Why do you use digital modeling?


For recording with my Kemper - it’s the easiest way to get my favorite amps (via profiles) recorded into my DAW via SPIDF along with a DI track for reamping if necessary. No moving mics around, dealing with excessive volume or dealing with the inconsistencies and temperment of tube amps. and the effects are there if you need them.

For live use with my Quad Cortex, I can essentially take my two favorite amps with me (via captures) and my 3 favorite dirt boxes (also captures) along with an assortment of high quality effects to every gig in a very compact package. I’m also able to send to the house, these tones with IRs eliminating the need for a mic on my cab, while using a tube poweramp and 1x12 cab for my monitoring enjoyment. Plus, the house keeping stuff like boosting volume for solos, routing parallel paths for effects, switching on and off multiple effects with one button press is all so much easier.


Double Platinum Member
Pick up an HX Stomp. Not a lot of cash, you can take the thing anywhere for headphone jamming,
and also take it to gigs as an emergency back-up.

About a year/year and a half ago Line6 modeling got a major SW update which IMO brought
it's tones/feel up to the level of Fractal/Kemper.

All else aside, the little thing is a blast to mess around on.
Yup! And, it has been sounding better with each successive fw update.


So many reasons, but mostly because i remember how lousy most analog rigs were.

Most people couldn't afford a high end amp and a rack full of gear, so they'd be playing a DOD or a RAT pedal into a Crate Blue Voodoo or a Bugera whatever. I grew up in the era of garbage solid state practice amps, out-of-reach tube amps, and unconvincing Boss and DOD floor units. I rarely knew anyone who sounded good.

Even the folks who did have a nice rig had basically one sound--they'd have a Deluxe Reverb or they'd have a Soldano or whatever. And they'd have a really good lead tone or a nice clean. Then they'd do their best to make do for any other sound. Ever tried to use the clean channel on a block letter 5150? Tried to shred on a Twin?

It didn't make financial or logistical sense for anyone to lug around 4 or 8 different amps. Only the most successful and obsessive players, like Eric Johnson or John Mayer, would be seen doing this. A lot of the best tones on record weren't even the guitarist's everyday rig. Bands like Guns N Roses and Dokken would rent their amps from SRO. Other bands used their producers' equipment. Michael Wagner, for example, produced some of the most memorable guitar tones from the 1980s. White Lion, Extreme, and Skid Row albums all feature a remarkably similar tone for a simple reason--they were all using his ADA MP-1, EQs, and post-effects.

What I get out of Mercuriall's Ampbox or any given Neural DSP plugin would have been world-changing for anyone back in those days. If you can ante up $1500-2000 and get a Helix or an Axe-FX, now you're talking about the equivalent of an entire studio's worth of gear. Plus, you can hear those amps at ideal levels without destroying your hearing or your relationship with your neighbors. I still have a block letter 5150. Too bad it sounds best with the post-gain at 6; the highest I can raise it in my current condo is about three quarters of the way to 1. But with the Axe-FX, I can tweak it to that perfect level--where the poweramp is gently compressing notes but not reducing them to mud--and no one else will know their neighbor has been playing guitar for 3 hours.


So many reasons.

I also grew up with the 100 watt tube amps with 4x12 cabs. We all thought we needed that stuff. And still you can't hear yourself because on small stages the sound goes right by you.

First reason. Weight.
2nd reason. Volume.
3rd reason. Tone.

At this point I can't say my tone is any worse than what I had when I played high end tube amps from Marshall, Mesa, Orange, Dr Z....etc. My Helix and my NDSP plugs really sound amazing. We would have KILLED to have tones like this when doing home recording in the 90's-00's.

Plus I can get ALL the sounds and recall them instantly. Save a preset after tracking just so I can recall that EXACT sound at a later date. It's just great.

The ability to change out speaker cabs with a mouse click is amazing. Back in the day I had a marshall JCM900 4x12 with the G12T75 speakers and that is the cab I used for everything. I never played a vintage 30 or greenback until I started messing with IR's....this was the moment I knew I hated the G12T75. I had no idea of the importance of the speaker/cab.

First I tried the HD500. It was OK with external IR's. I used it to play live for a couple of years with an IR loader. It sounded fine and was really convenient, but I kept some tube amps for recording or any gigs where I really want a great sound.

Then I moved on to the Katana and now Helix. No more tube amps required for me.
.I am tempted by those little 1 watt marshall DSL heads. Those sound great and look like a fun little piece of kit. It's just cute enough that it looks like a piece of decoration in the house haha.


Silver Supporting Member
The only reason I use one is because sometimes convenience trumps all other options.
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Everyone hates the G12-T75 until they realize a ton favorite 80s bands used them.

Maybe. I have no idea about that. But they managed to sound pretty good in my 4x12. I never had an issue getting a good sound with that cab. But finally, after trying a few real G12H30, V30, and greenbacks they are really my least favorite out of any of the classic celestion stuff.


I would like to know why do you use digital modeling instead of a classic amp+pedals?
It is not a discussion between real amp vs digital, it's just to talk about it.

I use digital mostly at home (practice and recording), because i live in a flat and i can't run my tube amp, and i am not able to mic it to record.

I actually still use my pedals when not using an amp. I like having instant access to all controls, and I just don't like the drive pedals on the Helix.

And even when I play with an amp, the HX Stomp is always on my board (use it for additional FX).

But more and more I'm just leaving the amp at home, and using the Stomp as an amp modeler + IR. The use case is exactly the same (except I can switch between a Plexi and Fender amp as my 2 channel setup, while my amp require's an extra footswitch to do that). I play with IEMs anyway, so I can barely tell the difference once the band kicks in.

As to the "why" I use digital instead of tube? It's mostly because I often play small stages and we're a 6-piece band so space is at a premium. And more and more we carpool to gigs because of gas prices, and that leaves more room for gear (I bring the same pedalboard either way).

I do tend to carry an Alto TS312 powered monitor for stage presence and being able to feedback, but that still takes less room than my 2x12 cab + head.


Silver Supporting Member
Presets with different volume levels, especially for rehearsals. My band has 5 horn players, and we play various genres. With a tube amp, having to constantly adjust the volume is very distracting.


1) Not having to carry heavy things
2) Consistent experience into my IEMs/FOH <sans their EQing>; mic placement does not change


1) Not having to carry heavy things
2) Consistent experience into my IEMs/FOH <sans their EQing>; mic placement does not change

Same reasons here. I still have my large Marshall rigs - mostly for nostalgia and I don't need the money from selling them. I just don't see the point in hauling them out anymore.

I gig with an AXE-FX and have really become spoiled with all of the complex routing options along with the EQ options.

I find a good tube amp kind of limiting these days. Although, I still enjoy having them now and then.


Silver Supporting Member
Lots of reasons. The main one is that it’s so good I don’t feel like I’m really compromising my tone with digital gear. But on top of that, it’s cheaper than an amp and pedals, if I want to change something up I don’t have to buy or sell, and load-in/out is FAST with a rack that has all 3 of the wireless systems I travel with in it, consistent sounds night to night, stage volume nazi soundguys who ask me to turn my amp down before I even play. I could go in. But there are some great reasons.

My axefx3 lets me model my amp and pedals rig and I can barely distinguish between the two at a gig.
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Drop The Sun

Digital Rig is much:
-Easier to setup (no cable mess, all the routing with FX’s is all digital etc.)
-Sounds great

Analog Rig:
-Sounds and feels REAL!
-Has that MOJO!
-It is the real deal, that modelers try to be and tbh, modelers are close.

I love both!


Let's ask another question, what is wrong with tube amps.
Volume, actually i play only at home, so it's difficult to use my tube amp, i still use it but at lower volume i miss all the typical dynamic of the tubes.
I will never sell it, but my fm3 helps me a lot to play at home. Also because, often i use the fm3 to replace my board, connected to my princeton and it's awesome, is smaller, no wires and cables, i can manage preset, and it also helps to manage the volume.
I have really good pedals but i am thinking to sell mostly of them, because the quality of the effects inside fractal are awesome.
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I use an axefx because :
-Home studio use : swiss knife, it does it all
-Bedroom player : Volume control, headphones compatible
-Rehearsing and gigging : The same sound everywhere
Etc :)


for me:

-Consistent tone via IEM and FOH.
-one trip to and from the car, vs my pedaltrain pro and amp and cab etc etc.

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