Newbi question about software amp sims for recording

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by SimonR, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. SimonR

    SimonR Member

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    Hi

    I have been getting into Garageband lately. Bought a midi keyboard and have really just played around with some drum loops and recording some virtual instruments. But now, I really want to start recording some guitar! I'll probably upgrade to Logic or Pro Tools LE in the near future...but that's a whole 'nuther thread!

    I currently use a POD XT Live for bedroom use, playing it through my Alesis Monitor 1 Mk2 speakers (which are in fact my PC speakers as well). The sounds are ok on the POD but one thing I have noticed is that all my guitars sound basically the same when I play through the POD. So I have a couple of questions:

    1. Are the various amp sims available (I'm thinking Amplitube 2, Guitar Rig 3, Waves GTR3) more transparent than the POD XT? I'd rather have 10 great , transparent amp sims than 70 average, generic sounding ones.

    2. I've listened to the demo sounds on each web site (liking the sound/versatility of Amplitube 2 from the demos so far) but would really like to try out the demo versions on my own computer. Question: what piece of hardware do I need to get my guitar sound into my computer? (A friend of mine has an IK Multimedia Stealthplug which is pretty cool, but I don't necessarily want to fork out for one of those if I don't end up going the Amplitube route).

    Any other advice would be welcome!

    Cheers
    Simon
     
  2. retro

    retro Member

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    Doesn't the POD XT connect to your Mac via USB allowing you to record and use your POD like Amplitude, etc.?
     
  3. SimonR

    SimonR Member

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    No, you have to for out for the Gearbox Plugin if you want to do that (which is about the same price as a Stealthplug). Besides, the POD tones are fine for noodling around at home, I would like to strive for higher quality tones (if possible) for recording purposes.

    Cheers,
    Simon
     
  4. SimonR

    SimonR Member

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  5. RonH

    RonH Member

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    Hey Simon-

    I would check out the new Peavey Revalver MK III. Personally, I think this is the best sounding one out there (at least that I have used). I have also owned the Podxt Pro, Amplitube, and GR3. Revalver sounds better to me then all of these, especially the new MK III version.

    Ron
     
  6. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    hi. a cheap but useful tool to get your guitar signal into your computer would be the m-audio jamlab. on sale for ~$30 at musicians friend just recently. i have one and it works very well. i don't use the included GT software but i do use amplitube 2 into reaper for the DAW and this works well.
     
  7. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Member

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    I've tried Revalver and Currently own a Johnson J-station (highly underrated), but nothing sounds like an sm57 close up on a real speaker ! The software sims are good and have there time and place (3:00 A.M. in the living room), but there is nothing stopping you from turning up an amp and using a microphone.
     
  8. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    I'd do a search within the forum for Waves - it seems to get strong reviews.

    I use Digi Eleven, which I found was a huge improvement over the POD stuff ... although I still use the POD for some sounds - the Supro Thunderbolt model is still one of my favourites.
     
  9. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I have an XT Live and you can record through USB without using Gearbox (which I don't even have) or anything else. All you need to select the POD as your input within Garageband. But I do recommend getting an interface anyway, especially if you ever intend to record anything besides a guitar.

    IMO, the POD is comparable to any other amp sim software. I can definitely tell the difference between guitars with my PODs (I also have a 2.0). Maybe you should spend some more time really dialing it in? Also keep in mind, use of post EQ and compression can really help with modellers, especially when getting things to sit in a mix.
     
  10. SimonR

    SimonR Member

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    That's interesting, I clearly need to put some more time into it. I can hear the difference between a Strat and a Les Paul (most of the time!) through the POD but a Lester and a PRS are starting to sound *very* similar, whereas through my amp (Mesa Express 5:50) they are clearly identifiable.

    Cheers,
    Simon
     
  11. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    I will say it definitely depends on the patch/amp sim. Some are going to be better than others.
     
  12. Jayson Chance

    Jayson Chance Member

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    I've used most of them in different studio environments. I'm actually shopping right now to settle on one of them. I currently have the demo versions of all of them.
    Right now, the Waves GTR is my favorite for a few reasons. Probably the direction I'll go in.
    It seems to me to "feel" the most real when plugged in. Plus it's got some other cool features like "Audiosuite" so you can go ahead and freeze the effected track in Pro Tools.

    I dig Amplitube 2, also. And Eleven is cool for just pure amp sounds, although I'm not digging it as much as GTR3.

    Only weird thing about the Waves plug is that you don't really set the controls where you would on the "real" amp. You have to just use your ears.

    Like for instance, to get the overdriven Super Reverb to actually sound like one, I found the controls were set really weird.
    Sounded good, though.

    The sims work great in general for me for cheap demo projects. Plus, they are also cool for additional tracks to supplement your real amp tracks.

    On real album stuff though, I'd be more inclined to just use my amps.
     
  13. mbetter

    mbetter Member

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    I'm a fan of Izotope Trash. NI Guitar Combos get used as well, they're more intuitive to dial in than Guitar Rig.
     
  14. niseiworks

    niseiworks Member

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    Like a lot of guitar gear, it really depends on who you are and what you want to do.

    Eleven nails the authenticity and sound of true vintage amp tone. I don't think any of the other modeling software comes as close.

    However, if you're a "newbie", authenticity may not matter as much. You may be OK with something that doesn't sound as real as Eleven but has more features like a tuner, looper and MP3 player.

    Guys who have had the pleasure of tracking high quality vintage amps and know those tones tend to be big fans of Eleven. Not having all the other stuff found in Amplitube, Guitar Rig, and Gear Box is not a big deal to them.
     

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