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VST Amp Sims Reviewed (Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig 4, TH2, Softube V.A.R. Content)

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  • VST Amp Sims Reviewed (Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig 4, TH2, Softube V.A.R. Content)

    I've been getting down ideas for a new project that I'm doing on the side. One thing I want to do is to DI all the guitar/bass tracks so that I can reamp them at a later date in a studio. By doing that I don't have to rerecord them at a later date.
    Meantime the need is to get somewhat of an idea of what I'd like it to sound like beforehand.

    I demo'd all of these and my impressions were this.

    Amplitude 3 & Amplitude Fender

    Pro's: Very realistic sounding amps and effects. You can bypass the amps and use just the effects btw. Cool mic choices/positioning. Easy to navigate.
    Con's: Noisy as all get-out, to the point where I found it unusable. Major resource hog.

    Guitar Rig 4

    Pro's: Loads of amps and effects. Some are very good. Not noisy. Cool mic choices/positioning.
    Con's: Not so easy to navigate. A lot of amps were so-so as far as being true to the originals. Resource hog.

    Overloud TH2

    Pro's: Realistic sounding amps. Not noisy. Ok mic choices. Supposedly low resource usage (see below)?
    Con's: Not so easy to navigate. I had a number of glitches when I used more than a couple instances of the plugin. It's said it is a low resource VST, I have a pretty decent DAW, YMMV?

    Softube Vintage Amp Room

    Pro's: Realistic sounding amps. Mic positioning. Not noisy. Low resource usage. Easy to navigate.
    Con's: Only three amps. Only built in amp effects (tremolo).

    Summary

    Of the four I demo'd they each had their merits for sure.

    Guitar Rig has so much selection but it seems more time went into adding everything including the kitchen sink but not spending much time on each to get them spot on? TH2 sounded pretty good when it worked but it could have been an incompatibility with my system so I'll give it a 'ymmv?'.

    Amplitube has been doing this for years. They might have been the very first out of the gate with an amp simulation plugin or a close second to Amp Farm? You would think after all these years they would have it down? The noise sounds like they are trying to get the 60 cycle hum thing going for total amp realism. But it just is going constantly in the background and you want to be rid of it. Maybe add a dial if you want to dial it in? The biggest issue with the plugin is it's a major resource hog. If they could write a lighter code or offer stripped down packages removing the noise they might have the native market cornered?

    Which brings me to Softube Vintage Amp Room. Three amps, that's it. You get a Marshall Plexi, Fender Deluxe (non reverb), and a Vox AC30. You can position the mic, no microphone choices. But here they took their time simulating these amps. All sound very convincing. I would rather have three that sound great than 30 that sound meh.
    They also make two others, Metal Amp Room and Bass Amp Room which I would like to demo. I suspect it owes to the stripped down layout that it is light on system resources? Very good and very nice for layering even if you're heading to the studio to reamp at a later date. You could easily leave the layered Softube tracks in the background of a mix saving studio clock time.

    If your needs are amp simulation for a recording or even practice and don't need the bells and whistles Vintage Amp Room is my pick out of the four.

    I would like to try the Line6 Studio xXx series but I found the POD and the Toneport series a lot like the Guitar Rig stuff (maybe the Studio series has improved on it?). If someone has other suggestions that I can get hold of a demo to compare against these let me know while I have them and I'll add them to the list.

  • #2
    Did you check out GTR Solo from Waves? They're still doing the promotion where you can use it free for a year. Well worth checking out IMHO.
    _____________________________________________
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    • #3
      Hey, I'll check that out and get back with a review. Thanks!

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      • #4
        I agree with your top pick. Softube is top of the heap for low-resource DAW amp sims right now, IMO. Definitely check out the bass amp room, I prefer using it over the Ampeg SVX these days. In terms of effects, I really like the Amplitube Fender pack for the Blender, Phaser, Echo and Reverb pedals, but I think GR4's effects take the cake for virtual emulation. Specifically their take on the Digitech Whammy.

        Don't bother with GTR, couldn't get a decent sound out of that stuff.
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        • #5
          Tom, I just took Bass Amp Room for a stroll using some DI'd guitar tracks and that little amp they provide also makes for a great guitar amp in the small combo vein. I really like that one. I have to test the plugin with bass but from the video demos I've seen online it looks to be a winner as well.

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          • #6
            vintage amp room
            soundcloud.com/nonlocality
            nonlocality.bandcamp.com

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            • #7
              Also check out Peavey's ReValver. You can customize sounds down to individual components...tedious, but some of the sounds you can get from it are amazing.
              _____________________________________________
              There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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              • #8
                I don
                Avatar = Neil Farber

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                • #9
                  I think one of the pros of Guitar Rig is the deck feature. Version 4 was not exciting enough for me to upgrade, though.
                  +1 on Craig's recommendation of GTR Solo. I ended up buying the full version a while ago after using the Solo version. Great sounds, easy to use, nice presets.
                  I've had no problems with TH2's navigation. I've only used one instance so far, but it did not seem to use many resources even with multiple amps, cabs, and pedals in the chain. Unfortunately some amps and IRs are not working for me, but Overloud is supposed to be working on the issues.

                  On a final note, Recabinet 3 is coming out soon. It enhances any of these programs. I believe that the new version is going to be a plugin (VST, AU, etc.)

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                  • #10
                    Here's another one that I just wanted to mention...
                    http://www.audioease.com/Pages/Speakerphone/speakerphone.html
                    .

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                    • #11
                      ^That looks amazing! I just got done watching the video of the new features in 2.0.

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                      • #12
                        What's the difference b/w WAVES GTR3 and GTR Solo? Is Solo just a stripped down version?

                        Also, check out the Acoustic Feedback plugin by Softtube- that plugin is badass!

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                        • #13
                          25 Guitar Amps
                          7 Bass Amps
                          29 Cabs
                          26 Stomps

                          vs
                          10 amps
                          13 stomps
                          10 cabs

                          I don't recall if Solo works as a stand alone unit.

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                          • #14
                            i just glanced quickly at the specs on the 2 different pages and noticed that GTR solo is stripped down. but it also seems like GTR solo has different amp models than GTR3? Is this true?

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                            • #15
                              i just glanced quickly at the specs on the 2 different pages and noticed that GTR solo is stripped down. but it also seems like GTR solo has different amp models than GTR3? Is this true?


                              As far as I know, everything that GTR Solo has is included in GTR3.

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