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Poll: Did you come FROM real amps, or are you here to SKIP real amps?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by DigiPOV, Dec 7, 2017.

Did you come FROM real amps, or are you here to SKIP real amps?

  1. I have extensive background playing real amps.

    96 vote(s)
  2. I don't have extensive experience playing "real" amps.

    13 vote(s)
  1. WiresDream

    WiresDream Member

    Oct 3, 2015
    I actually went from modellers to real amps. I'm 33. Started playing guitar when I was 19. I started off with a PodXT Live, Pod 2.0 bean, Amplitube 1, Izotope Trash, and freebie amp sims.

    When I got my first valve amp, a Laney VH100R, it was a revelation. I've been hooked ever since!
    Guitardave likes this.
  2. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Benicia, CA
    I've drifted back and forth between traditional amps and modeling gear over the years. My amp and effects needs are quite simple but having the right rig for each situation always has been challenging until the Helix came along. Now I have one of the best sounding rigs I've owned and I can run it in multiple ways without a lot of effort.

    Tone is always subjective but it's harder to understand how to really get the best out of a modeler without some level of experience using the real thing. And having owned and worked thru the challenges with traditional gear really helps me understand really well what I want things to sound like coming out of the speakers (PA, guitar cab, FRFR, studio monitors, etc.)
  3. Lambieka

    Lambieka Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    It's like racecar driving
    You can't do that in the living neighborhood

    But it's a lot of fun once in a while
    to put your drivers to max and feel the soundpressure pumping against the body

    Earplugs in and rock

    That's why I don't gig
    The audience won't appreciate it
  4. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    So. NH

    Very very well said man. Also what blix said earlier is silly. I spent 15 years using so called "grail" amps, and guitars cranked thru 4x12's and sure it was fun but it certainly didn't move me to a point where I am like the junkie who searches for that first high feeling. Yes nothing is like big iron except big iron but it's really not "that" awesome. Heck the best high gain tone and feel I've ever experienced was an XT Live Recto patch direct to my Soundcraft mixer running 2 EV 12" tops. It was awe inducing and there's not a half stack out there that can touch it IMO.

    Being that I lost interest (other than occasionally) in super high gain tones it doesn't fit what I do but it was the best high gain tone I've ever had and I have owned Mesa's, Marshalls, Randalls, Laney's..all tube amps that cant even touch that patch through my EV's.

    I use modeling predominantly because of the flexibility. Yes the portability helps but it's far from the sole reason.
  5. mojah

    mojah Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Those were the days.. but my back can't take the load out anymore. All the big venues have closed around me doesn't help either.
  6. Dale007

    Dale007 Member

    May 17, 2017
    I started out on amps - First ones were inexpensive combos, then on up to tube Fenders, a Marshall or 2 and a couple other odd varieties. I moved to modeling mainly for the recording aspect when I discovered that I could actually get a better overall and more consistent sound than using my amp and mic. This of course needs a bit of clarification - For my specific situation, available space and other limitations, I started getting much better tracks just using my RP500 and now they are even better with the POD HD500x. At some point that will probably evolve to the Helix LT, but for now when I can get better tracks than I could with my amps, I'm pretty content with the POD
  7. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    I can only say I started out in '65 with a Supro and took the very long route getting around to modeling. What an adventure that has been....
  8. Tiger J

    Tiger J Member

    Sep 28, 2016
    I want to pretend to be Hendrix one weekend. Van Halen the next. And so on... Can't afford all the amps and pedals so I have always liked the concept of the modeler. Now modern modelers are virtually indistinguishable from the gear they are modeling which is all the better!
  9. sonofiam

    sonofiam Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    Some of the comments in these discussions sound like my mother-in-law when we got our first microwave: "You don't need one of those, a stove works just fine, it's all I ever used!".

    It's a great time to be a guitar player and it's just getting better. The more I read the more it seems like some guys are just jealous of what's available for players today who are just starting out. :rolleyes:
  10. Deaj

    Deaj Member

    May 20, 2004
    Kingston, WA
    Truth. Not as practical as it once was but that won't make it any less fun. ;-)
  11. dazco

    dazco Member

    Jul 25, 2003
    I played tubes since i started in the early 70's and had no interest in SS because i'd had a few and they just didn't feel right. I didn't give modelers a try to replace tubes, but i plugged into one at GT about 5 or 6 years ago to test a guitar because it was the only amp that was plugged in at the time and i was surprised at the feel. Bought it figuring I'd return it unless it was a fun amp as a sort of toy to play around with. But soon i was digging it and using it in place of tube amps ! Now all i use is a modeler, my second one. I had played thru a few modelers in the early days when the pod was out and the feel was hideous.

    My thing is NOT magic tone. I don't hunt for tones that sound amazing, i hunt for solid good tones that have feel and dynamics that allow me to utilize my technique that i developed playing really good dynamic tube amps. I just like a tone that works to the point in a band mix i don't have to think about my tone and playing. If i can just play music w/o struggling with lack of dynamics in all respects and never have to think about my tone in the middle of a song, then to me that amp is as good as i ever need. And i get that from a modeler. Thats why clips mean nothing to me. I can't tell what the thing is going to feel like in my hands from a clip.
  12. phel21

    phel21 Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    My first "amp" was an old Leslie-type cabinet that had a fixed 12" speaker, left over from my father who played keyboards. When I finally got a proper guitar amp I went big with a JCM800 with two 4x12s. That lot was really too big and heavy for my use so I ended up playing various tweed and blackface-type amps with pedal-boards for about 25 years until I got a Kemper.
  13. BjarneDa

    BjarneDa Member

    May 7, 2016
    Third option come from real amps and have been using modelers for a very long time since Pod 2.0 Pod XT and HD before that i had Digitech DSP21Pro and ART SGX2000 then a Zoom (a green multieffect model with ampmodeling i have forgot the name) and still got my real amp :)
  14. FuzzFacetious

    FuzzFacetious Member

    Jun 16, 2016
    Moma's Bass-ment, Avant-Gardens.
    I have real amps and use modelled amps, im here because I love anything that makes music fun.
  15. Frank Ritchotte

    Frank Ritchotte Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2015
    Calabasas, CA
    It’s funny I watched a kid dial up a Helix and he barely has any real amp experience. As he went through the process he did not even look at what the amp was he was just finding the sounds he liked and dialing in from there. I think the next generation of players will need a new UI (calling @rsm ) that is tone based not amp based. Not quite there yet but I truly believe the actual amp reference will become obsolete. We are going to have to find a graphic way to present the sonic spectrum in a more generic way. Every amp ever made fits into a spectrum of sounds and finding ways to convey the nuance differences in a logical way will be a huge win for the younger players coming up now.
    D. Robinson and johnhager25 like this.
  16. ToneGrail

    ToneGrail Member

    Dec 9, 2005
    I've been thru the entire evolution as the technology became available from tube amps to solid state to modelers.

    I've always embraced new technology as soon as the sound quality became sufficient to replace the previous technology.
  17. DigiPOV

    DigiPOV Member

    Jul 31, 2016
    I've been saying this for years.

    Boss has EZ-Tone in their GT-100. You pick a style, gain level, some other parameters, and it sets up a sound for you.

    Modeling individual amps is in some way a marketing ploy, but as you identified, it will become less important over time as younger players have no idea what the amps are.
  18. MJ Slaughter

    MJ Slaughter Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    McKinney, TX
    I'm a long time tube amp user but visit the modeling forum because I'm fascinated by new tech that involves playing music. There will always be at least one tube amp in my possession but also an amp modeler of some type because they're fun to play with. Like having a set of Legos, you can use the different pieces to build something new to play with then tear it down and start again. My tube amps can be used at all my gigs be it loud, large clubs or small wedding receptions but sometimes I want to play with a different toy so the modeler comes along. Even for larger venue gigs. All my music gear are toys really because it's just so much fun to play with.
  19. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

    May 24, 2010
    Tube combo amp with floor-based effects modeling.
  20. rsm

    rsm Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    On an island in the Atlantic Ocean


    The common "frame of reference" for digital modeling is based on the name or characterization of the amp/cab/mic being modeled. It's a way to navigate to sounds we're looking for; if I want a JTM45 sound, I'm not going to be looking at American Cleans. This invites comparison with the actual amp that is modeled.

    As a means of classifying sounds based on amp models, I find it limiting, and obsolote...what if what I want is a combination of two or more sounds blended together, I have to use dual amps, etc.

    My personal approach when I get a new modeler, is create a new empty patch and use the amp/cab default and tweak to get an idea of the sounds and create my own list of sound descriptions irrespective of what the amp model says it is, same for effects. What I'm doing is classifying the models by sound characteristics.

    Add IRs to this mix, and it gets ridiculous. I figured this out with my TriAxis + Torpedo CAB; using one patch in the TriAxis I cycled through all the factory presets in the CAB, every combination was different, ear fatigue and ability to differentiate was soon gone because of the sheer number of choices...without changing the power amp settings, cab, speakers, mics, mic placement...mixing, matching and combining all the options can get overwhelming. When I find something I like, I always "know" there's something in there I'll like better, but dread the effort it will take to find it given all the variables.

    My favorite approach is Blue Cat Audio's Destructor, where you sculpt and shape your tone visually. At first it's tedious, but when you listen with your ears, and start to see how the controls change the tone, it becomes very refreshing and simple. The nuances are perceptible and visualized, you can find tones that have qualities that don't exist in real amps. It reminds me of the Tech 21 PSA 1.1 I had, that I approached wrong; it provides a set of interactive controls, and as you dial it in you just listen to the sound since you don't have a frame of reference with amp models if you ignore the factory presets and create your own new patch.

    It's good to see younger guitarists without the history baggage of amps, pedals, etc. focus on getting their sounds without caring about the models being used. It's actually easier, more direct, more rewarding, more satisfying, less frustrating IMO/IME - once you can let go of the existing amp/cab/speaker/mic/effect etc. context and constraints. I'm still in the learning phase, but I dig this approach.


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