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The feel of modeling gear (vs amp or other modeling)

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by JulienVD, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    Not at all. I don't question your bona fides as a musician (and to be clear: I don't share them.) My points are simply:

    - "Feel" is hopelessly non-specific.
    - Latency is real (probably as much closure as this topic will see), very small, unavoidable with DSP, and also incurred by a number of other factors (distance from speakers, etc.)
    - Every guitar rig, every PA, every room, is different. So the leading question of "modeler" vs. "not modeler" is also fraught - each of these being hopelessly non-specific.

    P.S. For the record, I have often "noticed it" and have since "gotten over it". Once you've gotten over it, it can be very difficult to say whether the problem is gone or whether you've adapted. The technologies keep improving, and you always try to play your best with the gear that meets your needs, and at some point you meet in the middle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  2. gregrjones

    gregrjones Member

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    I'd like to see blind tests for feel comparing the following:

    High end modeler
    vs.
    Mic'd amp isolated in another room

    Both routed through the same reference monitors.

    If THEN you can feel a difference, then we can talk.

    With that said, my Fractal is as dynamic as I'd ever want a tube amp to be. How does it feel? Fine. If I'm missing something, I don't know what it is. I've played/owned plenty of tube amps but usually experienced as 'amp in the room'. The times I did run them in mic'd isolation, I can't recall exactly how that felt to care.
     
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  3. JulienVD

    JulienVD Member

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    Yep. Likely I couldn't. Amp mic'd in other room is very different than amp in the room, that's for sure. Then you have all the other gear between the amp and my ears to test. Another spiral.
     
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  4. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    This. We're in "the quality of the answer reflects the quality of the question" territory here.

    Need to be specific, compare apples to apples, and acknowledge that there are a million varieties of apples. All of which are supposed to taste a little different.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  5. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    The first time I can recall getting a modeler to feel right was the Axe Standard in 2007. We've now progressed to 2019, where almost all modelers regardless of cost, approximate the feel and response of a tube amp.

    Does it feel 100% the same? I've not A/B'd the 2, and don't really feel a need... The Axe feels good to play it does an excellent job of mimicing even the most desirable amps like Dumbles and Wrecks. Particularly if you compare them at the same DB level and the same effects chain.

    And not only that, you get:

    • Unlimited 'cabs' to tailor your tone
    • The ability to take your favorite amp and make it better: adjust tube types, sag, speaker/cab behavior, on and on. With the Axe at least, you can build a custom amp!
    • Ability to get cranked sound at much lower SPLs
    • Run multiple amps
    • Multiple effects settings per patch
    That's just scratching the surface...

    If all you've ever used is a Fender amp and pedals, there's probably no need to go to modeling (except may be to save your back). But it wouldn't be because the feel is inferior...
     
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  6. frthib

    frthib Member

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    For me, the "feel" thing is related to latency and room reflection.. Any amp I play, real, analog or digital, that went through a very short impulse (often they have no room information) (mic'ed very close to the cab grill) automatically feels "fake". I feel like I'm playing through a analog cab sim who consists of low pass filters

    I recently discovered that while playing with torpedo wall of sound.. you can pull away the virtual mic. When it's used with a ribbon mic the tone "feel" a lot better. It's even better if you add a touch of "ribbon on the -back- of the cab"
     
  7. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    This could definitely be true.

    One minor frustration I've had with modelers (Particularly the highly tweakable ones like the Helix and Axe) is that they are so deep it can be difficult sometimes to get all settings working in perfect harmony.

    I'd love to have a NAMM get together where we attempt to replicate, as much as possible, a great tube tone from the modeled version. This would be alot of fun
     
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  8. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    I get the concept...and am keenly sensitive to it as well.

    I've solved it with my own Helix rig to the point where I don't feel anything is lacking switching back and forth with my analog boards and tube amp. But I agree that they don't really respond the same way and for me there is a bit of a disconnect on the explanations. And everyone jumps on the "my modeler is better arguments but all I can say is it's such a subjective evaluation that's pointless to really argue.

    I have just been going thru this very sort of comparison with a Kemper and Helix. I like a lot about the Kemper platform - but for whatever reasons I find the Helix is more "immediate" and more "real" to what using my amps sound like. I don't expect others to perceive it the same way but I know I'm clearly experiencing it. So we are all using the same language - but often can't reconcile others experiences on how things feel and sound.

    And ready for the drum roll....the single most effective thing I've found with all gear is being willing to simply adjust my guitar controls a bit and LET IT GO. Let my ears and playing adapt a bit to what a rig is giving me at that moment. But again...we are only talking about shades of grey when it's already sounding and feeling really good to me. If it's too far off from my baseline for tone and feel then it's not happening and I need to use something else or figure out a fix.

    But once I get to that quality level in tone and feel if I simply stop "comparing" things I've found I can enjoy myself. Same comparison applies when I am using my tube amps and pedals. And overall I still find it easier and more consistent to use the old school gear in many situations. The digital stuff is great...but it's far less forgiving about how you set it up. If anything that is what I notice about using modelers - there are so many ways to take it from sounding amazing to sounding mediocre that it's frustrating. The traditional gear has more tolerance for stuff while still sounding good. It's kind of like old Boogie amps in that regard - get them right and it's awesome...but you really need to know what you are doing to fix things if it's sounding off.

    Bottom line is it always comes down to the same thing - am I feeling something is missing/wrong about what I'm hearing as I'm playing. Use whatever gear works for each of us in that regard.
     
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  9. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    You can pull back the mic distance on the Axe and Helix.
     
  10. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I totally agree. Objectively, my Zoom G5n is better; I have no idea what everyone else is smoking.
     
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  11. FractalMB

    FractalMB Vendor

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    This!! 100% agree! I've owned a lot of different tube amps and yeah they sound amazing in a room when you can crank them, but I live in an apartment and my neighbors suck. I don't miss them, I've got everything I need in my Axe-Fx III and AX8(which I travel with). Plus I can record in near silence without disturbing my girl or neighbors, my favorite gear invention in this century hands down!
     
  12. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    You still smoke? I thought everyone had moved to vaping...
     
  13. fretworn

    fretworn Member

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    EDITED for correctness:

    Latency on an AxeFx III is akin to standing 15” from your cab. Does that really screw with your ability to “connect” with your instrument?

    Recent firmware updates have greatly improve cabinet handling with moving/aligning IR waveforms, “room” amount and sizes, microphone proximitity, mixing 4 IRS in real-time and the recent addition of floor reflections. No limits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  14. JulienVD

    JulienVD Member

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    Just reread your comment. Actually, 10 feet is pretty long! I've walked around on stages big and small and 10 feet from your amp is not the sweet spot if you really want a certain type of connection. I'm eyeballing my amp right now and I'd say it's a good enough distance to feel things differently. Of course, there's always room reflections in the real world, whereas we're only talking about latency, here. Yeah. Apples to cucumbers, I guess.
     
  15. randall d

    randall d Member

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    Plus you have to add the distance of the speaker you are hearing the Axe through to that 10'. So if you are 5 feet from your monitor and add that 10 feet, you are now talking about 15 feet. Of course IEM's would not add anything.
     
  16. alex mansman

    alex mansman Member

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    Honestly where "feel" is concerned, I'm blown away by the "feel" I get from playing a 100 watt plexi amp model with the Hi volume cranked 100% and the mids cranked 100% through my Headrush pedalboard. My lead sound adds a TS9 in the front and a graphic EQ after the amp model and it'll blow your mind. No problems being heard with those settings lol

    In full disclosure: I dont play through an FRFR with IRs and what not, i use a Quilter tone block 200 straight through the front (has no FX loop) and a Carvin 2x12 with some V30 knockoffs in it.

    I know that the feel i get from playing a plexi like this is something I'll never get to do with a real plexi so this will have to do and I
     
  17. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    No, it's the equivalent of 15 inches. Most modeling products have latencies in the range of 1-2 ms which is roughly equivalent to 1-2 feet away from the speaker. Our products have less latency than most, if not all, competing products as that was a design goal from day one.
     
  18. fretworn

    fretworn Member

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    Apologies for the misinformation Cliff. Edited my post to correct this value. Thanks for chiming in!
     
  19. fretworn

    fretworn Member

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    Sorry; I had bad data. Fractal says it’s 15” at most.
     
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  20. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    Your welcome. The equation is ~1 ft per millisecond of latency.
     
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