Has anyone here used the Motherload?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by MichaelK, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Has anyone acutally used the Motherload load box/speaker sim? This was mentioned when I solicited opinions on the Palmer boxes on gearslutz, and I'd love to hear what other users think of it. Especially in comparison to Palmer, if possible.

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Thanks for that link. Orren posts here once in a while.

    Unfortunately the review doesn't compare it to any Palmer product – but it probably wasn't supposed to. I'm really looking for qualitative comparisons of how they sound.
     
  4. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    I am basically doing the same comparison, trying to figure out what to buy. I just found this thread, which has some clips of both the Palmer PGA-04 and the Motherload recorded with a Naylor SuperDrive 60 and a Suhr Classic.

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=106464&highlight=motherload

    FVB
     
  5. Orren

    Orren Member

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    That's very true. ;)

    I've never tried the palmer, so I can't say. If I were compare the Motherload to any Palmer product, I would guess it would be closer to the PGA-04, because they are both pretty infinitely tweakable (and equally finicky to get right, I'm betting).

    The Motherload is significantly more expensive than the Palmer; that's something to consider as well.

    I've just been reviewing the Waves G|T|R 2.0 product, and one of my tests was using it as a speaker simulator (turning off the amp sim). Of all the speakers from all the applications, it sounded the most like my actual cabinets. So if you're not married to a hardware unit, that Waves GTR is looking might fine.

    Orren
     
  6. Orren

    Orren Member

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    That's very true. ;)

    I've never tried the palmer, so I can't say. If I were compare the Motherload to any Palmer product, I would guess it would be closer to the PGA-04, because they are both pretty infinitely tweakable (and equally finicky to get right, I'm betting).

    The Motherload is significantly more expensive than the Palmer; that's something to consider as well.

    I've just been reviewing the Waves G|T|R 2.0 product, and one of my tests was using it as a speaker simulator (turning off the amp sim). Of all the speakers from all the applications, it sounded the most like my actual cabinets. So if you're not married to a hardware unit, that Waves GTR is looking might fine.

    Orren
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I'm not partial to hardware per se, but software would have to sound as good or better. The main reason I'm looking into hardware is because I heard that the Palmer PDI-03 sounded better than any software, but then I've read opinions that the Motherload sounds even better than the Palmer.

    How long did you have a chance to play around with the Motherload? Do you feel that given more time to you might have gotten better results?

    Also, do you feel GTR sounds better than the Motherload?
     
  8. Orren

    Orren Member

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    The thing about software is that most all of the *really good* speaker simulations use convolution. In other words, they way in which they filter your tone varies according to the signal it is processing. A hardware filter is static by nature. So theoretically, software has the potential to much more realistically capture the way varying impedance affects the speaker response. That's not to say that those software simulations that aren't all that great will actually achieve that. But I think the best simulations in Guitar Rig 2, and the Waves GTR do.

    I had the motherload for over a year, because after the review, I kept it for my "using Guitar Rig 2 with hardware" chapter in my Guitar Rig 2 Power! book. I feel that I got the best possible results. Not only from my own tweaking, but I was in daily contact with the developer in England, talking about how to tweak the various knobs to get the results I wanted, etc.

    Keep in mind that the Motherload, by the designer's own intention, is not a "this setting sounds like a speaker" sort of device. If it was, it would have a single switch or two, like the PDI-03. It is designed to offer lots of flavors and choices. But that also means that, like an analog synthesizer, you need to adjust it to get the sound you want for every different amp. But I was able to get good results with both my amps after tweaking, which is why I gave it a very positive review.

    Do you feel that a Dual Rectifier sounds better than a Marshall DSL? :D

    Seriously, I think that you can set the Motherload to sound really wonderful for a certain amp, or really crappy with an amp. I think you can pull up a speaker and mic simulation in Waves GTR that will sound amazing with a given amp, and one that will sound really crappy with that amp.

    I think what the Palmer PDI-03 (and the 09) has going for it (at least the model you mention) is that it's a "one size fits all" type of device. It's going to sound great with the particularly rig, or sound crappy, and you're going to know as soon as you plug it in. I'd say that the Waves GTR is more tweaky than that, since you've got some 16 speaker simulations, 8 mics, so if you're not happy off the bat, there's a lot to try. But the tweakiest of all is the Motherload, because there are so many possible permutations of filter settings, you're going to be tweaking for a rather long time if you're not thrilled off the bat.

    Orren
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Thank you! Very well thought out and articulated!

    You know, you're so good at that you could do it for a living. ;)
     
  10. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i have used the older two rackspace motherload. i thought it was very good. had i not already had a couple of groove tubes speaker sims, i would have seriously considered the motherload. actually, i still am considering the motherload as i sometimes have need of more than two speaker sims. have never tried the palmer.
    i second the GTR speaker sims, as well. i find the whole GTR 'experience' pretty darned good for an amp sim. NI is also good, but GTR has much better touch response/contol thru the volume knob on the gee-tar. the only thing w/ GTR as a speaker sim is the latency, which could or could not be an issue, depending on how one intends to use the program.
     
  11. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    I've owned the Motherload, Palmer, Cab-tone, and several versions of the Red Box. I mean I used them to death trying to get a decent tone from them. And it's always ended up me being super pissed-off and frustrated.

    This is what I've learned... nothing is better than a cabinet mic'd... nothing, nothing, nothing.

    The second best for me is this:

    amp > THD Hotplate > Line Out > Radial Reamp > PODxt speaker cab sim(no amp model; studio mode) > ProTools

    No piece of hardware comes close for silent recording... not Palmer, not Motherload, etc.

    Now this is usually when someone chimes in and says, they hate the PODxt... the amp sims suck. And they won't even bother trying it out based on that assessment.

    You're not using the amp sims... you're using the speaker sims. And yes, you have to tweak it... not eq wise, but play around with the different cabinet models and virtual mic placement that fits the tone you want. I've heard that NI's GuitarRig II is also very good for this, but I haven't had an opportunity to try it.

    Get all the components above in the TGPs emporiums or ebaY and you'll come under the price of a Motherload or the higher end Palmer units.

    If you don't like it... sell all the stuff back on the TGP emporium or ebaY.

    I have clips if anyone is interested... PM me.
     
  12. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Have to agree, for me the best solution for recording direct is Guitar Rig 2, either using the am and cab sims or running an amp into a load and just using the cab sims in GR2.
     

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