What was your biggest challenge while switching to a modeler?

jjhaller

Member
Messages
695
I've been thinking about getting a modeling rig of some sort for a while now. What was your hardest aspect of going amp-less?

I typically play with IEM's so I don't usually require the stage volume.

One thing I've noticed is while recording direct into logic with a few different sims is that they seem to lack the "pull" of my 18 watt amp. Something about the amp that seems to grab onto the notes.

Is that just the fact of using the computer and not a dedicated audio processor like the Axe or Kemper?

Share your story's. I've got my snack.
 

speedyone

Member
Messages
3,504
Until recently, I could never get used to the digital aliasing/high gain fizz you'd get from modelled high gain amps.

Once you hear it, you can never unhear it!

I've been through all the modellers except 11Rack, Kemper and Axe.

The only one thus far that has satisfied with it's high gain tones has been the Digitech RP1000/GSP 1101.

I can get used to lack of dynamics, or the missing "pop" you get from tube amps, since I use a lot of compression anyway.

Zoom units have fantastic modulation and delays, the Digitechs have very nice cleans and less "sterile/hi fi" things going on than other units.

Ultimately, I have found that I sound like me, whether playing through pricey gear or cheap modellers. It's all about getting acquainted with programming the gear. If you know
the building blocks of what comprises "your tone", (compression or not, various EQ shapes, favorite type of cabs, delays/verbs, etc,) then you can get there with just about any modeller.
 

mix2much

Member
Messages
741
That pull you speak of is in the high end modelers but it's still not quite the same as my amps when I compared them side by side. The nice thing is that it is an adjustable parameter so you can get in the ballpark somewhat. Some people don't seem to notice the difference. So, either they know something I don't (parameter wise) or are just not that sensitive to it.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,442
The fizz was the big problem, but (the way I use it) I think that Line 6 licked it with the HD 500 (and the Axe and Kemper obviously have, but I'm not spending that kinda dough...)

But... you mention IEMs... I find that the Avioms (and probably other similar units) will introduce some fizz into everything that goes through them, so if you're monitoring through those, you might expect some degradation of signal. My patches on my HD 500 work fantastic for me, but when I listen through the Avioms, I hear that junk... but it's not in the house... and in the mix I can't hear it really.

The thing I miss is VOLUME... but I am trying to preserve my ears anyway.
 
Messages
5,350
The fizz was the big problem, but (the way I use it) I think that Line 6 licked it with the HD 500 (and the Axe and Kemper obviously have, but I'm not spending that kinda dough...)
Nah it's still there. It's the higher frequencies being made clearer due to the clarity.

It's not as noticeable at higher volumes.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,339
For me, the biggest challenge was finding one that really works for me. My first digital modeler was a Digitech RP-1 purchased ~1993. I later owned an AxSys 212, POD XTL, Amp Farm, and a few other gizmos that never curled my toes.
 

mattball826

Senior Member
Messages
20,810
finding amplification that works as good as traditional cab/tube amp. have not found it yet and im not a big fan of frfr powered wedges, compression drivers.

i keep waiting. still mix match. i overlook some things for convenience and use modeling at smaller gigs. for nice venues, the big guns (412's and tube amps) do the work.
 

filtersweep

Member
Messages
4,825
The user interface is a bit cludgey-- meaning a tiny display for editing, and a mix of hard and soft knobs. I find I need to hook up my PC to actually edit anything in a way that I can wrap my brain around, which is strange, since I used to use all sorts of rack effects back in the early 90s, well before there were any interfaces with PCs. I guess all the iProducts have wrecked my expectations about user interfaces. Maybe I should sit down and actually read the manual one of these days.

Twisting knobs on real effects is much more immediate.

Of course the monitoring is always an issue.
 

multivir

Member
Messages
150
- Tweaking. On my pedal board / amp, I can access every parameter directly. Every venue sounds a bit different. If you feel like you need to adjust stuff, you either turn around to the amp or kneel down for a second and adjust it on the pedal board. Try that on a modeler - even with a KPA, if it's not one of the parameters that's directly controllable, you're in trouble.

- Dynamics / reaction. Good modellers almost react like real amps (they clean up when you lower the guitar's volume on a crunchy / distorted sound). The amout of volume that comes from the guitar however does vary between my KPA and my amp, so that takes a little getting used to - even if it sounds comparable 30 feet away from the stage.

- Source of sound / sitting in the mix: The thing is that you might be used to have your amp pointig at you, giving you that little "more me" naturally. I feel like this takes a little more attention from me to get the volume right to hear myself good enough and not be too loud or not loud enough for the band mates.
 

Brick_top

Member
Messages
772
I started using modeling in 2009 if I remember correctly.

biggest challenges were:

- taming the highs with a full range speaker.
- a lot of sounds to analyze and find out which ones I like best.

basically I just had to understand the concept.
 

djd100

Member
Messages
3,076
I've used all the top-end modelers through the years excepting the Axe II and KPA (various L6, Roland, ZOOM, Digidesign, Fractal, Peavey etc, though no Digitech...), and the lack of realism in the preamp is what keeps me using tube preamps.

I generally do edge of breakup through pushed mid-gain and no modeler can truly reproduce everything tubes do in that usage, especially for the single-note transient and sustain portions (all modeled preamps seem more like 2 dimensional snap-shots to me).

A lot of people prefer the more uniform sound of modelers and I understand that (whatever works etc...), but for me I like the variety of transient and sustain results real tubes provide as well as their general warmer harmonic response.

I am perfectly happy with the Torpedo's tube power amp sims and various convolution cabs however, so my solution is hybrid (best of both worlds, real tube preamps with modeled tube power amps and cabs (lightweight, and no SPL limitations DI'd and/or through cabs).
 

jjhaller

Member
Messages
695
I've used all the top-end modelers through the years excepting the Axe II and KPA (various L6, Roland, ZOOM, Digidesign, Fractal, Peavey etc, though no Digitech...), and the lack of realism in the preamp is what keeps me using tube preamps.

I generally do edge of breakup through pushed mid-gain and no modeler can truly reproduce everything tubes do in that usage, especially for the single-note transient and sustain portions (all modeled preamps seem more like 2 dimensional snap-shots to me).

A lot of people prefer the more uniform sound of modelers and I understand that (whatever works etc...), but for me I like the variety of transient and sustain results real tubes provide as well as their general warmer harmonic response.

I am perfectly happy with the Torpedo's tube power amp sims and various convolution cabs however, so my solution is hybrid (best of both worlds, real tube preamps with modeled tube power amps and cabs (lightweight, and no SPL limitations DI'd and/or through cabs).
I think you, and others as well, are totally getting what I'm struggling with. My normal gigging rig is an 18 watt head with an always on Klone in front, plus whatever OD, Fuzz or what have you.

I've spent about 15 minutes playing through an Axe FX 2, and I was really impressed on how it was able to clean up with the guitars volume. It obviously has a staggering amount of parameters to adjust, maybe one of them is the exact one I'm looking for. I'm sure the Kemper is the same way.

I guess the only real way to know for sure is to get one and try it, thats a rather expensive test!

Any suggestions on a computer (mac) based option? I have Amplitube and I feel it does high gain sounds fairly well, but struggles like most do, with lower gain.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

mtmartin71

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,064
I think you, and others as well, are totally getting what I'm struggling with. My normal gigging rig is an 18 watt head with an always on Klone in front, plus whatever OD, Fuzz or what have you.

I've spent about 15 minutes playing through an Axe FX 2, and I was really impressed on how it was able to clean up with the guitars volume. It obviously has a staggering amount of parameters to adjust, maybe one of them is the exact one I'm looking for. I'm sure the Kemper is the same way.

I guess the only real way to know for sure is to get one and try it, thats a rather expensive test!

Any suggestions on a computer (mac) based option? I have Amplitube and I feel it does high gain sounds fairly well, but struggles like most do, with lower gain.

Thanks for all the advice!
I would say the challenge is making the transition (in your ears and head) from guitar speaker to using a monitored "mic'd" sound can be an adjustment. I'm fine using either. I would also say that I too have thought about the same thing as you. I use probably use about 30-40% of the capabilities of my AxeFX and I'm not a heavy effects guy. But I like to change things up and basically I have tons of amps to mess with all with the ability to get pro tone at any volume I need. Honestly, if I could play at whatever volume I wanted all the time, then I would own 1 or 2 tube amps and a few select pedals. But...I don't. I haven't bought anything else since an AxeFX though in the past 6 years. Granted, it's spendy, but the high end stuff like the Axe and Kemper would be up to the task of what you want to do.
 




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