#1
Hello all. I've been on the lookout for a change of my guitar setup ever since I apparently broke my distortion pedal (which used to run into a shit amp) when I first got my 8-string.

I usually play and practice in front of my computer room, where there is no space for an amplifier unless I somehow manage to hang it from the sides of my table under the tabletop.

Given this constraint, I have concluded that I would be better served just doing away with a real amplifier and going all digital, using my computer speakers if I really want to hear something without headphones, but otherwise using my headphones for practicing, recording, etc.

I recently came across an album on Youtube. The artiste mentioned he used only a digital processor for the recording.

  • Can digital processors act as a recording interface?
  • What's the general consensus on these processors? I understand people dislike them due to being digital, but I'm looking for a decent tone, not a great tone. Something that sounds fine as a record with some post-production, but not something that will make people marvel at the tone and sound of it all.

Has any of you gone all digital and just made do without an amplifier? How's the experience like, such as going for performances, etc?
#2
I think you might find this video of some use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er9VhozNHNk

He's using an AxeFX plugged into a small Interface. Though bare in mind, the AxeFX (which is probably the most popular modeller) isn't exactly cheap.

If you just wanted to use amp sims you can just buy an interface and use software amps instead. It'd be far cheaper.
Last edited by ChemicalFire at Nov 7, 2014,
#3
Quote by triface
Can digital processors act as a recording interface?
A recording interface is an audio interface you use for recording, and guitar amp sims usually can be plugged into computers to do what you want them to do.

You can't always bypass them though, so with some of them software amp sims aren't gonna be usable.
Quote by triface
What's the general consensus on these processors?
There really is no general agreement on them.

They can sound bad or good depending on what you get, though that goes with amps as well.

They're also hella convenient 'cause they're not heavy and you can plug them straight into PA systems for live performances or computers for recording.

They can't really touch clean analog amps if ya ask me, even the good amp sims, though they can do distorted stuff better than analog amps.
Quote by triface
Has any of you gone all digital and just made do without an amplifier?
I still own an amp and I don't gig.

For recording I only use software amp sims.
They're soooooooooooooooo much more convenient.

No need for placing the mic, a good audio interface, dialing a tone that works after passing through a mic, arguing with your neighbors...
#4
an amp sim or axeFX. my personal favorite sim is amplitube, but some others are okay if you're using an ir. axefx is expensive as hell but no other digital anything beats it.

an interface is definitely a good thing to have laying around, but you can get away with 1/4" to 3.5mm in the line in, just to see what it's like before you buy the more expensive stuff.
Last edited by JagerSlushy at Nov 7, 2014,
#5
Quote by JagerSlushy
an amp sim or axeFX. my personal favorite sim is amplitube, but some others are okay if you're using an ir. axefx is expensive as hell but no other digital anything beats it.

an interface is definitely a good thing to have laying around, but you can get away with 1/4" to 3.5mm in the line in, just to see what it's like before you buy the more expensive stuff.


Amplitube is mostly shite and the majority of free amp sims can and do blow it out of the water.

As for the 1/4" to 3.5mm jack? I suggest you read the Introduction to recording sticky and see what that has to say about it. I do not recommend this method.
#6
Check out Bias from Positive Grid - kills, its the best software amp sim available.
#7
The elevenrack seems like a good unit. I have no experience with it but it's along the same lines as an Axe-FX only much more budget friendly. Regardless, a good fast computer is important so latency won't be an issue.
#8
Quote by ChemicalFire
Amplitube is mostly shite and the majority of free amp sims can and do blow it out of the water.
While I would agree with this, they told me the worse part is the cab simulation and that it's actually pretty decent if you use a good cab sim.
Quote by Dazzl1113
Check out Bias from Positive Grid - kills, its the best software amp sim available.
lol no

Come on, have you only seen videos of it on youtube?
Also, have you tried any other reputable amp sim?

'cause, no offense, you sound like you don't.
#9
Quote by ChemicalFire
Amplitube is mostly shite and the majority of free amp sims can and do blow it out of the water.

As for the 1/4" to 3.5mm jack? I suggest you read the Introduction to recording sticky and see what that has to say about it. I do not recommend this method.

Quote by JagerSlushy
just to see what it's like before you buy the more expensive stuff.


I suggest you read in the first place. you're entitled to your own opinion but don't be an asshole. Not everyone has 100 bucks to drop on an interface before they've even heard an amp sim. I also mentioned impulse responses, and amplitube takes quite a bit of tweaking to get a good tone. but they all do. learn to eq neanderthal
Last edited by JagerSlushy at Nov 8, 2014,
#10
Quote by JagerSlushy
you're entitled to your own opinion but don't be an asshole.
Well, up to a point I kinda agree.
Quote by JagerSlushy
Not everyone has 100 bucks to drop on an interface before they've even heard an amp sim.
Though you need an interface to properly hear how amp sims sound.

Unbranded guitar link's go for $5 all day everyday on amazon.

Also there you would wanna use the mic in, not the line in.
Quote by JagerSlushy
I also mentioned impulse responses, and amplitube takes quite a bit of tweaking to get a good tone. but they all do. learn to eq neanderthal
Same thing you said to him - you're entitled to your opinion but don't be an asshole.

Also have you ever tried a bad sounding amp?
You're not gonna make a bad sounding amp sound good with simple EQing.
Nothing actually guarantees you'll be able to make it sound good, and it takes a hell of a lot more than an EQ to make amplitube sound good to me.

Well I'm guessing at least, 'cause I've never been able to make amplitube sound good myself with any mean at my disposal.
Quote by JagerSlushy
axefx is expensive as hell but no other digital anything beats it.
I didn't read this before, so please lemme comment on this now.

If by "no other digital beats it" you mean it can do stuff better than any other stuff than I'm with you on this - you don't get a djent tone that good out of anything else.

If by that you mean it sounds more like an analog amp than anything else digital, then shut up and go trying the softube amp rooms and a kemper pa.
#11
Quote by JagerSlushy
I suggest you read in the first place. you're entitled to your own opinion but don't be an asshole. Not everyone has 100 bucks to drop on an interface before they've even heard an amp sim. I also mentioned impulse responses, and amplitube takes quite a bit of tweaking to get a good tone. but they all do. learn to eq neanderthal


And you said I gave my opinion like an ass hole?

The hypocrisy is strong with this one. I mean obviously I've spent years as a recording forum regular without learning to EQ

And no, they don't all take a long time to tweak. I can get a great tone with the X50 freeware sim and the catharsis freeware impulse responses in about 5 minutes maximum. If you hadn't noticed I wrote the Amp Sim thread, I have tried almost all of the amp sims in that thread (some opinions were given to me by others who have used them but they're in the minority). So I speak from experience when I say Amplitube is pretty balls. Though 3 was much better than the previous versions.
Last edited by ChemicalFire at Nov 8, 2014,
#12
Quote by ChemicalFire
I think you might find this video of some use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er9VhozNHNk

He's using an AxeFX plugged into a small Interface. Though bare in mind, the AxeFX (which is probably the most popular modeller) isn't exactly cheap.

If you just wanted to use amp sims you can just buy an interface and use software amps instead. It'd be far cheaper.

I have no intentions of buying an Axe because it's way too expensive, so I've actually been doing a lot of reading on the Pod HD (specifically the HD500 and HD Pro). How would that series fit into my needs and the idea of just using an interface for input and using software sims? It's definitely way cheaper with Reaper and all the VSTs. Are there any other reasons why somebody would not just want to go the software route? Especially for the Pod which I understand does not accept third party IRs.
#13
Quote by triface
Are there any other reasons why somebody would not just want to go the software route?
Gigging with software only is a hell of a pain in the ass.
Also good software + a good interface cost as much as a used POD HD500.

An all in one unit is hella more convenient - it's easier to program patches, you already have all you need, if you get a floor board version you also have buttons for switching at your disposal, in the money you get fx other than amps...

Using software only gives you more possibilities, but it's not like having more possibilities doesn't create confusion, and some people prefer less possibilities and less confusion.
#14
Keep an eye out for a used Eleven Rack - been seeing em pretty cheap on the secondhand market lately. Good for live, also work as an interface in the studio.
#15
Quote by Spambot_2
Gigging with software only is a hell of a pain in the ass.
Also good software + a good interface cost as much as a used POD HD500.

An all in one unit is hella more convenient - it's easier to program patches, you already have all you need, if you get a floor board version you also have buttons for switching at your disposal, in the money you get fx other than amps...

Using software only gives you more possibilities, but it's not like having more possibilities doesn't create confusion, and some people prefer less possibilities and less confusion.

I see what you mean. Although I'm not gigging at the moment, it sure is nice to have the option.

I'm digressing a little but I hope you'll bear with me. I actually have a Rocksmith cable I bought to use as a cheap guitar link. When it works, latency is minimal. However, sometimes Amplitube just doesn't detect it (Reaper NEVER detects it). Having done it a few times already and still have no idea what's not working is really off-putting. Would an all-in-one solve this? Hell, would an interface solve this? I don't think it's the cable because the game recognizes it most of the time.

If it helps, I'm using a Realtek soundcard, which doesn't seem to sit well with the ASIO drivers.

Quote by kyle62
Keep an eye out for a used Eleven Rack - been seeing em pretty cheap on the secondhand market lately. Good for live, also work as an interface in the studio.

That sounds awesome! I've heard that 11r doesn't really get updated anymore though. Should I be concerned about that?
Last edited by triface at Nov 10, 2014,
#16
Lots of players are gigging these days with a digital multi effects pedal thru the PA. Pod, Vox Tonelab, and some Zoom models offer pretty good tone for less than $500. I know lots of guys like the Axe but it's not for me. Neal Shon has been touring with one lately and he just sounds awful. Maybe he is going deaf.

Get one and try it. If you get good results, use it.
#17
I use Fractal Axe Fx Ultra.
Since it's not the most recent model (Axe Fx II) I got a very good deal for it second hand, so it wasn't too expensive. Personally, I got to say I love the thing.

First of all, it sounds great. It has almost infinite versatility when it comes to guitar sounds and effects. There are so many parameters at your disposal that I can get very personal sounds just for my liking. For a guy like me, who likes several styles of music and loves to experiment a little bit, its' a dream come true. I love being able to record when ever I want, even at night, at very high quality.

That being said, it's something that might require a little bit learning. The user interface is very easy to use, but to get the most out of this unit, you might want to invest some time getting to know the basics of all kinds of parameters. That way you can dial in exactly the kinds of sounds you need and tweak them to your liking. Some people are afraid that they'd "tweak more than play" with these kinds of units, but for me it's quite the opposite. When I have some of my most used guitar and bass sounds saved as presets, I actually get to play a lot more. Now I'm familiar enough (not an expert, though) with the "tweaking end of it" so that it doesn't really take too much time, if any at all.

I hope this didn't come across as a sales speech I have also heard great things about the Kemper stuff among others, but I don't have any first hand experience. Overall, I think these digital units are really handy, especially if have the time and willingness to wrap your head around them.

Cheers!
Last edited by Akkeli at Nov 11, 2014,
#18
Quote by triface
Having done it a few times already and still have no idea what's not working is really off-putting. Would an all-in-one solve this? Hell, would an interface solve this?
Yes to both.
If the interface comes with good drivers, that is.
Quote by triface
I don't think it's the cable because the game recognizes it most of the time.
Most of the times means not all the times, which in turn means the cable might well be faulty.
Quote by triface
If it helps, I'm using a Realtek soundcard, which doesn't seem to sit well with the ASIO drivers.
What sound card you're using doesn't really matter, 'cause the external audio interface would "take its place" in applications.

Also download ASIO4ALL.
#19
Quote by Akkeli
*Axe FX*

Cheers!

I've actually read about the parameters thing as well. It's not something that turns me off, but it's an added plus to getting something like the Pod Pro in addition to the relative budget friendliness.

Quote by Spambot_2
Yes to both.
If the interface comes with good drivers, that is.

What sound card you're using doesn't really matter, 'cause the external audio interface would "take its place" in applications.

Also download ASIO4ALL.

Ah, just the answer I was looking for.

I actually already have ASIO4ALL installed. Hell, I've installed like four different versions of ASIO to date to find one that works well, but I uninstalled all of them and installed ASIO4ALL because I didn't know what was working and what wasn't.

I've been doing a lot of research and it seems the Realtek cards just have something that doesn't make them work with the ASIO drivers. It's actually all over the Reaper forums. When it was working, my windows audio had to be turned off, which was quite a pain in the butt even with a script set up to do it in a few clicks.

I apologize for all the questions. Even after reading through the stickies and many threads on and off this forum, I'm still a little confused about how the pieces fit together. Your answers definitely helped, though. Thanks!
#20
Apologies for the bump. I'm pretty set on getting either a Line 6 Pod HD500 or HD Pro. However, even after gobbling up loads of information on recording and the mfx themselves, I'm still a little lost on the capabilities of the Pod.

I am looking to use this as a replacement for a real amplifier, at least until I get more space in my house which is pretty unlikely in the short term. Therefore, it is fairly important I can at least get a useable tone without an extreme amount of meddling with the settings. I get that the Axe or Kemper would probably be more plug-and-play, but unless the Pod takes months of tweaking before I can get even a useable tone, I'm willing to live with it.

I understand I could probably get equivalent, and likely even better results using free IRs, sims, etc. However, the pull of possibly using this with a real amp and for gigging with relative simplicity is there. I feel ASIO4ALL is a real pain in the butt to work with as well. Many others seem to be able to work fine with it, so I understand the support it gets. However, I would like to do away with it, and I understand these interfaces and, more specifically, the Pod, have their own drivers.

My setup will be extremely simple. Guitar -> Pod -> Computer for recording and just general playing. How much would the lack of an interface hurt me?

Without some form of reamp box, can I record a dry signal first, then play it back from the computer to the Pod which is then recorded back into the computer?

There's a whole bunch of I/O options that the HD Pro has over the HD500. With such a simple setup, I wouldn't need all those, no? The only one I'm interested in would be the phantom power. It's always nice to have the option in case.
#21
Quote by triface
My setup will be extremely simple. Guitar -> Pod -> Computer for recording and just general playing. How much would the lack of an interface hurt me?
An audio interface is a device that able you to interface analog audio with your computer, so the pod would effectively be your audio interface there.
Quote by triface
Without some form of reamp box, can I record a dry signal first, then play it back from the computer to the Pod which is then recorded back into the computer?
Don't think you can reamp stuff with a POD, but I'm not really sure.
Quote by triface
There's a whole bunch of I/O options that the HD Pro has over the HD500. With such a simple setup, I wouldn't need all those, no? The only one I'm interested in would be the phantom power. It's always nice to have the option in case.
Will recording mics with that be more important than having the pedalboard shaped switching option?
If so, get the HD pro.

If not, get an HD500x and be done with it.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#22
Quote by Spambot_2
Don't think you can reamp stuff with a POD, but I'm not really sure.

From that, can I conclude that reamping function actually depends on the processor itself, and just because one particular model has it doesn't mean all other models from other brands will do the same thing?

Quote by Spambot_2
Will recording mics with that be more important than having the pedalboard shaped switching option?
If so, get the HD pro.

If not, get an HD500x and be done with it.

That's kind of the thing. Phantom power is nice to have but I don't realistically see myself using it in the future. The HD500's stompbox switching function and price are really cool but I'm worried about the durability. Plus, the form factor is kind of funky. With the HD Pro, I can just place it on my table and it would still actually look kinda neat since I can just place other stuff on it.

Ah, first world problems.
#23
Just a thought on the shortage of space for an amp in your recording set up. Sansamp GT2. Size of a stomp box. Seriously good piece of kit. I recorded and entire album di'ing one. No stacks in sight.

IMHO. and it's only my opinion. (Don't want to wind people up). The HD500 is more of a pain in the ass than it's worth. I bought one specifically to use with my variax to change patches and guitar settings at the same time. It was way too much hassle. I tried it Di'd and through 2 different stacks and after trying it almost all day every day for 4 weeks I never got anything approaching a usable sound. They have a gazillion settings and parameters. And unfortunately most of the downloadable settings that you have to fall back on to get a starting point are created by deaf people and sound nothing like. So it went to the happy world of ebay. And I made a tenner . Maybe I just bought a crap one. All other pod gear I've owned in the past has been great.
Last edited by crackerjack123 at Nov 24, 2014,
#24
Quote by crackerjack123
Just a thought on the shortage of space for an amp in your recording set up. Sansamp GT2. Size of a stomp box. Seriously good piece of kit. I recorded and entire album di'ing one. No stacks in sight.

IMHO. and it's only my opinion. (Don't want to wind people up). The HD500 is more of a pain in the ass than it's worth. I bought one specifically to use with my variax to change patches and guitar settings at the same time. It was way too much hassle. I tried it Di'd and through 2 different stacks and after trying it almost all day every day for 4 weeks I never got anything approaching a usable sound. They have a gazillion settings and parameters. And unfortunately most of the downloadable settings that you have to fall back on to get a starting point are created by deaf people and sound nothing like. So it went to the happy world of ebay. And I made a tenner . Maybe I just bought a crap one. All other pod gear I've owned in the past has been great.

Hey, thanks for the suggestion of the SansAmp. Never heard of them TBH. I looked for some demos of it and it sounds alright. Nothing mind-blowing, but that could just be the quality of the cameras being used.

I really like the size of it, but it doesn't seem as versatile as I would want it to be, considering this will be all I'm using for a long time.
Last edited by triface at Nov 25, 2014,
#26
SansAmp's bass stuff is far better than it's guitar stuff to be honest. Can and Have happily gigged without an amp and just used a Sans Amp pre through the house system, guitar stuff is not so great in my opinion.
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