#1
Given the advancement of floor modeling units in recent years, is it even practical to use amps for live gigs anymore? Isn't it much more simple and cost-effective to just buy a modeling unit and run it into the PA? Or is there a certain feeling that comes from having your own amp, separate from the rest of the gear . . . . until its mic'ed and run into the PA mix?

#2
well if you think about it, floor units are copying amps. so why not just get a great amp for the same price as a super high end floor unit. call me old fashioned but I love the sound of a cranked tube amp.
#3
i would honestly prefer to have a good modeling unit and a PA than a big amp that sound slike crap. however, good amps aren't matched by most FX units, so if you want good tone you will most likely need the amp.

Quote by loudog93
well if you think about it, floor units are copying amps. so why not just get a great amp for the same price as a super high end floor unit. call me old fashioned but I love the sound of a cranked tube amp.

i disagree in half with this guy. you can buy guitar rig 4 with the control pedal for $400. it will be very ahrd to find an amp as versatile and good sounding as a computer with guitar rig. that's as advanced as it goes for floor units IMO. the best preamps avaible are now rack mounted, and that's where you have a point. A rocktron prophesy is $1400 new, and you could easily get a good amp that suits your needs for that price.
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Last edited by ldnovelo at Dec 7, 2009,
#4
Quote by loudog93
well if you think about it, floor units are copying amps. so why not just get a great amp for the same price as a super high end floor unit. call me old fashioned but I love the sound of a cranked tube amp.

On the one hand, I think having that high end floor unit gives you a bit more versatility for playing, between amp, cabinet and effect models. On the other hand, there is something to be said for finding your own combination of amp, cabinet and effects in the real world. I guess it comes down, largely, to a question of budget and personal preference.

I enjoy the sound of a real tube amp cranked up, as well - its a huge part of what made music what it is today.
#5
this also assumes the PA and monitors come free. The more you put through the PA the better it needs to be. It is still cost effective for touring bands to make most of the sound with the backline and just use the PA for vocals. The look of a band may be important too. There are bands out there with four Marshall stacks who only use one with the rest being just for show.

Having said that the uncluttered stage could be your bands look and there is no technical reason why the band shouldn't use modellers or DI for Bass/Keys with in-ear monitors which is pretty much the same as the studio experience.
#6
I used to gig with an amp sim. It had a lot of advantages, but here's something you might not have considered.

One place we played at had a little bit of a dodgy power supply to the stage. Every now and again, the power would *just* flicker a bit. It was no problem for the amps or the PA or even the lights, really. The amp simulator, though.... re-booted about four times during our set. Of course, the slightest flicker of power can really distract a computer, and when a computer reboots, it is not processing any input... so.... no sound for about 10 seconds.

That was the last time I gigged with an amp sim. (It was a V-Amp. I still have it, but only for recording from time to time. It is otherwise a really decent unit.)

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Also, amps are good for situations where you aren't necessarily mic'd as well as you'd like to be. For a lot of places around here (im currently living in the country), you need an amp because they don't have the equipment to handle a lot in their systems. plus, on a completely superficial note, they look epically badass.
#8
Quote by axemanchris
I used to gig with an amp sim. It had a lot of advantages, but here's something you might not have considered.

One place we played at had a little bit of a dodgy power supply to the stage. Every now and again, the power would *just* flicker a bit. It was no problem for the amps or the PA or even the lights, really. The amp simulator, though.... re-booted about four times during our set. Of course, the slightest flicker of power can really distract a computer, and when a computer reboots, it is not processing any input... so.... no sound for about 10 seconds.

That was the last time I gigged with an amp sim. (It was a V-Amp. I still have it, but only for recording from time to time. It is otherwise a really decent unit.)

CT


This is going to sound like a ridiculous idea, but what about UPS'?
Those should solve the power flickering issue. Although UPS' tend to be quite expensive.

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#9
Although I'd happily gig with an Axe-FX+power amp+cab, I'd never trade my amps for the world.

There's something far too bullshitty and nerdy about using amp sims live - you really can't beat the feel of just plugging in an amp and letting rip. I only really have one tone, which I either boost or roll back depending how clean I want it. Therefore an amp is a much better option for me.

You also have the massive obstacle that if you play a venue with sub-par monitoring, you're not going to hear your guitar properly at all. When I'm playing big stages i hear most of my guitar from the amp on stage rather than through the monitors, so I get a better picture of how it sounds.


I do expect to see a lot more people turning up to venues with HT-5s and AC4s soon though.
#10
As in many cases here, I think it is a question of preference. I think that's a good thing. If everyone played using nearly the exact same techniques and equipment, music would probably be very boring. Part of being an artist is how you decide to make your art(whatever medium it is). While there are certain things about sound engineering that are "universally" true, or common, how you get to your own unique sound is up to you. It takes time, and experimentation. A good ear, of course, helps too.
#12
Quote by osXtiger
This is going to sound like a ridiculous idea, but what about UPS'?
Those should solve the power flickering issue. Although UPS' tend to be quite expensive.


TBH, never even crossed my mind.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
There are always alternative ways to do things. Each brings it's own set of advantages and disadvantages.

With a modeler - straight into the PA, you have less flexibility in monitoring your guitar sound. Unless the PA has multiple monitor outputs, you're stuck hearing exactly what everyone else on stage is hearing. Not the easiest thing to work with. I find it much easier to use a small combo on a stand and mic it. If I'm playing a part that's relatively quiet but intricate, I back up near the amp, so I can hear it well. That sort of thing just isn't possible going straight-in.

I would imagine a better guitarist probably wouldn't be as dependent on hearing exactly what he's playing. He could rely more on feel. But for me, this is important.
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#14
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
There are always alternative ways to do things. Each brings it's own set of advantages and disadvantages.

I find it much easier to use a small combo on a stand and mic it. If I'm playing a part that's relatively quiet but intricate, I back up near the amp, so I can hear it well.


The stand part is very helpful for me. It also helps if I have to make a quick adjustment, so I don't have to bend over to look for the right knob. I also think a small combo sounds better off the floor, that may just be to me though.
#15
You know you still need a Power amp to amplify that amp simulator... well, i guess not if the mixer has enough power... i dont know about you guys, but alot of places around me have shitty PA systems (sadly). I'd never go for one of those digital models. And also. What about tone? Tube amplifiers, and nicely constructed amplifiers sound, to my ears, alto more realistic than these simulators and whatnot... If you posted this on GG&A- anger would happen...
That being said, the everyman doesn't know shit about tone...
#16
It seems some things don't change much. We usually used our PA, because we knew we couldn't count on all bars or clubs to have a good system, much less a good sound man. It seems the pay scale for bands hasn't changed much either.

I lurk a bit on GG&A, but don't post much. I would agree that 99.994%of them would hate this idea. When I was the age most of you are now, I lugged around a couple of Marshall heads, and 2-4x12 cabs. I'm just not going to do that now, and I don't think you have to.

I agree HtH, most people won't know what kind of rig you have, or care. I saw Robert Cray a couple of years ago, and there was hardly anything on the stage, but the sound kicked @$$. I think there are ways to get good results with less stuff now, but Cray isn't about Metal or shredding either.
#17
Quote by Freunleven
Given the advancement of floor modeling units in recent years, is it even practical to use amps for live gigs anymore? Isn't it much more simple and cost-effective to just buy a modeling unit and run it into the PA? Or is there a certain feeling that comes from having your own amp, separate from the rest of the gear . . . . until its mic'ed and run into the PA mix?


exactly what advancement are you talking about, because floor modelers have been the same repackaged shit for years. yeah, maybe some newer versions have more bells and whistles, brighter lights and shinier knobs, but it's still the same crappy dual rec wannabe in a box.

fractal has come close, and they're leading the pack.

to re-word, "close" to the real mccoy tube amp is leading the modelling pack.

also, wrong thread.


EDIT: highway, I agree that the average joe doesn't "know" about tone or sound like "we" do. that is, they can't aticulate it the same way with our accepted jargon... to a joe more bite from your amp might make him think there are bears in the venue, but it doesn't mean he wouldn't diferentiate between a clean amp and a dirty one. Daniel J. Levitin wrote a book called This Is Your Brain On Music a few years back that addresses this and similar concepts that I can't recommend enough for anyone interrested in the way in which we perceive sound and "music."

http://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/0525949690
Last edited by GrisKy at Dec 9, 2009,
#18
I'll agree with you too Gris, but the extent some people go to in pursuit of "perfect tone" gets nearly ridiculous. It isn't that I don't continue tweaking my rig, but at a certain point, it's more for me than an audience. I would never discourage anyone from trying to get the tone they want, but there is no perfect tone.
#19
I think that amp modelling, such as guitar rig and amplitube, should be used in line with an amp... So you control your effects with your midi controller, and maybe even some of your main settings, but still retain the amp... Would you rather take a big ass rack/pedalboard, a tonne of leads, power cables, etc. as well as an amp, or a macbook, and a footcontroller?
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#20
Even though I trusted my playing to a processor, I would be really wary of trusting my gig success to a Windows or Mac OS.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#21
you'd need a computer with a violent amount of processing power and memory just to ensure good latency...
And with modellers man- they can crap out- just as chris said :/
I haven't seen a band in a live club using a modler in a while, I saw one guy doing it in a coffeshop (thats the only place you may see em) but otherwise - nada man...
#22
MBP running gr3 through logic has 26ms latency xD
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#23
Quote by Zycho
Reliability, tone, and less dependence on the PA.


I love technology, really I do. I can do so many more things so much more easily than I could before. That said, I may still be a dinosaur.

Zycho put reliability at the top of his list, as it should be, for a live performance. It takes time for new technologies to become mainstream, and for companies to prove it is better than what has become a standard. If their tech can stand the tests thrown at it, then it becomes the new standard. Compared to what was available 25+ years ago, tech has progressed quite a bit. I may do things a bit old-school, but I know I can rely upon it. Significant changes take time. People have to know it works better than what they have. Sometimes it doesn't, and like me as a dinosaur, will become extinct.
#24
What about the sheer amount of free testosterone rushing through your blood as you jam on your cranked 400-watt power amp and a 10x10 wall of 4x12 cabs? Just ask Malmsteen
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#25
Quote by bingeandletgo
What about the sheer amount of free testosterone rushing through your blood as you jam on your cranked 400-watt power amp and a 10x10 wall of 4x12 cabs? Just ask Malmsteen

That sheer amount of free flowing testosterone is what causes most of the conflicts in your bands, your confrontational attitudes, among other things. It is also a large part of what makes Rock of any kind Rock. I know that, but if some of you guys could control those urges a bit, you might be able to deal with your lives a little better. Not everything has to be a fight. Some of you have figured that out, many of you haven't. Rock on
#26
nonsense! everything must be a fight...

that's what I told my third wife, and that's what I'll tell my next one!
#27
Quote by GrisKy
nonsense! everything must be a fight...

that's what I told my third wife, and that's what I'll tell my next one!


Yeah, I'm old, I have a lawyer/s. If anyone harms one dying hair follicle on my rapidly balding head, I can make them wish they were never born. My motto: "Don't fight hard, fight smart".

You do know you don't have to marry them, right? I was married once. ONCE!
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