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#1
Hello there


What is the future of Amplification? Can Amp Sims fully replace the sound of analogue amplifiers? My hypothesis is that they can, anyhow, this is why researching this. I have created a listening test which I would like you guys to complete to help me determine this.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZCRRZWJ.

Give it a try and hopefully if I get enough responses I can produced some valid data. (READ INSTRUCTIONS AT THE BEGINNING!)

Good Luck!
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#2
fuck you george
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(Don't even ask what it means)


https://soundcloud.com/95dank



#3
Digital modeling will with 100% certainty make tube amplifiers 100% obsolete. It's just a matter of time, but likely within 5-20 years. For many sounds, digital technology and even solid state analog is more than sufficient to replace tube circuitry and for some sounds already exceed it. There will be a day when vacuum tubes will get about as much use as 8-track tapes do now.
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#4
Quote by theogonia777
Digital modeling will with 100% certainty make tube amplifiers 100% obsolete. It's just a matter of time, but likely within 5-20 years. For many sounds, digital technology and even solid state analog is more than sufficient to replace tube circuitry and for some sounds already exceed it. There will be a day when vacuum tubes will get about as much use as 8-track tapes do now.


I agree with this but I'm not sure on the timeline.

A modeler that will meet or exceed the current iteration of the Kemper Profiler at a $399 price point will pretty much be the end.

I'm hearing really good things about the Atomic Amplifire @$599, but I've not used one myself yet.

It may be closer than we think.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Jun 1, 2016,
#7
I reckon there are currently digital amp modellers that have guitar tones sounding just as great as tube and other analogue amps. Of course it is very subjective, but using Guitar RIG and AmpliTube has definitely changed my whole view on the capabilities of amp modellers. Having said that, this is the main reason I am carrying out this survey as I would like to produce some data on this topic .
#9
I haven't used a physical amp in almost 4 years...

then again I haven't even recorded physical instruments in almost 4 years...

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#10
Quote by kalypto
nothing will and can replace tube amplification


Its a grey area. Worst case scenario is that tube amps become boutique and expensive like masterwork violins or something.
o()o

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#11
I agree with you to large extent. Obviously there is nothing like the original gear, but if you take price, power consumption and flexibility into consideration, I feel it is a lot more convenient to have many different amp sound in one piece of software or hardware. Me myself has used many different amp modellers and I have to say, half of them do not match the tones of analogue amplifier like the Logic Amp Designer which sounds very artificial. Also, I don't necessarily agree that an Amp Modeller has to necessarily simulate an analogue amp, the most important thing is achieving a decent guitar track whether it be from a digital amp modeller or tube amp. Anyhow, the best way I can determine whether the guitar tones of digital amp modellers are any match or better than analogue amps in the opinion of most guitarists is by completing the test.
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#12
The challenge doesn't seem to be in modeling specific amp tones, which has been done quite convincingly by several manufacturers, but in modeling the touch sensitivity and dynamics at the edge of breakup that tube amps often excel at.

Now granted, not all genres require that, but until that's there, who's to say that there isn't something lacking in the rest as well?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#13
Quote by kalypto
nothing will and can replace tube amplification


Sorry but digital simulations absolutely will one day with 99% certainty. In case you're wondering, the 1% is if the world as we know it ends before then.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#14
The real question is, does it matter whether they will be able to simulate the tones of real amps digitally? I find it more important determining whether they can provide a great sounding guitar track, and like I mentioned before, softwares such as the latest versions of AmpliTube and Guitar rig have already done that.
#15
Quote by ge0rgeb94
The real question is, does it matter whether they will be able to simulate the tones of real amps digitally? I find it more important determining whether they can provide a great sounding guitar track, and like I mentioned before, softwares such as the latest versions of AmpliTube and Guitar rig have already done that.


It does matter. People will probably always like the sound of a good Marshall or Mesa or Vox or Fender or whatever. If digital can't nail those, there is still need for them. To make analog obsolete, digital needs to do absolutely everything that analog can.
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#16
Yes true, but although I'm a huge marshall fan (I even have a Marshall: JMC 800 half stack at home) I don't think the fact it being Marshall, Vox or Fender is that relevant. Of course they sound awesome without a doubt and some of the best guitarists of all time use them which is why most people also want them. But I think some of the great sounds produced by amp modellers sound can potentially be an original sound of the amp modeller by themselves or in other words, some of them sound great as they are and are not trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers.
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#17
It doesn't matter if a sound is great or not. What matters is what sound people want.
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#18
well would you purchase a vintage marshall, Fender or Vox amp that sounds crap?
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#19
it could be so, thats the whole point of this research. Perhaps the sound may be an irrelevant factor and guitarists want the original gear. Anyhow this test is based on simply the sound of amp modellers and analogue amps.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZCRRZWJ
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#20
The problem when it comes to physical amps is not the sound, it's the recording of the sound. Amps as DSPs largely solve this issue, and in the right hands, empower the producer to get much better recording results with more ease and less hassle.

Also, the tone of an amp often need to be altered significantly via EQ and sound "bad" compared to a standalone environment, in order to sit well with the overall mix.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Jun 1, 2016,
#21
Quote by ge0rgeb94
well would you purchase a vintage marshall amp that sounds crap?


I wouldn't purchase a virage Marshall full stop. If I were to buy one, I would be buying it because I wanted its particular sound in which case it probably doesn't sound like crap objectively. Subjectively it might sound like crap to someone else, but if that's the sound I want...
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#22
Quote by ge0rgeb94
Yes true, but although I'm a huge marshall fan (I even have a Marshall: JMC 800 half stack at home) I don't think the fact it being Marshall, Vox or Fender is that relevant. Of course they sound awesome without a doubt and some of the best guitarists of all time use them which is why most people also want them. But I think some of the great sounds produced by amp modellers sound can potentially be an original sound of the amp modeller by themselves or in other words, some of them sound great as they are and are not trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers.


Sorry but this is pretty much bullshit. Entry level guitar players and posers want them because of the logo, everyone else wants the tone they can get from them.

If there's an "original" tone that you've achieved with a modeler, by all means let us in on it. (I'm betting there's not...)

We want modelers that sound like the amps we've used because the amps we've used sound good, end of story.

What modelers are you speaking of when you say that some aren't trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#23
Quote by Arby911 at #33992703
Sorry but this is pretty much bullshit. Entry level guitar players and posers want them because of the logo, everyone else wants the tone they can get from them.

If there's an "original" tone that you've achieved with a modeler, by all means let us in on it. (I'm betting there's not...)

We want modelers that sound like the amps we've used because the amps we've used sound good, end of story.

What modelers are you speaking of when you say that some aren't trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers?


Yeah basically.


As much as original tones are nice. Sometimes I want something familiar. If it can't satisfy that then I'm gonna stick to glass.
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#24
Quote by Arby911
What modelers are you speaking of when you say that some aren't trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers?


I mean for fuck's sake. The name is modeling amp.
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#25
i am not responding because you wrote your text in a yellow font that i am not going to bother straining my eyes to read. nor am i going to highlight over it because that is too much effort.
#26
Quote by theogonia777
I mean for fuck's sake. The name is modeling amp.





I know, I thought that very thing but I don't think his intent is malicious, just that he's not really done his homework yet so I'll play along for a while.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#27
Of course. I completely understand this is very subjective, thats why it important to hear everyones opinion. Even if you do the listening test and you think that the guitar tracks sound awful and you comment that they are all terrible that is absolutely fine as long as it is your honest opinion. My only concern is if participants deliberately state that all the guitar tracks sound terrible without even listening to tracks. Also, if you have a strong opinion and are passionate about this topic, I really recommend that you complete the test as all your responses combined will produce relevant data about the topic.
#28
Quote by Will Lane
i am not responding because you wrote your text in a yellow font that i am not going to bother straining my eyes to read. nor am i going to highlight over it because that is too much effort.


Hi there, The reason I posted this text in yellow was because for some reason I thought it would stand out more. I completely understand if you do not want to do the test. But if you care a lot about your opinion which you might not, I would highly suggest dedicating 5 minutes of your time doing the test. My apologies for the text straining your eyes.
#29
Quote by ge0rgeb94
Hi there, The reason I posted this text in yellow was because for some reason I thought it would stand out more. I completely understand if you do not want to do the test. But if you care a lot about your opinion which you might not, I would highly suggest dedicating 5 minutes of your time doing the test. My apologies for the text straining your eyes.


It doesn't "strain' our eyes, it's just pretty much unreadable. I'd edit it back to black if I were you.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#30
Quote by Arby911



I know, I thought that very thing but I don't think his intent is malicious, just that he's not really done his homework yet so I'll play along for a while.

Hi there

Thanks for clarifying that this url isn't malicious. But I'm not quite sure what you mean about me not doing my homework. The reason I posted this thread was to collect responses from anyone who would like to participate in the test and of course state their opinion.
#31
Quote by Arby911
Sorry but this is pretty much bullshit. Entry level guitar players and posers want them because of the logo, everyone else wants the tone they can get from them.

If there's an "original" tone that you've achieved with a modeler, by all means let us in on it. (I'm betting there's not...)

We want modelers that sound like the amps we've used because the amps we've used sound good, end of story.

What modelers are you speaking of when you say that some aren't trying to replicate the sounds of other amplifiers?

I have experimented with amp simulators such as Guitar Rig 5 and AmpliTube where I was able to create my own custom tone without the intent of trying to simulate a real amp. I don't agree with you saying what I'm saying is bullshit because it is my opinion, the same why I respect and understand your opinion.
#32
Quote by ge0rgeb94
Hi there

Thanks for clarifying that this url isn't malicious. But I'm not quite sure what you mean about me not doing my homework. The reason I posted this thread was to collect responses from anyone who would like to participate in the test and of course state their opinion.


Your stated preconceptions already give me some pause as to what you expect to find, since some of what you've stated as regards modelers is simply wrong. I haven't taken the survey yet because the speakers I have available to me right now are probably inadequate to the task, but I doubt very seriously that your collected data will actually tell you what you seem to think it will.

In short, based on available data I'm betting that your methodology is flawed.

That being said, I like the concept, but have reservations about the execution.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#33
Quote by ge0rgeb94
I have experimented with amp simulators such as Guitar Rig 5 and AmpliTube where I was able to create my own custom tone without the intent of trying to simulate a real amp. I don't agree with you saying what I'm saying is bullshit because it is my opinion, the same why I respect and understand your opinion.


What I actually said was bullshit was your claim as to why people wanted those amps, and I went on to explain why it was. It had nothing to do with your opinions.

I suspect your custom tone is one of two things.

1. A tone that can be generated by one of the existing tube amps in the marketplace.

or

2. A tone that nobody wants to use. (I can generate plenty of these...)

And #1 is why I said I suspected you hadn't adequately done your homework. Before you can opine about the palette of tones available, you should have sampled a LOT of current tube offerings, and that doesn't seem to be the case here?

I've played through well over 50 different tube amps (but probably less than 100) and I'm not even close to the most experienced player here...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#34
Quote by Arby911
Your stated preconceptions already give me some pause as to what you expect to find, since some of what you've stated as regards modelers is simply wrong. I haven't taken the survey yet because the speakers I have available to me right now are probably inadequate to the task, but I doubt very seriously that your collected data will actually tell you what you seem to think it will.

In short, based on available data I'm betting that your methodology is flawed.

That being said, I like the concept, but have reservations about the execution.


Well not really flawed, the methodology I've used for this research is inspired by many other social scientists who have utilised similar methods for collecting quantitative and qualitative data. The demographic sample I chose was members of guitar forums as it seemed to be the most convenient way for collecting responses in the quickest possible way from people all over the world (making it more valid because I haven't focused for example only people in Europe or America). So far 25 people have done the test, I hope to achieve at least 80-100 responses. So I have in fact selected my intended sample of people. Also, this is just one part of the research. I also conducted questionnaires and interviews in the past on this same topic which I'm also using in the study. Therefore all these different methods combined should enable me to generate reliable and valid data.
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#35
Quote by ge0rgeb94
Well not really flawed, the methodology I've used for this research is inspired by many other social scientists who have utilised similar methods for collecting quantitative and qualitative data. The demographic sample I chose was members of guitar forums as it seemed to be the most convenient way for collecting responses in the quickest possible way from people all over the world. So far 25 people have done the test, I hope to achieve at least 80-100 responses. So I have in fact selected my intended sample of people. Also, this is just one part of the research. I also conducted questionnaires and interviews in the past on this same topic which I'm also using in the study. Therefore all these different methods combined should enable me to generate reliable and valid data.

It is flawed, though.

You're asking people to assess recordings played back through an uncontrolled system. Some people will be using earbuds, some might be using shitey laptop speakers, and some might be using studio-quality monitors, and that's going to make your results pretty much useless.
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#36
Quote by slapsymcdougal
It is flawed, though.

You're asking people to assess recordings played back through an uncontrolled system. Some people will be using earbuds, some might be using shitey laptop speakers, and some might be using studio-quality monitors, and that's going to make your results pretty much useless.


Fair enough but I would argue that when I'm listening to guitarists play on youtube perhaps, I personally would be able to tell whether the guitar sound is of a great quality or not regardless of where the sound is coming out from. What your saying is true actually and it would make the data even more accurate as guitarists would hear the guitar tracks perfectly as they are. However, having said that, I can't necessarily communicate with everyone around the world and tell them that they have to use certain speakers or be in a certain room whilst listening to the tracks. The test is not perfect, but feedback from participants will be referred into in the discussion section of the research. Therefore, I have no concerns whatsoever if people did the test without HD Speakers or shitey headphones for instance.
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
#37
Quote by ge0rgeb94
Fair enough but I would argue that when I'm listening to guitarists play on youtube perhaps, I personally would be able to tell whether the guitar sound is of a great quality or not regardless of where the sound is coming out from. What your saying is true actually and it would make the data even more accurate as guitarists would hear the guitar tracks perfectly as they are. However, having said that, I can't necessarily communicate with everyone around the world and tell them that they have to use certain speakers or be in a certain room whilst listening to the tracks. The test is not perfect, but feedback from participants will be referred into in the discussion section of the research. Therefore, I have no concerns whatsoever if people did the test without HD Speakers or shitey headphones for instance.

You also have to figure with YouTube, the audio compression algorithm doesn't help matters, and many videos aren't recorded well to begin with. Especially live music videos recorded on phones.
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#38
The different speakers people use shouldn't make too much of a difference as long as the same speaker is used to listen to all the samples but the difference between the amps is that one is analog and one is digital. Is that right? Don't tube amps more faithfully reproduce the sound wave as compaired to a digital processor? Kind of like vinyl records compaired to cd? Idk but if that is the case, converting all the samples into a digital format would ruin the true quality of the tube amp sample.
The future of amps though....has anyone heard of the new positive ion membrane speaker? Im sure if these catch on they would require a different kind of amp altogether. Peoples taste in sounds will change too and the classic sound of a tube amp may not be desirable in the future
#39
Quote by geo-rage
Kind of like vinyl records compaired to cd? Idk but if that is the case, converting all the samples into a digital format would ruin the true quality of the tube amp sample.


No. High quality, lossless digital audio is better quality and purer (less "colored") than vinyl. Digital udio at a high enough sample rate and bit depth and all that other tevhnical stuff will, for all practical purposes, faithfully recreate sound waves. The problem comes with lossy audio with lower bit depth and sampling rates, in which case audio quality suffers, although even on low quality audio, it might not even be noticeable with a very high quality audio system.

The issue with tube vs digital is in generating sound rather than capturing it and playing back. The argument against a digital amp is whether or not digital technology can recreate the nuances of a tube amp while running a clean signal (most likely a guitar) through the amplification process. This is completely unrelated to recording format.
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#40
Quote by slapsymcdougal
You also have to figure with YouTube, the audio compression algorithm doesn't help matters, and many videos aren't recorded well to begin with. Especially live music videos recorded on phones.


Well number one, the audio quality of a live music video recorded on a phone clearly won't be any good, and also there are actually plenty of videos of live performances that have good audio quality (i.e Live from Abbey Road). So once again i'll say it, I don't mind if you do not have the best listening gear, just make do with what you have. Regardless of that, the data collected will still be validated and will provide room for discussion later on in the research.
Last edited by ge0rgeb94 at Jun 1, 2016,
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