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Modeling Floor Processor Amp Models & Tones


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Boss, Digitech, Tonelab, and others all make

floor processors, that have a plethora of effects

and amp modelings, as well as speaker and even

room configurations. But...how do they arrive at

these models...that is, what is the base tone, they

go FROM, to get to the various modeling tones?

I ask this, maybe silly question, because it would

seem to me, that no matter which version your bought,

it's actual tone accuracy would very much depend on

the amp YOU used, as a base tone. So, when people

say they're "right on," or "didn't seem to be as close

to the amp models, as advertised," I can't help but

wonder what Amp the reviewer was using, to base

his criticism/review, compared to what was used as the

manufacturers base tone. In other words, is there any

"Industry Standard" base tone, for all manufacturers to use/go by?

 

Does any of this make any sense? LOL!

 

CB

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No I've often thought the same thing CB. Unless it's a combo, how can they accurately account for different acoustic and dynamic ranges for a speaker & cabinet? I guesss you have to tweak to get what you want. But then don't you always!

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Well, I guess what I'm curious about, is how the manufacturers arrive

at any modeled amp tone, in the first place? And, unless you're using

that same amp, AFTER the processor, would it be all that accurate, anyway?

Every amp, has it's own kind of coloring or tone variance. I.E. Fender doesn't

sound like Vox, doesn't sound like Marshall, doesn't sound like Mesa, etc.

So, if one chooses say a Fender Deluxe Reverb model, but runs the floor

processor, out of a Vox AC-30, or Marshall Plexi...what are you really getting?

A Deluxe Reverb Vox AC-30?! LOL! See what I mean? Yeah...I know...you

just get what you LIKE, tone wise...regardless of what the actual model is,

but...it just made me wonder, what the "base tone" that the manufacturers

use, IS?

 

So...Do they have an "industry standard neutral base tone" to go from, when

they create their "modeling" amps tone?

;>b

 

CB

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What prompted my question in the first place, was a friend of mine has a Digitech RP-500,

that he loves...straight into the recording board...but, he's constantly fighting it, trying to

get that same tone, when he uses it, through his amp. I told him, his AMP is coloring the

tone, of all the models, differently than the "board" will. So, he won't necessarily GET that

same tone, unless he runs it through (maybe) the PA board, instead of an actual guitar amp.

 

Was hoping someone out there, had similar experiences, and could share them, what they did,

if anything, to compensate....or, just accepted the "differences" and quit worrying about it. LOL!

 

CB

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PODs have some accountability there.. like choosing the cab and the amp modelled..

but really.. if you ran it through a celestion greenback and then an eminence lady luck.. you'd still get some difference.

 

and same with the pre amp.. and power amp..

 

I have different patches saved.. one set for headphones.. (pa, recording, etc.) and the other for my amp.

 

I don't know what else you can do.

 

TWANG

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OK...I guess what I'm asking, is...if when they design the various "patches," it's done

by matching tone (vibrations) on an oscilloscope, to the amp and or amp/cabinet,

amp cabinet/room, etc. So, that when you take those models, and then run them

into a guitar amp, you'll get the model, PLUS the coloration/tone of whatever amp

your using...which can/could alter the accuracy of the models, in the processor.

Even drastically so, in some cases? Therefore, direct inject to the board, would be

closer to the actual models, as designed in the floor processor, than using the floor

processor "Live" through a guitar amp. That seems to be what my buddy's fighting...

the differences from what he gets "direct inject" which he loves, compared to what

he gets through his guitar amp...which can be quite different, he claims. So...I just

assume it's the coloration of his amp, all other things being equal. SO...I was wondering

if going into the PA board, which should be a bit more "neutral"...at least as neutral

as the differences in various recording boards, would be, would get him closer to what

he had..."direct?!" I (sorry to say) have NO real "recording" experience, but I have a lot

of different amp experience, and the same guitar, or pedal, in different amps can sound

drastically different. Some pedals sound different with AC than they do with batteries!

So...???

 

It's no big deal, really...just curiosity, on my part, mostly. And..maybe some decent information,

for my buddy?!

 

Cheers,

CB

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Until something really dramatic revolutionizes these things, I'm going to hold to what's been my opinion all along: They're "ok" at producing acceptable bedroom tones, but not much more than that. When recorded, they tend to sound "fake," and when used in a live band, they're either lost in the mix or painfully harsh.

 

Ultimately, you're FAR better off getting a good tube amp and developing YOUR tone. There's a reason why these modelers attempt to recreate tube amp tones.

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Even at small club levels, you can't crank enough to get the tone that thrashers want unless you have some sort of processor to help you create that sound. The guys that perform in 15,000 fan arenas can crank their Marshalls to 10 and get their sound, but not in a small club.

 

Modelers that come built into an amp have the greatest chance of recreating a sound, since they are using a designed amp and speaker combo along with the DSP front end of choice. The engineers that design these things still have the challenge of getting the 4x12 cab resonance out of a 1x12 cab. They do the best that they can within the design limitations that they have been given.

 

Most of the nuances get lost in the mix. I can stand in front of my Roland Cube 60 on stage and think that I have the ultimate tone. But, when I walk out through the venue with my AKG wireless it sounds different...good but different. Those little resonance sounds that I get when standing right in front of the speaker just aren't there when I stand 50 feet away.

 

I think that you just have to crank the amp to where the sound inspires you and you will play your best. If you do that, the crowd will be into what you play, even if the sound is not exactly what you hear on stage. Crappy sound=lackluster performance, IMHO. My ears want to hear a certain tone when I play or it just isn't inspiring. Yes, I am a temperamental guitar player just like everyone else (grin).

 

I think of recordings of stars like Eric Clapton and others where the tone of the guitar just isn't what I would want. The mechanics of the playing are there, but I wouldn't be inspired if my tone sounded like that. We all have our individual expectations. Even Hendrix had lackluster tone at times. EVH is another story.

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What prompted my question in the first place' date=' was a friend of mine has a Digitech RP-500,

that he loves...straight into the recording board...but, he's constantly fighting it, trying to

get that same tone, when he uses it, through his amp. I told him, his AMP is coloring the

tone, of all the models, differently than the "board" will. So, he won't necessarily GET that

same tone, unless he runs it through (maybe) the PA board, instead of an actual guitar amp.

 

Was hoping someone out there, had similar experiences, and could share them, what they did,

if anything, to compensate....or, just accepted the "differences" and quit worrying about it. LOL!

 

CB[/quote']

 

I have a RP500 too, love it BTW, and your quite right about the amp coloring the tone. How can it not? Best bet is to use the amps line in if it has one to bypass the pre-amp circuit altogether.

 

One of the best pieces of advice that I picked up in the Digitech forum is to not use any speaker cabinet sims when running it thru your amp. Those will really thin out your sound.

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Yeah, that's basically what I thought, and told my buddy! To use his amp, at it's best potential (for the venue),

and...use the "effects," but leave the other stuff, for the "studio" if/when need it. I guess I'll find out, what he

decided to do, next time we play out, together. Anyway...keep those thoughts, and ideas coming!...

 

Thanks All,

CB

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I've been through my share of Digitech and Lexicon processors/modelers over the years, and they all sounded like crap on 95% of the factory patches and required deep tweaking. That is, until the last one (a Digitech GSP1101), which, on a whim right before I dumped it, I hooked it up to my keyboard rig... a Peavey Classic 50/50 and a pair of 1x12 EV's, and booted the Digitech to the factory defaults. I was stunned! Suddenly, 95% of the factory patches (with full cab sims, etc.) sounded exactly like they were supposed to sound. In a word... Wonderful!

 

The Peavey Classic 50/50 is an inexpensive, full range, tube rack-mount amp for keyboards, etc. It's very clean and uncolored for a 12ax7, a 12at7, and a quad of el84's per channel; and they sell for around $400 on fleabay. Mine's around 15+ years old, and still running the same tubes that were in in when I bought it... used!

 

EV's are also relatively uncolored. Together, I consider it the perfect rig for modelers. Well, almost, anyway. The amp isn't exactly a feather weight, and my Mesa Thiel/EV cabs are like small boulders. Too much power for the house, too. By the time the amp's loud enough to give a nice warm tone, you're going deaf. It's VERY LOUD.

 

And then I traded in the Digitech. ](*,) Had to be done to save Christmas. Thanks to MXR Stereo Chorus and Carbon Copy delay pedals I've picked up since then, I have no regrets. The warmth and 3-D stereo imaging I'm now hearing from my rig is phenomenal. Analog still rules!

 

Gil...

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One of the best pieces of advice that I picked up in the Digitech forum is to not use any speaker cabinet sims when running it thru your amp. Those will really thin out your sound.

Full agreement with bypassing the cab simulation IF you have top-end speakers/cabs.

I still use my POD 2.0 about 20% of the time -- but' date=' I always bypass the cab sims. I spent a lot of time custom tuning my cabs and they sound far better than any offerings on the POD. With the crappy SS combo amps I used previously, the POD cab sims were often better, so I say go with good speakers if you have them -- otherwise the modeler may have the better tone.

 

Also CB, POD's manual (and liekely other brands) tells how the modeler reacts to different set-up configurations (direct, amp, mic-ed, etc.), and how to "neutralize" the amp in order for the amp to not add color to the simulated models. I've found this to be the logical "starting point." Then from that point tweaking 1st the POD, then the amp, then any pedal controls to zero in on the target tone. If/when tone troubles arise or when I'm searching for something different, then straight back to START/NEUTRAL and working forward as described keeps things easier, less of a working-in-the-dark type of thing.

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

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.

I still use my POD 2.0 about 20% of the time -- but' date=' I always bypass the cab sims. [/quote']

 

How do you do that? I've never been able to do that with mine. I know the newer versions have a bypass thing. Might go through the closet and look for mine.

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@ rafael -- On POD 2.0 version, to bypass the cab simulation, power on, press and hold down the "tap/hold" button while turning the cab simulator/effects select knob to "bypass/off" at 6:00 o-clock. POD does not remember the bypass setting so each time amp models are changed, you must bypass the cab model anew.

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

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Boss' date=' Digitech, Tonelab, and others all make

floor processors, that have a plethora of effects

and amp modelings, as well as speaker and even

room configurations. But...how do they arrive at

these models...that is, what is the base tone, they

go FROM, to get to the various modeling tones?

I ask this, maybe silly question, because it would

seem to me, that no matter which version your bought,

it's actual tone accuracy would very much depend on

the amp YOU used, as a base tone. So, when people

say they're "right on," or "didn't seem to be as close

to the amp models, as advertised," I can't help but

wonder what Amp the reviewer was using, to base

his criticism/review, compared to what was used as the

manufacturers base tone. In other words, is there any

"Industry Standard" base tone, for all manufacturers to use/go by?

 

Does any of this make any sense? LOL!

 

CB[/quote']

 

I suppose that they graph the response characteristics, model the damping characteristics, re-create the tone controls and other controls, such as pre-gain, post gain, tone, and other controls available on the amp and go from there. It's all relative since everyone that uses a Marshall, for instance, sounds different than the other guy, especially once they run the signal through effects before the amp input. A Boston guitar sound is different from Jimi Hendrix Marshall sound which is different from Duane Allman's Marshall sound and Dickie Betts Marshall sound. If Chet Atkins had used a Marshall, he would sound totally different from any of the above.

 

Everyone's modelers sound different. If you play any given modeling amp side by side with another modeling amp the so-called models will not sound exactly the same. I have amp models and cab models in my Korg 32 track home studio console. They are named this and that, but are supposed to be British (Vox, Marshall), American (Randall, Mesa, etc.) and you can choose cab simulations. I can get great tones using these models if I modify the controls to suit my taste, but I don't think that they are nailing the tone, just getting something close.

 

Even with similar tubes, diffferent amps are biased differently, have different tone circuits, respond differently to amp loads, and have other little nuances that make the amp unique.

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