What Have You Learnt From Modelers?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by Grandy, May 18, 2020.

  1. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Early modelers (Johnson J-Station) gave me ear fatigue. I am happy with my Mustang III V2, and it's great for home, where I do all my playing.

    I learned two things from it:

    My favorite digital model is a '65 Deluxe Reverb, which is not surprising given that my favorite real amp is my '66 Deluxe Reverb.

    The digital version, which sounds fine, sounds like a recording of an amp, not like my Deluxe Reverb sounds live.

    With that said, I still use the Mustang III to dial in that one amp, a little reverb, and stick a real pedal in front of it.
     
  2. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    I got a POD 2 when they came out and it's taught me a lot about different types of amps. There are a lot of amps out there and modelers let you hear how amp designs evolved by playing old Fenders, Vox, and Marshalls and move on to Mesa, Dumble, Budda, Soldano, etc. I did some side reading on the amps and I understood better what I liked and didn't like, and importantly why. I've learned my favorite tones comes from Fenders, specifically '59 bassman, tweed champ, BFSR, and tweed deluxe in that order.

    Recently I got Amplitube's Fender 2 collection. I use it as a DAW plugin for recording and I prefer it to the POD since everything is in the box. I use Amplitube mostly for the tweed champ, tweed deluxe, and BFSR plugs. It has options for mic placements and adding in different room sounds.

    Here are some misc thoughts on using these modelers
    • Vox / class A amps have are wonderfully chime-y sound and work great with strats and teles.
    • Roland JC-120s have one of the best clean sounds around.
    • Stock settings are always just starting points, tweaking is always required.
    • Modelers are great for hearing what each amps sound like at volume. This is important since it's hard to try out a tube amp at all volumes. For me, cranking an amp is not practical or even an option anymore because of tinnitus.
    • Modelers don't respond to touch the way a cranked amp does. Hard to describe but there is sort of a lift or push you can get with a cranked tube amp that's not there. Instead of feeling like you're riding a wave with a cranked tube amp, a modeler gives you the sound without that lift.
    • There is some high order overtone content that isn't there with most modelers. I suspect that will improve as bit rates get higher. I found recordings using the POD can sound a little dull. But where I had a project with both a mic'd amp and POD I've proven to myself that I could't always pick out the modeler from the amp in a blindfold test.
    • Modelers are like fitter-ware...software you can tweak endlessly and fritter away as much time as you've got. I realized to actually get something done I had to stop experimental tweaking. Settle on your go-to amps/settings, dial in a tone for the song, and go.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  3. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    A Pod 2.0 and a Zoom B-2 taught me that I like playing my P-bass through a Plexi-type sound. Starting out late on bass, I had no clue and those two units gave me a tonal leg up. The chances of me coming across an actual Plexi, in the same room as a bass cab, while holding my bass, are about -17%.

    More recently, a Behringer V-amp Pro someone gave me showed me that I also like playing my P-bass through a cranked Roland JC-120 with the mids up. What are the chances I would have stumbled across that combination in the real world? Probably not real practical, but the emulated version sure sounds cool for rock.

    On guitar, modelers have shown me that I get the best results with a cleanish, dry-ish sound, at which point I need to stop playing with the damn knobs and buttons and come up with something interesting to play. Otherwise I can spend all night “fine-tuning” compression parameters, or reverb decay or something, while mindlessly noodling total muscle-memory junk I’ve been doing forever.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  4. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Holic

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    That's one of the best descriptions of the 'difference' I've read so far, and IMHO very accurate.

    After being a committed Marshall owner/user as a young man, I came back to the noisy(ish) guitar world fairly recently, and after trying a fair few of the current 'modelers' came home with a Katana (Mk1)

    It fulfils all my current requirements - good sounds, versatile, cheap, FUN. :twisted:
    Very decent tones can be found without too much knob twiddling, and you don't have to get busy with the software unless you really want to.

    Sure, it has it's limitations, its certainly not a robust gig machine, nor does it sound exactly like a classic tube amp.

    Also, I SOOO wanted/expected to come home with a Marshall CODE, but for me the Katana was just better. YMMV. :D
     
  5. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Do you play in a band? Live? 4+ piece, with two guitars? Have you experienced a mix of tube amps and modellers simultaneously during a gig, in venue with an audience or outdoors (not a small practice area or a garage)? I test this comparison every two months when I borrow a modeller at a practice instead of toting a tube amp, and I get the same results each time. Recording, solo, smaller practice areas, or no tube amps present all may flatter modellers. But live, with an audience or noise floor, and competing solo or rhythm instruments, and a tube amp paired with a modeller may flatter good tube platforms in actual practice.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  6. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I have dunn lernt from modelers that I prefer an amp that does one or two things very well over an amp that does lotsa things pretty well (if that).

    I am not against the technology itself, but I haven't yet played one that I thought would make a better tool for me than what I already have.
     
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  7. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which modellers and what is being used as a power amp?
     
  8. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    This.

    Kemper...
     
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  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m much more productive with them.

    When I play an amp, I either play stuff I already know or noodle. When I’m plugged into my amp software into my DAW, I write music. Just streamlines the process for me.
     
  10. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

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    I have learned that my Mooer GE200 weighs significantly less than my Laney LC30ii. I like the small form factor, much easier on my back muscles.

    I do the sound in my duo, I find that the modeller is easy to blend with the microphones and the excellent Band In A Box backing tracks I make to enhance our performance.

    We play at low volume, around 80 - 85 db. The Mooer is, as they say about Rolls Royce horsepower, adequate.
     
  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Peaveys, Voxs, Rolands, Kustoms, Line 6s, Acoustic, Crate,....
     
  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm thinking the problem might be in the power amp. Tube amps are generally louder per watt than solid state.
     
  13. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    I love when the Strymon ad says "leave your amp at home"... So you rely on the PA, right ? :lol:

    That said, the potentialities of that box are certainly good, of course. :cool:

    It reminds me another box I had (for cheap, 2nd hand) more than 20 years ago. It was the 1st edition, not already called "Classic" at that time :

    [​IMG]

    It was sold for 400 Euros at that time (a delirious price !). Un attrape-nigaud (a booby catcher).

    I tested it two days and traded it for a vintage mint Morley WVO with a Guy who wanted that little box : everyone was happy ! :)

    -tbln
     
  14. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    You can use a FRFR amp like the Headrush if you don't trust a venue's PA. That's what I've used my Peavey Bandit for a lot over the past 25 years with many modeling units. Also, consider that a lot of Strymon's customer base are Praise & Worship players and typically have access to a reliable and consistent PA system in a single location.

    "More than 20 years ago" is a common phrase you'll hear in modeling discussions. Technology has advanced a lot since then, with the biggest changes being processing power and impulse responses.

    The Sansamps do remain pretty good but they're certainly enhanced with IRs when going direct-in or into a FRFR or plain, clean, amp. I've found they're at their worse going into a tube amp.
     
  15. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've learned that there is nothing I can't accomplish both live or in the studio.

    That wasn't directed to me, but I can say YES - all the time with great results. When the industry is open I gig about 120 shows a year in a mixture of clubs, soft seaters and arena's. I suspect if I "borrowed a modeler" plugged it in and expected great results I would feel the way you do. It does take a dedication of time... and for some of us that time is a very worthwhile investment!
     
  16. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    1. Almost every youtuber who demos a modeler begins with high gain, highly effected tones. Hey, just let us hear the amp models!
    2. It’s easy to get obsessed with endless tweaking to find “that” tone.
    2a. Endless tweaking may be a requirement for some tones.
    2b. Tweaking is a joy for some and more life-sucking than assembling several pieces of IKEA Furniture in one sitting.
    3. Some tones can still sound “brittle”. Sometimes you just can’t shake the digital artifact out of them.
    4. The modulation and delay effects are frequently excellent but the fuzz, OD effects leave a lot be desired. Go ahead, tweak a fuzz and roll back the volume on your guitar and see if they emulate the same responsiveness of doing the same on tube amp. PS: the more effects you pile on exacerbate that “brittle” digital tones.
    5. They sound perfectly fine in a mix but leave me empty when played alone.
    6. I suck at creating great tones from them.
    7. I’d rather have a simple tube amp like a Fender Pro Junior.
     
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  17. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure why you added a laughing emoji to that sentence. Many of us do play through FOH/Monitor rigs we can rely on and when we can't we know we have to carry an FRFR of sorts to help us out. In my world, my FRFR only gets used about 20% of the time... and only on the smallest of shows I do.
     
  18. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    LONG LONG AGO AND FAR FAR AWAY THERE WAS THE ROCKMAN :) ,
    things have evolved over the last 3 decades, believe me at your own risk.
    One of my current go to Faux Amp is the Digitech RP360, I have 2 Mooer mini preamps the replicants of the
    Mesa Dual Rectifier and the Suhr Badger, My long term steady choice is the Digitech GSP1101.
    I work on "stuff" in my studio apartment using a P.C and the Propellerheads DAW Reason 10.2
    What I have learned is that with modest Social Security and prior peripheral low wage slacker-dropout jobs and the attending pay scales
    one can produce some interesting sounds for compositions. Waves does make some very interesting and dyslexic proof processing gear.
    I have learned to accept garage band gear creating garage band noise because that's what I have access to and to be shamelessly frank (if ping-ping can be Frank ?) I will probably never require better gear than what I have to maximize my talent.... it's not the gear, it's the user in my case.

    largest-king-cobra-on-record-king-cobras-in-chiang-mai-chiang-mai-3395010.jpeg
     
  19. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Meister

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    I don't have a modeling amp, but do have a multi-fx unit. I've learned they can be a lot of fun, but can be a big waste of time fiddling with 'em, as factory presets pretty much bite. The idea of modeling is a good one for beginners to get a feel for what stuff sounds like without the investment of tons of pedals you may or may not like, but in the end, a few great pedals and a good amp (SS, tube, whatever floats yer boat) is the way to go. I mostly just play through my Tweaker anymore (which in and of itself involves a lot of fiddling with), with an attenuator to keep the wife happy ….she likes the sound of a pushed amp, but not the volume. I don't mind the volume, and love the "feel" of air being moved, she isn't that interested....LOL. But I've played through the multi-fx into headphones and have herlisten with closed eyes....she'd have to open them to see it it was really me playing or a recording...stereo effects and whatnot sound amazing through headphones. Modeling os fun, but overkill, I think, but that just depends on the individual.
     
  20. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    You can't evaluate a digital and an analog device, when you dumb both devices down with the same digital conversion, like all internet recordings. You are listening to, and evaluating two digital recordings, most likely played thru digital equipment.

    Anyway, some folks feel there is no difference in modellers and tubes. And some folks feel there is a difference. The only answer is for you to expend the time and money to discover for yourself. I'd love to have all the money back I've spent chasing multiple theories, but that's the cost of tuition and really knowing what you know. The corollary, is internet wisdom, which is way cheaper! <g>
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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