Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please) - Page 3 - Jemsite
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post #31 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:30 PM
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

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Originally Posted by Tank View Post
Well I have had this modellers:

POD
POD XT
VOX Tonelab SE (my favorite)
Pocket POD (still have it for practice)

I now have gone back to a real amp for live performance and CD recording... (JSX Head with Mesa 4x12 and stomp boxes).

While I liked especially the VOX (as it was sounding "tubeish") there was just this little thing missing. Of course I pay for this by losing a lot of versatility by now only having one amp again and some stomp boxes. However I sound like "me" and this setup really screams, where I always had that last inch missing using the VOX and a power amp.

What is your experience and opinion on the topic?
(please no flame war or fights, if someone likes modellers better or vise versa, everything is ok, I just want to know what kind of experience people made.)

Ahhh...the dream of modellers, have everything in one box, effects, distortion, preamp settings. It's a good idea, but one that has never been done properly.

No offense, but POD's are toys for little children. They sound terrible. Even the Boss GT-Pro sounds artificial, it's distortions lack real bite, and authentic feel.

I have owned the Digitech 2101 Artist, 2112 and 2120. I've played every modeller out there, and find the the Digitech 2xxx series second best compared to the king of all modellers, the Rocktron Prophesy.

The Digitech 2101, 2112 and 2120 are definitely a step up from the Pod series in terms of authenticity, and the Digitech offers more flexibility by ways of effects. But in the end, it simply cannot replicate vintage tones.

What separates the Rocktron Prophesy, is that it sounds like a tube amp. IT's the only modeller that really blew me away. IT can do decent vintage tones, granted not perfectly, but by far the best I've heard. It can do screaming metal, as any POS can do, again not to offend metal heads but not that hard to scoop mids and turn up gain [ask Dimebag who played a solid state amp to start his career], and the cleans can be done. I don't know why, but there is 1 preset that I have found that sounds amazing, then all the other cleans sound like ****.

Anyways, that's my experience, I want to try the new GSP1101 by digitech, and the Randall RM100, modular amp.
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post #32 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

I had a Prophesy. Too me at least, it did metal well but I din't care for the non-metal tones. Just lacked a dynamic for me....two dimensional. I've got a Rocktron Voodu right now and I'm going to be selling that as well. Fantastic effects. Very transparent. Again, I just don't like the way any of these modelers feedback. I don't want to sound like a tube snob but I'll take something like a Peavey Rockmaster, ADA MP-1, or most any other NON-STARVED plate tube preamp over a modeler for live use and recording any day. For textures and sketching out ideas, modelers are fine.

I've been curious about the Randall Modular as well. I don't really consider those modelers though. The only modeler I'm really curious about at this point is the Axe-FX.
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post #33 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:50 PM
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

I got a Carvin X100-B halfstack and a Pod XTL for 900 bucks; and it sounds great and it is pretty damn versatile
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post #34 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

I think the best part about modellers is that they help you figure out what you want to sound like. For as low as a hundred bucks, you get a metric ton's worth of effects, amps, and cabs. I had a Zoom a long time ago that really allowed be to toy with things so that I knew what sounds I wanted. Now I know not to waste money on a distortion pedal, because it's a Fuzz pedal that I'm looking for. I know that I don't need a phaser, but I do need a flanger. I think they really help you sort out what sort of gear you need to buy in the future. Because let's face it, most music stores don't rent out their amps and effects for us to try out for a week or two. This is where modellers really come in handy for me personally.
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post #35 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

In my experience the factory preset patches on the modellers I've owned have all been utter sh*te. It's not until you spend some time with the custom patches that you are even able to scratch the surface of what these little boxes are capable of. I have the latest Digitech RP350 and you'd have to fight me to get me to part with it. I do play it through a 100w all tube amp but after some well spent time on the custom presets I can get it all to feedback from the sweetspot with no problems at all.

The biggest thing for me is being able to have a virtual room full of amps,cabinets and pedals to play with and switch between from one song to the next if you so wish. Versatility, it's the way forwards.
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post #36 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-29-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

I love the versatility of modelling - I have a line 6 pod pro now but im also looking for (and have owned in the past) a good tube amp which will lose me the versatility but give that 'punch' that modellers just cant deliver.
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post #37 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:19 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

+1 on Axe-FX. The samples sound breathtaking. I got on the waiting list. If you buy through the waiting list they send you a $400 off coupon, but you have to wait for months. That's OK with me, I have a Mark IV.
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post #38 of 44 (permalink) Old 11-30-2007, 02:33 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

Quote:
Spend enough time with a modeller and you'll get to tube-amp territory. Not near, you'll get into and beyond. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. A lot of the perceived difference IS in people's heads.
I would dig up the revelant thread if I could find it, but alas... in either case, bulb (www.soundclick.com/bulb) did a pepsi blind-test over at the Meshuggahboards - posted a track with the question of whether it was an Engl Powerball or a POD XT. Majority of the votes tipped in favour of the Powerball. Guess what? POD XT. Quite a good tone too.
Controversial statement, but if all the tracks were posted with the same question (amp or modeller), I doubt that people would be as rockhard on their tube-purist opinions as they are now.
Playing heavy metal? Sure, I don't doubt it. Do a blind test involving something requiring low gain, articulation, and an EQ with the midrange above zero. You won't come anywhere close with a modeling amp.
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post #39 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-06-2007, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

Now I listened to the Axe-FX sounds... Not much better than some of the Zoom Testsounds for the G9.2. Bad thing is you cannot test this thing in person as no dealer has one around to test it... As test mp3 streamed over internet are never anything that you can compare stuff too.
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post #40 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 12:47 AM
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

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Originally Posted by mfergel View Post
I had a Prophesy. Too me at least, it did metal well but I din't care for the non-metal tones. Just lacked a dynamic for me....two dimensional. I've got a Rocktron Voodu right now and I'm going to be selling that as well. Fantastic effects. Very transparent. Again, I just don't like the way any of these modelers feedback. I don't want to sound like a tube snob but I'll take something like a Peavey Rockmaster, ADA MP-1, or most any other NON-STARVED plate tube preamp over a modeler for live use and recording any day. For textures and sketching out ideas, modelers are fine.

I've been curious about the Randall Modular as well. I don't really consider those modelers though. The only modeler I'm really curious about at this point is the Axe-FX.
Yeah I agree. Nothing can beat the sound of a tube amp. But it is damn convenient to plug a box directly into a computer and be able to record songs without worrying about micing amps, or outside noise. I've heard great things about the Randalls, it's kind of a solutino to the complaints I have, it's a real tube amp, but with different preamp sections, could be wonderful, could be awful.
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post #41 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

My 2 cents only but the (now discontinued) Vox Valvetronix VTX amps are the best of the modelers hands down. The only combo amp that would move your pants, not from sheer volume but from FAT. When they dropped it from production, I bought 3 more just in case. Very easy to dial-just put in manual by pushing the up and down buttons and then what the knobs say is what you get. Once you dial in a sound that makes you smile, hit STORE, find where you want it stored and hit STORE again. Let me put it this way, I bought a new Line6 Vetta when they arrived because it promised(on paper) to be able to do everything my old "rig from hell" did. After 2 days of programming, I went to rehearsal and hated every patch. After hearing the VOX at a NAMM show, I bought one and spent 45 minutes programming while I learned a bunch of tunes for a gig. When I got to the gig, I turned the master up during the first song and never touched it again for the whole gig. Every patch sounded great. That's the mark of the right combination(player and amp).
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post #42 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

Well, in my setup I combined the virtues of both...
I used a midi-switching Marshall 6101 amp, which has 3 very versatile channels... Then I used a Zoom 8080 (later Zoom G9.2tt) with the 4-cable method to add effects.
On the one hand this gave me one-touch presets... Just call up a patch and you have the right channel on your amp, the right effects, and all the right settings... On the other hand it also allowed me much of the convenience of pedals. Set the Zoom to manual mode (just hold a footswitch for 2 seconds), and then you can turn effects on/off with the footswitches.

So I had a professional setup where everything was controlled from a single floorboard, and I could make presets for any kind of song etc, just call it up with one button... But at a very low cost... also quite compact and easy to get set up anywhere.

Originally I recorded this setup with a microphone. When I got the Zoom G9.2tt, I experimented with direct recording through its USB interface. I found that I could get some pretty decent sounds out of it, that would approach the real Marshall sound well enough. The main advantage is that you could store the microphone and eq settings etc as a preset aswell, so next time you plugged in and recorded, you'd get the exact same tone.
With the mic I always had problems with mic placement and volume etc. It was hard to get two recordings to sound the same. Some recordings turned out really well, others were really nasty, and required lots of eq'ing and compression to fix it in the mix.
The modeled recordings may not have been perfect, but they were always decent.
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post #43 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

My problem with modelers is three-fold.

1.) They've gotten much better, but they're not quite 100% there yet. Ironically, the Mesa patches on the J-Station I used to own are still the most natural sounding and feeling I've heard.

2.) the focus of modeling technology seems to be on recreating existing tones. That's all well and good, but I think modeling will really become more than just a bedroom recording technology the day they start using it to create sounds that physically would not be possible from tubes. I'm sure it's possible, but no one's really trying to do anything more with the technology than build the best Marshall clone they can.

3.) The biggie... Every single bad cover band with a Vetta II and three different singers, and a patch on the amp for each cover they do and a vocalist chosen to sound as much like the original as possible. The result isn't a band - it's a human jukebox. I HATE that. Sometimes, less options forces you to try to sound like yourself in ways that unlimited options wouldn't.
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post #44 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-08-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Re: Pro and Con of Modelling Solutions? (your opinion please)

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Originally Posted by Drew View Post
1.) They've gotten much better, but they're not quite 100% there yet. Ironically, the Mesa patches on the J-Station I used to own are still the most natural sounding and feeling I've heard.
I think it mainly depends on what brand you use.
Zoom has always had a very natural feel to it that I really like. The notes really jump off the guitar when you play.
Line6 also has quite a nice feel.
Boss is completely different, I don't like their modeling. The guitar doesn't seem to respond the way I want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
2.) the focus of modeling technology seems to be on recreating existing tones. That's all well and good, but I think modeling will really become more than just a bedroom recording technology the day they start using it to create sounds that physically would not be possible from tubes. I'm sure it's possible, but no one's really trying to do anything more with the technology than build the best Marshall clone they can.
I know at least Line6 and Zoom are doing exactly this. Sure, the focus is still on existing amp models, but both brands have quite a collection of sounds that don't model an actual amp, but rather are 'fantasy' amps.
Line6 has the insane distortion for example, with well, insane amounts of distortion
Or the Spinal Puppet, which is pretty much a Marshall that is 'virtually' hotrodded to well, caricature-like characteristics.
And Zoom offers a weird new digital fuzz model... their Z-Stack, and their ExtremeDistortion. They also have some extremely clean and shimmering amp, and perhaps more, which I forgot.
I really liked the ExtremeDistortion, because it gives you an articulate shred-sound with low noise, which is so incredibly tight and focused... I don't think any tube amp can do that.
Here's an example of a song I recorded with that particular distortion: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...songID=4074338
And that's with the gain set at a mild setting of about 60%
It's also really effective for palmmuted arpeggio's. I used that in the rhythm playing here: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...songID=5038245
Funny enough even my old Zoom 8080 had a similarly 'focused' hi-gain sound: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...songID=3106793
That one uses an analog transistor circuit instead of digital modeling though... And that has the gain running flatout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
3.) The biggie... Every single bad cover band with a Vetta II and three different singers, and a patch on the amp for each cover they do and a vocalist chosen to sound as much like the original as possible. The result isn't a band - it's a human jukebox. I HATE that. Sometimes, less options forces you to try to sound like yourself in ways that unlimited options wouldn't.
I totally agree there. I suppose because I grew up with multifx that did have patches, but didn't yet have accurate models of actual guitar amps, I grew into the idea of making my own patches the way I wanted them. I still approach modelers the same way. I try to make my own sounds, not trying to sound as close to an actual artist as possible. But perhaps that's because I'm already quite an experienced guitarist who has already found his own sound before modeling.
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