Standards for "accuracy" in modeling? Mic'd tone or amp in the room?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Guitardave, Jan 14, 2019.

Which is the your personal standard you want from using modeling?

  1. Reproducing the actual sound of an amp "in the room".

  2. Matching what your amp sounds like when it's mic'd up.

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    Agree 100 with both of these:


    Quite honestly, I've only ever owned 1 amp that usually gets modeled, a Mesa Dual Rectifier, and that was almost 15 years ago, so, I wouldn't know "accuracy" of ANY models if you hit me over the head with it. Just like you, I go for what sounds good. Modelers give you a great starting point and the convenience of having so many tones in one spot.

    Same same. I've been wearing earplugs on stage since around the year 2000, so, I totally get that.

    I'd argue that IEMs are maybe even a better experience, due to how much you can tailor what is going to your ears, (I use a stereo FX processor, split my guitar wide L/R, EQ it, and add some reverb/ambiance), and most importantly, my tone is EXACTLY the same no matter where I am on stage, or which way I turn my head.
     
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  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I hear ya. Best on-stage experience I ever had was with a band that had a nice IEM setup with individual stereo mixes for everyone.
     
  3. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Curious if perceptions have shifted over time on this.

    Seems like there's a lot more discussion about using guitar cabs/Powercab/Kempercab/etc.
     
  4. rezidentura

    rezidentura Member

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    So I'm like others here I have been playing modeling devices for so long that I'm used to the sound. However, all it takes is something like what happened last tuesday at rehearsal to make me doubt.
    A guest guitarist is playing at my next gig all he brought was strat, fender blues jr and OCD pedal. This was the " in the room" sound which my setup doesn't seem to emulate. I was playing Helix through a crate powerblock into a flextone 1x12 cabinet. I use full patches because every setup I use (which are currently guitar cabs) are supposed to be somewhat flat response. My sound was consistent and good but it lacked that something that I could hear from that little tiny amp. The other guitarist who plays in my group also uses a fender tube amp, it's sounds good and it's great in the mix but usually doesn't sound that much better than mine.
     
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  5. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    *deep breath* PLAYBACK MEDIUM IS THE MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED PART OF THE CHAIN.

    The human ear is a VERY complicated mic. Plus you have two. And your brain is constantly interpolating and deciphering and ignoring different parts of what your ears pick up. When you stand in an amp in a room, your brain is combining all sorts of vibrational stimuli into a picture of what you think the 'tone' is. Furthermore, a lot of that sound is the physics of how different cabs project sounds. A single FRFR speaker, or even a high quality massive PA, will fundamentally sound different than a 4x12 cab a few feet away from you in a garage. It's just physics. Modellers can't shoot sound directly into your brain, bypassing your ears, the room you're in, and at the volume you prefer. They just can't, and they never claim to. Here's what modellers do. They model. Specifically, they model different parts of the chain of the guitar from pedals, to amp, to speaker, to mic, to mic preamp. That's it. They can't model rooms (yet, or at least in the way they affect guitar amps), and they can't model the physical construction of a cab (yet) beyond how that construction affects the tonal resonance of the tone as it hits the mic. A modeller can remove the need for having a 'cranked amp', assuming that being 'cranked' is the part that affects the tubes, NOT that 'cranked' means lots of sound bouncing around in a room. No way to model that. So if you're trying to get the tone of power amp distortion that only comes when tubes are pushed, you're in luck. If you think it's scientifically possible to fool your ears into thinking a soft sound and conversational levels is the same as a blasting 4x12 in a room, you're cruising for dissapointment.

    It's all about which compoments you want to eliminate, and which parts are essential to your sound, and what you're assuming when you say 'what im used to'. If you never listen to your amp miced, and ONLY ever hear it coming from guitar speakers in an open cab in a room, no modeller will get it there for you, not quite yet. If you're familiar with what your amp sounds like to the audience or via a wedge or via IEMs, then you're in luck, because modellers are great at replicating that kind of response. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to model 'speaker cab in a room, cranked to 10, standing a few feet away, and going into my eardrums'. But there is a way to model 'cranked amp miced up with an sm57 at X distance at Y angle' and all kinds of variations.

    If you want an amp in a room, put an amp in a room. Disable the speaker/mic sim on a modeller and run it through a clean poweramp into some guitar speakers. Boom -done. You'll have the advantage of more volume flexibility. If you want/need the sounds of a cranked and miced amp but at zero volume, turn on speaker/mic simulation and compare it to the same amp cranked and miced - you'll be pleasantly surprised. But that's not what most people compare when they complain about modellers. Most people rarely ever critically listen to their favorite amp miced up. They also don't realize how much their individual perception and ears play a huge role in how an amp 'sounds' to them, variables which no modeller can replicate, nor should it. You have to compare apples to apples.
     
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  6. Ejay

    Ejay Member

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    Seems to me “public opinion” has shifted a tad from “you need frfr for a modelers full potential”...towards “f*** it, a cab sounds better”.
    Offcourse all preferences are still present...yet I do believe the world is changing for the better ;)
    When all are converted to cabs....how about adressing enviromental issues and world peace next? ;)
     
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  7. drew365

    drew365 Member

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    All I know is that I'm much happier with my Helix floor since getting a PC+, and I really have no desire to try anything else, (currently). I mainly use PC+ cab sims, and LRS IR's are high on my rotation list. I'm also using the "Raw" setting with IR's. Previously the "Raw" setting sounded too raw for me, but all of a sudden it seems to open up the cab and give certain presets some balls and I'm liking that. Bottom line the PC+ gives me options. I'd hate to be stuck with one cab sound.
     
  8. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    What about all of the grey area between the two choices?????
     
  9. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    What is the grey area in between by which one could judge "accuracy" (not "does it sound good", but "accuracy")?
     
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  10. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    Point being it can sound in between. So accurate to what? I've played an amp in a room. I've played both Fractal and Kemper optimized for headphones. My last setup with the Kemper (though ridiculed at the time) gave me an awesome compromise between the two. Anyway, if I had to choose it would be like a recorded tone (mic'd amp), since I only play at home now - and I know from experience they don't do amp in MY room 100% convincingly.
     
  11. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Member

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    I don’t think I was in the modeling universe when you posted this originally.

    I’d rather my rig sounded like an amp. I got very close through a few IR’s, but it made me realize I’d just rather try using a cabinet.
     
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  12. timowens316

    timowens316 Member

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    That is too funny, that is exactly my experience. In my previous classic rock band the other guitarist played a Strat into a Blues Jr. with a few pedals including the OCD which was his favorite. Back then I was using the Axe II into a CLR and I couldn't believe how much better his little amp sounded in a band context. Next I tried the KPA in the CLR and same thing. Then I tried using a real guitar cab and all of a sudden we were on equal ground, haven't turned back since.
     
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  13. Emigre

    Emigre Member

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    I thought I was the only one to notice this shift in the modeller zeitgeist ;)
     
  14. MrDoty

    MrDoty Supporting Member

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    Play your modeler through a guitar speaker....does it sound as good as your amp? That’s my benchmark. These days I think the modelers sound better most times. But you have to know how to tweak them, that’s the hard part.

    No question at gigs (many variables) they are more consistent in tone. I love that
     
  15. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    FRFR?
    Ignore the marketing.
    It's a powered STUDIO MONITOR/PA SPEAKER.
    It is NOT a guitar cabinet.
    That is all.
     
  16. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    Pretty much. The popular opinion has shifted to where people have admitted to themselves that in many ways there is just no simulating the response of guitar speakers in a guitar cabinet, at least in terms of the 'fun' factor. And most people seem to be ok with that. So you lose on the uber-flexibility of FRFR being able to sort of do a million different cab/speaker combinations, but frankly I don't really need that. Using a clean monoprice power amp and 2 1x12 cabs, I like that my helix sounds the same at high volumes and low. I like that I don't HAVE to crank it to get the same tone, just enough to get some air moving on the stage. And with the routing flexibility, I can concurrently send an IR with its own EQ to FOH and to my IEMs. This to me is about as good as its going to get.
     
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  17. frthib

    frthib Member

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    For me, I prefer an emulated amp to sound exactly like it's physical model when compared without any speaker cab by using a DI.

    The speaker/mic IR or emulation is a whole another set of problem I prefer to be separated (or separable) from the actual amp emulation.
     
  18. EL84 Abuser

    EL84 Abuser Silver Supporting Member

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    I think of it on a super simple level. Check the frequency response of any single guitar speaker. (no cabinet)
    Things are going to start dropping off around 100-110 Hz and really start diving after 80.
    On the other end most guitar energy starts dropping after 1.5KHz and then you have 1st and 2nd order harmonics that might get as high as 5K. (but not with much SPLs)
    So 80Hz - 5,000Hz
    Why do I want a system that's going to be working to create noise between 20-80Hz and 5K to 20KHz?
    And before low E dive bombs get brought up, you've only heard them through guitar speakers. If EVH had been using
    a few thousand watts of sub-woofers along with his cabs, folks would have started feeling sick after the first solo of the night. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  19. burningyen

    burningyen Member

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    This is kinda like complaining that you want a mirror that only reflects visible light, and why pay for all the extra work of reflecting UV and infrared. My understanding is that to create a monitor accurate between 80-5k, the laws of physics dictate that it's necessarily going to also reproduce frequencies outside that range unless you make the monitor do even more work by way of DSP to block the unwanted frequencies, assuming that's even possible in a way that doesn't also color the 80-5k range you care about. And anyway, my goal with FRFR is to hear what I'm sending to FOH. I don't want to be in tone heaven onstage while my audience is getting icepicks through the PA.
     
  20. Jay Mitchell

    Jay Mitchell Member

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    If, by "no cabinet," you mean "test the response of the speaker suspended in free air," that will tell you nothing useful. If you mean "test the response of the speaker firing through a hole in a wall" (i.e., the half space response), that will provide useful information if you will actually use the speaker that way (some speakers really are used that way). Otherwise, not so much.
    Here's where you gotta test in the actual box. The half space response of a speaker will have much greater low-frequency output than it can produce in a box. Here are the responses of two different cabs with speakers:https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?posts/28623628/. One is an open 1x2, the other a closed 4x12. Note that neither one makes it anywhere near 110Hz before heading south.
    Actually, if you look at the spectrum of electric guitar, you'll find significant harmonic content at least as high as fifth order. Distortion from the amp and other devices then adds substantial additional harmonic content. This content remains strong to well above Nyquist in any modeler, which is why, in order to avoid internally-generated aliasing, they all do nonlinear processes in a highly-oversampled subspace within the DSP.

    No. The actual output of the entire system - guitar, pedals, amp, etc. - can have audible content to ca. 8kHz.

    That's a complete red herring. Electric guitar is incredibly noisy within the actual frequency band of use. That band is approximately 80Hz-8kHz. Any noise added by any halfway decent physical amplification system - whether within that band or not - will be utterly swamped by the unavoidable noise from the guitar itself as amplified within the modeler.

    Your logic is faulty.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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