#1
Hey guys, it's been awhile since I've played around with recording stuff (or posted on here for that matter :p), and I'm looking to get back into it a bit again.

There's one catch that makes it different this time around. Now that I'm living in an apartment, blasting the ENGL in front of an SM57 just isn't a practical option for me at the moment. I've decided that maybe it's time to learn how to dial in some amp VST's.

I downloaded a bunch the LePou plugins (from http://lepouplugins.blogspot.com/), as some examples I listened to on youtube/opinions I've heard had me sold.

I guess what I need to know at this point are some possible settings to try out. Maybe not so much with the pre-amp sim as the cabinet modeler. The pre-amp by itself sounds like nails on a chalkboard, but the sound greatly improves with the addition of the cab sim. The problem is, it still sounds fake. It can still be fizzy at times, even with conservative gain use, and it lacks tightness and definition. How do I get it to sound more like a real amp recording? I know it can be done, and someone here knows more than I do!

Thanks for any help

P.S: If it matters, I'm using a Jackson DK2M w/DiMarzio Super Distortion/PAF Pro pickups, through a PreSonus Inspire interface, into Cubase LE (I also have REAPER somewhere).
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#2
A high quality cab impulse will go a long way in making things sound more natural. Some really great OS Mesa 4x12 impulses got posted on the Andy Sneap forums last week that are really excellent, maybe give those a try? I think they're named God's Impulses or something like that.

Some other things, try a pretty high-Q cut at 3k to try and get rid of some of the fizz. With tight enough EQ you can usually get rid of the digital fizz while still retaining enough brightness to help the guitars sound lively.

All of that aside, it's important to tailor settings to your specific guitar. I really like the LePou LeCto, and with the guitar I have, everything at noon on the modern channel sounds pretty darn nice. I only tweak the presence and mid a little bit. I also run a tube screamer sim in front of my chain to tighten the low end.
#3
Get some better impulses - these are great:

http://catharsis.supremepixels.com/impulses/catharsis-awesometime-fredman.zip

For tightness, you also might want to consider some sort of tubescreamer before the amp vst, like BTE's TSS:

http://www.bteaudio.com/software/TSS/TSS.html

If you're after the german-voiced sound of an ENGL, try TSE's X30 preamp vst:

http://www.theserinaexperiment.net/website/software.htm
Last edited by xFilth at Apr 17, 2011,
#4
Lepou has a lot of great sims, you've just got to learn how to dial them in, the contour knob that most of his sims have can be tricky sometimes. Other sims worth checking out are the TSE x30 and x50 (engl e530 and peavey 5150) and Alu's NRR1. And make sure you're using a Tubescreamer vst before the amp, the TSE 808 and Alu's TS 999 are both very good. I haven't tested BTE's TSS v2 but that one might be worth checking out as well. You can find all the TSE plugins at his forum here: http://www.theserinaexperiment.net/forum/

I really do suggest you use an amp sim which also models a power amp, or stick a power amp after the ones that don't, makes a lot of difference. Though there aren't any free separate power amp sims yet, you could use Revalvers power amps. That's what I do when using the TSE x30 which only simulates a pre amp.

Also make sure you're using good impulses with a good ir loader (LeCab 2 is the tits, stay away from kefir and don't use voxengo boogex unless you know how to tweak it properly which nobody seems to do, especially not guide writers). GuitarHack, Catharsis, Sperimental and God's Cab comes to mind.

@xFilth, the x30 is made by TSE, not BTE.
Last edited by Ascendant at Apr 17, 2011,
#6
So, I've downloaded several of the programs mentioned here (LeCab 2, TSE X30, the BTE TS-808 pedal, and Catharsis's cab impulses), and I've managed to get something a little more useable than I had before, but it's still nowhere near as good as some of the stuff I'm hearing out there.

Here's a link to a really nice example of a br00tz/modern metal tone that was done with a basic hardware set-up like mine, and the Le456 vst. He also used Revalver though...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scUj60v8YOA&feature=related

So just to clarify my understanding of how this whole VST amp simulation stuff works, is it something like this?

Pre-amp sim: Basically, simulates the pre-amp signal like a the pre-amp in an amp head?
Cab sim: Simulates a guitar cabinet/loudspeaker?
Impulses: Basically, the "mic positions" of a cab simulator?

And Revalver includes one of the only power amp simulations out there? Is it a must, or is most of the power amp simulation done w/the cabinet VST + impulses?

And when you guys try cutting upper mids to get rid of the digital sounding fizz, do you just use your recording program's built in EQ, or is it better to use a VST EQ? (I have T-Racks). So far, I've tried using the TS-808 VST w/the gain at 0, and level/tone midway, with either of the ENGL pre-amp VST's (Le456 or X30) in front of that w/a bit of tweaking the EQ knobs, into LeCab2 w/Catharsis's impluses, but hopefully I'm doing something wrong here, because I'm still stumped on getting what I'd call a presentable sound from VST's
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#8
Quote by FlightofIcarus
So, I've downloaded several of the programs mentioned here (LeCab 2, TSE X30, the BTE TS-808 pedal, and Catharsis's cab impulses), and I've managed to get something a little more useable than I had before, but it's still nowhere near as good as some of the stuff I'm hearing out there.

Here's a link to a really nice example of a br00tz/modern metal tone that was done with a basic hardware set-up like mine, and the Le456 vst. He also used Revalver though...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scUj60v8YOA&feature=related

So just to clarify my understanding of how this whole VST amp simulation stuff works, is it something like this?

Pre-amp sim: Basically, simulates the pre-amp signal like a the pre-amp in an amp head?
Cab sim: Simulates a guitar cabinet/loudspeaker?
Impulses: Basically, the "mic positions" of a cab simulator?

And Revalver includes one of the only power amp simulations out there? Is it a must, or is most of the power amp simulation done w/the cabinet VST + impulses?

And when you guys try cutting upper mids to get rid of the digital sounding fizz, do you just use your recording program's built in EQ, or is it better to use a VST EQ? (I have T-Racks). So far, I've tried using the TS-808 VST w/the gain at 0, and level/tone midway, with either of the ENGL pre-amp VST's (Le456 or X30) in front of that w/a bit of tweaking the EQ knobs, into LeCab2 w/Catharsis's impluses, but hopefully I'm doing something wrong here, because I'm still stumped on getting what I'd call a presentable sound from VST's


That's a full mix, VST amp sims always sound great in full mixes, with a bass guitar and double tracking and the such. Just straight up VST amp is always gona sound kinda harsh.

Your chain should go for example:
Le456
Lecab 2(make sure you run a high pass filter)
EQ
Effects

In full mixes, the bass guitar is what makes everything pop, so try that.

Also, the quality of your interface greatly affects the quality of tone your gona get, so invest in a good one.
#10
Guitar -> interface -> TSE 808 -> x50/x30/lecto/whatever -> lecab2 -> EQ

That's pretty much it. What a lot of beginners fail to understand though is that not even real mic'd guitars sound heavy when soloed (at least not those that are supposed to sit in a mix), it's in a mix with bass guitar, several guitar tracks and drums that you'll get something heavy. Also a power amp sim isn't vital but it certainly adds a lot to your guitar tone, that's why I try to stay away from the x30 and le456 because those only simulate the preamp. Lecto, x50 and the SoloC head simulate a power amp as well.
#11
If you have a tube overdrive/screamer pedal you can do this chain

Guitar > Tube Pedal(use the mixer output if it has it) > Interface > DAW > Noisegate > amp sim >cab sim >EQ(This can make or break) > compression (this will help alot)

The more efx slots you have, the better the quality you can obtain.
The X50 amp sim so far is the best FREE high gain ampsim I have tried.
Check out some of the demo redwire impulses and metallica impulses seeing how those have not been mentioned yet.
And one more thing, from a few atricles i have been reading, lower some of the 4k and higher frequencies when EQing so that way you don't get that harsh noise when playing.
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