#1
Hopefully this title represents what I need help with. Couldn't find out a way to word it.
But how do the pros make a guitar tone sound so perfect and realistic using amp sims? No matter WHAT amp sim
I use, all the default presets sound absolutely disgusting. So bad that it makes you wonder how developers could program
it in and imply that it's a super good guitar tone. I tried searching on YouTube what other peoples default tones sound like
to see if it's just a problem on my end, but there's no examples of them anywhere. Of course creating my own tone is different,
I can usually get fairly decent results, but it never sounds as good as I want it to. And sure, simulation software should in no way
be compared to the sound of an actual amp, but somehow thousands of people on YouTube using strictly software manage to
create tones that are quite close and comparable to the real thing. So close in fact that it would take someone with trained ears
to really hear the difference.
Of course I'm talking more specifically about high gain stuff, since clean tones are pretty easy to replicate digitally.
so my current thought process is that there must be something wrong with how I have my stuff set up. There are some general
things I don't really know.
When plugging in the device, what should the Window's gain settings be like on the device? I usually have it set to 100.
My input device is a Behringer UMC202HD with 2 channels. Both are XLR/guitar combo jacks with preamps, and phantom power
if needed. The channels have their own analog controls to tweak, so with what should these settings look like as well?
There's a button for Line/Instrument (I put on instrument for guitar), Pad button, and a gain knob. I usually have the pad turned on
with the gain knob at about 10 o'clock. 7 o'clock being at absolute minimum, and 5 o'clock being absolute max. It's also got a
signal light, and a clipping light. The signal light is always green when plugged in, and the clip light never flashes red with these
current settings. If I turned it up to between 11-12, and pick super super hard, it would clip. So 10-11ish is fine in that regard.
My guitar is plugged in directly to the interface with these settings, which connect to my computer through USB. Then I use Reaper
as my daw, and load VSTs for amp simulation. My guitar is a Jackson Kelly tuned to drop B with Jackson branded EMG styled pick
ups.
So is there anything wrong with my setup the way I described it? What should Windows gain settings be, and what should those
analog controls on the interface be set to? Should I be adding anyhing between the guitar and interface? Or is directly plugged
in perfectly fine?
And yes, guitar is working perfectly fine, as well as patch cords, PC, interface, etc. I'd record with an amp, but I don't have one.
I had a Spider II 75 watt, but sold it because they're pretty terrible.
If you read all this and wanna help, thanks a ton, I really do appreciate it. If you have any examples of untouched default tones
from Revalver, Amplitube, or Guitar Rig you're able to show me, that would be great. Then at least I'd have a reference point
for how thing SHOULD be sounding vs my own results.
Thanks [:
#2
I am very unfamiliar with your interface, but I remember seeing some information on them, when they first came out, about how they were not good. I still imagine you should be able to get reasonable results from it, though. Your input on the interface should be set just below clipping. The only other input you should have to worry about is in your DAW, if that. The information from your interface should go right into the DAW, no other software drivers in between. At least that is how I am able to run my setup. And ideally, your output/monitoring from the DAW will go directly to the interface as well. And you are using the USB output of the interface to go to the computer, right?

What are you using to listen/monitor? A laptop's built-in speakers are nowhere near quality enough to do critical listening. If you are using headphones, make sure they are of high enough impedance and wattage to take whatever output you are plugging them into.

Are you using cabinet/speaker simulations alongside the amp simulations? Without cab/speaker sims, the sound will definitely not be good as speakers do a lot for the guitar tone. If your guitar has a battery in it, make sure that battery is still good.

If you can, make a sound clip of the tones you are struggling with.
#3
Will Lane Oh okay, well I got a good deal on it which is why I bought it. But it sounds quite a bit better then my old M-Audio Fast Track.
But anyways, unfortunately I don't have monitors, but I'm using a good set of general computer speaker with a sub woofer. I know that's frowned upon,
but I use them to listen to music all the time, so I at least have a good idea of what they should sound like. I use headphones for real time monitoring, but not mixing.

As for the device, I use the latest ASIO driver for it. It's also got a control panel for itself as well, but everything on it is set to max for gain. I usually just leave everything 100, but control the gain using the analog controls themselves.

Also, yes all the software has cabinet sims as well that I use. And if I use something like LePou plugins for amps, I use NadIR for impusles. And also I don't have active pickups so they don't take a battery.

As for any digital tone, this is definitely the best I've gotten from any sim somftware. This one was with TSE X30, TSE 808 and an impulse
https://soundcloud.com/7dingleberry8/new-song-preview-buried-beneath-the-stars

But to my ears, especially in headphones, it doesn't sound proper to me. Kind of fizzy, not smooth. I don't know, I just can't seem to get any satisfactory sound. Yet I watch all these YouTubers who can make it sound so professional. Even when I completely replicate settings people post, it doesn't sound anywhere near what their's does.
#4
It sounds great to me TBH. Not sure what you are hearing that I am not. Heavy distortion will add fizz to the sound. Adding a gentle cut to the highs will help in that regard and make more way for the cymbals.
#5
Here are some of my Amplitube presets (ver. 3):
http://www.descentintomadness.com/studio-projects/Amplitube3Presets.zip

Maybe you need to see if impulse response cab sims might not fix things, on most of my patches now I have the cabs disabled and I load Kalthallen and other cab impulses into NadIR at the end of the chain. It sounds better than the stock cabs in Amplitube, etc.