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Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
2,990 IQ
#1
Now before I start, I want to say this: DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT tell me to just buy a digital modeler or modeling software. I'll have you know I have played and heard almost all of the well known ones (Pod HD's, Eleven Rack, Revalver, Guitar Rig, Poulin, etc.), and I don't care what you think, but they DO NOT sound like tube amps to my ears.

I don't care what high dollar "AXE FX PRO POD" thing you wanna say is so amazing, they're STILL NOT TUBE AMPS. I want tube sound, and nothing gives tube sound like a tube amp.

They sound close, sure, but they still don't act or feel like tube amps. There's still something lacking with them in a mix that only tube amps have. They're not organic, and they don't react as well to your playing or pickups.

I already have the sound I want with my current rig, and I don't want to downgrade to digital quality.


That said, I'm still looking for a solution to record without bothering people, while still using a tube amp. It's not needed right now, but I know the time is coming that I'm going to be living in an apartment with paper thin walls and a night shift-working neighbor who sleeps all day and hates all music that isn't Jingle Bells.


Recording a live tube amp in that situation is impossible. Why? Even at the lowest volume settings, tube amps slice through walls like bitches. I don't know what the science behind it is, but I just know from experience it works that way. Probably the same reason why they sound so organic in a mix while SS and digital amps don't.


That doesn't mean I can't still capture the sound of my amp, though. Here are several options I've been looking at:

-Either getting a GOOD isolation cab or building an isolation box that'll fit at least a 2x12 with some breathing room. The second would obviously be space consuming, but worth it if it works and I can still get perfect sound. My only question is how would I carry it out?

- Investing in this: http://www.two-notes.com/boutique/lang-en/hardware/55-torpedo-live-3700673800040.html

How to get one in the US? I don't know yet. It's supposed to be a professional load box AND cab simulator, which is exactly what I need. Only problem is that they're astronomically expensive.

There's also just getting a run of the mill loadbox (Hotplate) and using impulses in a VST, but those are most likely not as good of quality.


Oh and before answering with anything, read the first four paragraphs again, if you would. Thanks.
lemurflames
Ronnie
Join date: Feb 2009
188 IQ
#2
Isolation cab is your best bet.
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tubetime86
I don't even play guitar.
Join date: Jul 2008
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#3
Some loadboxes will have a line out, but I can't say how good the quality would be.
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seljer
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Join date: Apr 2005
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#4
Impulse responses will be better quality the a cabinet sim and offer a buttload more of versatility. The cab sims are more useful for live use.
Arby911
Finding the Pattern
Join date: Jul 2010
832 IQ
#5
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Engineering_Acoustics

Start with Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 1, Part 5.

Or get a Kemper Profiling Amp. (Yes, I read ALL of what you posted, don't even pretend you could tell the difference in a blind test...)
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#6
Tube amp plus a loadbox doesn't sound nearly as good as an Axe-FX. To be honest I think the Axe-Fx should be the first choice in this situation. An iso box is bulky, and it is NOT silent. Even a really good loadbox and speaker sim doesn't sound as good as the Axe. Neither of them even come close to the versatility of the Axe, either.

Plus, with either of those systems you're running at least through a board and more likely through some sort of DAW anyway. Basically, if you want any flexibility out of a silent rig at all, you need to run it through a DAW, and at that point you might as well go for the all-in-one solution that is the Axe-Fx. There's a reason they're so popular, most tellingly among the traditionally snobby TGP and studio engineer set. They really do work.

Like Arby said, I think you're fooling yourself if you think you could tell the difference in a blind test. If you're telling us that you can hear the difference between an 11 Rack into some midrange AKG headphones and your 6505+ at full tilt into an Orange 4x12, yeah, no crap. That's a feeling, not a sound.
I've done reamping through a hotplate, had a few MASS units, had a Palmer PDI which is generally considered the best analog loadbox out there, basically anything you could name, and I think the Axe II is by far the best tool out there for silent recording. Discounting it because it's digital is preposterous to anyone who's actually used one. There are quite a few legitimate reasons not to get one but none of the ones listed in the first post apply.


Last rant: It really seems like you're complaining that a bunch of things "aren't tube amps" while in a situation that basically demands that you take your tube amp and plug it into a whole bunch of stuff that's going to make it not sound like a tube amp anyway, while discounting a bunch of technology that actually does what you want, and not for legitimate reasons.
gumbilicious
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#7
the isolation cab will allow for the 'whole tube amp experience'. it'll run the amp's preamp through the power section and have the power section run through the output transformer (OT) and the OT will interact with speakers.

if you use a line out on a tube amp that bypasses the output then you may need some kinda load box, DI box, amp sim, etc to get the sound you want. removing the output transformer from the signal chain and losing the OT and speaker interaction does much to hurt 'the tube experience'.

other options include using a tube preamp made for recording guitars. plenty of companies offer all tube preamps. or you can use a high quality microphone tube preamp, many artists have been known to plug right into the board.

a fancy load box (or simpler ones like a THD hotplate) will work as well, but what fascinates me with that choice is your wholehearted unwillingness to go with any kinda tube amp simulator but you are willing to use a loadbox simulator. many amp gurus say that most of that 'tube amp sound' is from the interaction of the power section and the speakers using the output transformer as a go between.

many would say using a simulator instead of a speaker cab kinda defeats the purpose of keeping it 'all tube' cuz you wouldn't be fully utilizing one of the most 'tube sounding' aspects of the tube amp.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
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jakub421
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
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#8
I played the 1 watt Marshall JCM800 at Guitar Center the other day, and with everything cranked, it was the perfect volume with amazing tube overdrive.
Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
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#9
I have to disagree there. First post mentioned he can basically make no noise at all, so even that 1 watter isn't going to work out. Second I thought the 1W 800 sounded pretty bad regardless of the volume and especially at the price.
Raijouta
Actually called Dylan
Join date: Mar 2008
991 IQ
#10
Yeah, you're hardly working the power amp at low volumes so you won't get a lot of the warmth and sag and sizzle that comes with the high volumes...

I think an Axe or a Kemper or on the cheaper side, a Vypyr or a used Vetta would work better for what you want while sounding quite decent.
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Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
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#11
Quote by Roc8995
Tube amp plus a loadbox doesn't sound nearly as good as an Axe-FX. To be honest I think the Axe-Fx should be the first choice in this situation. A load box is bulky and won't completely isolate, and even a really good loadbox doesn't sound as good as the Axe. Neither of them even come close to the versatility of the Axe, either.
I've heard plenty of recordings of Axe FX models, and again, they aren't tube amps. They still have that underlying digital-ness to them. Like in the pick attack, you don't hear the "life" in each hit. And you don't hear different qualities in wood/pickups when you use different guitars.

Granted, even a good load box w/cab sim probably would have the same qualities as well.

I think you meant to say "isocab" instead of loadbox in the third sentence, correct?

I don't really mind how bulky it is, as long as it's enough to keep neighbors from throwing enormous hissy fits while giving true tube sound, then I'm fine.


Quote by Arby911
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Engineering_Acoustics

Start with Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 1, Part 5.

Or get a Kemper Profiling Amp. (Yes, I read ALL of what you posted, don't even pretend you could tell the difference in a blind test...)
That link is actually helpful. Very informative when it comes to sound isolation.

Kemper is pretty much a no go, as it costs about as both my main amps combined. Way too much $$ for something only for studio use.


Quote by gumbilicious
the isolation cab will allow for the 'whole tube amp experience'. it'll run the amp's preamp through the power section and have the power section run through the output transformer (OT) and the OT will interact with speakers.

...*snip*
In this case it sounds like Isolation might be the only true solution.

Though I'm not sure if it would be more worth it to get isocabs, or build a box to isolate a 2x12. Randall's sounds pretty good (based on this, even better considering it's of what my amp is a clone of), but V30's are only 60w. I would probably need to get 2 of them, which wouldn't be a problem. Micing multiple speakers gives a bigger sound if done right.


Quote by jakub421
I played the 1 watt Marshall JCM800 at Guitar Center the other day, and with everything cranked, it was the perfect volume with amazing tube overdrive.
lol nope
seljer
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#12
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Micing multiple speakers gives a bigger sound if done right


So do room mics
gumbilicious
beginner
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#13
Quote by Ian_the_fox


In this case it sounds like Isolation might be the only true solution.

Though I'm not sure if it would be more worth it to get isocabs, or build a box to isolate a 2x12. Randall's sounds pretty good (based on this, even better considering it's of what my amp is a clone of), but V30's are only 60w. I would probably need to get 2 of them, which wouldn't be a problem. Micing multiple speakers gives a bigger sound if done right.


do you have the option of sound proofing a closet? i didn't even think about it earlier.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Ian_the_fox
Banned
Join date: Feb 2011
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#14
Quote by Raijouta
Yeah, you're hardly working the power amp at low volumes so you won't get a lot of the warmth and sag and sizzle that comes with the high volumes...
I've made recordings with my amp at practically loud TV volumes that still sounded more organic than digital anything. Maybe on cheap laptop soundcards and speakers there's no difference, but on a decent system, it's there.

And I'm not after sag, I'm relying mostly on preamp drive, and even without the power section fully saturating there's still warmth to it.


I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I am NOT resorting to digital. IT DOESN'T SOUND AS GOOD.

Quote by gumbilicious
do you have the option of sound proofing a closet? i didn't even think about it earlier.
Depends on where I move in. But that isn't a bad idea.
Last edited by Ian_the_fox at Nov 6, 2012,
ne14t
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#15
I suggest it about 3-5 times a day to musicians looking for exactly what you are.

Check out the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister series. I have the 5W now its quiet enough you can play it on a cab cranked if you want, and you wont piss your neighbours off too much. But it also has the famed H&K red box DI built into the amp. Plug a XLR into the output on the back, turn the power soak on, plug into your computer interface and bam cranked tube tones direct into your DAW with absolutely no cab required. Comes in 5, 18 and 36 watt flavors. I know the 36 watt was just released but I think when they released the 18W it wont best amp of the year in its class, if I am not mistaken the 5 did the same the year it was released and well maybe the 36 watt will win to.
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Ian_the_fox
Banned
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#16
Quote by ne14t
I suggest it about 3-5 times a day to musicians looking for exactly what you are.

Check out the Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister series. I have the 5W now its quiet enough you can play it on a cab cranked if you want, and you wont piss your neighbours off too much. But it also has the famed H&K red box DI built into the amp. Plug a XLR into the output on the back, turn the power soak on, plug into your computer interface and bam cranked tube tones direct into your DAW with absolutely no cab required. Comes in 5, 18 and 36 watt flavors. I know the 36 watt was just released but I think when they released the 18W it wont best amp of the year in its class, if I am not mistaken the 5 did the same the year it was released and well maybe the 36 watt will win to.
I've played one of those before. Not my type of sound, and low wattage like that gives far too harsh and compressed of a sound for my tastes. I prefer the clear and open sound of higher wattage amps; there's much more definition in each note.


I should also mention I'm not looking to replace my amp, unless it's a Soldano Hot Rod (which is what mine is a clone of). I'm looking for a way I can capture almost the exact sound I'm currently getting from my rig without causing WWIII in future living situations.
Tom 1.0
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#17
What you feel in the room =/= what you hear on the recording so your point is null.

The Kemper and Axe do exactly what you want, they do low gain tones as well, so you shouldnt discount them because they allow you to do what you want without needing volume.

Ok you wont "feel" the volume, but the finial result is so similar, you cannot really tell the difference.
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lemurflames
Ronnie
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#18
But it's not "real!" Don't insult him with that suggestion.

Seriously though, you're going to want to go Axe or Kemper. Unless you really want to bother with that isolation cab.
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Tom 1.0
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#19
Quote by lemurflames
But it's not "real!" Don't insult him with that suggestion.

Seriously though, you're going to want to go Axe or Kemper. Unless you really want to bother with that isolation cab.





Its still real to me, dammit!
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gumbilicious
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#20
Quote by Tom 1.0


Its still real to me, dammit!


i love that guy's passion.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Ian_the_fox
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#21
Quote by Tom 1.0
What you feel in the room =/= what you hear on the recording so your point is null.

The Kemper and Axe do exactly what you want, they do low gain tones as well, so you shouldnt discount them because they allow you to do what you want without needing volume.

Ok you wont "feel" the volume, but the finial result is so similar, you cannot really tell the difference.
I love how how I write 4 paragraphs explaining why I don't want a digital modeler, yet I get a shit ton of people telling me to get one anyway.


Let me say this again: THEY DO NOT SOUND AS GOOD AS TUBE AMPS. PERIOD.

In room, on recording, wherever. You may not be able to tell the difference on your $10 PC speakers. Good for you. I listen to my music on half-decent systems, and I can easily hear the difference. Digital doesn't have the raw "balls" or the touch sensitivity that tubes have. At ANY volume.

This all might not matter if you're playing generic overly-processed Djenty-Grind-Death-Core, but that's not the sound I'm going for.
Eppicurt
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#23
Quote by Ian_the_fox
I love how how I write 4 paragraphs explaining why I don't want a digital modeler, yet I get a shit ton of people telling me to get one anyway.


Let me say this again: THEY DO NOT SOUND AS GOOD AS TUBE AMPS. PERIOD.

In room, on recording, wherever. You may not be able to tell the difference on your $10 PC speakers. Good for you. I listen to my music on half-decent systems, and I can easily hear the difference. Digital doesn't have the raw "balls" or the touch sensitivity that tubes have. At ANY volume.

This all might not matter if you're playing generic overly-processed Djenty-Grind-Death-Core, but that's not the sound I'm going for.

Oh sorry, we forgot that's all the Axe Fx is good for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h0WBM-ag18

Tone matching on the Axe Fx 2. No reason why you can't do the same thing on the lower gain models. And you can't tell me in a blind-fold test that you would be able to distinguish them.

Iso cabs do tend the suck the life out of the sound and can make it muffled as there are more or less zero acoustics inside one. If you really wanted to get authentic tube recordings, you're better off hiring out a rehearsal space for a few hours and crank the amp to the sweet spot, wherever it may be. "Silent recording" of tube amps just isn't happening.
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Tom 1.0
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#24
Quote by Ian_the_fox
I love how how I write 4 paragraphs explaining why I don't want a digital modeler, yet I get a shit ton of people telling me to get one anyway.


Let me say this again: THEY DO NOT SOUND AS GOOD AS TUBE AMPS. PERIOD.

In room, on recording, wherever. You may not be able to tell the difference on your $10 PC speakers. Good for you. I listen to my music on half-decent systems, and I can easily hear the difference. Digital doesn't have the raw "balls" or the touch sensitivity that tubes have. At ANY volume.

This all might not matter if you're playing generic overly-processed Djenty-Grind-Death-Core, but that's not the sound I'm going for.



Enjoy your mushy flat lifeless sounding tube amp on 0.5 then mate.

We are telling you the only realistic option you have, hence why I ignored your daft biased and ignorant ideal that only a tube amp is good enough.
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gumbilicious
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#25
i think we are getting aggressive with the advice again guys
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Ian_the_fox
Banned
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#27
Quote by Eppicurt
Oh sorry, we forgot that's all the Axe Fx is good for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h0WBM-ag18

Tone matching on the Axe Fx 2. No reason why you can't do the same thing on the lower gain models. And you can't tell me in a blind-fold test that you would be able to distinguish them.

Iso cabs do tend the suck the life out of the sound and can make it muffled as there are more or less zero acoustics inside one. If you really wanted to get authentic tube recordings, you're better off hiring out a rehearsal space for a few hours and crank the amp to the sweet spot, wherever it may be. "Silent recording" of tube amps just isn't happening.
Now I'll admit in that video it sounded a lot better. Better than the other comparison videos that only used the stock presets compared to the actual amp. But it still has that quality, particularly in the low end. Like a "woof" almost, somewhere in the 100-250hz range. It's even more noticeable in his videos without the full band mix.

The Kemper sounds better at replicating the tube sound than the Axe, but for the price of a Kemper I could buy an Iso-booth and forget about all of this.


The muffled part was what I was worried about. Not in that it's closed in a box, but I've had a horrible experience trying to get a 1x12 to sound good in a mix, which is why I eventually said screw it and bought a 2x12 with V30's.

But reading on the Randall it appears like it was intentionally designed with some space at the bottom of the cab to give breathing room for the speaker. Even if it's not as good as room miking, it still beats the fakeness of digital.


Quote by Tom 1.0
Enjoy your mushy flat lifeless sounding tube amp on 0.5 then mate.

We are telling you the only realistic option you have, hence why I ignored your daft biased and ignorant ideal that only a tube amp is good enough.
The whole purpose of the thread is me asking how I can operate a tube amp like it's supposed to and not bother others. I stated valid reasons why I dislike the sound of digital modeling, and why I don't want to migrate from tubes.

If you're not going to give me an answer to the question of "how do I preserve the sound I have", and give a suggestion for something I don't want, then why even bother?

Quote by ihartfood
I liked the sound-proofed closet idea. that's what I do (only with pillows instead of legit soundproofing). It worked well too.
If I do this It would probably be with professional sound proofing material, for better sound proofing sake and for better acoustics.

Honestly, soundproofing a closet seems like the best options regarding volume and sound quality, but if the closest is right on the wall of my neighbor's bed (like it is with some block style apartments), it can't happen.

There's also the option of getting a used vocal booth for around $1000 (something I've been wanting for a while now), but that may not fit in smaller places depending on where I go.


The worst thing about this thread is that it's all hypothetical. I haven't even moved out yet, nor have I encountered any intolerant neighbors yet. But I just know it's bound to happen.
Last edited by Ian_the_fox at Nov 6, 2012,
Eppicurt
Don't even like pedals.
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#28
What recording gear do you have?
Quote by SimplyBen
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Last edited by Eppicurt at Nov 6, 2012,
Reincaster
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#29
It's probably out of your price range, but it's a nice investment: The Torpedo Two notes loadbox! You run your amp into it, load up an IR/Mic/Reverb and record!

Here's another thing I've done in the past: Stick my amp in the car and record it! hahaha! Free iso box!
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Ian_the_fox
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#30
Quote by Eppicurt
What recording gear do you have?
My amp is a JCA100h going into a Whitebox 2x12 with V30's (still running stock tubes, but I plan to replace those very soon), Shure SM57 for mic (occasionally 2 depending on who comes over to record), and Focusrite Pro 24 preamp and interface. When I record guitars I make sure it's highest quality possible.

Don't use the shit that's on my profile as a reference. The older one was recorded before I even knew what I was doing (and still using a shit 1x12 ) and the newer one was recorded with my old shitty interface and at a whisper volume (was really just a wank test).

I don't have anything uploaded anywhere of my recent work recorded with my good setup (that actually sounds good).


Quote by Reincaster
Here's another thing I've done in the past: Stick my amp in the car and record it! hahaha! Free iso box!
As stupid as this sounds this actually seems like a good idea. Maybe not for summer time though...
JKHC
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#31
Quote by FEngHLyan

She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
Eppicurt
Don't even like pedals.
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#33
Well it's not your gear.

I still think the rehearsal space idea is the most cost effective and efficient way to do what you want.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
Cathbard
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#34
You are describing the function of an isocab. Just build one, google some designs. They are basically just a box, you don't need to be carpenter to build a box. You can make a box can't you?
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Offworld92
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#35
It honestly doesn't matter *that* much in the studio. If you're going to be burying guitar tracks in a grave along with bass, drums and vocals, the tone becomes less and less important as the mix becomes less about the guitar sound and more about the sound of the mix. There's so much else going on sonically that the tiny difference between a good modeler and a tube amp become almost non-consequential.

The stage is where tube amps rule supreme.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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gumbilicious
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#37
Quote by Cathbard
You can make a box can't you?


errr uhh.

punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Cathbard
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#38
That picture is going onto my desktop.
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trashedlostfdup
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#39
ianthefox- i find this quite funny as that in every wattage thread you say "i have a 100 watt amp and my dad has a 50 watt amp" and they sound good quiet. or something along the lines.

now what is relevant. buy or build an isocab. get some cabinet grade birch on the cheap side or baltic birch if you want it more to higher standards. i have built several cabs, from head cabs to speaker cabs. if you go to a place like home depot or lowes and have your design figured out, they will make one free cut and i think additional cuts are $.50, if i buy wood from there that is what i do. just the bigger pieces that you need. in most cases they are better cuts than you can do provided you don't have a wood shop. however the baltic birch i get from a cabinet guy my father works with i get the sheets whole and have to make the long cuts.
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#40
Some people... you just can't get to accept something. Try getting a 90 year old to listen to a CD... most just are hopelessly addicted to their vinyls. Now try to get the same person to listen to a .flac or .wav file from a pc... LMAO.


I support you, OP, but I do have to say that if you can tell a difference between your beloved tube amps and modern, higher end, software based amps and effects... especially on a recording that you play back on something other than your amp's speakers.... and even more-so if you have it in a mix.... then you sir are only deluding yourself.

Don't get me wrong... there is something about a tube-amp. They do have a more lively tone to them. You just can't get that sparkle from digital amps on the cleans. BUT, for EVERYTHING else, from the mildest amounts of drive onto full-boar double-drop G (LMAO) UBER-metal-fire-breathing-Balrog of Morgoth distortion/overdrive... well the better modelers like Guitar Rig 5 and what not will match any tube amp out there... period.... especially for the latter... I dare you to show us a quality recording that shows side by side how I and the others are wrong... oh so wrong. This is your only option for truly "silent" recording outside a soundproofed room.


But as for not so silent, but not full-bore volume recording:

Yea, so far you're on the right track. Though obviously the smaller the "box" (read: room) the worse the sound, then again same goes for the other direction. Make sure to figure out what kinda sound you're going for in your recording future... too big is bad and too small is bad (with exceptions of course). You don't want to record something that shouldn't have much or any reverb in a cathedral, nore should you record something that should have reverb or what not in a box just a bit larger than the amp+mic lol.
"grateful is he who plays with open fingers" - Me

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Last edited by Outside Octaves at Nov 7, 2012,