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What do the pricey Amp Sims like Kemper and Axe Fx have that I can't do on modern PC?

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  • What do the pricey Amp Sims like Kemper and Axe Fx have that I can't do on modern PC?

    For the price of the Axe FX II, which is like $2000 last time I checked, I could build a REALLY powerful modern day gaming PC with like 4.0GHZ quad core and two 880 GTX 4gb video cards with 16gb of RAM and everything.

    I already own Guitar Rig 5 with the Rig Kontrol 3 usb pedal board. Is it really worth it to spend a thousand or so on a separate piece of hardware for guitar amp/effects modeling, or can I get the same raw hardware power, speed, and modeling software if I just build a new gaming PC and "acquire" the latest software like the newest Amplitube and Native Instruments packages?

    How about those $200 POD things that are about the size of a loop pedal?

    Right now I have an Asus gaming laptop from 2010, do I even need something more powerful to run these simulated amps, or is my hardware good enough for the latest stuff? Is it because the Axe FX isn't bottlenecked in terms of latency by not having to go from a usb device to the PC and back to the usb device to my headphones like I do with my Rig Kontrol 3?

    I just got an 8 string guitar with passive pickups (Agile septor 827) and I'm looking to see what my best options are, and which things are must-haves, and what some good and much cheaper alternatives are. I'm thinking maybe all I need is a good pair of studio monitors, but I'm wondering if I should follow what Animals As Leaders did and get some PA speakers, a subwoofer, and Axe FX II. I reallly really want a tight low end to come out, and I want it to sound like high quality ****************. So I'm not sure if I can accomplish that with my current hardware and just get the big studio monitors and maybe a subwoofer, or PA speakers and sub, or Axe FX II and studio monitors..... or what.

  • #2
    You didn't mention if this is for recording or live.

    If its for recording you can use your current computer. Most interfaces have zero latency monitoring.

    If you plan on using a software plugin as a substitute for hardware in a live situation, keep wishing.
    When you route the signal through the computer and try to run a plugin live you are bypassing the interfaces
    zero latency monitoring and sending the signal through the CPU and it takes time for it to be digitized, have the computer do its mathematics, send the signal back out through the interface to be amplified by the speakers.

    You can get a good quad computer latency pretty low, maybe 100us but that's enough to where the delay is annoying, like the amp is on the other side of the room while you're sitting right next to it. "and" the software isn't all cracked up to what they try and make people think it is. By their adds you'd think the thing could do the job of any amp out there. In reality its real tweaky and if you can get one or two decent tones after a weeks worth of tweaking, you'd be doing good.

    I have Guitar rig 5, tried it out, If I used more than one effect at a time it would crash the computer sag, freeze or crash. Those all in one plugins are real oinkers when it comes to sucking CPU power and found it to be useless. I can download Voxengo Boogex for free and it does a better job using 1/10th the CPU power. It hasn't got a fancy GUI, but I'll take a simple plain Jane plugin any day if it works well.

    Plugins are by no means easy to use. Guitar pickups have different output levels and frequency responses and just the slightest variation makes a huge difference in how well the software works. Maybe in 5~10 years they might get good enough for using live. Right now they are a pretty lame gimmick.

    What I use are analog preamps and effects units. they are essentially the front end of the amp and you can add all the hardware based effects you want. From there its just a matter of a power amp and speakers (or straight into a daw or recorder.

    That Axe FX II is a bit pricy. It may be a good unit, I don't know. I would hope works as an interface for recording, but I wouldn't buy one new. If I had the cash, I'd find one used for half the cost. I do have many guitar preamps and effects units already though and really don't need to spend that kind of money. If I did there are better units available.


    • #3
      The axe fx II has TWO count them...TWO Tiger Sharc Processors that do only one thing...crunch numbers. They are totally dedicated to the task they are set for...in this case one processor is for the effects and one processor is for the modeling.

      There is a reason for the cost!