Opinions on Speaker Simulators, Palmer, Motherload etc.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by entraind, May 13, 2006.


  1. entraind

    entraind Member

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    I'm moving to a house where I'm going to need to be quiet in the evenings/nights when I practice/record. I've been looking at the Palmer PDI-03 and the Sequis Motherload and am wondering if any of you have had experience with either or both of them?

    I'll be using them with my Mesa Lonestar and a Carr Imperial and want to capture the sound of those amps on the verge of breakup as best I can, although I realize there's nothing like the real thing. It does give me hope that Satriani recorded his new album entirely with the Palmer...

    I'm also open to other solutions, devices that I haven't looked into.
     
  2. entraind

    entraind Member

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  3. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    Sorry don't have any experience with those products. I do have a Richter attenuator from Motherload and it works. The reactive load in the Motherload is the same as used in the Richter and that part works extremely well. My amps respond to the load just like a speaker cab. There is web forum where they deal with recording issues I have only been there a couple times and the Motherload got very good reviews there in direct comparison to the Palmer.
     
  4. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Thanks for the input 908SSP, that's the sense I get from reading reviews, but the Palmer is so much cheaper and also available used that I'm trying to figure out if the Motherload is worth twice the amount of money.

    Anyone else have experience with these things?
     
  5. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    I use the Palmer PDI-03 into my Pod XT-Pro for Speaker Cab and Mic modeling. This sounds really good. The Palmer by itself is a great direct box, but the simulation is not about sounding like the real deal.

    Adam Stark
     
  6. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i've used both the motherload and the groove tubes SEII.
    both are pretty darned good but different from one another. i own the GT and it's tone controls are VERY musical.
    another alternative would be to use the direct out of a THD hotplate and then feed that into Ur daw and use the speaker sim software in guitar rig or waves/PRS GTR. it works pretty good, oddly enough.
    i don't think there's a really good cheap-'n-dirty solution, unfortunately.
     
  7. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Thanks Stark and µ¿ z3®ø™, I really appreciate the input.

    µ¿ z3®ø™, could you explain some the of the differences between the Motherload and the SE II. Also does the Hotplate have to deliver a load to a speaker or will it work as a dummy load?

    Thanks guys...Anyone else have experience with these things?
     
  8. e-z

    e-z Member

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    It will work as a dummy load. There is a setting on the dial for it.
     
  9. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Thanks for the info e-z, I couldn't find that on their web-page...
     
  10. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i have had two SEII for more than a decade now.
    i wouldn't wanna be w/o them and use them in many different circumstances.
    the SEII can also be used as an attenuator w/ 1/2 and 1/4 power switching. i think it sounds something akin to a metallic sounding SM57. now, here comes the crazy part. what we're tryna chat about here isn't always the easiest thing to clearly elucidate.
    when we stand in a room and plug in and amp play there is a practically infinite # of variables at factor. the room sound and relative volume of sound as well as proximity to the amp are just things that scrape the surface. when we're talking about speaker sims and software, we're talking about sitting in front of a pair of nearfield monitors or cans. so, when i say that the SEII sounds like a metallic SM57 what i'm saying is that U get a sound not unlike that if one were to arbitrarily point a 57 to the 'normal' position. w/ the mic, if one were not happy w/ the sound could move the mic 1/4" and have a totally different sound. w/ the SEII U, of course, that is not possible. there are, however, some very musical sounding tone controls that sound like they're based on early blackface stacks. it's really quite effective at getting good sounds within context of the other instruments in the mix. in other words, by itself it's gonna sound very dry and a little tiny bit metallic with not a whole lot of 'air' surrounding it. but if U're playin' along w/ tracks, it's very easy to use those wonderful, musical tone controls on the SEII to get decent, if somewhat small and dry, mojo happening.
    normally, i would never record the SEII by itself, but layer it w/ mic and direct guitar. but i would say that recording the SEII for raw amp sounds would be superior to either guitar rig or waves/PRS GTR with GTR being better at getting the sound a feel closer to a raw amp sound. there is also no recording latency involved so the experience of playin' Ur amp cranked however thru the SEII into the DAW and out thru a pair of nearfields is actually pretty satisfying. unlike the digi mod stuff, it really feels like an amp.
    i tried the motherload just a couple of years ago. i was already very happy w/ my GTs, so wasn't really lookin', but we wanted to record multiple amps (more than the 2 channels i have) and so i borrowed the motherlode. it is very musical (it's all relative) as well but FAR more flexible than the SEII. i could get WAY more raw amp sounds out of it because of this. the model i tried was a two channel thingy and is not the one currently shown on their website.
    when it comes to comparing the sound of the SEII and motherlode to that of a hotplate into the DAW and then into GTR or GR to use the speaker mod stuff it becomes rather complex. both programs offer a vast array of cabs and mics. in that regard, either software program offers even MORE variety of sound. the the speaker sims are (to me) NOT the weak link in the amp/speaker sim chain. if U're continuing to process the guitar sound even more i would doubt that U could tell the difference if it were the SEII, motherlode, GTR speaker sim or GR speaker sim.
    neither the SEII nor motherlode is cheap. but a THD hotplate and either GTR or GR (assuming U have a DAW) is about the same price (relative) to the others. i will also say that both guitar rig and waves/PRS GTR are very fun to play w/ and that it's possible to get really outrageous, processed guitar sounds from them.
     
  11. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Thanks so much for the detailed post µ¿ z3®ø™. Very helpful stuff in making my decision and adding to the TGP collective wisdom. I agree with everything you say regarding mic placemt--you bring up some great points about the complex nature of miking an amp and all the Variables involved. I do a fair bit of work in the studio and always use 2 or three sources mixed together to get a good guitar tone. I'm hoping that whatever I come up with will be good enough to be used as one source ikn that equasion or to be used for background stuff and layered parts.

    I am generally going for more raw amp tones in the projects that I do. Gernerally just guitar clean or with an analog stompbox>amp. If I am going to do something digital or processed like Line6 stuff I generally prefer to use the stompboxes and then run them into tube amps and record with tube mic pre's so by the time I get to the DAW (in my case Pro Tools) there is some rock and roll energy on the tracks as sometimes the pristine sound of a DAW can be a little to polite (to my ears) for rock and roll. So your comments regarding the PRS simulator help push me towards the Motherload or Weber Mass/Palmer direction. Thanks for the detailed response, very helpful stuff!

    Threm, thanks for pointing out the obvious search option, I got so used to it being frustrating in the old interface that I completely forgot to use it. That helped point me to the Weber Mass/Palmer combo...

    I'll ask my questions regarding the Weber Mass over in that topic as that combined with the Palmer PDI-09 is looking like a very viable option compared to the price point of the Motherload...

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  12. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Don't rule out iso cabs. I use the Randall with extra acoustic foam wedges lining the mic compartment. Helps tame the boxiness. Move the mic in close, and roll off some low end to compensate for proximity effect. If you run an attentuator between amp and iso cab, the level in the room can be quite low and still sound good at the mic.

    I have the Palmer, original GT, and have used many others. Just not the same :) FWIW according to interview, Satriani did use cabs for some if not all of the solos. However the rhythm tracks have Palmer sound all over them.
     
  13. threm

    threm Member

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    I was just expressing my great surprise. After the server crash I thought all old threads were gone forever.

    :)
     
  14. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Ah, I must've misunderstood the interview I read a few months back, It's hard to imagine the leads recorded on the Palmer alone, thanks for the correction.
     
  15. entraind

    entraind Member

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    Indeed we are fortunate to have recovered all that stuff :)
     
  16. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Unless....I misunderstood and the interview I read was for a newer, unreleased album. It's vague to me now. Satch's studio tones have always suited his material, but not always my favorite. Brilliant player, though.
    Hope you find a solution to your quiet recording challenges. The Palmer stuff really is good for speaker sim. EQ, and the Weber MASS is a very friendly load box. And it's a lot smaller than speakers in iso boxes.
     
  17. entraind

    entraind Member

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    When I get a second I'll go back and read the Satch article again, it was in GP maybe a year ago. I agree about his studio tones, kind of a mixed bag, I felt that way before he recorded with the Palmer so my reasoning was if it's good enough for a player of his caliber, hopefully I'll be able to get some good tones out of it...
     
  18. trucks

    trucks Member

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  19. uberschall

    uberschall Supporting Member

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    I use this, the Koch LB-120II Load Box-
    [​IMG]

    http://www.koch-amps.com/products/index.cfm?fa=mainframe&product_id=&product_cat=&CFID=2641784&CFTOKEN=69279066

    It's an attenuator, load box for silent recording, and speaker simulator. I use it for direct recording and live into PA. I don't know how it compares to the other units mentioned, but I think it sounds great and is a really versatile tool; I'm surprised I don't see more people talking about them. The build quality is really great, too.

    Here's some snippets of reviews I found for the 1st version of the unit, which didn't have as many features:
    STAGE, Nov 1999: "We used the Load Box in the recording studio with various amps miked with an SM57 and EQ on the mixer "flat". We A/B´d the result with the Load Box using attenuations up to 95% and didn´t hear hardly any difference, the tonal balance stayed intact, even the sparkling highs and the deep lows. The speaker simulation is excellent and the voicing switches are very efficient. The sound from the DI output is honest, powerful, open and above all dynamic. The overall quality of the Load Box is high; and looks, reliability, as well as sound are on a very high standard."
    GUITARIST, Dec, 1999: "I tested the Load Box with my Strat and my favorite tube amp and to my great pleasure, had practically no loss of tone, even with 95% reduction. This magic box is unique because of the fact that it combines three functions: power reduction, speaker simulation and DI box, in one housing. And all three of them are excellent. I cannot image one guitar player that should not benefit from buying the Load Box."
    MUSIC MAKER, Dec, 1999: "I used the Load Box between my old red Marshall and a 4x12" cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30´s: very good. Recording with the voicing switches in the "4x12" and "mic-off-axis" positions gave a better result than with my all-time-favorite (up till now), the Palmer Pdi-03. I bring a toast and congratulate Dolf Koch with this great achievement."

    Mike at http://www.audionova.ca/ , the distributor, is a good guy to talk with regarding this unit. I got mine from Steve's Music Center. Check it out!
     

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