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Discussion Starter #1
I went out to a show last night to hear a young local band play out for their first time. Their guitar player was using a Behringer V-amp Pro through a Behringer power amp and a peavey cab. Wow, it sounded great. I've always poo-poo'd the idea of the modelling stuff (bit old school, bit tube snob here) but I have to admit what I heard last night made me start rethinking this.

How many people here use a modelling amp?
 

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I had the early version of the POD which did do a few nice models but found it to complex for my setup. Too many choices and a lot of tweaking. I then used a Tech 21 TriAC through a Tech21 Power Engine 60 and that actually worked well. Little less choices but what was there made a difference when you tweaked it. Now i've gone back to my tube amp, even less complicated, always like to keep it simple......:D
 

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...digital modelling has come a long way since that first nightmare - the line six flextone.

i have a behringer x v-amp, which is a multi-fx and amp/stombox modelling pedal that is far more amazing than it has any right to be at $100!!!

i would use digital modelling in a professional recording situation. i'd like to spend some time with the toneleab se, for example. however, i'm still a long way from using it on stage. i'm probably still a bit gun-shy after that initial nightmare experience.

on the other hand, after forty-plus years of playing, i still cannot imagine getting tired of plugging into a good tube amp.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...digital modelling has come a long way since that first nightmare - the line six flextone.

i have a behringer x v-amp, which is a multi-fx and amp/stombox modelling pedal that is far more amazing than it has any right to be at $100!!!

i would use digital modelling in a professional recording situation. i'd like to spend some time with the toneleab se, for example. however, i'm still a long way from using it on stage. i'm probably still a bit gun-shy after that initial nightmare experience.

on the other hand, after forty-plus years of playing, i still cannot imagine getting tired of plugging into a good tube amp.

-dh

I was pretty much of the same opinion until I took the time to try the Tonelab SE direct in a live setting. I'm considering trying the Pod XT Live and GNX3000 units in the same way, but have never looked back since the first few successful gigs using a modeler direct.

I did sound for a band this weekend and the guitarist also used a Tonelab SE, but he used it in conjunction with a Vox Valvetronix amp. The sound was good, but not as good as a sereo direct feed in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've heard the Yamaha DG series of amps are really good for their modelling and amp options.

I'm not sure I'll ever make the jump, I like trying to get the sound I want out of my tubes, a couple of pedals and me. Our band played at a three day rock fesitival here in manitoba over the weekend. There were a fair amount of bands using line 6 stuff there, but then a band like Grady comes on and you listen to the sound and tone that Gordie gets through a garnet and an ampeg and you realize how good the old school way really sounds. Same with 54-40 and The Headpins.
 

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Ripper said:
I've heard the Yamaha DG series of amps are really good for their modelling and amp options.

I'm not sure I'll ever make the jump, I like trying to get the sound I want out of my tubes, a couple of pedals and me. Our band played at a three day rock fesitival here in manitoba over the weekend. There were a fair amount of bands using line 6 stuff there, but then a band like Grady comes on and you listen to the sound and tone that Gordie gets through a garnet and an ampeg and you realize how good the old school way really sounds. Same with 54-40 and The Headpins.

I don't think anyone will deny that you can get a great sound with conventional technology, but I've been behind the board for lots of bands and have heard tones ranging from great to horrible from ALL types of rigs including SS, tube and modelers.


So much depends on the user, both in terms of how they eq and set gain controls and in how they play.
 

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My guitarist uses a Line6 PodXt Live with a carver power amp into 2 Marshall cabs. It really took a loooooong time for him to tweak everything to his liking, but it does sound really good now. We are a cover band, so he pretty much has a patch for every song to get close to the original sound. What I don't like though, is it took a long time to get the volume programmed on his patches so he stayed constant throughout the night, and the fact that he doesn't really have a "basic guitar sound" to use should we start jamming out something we have never rehearsed / programmed.
 

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I have a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 that is going up on the FS/FT forum. I just got to take a few pics. It is designed as a personal stage monitor but can fill in as a combo quite easily. It is a 60 Watt SS amp with Vol/TR/MID/BASS, has a 1/4 " input and a XLR DI output to go to the board. 1- 12" speaker there own custom designed..What you put in you get out. Anyway if your interested it is in mint looking for 350 plus shipping.
 

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I was gonna get the Behringer 2 12" analog modelling amp, it sounded pretty good. but then I remembered that it was Behringer. And Behringer really has no resale value.
 

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james on bass said:
My guitarist uses a Line6 PodXt Live with a carver power amp into 2 Marshall cabs. It really took a loooooong time for him to tweak everything to his liking, but it does sound really good now. We are a cover band, so he pretty much has a patch for every song to get close to the original sound. What I don't like though, is it took a long time to get the volume programmed on his patches so he stayed constant throughout the night, and the fact that he doesn't really have a "basic guitar sound" to use should we start jamming out something we have never rehearsed / programmed.

The minor issues you mention could easily be rectified with a little tweaking and programming. I took my Tonelab to the board and used the gain VU LEDs to compare output levels until all were where I wanted them.

I have a number of song specific patches, but I also have banks of generic patches with very little effects. I set up several banks with a clean patch, slightly overdriven, heavily overdriven and high gain patches in consecutive program numbers.

The technology can do what you need. You have to put the effort in.
 

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Milkman said:
I was pretty much of the same opinion until I took the time to try the Tonelab SE direct in a live setting.
...i'm strictly an amp guy, so i'm curious: can you get easily controllable feedback going direct through the sound system? can you get a satifying "thump" or "chuck" in your monitor? how do you keep your guitar out of the other guy's monitor?

-dh
 

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james on bass said:
My guitarist uses a Line6 PodXt Live with a carver power amp into 2 Marshall cabs. It really took a loooooong time for him to tweak everything to his liking, but it does sound really good now. We are a cover band, so he pretty much has a patch for every song to get close to the original sound. What I don't like though, is it took a long time to get the volume programmed on his patches so he stayed constant throughout the night, and the fact that he doesn't really have a "basic guitar sound" to use should we start jamming out something we have never rehearsed / programmed.

...yep.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...i'm strictly an amp guy, so i'm curious: can you get easily controllable feedback going direct through the sound system? can you get a satifying "thump" or "chuck" in your monitor? how do you keep your guitar out of the other guy's monitor?

-dh

Harmonic feedback is actually MUCH easier to achieve and control. It's like having your combo amp at your feet pointing up at the guitar.


Thump, chuck and all other guitar characteristics are really no different with a direct feed. What IS different is the broader frequency response you get from a decent wedge.


As for monitor mixes, that's totally dependent on your PA. I have two discrete monitor mixes. I can dial in as much or as little guitar in both mixes as I or the other guys want.

It's really a very controllable way to go. It DOES take a little adjustment but I both sing lead and play lead guitar and have been using the Tonelab SE in this way for more than a year of gigging.

It may not be for everyone, but if you look at the advantages and decide it's a good idea for you, you CAN make it work and work well.
 

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david henman said:
...yep.

-dh

I addressed this one. It's pretty simple to set up banks with basic patches of varying levels of clean, overdriven or distorted tones.

Not doing so is hard to understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Milkman said:
It's really a very controllable way to go. It DOES take a little adjustment but I both sing lead and play lead guitar and have been using the Tonelab SE in this way for more than a year of gigging.

It may not be for everyone, but if you look at the advantages and decide it's a good idea for you, you CAN make it work and work well.
I understand what you are saying for sure, and I do see the advanatages of it, as well as the disadvantages. I overheard to young guys talking yesterday and the one was talking about pickuping up a GNX3 as it would make him a better player and he'd sound like whoever he wanted. That actually bothered me a bit. Are we going to start relying so much on the technology to make our sound and "groove" that we'll just push a button and our tone will be perfect. I guess I kinda liken it to a keyboard or a synth setup. I play one finger keyboard and I play it badly, yet when I go to a friends place and sit down with the keyboard setup he has, I sound like a one man band. He can tweak and add and input whatever is needed and viola, there I am, a completely talentless ivory tickler sounding really good.

I don't think it will be for everyone, I know I kick it around myself as we do alot of covers and it would be great to just dial up a sound for each song, but I also know that when I go to listen to a band I enjoy listening for how they put their colour and twist on the songs, and I know I can do that (for me anyway) easier with the old tube amp and stomps.

Now that being said, I am probably going to get one of these modelling amps to play around with and learn to see what i can do with them as well.
 

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Ripper said:
I understand what you are saying for sure, and I do see the advanatages of it, as well as the disadvantages. I overheard to young guys talking yesterday and the one was talking about pickuping up a GNX3 as it would make him a better player and he'd sound like whoever he wanted. That actually bothered me a bit. Are we going to start relying so much on the technology to make our sound and "groove" that we'll just push a button and our tone will be perfect. I guess I kinda liken it to a keyboard or a synth setup. I play one finger keyboard and I play it badly, yet when I go to a friends place and sit down with the keyboard setup he has, I sound like a one man band. He can tweak and add and input whatever is needed and viola, there I am, a completely talentless ivory tickler sounding really good.

I don't think it will be for everyone, I know I kick it around myself as we do alot of covers and it would be great to just dial up a sound for each song, but I also know that when I go to listen to a band I enjoy listening for how they put their colour and twist on the songs, and I know I can do that (for me anyway) easier with the old tube amp and stomps.

Now that being said, I am probably going to get one of these modelling amps to play around with and learn to see what i can do with them as well.

I think you're assuming that people want everything done for them when they buy a device like this.


I think of it as my amp and effects rig and I have to do as much or more to get my tones than I would with a conventional amp.

This isn't the same as "one finger chording" on a cheezy casio keyboard.

It's a different way to get the sound from the guitar to the audience. Anyone who thinks it will make them a better player just because of the technology is .... well, an idiot (I'm referring to the kids you mentioned).


If you suck with an amp, you're going to suck just as hard with a modeling amp.


You still have to set EQ, gain, output, and much more just to get your amp sound. Then you have to select effects and adjust the parameters accordingly.


It's still an amp after all. It's just more of a unified approach in terms of the overall system (PA).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You're right Milkman, I did kinda sound like I was painting everyone with the same brush, and that wasn't what I was getting at. It was aimed at the kids. I know from some of the guys I heard on the weekend, they are using the technology to enhance, and they are good players with or without the modeling amp.

A couple of more questions on this line. If a person isn't running into the PA with these, what do people recommend for a power amp? What are they like run into a regular guitar head? My tube amp has all the distortion I'll ever need, but I am interested in these units from a delay, etc type of situation. How are the wahs on these units? If I could simplify my pedal board setup and get the sounds I want when I want them, cool. I'd give one a try for sure. I guess the next thing is then deciding on which one to try. I've heard the POD's and Behringers side by side and they seem pretty close. I've never tried the Tonelab one.
 

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Ripper said:
You're right Milkman, I did kinda sound like I was painting everyone with the same brush, and that wasn't what I was getting at. It was aimed at the kids. I know from some of the guys I heard on the weekend, they are using the technology to enhance, and they are good players with or without the modeling amp.

A couple of more questions on this line. If a person isn't running into the PA with these, what do people recommend for a power amp? What are they like run into a regular guitar head? My tube amp has all the distortion I'll ever need, but I am interested in these units from a delay, etc type of situation. How are the wahs on these units? If I could simplify my pedal board setup and get the sounds I want when I want them, cool. I'd give one a try for sure. I guess the next thing is then deciding on which one to try. I've heard the POD's and Behringers side by side and they seem pretty close. I've never tried the Tonelab one.

People do use them as glorified multi effects units with conventional amps. They can be used like this, but it's critical to turn off the amp and cabinet modeling elements.

It's sort of a waste in my opinion, but it can be done.

Once you do that, you can use whatever amp you choose, but really you'd be just as far ahead to grab one of the many multi effects units out there.

These devices are designed to replace your amp and cabinet not work with them.

I did live sound this weekend for a guy who used a Tonelab SE in conjunction with a Vox Valvetronix (2 X 12) combo. It sounded very good, but not as good as direct in my opinion.


Others may not necessarily agree.

The first time I tried a Pod XT Live it was with a Marshall JCM900 and 4 X 12.

I was thouroughly unimpressed. I tried it both in the effects return and in the input and it quite simply sucked.

I have NO doubt that this unit would sound much better direct as well.


The wahs in my unit are fantastic. I can't really tell the difference between it and a conventional Vox or Jim Dunlop.
 

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Milkman said:
As for monitor mixes, that's totally dependent on your PA. I have two discrete monitor mixes. I can dial in as much or as little guitar in both mixes as I or the other guys want.

...that would be a problem. i'm still a long way from having separate monitor mixes.

on the other hand, if i was going to use a tonelab se, for example, i'd grab a tech 21 power engine 60 to amplify it.

i agree its worth looking into. i'm definitely intrigued. but, i'm still a little gun shy, and still very, very much in love with the sound of a guitar pluggged into a tube amp.

-dh
 

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david henman said:
...that would be a problem. i'm still a long way from having separate monitor mixes.

on the other hand, if i was going to use a tonelab se, for example, i'd grab a tech 21 power engine 60 to amplify it.

i agree its worth looking into. i'm definitely intrigued. but, i'm still a little gun shy, and still very, very much in love with the sound of a guitar pluggged into a tube amp.

-dh

I understand, and obviously to use the method I do you have to have certain "infrastructure" in place. I bought a nice PA over the past couple of years and I view the PA and my Tonelab as a seamless system. You could in a sense say that I have an 11,000 watt guitar amp, LOL.


I think often when people try modelers and have mixed or poor results, it's because they think of them as multi effects units. Again, in my opinion they are designed to replace your amp, not work in harmony with it.


Still, even if you only use it for recording direct to the console, it's a pretty amazing value.
 
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