So Kuroprions, why are you still using digital models of existing amp designs, why are you so stodgy and against progress? <g>
Not sure where you read that and I don't remember saying it. Above we have a brief discussion of an amplifier plugin with more versatility, not just more tubes but transformers, phase inverter circuits, negative feedback, bias, etc.
Nobody makes it and I don't write code. It would be a fun rabbit hole to go down but not a be-all-end-all for me. I might try it once and forget about it, like I have with most of my amp sims most of the time.
I did say that in general I don't like the interfaces and it isn't just amp sim plugins, it's most plugins. There is a prevailing aesthetic that I interpret as "musicians are dumb shits, let's make everything look like analog gear but with cool words by all the knobs" and I don't like it. Eventide gets it, they make beautiful plugin interfaces that are easy to use and each one looks different enough to tell them apart visually. So far, they don't make amp plugins but I'd like to see it if they ever do.
Not all plugins have terrible interfaces, Fishman Triple Play is very straightforward but it's kneecapped by some of the hideous interfaces for the synths it hosts. Kontakt Player and SampleTank are easy to use if you just want to select sounds to goof around on but some of the sound banks aren't fun to tweak. I end up being a preset surfer more often than not, that's wanting to play more than fiddle about - the never ending battle between the Artist and the Engineer. If the Engineer wins, you got nothing. I try to keep the Engineer away until tracking is done. It's impossible but the more Artist time I get tracking the better.
Tracktion/Waveform set an example for "clutter control" years ago - when you click on something up in the tracking section of the DAW, it automatically brings up menu items for that specific area in the good sized box at the bottom center of the screen. Click in another place and that set of options disappears and is instantly replaced by the one you just hit. It cleans up it's own mess as you go. Coming to that from MOTU Digital Performer 4, which was "kitchen sink meets Swiss Army Knife" except cluttered and apparently designed by hippies, it was a huge relief to start using Tracktion.
I'd like to see more of that concept on plugins, you are only going to be tweaking one parameter at a time - put a list at the top big enough to read and a box underneath it that offers options for whatever you're going to adjust. That would require conceding that Creatives would prefer simple function over pseudo-realistic 2d images of a 3d device that is at it's best when one can grasp the knobs with fingers and thumbs.
We don't have effective thumbs on the screen. So, give me a slider - it's that simple.
If and when I have used amp sims recently it is only in parallel and after the take is tracked. I'll go straight into the DI almost every time, duplicate the track (9 total tracks recently for one experiment) and start tossing plugins in the individual tracks. In 9 tracks I may have 2 or 3 different amp sims, 2 different settings on pitch shifters (detuning-both flat and sharp), tracks that are entirely and only delay and/or reverb, EQ, etc. Then I can automate those tracks so things can build and shrink and tones can transition from one sound to another. I usually keep the original clean track in the mix at some level for clarity and fade in one or both amp sims, or saturation plugins or whatever. The Artist is still watching and suggesting but I need my Engineer cap at that point. I'm done tracking, which is largely non-verbal "in the Zone" time for me.
There is never a thought in my head like "Oh, this sounds just like a 1959 Fender Tweed Deluxe." I have a couple of vintage Fender sims, they sound cool on vocals and xylophone.
I can be subtle or make it into a scary monster if that's what the song calls for. For me, amp sims are just another tool for changing sounds. I don't think of them as being representative of using an amp because they just are not that (yet). If and when I hear an amp sim that I LOVE with an interface that it easy and fun to work with, I'll like that. Doesn't mean I'll use it for all or any of my guitar parts. Maybe it will be good on a snare drum. I won't care if it says Vox or Good Humor Ice Cream on it either.
If I want something to sound like a guitar amp, I can mic one. I am buying a condo in a multi unit building, I have neighbors one wall and one ceiling away. There is freeway noise, vacuum cleaners, all sorts of fun interruptions in the real world that mics can pick up. So some of my freedoms regarding recording are limited but there is a universe of sound in the box. With headphones on I can work on things whenever I want. As with many musicians, I am a bit of a night owl.
I have zero commitment to guitar even sounding like a guitar when it comes down to it. It (and bass) are simply the tools I am most comfortable with using to express music. I suck at keyboards and am not motivated to improve.
We are often defined more by our limitations than our ability to sound like everything. I think in terms of tension and release. If I can create tension, release is easy. I lose interest when my art flatlines.
What I love about working in the box is that reality is completely out the window, gone and good riddance. Make sense? Cheers, Kuru