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Guitar amp modeler... what is good/best?


Hello everyone,
I am looking to get a guitar amp modeler/processor with effects ... be it hardware or software or both.
I am not in an environment that would allow me to mic up a guitar amplifier with any real volume going on... as I can't crank it up to get a natural tube overdrive that I love, but I am hearing that some of the new hardware and software out there for PC based recording software is sound very good and close to the real thing. I'm using Sonar 4 to record with and a Motu Traveler as my sound card.
I was looking into the Guitar Port from Line 6, but I just wanted to get some feedback from various users of this technology, and get an idea of what you think of the Guitar Port or other options?
Does anyone think there are better/similar options at all... for around $100-$400...be it .. hardware or software?
Is there any small outboard boxes that will do a better job like Korg, Zoom, Roland etc.??
...or are there some stand alone software programs or plug- ins that you believe sound very good if not better for guitar amp sounds on PC/VST/Sonar.
The sound that I would like to achieve most of the time, would be a Fender Deluxe (all tube 1-12” speaker) just slightly over driven enough, able to play clean and break up with a heavy attack on the guitar at times, relying on volume of the amp and not any stomp boxes for the overdrive.
What products/software out there do you think sounds the most realistic for this application in your opinion?
Everyone has an opinion and there own set of ears and requirements, and I would respect any and all valuable feedback with this post!
Thank-you for reading my post.
Cheers ...Nelson
November 16, 2005 @03:42am

Some of the new plugs are pretty good, but most use a lot of CPU power...too much for my comfort. And man do I hate latency on electric guitar.
The Guitarport is software based, too. I haven't seen it in use but I don't know how much CPU it's gonna use or how well it coordinates with a sequencer.
I've had a Pod2 for a couple of years. On the negative side you're stuck with the sound you record, the presets aren't that great, and it takes up a little extra space on your desk. On the positive side, the POD sound you pick influences your playing so you'd probably want to stick with it, you don't WANT to use presets, and you can monitor through your Traveler with zero latency.
So, I recommend a hardware modeler such as the POD or whatever else you think fits your needs.
November 16, 2005 @01:27pm

For a hardware/preamp/modeler. I love the Behringer Vamp pro. Very very cheap and sounds better than a lot of the pod crap out there. but if you want a good clean sound a older johnson j station.
November 22, 2005 @01:26am

Hello everyone,
This is what I have tried/heard at so far...
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2- (Software Plugin) nice tone quality with lots of depth and bass presence. Overall I liked this plugin much better than the Amplitube plugin I tried out. It sounded very thin to me against NI Guitar Rig 2. (NI was the demo)
Line 6- ( Hardware controller (USB)/software driven) good interface and well designed, however it did not sound like a product I would use for rythm guitar as it just didn't have the punch and bottem end I'm looking for. I thought it could be useful for sound effects in certain areas of music tracks however.
I switched to a MAC so the line 6 G-Port won't work with it, but there new release of the "Tone Port" is Mac compatible, however I told that the sounds are the same with a few new bass modelers and its a 24 bit sound card..which I don't need as I have a Motu for my base recording device.
Behringer Vamp pro- haven't tried it yet... anyone else want to comment on this one???
VOX ToneLab- (Hardware/with tube circuit) I download the examples of the sounds and it was every impressive (coming from some great guitar players however..??) ...it did sound very warm and had a fat, full sound that I like. I'm going to try one out for a night and I have heard good things about this unit...it looks like a very promising solution for what I'm looking for...anyone own or tried one out at all?
Overall in the Software plugins I tried out(many not mentioned) I found the Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2 very good if not the best, and if you play with the presets a bit you can achieve a very rich sound that is quite impressive for a plugin... my 2 cents k.
December 7, 2005 @02:32am

Man... good luck. outside of Amplitube i havent heard very many sims that sound like the real deal and even with amplitube u gotta really tweak it and you have to get a good solid sound going in.
December 7, 2005 @02:58am

I really don't believe in luck with this concept and generally trust my ears and if it sound good and works for what I looking for... then that's the tool.
We could debate amp modeling up and down these posts till the sun comes up. ..and in the end it's just a matter of personal preference.
I wouldn't pay 2 bucks for Amplitube, but it came with other software I own.. just collecting dust... To others it might be a brick of gold... to me it's probably one of the most unrealistic amp simulation out there ........too each there own.
December 7, 2005 @06:37am

I don't know much about the software end of things, however I have a decent recomendation for hardware. for about 100-300 dollars (depending on the brand) you can get an atenuator. It plugs in between your amp and your speakers and bassicaly converts sound energy into heat, while keeping the tone and coloring of the sound the same. In effect it gives you a one way volume control after the amplification stage, so you can set your amps volume on ten and get awsome tube distortion and then turn the volume to your speakers down so you don't kill your ears. I learned about these nifty devices from a friend of mine who uses his with a marshall stack.
the only thing to remember is that you need to match the impedences on the amp with the attenuator.
hope this helps
January 24, 2006 @07:48pm

I've used a POD 2 for about four years now. For basic modeling and limited FX, it's pretty alright. You could use it with the traveler and not be stuck with the sound if you DI your guitar. Just plug the guitar straight into your line inputs on your Traveler, then have that signal come out one of your line outs into the POD, then take the POD's outputs into the traveler. Then you can record the DI guitar and the modeled version, allowing you to send that DI track back to the POD later for another amp. This is a great method for layering sounds. You can even EQ each amp modeled track for the best response and come out with something sounding totally thick. Or you could EQ your DI track going in for more options. Just a thought. I know someone will mention something about either impedance or level, but if you match your input level to your output level, the modeling box you use (whichever it may be) will respond properly. As far as it's true real natural sound, I don't know. I didn't grow up on pricey tube amps and celestion greenbacks. I grew up on solid state amps and spring reverb. What I do know is that it sounds great recorded and most parts fit right in a mix where they should. That's probably why it's been on so many major albums.
Also, the new Line 6 toneport has an upgrade so it can model everything from their POD XT series ($100). And it models Neve and API consoles, and a Studer 2". If those sound anything like their amp models, this $200 unit is gonna fly off the shelves. I still wanna know if it can be controlled via MIDI footswitch, though. Control is a big deal for me. (who wants to write a song where you have to click a mouse for every change?)
On the software front, I've used Amplitube for it's rock bass presets. With a DI'd bass, it comes off right. Haven't tried it much on my guitar, as I currently have some latency issues.
Guitar Rig has some sweet FX, and with the v2, it's more like a sequencer with automatable parameters. It also comes with a lot of variations of mics and positions, so I assume one could pull all the necessary sounds out of it.
I haven't tried the Vox unit, but people I've talked to who have really enjoy it. It's also got that real *physical* tube, so I'd be willing to bet it's models come out a little closer to the originals.
The new Waves GTR is likely to be very good, but probably only because the DI box was designed by Paul Reed Smith. Not that their FX aren't some of the best around (sound and resource usage wise), but I haven't known them to model anything yet. But knowing them, it'll probably be great.
February 21, 2006 @11:46pm

Really depends by your taste.
As a plugin amplitube is not bad, I have a couple of hardware devices that I have found better than amplitube, the johnston j-station and the vox tonelab.
Very different more "american" the first and more "english" the second.
The POD is not bad also but at the end I prefer the vox.
I suggest you to try all of them firs and choose the one you prefer, as to choose a guitar amplifier.
March 22, 2006 @02:48pm

Personally I love the Vox Tonelab.
Here is a link to a tune I recorded a couple weeks ago.
It's a jam using the Tonelab for all the guitar tracks.
March 22, 2006 @04:44pm