon
     
  4. Souper

    Souper Member

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    Yes. Digital does not have to be shackled to what is possible with an analog circuit. I dont know if there will be a lot of useful sonic possibilities from digital, but I wouldnt be surprised if there were. Already boss are going down that road with pedals that utilize digital to do things that cant otherwise be done (presumably) using analog. I think the greatest gains will be in direct access to tone related parameters, rather than circuit related parameters that are common on modellers.
     
  5. Tmidiman

    Tmidiman Member

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    I've stepped beyond wanting wanting a modeler to sound like an amp. I just want it to sound good and I'll except it as its own thing. Using words like "Fender Twin" or "Mesa Boogie" give me an idea of the tonal range. I also like it to work like an amp, meaning I plug things into it, change cabs, adjust the tone stack EQ, but after that it is its own thing.

    What I don't want is to call up an amp model and have to tweak it to make it sound decent. That is counter productive and a waste of my time. An amp model should not sound like an amp in need of repair.

    Beyond that,...I don't know. In the future some guitarist might come along and write a really great song, using the guitar in a whole new way. Look at what people like Charlie Christian, Chuck Berry, and Hendrix did, to name a few. I'm sure some players in the previous generation thought these players over steps their bonderies with what they were doing.

    When you see those YouTube demos of the new Roland/Boss synth thing just keep in mind that those are just demos, not music.

    And it's ok to stick with what you love. Chuck Berry switch to a Mesa Boogie?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  6. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    Agreed. I tend to spend some time up front dialing in the patch (which now takes very little time), configuring routing and what switch controls what sequence of events. Thereafter, no more fiddling required (in general) and my HD500 sounds good with whichever guitar I plug into it. This comes with experience but, IMHO, the same can be said of dialing in any tube amp as well. Also, once one learns the way around the MFx unit, for me, it sure beats farting around with a large pedal board.
     
  7. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    It may happen, but we are a ways off from the crest of that wave I think. It really has to do with the fact that the electric guitar itself is only a half of the instrument. The amp being the other half. Kind of like trying to separate the body of a brass instrument from the bell. I think we will always be referencing these other pieces in some way (amps, speakers, and mics) because they have inextricably come to define the sound of the instrument.

    That is UNLESS the electric guitar becomes something else. For example (as mentioned) more of a multifunction controller with a gyroscope, input pads, etc. I would expect at that point the guitars would be truly electric, running on more efficient batteries and have all the effects and modeling baked in. :dunno
     
  8. rsm

    rsm Member

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    I've been waiting and hoping for digital guitar processing that drops or moves beyond the modeling of analog / tube gear for years. I recently picked up a Boss GT-100 and I dig it, and also got a pair of Roland Cube 80GX amps, and pre-ordered the Boss SY-300 as soon as I saw it listed. The updated MIDI Guitar software sounds promising too, I'm just not ready to move from dedicated hardware.
     
  9. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    Learn to play jazz guitar... No one cares what your tone is like. :)

    I'm only half-joking, but listen to someone like the late Joe Pass. He could play circles around anyone, but a lot of time his tone sounded almost like he plugged directly into the board.
     
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  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I find modeling succeeds or fails depending on what type of amp you are trying to model. There are IMO two basic types of tube amps....those that have cascaded preamps and those that don't. So far i have yet to play thru anything non tube that recreates the same feel/attack that a non cascaded amp has. On the other hand my mustang absolutely nails every single aspects of a cascaded pre type of tube amp to the point i completely forget it's not tube when playing it.

    Thats just my opinion, but for me thats exactly it. Luckily for me I've always been a cascaded preamp type of amp player due to the convenience of the way they can adapt to any situation and a really good one will sound great in it's own way. The mustang, once i figured out how to nail the tone and feel i prefer, does it as well as any tube amp i've ever owned and i've owned a stupid amount from marshals to boogies to you name it including a few boutiques. It's even more dynamic with the volume knob and picking tech than many if not most of the amps i've had. But for a clean tube sound or clean with pedals or cranked up really loud tube tone, the mustang doesn't do that like the real thing IMO.
     
  11. Melodyman

    Melodyman Member

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    It already happened in the 80's with guitar synths. De-coupling the guitar strictly as a front end controller for any type of sound.

    What may happen in the next iterations of the market is where traditional modeling is just a sub-set of a larger library of synth sounds maybe along with creating your own sounds from very basic tonal building blocks that aren't based on an existing amp.

    More granular control....
     
  12. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    I don't see guitar synths ever being much more than a niche in the overall market, at least for the foreseeable future. I think the vast majority of people who pick up a guitar do so with the expectation that they want it to sound like a guitar. Whether it be a metal tone, classic rock, or whatever. There will always be people who want to more experimental things, but I almost think that's a totally different conversation than modeling.
     

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