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  • Best Amp Sim For Me Yet

    Positive Grid's Bias Desktop

    (just the power amp stage here below)





    First off, I'm a recording guitarist. Professionally I was a bassist, so I did not grow up studying guitar amp tubes, speakers, rectifiers, guitar cab types, bias, etc . I did grow up playing with and listening to guys that did. I know what I like and can describe it in fine detail.

    Amp sims get me close, Guitar Rig being the most mailable to my needs thus far. Until last night after downloading the 79 buck Bias.

    They tout its ability to swap tube types, control bias, eq into and out of the pre stage, the tone stack stage, the power amp stage. If the lows are soft like you need but just a tad too saggy in its overdrive characteristic, the simple, short, direct and amazingly informative manual will let you know the fix.

    Want multistage gain a la Gilmour without the one dimensional modern blown out feel and tone? Want a little Fender sparkle peeking through that gainy lead? A little low end thump on your attack while the glass still shines through? Like I did last night trying to get a little Comfortably Numb on a track?

    A little learning and tube, rectifier, etc. swapping and you'll get there. Dig the distortion but it's just a little fizzy? Leave the pre's tone controls alone and de-emphasize the highs heading into the tone stack. On and on.

    These aren't just cool graphics with knobs that sort of do something. This really is an amp. Very real. Preset guys might want to pass on this one, but if you know what you're looking for... Presets just never work for me even after edits, since I favor an oddball Yamaha semi hollow body with P90s. They don't make presets with my guitar in mind. But Bias lets me find that perfect amp marriage for it in what's appearing to be any needed context.



    warning, the online demos favor shred. Not my gig. But this software is.



    try it! I'm sold.



    http://www.positivegrid.com/bias-desktop/
    Last edited by Lee Knight; 03-18-2015, 05:18 PM.
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

  • #2
    That sounds really useful, and given how good your ear is, I have every confidence that this really does sound good.
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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    • #3
      Sounds good, Lee. I haven't heard of this until today. How does this compare to Guitar Rig?
      Moderator - The Singer's Forum
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      • #4
        I've been enamoured by Amplitube on my MacBook but was a bit disappointed when I tried it with an iPad so I downloaded Bias and JamUp Pro.

        I must say that the ability to make the subtle changes alluded to in the OP make this one of the best amp sims for me as well. I've been playing and working on tube amps (mostly Fender) for over forty years and, IMO, Positive Grid has done an excellent job capturing the nuances with this app.

        I was so impressed with the iPad app that I bought the plugin for Mac version as well.
        As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
        from the deepest hell to the highest states.

        It is up to you which one you choose to explore
        .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by davie View Post
          Sounds good, Lee. I haven't heard of this until today. How does this compare to Guitar Rig?


          When I use a Les Paul or a Strat into Guitar Rig it sounds very good. It still is a little one-dimensional but for a lot of guitar parts it is perfect for a track. The problem arises when I want something very specific. And I tend to do that quite a bit.



          Bias allows me to contour the girth or thinness and saturation all in the different areas in very specific ways. It's susrain will die out in a very real way. I like that. It responds very realistically to how hard you were hitting the strings. So much so in fact that I used a little bit of limiting in front of it, incidentally I do the same thing with a real amp.



          The beauty of using a plug-in limiter is that I could then go back and back off if I wanted to and let those transients hit the amp in very interesting and real ways. And then just automate the threshold down smoothly to really slam the amp for heavier bits.



          Guitar Rig doesn't have that same sort of complexity. Having variables inside the amp is new to me and I've got to say that it is very rewarding when shooting for a specific sort of tone and vibe.
          __________
          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
          Jesus

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          • #6
            I have a friend who builds amps as a hobby - I would think this software, since it lets you mix and match all sorts of well-known components and tweak the signal path - would be a great tool for amp builders - for pre-testing amp designs before getting to the actual outlay on physical components.

            nat whilk ii

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            • #7
              Bias actually has pretty good responsiveness and a full and nicely saturated sound. I've been trying out the demo for the last couple of days. I might make the switch over to Bias from Guitar Rig (I'm using quite an old version too).

              Lee, does Bias have anything for bass guitar? I saw a preset called "American Bass" but I'm not sure if its meant for bass guitar.
              If not then are there any bass guitar specific plug-ins worth mentioning / groundbreaking?
              Moderator - The Singer's Forum
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              • #8
                Bias does have a section of bass amplifiers.

                I normally record bass with an active DI (SansAmp) so I can't comment on how well Bias works with bass but I certainly do like it for guitar.

                Does the demo not give you the opportunity to try the bass amps?
                As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                .

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                • #9
                  I don't see a category for bass amps. Maybe the full version will have it?
                  Moderator - The Singer's Forum
                  Follow me on Twitter and Soundcloud

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                  • #10
                    Are you using the plugin version or the iPad app?
                    As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                    from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                    It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by davie View Post
                      I don't see a category for bass amps. Maybe the full version will have it?

                      American Bass is a vintage Bassman for guitar. Apparently there is plenty of bass circuitry to play with, GK, SVT ,etc. however, I've only so far used the demo due to being lost in a mix project. And the demo does not seem to offer the bass modules.
                      __________
                      Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                      Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                      Jesus

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by onelife View Post
                        Are you using the plugin version or the iPad app?

                        I'm using the demo of "Desktop" which is the Mac/PC computer plugin version. I did use the demo as a 'print to audio' plugin to get around the demo limitations of audio cutting in and out. And I will buy as soon as I "need" it. Soon.
                        __________
                        Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                        Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                        Jesus

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                        • #13
                          I first used Bias on the iPad and discovered that, on that platform, I preferred it to Amplitube which I had been quite happy with on the MacBook.

                          When a deal was offered on the plugin version of Bias I simply bought the Desktop version without trying the demo. There are bass modules in the Desktop version so I will check them out for bass and present my findings.
                          As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                          from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                          It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                          .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by onelife View Post
                            I first used Bias on the iPad and discovered that, on that platform, I preferred it to Amplitube which I had been quite happy with on the MacBook.

                            When a deal was offered on the plugin version of Bias I simply bought the Desktop version without trying the demo. There are bass modules in the Desktop version so I will check them out for bass and present my findings.
                            Right now its $74 for the Bias Desktop plug-in. How much did you get yours for? How much was the discount?
                            Moderator - The Singer's Forum
                            Follow me on Twitter and Soundcloud

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                            • #15
                              It was the sale between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I believe the price was $74 at that time too - it was definitely under $100.
                              As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                              from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                              It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                              .

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