Plug-in software or ME unit?

JackButler

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,822
Thos eof you who know me, don't think I've changed my ways please...I still love all my boutique gear and that won't change!
I'm getting a new iMac, had been using a macbook....I will still use Garageband as it more than covers my needs. I do think their new iLife has some amp models, but not sure.

ANyways, I am looking to be more spontaneous/creative with the new setup opposed to dialing in a rig, mic'ing, etc. I'll still go that route for the real dealio recording, but all that hindered my actual playing/recording time, dig?

So I want an easy to use and somewhat affordable multieffects unit or software package with basic amp models and effects that will get the job done quickly and my overall "idea" of tone down ASAP. Then if anything is decent I'll revise things with my cool gear.

Again, nothing too complicated, as that would take away from what I'm trying to accomplish here.

To be honest, I've never tried any software packages/plug-ins at all! I was thinking of maybe just forgetting abotu siftware and going with a LIne 6 unit or something, but should I try some of this other stuff?
Thanks for any advice.
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,610
It's the tip of the iceberg. You won't be satisfied. Next thing we'll be seeing you post about is a good DAW and what is a good pooter for recording.

Eleven Rack for the win.

Okay that's too much. Grab a Pocket POD.
 

JackButler

Silver Supporting Member
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3,822
That does look cool, but likely more in-depth than I'm wanting.
What about the Native Guitar Rig with Kontrol or something similar?
 
Messages
526
I prefer the Amplitube stuff over NI's Guitar Rig, personally. The NI stuff has more amp models and effects, I believe, but I think you can get a fairly decent crunch tone w/ the Amplitube stuff.


But don't listen to me- just d/l a demo version and play both of 'em for a month. You'll know which one floats your boat before too long.
 

Janne.M

Member
Messages
253
I have more than one of the Virtual Guitar Amp plugs on the market, I also have a PodXT and a Boss GT-10.
My view on this is that all digital simulations have some good model and some less-than-good model (depending on the personal taste). Some have more FX, some have more detailed parameters that You can tweak if You're that, and so on...

Basically, You can probably get some great sounds out of almost any one if You just put some time and effort to it.
The nice things with a hardware box like the Pod and the GT is that I get to monitor the sound without going through the computer and therefore latency are no issue.
Going for a complete software solution means that You have to "be aware of" the issue of latency and how to workaround it, and with a hardware box You can alway bring it with You or play at home without having to fiddle with a computer...
 
Messages
526
Going for a complete software solution means that You have to "be aware of" the issue of latency and how to workaround it...
Well, it is dependent on how fast your processor is and how you set the buffer. I'd guess that a brand new iMac (which has single/dual 3.06 horsepower) could handle the buffer size with no problem.

I have no real issue w/ latency, as I had in the past: Sure, there's a miniscule fraction of it, but no one who's ever played on my rig has ever noticed it.


YMMV, naturally.
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,610
Ways of dealing with latency.....

You know those midi drum or other instrument tracks? Buss them and record them on another channel, then disable the original track -- DO NOT DELETE -- just disable.

Now you've got an audio track instead of midi being converted to audio. So now you start doing your mix down and you've decided to add a little delay on that track? Use an AUX track and buss all your effects from the AUX track.

Still running too slow? You can add the effects then buss and re-record the track with the effects to another audio track and then disable the track with the plugins.

So now all you're working with is audio tracks with no plugins. You can do this with your amp plugins too. Bussing is your friend. But save and do not discard the original tracks, because you've got a good mixdown, then bounce to disk and listen to the CD in your car and find the mix too wet? You can still go back and rework it with the originals. It takes a lot longer, but if you've got latency issues this stuff helps.
 

JackButler

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,822
I tried the fairly new imac at work today, the last version from late summer, base model.
First of all the amp tones suck, but then again the cheap $100 monitors likely greatly hinder tone obviously. I like the simplistic ease of use, only if the stock GB tones were decent. I did notice considerable latency on some of them, but we only have a usb snake for guitar.

I am going with the new iMac 27: Quad core i5, so it should work pretty well or be overkill for my needs.

Maybe I;ll just get an older version of the Native, like the 2 or 3 and a used POD, mess with them for awhile and then make a better decision.
 

Bassomatic

Member
Messages
12,337
Ways of dealing with latency.....

You know those midi drum or other instrument tracks? Buss them and record them on another channel, then disable the original track -- DO NOT DELETE -- just disable.

Now you've got an audio track instead of midi being converted to audio. So now you start doing your mix down and you've decided to add a little delay on that track? Use an AUX track and buss all your effects from the AUX track.

Still running too slow? You can add the effects then buss and re-record the track with the effects to another audio track and then disable the track with the plugins.

So now all you're working with is audio tracks with no plugins. You can do this with your amp plugins too. Bussing is your friend. But save and do not discard the original tracks, because you've got a good mixdown, then bounce to disk and listen to the CD in your car and find the mix too wet? You can still go back and rework it with the originals. It takes a lot longer, but if you've got latency issues this stuff helps.
More like "printing/exporting/rendering is your friend", no?

This won't help if processor speed/buffer size issues are creating monitoring latency on the tracks that are being recorded live, while they're being tracked. *That's* the latency that most folks complain about. Happily, most systems these days have more than enough horsepower to make real-time tracking latency a minor (or non-) issue. As to MIDI and fx processing delays, most programs have delay compensation these days.
 

devinb

Member
Messages
2,030
I know next to nothing about modelers and whatnot, but I took a shootout on them posted by Electronic Musician and really liked the sound of the Waves stuff the best.

You should see if you can find that test, it will let you hear a bunch of companies takes on two differing takes on each of three classic amps (AC30, Twin, and a Marshall).
 

JackButler

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,822
Do all ME units have USB ports anymore or? I haven't used one since the first Tonelab some years ago.
I guess with a ME unit I could dial the tone in without the computer, then just hook it up and dial it in, right?
Right now though, the NI Kontrol 4 is looking pretty good.
My whole "concept" with this is...fairly decent tones, I'm too much of a analog goober to love it, but need simple recording ease of use.
 

Janne.M

Member
Messages
253
Well, it is dependent on how fast your processor is and how you set the buffer. I'd guess that a brand new iMac (which has single/dual 3.06 horsepower) could handle the buffer size with no problem....
Ways of dealing with latency.....

You know those midi drum or other instrument tracks? Buss them and record them on another channel, then disable the original track -- DO NOT DELETE -- just disable...
More like "printing/exporting/rendering is your friend", no?

This won't help if processor speed/buffer size issues are creating monitoring latency on the tracks that are being recorded live, while they're being tracked....
I'd just like to clarify that I, personally, have no problems with latency. I've been doing this for so long and I know all there is about it...

BUT what I said in my post, and as all the excellent and helpful posts above proved, If you go down the software route You need to know about what latency are and what to do when it rears its ugly head.

Cheers,
Janne
 




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