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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering moving towards PC based amp effect simulators..any suggestions on software that is not only fun, but a good learning tool such as riffstation etc?
I only have an older laptop (4-5 years old) so it cant be too resource heavy
 
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What are you looking for in an amp? High gain? Clean to medium?

I bought Scuffham S-Gear. It was better and more amp feeling and sounding for me. I use my pedalboard into an RME Babyface Pro into Studio One Pro then S-Gear.

I tried the demos for all the other amps before buying.
I think Positive Grid Bias FX is known more for high gain.
Amplitube is another to look at.
Then there is also Guitar Rig 5 Pro, Brainworx, Line6 Helix etc...
Here is a good article to start with: List of Best Free and Paid Guitar Amp Sims | Masters of Music

I suggest you get the demos of the different amp sims, and try them and see what works for you. You won't go wrong with S-Gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I inherited an older laptop which I was planning on putting all of my music on and leaving it in my guitar space so I can jam & learn new stuff.

I figured that if I was going to make this a music specific PC, then I should see what else I can do with it. It does not need to be amp simulators per se, though that sounds like fun.
I don't plan on getting into recording, but one thing that I would like is to be able to mix guitar signals with what I am playing to through into headphones for playing late at night if thats a possibility. Sometimes I have a hard time hearing the details of what is being played through speakers, and hearing myself at the same time, so here's where I wondered if riffstation might be a good choice.

I should mention that this PC currently has no internet capabilities, so whatever I install has to be complete plug and play unless I can fix the issue. (something wrong with the connection through wi-fi and the ethernet cable port is buggered - looking into a USB solution)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are you looking for in an amp? High gain? Clean to medium?

I bought Scuffham S-Gear. It was better and more amp feeling and sounding for me. I use my pedalboard into an RME Babyface Pro into Studio One Pro then S-Gear.

I tried the demos for all the other amps before buying.
I think Positive Grid Bias FX is known more for high gain.
Amplitube is another to look at.
Then there is also Guitar Rig 5 Pro, Brainworx, Line6 Helix etc...
Here is a good article to start with: List of Best Free and Paid Guitar Amp Sims | Masters of Music

I suggest you get the demos of the different amp sims, and try them and see what works for you. You won't go wrong with S-Gear.
I like a range of gain from clean to medium gain (blues, rock & hard rock - like a mix of Brit and US sound )
 

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What are you going to use as an audio interface?

Are you going to run powered monitors out of the interface?

I'll be following this thread...very exciting!

BTW...PM me if you want some music files for your hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Dave, I haven't got a clue really..I know absolutely nothing about this stuff. (I'm more a hands on with tools guy than work with electronics/computers guy)

Eventually I will go with powered monitors. For now I'm just patching music into my old receiver and using those speakers

What do you use as an interface? I think you told me once, but I can't recall

Appreciate the offer BTW
 

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After my short and unsuccessful career as a recording artist, I sold my Roland Duo Capture interface to someone in this forum that was looking for one of those specifically. I ran my Mackie powered monitors (that you built the stands for) directly out of my Mac Mini.

A few weeks after that I treated myself to new monitors and was told that I needed an interface to get the best sound (the Duo Capture would have been perfect for that...DOH).

I bought a used Scarlett 2i2 from L&M for $100.00 at the time I bought the monitors. It was not working properly (problems with the main volume pot) and I returned it and was sold an ART Project Series USB Mix for $80.00. It is fine, as I'm only running the monitors through it.

I think that all interfaces will have a headphones jack.

Of all of these units, I think the Scarlett 2i2 was the nicest form a design perspective. Others can advise you as to what they suggest and why.



Powered near field monitors are wonderful (IMO). However, you might prefer your existing system as (I assume) it will give you a bit more 'freedom' regarding where you sit relative to the speakers. Maybe I am wrong about this.
Other will correct me and assist you.

Cheers

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After my short and unsuccessful career as a recording artist, I sold my Roland Duo Capture interface to someone in this forum that was looking for one of those specifically. I ran my Mackie powered monitors (that you built the stands for) directly out of my Mac Mini.

A few weeks after that I treated myself to new monitors and was told that I needed an interface to get the best sound (the Duo Capture would have been perfect for that...DOH).

I bought a used Scarlett 2i2 from L&M for $100.00 at the time I bought the monitors. It was not working properly (problems with the main volume pot) and I returned it and was sold an ART Project Series USB Mix for $80.00. It is fine, as I'm only running the monitors through it.

I think that all interfaces will have a headphones jack.

Of all of these units, I think the Scarlett 2i2 was the nicest form a design perspective. Others can advise you as to what they suggest and why.



Powered near field monitors are wonderful (IMO). However, you might prefer your existing system as (I assume) it will give you a bit more 'freedom' regarding where you sit relative to the speakers. Maybe I am wrong about this.
Other will correct me and assist you.

Cheers

Dave
Great, thanks Dave, good stuff to know
 

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This thread is going to be interesting. I, too, would like to use some computer based modelling software. I don't record or anything, I just want to experiment.

One question though - I run my desktop through my Kenwood mini-system and ise that to listen to music, watch TV online, etc. Basically all of the sound from my computer comes through the Kenwood. Am I right in assuming that I wouldn't need monitors and could just use the setup that I am currently using?
 

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After getting TH3 I moved the making of my second album completely in the box, you can get a very functional free version with three amps, 3 cabs and 4 pedals here Overloud Exclusive TH3 Time and Space Free Edition(Download) - Time+Space | Virtual Instruments, VST Plug-ins, Effects Plug-ins and Samples for Music Production

Here are some examples of the sound


Second after TH3 I will name Amplitube custom shop and third would be Peavey ReValver. Amplitube includes a multitrack that can be used for practice and ReValver has some nice technology that worth checking.
 

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I too use the Scarlett 2i2 to record with Audacity. Works fine with me.
Look them up used on Reverb or Guitar Center, you can find one to under $100. Got mine for $75.
 

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..... Basically all of the sound from my computer comes through the Kenwood. Am I right in assuming that I wouldn't need monitors and could just use the setup that I am currently using?
I am going to say Yes, your assumption is correct.
I used to do something similar.
 
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Some software have stand alone amp sims, so you don't have to run the signal through a DAW (digital audio workstation, or the recording software). If you aren't going to record (which is sort of a mistake, why not record?) then it would be good to get a stand alone amp sim.

The other thing to know about is latency. When the signal goes into the computer and back out to the speakers the time it takes to do this is called "round trip latency". Some interface units cause such a delay that it is impossible to monitor your playing as you record listening to your guitar and other tracks. When recording or just monitoring, the signal goes into the interface, is converted to digital, goes into the computer, goes into the DAW, out of the DAW, into the interface, converted to analog, then to the speakers. The time this takes is the "round trip latency" or RTL.

If the latency is between 0-5 milliseconds, there won't be anyone having problems. From 5-10 milliseconds some people will be bothered by the delay. Over 10 milliseconds pretty much everyone will have a problem with the delay. The delay will adversely effect performance.

Some units get around this by using "DIRECT MONITORING". This is when the signal goes into the unit, and into the computer, but also goes directly out of the box and into the headphones, so you are not going through the PC, but directly from the box back out to you. This is problematic as you cannot use the plugins from the PC because the signal you are hearing does not go into the PC. If you are micing your amp, then you will be OK, but if you are trying to use software effects, not so good. A way some companies get around this is to have a processor in the interface that hosts effects so you can still do the direct monitoring but get effects as well. (Not a good solution without spending money. Universal Audio is one unit that does this. You have to use their plugins and they can get pricey.)

RME interfaces like the Babyface Pro is so efficient that it will allow for the RTL with pretty much no RTL latency. That is what I use. There are some other unit that are low latency as well. If I remember correctly the lower cost Zoom units are low latency.

Once you get an interface, I would get the free version of Amplitube to start. I think it also has a stand alone free version. I think you will need to be hooked to the internet for most of these units to get installed or registered though. If money is not an issue get the Scuffham S-Gear amp sim and it will make you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like SGear requires more power requirements than this thing has (calls for a min of 2.0ghz & 2gm ram, and this thing only has 1.8 ghz)

Does anyone know how much riffstation needs? I cannot find what it requires on their website

On the upside, I got the wi-fi to work. Not overly speedy, but at least I can install updates
 
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Looks like SGear requires more power requirements than this thing has (calls for a min of 2.0ghz & 2gm ram, and this thing only has 1.8 ghz)

Does anyone know how much riffstation needs? I cannot find what it requires on their website

On the upside, I got the wi-fi to work. Not overly speedy, but at least I can install updates
Go get Amplitube 4 Free.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Go get Amplitube 4 Free.
Thanks - looks great. Does not say what it requires as far as processor speed goes and needs an ASIO compatible sound card. How do I find more info about the sound card? It only says "realtek"
 
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Thanks - looks great. Does not say what it requires as far as processor speed goes and needs an ASIO compatible sound card. How do I find more info about the sound card? It only says "realtek"
Your interface converter will be your sound card. Usually the interface (technically a sound card) will also send the signal to your speakers. This signal is usually unpowered, so you will need powered speakers or a stereo amp type thing. You can go out to your PC sound card and speakers as well, just not the thing most people do. I think your Realtek onboard card will work for output if you need it to. But you still need an interface, and as I said most people use the interface for incoming sound as well as outgoing.
 
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