Thoughts on Modeling- IF you use it, what are the pros/cons?

hnryclay

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I have a Line 6 Pod go, cheap entry fee if you want to try it out. I use it to play late at night through headphones, and as a backup if you have a failure at a gig. Also perfect for travelling.
 

gonzo

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i use 'modeling' for recording.

it is perfect (PERFECT) for that.

bonus:
for loud studio, or live work, i can run it directly into my mesa boogie MKIIb head (and various cabs) and it sounds awesome


there is ZERO downside.

and my recordings sound wonderful.
gotta get the right gear for yourself, tho.
many options.
i know what works for me.
 

Peegoo

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For recording, modeling can't be beaten if you like/want lots of tonal options and effects.

Because guitar players listen with their eyes and the fact that it's on a recording, The Mystique and Nostalgia of Actual Tubes won't matter.

I have a few really sweet vintage tube amps, but when I record I go all modeling because just knowing there are tube amps in a recording doesn't make my Feelz feel any better. Dealing with microphones and extraneous noise is too much fiddling around.
 

bluesholyman

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I was sitting here thinking "I don't use modelling, so I can't comment" but then realized I use a Postive Grid Spark when I travel, for practice and inspiration. It does wonderfully for me with expressive clean tones and a strat, the guitar I usually take on short trips. I have a tweed deluxe patch in there, a deluxe reverb patch, and something else, probably something dumble-esque - they are realistic enough that I am not disappointed with the sound.

I have in the past had the original Pod, Digidesign Eleven Rack, and probably a few other things, and none of them really did it for me - always went back to tubes (or an actual amp of some sort.) The HX Stomp/Effects looks to be pretty impressive, but I haven't tried it.

The Spark has a really nice sound for the price
 
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Big Twang Theory

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Pros: They sound good, they are flexible, you have infinite programmability, you can synch all of your modulation and delays to a midi clock if you play with a click. I am a tube amp guy, but I play with a lot of folks who use the Axe FX and Neural, etc. etc. and I admit that they sound really good. We have come a long way since the days of the kidney bean POD. :) I would say that my decision to choose to use an amp is more due to personal preference than objective superiority. This was not the case 20 years ago.

Cons: On the fly adjustment can be tough. I see a lot of modeler players who tweak their sounds in the bedroom, and then on the gig have way too much low end, way too much reverb, etc. etc. It's easy with a conventional rig to reach down and spin a knob without calling NASA to reprogram your rig.

Eventual obsolescence: As soon as somebody comes out with a better mousetrap, you have a very expensive paperweight. This is a pro and a con as the technology keeps improving. I've seen guys pour hours into programming their Line 6 gear, then throw that out and spends hours programming their Kemper, then throw that out and spend hours programming their Neural Cortex... and eventually something will come out that is better than that and they'll start all over again.

All that said, even though I don't personally like modelers, I'll admit that they have come a long way and that they really do sound outstanding now. I think the decision is more about interface and tweakability than it is tone at this point.
Yeah, not being able to adjust on the fly was one of my chief concerns. I don't know about other models, but with the HX Effects it doesn't seem to be an issue. On each switch for the effects, the 3 most relevant parameters (rate, depth or drive, tone etc) are right on top and there are 3 corresponding knobs. So quick tweaks are doable. That was huge since I'm always making little adjustments for the sound of whatever room I'm playing and I didn't want to menu dive.
 

CupofJoe

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I went back to the red kidney bean for the reason that I could go “manual” with the push of a button just like I can with the katana “panel” setting. I use the pod at home where loud is not “aloud” and the katana at my office that I’m the only one there anymore. I just play jazzy styles but but they sound pretty similar as far as it goes… it would be pretty easy to do other sounds that way if needed, cost minimal for both … used pod $50 and used Kat mkii for $100 works for my budget
 

Dismalhead

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I've got one modeler, a Vox AD30VT. It's got a bunch of good tones and you could function fine with it in a band situation. I used it for a few years last decade. The problem for me though is you get good tones, not great ones. Does Joe Blow listener care? Probably not.

If you want a bunch of sounds it's a logical solution, but I just want a good clean tone, a good distorted tone, and a good lead guitar tone. Last few years I've gone to a couple of decent tube amps and half a dozen pedals. Between those and my guitar knobs I've got enough variety to keep me happy. I guess my current philosophy is I'd rather have one or two great tones than a bunch of OK ones you get with a modeler.
 

Big Twang Theory

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i use 'modeling' for recording.

it is perfect (PERFECT) for that.

bonus:
for loud studio, or live work, i can run it directly into my mesa boogie MKIIb head (and various cabs) and it sounds awesome


there is ZERO downside.

and my recordings sound wonderful.
gotta get the right gear for yourself, tho.
many options.
i know what works for me.
Cool, thanks for the reply. If/ when I get into modeled amps some sort of power cab will be a must. There's no substitute for pushing air and how your guitar vibrates and reacts to that.
 

Smokin OP

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I play through a Helix and I have found that quick adjustments are no problem at all. I would rather work in HXedit but just this evening I was at practice & was getting some feedback from my acoustic w/ an acoustic patch. It took less than a minute to adjust my eq and all was good.

A con, for me, would be not being able to grab it & go jam unless they have a pa. You will still need to have a powered speaker or FRFR. I love mine.
 

mfguitar

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I have used modelers for years and could easily get multiple great tones. A few years back I purchased a custom-made all-tube combo, then another, and then another. Last night my tube amp sounded awesome in a club and tonight we played on a lawn and it sounded just so-so. Part of me misses the consistency of a modeler. most of the modelers I have owned were just as heavy as their tube counterparts. Most of the modeler amps also have some effects. The Line6 Flextone II that I have with their floorboard is a wonderful thing. You just have to go with what you like at the time.
 

SmokinJoe992

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I am a cover band guitarist. I have used a Headrush Pedalboard straight into the PA for the last two years. I use a powered speaker for a monitor. I have tube amps. They stay home. Pros: 1) Light, easy to transport, small footprint on stage. 2) Flexible sounds that can be tailor made for each song if needed. Realistically, I usually have 4-5 presets I use 99% of the time. 3) Good tones at any volume 4) reduced Stage volume. 5) No maintenance. 6) No mics or cabs. I do bring a Headrush MX5 as a backup, but have never needed to use it. Cons: 1) bit of a learning curve, dialing in etc, but in all honesty not much different than messing around with actual amps and pedals. 2) Dealing with other musicians who can’t understand why your not using an amp. That’s about it.
 

fleezinator

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Helix guy here. Never had the luxury of tube amps so I don't know what I'm missing out on. What I do know is I love the flexibility, ease of use and value this thing brings. It sounds great to me.

1) Snapshots - 8 footswitches to toggle the states of any number of parameters. Its like having 36 hands twisting dials on multiple effects all at once.

2) Reamping- record DI tracks in my DAW and perfect the tone later in full mix context.

3) The seemingly endless updates- each release is like Christmas morning with a ton of added effects/amps.

4) The support- I can only talk of Line 6 but they came thru in a pinch when my out of warranty Helix had a defective volume pedal. I sent it in and got a brand new redesigned version.

5) the community- The infinite presets from both users and paid companies
 

fender4life

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Probably the most beneficial 2 things i like about modeling is...

1-they sound consistent every time i plug in far far more so than tubes, where it was anybody's guess if it would sound like god or a $5 junker every time u plug in.

2-my guitars sound nite and day different in every modeler i've had while the probably 100 tube amps i've had since the 70s were the opposite. You could plug 5 different guitars into them and they all sounded close. In modeling even my 2 teles sound more different from each other then any 2 guitar you could pick do in a tube amp. In fact i have become much pickier about pickups and wood and all that since i started using modeling about 10 years ago. Till then i never had many guitars because i found them too similar sounding to really matter much, so i played the ones that felt best to me which were strats.

That said i only use combo modeling because to me a floor modeler into a FRFR or PA etc leaves a lot of room for digital imperfections to be revealed.
 

Skyhook

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So I've recently dipped my toe in the modeling world when I purchased the Line 6 HX Effects. So I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it. What do you like or dislike? And like the title suggests, I really want to hear from those of you that use it. Those of you that plug your straight into a tube amp, I get it, you probably loathe them. But that's not really helpful, and honestly I was one of you until recently. I didn't plug straight in, always used a pedalboard. But I've always been resistant to modeling. I've used mostly analog effects into really nice tube amps. So what changed my mind?
I basically had two different live music listening experiences that nudged me into looking into the modeling. First one is a local soul/pop/rock band. The guitarist is probably THE guitar player here in Tucson, AZ. Unbelievable player always has exquisite tone and he has used a Helix ever since I started seeing him. Made me think, but I never saw him play a "real" rig, so I didn't have context.

Then recently I went and saw one of my favorite local bands that I've been seeing for years. They play music of the Jerry Garcia Band. He usually plays a normal pedalboard through a Fender Twin. Great tone. At the last show as I listened I thought his tone sounded really great that evening. I was distracted because I had brought my dog to the beer garden, so I was focused on the pooch instead of checking out his rig. I went up to check it out at set break, thinking maybe he got a new amp. I was pretty shocked when there was no amp, just an amp/fx modeler on the floor. It made start to rethink things.

I went out and bought a used HX Effects and set it up on a pedalboard. Like I said, I'm just dipping my toe in the water. I still have my analog OD's and my Volante delay on the board and plan to just use it for modulation. For context I play Americana/roots music, with a dash of Jam band stylings. My usual rig is my "normal" pedalboard into both a Fender Princeton reverb and either a Winfield version of a Tweed Deluxe or his version of a AC15 (GREAT AMPS!)

Just for fun I A/B'd it against the pedals that I have that are in the HX: Tubescreamer, KoT (clone) Klone, Boss vibrato and chorus etc. I honestly couldn't tell the difference (after a few minutes of tweaking the HX.) I haven't tried it at a gig yet. Will have that opportunity this weekend. But it has me wondering, do I go all the way in and try a Helix with no amp? Even if I did, and liked it, I still plan on keeping my amp and pedal collection. I probably will still gig with them at times. But oh man, the thought of such an easy setup sounds amazing. I'm scheduled for a surgery consultation for a spinal fusion, so the idea of not having to lug my two amps to a gig is VERY appealing.

Long winded set up, I know. Just trying to give some context. So any of you out there that are using modeling for gigs, what are your thoughts? What are some of the things you miss from your regular rig when using modeling? Thanks in advance for any information!
Cheers! Cody
I've gigged a Line6 Pocket POD.
The only actual problem was that I couldn't switch effects using my feet, so I planned the sound usage so that
I had one sound per song that was good enough for all of the song. I could of course roll off volume and
switch pickups and so forth. This is not a modelling issue per se as most modelers come either in the form of, or with
optional, pedalboards. It's a Pocket POD issue. Even the full sized POD kidney beans have an optional pedalboard.
I could probably run a standard pedal train into a clean amp model with great success, but that's untested at the moment.
Pros and cons you say?

PRO:
- Sounds great
- The entire amp+effects setup fits into the side pocket of my guitar bag
- That face people make when they come up and ask what amp I'm using and I show them the Pocket POD.

CON:
- No cork to sniff
- No gate to keep
 

gimmeatele

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I have read only the original post and skipped the rest for later reading so I don't get tainted by other posts.
I went digital with a pod go about three months ago, got a frfr speaker too and have never looked back. I love it. I now have access to Amps and pedals I would never have had, I like that I can make my own combos of amp and pedals and can adjust to an infinite degree.
I like to sit and make presets too my own liking, I really like the snapshot settings for tweaking a patch to different levels, but am also happy with the one patch and pedal dancing in it.
I have been deeping diving some of the more technical vids on YT to find out out how to best set up of the global settings frequencies and how to make it sound more tube amp like by altering freqs to more resemble those of an amp.
Other than technical stuff, it's stopped me gassing for amps and pedals, I am so happy with the pod go, speaker, and cables that it just makes life easier.
I have played out once to backing tracks to get it up in volume and again it all worked well, what's not to like?
Cons........ Cannot think of one other than unused amps and pedals sitting in my music room, maybe a sale is coming on.
Phil
 

gimmeatele

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Also pod go users, If you didn't know, there was a system update released Wednesday, one new amp setting and a good few more pedals.

Phil
 

gonzo

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Cool, thanks for the reply. If/ when I get into modeled amps some sort of power cab will be a must. There's no substitute for pushing air and how your guitar vibrates and reacts to that.
well,
everytime i've ever recorded in a professional studio (at least 4 times) i wasn't in the room where the cab was, i was in the studio, listening to my rig miced up in a booth,
so i was not pushing any more air than i was getting back from the studio monitors.

so, playing thru my iridium and monitoring loudly with my jbl's,
is really no different.
 




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