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Is there desktop software akin to Axe-Fx/Kemper, etc.?

exodus

Member
Messages
1,826
I've never had a modeler before and am pretty intrigued by the whole thing...been watching a lot of videos of Axe and Kemper. The only problem is that they are a bit pricey to just "buy and try" on a whim. I also really dig the Axe's ability to tweak it on the desktop with your guitar in hand and try the results immediatly.

I'm wondering, is there desktop software that essentially does the same thing as the Axe? By that I mean, interface my guitar into my computer and build and amp/cab/effects chain, and play it in real time as I'm tweaking through my monitors? I'm just looking for home use, not live. Also, recording/editing ability would be a plus. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

AdInfinitum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
773
If you want a hardware unit - try the Amplifire by Atomic - $600.

For software - any of the following - Amplitube, S-Gear, Bias. Plenty of others out there, some free even.
 

randombastage

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,706
I think SGear comes very close to the top hardware modelers, closer than any other, in terms of amp modeling quality. In fact if your audio interface/computer can deliver low latency the distinction of "better" between the two worlds becomes simply a matter of taste...
I can't remember if they have a demo download or not but it is definitely worth it. SGear has both the plug in and stand alone capability too.
 

Davy

Member
Messages
1,385
I have both a Kemper and S-Gear. The quality of the amp tones in S-Gear really aren't that far behind the Kemper. The amps selection is limited but the models it has are really good. The plexi style amp is my go to and it really nails those tones IMO. I've tried most software modellers and for my preferences S-Gear is way in front.
 

oldhousescott

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,675
In addition to the ones AdInfinitum listed, there's also NI Guitar Rig, Waves GTR3, OverLoud TH3, Peavey Revalver, and more.

I, too, am using S-Gear and really diggin' it.
 

richpjr

Member
Messages
2,382
Another plug for S-Gear. It also has a 2 week fully functional free trial. If you have an audio interface it will cost you nothing to try and the presets are a great starting point. I also have Amplitube and Bias desktop and those are pretty good as well (the Mesa amps in Amplitube are very nice).
 

tibone

Member
Messages
754
How good is the Sgear for high gain/metal sounds?

Judging only by the amps modeled, it doesn't seem to be focused to high gain and every single major metal act these days is running either an AxeFX or a Kemper..
I thinking BIAS is more geared towards high gain? Perhaps it's the best "software alternative" to axeFX/kemper, when it comes to high gain?
 

exodus

Member
Messages
1,826
Thanks for the advice guys. I guess as a counterpoint to tibone's post, does S-Gear get lower gain/classic rock tones? I probably should have mentioned that in my original post that I'm not looking for high gain/metal. Also, what sort of interfaces are you guys using (I've seen a few, I'm sure there are a ton). Ideally, I'd like to be able to put a few of my pedals in-line to the computer (fuzz, uni-vibe, wah, etc.)
 

Elric

Member
Messages
4,563
If you are just getting started in the modeling world VST/plugins are a great way to get into it. Many have free demos and most have the ability to build a signal chain like a hardware unit. A lot of them also have stand alone applications. I would recommend researching: Amplitube, Revalver, Bias FX, and S-Gear for a start.

S-Gear is the TGP darling but IMHO it is one of the weakest choices possible for anything heavier than classic rock (I recently loaded it up this week and tried and tried to enjoy it and dial some metal tones but it is unusable in this regard when I have Bias FX and Amplitube Mesa on the same machine), so your preferences may not be the same as everyone else's. You will see tons of group think on 'net forums and again, IMHO, this one is particularly bad for that. So try a bunch and see for yourself.

All that said, truth be told, I would take a hardware modeler over software all day long. I have owned and enjoyed probably everything you could name, both plugin and hardware (except the Kemper) and in my experience even medium grade Hardware solutions are superior when configured as part of a quality rig both in terms of dialing time and tone/feel.

Plugins are always worthwhile to have on hand for recording and practicing, though, so you cannot go wrong by picking a few up. You also absolutely could get by with nothing else some folks even use them live... I'm just glad *I* personally don't *have* to. ;)
 

Ball&Chain

Member
Messages
107
imo S-Gear will do high gain just fine, but the terms high/gain and metal cover a vast amount of ground so YMMV. I don't own sgear, but I made every bit of use from the trial and I could dial in high gain tones I was very happy with using the wayfarer amp. Since you can use your own impulse response cabs, you're pretty much limitless there.


Here is a high gain demo I found on youtube.

I don't know that BIAS is necessarily geared more toward high gain, but it will most certainly do it and other things as well. You cant use your own IR's in the standalone app that I know of, but you can load it as a plugin, disable the cab and use your own IR loader and IR's that way.
 

slugworth

Member
Messages
2,566
How good is the Sgear for high gain/metal sounds?
S-Gear sucks for that. It also sucks because it uses a rootkit copy protection scheme.

But if you don't mind S-Gear's copy protection rootkit, then S-Gear and TSE X50 would make a great tandem. X50 is excellent at high to insane gain tones.

Personally I prefer Amplitube 4 and BIAS. The Mesa/Boogie stuff and recent Marshall stuff on Amplitube is top shelf. There have been BIAS vs. AFX vs. Kemper shootouts that have fooled plenty of the fanbois. I have Revalver but haven't spent much time with it. But it gets great tones, too. There are really a lot of incredible choices for tone in this market space.
 
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AdInfinitum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
773
S-gears' copy protection is no big deal. I don't know why people make a big deal about that. Although S-gears doesn't uses Iloks, but I actually prefer iloks so that when my hard drives gives up the ghost, I can easily reload all my audio units without having to dig through e-mails ttyong to locate serial numbers.

Forgot about TH-3 (it has a good emulation of Randall's MTS modules).

Revolver might be good for high gain, but I find Bias, S-Gear and Amplitube up to the challenge.

Softube also has a Native Amp Room (Marshall, vox and fender) and Metal Room.

Of course, line6 with Pod Farm.

There really are a lot to choose from.
 
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slugworth

Member
Messages
2,566
S-gears' copy protection is no big deal. I don't know why people make a big deal about that.
It is a rootkit. That means handing the keys to your computer and everything on it to the 3rd party that Scuffham has enlisted to provide this "service". It gives them free reign to do whatever they please to your computer and with whatever data is stored on your computer. You might decide that you trust them not to do anything evil with root access to your entire system. Maybe they won't ever overstep their purpose of copy-protecting Scuffham's software. But I don't trust that. I wouldn't willingly hand that over to anybody.

Maybe that's no big deal to you. But to me, that is an absolute dealbreaker for S-Gear. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.
 

Agreed

Member
Messages
1,647
I go back to IKMM when it's time to record. That said I too have tried S-Gear and find it to be great at what it does - not an "everything in one!" kind of software, though. IK has a very large gear count at this point though you're best off not relying on too much stuff from the pre Amplitube Fender period. The old Preamp / Tone Stack / Power Amp mix-n'-match models are very hit and miss in the context of the stuff they've done since AT:Fender, but some of the pedal models I use a lot are in those old packs. What can ya do.

They're running some killer promotions for bundles right now if you want to expand, but one thing you'll figure out pretty quick about the Custom Shop is if a pack isn't on sale, you're best off waiting for a credit sale, or you'll probably be paying more than most other users. I use the Amplitube: Orange pack all the time, and recently got the AT:MESA/Boogie pack and have been totally loving its MkIII and MkIV models. If you have good conversion hardware with low latency, you can absolutely get comparable results with modeling software vs. hardware units. They just tend to make it a little cheaper to get the same kind of variety, since they don't have to worry about running on diverse computer hardware.

I actually have a couple clips up from AT4 and some of the packs since they're running a sale this month. Check it out if you'd like here. Not on an ideal mixing setup since my KRK VXT monitors broke down, but doing my best to keep the mix in control with my headphones (booooo). But it may help give you an idea. I'll be uploading some more clips and patches this weekend.
 
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AdInfinitum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
773
If a hacker really wanted to get access to your computer, they would have no problem. These people break into banks, law firms and government agencies that have specific safeguards in place to prevent=vent hacking. But I guess if they want to hear some of my crappy Prog Rock songs stored on my music computer, be my guest. I'd rather have S-Gear and risk it.
 

kyolic

Member
Messages
826
It is a rootkit. That means handing the keys to your computer and everything on it to the 3rd party that Scuffham has enlisted to provide this "service". It gives them free reign to do whatever they please to your computer and with whatever data is stored on your computer. You might decide that you trust them not to do anything evil with root access to your entire system. Maybe they won't ever overstep their purpose of copy-protecting Scuffham's software. But I don't trust that. I wouldn't willingly hand that over to anybody.

Maybe that's no big deal to you. But to me, that is an absolute dealbreaker for S-Gear. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.


Sorry mate but I have a feeling that you are just speaking out of your ass.

S-Gear tags MBR section of your hard disk as their copy protection scheme and that's their ONLY difference compared to other vst plugins.

Now can I please learn how does tagging MBR section of your HD mean "handing the keys to your computer and everything on it to the 3rd party that Scuffham has enlisted to provide this service and it gives them free reign to do whatever they please to your computer and with whatever data is stored on your computer"?
 

slugworth

Member
Messages
2,566
Sorry mate but I have a feeling that you are just speaking out of your ass.

S-Gear tags MBR section of your hard disk as their copy protection scheme and that's their ONLY difference compared to other vst plugins.

Now can I please learn how does tagging MBR section of your HD mean "handing the keys to your computer and everything on it to the 3rd party that Scuffham has enlisted to provide this service and it gives them free reign to do whatever they please to your computer and with whatever data is stored on your computer"?
"Tagging" an MBR? What exactly is that supposed to mean? You're the one talking out of your ass. Either you have altered the MBR to execute your own code, or you haven't. Here's an article that might help you understand a few basics:

https://blog.malwarebytes.com/101/2014/09/meet-the-master-boot-record/

I've made my point, and you and anyone else are free to ignore it or to expand your knowledge on the subject. Cheers.
 




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