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So, do you use an amp sim/direct 'pod'? Whatcha usin'?


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I noticed a lot of people play guitar in the SSS forum.I've also noticed that digital models of guitar amps are a controversial hot button topic for some.

These POD type devices have gained a certain ubiquity in home studios. I am thinking of jumping into these murky waters as I am getting lazier of late and want something that's easy with little maintenance involved. What amp sims do people here use/suggest as being from their experience the best, or at the least most pleasing(to their disposition).

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I have a Johnson J-Station which works OK but micing a real amp sounds much better. For someone without the option of using a real amp those modelers are a godsend.

I'd recommend to anybody to get one, its at the very least a new toy to fiddle around with and you can see what the fuss is all about. The thing about the modelers I don't like is they sound kinda fuzzy and cloudy, like a bad a/d converter and they have this harsh digital sounding edge to it that literally hurts my ears.

my band: Mission 5
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I play direct into my Fantom-S keyboard with it's 77 effects. Doing anything geared towards heavy music sounds like ass because - ITS DIRECT!

 

That and I can't EQ/produce for shit.

 

One day I'll have a decent mic'ing setup.

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No amp sims here.

 

I have gotten some great results with the following config:

 

Guitar--->Boss DS-1--->Electro Harmonix Micro Synth--->Whirlwind DI--->Console w/some EQ for taste.

 

Of course, there is no real substitute for a good miced amp tone.

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I use PODxt in hardware-land a lot, and the Variax-Vetta combo. I'm also getting in re-amping more and more with Guitar Rig, just going direct into the sequencer.

 

I think the point a lot of people miss is that yes, nothing sounds like a miked amp. But nothing sounds like a PODxt, either. For my Technoid Guitars sample CD, I used POD, separate effects, and miked amp, depending on what was needed for the task at hand.

 

J-Station by the way was VERY early in the game. The PODxt is much more representative of the kinds of sounds you can get out of emulation boxes these days. The sound is much cleaner and has much better bit resolution.

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Originally posted by Anderton:

I use PODxt in hardware-land a lot, and the Variax-Vetta combo. I'm also getting in re-amping more and more with Guitar Rig, just going direct into the sequencer.

 

I think the point a lot of people miss is that yes, nothing sounds like a miked amp. But nothing sounds like a PODxt, either. For my Technoid Guitars sample CD, I used POD, separate effects, and miked amp, depending on what was needed for the task at hand.

 

J-Station by the way was VERY early in the game. The PODxt is much more representative of the kinds of sounds you can get out of emulation boxes these days. The sound is much cleaner and has much better bit resolution.

I was about to say teh same thing....

I find I use teh same idea for reverbs... sure, I have UAD-1 dream verb, .. but hey some times I like the chezzyiest reverb money can't by, .. you know what I meen?

 

yea you have to stop thinking in terms of "A" is bertter teh "B", and start thinking "A" is differnt then "B".

 

sam ething does with mics, ... I useing a audix om6 a lots, but sometimes I just feel likeuseing the 58, that is 1/2 the cost.

 

its late, I am tired...

 

good night from canada

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Like others here,I use it all,from miking my vintage celestions to amp sims(Amplitube,Green Machine,Roland).It all has a place and use and I'd hate to be stuck without any of it.My main complaint about simulation is that it makes way more noise requiring more gating than real amps and no feedback type sustain.
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I use one of the original PODs, with the latest update. I love it. And I've had no problems getting wonderful tones out of it; none of this 'better/worse than amp' crap for me. I also use a '71 VIbrochamp and '60 Harvard. And an old Echoplex. Sometimes, an Ibanez Tube King. And a Sustainiac (one of the original I built with the company, not this pickup-based hooey that Hamer made out of our design).
I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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I track most of my stuff with my old POD 1, that was upgraded to 2.0 specs.

 

I went down to the local shop and tested the Vox Tonelab, and V-amp2. The Tonelab was much more "pro". The sounds were much deeper and realistic, plus the casing is study metal with heavy corner rails. Heavy. The sounds, cleans were nice, and gainy sounds were pretty good too. The "soldano" type sound was a bit buzzy.

 

The VAmp was like a toy. It weighed about 1/2 a pound it seemed. V-amp clean sounds were passable, the semi-dirty were plain ugly and the the "recto" sounds were passable.

 

We were gonna try the POD XT too. But the ToneLab just smoked 'em all. The pricing was a bit of a concern though....XT and ToneLab at $500 ish (Canadian) and the V Amp at under $200.

 

Try out the Tonelab.

There is no substitute.
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I don't own any amp simulators because I can record amps without a problem here. However, I have recorded someone with the PodXT. We blended it with some other tracks that were miced up. I thought the PodXT sounded pretty good. It's different, but it's at least reasonably musical sounding. It fit into the tracks well, and offered a different sound than what my amp was providing.

 

I've heard the results of the Bass PodXT, and was very impressed. I've never used one.

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[quote]Originally posted by Heliocentric: [b] These POD type devices have gained a certain ubiquity in home studios. I am thinking of jumping into these murky waters as I am getting lazier of late and want something that's easy with little maintenance involved.[/b][/quote]Hey Helio, Please don't think I'm coming down on you for asking this, cuz I don't mean it that way at all, I either mean for it to be helpful and motivating or else you're welcome to toss my opinion out the window, but... Do you really think laziness is a good reason for making a creative decision? FWIW, I own a POD. I use it for several things: 1) guide tracks when we're cutting basic tracks and I don't want amp bleed in the drums... I later go back and overdub with a real amp, 2) demos when I'm songwriting or working up arrangements - again on things that will end up being re-cut later, and 3) occasionally as an effects processor, often to "freak out" things other than guitar, or as a "coloration" track. For example I recently cut a solo with an amp and then I doubled the solo with the POD with the Leslie effect on. I mixed the POD track behind the amp track as a subtle flavoring and it sounds really cool. Like Craig said, amp sims are just "different," not really better or worse. But, as a "keeper" track on a guitar part that I normally would use a tube amp for, no way I'd use it. I consider it another flavor, not a substitute for an amp. Can I get decent sounds out of it? Yeah, after some tweaking. Is it easier than micing up an amp? If I were to spend as much time tweaking it as I'd need to to be satisfied with the sound, no. Is the ease of use and low maintenance worth the tradeoff in sound? IMO, no. So, as much of a pain in the butt as it is, I still mic up the ol' vintage tube amps. And change tubes when necessary. And lug heavy amps around to gigs. And I'll continue to do that until I hear an amp sim that REALLY has the mojo, which I haven't heard yet. Haven't tried the Tone Lab yet, it sounds like it might be a cool addition to the arsenal. But, it would in all likelihood still be an addition, not a replacement.
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A lot of the time I am just working solo and maybe lazyness is the wrong term rather prioritizing would be better since I'd rather focus on my performance and the song than dealing with tangles of cords and mics and rooms.

If I wasn't trying to wear the composer, guitarist, synth programmer, engineer hats all at once maybe it'd be different. I used to swear by tubes. Now I swear by good tone at a reasonable volume. I don't want to be cranking my amp all of the time.

 

I have used a POD 2.0 several times.I found that by itself it's one thing(it's cool, but not quite there), but when run through a little parametric e.q. plug in and maybe some other filtering, a little compression for when you do your tapping solo and play with your teeth, and add a top notch reverb to get the sense of space and you're pretty much 'there'. This leads me to think I'll really be happy if I grab a PODXT and a really good reverb. Also, it leads me to question if my lazyness(or prioritizing) would really have any adverse effect whatsoever.

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LOL Helio, if you're doing a lot of tapping and such that would lead me to believe you play metal, and prefer high gain amps with a lot of distortion. In that case you might well be very happy with an amp sim - IMO the amp sims do a better job of emulating high gain distortion such as a cranked Marshall, Boogie or Soldano, than more subtle distortion like an old Fender or Vox which I don't think they emulate very well at all.

 

In the end I guess you'll have to try them for yourself and see if they work for you, cuz that's what really matters. If you find you don't like em, there are also some tiny tube amps and preamps out there now which you might like better and you can crank em at low volume. Some of them get pretty pricey though.

 

Incidentally I also am usually both guitarist and engineer. And often songwriter too. I find the POD really useful for composition and scratch tracks, then when I have the parts and the arrangements worked out the way I want, I re-cut the track with an amp.

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Without even trying, I've managed to collect a few too many software amp sims (Nigel, Tubefex, the Simanalog stuff, and other freeware sims) and with a $49 CDN blowout, picked up Warp as well.

 

A popular thing these days is to split the guitar signal and drive multiple amps, particularly for heavier sounds. This is really easy to do with the software amp sims.

 

With Cubase SX, I set up a bunch of Group channels, and stick an amp sim in each one. Then, from the direct guitar track, I send the output to each of the Group tracks (prefader, of course).

 

I can then blend the Group channels to taste.

 

Some combinations just don't work - they blend like chalk and cheese. Others work great.

 

BTW, I'm a tube amp guy at heart, not only playing them but building them. But I've been having a blast with the sims, and finding them really useful.

 

js

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I have a Pod 2.0 and I like it. I didn't especially like the presets and ended up either tweaking them significantly or creating new ones from scratch. Some of you who don't like the Pod might want to avoid the presets and try doing some serious tweaking before dismissing the device. I found it was a lot easier to tweak by using an external Midi fader box so I could easily get at the parameters lacking their own dedicated knobs.

 

However, lately when recording serious guitar tracks I have recorded three tracks: Pod direct, amp mic and room mic. By having these three tracks I can get a nice full sound and vary the amount of ambience.

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Without even trying, I've managed to collect a few too many software amp sims (Nigel, Tubefex, the Simanalog stuff, and other freeware sims) and with a $49 CDN blowout, picked up Warp as well.

 

A popular thing these days is to split the guitar signal and drive multiple amps, particularly for heavier sounds. This is really easy to do with the software amp sims.

 

With Cubase SX, I set up a bunch of Group channels, and stick an amp sim in each one. Then, from the direct guitar track, I send the output to each of the Group tracks (prefader, of course).

 

I can then blend the Group channels to taste.

 

Some combinations just don't work - they blend like chalk and cheese. Others work great.

 

BTW, I'm a tube amp guy at heart, not only playing them but building them. But I've been having a blast with the sims, and finding them really useful.

 

js

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