Need guitar amp software. TOTAL NOOB NEEDS HELP!

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by JohnnyGtar, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. JohnnyGtar

    JohnnyGtar Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am pretty ill and therefore homebound most of the time. My 2 channel solid state amp is boring the heck out of me. I would like to get some guitar amp software (like Guitar Rig, Peavey ReValver, or some other good software that has a lot of sounds authentic, has a lot of tonal & effect options, and is fairly easy to use.)

    I have XP Pro on my computer. Pentium 4 3gHz chip, 528 mb memory stick. I don't have any of tricked out sound card...just using whatever came with my computer.

    I've never owned this kind of setup, but I've played a couple at NAMM shows a few years back, and so I know that this is what I want to get. Please help me to know what I need to get so that I can jam on my computer. I would truly appreciate any advice.

    Thank you! :AOK

    Johnny
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Here's my experience, and I hope this proves helpful:

    I've got IK Multimedia's Amplitube 2, and Waves' GTR 3, which I upgraded to shortly after getting Waves' GTR Solo. I've used N.I.'s Guitar Rig extensively. I use both Digital Performer and Logic, which comes with an amp modeler.

    I haven't tried Revalver however.

    I've used the Line6 Amp Farm as well.

    First off, all of these are useful recording tools, and all of them can, and have, appeared on professional projects. I've used them professionally as well.

    Let me state my first bias: Given the choice, I will 9 times out of 10 get out a mic and simply record a real tube amp.

    But that isn't always possible; sometimes I work at outside studios and don't have an amp handy when I decide another guitar part is needed. And sometimes I'll use the software to lay out a scratch track, just to get the part down quickly, and surprise myself by discovering that what I've recorded with the software works well in the mix. There are also times the sound I want for a given project isn't the amp I have. For example, I don't own a Mesa at this time, but there have been projects I've needed that "dual recto" thing on.

    So these modelers are indeed useful.

    First things first, even with software and a computer you WILL need a direct box so that the guitar sees the right input impedance.

    As to the software comparison --

    My favorites out of what I've used are the Waves products. I like the effects choices, and the amps respond more closely to the real amps I'm used to when played. The GTR Solo's amp and effects quality are every bit as good as the GTR3 sounds, however, there are fewer amps and effects available. I think most people could be happy with Solo, but as a studio owner, I felt more would be...well...more!

    Amplitube sounds great, but I thought the "feel" was slightly different from what I expected, and I happened to like the particular Waves amps that were chosen to be modeled a little more.

    Big issues of this whole thing are which amps are chosen for modeling, and how they are set up for the modeling session.

    Amp farm is very fine stuff, just not as close to what I'd expect as the Waves or IK stuff.

    Native Instruments' Guitar Rig is worth trying, it might be what you're looking for. I thought it was a tiny bit compressed, but in some cases, that's good! I find Bogner amps a bit compressed but people love them, and I've owned one of their amps and liked it a lot. So...try it out.

    I've read a review that the Peavey software comes closest to the real thing. I haven't used it, but I'm so happy with the Waves software that I think I'm done for now, and there's other stuff out there to buy for my studio always....;)

    Most of these programs can be tested with a FREE download. Try that out and see what works for you.
     
  3. JohnnyGtar

    JohnnyGtar Member

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  4. Siaip Ciuvas

    Siaip Ciuvas Member

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    note that you will need "low latency" audio interface. Any cheapest will do the job, e.g. M-Audio FastTrack. Otherwise you will have a lag between hitting the string and hearing the result of the software amp sim.
     
  5. JohnnyGtar

    JohnnyGtar Member

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    Is a "low latency" audio interface the same thing as a direct box?
     
  6. Siaip Ciuvas

    Siaip Ciuvas Member

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    no it is not :) DI box is just an impedance matching device.

    However with audio interface you can get dedicated instrument input and won't need DI box at all. I have bought my FastTrack I use for sketching during travels for no money... It was B-Grade stock, and I'va paid something like 50$...

    Heres is a link to it, you even get mic input for dynamic mic, just in case :)

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUSB-main.html
     
  7. JohnnyGtar

    JohnnyGtar Member

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  8. Structo

    Structo Member

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    There are freeware progs that will adjust latencies so everything plays nice together.

    I haven't recorded at home for a few years so not sure what's currently out there.

    Just have to google for latency adjustment or similar.
     
  9. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

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    Softube Vintage amp room and some of their other stuff!
     
  10. lterenzi

    lterenzi Member

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    Always a personal pref of course but i found Amplitube 2 to have more of an amp-like feel for what do than Guitar Rig 3. I have not tried any Waves or Peavey stuff though.

    I got a full version of Amplitube 2 for around $150 on Ebay. Loving it!
     
  11. Siaip Ciuvas

    Siaip Ciuvas Member

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    yap, Amplitube 2 is really good for demos. However Softube product is also great - really was impressed with demo of it.
     
  12. Apeman

    Apeman Member

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    Seeing as you currently don't have a "proper" sound card, one option could be to get one of the packages that include an audio interface, like Amplitube StompIO or one of the Line6 TonePort or GuitarPort products. However, a stand-alone sound card will probably give you more flexibility regarding mic inputs etc. Note that not all sound cards have "proper" instrument (high impedance) inputs. For example, the "Hi-Z" input on my ESI Quatafire 610 is actually only 140k ohms and doesn't work too well without a direct box. You'll want something with an impedance of 500-1000k ohms.

    Yet another option could be a stand-alone modelling device that also doubles as a sound card, like the Line 6 x3 or x3 live (both have one mic input as well as an instrument input).

    As far as plugins are concerned, my current favourite is ReValver 3 due to the "tweakability". There are also some pretty good free plugns out there if you don't need the specific "real amp" models of the commercial ones.
     
  13. lterenzi

    lterenzi Member

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    I need to give Softube a go. Looks very cool.
     
  14. DamianL

    DamianL Member

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    I LOVE all Native Instruments software...


    I think guitar rig kicks ass...but having great speakers for your PC helps a LOT...

    I use Mackie HR624s which are reasonably priced and perform well...:AOK


    Damian
     
  15. turdadactyl

    turdadactyl Member

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    All I can really add to this is that although I really like Guitar Rig 2, it's a MAJOR processor hog.
     

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