Old 04-24-2012, 05:35 AM   #1
samsome123
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 528
Default do amp simulators sound fake?

do amp simulators sound fake?

i am wondering how much better is the sound of real amps in recordings

whats ur opinion on this? thanks
samsome123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 05:57 AM   #2
jax
Human being with feelings
 
jax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
i am wondering how much better is the sound of real amps in recordings
Real amps sound 3,14159265(...) times better.
I measured it very, very accurately...
jax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 06:32 AM   #3
djjedidiah
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 443
Default

I would say in all seriousness that amps sound better, but the margin is getting smaller. However, if you don't have a good acoustically treated space to record, going direct with an amp sim is a life saver. Do both at the same time. One track DI for an amp sim and one a mic in front of an amp. Now you have options.
djjedidiah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #4
osiris
Human being with feelings
 
osiris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 85
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by djjedidiah View Post
I would say in all seriousness that amps sound better, but the margin is getting smaller. However, if you don't have a good acoustically treated space to record, going direct with an amp sim is a life saver. Do both at the same time. One track DI for an amp sim and one a mic in front of an amp. Now you have options.
This...
__________________
My guitar blog: http://www.osirisguitar.com
osiris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
hwhalen
Human being with feelings
 
hwhalen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 926
Default Use all the tools

Use an amp simulator with a reasonably good sound source that you can send to a small tube amp, say 20 watts. Turn the amp's clean channel volume full, or almost full. Stick an SM57 or an SM7b on the cab. Use a room mic about 3ft away if you got enough channels. Listen on headphones, set the mic position, the amp, amp simulator and mic input levels until it sounds incredible, then record each source to a separate track. When you mix this afterwards, it sounds real.

Use all the tools, enjoy!
__________________
My Music
Noise From My Head
On The Links
hwhalen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #6
thequietroom
Human being with feelings
 
thequietroom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,694
Default

For bedroom recording artists...

modleling is getting better every day. Hardware wise the Fractal audio stuff seems to be king of the hill, line6 HD stuff is an affordable alternative. I've heard wonderful stuff software wise. The podfarm stuff can sound great, TH2 Overloud, Acmebargig Shred.. There are many more. I think if you find the right workflow and model for your taste, it is possible to get superior results from the modelers as it eliminates the environmental hurdles of mic'ing an amp in a room etc. I don't thing a statement like "amp modelers sound fake" is viable anymore. If you are talking about a Johnson J-station, maybe... but the current modelers are quite impressive.
thequietroom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
MichaJo
Human being with feelings
 
MichaJo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,767
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post
Real amps sound 3,14159265(...) times better.
I measured it very, very accurately...
That's surprisingly close to PI! One should examine this in detail...
MichaJo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
Banned
Human being with feelings
 
Banned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Unwired (probably in the proximity of Amsterdam)
Posts: 4,868
Default

Real amps sound better until you record them digitally.

For recording loud overdriven amps in a flat, you'd probably want to use an 'amp cabin'. Billy Gibbons-style.
__________________
˙lɐd 'ʎɐʍ ƃuoɹʍ ǝɥʇ ǝɔıʌǝp ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıploɥ ǝɹ,noʎ
Banned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
samsome123
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 528
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banned View Post
Real amps sound better until you record them digitally.

For recording loud overdriven amps in a flat, you'd probably want to use an 'amp cabin'. Billy Gibbons-style.
amp cabin? how does that work?
samsome123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
DVDdoug
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,981
Default

Quote:
amp cabin? how does that work?
I assumme that's something like this.. An enclosed cabinet with a microphone inside.

Of course, that's going to sound different from an amp in a studio/room... Better or worse is a matter of opinion & taste. Whatever set-up Mr. Gibbons wants to use is OK with me!
DVDdoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #11
ivansc
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Near Cambridge UK and Near Questembert, France
Posts: 19,312
Default

I have used both interchangeably over the years.
In practical terms, if the guitar part is really exposed and fairly clean I suppose it is easier to spot an amp sim, but if you use distortion and the wall of sound approach to guitars, I think the answer has to be no.

But dont listen to us - go listen to the radio for a while and see if you can spot who is recording real amps and who is using an amp sim.

I can't usually tell the difference.

Unless it is an old fender amp not actually breaking up totally but just crunching in a nice clean-ish sort of way. Never found an amp sim that could do that convincingly.
ivansc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #12
Banned
Human being with feelings
 
Banned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Unwired (probably in the proximity of Amsterdam)
Posts: 4,868
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDdoug View Post
I assumme that's something like this.. An enclosed cabinet with a microphone inside.

Of course, that's going to sound different from an amp in a studio/room... Better or worse is a matter of opinion & taste. Whatever set-up Mr. Gibbons wants to use is OK with me!
Yes, something like that. Mr. Gibbons apparently used a pretty large one stacked full of amps.
__________________
˙lɐd 'ʎɐʍ ƃuoɹʍ ǝɥʇ ǝɔıʌǝp ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıploɥ ǝɹ,noʎ
Banned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
samsome123
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 528
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post
Real amps sound 3,14159265(...) times better.
I measured it very, very accurately...

how did u measure that, so we can believe u
samsome123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2012, 04:09 AM   #14
JohnnyMcFly
Human being with feelings
 
JohnnyMcFly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,343
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jax View Post
Real amps sound 3,14159265(...) times better.
I measured it very, very accurately...
haha Nice..
__________________
http://www.acmebargig.com/

Last edited by JohnnyMcFly; 06-07-2012 at 01:18 PM.
JohnnyMcFly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 07:06 AM   #15
samsome123
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 528
Default

alright..

also am wondering

why do people record amps when they play so loud?

can't they record them in low volume?

cause am in a flat for example...i would only be able to record at low volume if i ever did...
samsome123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 07:34 AM   #16
ngarjuna
Human being with feelings
 
ngarjuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 2,298
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
alright..

also am wondering

why do people record amps when they play so loud?

can't they record them in low volume?

cause am in a flat for example...i would only be able to record at low volume if i ever did...
Because many valve amps (and some solid states) reach their respective sweet spots right before the speaker starts to excurse. There are manufacturers who actually make devices to lower the volume on these amps because the amps don't have natural settings that sound good at those low volumes. It has nothing to do with wanting to turn it up to 11.

As far as whether amp sims sound good, I'm pretty sure every major amp sim has a demo of some kind you could listen to. Have you listened to a few of them? Did they sound convincing to you?
ngarjuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 07:42 AM   #17
djjedidiah
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 443
Default

To get a really awesome sound, you need to move some air, maybe even get some speaker distortion in there. So yes, crank the master on the amp. That's why there are now a bunch of 5 to 20 watt amps out there. It's not that you have to be loud, but rather that the amp is running at peak efficiency.
djjedidiah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 08:24 AM   #18
zeekat
Human being with feelings
 
zeekat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Polandia
Posts: 2,451
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
do amp simulators sound fake?
Bunch of dudes did a blind test some time ago

http://www.emusician.com/techniques/...vs-amps/141292

and came to the conclusion that "not really". Also there's plenty of great sounding albums recorded with those already. So I guess the solution is stopping worrying and recording stuff however you like.
__________________
AM bient and rund funk
my soundclouds+youtubings
zeekat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #19
Boray
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,347
Default

So, which one of these two is a real amp and which one is amp simulation?

http://boray.bandcamp.com/track/jupiter

http://boray.bandcamp.com/track/wordless-envoy
__________________
www.boray.se
Boray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #20
LCipher
Human being with feelings
 
LCipher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,964
Default

Didn't use to think so... but I've converted over. Some sound REALLY good and the convenience and ability to get sounds at lower volumes is too attractive.

These sound good to me:

http://www.scuffhamamps.com/product
http://www.scuffhamamps.com/user-sounds
LCipher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #21
Boray
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,347
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boray View Post
So, which one of these two is a real amp and which one is amp simulation?

http://boray.bandcamp.com/track/jupiter

http://boray.bandcamp.com/track/wordless-envoy
Nobody wants to take an educated guess? One of them is a Line6 Pod 2 and the other one is a real amp.
__________________
www.boray.se
Boray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #22
Sinner
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 451
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
Bunch of dudes did a blind test some time ago

http://www.emusician.com/techniques/...vs-amps/141292

and came to the conclusion that "not really". Also there's plenty of great sounding albums recorded with those already. So I guess the solution is stopping worrying and recording stuff however you like.
I can't tell the difference anymore, maybe during mixing, not in the final product. If you'd have asked me the same question 5 years ago, I would have given you a different answer. Especially not in the context of the guitar being played through a sim, adding compression, adding reverb, etc.

Still, one thing that remains different, and why I sometimes record through an amp, is actually due to the objectively BAD sound I get from an old amp. I have one with a spring reverb unit that I think is bent.

Also, at this point in vst time, good guitar clean amp sims are more difficult to find.
Sinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 01:13 PM   #23
JohnnyMcFly
Human being with feelings
 
JohnnyMcFly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,343
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinner View Post
I can't tell the difference anymore
Here's how I tell the difference and it only happens when a note fades out(a chord actually).
Hit a chord, listen to the distortion. There will be almost like a secondary distortion that just sort of sits there independant of all other distortion.
Real amps don't do that..

There was a thread somewhere here where a guy posted that artifact and asked why all amp sims do that. It may even be this thread, I didn't check. If I comes across it, I'll post a link here...Every amp sim I have ever tried does that, ours too. We have tried to remove it, but all we have done is minimize it, it is still there, but its difficult to understand what causes it.
__________________
http://www.acmebargig.com/
JohnnyMcFly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #24
theRev
Human being with feelings
 
theRev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 152
Default

They sound quite different. But only on trained ears... 80% of people (including most musicians) can't get the difference, so it's really not a problem anymore. But yeah, after doing some A/B tests, playing hours on both, you can easily get all the different nuances...
theRev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #25
Jason Brian Merrill
Human being with feelings
 
Jason Brian Merrill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northeastern PA, USA
Posts: 20,939
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
do amp simulators sound fake?

i am wondering how much better is the sound of real amps in recordings

whats ur opinion on this? thanks
I think they many times sound less fake than the real thing.

Guitar rig 5 is an all around great plugin - it will give you great sounds for any guitar...

revalver MKIII.V is awesome but seems to favor metal

Amplitube always seems nice but doesn't seem to deliver with most of my guitars, always struggling to find a good sound with that one.
__________________
Beliefs do not require respect. People do.
Jason Brian Merrill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #26
Argle
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,264
Default

I don't think you could tell the difference in any modern production. I mean, have you ever listened to a track and thought "Ah! Amp sim. So obvious."
Argle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 01:37 PM   #27
DVDdoug
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argle View Post
I don't think you could tell the difference in any modern production. I mean, have you ever listened to a track and thought "Ah! Amp sim. So obvious."
I was just thinking the same thing!

...When you listen to a CD, you don't have a clue if a simulator was used or what simulator was used, or what guitar/pickup/amp/cabinet/pedals were used. (Unless you have some "inside information", such as an interview with the artist/producer or if you happen to know the guitarist's "standard setup".) Even then, you probably don't know what effects the mixing & mastering engineers used.

The guitar player might not even know what the mixing engineer & producer have done, because the guitar is often recorded "live" and direct, and who knows what's been done to that direct-track in post-production!

Here's my 2-cents (and I'm not a guitar player) - If you are are in-love with the sound you are getting from your real amp, and if you can use it... If you have a "good room" and you are not bothering you neighbours or your mom... You probably won't be happy with a sim, because you are never going to get that exact same sound that you love, with a simulator. And, you are probably going to play better (and have more fun!) if you can hear yourself through the real amp.

If there are reasons you can't use your amp (at a volume where it sounds good), you may not have a choice, and you might be "forced" to use a sim.

Or, if you are not totally happy with your setup, and you can't afford that Marshall Stack (or whatever) that you really want, you will probably be happier with a sim.

If you are more-focused on the music and less concerned with the exact "tone", a sim should be acceptable. For example, a pro studio-musician might not be too concerned with the tone/character of the sound, as long as the producer is happy and his part doesn't sound "bad".

If you want to double-track or triple-track, and you want to use a different set-up each time, or if you want a different setup on different tracks/ songs, it's more economical & practical to own lots of sims than to own several amp/cabinet combinations.

And, it's a lot easier to try-out lots of different sims, than to go a music store and try-out a bunch of different amps/cabs. If you've got a computer-full of sims, you can try-out (and use) a new setup anytime, day-or-night.

Last edited by DVDdoug; 04-24-2012 at 01:46 PM.
DVDdoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 01:50 PM   #28
Cosmic
Human being with feelings
 
Cosmic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Online
Posts: 4,643
Default

Nail on head award goes to DVDDoug.


No one can tell what you're using and very few punters could give a hoot.

In fact the MAJORITY of punters would'nt even understand the question.

Theres no good or bad tone..theres only a tone that either works or dosent.
Its you're job as the recordist/creator to use whatever means available to you to make the tune rock.Thats he bottom line.When money becomes no object you'll be paying Mutt Lange to record your guitars anyway.


FWIW..On a good day I get a beautiful sound from sims easily comparable to that from my Marshall..theres so much to it to get it right..so many variables...not least of which is the actual arrangement of the tune.Sometimes sims work..others they just don't cut it and the reverse is true of my amps..and I've no idea why.

I suspect humidity and isobars might be involved but I've no concrete evidence.Just speculation.
__________________
it aint worth a bop,if it dont got that pop
Cosmic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #29
Panic
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 989
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Gaz Le Rock View Post


FWIW..On a good day I get a beautiful sound from sims easily comparable to that from my Marshall..

Funny you mention this. I swear guitars, acoustic and electric, and amps have moods and some days you might as well just leave them in the case, while Other days, no matter how bad you play, everything sounds brilliant.
Panic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2012, 02:47 AM   #30
ivansc
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Near Cambridge UK and Near Questembert, France
Posts: 19,312
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Gaz Le Rock View Post
Nail on head award goes to DVDDoug.
(QUOTING MYSELF EARLIER)"But dont listen to us - go listen to the radio for a while and see if you can spot who is recording real amps and who is using an amp sim.

I can't usually tell the difference."

So what am I, then? Chopped liver? (grin)

Ivan-the-Irascible


P.S. I still want a definition of `Demagogue` from a Canadian reader.....
ivansc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2012, 02:19 AM   #31
mriesenb
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsome123 View Post
do amp simulators sound fake?

i am wondering how much better is the sound of real amps in recordings

whats ur opinion on this? thanks
check out my abg demo on the website www.acmebargig.com

it's in the interview section. comes very close to the version I used on my album which was done with a Marshall tsl 100 cranked.

and this was recorded like 3 years ago with an ampsim with much older code than the more recent ones.
mriesenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.