software amp modelers

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by hobbes1, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    2,914
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    hi. i posted a similar request for opinions in the amp section with a few relevant replies. i'm wondering if this subforum might be a beter place to ask this question.

    i'm looking for your subjective opinions on software you've used of the following: guitar rig 3, amplitube 2, waves gtr or similar. i would like to know which, in your experienced opinion, has the highest number of useable amp sims and whether you feel that they are of a worthwhile quality to use for recording purposes. i'm not looking to put out a professional cd but rather something that will work standalone or as a vst plugin for my Reaper recording software.
    i have an extensive collection of freeware ampsims but have found only a few useful sounds and i'm wondering which of the payware programs people are finding the most realistic and useful and if they might be such an improvement over something like freeamp3, that one would be willing to pony up the cash.

    please don't respond with suggestions that i try hardware modelers as that is not what i am looking for. thanks!
     
  2. delichef

    delichef Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    I downloaded the demo for Guitar Rig 3. Previously I had used various flavors of Line 6 stuff and the Vox Tonelab LE? (the new one). 2 weeks later, I was still loading up the demo and jamming out on it. It was fun to play and had good presets. I bought the full setup with the foot controller and I still love it. I still love my amps more....but i'm genuinely surprised by how good it sounds. The demo is a free download, doesn't require iLok and is quite useable. I think the only drawback is that it shuts off after 30 minutes of use. I highly recommend grabbing the demo, it completely sold me on it.

    Others really like Amplitube, I never tried it. Haven't heard much on Waves. People can give this stuff glowing or scathing reviews, but you really need to hear it for yourself and decide if it's right for you and your style of play.
     
  3. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,237
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    I really disliked Guitar Rig 3. I thought it took a step backwards. The Vox Tonelab is much better and much more realistic. The axefx several steps above that but of course tonelab and axefx are not software modelers.

    If you are into chunky hardcore sounds you might like guitar rig but I found it's biggest weaknesses were the things that I wanted most. i.e. a smooth, robben or holdsworth influenced overdrive.

    The jazz cleans are pretty good and you can do some nice funk rhythm stuff with it but I thought Guitar Rig 2 actually sounded better.
     
  4. TheJudge

    TheJudge Member

    Messages:
    438
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    You might want to give Revalver MkII a listen. I purchased Amplitube 2 when it came out, but I have not been all that happy with it. I tried the GR 3 demo, and it was pretty good.

    I prefer Revalver MkII for its flexibility, dynamic response, and wide variety of tones and tools. I never knew what "impulse responses" were, until I purchased Revalver MkII. They really opened up the sonic palette.

    I believe there is a demo and the website has a lot of samples. Check it out.
     
  5. mds

    mds Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Guitar Rig 3 is very good for what it is...check out the demo.
     
  6. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,479
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    I am going to break your rule and suggest that you look at the AXE-FX. Its rackmountable and desinged for recording direct. I am running mine directly into my interface, and the sounds are incredible. Plus, I get the added benefit of saving my computer memory for other RAM-sucking plugins.

    Sorry for breaking your rule, but I love this product for computer recording.
     
  7. dspblues

    dspblues Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,182
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Chester, NY
    + 1 I've heard good things about this too.
     
  8. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,237
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    I bought the Amplitube Hendrix rig because I use two different studios, and could need a guitar sound for a project yet be without my amp. It has some useful sounds, so it's a nice adjunct to my real amp and pedals.

    It's also very inexpensive!!!

    I much prefer miking a real amp to any other technique, so I doubt I'd drop serious dollars on an Axe-FX. So this inexpensive solution works in a pinch.
     
  10. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    2,914
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    thanks for the replies so far..even the rulebreakers :MMM;)

    the music i want to use this for is more blues/classic rock/jazz tones and as i play bass too, it would be cool for it to have some bass amps/cabs that sound good.
    of course, playing the demos myself is a must but i was fishing for what other people are finding as useful with these programs. if anyone had specific patches or particular amps/cabs combinations that they thought were great, or they only thought one or two our of the whole lot was any good, this is what i am fishing for...
    also, did you find that cpu use was no problem or totally drained your available resources and for either, a brief list of your computer specs would be great.
    ok, thanks for any info you provide.

    p.s. the axe-fx, while getting raves is off the list for a) hardware b)cost
    thanks
     
  11. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,237
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    Understood on the cost side but the hardware side of it I don't get. By the way, I have bass clips of it on myspace. it's bass preamp blows away the guitar rig stuff...
     
  12. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

    Messages:
    5,711
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    t-dot
    AFAIK, there are demos of all three programs available online. U really need to download all of them and check them out for Urself. U are the only person that will be able to weight the relative strengths and weaknesses of each one and determine which is best for Urself.
     
  13. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    2,914
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    hi
    the axe-fx as i understand is a rackmount type physical unit. i am looking strictly at software based approach for this which will be selfcontained in a laptop, portable with only laptop, usb powered,small interface, guitar setup. i'm trying to avoid any more stuff, power supplies, etc to carry around.

    yes, i will evaluate all the demo from each company. i have been curious though what others may have already determined to be their favorite most useful sims to use as a starting point to wade thru the demos. for example, i was watching the David Gilmour live dvd recently and thought, i wonder if any of those software packages would allow me to get pretty close to the tones he gets in "Echo's". i'm aware that nothing will beat a stack of hiwatts and hardware effects, etc but maybe get close?
    also, what curious as to what others have found on the cpu-hog factor for these programs.
    thanks
     
  14. jaycee

    jaycee Member

    Messages:
    7,928
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    I'm just getting into Amplitube (LE) and so far it does have some usable sounds. Not spectacular, but pretty darned good.
     
  15. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

    Messages:
    930
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Hotels everywhere
    There is a new one by Digidesign called ELEVEN, if you run Pro Tools, could be decent, but I haven't tried it yet, I'm hoping for some Fractal Audio plug ins for my laptop, but not sure how long it will take.
     
  16. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    Messages:
    12,991
    Joined:
    May 8, 2002
    Location:
    On Your Mother's Couch
    Hobbes:

    In my experiene, the search for a usable software/hardware amp emulator has been a solitary, poor, nasty, and brutish quest for an idea whose time has not yet come. Maybe this next generation of modelers will realize the dream. Until then, I'm sticking a mic on a cab and wailing away.
     
  17. Orren

    Orren Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The answer as to "how close" is "how much tweaking are you willing to do?" The thing about something like Guitar Rig 3 is that the size of the rig you build is limited only by your CPU power. So if you wanted to, you could basically create a guitar rig that used a Hiwhite (HiWatt) amp model, compression, distortion, echo and chorus...and then 20 different equalizers, so that you had a parametric EQ before the amp, a graphic EQ after the amp, a shelving EQ before each effect, after the effect, after the cab...you get the idea.

    Literally, it is limitless. After tweaking all that, do you find it's not "touch sensitive" enough (or at all)? Okay, add some input module automation, so that the strength of the signal results in various knobs physically being tweaked.

    In other words, with Guitar Rig 3, you can achieve nearly any sound...but it may come together quickly....or take you weeks of OCD-level tweaking.

    I either have or have reviewed nearly all of them, and they're all fine. I don't mean that to sound dismissive, I mean they all have different strengths or weaknesses.

    Some of GR3's amps sound great, some not so great, but it's real strength is it's completely unlimited flexibility. Waves GTR3 has some really amazingly good and dynamic amp sims, some less so, no real modeled effects (just digital Waves effects), and it's not terribly flexible. Amplitube 2 has some amazingly great sounding mid-gain sounds like the BiValve and Marshall stuff, but it's mega-gain stuff not so much. I have heard from multiple people who I generally trust that Digi's Eleven is excellent, but you couldn't use that with Reaper. And Revalver II I'm not familiar with, but some people really like it.

    I guess my advice is:
    1) Use the demos, see which you like for the amps you want to use.
    2) If you're willing to do tons and tons of tweaking, GR3 might be better even if it doesn't sound best at first blush, since it's so much more flexible.
    3) If you're not interested in lots of tweaking, Amplitube 2 might be the way to go, it has some very good amps and modeled stomps, and might get you semi-close to Gilmour with the least amount of work.

    Orren
     
  18. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,237
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs

    I'll have to disagree there. Sorry.
     
  19. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

    Messages:
    5,711
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    t-dot
    orren, that is frickin' brilliant.
    why didn't i think of that?
     
  20. Orren

    Orren Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    No need to apologize, your opinion is as valid as mine, maybe more valid. :)

    But what I would suggest is, that if there's a particular Holdworthian tone you are looking for, if you really spent weeks playing around in GR3 with various distortion models, amp/cab modules, EQ modules, and so on, anything is possible.

    You haven't experienced that in GR3, and doubt it—fair enough. But I doubt that you have tried every possible combination of amp setting, using multiple EQs in multiple locations, with insanely huge rigs. I'm willing to bet that you would never wish to take the time to create something like that. And I completely respect that. Honestly, I don't either. But that's not to say it can't be done.

    Orren

    PS—none of this is to say I think the amp models, etc. in GR3 can't be improved! I definitely think and hope that some of them will be, and that new amps will be added, etc. I firmly believe that it shouldn't take days of tweaking and tons of EQ modules to get the sound you want. But the fact that GR3 lets you do that level of tweaking to get your sound, and the others don't, is a serious advantage versus the other software.

    PPS—none of this is to say the Axe-FX isn't wonderful, I'm hoping that I'll get a review loaner for a few weeks or a month after NAMM. :)
     

Share This Page