Does playing modeling amp make you a worse player?

rob2001

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I think the problem is more that you don't know how to set the modeling amp up to react more like a real one. You can turn the saturation knob "down" you know.
I think this is what it's about. Not that OP doesn't know how to dial in a modeler, but he is choosing those settings.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
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12,811
I personally think that modeling has little to do with it. It has to do with players wanting to use a lot of gain and saturation. Perhaps with modelers it's a little bit easier to get those sort of sounds, but whenever I'm at Guitar Center, I hear guys doing the same thing with tube amps. They crank the gain knob and let 'er rip.

Btw, I think these are the same people who do the same thing with modeling amps and then complain "it gets lost in the mix!" so therefore, "all modelers suck!". No, what sucks is your ability to know a good guitar tone is.
 

Turbo Gerbil

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5,413
Most modellers will dial in more gain than the real amps. You can also dial the gain out. It always amuses me when people use this as an argument against them.... "It's not like the real amp, it can get more gain!". Sounds like an improvement.
 

Jim Soloway

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14,544
I personally think that modeling has little to do with it. It has to do with players wanting to use a lot of gain and saturation. Perhaps with modelers it's a little bit easier to get those sort of sounds, but whenever I'm at Guitar Center, I hear guys doing the same thing with tube amps. They crank the gain knob and let 'er rip.

Btw, I think these are the same people who do the same thing with modeling amps and then complain "it gets lost in the mix!" so therefore, "all modelers suck!". No, what sucks is your ability to know a good guitar tone is.
:agree:aok
 

paranoid70

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6,478
So what's wrong with playing with gain now? It depends upon the style of music you are playing. Some of us like that stuff.
 

dougb415

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9,839
PS: how many (non-guitar playing) women would know/care about any type of guitar amp period?
My wife plays some acoustic, but no electric. She has been there to help pick out many of my amps; most of them, actually. She's GASsing for a Carr Rambler these days.
 

StompBoxBlues

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19,986
I get what you are suggesting and don't disagree, but isn't there also some logic to the idea of practicing using the same platform involved in the performance? What I mean is, using a rig that performs like whatever the live set up or recording set up will be to perform given material?

I used to play using a great deal of gain, and the one good thing I can say about doing so was that this taught me how to play clean in terms of extraneous noise and such, and how to control noise at those gain levels. I'm not sure I could have achieved that by playing clean (maybe if I could have played clean and exceptionally loud).
At least for me, this is not so. Back when I had only one amp and it was at the rehearsal place, I got a lot out of trying to get sustain, vibrato, and just the real feel playing an electric guitar, but unplugged. It's been a while now since I last did that, and I really think I should do it again now and then. For one thing, it helps one hear the extraneous notes one doesn't want...it's harder to hear them for me with a gained amp.

Also, and I say this all the time, and even now and then practice it, most guitarists push the gain too much. My idel setting, and I have checked this by listening back to recordings, is set the gain where I think it ought to be, then back it off a WHOLE lot...

I've also mentioned before, again for me, my tone memory of songs tends to add a lot of gain when it is an exciting, fantastic driving solo or rythm part. When I actually listen to the recording I always get surprised that the real source is way less gainy than I remember it. Also I'm talking about gain here, not fuzz..
 

C-4

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14,096
I think the problem is more that you don't know how to set the modeling amp up to react more like a real one. You can turn the saturation knob "down" you know.

I have found this to be very true as well.

A good player will not be diminished by using a modelling amp then moving to a tube amp. It's a matter of learning how to use the gear you have chosen.

Some players may not play as well on a lesser cost guitar that they own then they would on a guitar that they own, which is more expensive. It all depends on the individual and the individual instrument they choose, just it does with the amp and all the other perifieral gear they use..
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,811
So what's wrong with playing with gain now? It depends upon the style of music you are playing. Some of us like that stuff.
Nothing wrong with it, per se. It's just that I think that a lot of people use more than they need. I think some players, especially beginners, seem to think that adding more gain or saturation automatically equates to a tone being more aggressive or "brutal". The thing that people don't realize is that the more saturated a tone is, the more it gets pushed back in the mix.
 

Zingeroo

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4,348
This thread reminds me, whenever you see one of those 12-year-olds on YouTube playing Eruption, they're always using one of these modeling amps with a lot of gain, sustain, and compression. Much more than what was used on the original recording.
Granted, the speed, dexterity, and coordination has to be there but you don't see the same finger strength and right-hand attack that is really needed to play Eruption the way it was originally.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

thornie

Silver Supporting Member
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3,445
I get what you are suggesting and don't disagree, but isn't there also some logic to the idea of practicing using the same platform involved in the performance? What I mean is, using a rig that performs like whatever the live set up or recording set up will be to perform given material?

I used to play using a great deal of gain, and the one good thing I can say about doing so was that this taught me how to play clean in terms of extraneous noise and such, and how to control noise at those gain levels. I'm not sure I could have achieved that by playing clean (maybe if I could have played clean and exceptionally loud).
If I practice clean or unplugged, it does nothing to prepare me for playing through a pushed 50W head or an amp patch with gain. I nearly ruined my technique practicing unplugged for years. Whenever I would plug in, there would be noise everywhere. It was very difficult for me to control the amp, in terms of dynamics and controlling subtle string noise. Due to the fact I live in the city, practicing on a real amp is out of the question, so I use a modeller (HD500). I'm very aware of how compression and gain "aids" in playing, so I take the stance that it is cheating and turn it off. A modeler with the gain set to about 12" o clock with NO compression added and a tiny hint of reverb for room ambience, can be just as unforgiving as any tube amp.

All that being said, when I'm performing I use all the bells and whistles (gain, compression, delay to taste). I can only do so after knowing I practiced long hours without any of that stuff making it "easier". When you're on stage, I have no problems with doing anything you can to make the guitar easier to play. But IMO that stuff has no place in the practice room, unless of course your entire "thing" is based on effects.
 

RJT

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604
I've been seeing a lot of looping live acts at my venue and have to admit I think of it as glorified karaoke. The audience is less prone to give it up to someone who waltzes the looper all night. If you're good you don't need loopers or modeling amps.
You're talking about people who use prerecorded loops right? Not people who literally create the loops live? If not, I'm a glorified karaoke act. :D
 
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So I noticed that when I play my Line 6 Spider IV practice amp that it's REALLY EASY to play pretty much anything. All the compression and gain make it super easy to pull off all my fancy licks.
So turn off the compressor and back off on the gain. Then you can practice more effectively.
 

thedroid

Member
Messages
3,071
I would say the modeling amp I use (Vox) has actually improved my playing. I pretty much only use it to model "in-between" sounds like a pushed Fender or Vox amp. I find I have to play well (or at least, reasonably well) to make it sound good, because unlike my tube amp setup, I' don't use an overdrive pedal for the distortion (which makes it "easier" to play).
I had Vox modeling amp, and it wasn't bad. I've also heard them sound good on stage.

The Line 6 stuff . . . . no.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
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30,250
One one of things I notice....and I'm guilty as well...is people using the word gain in the wrong context. I think it's more of a saturation/compression thing that people use.

This is played with a crapload of gain...but it's sure not saturated like a metal tone setting. And talk about controlling it!

 






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