Old 12-03-2019, 08:10 PM   #1
gm22
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Default Best plug-ins for electric guitar amp and cab simulation?

I've always struggled to capture a good overdriven electric guitar sound using amps and mics. The problem is the only room I have to record in is small and dry, and I'm also limited as to how loud I can go, but I understand there are plug-ins being used to record direct. I have a Focusrite Saffire USB 6 and Reaper of course. I want to plug the guitar into the Saffire and get a decent recorded sound without using mics.

Any recommendations for plug-ins that will emulate both amps and cabinets? Free plug-ins are fine, but I also don't mind paying if there are very good plug ins to buy.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:15 PM   #2
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https://tonelib.net/gfx-overview/

This one is free (at least it was, not sure if it still is). Very nice sounding one.



https://www.positivegrid.com/bias-amp/

This one is a paid plug-in. Very realistic models. Comes in Standard, Professional and Elite. You can download a demo to try it out, and between the 3rd and 9th of December you'll get a 50% discount.

Last edited by Tinus; 12-04-2019 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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I wouldn't recommend positive grid. I have it and it's incredibly awkward to use. Maybe the newer versions are better, but for me, it's largely unusable.

If I had it to do over again, I'd have gone Amplitube.

It depends on the sounds you're trying to record. What genre would you say you're working in?
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinus View Post
https://tonelib.net/gfx-overview/

This one is free (at least it was, not sure if it still is). Very nice sounding one.
I don't think this is free, but it is cheap.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:42 PM   #5
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I wouldn't recommend positive grid. I have it and it's incredibly awkward to use. Maybe the newer versions are better, but for me, it's largely unusable.
The only thing I had to deal with was the sluggish and buggy GUI of Bias Amp 2. But that went away when I built my new PC with a better graphics card. It may also have gotten fixed by an update, not sure.

Bottom line: Demo everything before you buy. Try as many different things as you can.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kirk1701 View Post
I don't think this is free, but it is cheap.
http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php...ib-GFX&id=3003

This version may still be free.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kirk1701 View Post
I wouldn't recommend positive grid. I have it and it's incredibly awkward to use. Maybe the newer versions are better, but for me, it's largely unusable.

If I had it to do over again, I'd have gone Amplitube.

It depends on the sounds you're trying to record. What genre would you say you're working in?
Thanks for the replies. Genre is typical blues based hard rock & roll, fair amount of gain mostly via Les Paul but sometimes Telecaster.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:52 PM   #8
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I use BIAS FX for Fender Twin, Marshall 800, Ampeg SVT and acoustic sim and TSE X50 for Peavey 5150.
I tried Waves GTR, Mercurial, TH2, Guitar Rig, Ignite amps and BIAS FX sounds more realistic for me.
I have the same sound card btw))
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:26 PM   #9
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The PRS Archon, Dallas, or V9.... great preamp sound and pretty detailed.
Dialing in the correct amount of input level get a good tube like satuation is key... But for sure they are just about real sounding and feeling as I've heard a plugin get. Great for re-amping too.

Watch the Vids and see what you think... On sale too


I record a clean track at same time I print a track with something on the inputFX that I've got sounding pretty good.. Clean track is awesome to then play around with Amplitube or PRS and pick and choose my way to any other sound I might want with out having to record over again (assuming good take)

Depending what you want, I've also found Amplitubes guitar bundles to do fairly well... personally a huge fan of the Dimebag pack and the Mesa Boogie, both of those go from easy saturation to incredible crunch and punch pretty well. they'll need a bit of eq when mixing in to other tracks like any other guitar... etc...etc....
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:43 PM   #10
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I have tried ignite amps, bias FX 2, lepou stuff, neural dsp stuff. Lepou was great for a long time(esp legion and lecto) but now my pref is ignite emissary. Ignite also has the nadIr IR loader and both are for free so just grab them and rock out.

I'm extremely picky and while the emissary is cool it doesn't give me much at all compared to my 6505 with a resistive load and nadIr with impulses. Offc with a set of sed winged C tubes that amp comes to life!!

I just hope the new kazrog thermionik will blow everything else out of the water, what would go along the lines of his other products.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
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Yeah, another vote for Ignite, and the nadIr... picked up all the Glen Fricker IR's too.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gm22 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Genre is typical blues based hard rock & roll, fair amount of gain mostly via Les Paul but sometimes Telecaster.
The Fender Champ is a staple of classic rock recording. A 5w amp is surprisingly effective. "Rocky Mountain Way" is the perfect example of this.

There is a learning curve with miking and tracking these amps, but isn't that why we're all here?

I've been impressed with Shattered Glass Audio's Ace amp, which is a 57 Champ emulation. It's quite good. It doesn't quite compress like the real thing, but it's as near as dammit for freeware. (I'd actually like to see an update to solve this, even if it becomes a paid thing.)

http://www.shatteredglassaudio.com/product/103

Also, if you're into The Beatles, they have the only freeware emulation of the EMI REDD 47. It's every bit as good as the Waves Abbey Road version.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:28 AM   #13
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You can try these, all for free!!

Nembrini Crunck
https://www.nembriniaudio.com/produc...itar-amplifier

Blue Cat amps
https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_FreeAmp/

This is a JS plugin and sounds really good
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread....ghlight=ampera
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:34 PM   #14
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Truly though it does all come down to a players touch. Thats where the real sound is. The trick is to find that plug in that responds to
'your' touch. One that 'feels' right when you're playing. there is a TON of good plugs, free and paid, but not all of them are right for any one player.

the best part is all the playing you get to do finding "The One"
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirk1701 View Post
The Fender Champ is a staple of classic rock recording. A 5w amp is surprisingly effective. "Rocky Mountain Way" is the perfect example of this.

There is a learning curve with miking and tracking these amps, but isn't that why we're all here?

I've been impressed with Shattered Glass Audio's Ace amp, which is a 57 Champ emulation. It's quite good. It doesn't quite compress like the real thing, but it's as near as dammit for freeware. (I'd actually like to see an update to solve this, even if it becomes a paid thing.)

http://www.shatteredglassaudio.com/product/103

Also, if you're into The Beatles, they have the only freeware emulation of the EMI REDD 47. It's every bit as good as the Waves Abbey Road version.
Thanks again to everyone for all the replies and sharing of products and ideas. I have lots of scouting to do and feel confident I'll find some good plugins.

With respect to putting a mic on a small amp to capture a good usable sound, I agree, and have even done so with some success in the past. In fact I have a Champ 600, which is a newer and half decent reproduction of the real thing. The problem is, even small amps have to be turned up to a volume that is not always reasonable where I am. The volume has to be high enough not just to capture the best sound of the amp, but also in order to mask the acoustic mechanical sound of the strings, which bleeds into the mic and doesn't sound good.

I did figure out a curious workaround where I would capture a section on a Ditto X2, and then play and record the section, which obviously leaves out the acoustic sound of the strings. One can use even lower levels this way, but it's just not practical. At this point and for this room I'm throwing in the towel and simply want the best sound I can get in the box. Would certainly revisit micing amps and cabinets if I move. I have some great amps I can't quite take advantage of.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:56 AM   #16
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The best amp sims, free or paid, are by LePou (Poulin). Alain's closed down the site now, but you can still find them kicking around online if you look. LE456, LeXtac, Legion, HyBrit, LeCto are what to search for. Team them up with some good cab IRs and you're away.
Enjoy.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gm22 View Post
Thanks again to everyone for all the replies and sharing of products and ideas. I have lots of scouting to do and feel confident I'll find some good plugins.

With respect to putting a mic on a small amp to capture a good usable sound, I agree, and have even done so with some success in the past. In fact I have a Champ 600, which is a newer and half decent reproduction of the real thing. The problem is, even small amps have to be turned up to a volume that is not always reasonable where I am. The volume has to be high enough not just to capture the best sound of the amp, but also in order to mask the acoustic mechanical sound of the strings, which bleeds into the mic and doesn't sound good.

I did figure out a curious workaround where I would capture a section on a Ditto X2, and then play and record the section, which obviously leaves out the acoustic sound of the strings. One can use even lower levels this way, but it's just not practical. At this point and for this room I'm throwing in the towel and simply want the best sound I can get in the box. Would certainly revisit micing amps and cabinets if I move. I have some great amps I can't quite take advantage of.
You might attempt something like this: https://www.gfisystem.com/cabzeus.html

I'm considering this myself. I like the sound of my amps, but I also struggle with the volume thing.

There are many DI boxes like this. Radial surely has something.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I did figure out a curious workaround where I would capture a section on a Ditto X2, and then play and record the section, which obviously leaves out the acoustic sound of the strings. One can use even lower levels this way, but it's just not practical. At this point and for this room I'm throwing in the towel and simply want the best sound I can get in the box. Would certainly revisit micing amps and cabinets if I move. I have some great amps I can't quite take advantage of.
You're basically describing reamping here, and it might be worth it to use that method to "print" once you're happy with your take. Maybe use the VST to record and get that vibe for the performance, and then reamp that.

In addition to what's been mentioned, I've heard a lot of good things about Scuffham S Gear, haven't tried it myself. I did buy Kazrog Thermionik Suite when it was on sale a while back, and I like it, but that's kind of a useless recommendation as it's on hold and not available until he redoes it.

Simulanalog is another one that used to get a lot of love, although it might have been superceded by now.
www.simulanalog.org/guitarsuite.htm
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:21 PM   #19
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My favourites by a mile are the (free) amp sims by EXE consulting, cabinet switched off, followed by one of the gazillion free speaker IRs in ReaVerb.
For a convincing non-tube overdrive, the "diode" JS plugin works very well. Klanghelm SDRR isn't too bad either for tube-ish saturation or fuzz.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:29 PM   #20
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Check out Scuffham S-Gear. It's simple to use, just a few amps and cabs, and it sounds great.
Also the Mercuriall amps are really good - especially Reaxis (Mesa Triaxis emulation).

Try some demos...
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinus View Post
The only thing I had to deal with was the sluggish and buggy GUI of Bias Amp 2. But that went away when I built my new PC with a better graphics card. It may also have gotten fixed by an update, not sure.

Bottom line: Demo everything before you buy. Try as many different things as you can.
I also find the GUI sluggish. The sound is very 3D and convincing, though. This is an object lesson in the importance of GUI design. I've become far more selective since I bought BiasAmp.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:02 AM   #22
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I stand corrected. I've returned to try and get the Ignite Emissary to sound as good as my loadboxed peavey 6505 amp, and the combination of these two fxchain presets of Ignite Emissary and NadIR loader, combined with the impulse response I've included yield results that gives me the same feeling as playing through the real amp. I hope it can give someone else as much joy as it gives me. The clean channel is also dialed according to what I like

This is dialed for guitars with a EMG 81 in the bridge, for agressive metal (I've tuned to C standard). Dial the input gain so that your hardest strumming peaks at just above -6 dBFS. Preferably with a noise gate first in chain just dialed above noise floor. The impulse response file should be loaded to the right side of the loader, if there is any problem with the loader the settings should be:

80% resonance, 9.4k lo pass, 152 hz hi pass. Offc these can be tuned to taste but thats my preference.

Go download the two vsts from ignite and try it out

URL with ZIP file for the 2x FXchain files and the IR, place the FXchain presets where the rest of FX chains are located: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1YH...Gut8rPWYU1GMss

Does anyone know if it's possible to use a Midi footswitch to change the channel? Are there any very basic (one button) midi footswitches that works with USB?
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