Amp modeler vs amp sims

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by StratsoundFan, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Headphones can definitely make a difference. If you have a small amp and can at least test through that at low volume to confirm, that can verify whether it's the pedal you don't like or the headphones.

    A guitar amp doesn't put out frequencies above about 6000hz. Headphones that reproduce sounds above that can sound bad. I had that issue.

    I got a pair of $10 Sony MDX ZR110 headphones based on a recommendation here. Yep, $10 on Amazon, $15 elsewhere. They seem to lack top end, despite their specs that say otherwise, which is perfect for guitar work. Solved the headphone sound issues I had.
     
  2. Phiu-x

    Phiu-x Strat-Talk Member

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    I use VST plugins in Cakewalk DAW using AudioTechnica MX-50 HF. Sounds perfect.

    I tried several packages solutions like Amplitude 3/4/5, TH3 and others but I always found it more rewarding to research and buy individual plugins as I can get the best souding plugin for a particular amp and pedal sound i'm trying to achieve. For now I've assembled quite the perfect little collection for the Marshall, Fender, Plexi and AC30 sound I like.
     
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  3. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    Well, I just had a revelation..sort of. I downloaded a completely clean and dry guitar wav file from the internet. It was uploaded by anonymous guy. I then compared it with my own recorded dry guitar file in the following way: I made a preset in DAW consisting of pedal, amp, custom IR, and reverb, all plugins. My file sounded very bad compared to the other one, in every imaginable way. I was blown away by the difference in quality, and yes, I was using the same old 30$ headphones. Despite using only above-mentioned plugins, that guy's file sounded like the real deal. It's just unebelieveable. I ran it through Marshall, AC30 and Fender Twin amp sims with appropriate IRs, and each and every amp sounded like the real deal, whereas mine sucked ass, maybe with the exception of Fender on clean settings. Could it be that the guy's interface and/or guitar are the reason for such dramatic difference in feel and quality of sound. I thought I needed a better pair of headphones, but I'm not so sure now!?
     
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  4. Straticus

    Straticus Strat-Talker

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    I have 2 pr of headphones that are fantastic. Both sourced from Sweetwater. The Sony MDR7506 closed back were $99 and are comfortable for as long as I’ve ever worn them; 90 minutes is probably my longest session with them.

    My mixing headphones are even more comfortable and feel slightly lighter; they are the Beyer Dynamic DT990 Pro Open Studio Monitor Headphones and cost $145.

    Sound quality on both is excellent.
     
  5. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    @Straticus , I've heard nothing but good things about Sony, and especially Beyerdynamics, but the point of my previous post was that there is something else going on with my signal chain which makes my guitar sound lame when played through amp sims. I just can't figure out what it is. I thought the cheap headphones were the problem, and while buying good headphones is always going to improve the sound to a certain degree, the problem I have with amp sims lies elsewhere. I just don't know where!?
     
  6. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    I joined that queue!
    I simply don't have the time or the patience ( or intelligence?) to mess about with any of the units I've tried and I actually found Line 6 to be the least user friendly of them all!
     
  7. Stonetone

    Stonetone Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yup not for everyone thats for sure :thumb:
     
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  8. Straticus

    Straticus Strat-Talker

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    I posted my info about headphones before seeing the evolution of your thread. Good luck figuring out this mystery! I don't have experience with amp modeling / sims; given the expertise around here, I am optimistic that you'll figure this out.
     
  9. ultrahedgehog

    ultrahedgehog Strat-Talker

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    Preliminary statement, I'm just a guy of modest talent...so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    I think the differentiation you are making in the question is:

    Amp Sim = Stand alone (or plugin VST) computer application
    Amp Modeler = Hardware based with internal processing to emulate tones

    If that's the case; I can say that the ability to make a great guitar tone will be irrelevant to the source. In my instance; I have a Line 6 Helix LT (floor based hardware), Helix Native (same concept...but as a program on my computer), and Bias FX 2 (which I had before the other two...it's also a computer based simulator). All make good tones. There (IMO) is no difference between the two Helix formats, because they use the same modeling concept, just powered by a different source of processing.

    I generally use the Helix more than Bias FX at this point, but not because I don't think you can make great sounds from Bias FX. I do it because I need to play loudly sometimes and using the LT is way more convenient for that than trying to use a PC for a live rig.
     
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  10. JonnyBGood

    JonnyBGood Strat-Talker

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    OK forget about sims and presets etc for a minute, first off how does the other guy's *dry* recording compare with your *dry* recording? By that I mean guitar recorded direct to interface, nothing at all added to the sound file.

    If the other guy's dry sound file sounds better than yours, in what way? Is it clearer? Is it much louder - is your recording really quiet? Does yours distort/clip? Would be good for us to hear both.

    There could be a problem with:

    -your guitar's pickups/electrics
    -your audio interface/drivers
    -your recording settings

    ..or a combination of the above.
     
  11. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    The guy's wav file is much louder than mine. This difference is also clearly visible in DAW. My file looks like a thin line, while his is much wider. My guitar is Mexican Fender Player strat. The guitar has some very nice typical clean strat tones, but everything else, like typical strat crunchy and chimey tones, overdrive, and high gain tones, is so hard to dial in with this guitar. The interface I'm using is irig HD2. I honestly think it's a piece of crap, especialy the preamp/gain knob, yet I haven't been able to find any negative reviews about this interace on the internet. People seem to like it, I guess. When it comes to recording, I alwyas try to make sure to avoid clipping first and foremost, and while I'm by no means an expert, I believe I am able to set up proper gain staging, so that shouldn't be an issue.
     
  12. JonnyBGood

    JonnyBGood Strat-Talker

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    Ok firstly if you want me to help it would be good to quote a bit of my post or like it or something, otherwise I get no alert and if I haven't been on the forum for a while I will have no idea you have responded to me. I just happened to notice you had posted to this thread on the opening page of the forum, but things quickly disappear from there.

    Unless it has a fault, which I doubt, your guitar is up to the job, Players are fine guitars.

    It sounds like your recording levels are too low, this means that when you bump them up to get good level through your amp sims your signal to noise ratio will be poor. You need a decent level to begin with. Check your interface input is set for instrument level (assuming your guitar is plugging straight in) and not line level. I am not familiar with the iRIG, but most interfaces have a light/meter that then enables you to set a good level into the interface without going anywhere near clipping (red). Then check the level going into your DAW track as you strum some chords. Only after you can see decent level showing in the DAW (eg around -14 to -18db) should you add in sims etc.
     
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  13. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    THIS....if you dont have an audio interface with decent preamps then its not the amp sims fault....the thread starter should get something affordable but decent like for example the presonus audiobox or the focusrite scarlet solo in order to hear those sims shine.Iam using the onyx blackjack from mackie that is along those lines of(decent and affordable) and i couldnt be more happy along with a pair of speakers and the mercuriall plugins.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
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  14. Impulsive guppy

    Impulsive guppy Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    Are you sure you are plugging the headphones into the right jack on the iRig?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  15. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Another thought in that direction... I don't know your gear at all, but does it have any compensation for the type of "amp" you're outputting to?

    My antique VOX Tonelab has compensation for output to VOX, Marshall, Fender, or line. Where that switch is set makes a big difference with headphone sound quality.
     
  16. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    There is a dedicated headphone output, which I'm using of course.

    @JonnyBGood , the gain knob is set so there isn't any clipping, and while it does boost the signal, it makes it muddier and shrill sounding as well. Like I said, the preamp on this interface is of very low quality which is to be expected considering the price. Maybe I should get Scarlett solo instead. I'm not sure if that would make any discernible difference though.
     
  17. JonnyBGood

    JonnyBGood Strat-Talker

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    Well I use the Focusrite 4i4 and its excellent, the preamps are very transparent. The input gain certainly doesn't make the signal muddy and shrill as you turn it up. Pretty sure its the same preamp circuitry across the range, just more features and ins/outs as you go up. They are very highly regarded for the price.
     
  18. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    It makes all the difference in the world....check out that guy i posted in my first post here....he is using more or less the same soundcard that @JonnyBGood is using and he covers a lot of well known songs using just the card and amp sims in most of them....nothing more than that so you really dont need a lot but a decent audio interface is essential...
     
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  19. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    @JonnyBGood what guitar are you using? I might just give it a try, and buy the Focusrite solo. I just wish I bought a good quality interface in the first place. Oh well.
     
  20. StratsoundFan

    StratsoundFan Strat-Talk Member

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    @Dreamdancer yeah, that guy has great sound, but so does every single youtube guitar channel. I don't trust yotube reviews at all.