If modeling is “just as good as the real thing” these days, why is analog still super popular?

bigfoamfinger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,985
"CONVENIENT" Agreed
just as GOOD? I think not just yet.

food for thought:

in the 80s Digital gear got 93% as good
in the 90s Digital gear got 96% as good
in the 2000s Digital gear got 96.5% as good
in the 2010s Digital gear got 97% as good
in 2020 Digital gear got 97.25% as good

Is 3% close good enough? YES for meat and potato sessions, NO for your next personal Album.
How important are JUST 3%? : well those little pesky 3% are where the magic lives....

be well, and be safe
Pretty spot on post. I have 3 tube amps and an Axe III. I use the Axe for almost everything- practice, rehearsal, shows, laying down scratch tracks, and also for all my effects (sold off the board)

Why do I keep the 3 tube amps, cabs and UA OX?— That 3% mentioned above, when recording. It’s that extra magic in the recordings.

But I’ll be honest, the $$$ I can get from selling off my tube setup gets very tempting. The Axe III is that close
 

Jugghaid

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,085
This shouldn't be a either/or conversation to be honest. I use a Helix IN CONJUNCTION with my tube amps, live, in the studio, on Guitar and bass. It's a fantastic control center that handles all of my routing needs with excellent effects and I can add a very different channel to my tube amps when needed. For instance my Engl is a bad ass fire breathing 4 channel monster, but there are tones it also doesn't do that the Helix preamp can cover. Or if I'm playing my Marshall but want an extra high gain metal tone that it wont do, I have access to it. And I still get the feel of a tube power section because I'm playing through a tube power section.

There is no need to limit yourself. Its 2020. You can have it all.
 

tzunany

Member
Messages
47
If modeling is “just as good as the real thing” why not play the real thing? :D

Most of us don't need 50 amps and cab simulators. I'm happy with a good old fender amp so I stick with it. Also, I feel better playing through the real thing and that is what it is about. At home, I'm happy with a digital practice amp.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,278
I've found analog SS preamps/amps have gotten much improved in recent years. Not saying digital hasn't - it has made big strides. Given I only use the basics - clean, overdrive , reverb, some delay - maybe chorus here and there, Tech21 really nails it for me with the FlyRig 5.0. I use it into a SS power amp and the tone really is complete for me.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,602
If modeling is “just as good as the real thing” why not play the real thing? :D

Most of us don't need 50 amps and cab simulators. I'm happy with a good old fender amp so I stick with it. Also, I feel better playing through the real thing and that is what it is about. At home, I'm happy with a digital practice amp.
So many reasons.
  • The real thing only sounds good when it's obnoxiously loud.
  • The real thing does not have a feature you need (e.g. fx loop or maybe a second channel).
  • The real thing is heavy as hell to take to a gig (remember those?).
  • The real thing is expensive or rare and you don't want it to be stolen.
  • The real thing is inappropriate for a low volume or silent stage.
  • The real thing is only great for one particular sound and mediocre for anything else.
While I agree that none of us need 50+ amp sims, having the option costs nothing more than some memory. The thing with digital is that because memory is cheap, they tend to be packed full of features to the point where they are a virtual studio worth of gear. This can be a pro or con depending on your preference and mindset.

I use digital, analog hybrid and all tube amps in perfect harmony these days. They all have their place. For headphone use or direct recording I just use digital because it's convenient and easy, for light traveling I use my BluGuitar hybrid and when I can play loud it's my tube amps into real guitar cabs.

Nobody ever said you have to choose just one. Insisting on "the real thing" means you miss out on the massive wealth of options on the market today.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,253
Modeling is pretty great these days. However, I set my amp for one tone--crunch--and ride the volume knob and onboard mid boost for 95% of my platform tone. I don't really need anything outside of my amps I already have and it would only cost a lot of $$ for the usual suspect modelers. I'm sure there is a Tech 21 pedal or Fly Rig that can do what I need, though. I just don't have a need to change up my situation. Amps are still working great for me.
 
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Krausewitz

Member
Messages
2,853
Because boomers exist. Because people who fetishize gear exist. Because people who can afford a Lamborghini need to feel above other people. Just give it 1 or 2 generations and real amps will be in the same place analog mixing/recording gear is now.
One or two generations meaning, what....50-60 years from now!?

Yeah, I’ll stick with analog as much a sense possible, thank you.
 
Messages
290
I've played convincing modeling amps, wouldn't be apposed to using them in the studio or for practice but i already have analog stuff so i won't be switching over any time soon. My personal preference for analog is honestly ridiculous....I like The Who and i think Jimi Hendrix's feedback noises and gear smashing were more interesting than his blues licks, kicking over a modeling amp just doesn't have the same feeling as totally destroying an analog amp.

 

Adam1578

Member
Messages
179
I like the simplicity of a combo amp. No IR's, software, menus, scrolling, buying presets, multiple pieces of gear, external speakers for home use. Unless I toured and needed a lighter setup, I'm sticking with my amp.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,082
I've played convincing modeling amps, wouldn't be apposed to using them in the studio or for practice but i already have analog stuff so i won't be switching over any time soon. My personal preference for analog is honestly ridiculous....I like The Who and i think Jimi Hendrix's feedback noises and gear smashing were more interesting than his blues licks, kicking over a modeling amp just doesn't have the same feeling as totally destroying an analog amp.

Destroying digital stuff can be very satisfying!








(ok, I know the monitors are not exactly digital, but still....)
 

jujube

Member
Messages
2,109
Not sure about pedals, but I will never use a modeling synthesizer. It’s just not the same. It’ll never be the same. I own a Juno 106 and Juno 60, the plugin which everyone claims is a “faithful representation” is ass water compared. My actual physical Korg Polysix can’t even emulate the Juno 60
The great analog synths are so fat like Moog, Oberheim etc even on YouTube. Sampling and modelling is not the same. Hence, the great renaissance in analog synths.
 
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Le Broucke

Member
Messages
3
This shouldn't be a either/or conversation to be honest. I use a Helix IN CONJUNCTION with my tube amps, live, in the studio, on Guitar and bass. It's a fantastic control center that handles all of my routing needs with excellent effects and I can add a very different channel to my tube amps when needed. For instance my Engl is a bad ass fire breathing 4 channel monster, but there are tones it also doesn't do that the Helix preamp can cover. Or if I'm playing my Marshall but want an extra high gain metal tone that it wont do, I have access to it. And I still get the feel of a tube power section because I'm playing through a tube power section.

There is no need to limit yourself. Its 2020. You can have it all.
The real beauty of the Helix ( Stomp in my case) is the possibilities it opens.
 

Fulldrive-1

Member
Messages
5,826
Listen to what Jimi did at Woostock with a Fuzzface, a wah, a Univibe, and two Marshalls.

Can modeling do that?

If so, keep it. If not . . . .
 




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