Finally made the complete jump to modeling

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by EZchair Picker, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. EZchair Picker

    EZchair Picker Member

    Messages:
    461
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    I've been using a modeler for a couple years now. Admittedly, it never really sounded any better than 'decent' or 'workable' most of the time. I was never happy with the sound on stage nor being at the mercy of the monitor mix. It's been a long road with lots of lessons learned, but I’ve finally 'gotten it' and have fully embraced the technology. I really appreciate this forum as I’ve spent a lot of time reading and learning from everyone here along the way.

    Here’s a few of my ‘a-ha’ moments:

    #1) You can’t expect to create a great patch using a poor point of reference (speaker/monitor). My 15 year old crate PA with 10” speakers (one with a blown horn) just sounds bad period. What was I thinking? It would be like hooking up a deluxe reverb to an old kraco 6x9 car speaker and saying that the amp sucks. Everyone has heard of garbage in = garbage out, but a bad speaker system can give you varying degrees of garbage out no matter what goes in.

    #2) Want the patch to sound and cut like a real amp? Work the mids! Aside from having the mids bumped up on most of the amp models, I use an additional EQ to boost the lower or higher end of the midrange to fill out the sound. Also watch the bass. A PA or FRFR will often have better lowerer frequency responce than guitar speakers which can result in a boomy sound. I never need as much bass as I think I do!

    #3) It’s all about the end product (audience’s experience). No longer do you have to worry about trying to get your favorite tube amp turned up to its ‘sweet spot’, fussing with mic placement or being told to turn down just to have the sound guy/gal make you’re beautiful tubey tonal mojo sound like a canned ham splattering out of the mains. A good patch can get by with only a little EQing at the board to compensate for the room and will sound consistant regardless of volume. Unless you’re working with a solid pro sound guy, I’ve so far gotten my best sounds out front when using the modeler, which should always be a main focus.

    #4) Get the best monitor/FRFR that you can. Don’t get hung up on specs. Listen for the quality of sound, the clarity of notes and make sure it has enough volume for your intentions. Part of this goes back to the first point, but I also see this as the other half of your ‘guitar amplifier’. The modeling unit may be the preamp, but the FRFR is the power section and speaker. I’m not a pro player, so I need to feel confident and comfortable to play my best. Being lost in the monitor mix or hearing my guitar sound like AM radio or even having no monitor at all is not something I enjoy working through. A good personal monitor is like having your amp there. It sounds and feels like home.

    :)
     
  2. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,898
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Never underestimate the ability of an incompetent sound man to make your tone sound like crap. They can be very inventive with all those knobs to twist. That being said, it is theoretically easy to get a good modeler tone, just leave everything flat on FOH. But many sound guys just can't leave well enough alone.

    Also, I've found it is easier to poorly EQ a modeler than a mic'd amp. This is because the modeler is using digital filtering to lower the highs to a manageable level, and the guitar amp has the rolloff of the speaker along with the mic to attenuate the uglies. If the highs are cranked too much at FOH with a mic'd amp, usually it just sounds a bit bright. But the modeler can sound like the cab modeling was switched off, which is not good at all. A nice warm tone then sounds like a fuzzbox directly into the PA. I've been fighting this issue constantly at both of my main gigs.
     

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