Where do you think "sound" is going? Are we going back to basics or going digital?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PRSfanboy46, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 Don't lick doorknobs and stay in school

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    In this debate for me, I am impartial because I have used both concrete physical amps and digital amps. Personally, each have there traits. You have the traditionalists who stick with tube amps and you have new artists like Tosin Abasi and Tim Henson using rack units like an Axe 8 or just programs. I have only used Amplitube and garage band for digital amps but I am getting an interface so I can record as well. I also have a little orange crush 20 for my amp. I feel like personally music, sound specifically will eventually have to revert back to tube amps because there's always a market for them. I think each digital and tube amps have their benefits and what ever benefits you and sounds good to you will treat you well. In this day and age, you don't need to drag your 4x12 and 100 watt head, you can get it all out of a computer. However, nothing will ever be as good as a real tube amp.
     
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  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Purists will likely defend tube amps since nothing in the digital world today can push equal the sound, feel, and vibe of a tube amp. Many "good" digital devices come very close to replicating tube amps, the tone and feel difference is still discernible.

    Each has its advantages. Large amps and cabs pose an issue for transport and weight constraints. Some rack devices aren't always portable as you'd like. That leaves foot controller devices with all the bells and whistles you could need for a gig. Add a powered speaker, and you're good to go. If your gear can put out so many watts, or feed into a mixer/PA, there is this advantage. Not all tube amps can do that without micing its speaker.

    The so-called desire for one type of amp compared to another doesn't necessarily work towards anyone's advantage, though. The debate will still exist as to which is "better" or "more cost-effective", or "life-like." If what you have covers your needs, that's all that's required.
     
  3. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    Different options for basically doing the same thing - They have their advantages and disadvantages over the others but are tools for the musician to use (or not) if it suits their needs at the time. There is a certain 'historic' precedence - ie the Beatles or Jimi played Valves - but that's because that was the 'technology' of the time.

    There are people who will say Vinyl is better than CD (or vice Versa) but they are 'different' methods of ultimately enabling you to purchase and listen to the music you want. Solid State, Valve and now Modelling are all options and you can choose which suits your needs the best. If you are flying across country to a Gig, a Modeller with all your presets and IR's you can plug straight into a PA and get 'exactly' the sound you expect, without having to ship a big tube Amp with more risk to blowing a tube or two, Mics and then having to set them up exactly and tweaked to the environment is a LOT of hassle - especially as the tone will at best be virtually identical, or could be worse with the tube amp. In a mix, very few (if any) can tell if its a tube, transistor or modelled amp and there are 'famous' solos recorded with a mic'd Blues Cube.

    Feel maybe different but its what you can get used to and it maybe better to write and/or record on a Valve amp if that inspires you most. But life on the road may suit a transistor or modeller - especially if its you that has to lug all your gear from transport to gig, set it all up and pack it all away at the end - and your audience won't notice the difference in sound at all.

    Point is, you can have 1 'technology' for ALL your needs - practice, studio, gigging or different options for specific situations. Maybe having a Helix Floor is ALL you need with so many different Amps/Cabs and FX, great for practice, studio or gigging (regardless of the size of gig), or maybe you have a Solid state for practice (Yamaha THR10), Valve for writing/studio and Modeller for gigging - regardless, they are 'tools' for a musician to use, to take advantage of any 'strength's' they offer.

    One is NOT the best option at all. Whatever you think is the best overall, the others have advantages in certain areas, certain situations etc and can be virtually impossible to hear any difference in a mix by the vast majority (there are some that can hear a difference I know). Whether you find yourself in those situations or not may determine whether or not the 'option' is worth investing in but the point is, they are 'different' tools and have their strengths over the others in some areas/situations and its up to you to decide whether or not you want/need that tool.
     
  4. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

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    When a purist like Mark Knopfler starts touring with a digital rig, you can safely say that the debate is over.
     
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  5. RC Mike

    RC Mike New Member

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    Pepsi vs Coke. So long as you’re satisfied, who cares?

    Modeling and profiling have become mature technologies, indistinguishable from analog to the listener. The future is when digital companies get more creative, and stop trying to merely replicate what already exists.
     
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  6. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    I'd personally love to see Neural build modestly affordable foot controllers with what technology they currently offer. Or Fractal a "SE type" model...

    Or devices that offer positioning your expression or wah pedal wherever it's most advantageous. Many foot controllers offer right-footed expression/wah pedals, but only one or two currently offer positionable connections. Being left-footed, that limits my choices.

    Modeler R&D teams, are you listening?
     
  7. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

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    Well Neural have built the Neural Quad Cortex foot pedal - https://neuraldsp.com/products/quad-cortex



    Modestly affordable though is relative - it is cheaper than some options (Axe FXiii and some Kemper units) but not Boss GT1000 or Helix LT 'cheap'. This also looks like it would allow you to put an Expression pedal on either side if you wanted - doesn't come with one though...
     
  8. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Personally, I think the fatal flaw of tube amps is that you can't get them to sound great unless they're really damn loud, and there are precious few situations where any of us get to do that. Have you felt what a 100 watt Marshall Plexi does to the human body when it's opened up enough to sound glorious? It is punishing!

    If you have a truly good way to amplify it, a modern high quality modeler sounds great, because it lets you 1.) dial in the amp simulation to where it sounds the best and 2.) set the volume (i.e. SPL) exactly where you want it. Yes, there's Fletcher-Munson effects, but that's what those knobs are for!

    Seriously, I made a convert just last week when I told him "just get a couple of Headrush cabinets, plug that Helix into them, and turn them up really f******g loud!" His reply: "It. Sounded. Legendary! I should have listened to you before."

    Most of the time I play an Axe-FX III plugged into a pair of Friedman ASM-12 powered monitors, and it makes me so happy. I still have a half ton of good tube amps in the same room (Mesa, Rivera, THD, Budda, PRS to name a few), and they get about 5% of the play time, because they're just too hard to tame in the real world.
     
  9. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Thanks; am aware of the Neural Quad Cortex. Also aware of its price tag...was hoping for something more modestly priced like the Helix LT...already own a HeadRush Gigboard that works adequately well...would consider upgrading only if it were cost-effective; also for value...

    I must ask, what type of powered speaker works well with the Neural?
     
  10. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    You may be right about connecting 2 HeadRush speakers...the stereo effect is indeed something one can only minimally appreciate with one powered speaker...and that may be the solution I'm looking for...no need for upgrading to Neural; just improve the quality of sound with a 2nd powered cabinet...your input was most appreciated regards this...:)
     
  11. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    The Thing That Makes It Loud Is The Thing That Makes It Good.

    I'd trademark that if I wasn't so incredibly lazy. Two cabinets is four times better than one cabinet. Spread 'em out! Even if it's not stereo, it's betterer.
     
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  12. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Print it up on a sign and tack it to your wall! (May I borrow that for my room, please?)

    And it's not so much the volume I'm after; its the stereo (that isn't happening with one speaker...:oops:)
     
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  13. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Borrow anything you like! That's why I put it out there.

    I should say that I'm not all about being loud. Filling up the space you've got with the sound you want is where it's at. Multiple speakers can really help with that.
     
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  14. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Here ya go...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. aphantomvaper

    aphantomvaper New Member

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    I gave up amps long ago and prefer an analog chain until it gets to the "transmitter" line array. Transparent amplification allows the true sound of a guitar to be heard at any level.

    I'll be hacked on for this...Bose F1 is all I use. The L1 Classic for the previous 14 years.

    Before that..yeah lets crank up that Fender Twin so it sounds great!!
     
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  16. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    Certainly true of many. And my tube amps are getting neglected.
     
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  17. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    I have some extremely nice tube amps I have tried to go Helix. Here are the NO AMP issues for me:
    - even if the model is perfect you still need to amp it up and hear it. The tone is only as good as the FFR or monitor it is coming out of.
    - dynamics of controlled feedback are lacking
    - I am a techy guy and it was a lot even for me to figure out and make useable
    - I DO like using non tube amps for home practice
    - I think that the amp on a pedal board may be a good thing in the future when using non tube amp technology.
     
  18. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    You're speaking about a powerbloc or power-amp-in-a-box attachable to your pedalboard, yes? Seymour Duncan was the first thing that came to mind...
     
  19. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules There will never be another

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    Not really. Touring is different these days. Even hard core “stack” guys need to travel light.

    That’s like asking “If you are in LA and you need to go 5 miles, and it will take you 2 hours and you’ll never get over 5 MPH, would you drive your Corolla or your Ferrari?”

    But which would you really rather drive on the open road?
     
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  20. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Regards the digital/analog discussion, you can have 2 separate amp combos or amp heads/cabs that will provide true stereo when used in combination with stereo effects. Likewise, you can have 2 powered speaker cabinets that will work with a modeling device that has stereo outputs that can provide true stereo.

    You cannot have true stereo with 2 amp cabinets and 1 amp head, though, unless your amp head has stereo outputs (have never heard of this occurring, have you?).

    The advantage of modeling devices is that with 2 powered speakers, not only do you have more volume, but also a chance to hear your dual output guitar effects in true stereo, as the effects were designed. Not only is this more pleasing to the ears, but it also provides a more natural listening experience, even when widely ambient effects are employed. Also, you have a smaller footprint regards how much gear you transport at any given time. For those who are "getting up there" in years, needing to carry less gear weight in/out of a gig can be beneficial to both yourself and your "pushing north of 55" roadies.
     

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