Modeler over real amp?

SFW

Member
Messages
1,427
So I recently picked up a used AxeFX XL. I've been working on getting tones programmed for use with my band in live settings. This morning, I plugged my amp in for the first time in a while. My first thought was "Damn, I think I prefer the AFX." lol! Not my 2005 Splawn Quickrod has been my main amp for the last six years. Love they way it sounds. Until this morning. Compared to the BE100 tones that I've been dialing in on the AFX, the Splawn sounds fizzy and flubby. Anyone else have a similar experience?
 

brew58ski

Member
Messages
232
One thing to consider with modelers is that it isn't actually modeling the amp per se. It's modelling what you would hear if you had an amp in a studio that was mic'd. You're hearing what you would hear in the control room of the studio, not what you would hear if you were next to the amp in the studio. Amps also tend to be directional which it does not model either. This also means that you are probably hearing a more "produced" sound. That would account for the fizz and flub.
 

fretworn

Member
Messages
2,345
One thing to consider with modelers is that it isn't actually modeling the amp per se. It's modelling what you would hear if you had an amp in a studio that was mic'd. You're hearing what you would hear in the control room of the studio, not what you would hear if you were next to the amp in the studio. Amps also tend to be directional which it does not model either. This also means that you are probably hearing a more "produced" sound. That would account for the fizz and flub.
Not true. Input > amp block > output

With no cabinet emulation, you’re not getting what you described.

I run AxeFX models direct out into 1 kW of solid state amplifiers into real/traditional guitar cabinets as well as via IRs into FRFR
 

V|J

Member
Messages
2,863
Not true. Input > amp block > output

With no cabinet emulation, you’re not getting what you described.

I run AxeFX models direct out into 1 kW of solid state amplifiers into real/traditional guitar cabinets as well as via IRs into FRFR
Are you using a preamp block or full amp > SS amp?
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
954
Fractal let's you dial out stuff that you don't like about an Amp that would be hard or impossible to do in the real world. You can be your own Amp modder instead of shipping it off to somebody. It's easy to make a quick tweak based on where your ears are today or what is going on with the weather.

As much as I appreciate and enjoy the digital stuff, I still come back to my real amps and enjoy them as well. It's a different playing experience.
 

fretworn

Member
Messages
2,345
Fractal let's you dial out stuff that you don't like about an Amp that would be hard or impossible to do in the real world. You can be your own Amp modder instead of shipping it off to somebody. It's easy to make a quick tweak based on where your ears are today or what is going on with the weather.

As much as I appreciate and enjoy the digital stuff, I still come back to my real amps and enjoy them as well. It's a different playing experience.
Only thing I ever really touch in the amplifier block is the same thing you would touch on the real thing.:dunno
 

nicolasrivera

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,920
So I recently picked up a used AxeFX XL. I've been working on getting tones programmed for use with my band in live settings. This morning, I plugged my amp in for the first time in a while. My first thought was "Damn, I think I prefer the AFX." lol! Not my 2005 Splawn Quickrod has been my main amp for the last six years. Love they way it sounds. Until this morning. Compared to the BE100 tones that I've been dialing in on the AFX, the Splawn sounds fizzy and flubby. Anyone else have a similar experience?
How did you try the amp?
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
10,976
I go back and forth and acknowledge that they are two different approaches.

I currently have a stereo real amp + pedalboard rig. BluGuitar Amp1 + 4x10 and Victory VC35 + 1x12. Sounds glorious, easy to use. A bit overkill to be fair.

But at the same time, there's a lot to be said for the convenience of my Axe-Fx 3. It sounds fantastic too. For fun I built basically the equivalent of my real stereo rig as a preset and you know what, it does sound pretty similar if I pipe it through poweramps into real cabs. Different with cab sims but that's a fine sound too.

I'm likely moving to a somewhat smaller apartment in another city for a few years and will probably sell off my real rigs and stick with the Axe-Fx 3 for my guitar and bass needs simply because it takes less space, sounds great and it's easier to get good tones out of it into headphones or at lower volumes through studio monitors. More appropriate for a hobbyist in an apartment if you will.
 

V|J

Member
Messages
2,863
Why would I play preamp only, as I like power amp dynamics and distortion. So, PA on.
Because it’s already going into an amp afterwards.
I only tried a modeler into an SS amp once and it sounded just fine.
But in TPS, they mention that running a preamp into another can get fizzy etc
 

fretworn

Member
Messages
2,345
Because it’s already going into an amp afterwards.
I only tried a modeler into an SS amp once and it sounded just fine.
But in TPS, they mention that running a preamp into another can get fizzy etc
Fractals are designed to run this way… Actually a multitude of routings
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,825
I'm likely moving to a somewhat smaller apartment in another city for a few years and will probably sell off my real rigs and stick with the Axe-Fx 3 for my guitar and bass needs simply because it takes less space, sounds great and it's easier to get good tones out of it into headphones or at lower volumes through studio monitors. More appropriate for a hobbyist in an apartment if you will.

I've been living in apartments for a decade or so now and went from a graduate school dorm with 8" of concrete between floors to a high rise with young urban professionals to a high rise with mostly people over 50.

In the dorm I could play my stack as loud as I wanted. In the yuppie high rise I could too but only for 10 minutes or so at a time. It was at that point that I started playing through my Axe FX III and pole mounted Atomic CLRs most of the time.

in my current apartment surrounded by older adults I'm playing through my FM9 into a pair of Presonus Eris 4.5s pretty much exclusively only turning on my Sig:X or 1x12 combo on rare occasions.

Where I was living dictated what amplification I was using more than anything else.

I only tried a modeler into an SS amp once and it sounded just fine.
But in TPS, they mention that running a preamp into another can get fizzy etc

Fractals are designed to run this way… Actually a multitude of routings

The operative word is "can get fizzy", not "will". I agree with fretworn, there are no hard and fast rules about this.

Prevailing wisdom is to turn off amp and cab sims if you're going into a guitar amp but I've left the amp blocks active and even the cab blocks sometimes and with some presets it actually sounded better than with them turned off.

In music it's good to know the rules and when it may be okay to break them.

In my experience it pays to try various configurations and just go with whatever sounds best.
 

fretworn

Member
Messages
2,345
Because it’s already going into an amp afterwards.
I only tried a modeler into an SS amp once and it sounded just fine.
But in TPS, they mention that running a preamp into another can get fizzy etc
I’ll add that the solid-state amplifier I’m using is a Matrix GT1000FX.

It kind of simulates a little bit of sag, but that’s it. Moves big drivers. A lot.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,522
I left all my amps behind after 40 years and have been using modeling exclusively for the last 10 years and don't see me going back to tube amps ever. It's just so incredibly simple and flexible compared to amps in order to get a great, polished, manageable tone consistently on stage and out to the audience with the least amount of effort. And it's light years ahead of amps in the studio.

I've been doing this stuff way too long to be worrying about "cork sniffing" my tone that absolutely no one in the audience will care a whit about. To me it's about getting the best bang for the buck and simplifying my life.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
10,976
I've been living in apartments for a decade or so now and went from a graduate school dorm with 8" of concrete between floors to a high rise with young urban professionals to a high rise with mostly people over 50.

In the dorm I could play my stack as loud as I wanted. In the yuppie high rise I could too but only for 10 minutes or so at a time. It was at that point that I started playing through my Axe FX III and pole mounted Atomic CLRs most of the time.

in my current apartment surrounded by older adults I'm playing through my FM9 into a pair of Presonus Eris 4.5s pretty much exclusively only turning on my Sig:X or 1x12 combo on rare occasions.

Where I was living dictated what amplification I was using more than anything else.
Yeah sounds familiar. I've been able to play my amps at reasonable volumes at reasonable times especially before COVID when I was working from home so I could take a break during the day and play for a bit at louder volume. Now need to keep it down more so I find myself using modelers more and more.

Originally my plan was to buy a house but the war in Ukraine (and thus Russia's volatity towards Finland), possibly rising mortgage interest rates, electricity costs etc have put that plan on the backburner and it makes more sense to rent an affordable student apartment (cheaper than normal rental market) in a different city for a few years as my spouse finishes her studies there. Hopefully the world will be in a better place at that point and we can get a place where I can play louder again.

The great thing is that I don't feel it's a huge compromise to use a modeler through studio monitors. Just a bit different. I am happy I upgraded from the FM3 to the Axe-Fx 3 as that requires so much less Tetris to fit everything I want into each preset. I feel I have come full circle after using the Axe-Fx 2 for so many years and then several trying out a lot of gear only to end up basically where I left, just with a newer gen modeler.
 

spikey

Member
Messages
1,638
Hopefully the world will be in a better place at that point and we can get a place where I can play louder again.
I hope you can buy a Mansion to play in someday soon. I play my Axe-FX III Mk2 with different pairs of FRFR' speakers but mostly thru my Mackie HR824s. They sound glorious and because of that, I have not tried other FRFR venues.
 

brew58ski

Member
Messages
232
Not true. Input > amp block > output

With no cabinet emulation, you’re not getting what you described.

I run AxeFX models direct out into 1 kW of solid state amplifiers into real/traditional guitar cabinets as well as via IRs into FRFR

Well, "not true" is a pretty strong statement since that's how I and, I'm pretty sure, most others do use it. Since he had said he had plugged in his amp for the first time in awhile, I took that to mean he was using it that way as well. Yes you can take the simulated cabinet out of the chain and use your own actual cab. That's not what he was describing and so that's what I addressed. I'm sorry if you took it to mean something different. By the way, one little trick that I have used when I do run without cab emulation through an amp is I just quickly run through a bunch of different cabs. It's like running through a bunch of differently set EQ's. It certainly doesn't always work In fact it mostly doesn't, but it's surprising what can pop out a little less than half the time. Don't spend too much time with it. It either pops or it doesn't. But don't treat it like the IR rabbit hole using every iteration of each cab mic/placement wise. Kind of a random amp tone EQ generator.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,825
Yeah sounds familiar. I've been able to play my amps at reasonable volumes at reasonable times especially before COVID when I was working from home so I could take a break during the day and play for a bit at louder volume. Now need to keep it down more so I find myself using modelers more and more.

Originally my plan was to buy a house but the war in Ukraine (and thus Russia's volatity towards Finland), possibly rising mortgage interest rates, electricity costs etc have put that plan on the backburner and it makes more sense to rent an affordable student apartment (cheaper than normal rental market) in a different city for a few years as my spouse finishes her studies there. Hopefully the world will be in a better place at that point and we can get a place where I can play louder again.

I've been living in apartments for the last decade but if things go according to plan will be moving into a house this summer. I won't be able to play at stadium volumes for any length of time due to the proximity of neighbors but I will be able to fire up my tube amps more often.

I still need to work on programming the FM9 to control my Triple Crown 50. When I get that sorted I'm hoping to have a really great tube amp solution for gain tones and effects. Then I'll be set to get a Revv Generator 120 Mk. III in the Fall. When I get that talking to the FM9 I should be in hardcore heaven.
 

Whizzinby

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,329
I run both tube amps and my QC through a PS100 into 412. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that unless I’m hellbent on putting either under a microscope (Byproduct of YT a/b videos and Internet forum fodder) they both sound ridiculously awesome in their own right. I could pick either apart, modeler is a little more compact and compressed (not always a bad thing), amps you have to contend with the bottom end and general noisiness (but feels more open and airy) In theory a model isn’t going to exceed the actual source from which it’s modeled, but when you consider how much you can sculpt the tone to a desired effect with a modeler, it’s certainly possible. IMO
 




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