Old 02-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #1
RuairiAU
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Default Guitar amp simulators

Yes I know this has been debated to death, but I want to see what you Reaper guys are using as a signal chain to get good guitar tone. Specifically good rock/metal tone.

Currently my setup is this:
Ibanez RGA32/Schecter C-7 > Line 6 UX8 > POD Farm 2 > Reaper

I do that initially as I'm writing music - it's enough to get the structure of a song, but POD Farm just doesn't sound good IMHO. Then I re-record the guitars with a dry signal and patch in maybe an ACMEBarGig free amp and a cab using KeFIR with a GuitarHack impulse file of some sort. I know I can skip the first part and just direct monitor on the track, but I find I waste a lot of time fiddling with things trying to get a good sound.

But to write good music, you need to have a good sound to begin with. This technique is good for fixing things after the fact, but terrible for trying to get some inspiration.

I've tried Amplitube and GuitarRig and I wasn't too impressed. I've recently tried Overloud TH2 and I thought it was fantastic - it really does blow the competition away; however, at 219EUR ($300AU) it's a bit expensive.

Surely these companies must be aware that a lot of folk will just see that as price gouging and just download a cracked version. Wouldn't it be better to price it reasonably and gain respect and brand loyalty and, most importantly, a bigger audience?

So my question is this, what is your signal chain. Do you use POD Farm, Ampitube, GuitarRig, TH2 or some custom or free plugins to achieve a good tone?
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:41 PM   #2
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I love the free amp sims... namely TSE-X30, Lecto, Legion, and LE456.
Those alone smoke most of the payware out there.
However I usually record straight outta PODFarm.
I don't see how you can think PODFarm "just doesn't sound good" cuz IMO I feel its prolly the best payware amp sim going.

I mean seriously, this doesn't sound good?

http://www.box.net/shared/v4m9bbaoqn
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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@pattonfreak1
Ok, wow - that is exactly the kind of sound I want to get out of POD Farm. How did you get that?
Can you send me the patch? Are you doing any post processing? What's your secret???

This is the kinda sound I get from POD Farm http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/forewarned

Even your drums sound so damn clear. What kind of magic is this??
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RuairiAU View Post
@pattonfreak1
Ok, wow - that is exactly the kind of sound I want to get out of POD Farm. How did you get that?
Can you send me the patch? Are you doing any post processing? What's your secret???

This is the kinda sound I get from POD Farm http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/forewarned

Even your drums sound so damn clear. What kind of magic is this??
Ha.
No magic at all. Just practice... Lots and lots of practice.
And personally I think the mix sounds like shit compared to stuff Chris_P_Critter or even Ola do.

Post processing on the guitars is as follows:

EQ and Compression. That's all. Its even freeware that I'm using. ReaEQ and Christian Budde's Lightweight Compressor.
I have 4 tracks of guitars: One left<one left panned 80%<>one right panned 80%>one right. All four are foldered with the eq and comp applied on the folder.

All I use effect-wise is freeware.
Mainly these:
GranComp
GeneComp
Lightweight Compressor
FerricTDS
Tls_maximizer
G-clip
Kjaerhus Classics
Reverberate LE
And
The ReaFX bundle.

Thats pretty much all I use unless I need a specific one-trick pony on occasion (i.e. Glitch or Spinbug, etc.)

I can pm you the patch but honestly dude, different guitars, strings, picks, hands, and playing styles would make it pointless. It wouldn't even sound the same on your system.
So I'll say this,
My PODFarm chain consists of:
Noise Gate>Boost+EQ>Line 6 Big Bottom>4x12 1996 Brit Celest V-30's>421 Dynamic>Compressor
Boost+EQ: Gain 3 o'clock
bass 11 o'clock
treble noon
mid 4 o'clock
mid freq 4 o'clock

Amp: Gain noon
bass noon
mid 4 o'clock
treble 1 o'clock
presence 1 o'clock


Tweak till you like what you hear.

May work for you... may not.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RuairiAU View Post
I want to see what you Reaper guys are using as a signal chain to get good guitar tone.
ymmv, but i tend to use the time-tested standard: a guitar, vintage tube amp, a shure sm57, AEA r92 or Sennheiser 421, and a neve preamp.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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@pattonfreak1

Thank you so much, I'm going to tinker around with with it this weekend.

The only compressor I ever use is ReaComp, I really don't know much about compressors, so what different things do you look for in each of these compressors? And what exactly should I be compressing guitar wise? Am I looking to do a hard and fast compression to reduce the attack, or am I doing a slow attack and boosting the resonance after the main transient? Am I just trying to level out the sound?
Can you give me some hints on the threshold, attack, release and ratio? I know it's subjective, but it will point me in the right direction.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by d. gauss View Post
ymmv, but i tend to use the time-tested standard: a guitar, vintage tube amp, a shure sm57, AEA r92 or Sennheiser 421, and a neve preamp.
Stay on topic, I don't want this turning into a debate about real vs sim. The discussion is purley about how to get a good tone using amp sims and any technique and tricks that go with it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:51 PM   #8
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@pattonfreak1

Thank you so much, I'm going to tinker around with with it this weekend.

The only compressor I ever use is ReaComp, I really don't know much about compressors, so what different things do you look for in each of these compressors? And what exactly should I be compressing guitar wise? Am I looking to do a hard and fast compression to reduce the attack, or am I doing a slow attack and boosting the resonance after the main transient? Am I just trying to level out the sound?
Can you give me some hints on the threshold, attack, release and ratio? I know it's subjective, but it will point me in the right direction.
The main thing I look for in a compressor?
CPU usage.

Well and it has to sound reasonably well.
But you use different comps for different reasons.
I use the buzzroom freebies all the time. The GeneComp is transparent as hell. Like to the point that you really don't know if its even on.
The GranComp I use when I wanna "colorful" sounding comp. Both are light on cpu and both are great.
I generally go for light compression most of the time... Except on bass/vox. I slam the hell outta those.
Also i send all my drums to a buss and slam it as well then mix it ever so slightly in with the rest of the drums.

My guitar comp settings are usually pretty quick. Say 20ms attack and 100ms release. 4:1 ratio. around -15db threshold.
No too much but, just enough to keep everything "glued".
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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@pattonfreak1
When you say slam, do you mean you up the threshold, ratio and release and lower the attack?

Are you doing any wizardry on that kick? It's really damn clear, it cuts through everything. Is it side chained to anything? Have you got some sort of midi trigger playing a kick sample as well (like Ola Englund)? Or is this just pure and simple drums with a slight mix of heavily compressed drums?

As for your guitar compressor settings, is the -15dB Threshold just trimming the top or is that constantly on? I usually level my guitars to around -12bD in the mix, so this compressor setting would be constantly on. Any advice?
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RuairiAU View Post
@pattonfreak1
Ok, wow - that is exactly the kind of sound I want to get out of POD Farm. How did you get that?
Can you send me the patch? Are you doing any post processing? What's your secret???

This is the kinda sound I get from POD Farm http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/forewarned

Even your drums sound so damn clear. What kind of magic is this??
For whatever reason I can't get this to play
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pattonfreak1 View Post
I love the free amp sims... namely TSE-X30, Lecto, Legion, and LE456.
Those alone smoke most of the payware out there.
However I usually record straight outta PODFarm.
I don't see how you can think PODFarm "just doesn't sound good" cuz IMO I feel its prolly the best payware amp sim going.

I mean seriously, this doesn't sound good?

http://www.box.net/shared/v4m9bbaoqn
Yes, it does sound good
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:32 PM   #12
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Yeah, same here. Just press F5 on the page when it loads to reload it and it should work.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:45 PM   #13
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Yeah, same here. Just press F5 on the page when it loads to reload it and it should work.
Thanks!

Those sounds are not bad, they just need some TLC. I Like allot of what pattonfreak was say as advice. In order to get the girth I'm assuming you desire it sounds a little dry in the 3-4k range and I think you could probably scoop out some of the mids.

Did you say you use acmebargig stuff? Not much of a player here but for heavy stuff it seems to slay pretty hard.

You might already know about this so sorry if so.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=73752&page=4

And then danny's vid that kinda put them a little more in the spotlight recently

http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...&postcount=151
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:58 PM   #14
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@chrisharbin
Yeah I was following that thread, but it kinda doesn't talk much about tips and tricks. I just wanted a thread were people could post up exactly what they do, not just what plugins they use - exactly pattonfreak1 has done.

I think some of the things I've learnt so far is to have more guitar tracks, learn to use compression and EQ better. And also, don't overlook what POD Farm can do. I've tried the amp pattonfreak1 talks about and it didn't sound great, but I'm going to try it again with his settings and see if I can put something together. I need to train my ear to identify what is a good tone when I jam it in POD Farm by itself, without the layering and compression, and get an idea in my mind of what it will sound like when it's all put together.

I'll check out the video when it downloads.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:01 PM   #15
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This is just a very unmixed basic l/r thrown together as quickly as possible thing

http://www.box.net/shared/e0yys0jmpp

No where near as processed/polished as pattonfreak, but I wonder if maybe it's not a little closer to to where you want to be?

EDIT: there is nothing extra, which was my point, sorry
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:34 PM   #16
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@chrisharbin
Not really, I can get that kind of sound out of POD Farm easily enough. I'm going to re-record some guitars tonight when I get back from work and apply some of these ideas and see how it pans out. I think his secret sauce is the 4 guitars being glued together with the compressor.

I don't always get bad tone, I just want to get better at it:

http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/original-machinametal
http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/seven...veling-new-mix
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:42 PM   #17
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Im with Pattonfreak here, I think the pod is very capable, but Ive not had success sharing patches because of the other variables. My tone is very basic on the pod (xt)
room54% 57 off axis
diamondplate 57% drive 50% bass 42 mid 100 treb 79 presence
screamer 61% drive 45 gain 55 tone
gate to control noise

I use high treb and presence to get the pick articulations but it sounds really fizzy.. I have to LPF in reaper pretty heavily to get rid of the fizz.

I don't think its a masterful tone but it works for me. Its controllable and feels pretty good to play on. I use an ESP H307 with Duncan Invader on the bridge and a Jazz on the neck.

www.reverbnation.com/erosioncode

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:45 PM   #18
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You may need a bit of EQ. The track you posted sounds a little muffled.

Also, make sure you are getting a hot enough signal into the amp sim.
It matters just like it matters with a real amp.
You need a hot signal to drive the amp.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by thequietroom View Post
Im with Pattonfreak here, I think the pod is very capable, but Ive not had success sharing patches because of the other variables. My tone is very basic on the pod (xt)
room54% 57 off axis
diamondplate 57% drive 50% bass 42 mid 100 treb 79 presence
screamer 61% drive 45 gain 55 tone
gate to control noise

I use high treb and presence to get the pick articulations but it sounds really fizzy.. I have to LPF in reaper pretty heavily to get rid of the fizz.

I don't think its a masterful tone but it works for me. Its controllable and feels pretty good to play on. I use an ESP H307 with Duncan Invader on the bridge and a Jazz on the neck.

www.reverbnation.com/erosioncode

Not to hijack, but again, nice work!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:18 PM   #20
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Have you seen my Tone Factory.

I'm not plugging it, there might be some useful information on there for you, I use chains and Track templates.

I love all the sims, Acmebargig, Lepou, TSE-X30, Freeamp.

I do mostly blues, rock and country tones, Steely Dan a speciality.

Tone Factory is in my sig
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by chrisharbin View Post
This is just a very unmixed basic l/r thrown together as quickly as possible thing

http://www.box.net/shared/e0yys0jmpp

No where near as processed/polished as pattonfreak, but I wonder if maybe it's not a little closer to to where you want to be?

EDIT: there is nothing extra, which was my point, sorry
When i listen to that patch, it sounds good but, how does it mix. To my ear it has a lot of low freqs that might be a problem when mixing with bass and drums. What are you looking for in your tone? some low end "eeuummm" when you are palm muting? some pick articulations? or for the full chords to sound really harmonicly rich? I think that is what is important when you are searching for tone. You have to know what TO want before you know what YOU want... if that makes sense..

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by thequietroom View Post
Im with Pattonfreak here, I think the pod is very capable, but Ive not had success sharing patches because of the other variables. My tone is very basic on the pod (xt)
room54% 57 off axis
diamondplate 57% drive 50% bass 42 mid 100 treb 79 presence
screamer 61% drive 45 gain 55 tone
gate to control noise

I use high treb and presence to get the pick articulations but it sounds really fizzy.. I have to LPF in reaper pretty heavily to get rid of the fizz.

I don't think its a masterful tone but it works for me. Its controllable and feels pretty good to play on. I use an ESP H307 with Duncan Invader on the bridge and a Jazz on the neck.

www.reverbnation.com/erosioncode
I think the sound is very good.

It's also very well composed and played music.

What drums are you using?

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:50 PM   #23
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When i listen to that patch, it sounds good but, how does it mix. To my ear it has a lot of low freqs that might be a problem when mixing with bass and drums. What are you looking for in your tone? some low end "eeuummm" when you are palm muting? some pick articulations? or for the full chords to sound really harmonicly rich? I think that is what is important when you are searching for tone. You have to know what to want before you know what you want... if that makes sense..
Actually, I think maybe I didn't quite understand the OP in that he's looking for what processing is being used vs "amp sims"

I know exactly what you mean and they are bottom heavy. I just thought that maybe if pod wasn't working out quite the way he wanted he could consider this (if you buy the preorder it's 26.35) and I think it gives a good raw tone that can be usable with some play. That was a terribly fast put together track (showing my limited playing abilities) just to get a raw sound from "headcase"
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:55 PM   #24
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@chrisharbin
Originally it was simply what is the signal chain, but it seems apparent that you can get a good sound from any amp sim; the real finess is in how you track the recording. Things like multi layering, compression and good use of EQ seem to be what makes it sound rich.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:02 AM   #25
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@chrisharbin
Originally it was simply what is the signal chain, but it seems apparent that you can get a good sound from any amp sim; the real finess is in how you track the recording. Things like multi layering, compression and good use of EQ seem to be what makes it sound rich.
You've got a point.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:13 AM   #26
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Actually, I think maybe I didn't quite understand the OP in that he's looking for what processing is being used vs "amp sims"

I know exactly what you mean and they are bottom heavy. I just thought that maybe if pod wasn't working out quite the way he wanted he could consider this (if you buy the preorder it's 26.35) and I think it gives a good raw tone that can be usable with some play. That was a terribly fast put together track (showing my limited playing abilities) just to get a raw sound from "headcase"

Thats cool

I was just elaborating on guitar tone.. its such a debatable topic.. i enjoy discussing my ideas as much as i enjoy listening to others ideas
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:28 AM   #27
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Surely these companies must be aware that a lot of folk will just see that as price gouging and just download a cracked version. Wouldn't it be better to price it reasonably and gain respect and brand loyalty and, most importantly, a bigger audience?
We at IK Multimedia condemn piracy in the strongest terms, as you could imagine. We are listening to what our users want, though, which is why we'll be introducing the AmpliTube Custom Shop in a matter of weeks.

Our amps are about to become MUCH MORE affordable! Soon, you will be able to buy a single amp model à la carte for as low as $5, and you can apply Jam Points for up to half of your purchase. That is practically freeware at this point! You will be able to buy an official Fender amp for just $20, up to half of it in Jam Points, again. IK Multimedia is the only developer with officially authorized models from Fender, Ampeg, Orange, and Soldano, with more partnerships on the way.

We've heard that our users don't want to wait a whole year for a big bundle of new amp models, so we'll be releasing them as they become available, every month or so. And if the gear you want isn't in our Custom Shop, it's only a matter of time until it is. Let us know what you want to see!

There is never any justification for piracy, but now there really is no excuse at all. EVERYBODY will be able to experience AmpliTube.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:35 AM   #28
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Thats cool

I was just elaborating on guitar tone.. its such a debatable topic.. i enjoy discussing my ideas as much as i enjoy listening to others ideas
absolutely

AND, you're stuff really sounds good. Obviously you've put a bit of time into this stuff
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:37 AM   #29
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@Brian @ IK
I don't condone piracy myself, I'm a software engineer. But I do believe that if you treat your customers right, they will treat you right. I suppose thats why there is so much good will in the Reaper community.

As for your new business model, that sounds like it's right up my alley. Being able to add amp models as and when I need them works for me.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:41 AM   #30
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edit, there was a response already.

I do want to retain that I don't think those companies are price gouging.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Brian @ IK Multimedia View Post
We at IK Multimedia condemn piracy in the strongest terms, as you could imagine. We are listening to what our users want, though, which is why we'll be introducing the AmpliTube Custom Shop in a matter of weeks.

Our amps are about to become MUCH MORE affordable! Soon, you will be able to buy a single amp model à la carte for as low as $5, and you can apply Jam Points for up to half of your purchase. That is practically freeware at this point! You will be able to buy an official Fender amp for just $20, up to half of it in Jam Points, again. IK Multimedia is the only developer with officially authorized models from Fender, Ampeg, Orange, and Soldano, with more partnerships on the way.

We've heard that our users don't want to wait a whole year for a big bundle of new amp models, so we'll be releasing them as they become available, every month or so. And if the gear you want isn't in our Custom Shop, it's only a matter of time until it is. Let us know what you want to see!

There is never any justification for piracy, but now there really is no excuse at all. EVERYBODY will be able to experience AmpliTube.
Ala carte.... it doesnt get any better than that!!
IK ... that is really a kick ass offering!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:00 AM   #32
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Since we've gone there, I'm really looking forward the the new cooking school

and (uh oh I'm giving myself away here but no name calling please) I'll be happy about x64

It's really hard to keep these on topic lol!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:49 AM   #33
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@Brian @ IK
So how is this new system going to work? Obviously there is some sort of base package you need to install on which you run these amps on; so how much will it cost to get started? Will you be able to demo amps before purchasing them?

On a side note, I'm not sure if you guys do this already, but it would be great if you had some tutorials on how to get a good sound and what clever techniques can be used when recording to get a full rich sound. I realize that's beyond the scope of what your software does, but people are buying your software to achieve good tone. And, as has become clear in this thread, post production techniques like layering, compression and EQ is where the magic happens. People like myself will just conclude that the amp sim is just not good enough because we're unaware of all these tricks.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:11 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Brian @ IK Multimedia View Post
Our amps are about to become MUCH MORE affordable! Soon, you will be able to buy a single amp model à la carte for as low as $5, and you can apply Jam Points for up to half of your purchase. That is practically freeware at this point!
That is a good deal if there isn't any catch like the having to buy Amplitube3 in order for these amp models to work.

@RuairiAU
I think your guitar sound is OK in the mix you posted, but I think the bass is really boomy in there and is distracting and eating away the space for guitars.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:22 AM   #35
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@RuairiAU
I think your guitar sound is OK in the mix you posted, but I think the bass is really boomy in there and is distracting and eating away the space for guitars.
Im re-recording the guitars right now with some of the suggestions that pattonfreak1 gave me. Even just the sound out of POD Farm sounds a whole lot better. I want to get a technique set in stone so I know what I need to do each time I sit down to record; I dont want to be fiddling round with things and wasting time each time I'm at the computer.

I'll re-do the bass to and just record a dry DI signal.

I'll post it up when I'm finished so people can hear a before and after. So if other people stumble across this thread maybe they can learn something from it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:55 AM   #36
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Ok, I re-recorded the track. Here's they both are:

Old:
http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/forewarned
New:
http://soundcloud.com/ruairiau/origi...warned-new-mix


You may have to hit refresh (F5) when opening up the page. It goes a bit funny now and then.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:39 AM   #37
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I love the free amp sims... namely TSE-X30, Lecto, Legion, and LE456.
Those alone smoke most of the payware out there.
However I usually record straight outta PODFarm.
I don't see how you can think PODFarm "just doesn't sound good" cuz IMO I feel its prolly the best payware amp sim going.

I mean seriously, this doesn't sound good?

http://www.box.net/shared/v4m9bbaoqn
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:22 AM   #38
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Sorry man... Fell asleep.
To answer your questions earlier posted to me:
I checked my comp settings and the thresh was closer to -12 than -15 so you're right on track there.
The quad-tracking is the secret sauce indeed but your playing MUST BE ON POINT or it becomes a mess real quick. Also on the 80% panned guitars I dialed in a little more mids on the amp sim.
For my kick I just use eq. I can never get compression on kicks to work out for me. Oh, and that's EZDrummer-Metalheads EZX by the way.
I usually high pass around 50hz. Big scoop around 96hz. Big scoop outta the mids. And boost the highs.
There's a comp on the snare and a comp on the folder. And the bussed comp mixed in.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:25 AM   #39
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Oh and (no offense) I don't like Amplitube at all...
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:44 AM   #40
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How do you get it so loud? When I push anything up, it dampens everything else.
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