With thousands of amp sims on the market it’s hard to figure out which one’s right for you.
So to help you find the perfect fit, We’ve put together this list: The 15 Best Amp Sims of 2023!
But first, if you want to feel proud of your mixes…
Grab this free PDF and learn how to make a virtual guitar amp sound more realistic in just 8 easy steps:
Amps Vs. Amp Sims
An amp simulator (amp sim for short) is a plugin that imitates the sound of a guitar amp.
Run your guitar through one of these plugins and you’ll have hundreds of iconic guitar tones at your fingertips. As you can imagine, a good amp sim can save you tons of time and money.
Who likes saving time and money? Show of hands?
Before we look at today’s top amp sims, you should figure out if amp sims are right for you in the first place.
If you’re already familiar with them, I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred different opinions on amps vs. sims.
“They sound like crap. They’ll never sound real.”
“I need software because I can’t make noise at home and now guitar amp simulators sound as good as the real thing.”
There are plenty of different opinions out there, but what do the pros really think about amp sims?
To help you figure out what’s right for you, I set out to get REAL data about this ongoing battle. By interviewing 447 different musicians, I’ve honed in on what the pros have to say about amps vs. sims.
Check it out…
So… Who Wins?
The debate generally goes something like this…
“Could simulators ever sound like real amplifiers?”
But that completely misses the point.
There will never be a definitive answer as to which is ‘best’.
After all, they are just tools. They both have their uses, depending on the situation.
Regardless of the answer to this question, there is one important truth…
Using software is the better choice in a home studio.
Why? Four reasons.
1) You don’t have to worry about room acoustics.
2) You don’t need a microphone.
3) You don’t have to worry about noise.
4) If time is a constraint, you have a wide range of tones available in a matter of SECONDS.
For me, that’s the biggie.
It takes a good guitarist years to build a versatile collection of amplifiers and find their tone.
Add to that the range of microphones you would need, and the time spent learning how to record guitar to a studio level…
And it becomes clear which is the more efficient option.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to just one approach.
You can have amplifier software, and real amplifiers. Each have their use.
However, if time and cost are important to you, I recommend getting started with amp sims as soon as possible.
Countless guitarists swear by simulation, like Tyler from Music is Win:
Are you ready to get started with simulators?
I have compiled a list of the best free and paid guitar amp simulators available in 2023. Keep reading…
The Best Amp Sims of 2023
I can help you filter through the list to find the amp sim that works best for you.
Check it out:
What price range are you looking for?
Want to see the most popular amp sims in our survey?
Amp Designer (Free with Logic Pro X)
While not technically free for all DAW users, users of Logic Pro X should feel proud to have this plugin in their arsenal.
In our survey, we asked what plugin people preferred to use.
Amp Designer was mentioned almost as much as AmpliTube, which costs $149
Learn more about Amp Designer and Logic Pro here: Apple Logic Pro X
BIAS Amp (Free Version) – We Recommend!
We’ll cover this in more detail later, but here’s the short…
This is the plugin I recommend to most people. And they have a free version.
It’s a no-brainer.
AmpliTube 4 (Free Version)
If you’re just figuring out what kind of guitar tones you like, this is a great place to start!
The free version of Amplitube comes with 24 pieces of gear at no cost.
Plenty to play around with and figure out what sounds good.
STL Ignite Emissary 2.0 (Free, Fully Featured)
The guitar scientists at Ignite Amps have built a few free sims that sound terrific.
Anyone writing heavier music should definitely check out The Emissary.
It’s easy for really distorted guitars to sound flat, but The Emissary breathes plenty of life into recordings.
Make sure you download the newest version: Emissary 2.0.
With the 2.0 update, the Emissary has gotten a complete tech overhaul. Without getting into the nitty gritty details, it now sounds even livelier than it did before.
The tube saturation has also been improved, and you can save and share presets you create.
LePou Plugins (Free, Fully Featured)
Beloved by fans of indie developers, this collection of free simulators packs a punch.
Kuassa Matchlock ($49)
The folks at Kuassa have some great sims under their belt. But their newest one, Matchlock, is absolutely stunning.
Matchlock imitates early Fender amps making it perfect for blues lovers looking for a full bodied tone with plenty of bite.
BIAS Amp 2 & FX 2 (Starts at $99) – We Recommend!
My personal favorite!
Despite being highly affordable, this plugin is an absolute joy to use – and it sounds great.
I initially opted for BIAS FX, which includes a ton of stomp boxes as well as a range of amplifiers and cabs.
But if you want the full range of models, grab BIAS Amp 2.
This was mentioned A LOT in the survey, and I have seen this software praised on a range of forums.
All in all, a great first purchase.
Blue Cat’s Destructor ($99)
Don’t let the name fool you, “Destructor” comes with countless creative possibilities.
The amp and cab emulations that Blue Cat offers are super high quality. But the “tone map” is even more exciting.
The tone map allows you to easily mix and match the sounds of different amps. Can’t decide between a twangy clean amp or a crunchy distortion? You can have both.
Simply move the tone map’s cursor in-between sounds you like and it will combine them.
Destructor’s tone map makes homing in on the right sound quick and easy. I highly recommend it for anyone who thinks they’ll be working in a variety of styles.
Softube Vintage Amp Room Bundle ($119)
This one’s for the retro tone lovers.
The Vintage Amp Room Bundle is based on vintage Marshall, Fender, and Vox amps.
Those who love the classic tones of 60’s and 70’s rock hits will want to check out the Vintage Amp Room Bundle.
Scuffham S-Gear ($129)
A lot of people swear by Scuffham’s S-Gear. It was even in the top 4 of my survey, and for good reason!
The S-Gear is chock full of incredible sounds.
With crystal clear clean sounds and crunchy distorted ones, there’s a good chance S-Gear has the amp sound you’re looking for!
Waves PRS SuperModels ($129)
I love Waves, but I wasn’t too impressed with their last amp sim bundle.
So I was thrilled when they announced the PRS SuperModels, and I’m happy to say they sound great!
Don’t let the fact that there are only 3 amps fool you, you can get a ton of different tones for all sorts of genres out of them.
AmpliTube 4 ($149.99) – We Recommend!
Arguably the most widely-used plugin of the bunch, IK Multimedia were pioneers in this area.
AmpliTube 4 is a staple in many studios around the world, and has been used by notable artists like Malcolm Young of AC/DC fame.
Native Instruments Guitar Rig Pro 6 ($199)
I’ll be honest, I’m not personally blown away by the sounds I’ve gotten with Guitar Rig.
But with 21 amps and cabinets, and tons of effects to choose from, it certainly offers a lot of variety. Plenty of people love it, so while it’s not for me you may find that you love it!
Overloud THU Full ($300)
This plugin boasts the worlds largest collection of amps, with 203 models and over 1000 presets.
I like the tones in TH-U a bit more than in Guitar Rig, but I have to say the sheer quantity of options can be a bit overwhelming.
But if you’re looking for an amp sim with plenty of options, this TH-U might be right for you!
Line 6 Helix Native ($399)
Line 6 is known for making incredible modeling amps and with Helix Native they bring those same tones into the software realm. This is a really powerful program.
But I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who’s just getting started. If you’re new to these plugins you’re better off starting with a free or budget version.
If you’ve already got plenty of practice with amp sims and want to take your tones to the next level, Helix Native can do some incredible stuff!
Bonus Tip: Impulse Responses
Want more options for great tone? Impulse responses are another way to turn your recordings up a notch.
Impulse responses record the sound of a cabinet’s speaker. Some people use them instead of amp sims, others combine the two to get huge, full sounds.
There are plenty of high quality impulse responses out there and many of them are cheap or free.
You’ll also need a plugin that can load the responses. Pulse is a great option and it’s free.
If you want to dig deeper into music production and learn what it actually takes to make mixes that sound pro… And you’re an intermediate or advanced producer… Be sure to check out the free masterclass: Enjoy!
If you want to dig deeper into music production and learn what it actually takes to make mixes that sound pro…
And you’re an intermediate or advanced producer…
Be sure to check out the free masterclass:
P.S. Sadly, two of the rock icons mentioned in this article passed away in recent years (Malcolm Young and Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister). They will be forever missed.
Audio professional, musician and founder of Musician on a Mission.
76 comments on this article
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I’m so excited for the amp simulators that are coming out in 2022! I can’t wait to try them all out!
This is a great review, comparison
there is news, but everything is not just
Totally BS that malcolm young used an ampsim they used real amps and tape machines on that partiucular record that IK LIED and said they used ampsims
BUT $$$$$ talks.
Bass & Guitars
“We used an Avalon DI box on the bass, going directly to the board. There was a split from the DI going to an Ampeg cabinet, on which I used a Neumann FET 47, and an SM57 right on the speaker cone to get some ‘barkiness’. I would submix the two mics to one track, and vary the balance a little bit for each song. If I wanted more attack, I’d push up the 57, if I wanted a rounder and fatter sound I used more of the 47. I then added the DI for a clean sound. The Ampeg has some nice distortion and growl, but I like the punchiness and cleanness of the DI. I compressed both the mic and the DI signals quite a bit with an 1176, because you want the bass to be always there, you don’t want it to disappear for a few notes. I had the 1176 as an insert on the DI, because it was just one channel, but put it on the stereo bus for the mics. Otherwise it was straight from the desk to tape.
“The guitars were SM57s and 421s on each cabinet, and I blended them to one channel for Malcolm and one channel for Angus. As with the bass, I’d vary the blend as appropriate for the song — sometimes a bit more 57, sometimes a bit more 421, depending. There was no EQ at all. If we needed to change the sound, we did so at the amplifier, or I would reposition the mics slightly. I didn’t use any effects or compressors whilst recording the guitars, they were as straight as I could make them. For Angus’s solo guitar I added an AKG C414 as a room mic. I don’t like digital reverbs on the guitar, so prefer the option of a room mic. I used it in most songs, including ‘Rock ‘n Roll Train’.”
UNIVERSAL AUDIO has amazing amp tones as well. they are way more expensive but hold up to the actual amps they reference.
In all fairness an engineer with the correct training could use a single usb microphone and get amazing sounds. You can also record guitar amps this way. 831 dollars sounds like a lot to just get started recording. I made my first recordings outside of the studio i grew up learning in, from a Mackie live board, mixing it live, and only recording stereo through my line on the mid 2000 macbook. I then mixed it on my onkyo high frequency 5.1 system in my bedroom. I took it into my mentor after he asked to hear it, and he was impressed with the quality and sound. I wish i still had those mixes just to see them in comparison. My advice to anyone wanting to learn is. Work with what you got. Own your gear and start learning. Pick up modern recording techniques and make that your bible. Get a mentor. Intern. Don’t get caught up in trends. Just be yourself and have fun.
Audio Assault, say no more.
where’s the list of 15?
Such a BS article. You didn’t deliver.
Anyone who tell you a simulator can match the sound of a high end top, are simply mistaken. Period! Clearly they offer some benefit, but to say they are even comparable is complete nonsense.
So you’ve tried ALL of the hundreds of simulators and modelers out there?
An amplifier is nothing but an electronic circuit, and computers can model any electronic circuit and do so with great accuracy.
That said, most guitar amp plug-ins sound terrible, but the few that did it right sound great IMO. Neural DSP’s Soldano plugin is exceptional (and expensive). Amplitube and Guitar Rig royally suck.
Fractal Audio’s AXE-FX II has been modelled in software on a PC and sounds identical to the hardware unit, although the company won’t release it because they don’t want their intellectual property stolen. Plenty of guitarists consider the AXE-FX to be very realistic. I certainly do. The cabinet is actually the least accurate part of a simulation since it lacks the response of a moving cone and coil reacting with the magnet. IRs used to simulate cabinets are static.
Hmm. Odd comment considering the advanced guitarists who have developed them in collaboration with engineering companies. Such as Petrucci, Henson, Plini and more.
STL Tonality Lasse Lammert is the best one out at the moment…others are good but not as pro as this one..esp for metal
Best marshall sims are kuassa, stil tones howard benson, neuraldsp (any)
Only because they were not included in your list, I had to assume you havent heard them yet!
Neural DSP is a newer company that was created around their proprietary method of machine learning to maximize the modeling accuracy of real rigs while effectively eliminating Latency while either monitoring or simply practicing… as a lifelong guitarist, I have to tell you, their plugins are absolute game changers—and they have only just begun.
Ive tried and purchased most all vst plugins ….and Neural dsp is right up there…nameless gojira and cali and the mighty omega …Ive got Bias fx 2 elite.Ive got Overloud THU…Ive got TSE X 50…Ive got vsts from plugin alliance.Ive got STL Howard benson and Andy James (which was very disappointing way too fizzy) Ive got Scuffham s gear and many more too mention chasing THE tone .While I have used them in song applications they just fall that tad short of a real amp.The closest I can get to a real fire breathing amp is STL tonalitys Lasse Lammert.So if you want the closest thing buy this one cause the others I have mentioned arent as pro as this one..trust me
Um …. sorry, but plugin alliance? they probably have the best amp sims. Certainly much better than some paid in this article …
You missed Guitarix man
actually a 2019 article
Hey Marcos, we update our articles regularly. This article was originally published in 2017, with a major overhaul in 2019, and continual changes are made every year. This article was updated 10 times in 2020 alone, and you can be certain we will continue updating it throughout 2021. So while the publish date may be older, the actual information is current.
you cant just rename a 2020 article as a 2021 article and call it a day.
Ahh. The pricing…. when you buy an 800$ amp. You get an amp. Thats probably 100W-50W tube with 10-12 inch speaker that can amplify guitar to 100+db in high quality sound etc.
when you buy plugin for 100$ you get only the plugin. and thats it! Add the cost of pc, that can process the sound in real time (just like amp can) . Add cost of interface, and add cost of sound system that can produce 100+db high quality sound (just like the amp can) for a fair comparison.
There. the cost is bigger then amp.
+ if you want to sell. Your pc rig will cost almost noting. Tube amp on the other hand…. you get the drift here.
Both approaches has pros and cons.
Dont stay on one side. Use the best of both worlds.
And in case of practice just use the one that gets you to play more!
Great article. The first ever Amp Sim I ever used and had was way back with the original Scholz Research and Development Rockman headphone amp– anyone remember those….lol? That was before Dunlop bought the brand and reissued the Rockman.
Years later I toyed around with a Line6 Pod (both the kidney and the rackmount Pro version), but found it limiting on heavy overdriven tones. I thought it was decent for clean tones though. I also used some of the early software plugins. Around 2005, I did a shootout for myself between a few of the competitors and decided to put my money down on Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig Pro v. 1. IK Multimedia Amplitube was in the running, but I liked the Guitar Rig Kontrol Pedal and the dirt tones a bit more than Amplitube at the time. I upgraded to Guitar Rig Pro 2, but then just felt that I wasn’t able to get realistic enough tone from software Amp Sims. I kept using the Guitar Rig software for silent practice and demos, but not for any serious recording.
Eventually I got a Two Notes Torpedo Reload and went back to using Tube Amps. I still use the Torpedo Reload with the combo of their Wall of Sound software and other IRs from Celestion. I also have a Line 6 Helix, but I rarely use the amp sims, keeping it more as my effects pedalbaord than an amp modeller. I am one of the few people that hasn’t jumped on the Kemper profilers. They are really nice, but I still prefer my actual tube heads over them. I can’t justify the cost of buying a Kemper or an AxeFX if I already own the Marshall heads. For my purposes having a multi-amp simulator just slows my recording process down. Too many options.
I never took a re-look at software Amp Sims until just recently, when I needed to move and rebuild my entire personal studio at a new location. I took a listen to promotional audio of IK Multimedia Amplitube’s sim of Joe Satriani’s JVM 410HJS head, which is the hardware tube head I use the most. To be honest, I was totally blown away with Amplitube’s JVM 410HJS software simulation! It sounds so close to my actual Satch Marshall head, it is scary! I bought the Amplitube Satriani plugin almost immediately and added on the entire Amplitube MAX bundle, since there is a sim of my other Marshall head, the JCM 900, included in the MAX software package. The funniest thing is that the Amplitube Joe Satriani plugin has a Scholtz Rockman simulation. It is like coming back full circle!…LOL
I have to say that from the early versions of Amp Sim software of 15 years plus ago, the software has come a long way to getting very close at capturing the sound of a tube amp. The early versions of amp sim software sounded too thin and fizzy to me when it came to heavier tones. That really has changed in the recent couple of years. I still love my actual tube heads, but with the Satch Amplitube plugin, I can really get some good tones fast with just plugging directly in to my audio interface, without needing to use any loadboxes or IR loaders if I need to get some guitar tracked in a hurry.
I love logic for audio recording but amp designer isn’t one of its stronger points. It shipped in 2009 with logic 9 and it seems from the release notes it hasn’t changed much since then. Seems very dated, the high gain sims are unusable out of the box (though almost bearable as practice amps with an aggressive low cut in front of the amp) . Given the inferior quality, and that it’s largely abandoned, it doesn’t deserve to be on this list. There are better options for free (like ignite or the free amplitube)
Helix native is much cheaper if you own line 6 gear.
Revalver deserves to be on this list. Inexpensive and very good especially for peavey tones
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spent for this information! Thanks!
It’s so frustrating to see these programs like Bias and Amplitude look so good then fail epicly . I’ve been using and programing in Windows for over 20 years. I thought maybe it was my Line 6 UX2 so I tried my behrionger UM2. Nada. Read maybe it was the generic ASIO driver so I installed ASIO4all. No change. I just got a brand new Ryzen 9 system so I know I’m not outdated. Chalk it up to “nothing’s free”.
Go try Audio Assault plugins.
I have found that the best amp sims are the likes of Fractal and Helix. I own A5, many Neural DSP, PA, etc. and was not satisfied by any. The only one that sounded really good was HX Helix but at $400 I went for the HX Stomp hardware and have never been happier.
I ve got bias fx2 and bias amp…though I think they sound great in a live application as a vst in a home recording they just dont sound right..I think Mercuriall ssx11 is the best followed by Fortin …but they still fall short of a live sounding amp….a lot of impulses are on offer out there but they still havent quite got it.Along way to go Im afraid
I hate these discussions because what sounds good/bad/real is so subjective and so dependent on so many variables. In my own experience there are some important factors: good DI input, very good sound interface (with as low latency as possible too), and loud-n-clean monitoring. Then you can judge good amp sims.
…. but that said, I record and play live with Tonelib GFX exclusively. Tonelib do an excellent job of capturing the dynamics of an electric guitar amp. There is something about lowering the volume pot on the guitar and picking soft for a wonderful clean sounds then picking harder for a gritty sound.
Every Neural DSP and STL Tones amp sim is better than all of these.
Whats a good physical amp if you have one of these simulators? I have Amplitube and also an old Line6 Pod Pro. Will any amp due? Should it be a tube or solid state? not really sure. Thanks!
I tried quite a few amp sim plugins and the one I use most at the moment is S-gear. It gets great clean to bluesy tones. Amplitube is pretty good too and more versatile than S-gear, but for tone I still prefer S-gear for clean tones. The one which blows me away for lead and metal tones is Neural DSP Technologies. This beats everything else I’ve heard in terms of lead tones, metal and any type of more heavy tones on amp plugins. Their Fortin NTS plugin just blows everything else out of the water in terms of tone. I have the NI guitar rig as part of Komplete, and I have to say, I never liked it at all. It sounds strange after playing through good quality valve amps.
Hi Rob, I read your article on amp sims. i miss a statement on Universal Audio. What do you think about it?
Neural DSP deserve a mention for their next level amp sims, but unfortunately they are infected with the iLok-U-Out-Of-The-Software-You-Paid-For-LOLOLOL ransomware virus.
Looking over your list, Im curious why you dont list BX, since any of the BX amps outshine every single name in this list
I’m not so sure about that – I’ve used all of these on the list (except for the Thermionic product) and while BX is good, I’m able to get better tones from Amplitube. I’m willing to accept your answer if it’s qualified towards a certain style of music over another in which case the conversations becomes more involved. For example, I’ve read where people day that the S-Gear stuff was “fantastic” and when I got it I was disappointed. Yes, the Friedman stuff was good and I’m still working on refining it, but it’s not going to be perfect out of the box. Also, NONE of these sims magically produce world class tone without some level of work on the users part. It took a while for me to dial in what I think are really good tones on any of these. I used BX Rockrack for a time and I still use their free version from time to time. Their approach is a bit different in that the model an entire rack BUT I can do the same with Amplitube.
I think you should update this page to reflect the passing of both Lemmy and Malcolm.
It is unfortunate that there is no mention of Two notes Wall of Sound. even though it is not a full amp simulation, it does have the power amp simulation (so works wonders with any pedalboard straight into a computer) and then the most complete speaker simulation out there IMHO,. Otherwise great article.
I have to agree with you on the WOL Cab emulation. I’ve used it on the free Emissary amp, and Peavey revalver 3 and 4 and got much better-sounding tones with it. I think it just made it easier and faster to find the sounds that you are looking for. I thought the Emissary Cab sims sounded bad, well at least they didn’t jive with what I was looking for.
I want to make love to your design dude
What about the Boss Tone Studio? Its amazing and has Roland technology behind it
Hi, great article. I’m a noob when it comes to silent practicing. I have always practiced through guitar>pedalboard>amp.
If I wanted to still be able to practice/record with my guitar and pedalboard, what else would I need to have to be able to get similar sounds that I get from my amp (el34 based amp, similar to a Vox ac 15)
I’m currently using Deplike Guitar Effects app on my android phone(iOS available too) with
Behringer UCG102 and their amps and effects pedals are just like real ones.
Also it’s the one and the only app that support USB audio interface on Android.
I play on the guitar for some years, but I have never owned the real guitar head/combo. I Play with simulators, only. I tried almost everything, but at this moment is out there something special…Waves – PRS Heads. Overall, for every situation, you must use a very good input preamp for your soundcard for the warm sounding of your guitar. Before I used REVALVER from Peavey, great simulations for sure, but there is one small leak…if you play chuggy and some milliseconds after palm muting, there is pretty digital/unnatural response from ampsim (maybe you know what I meant). And PRS heads from Waves sounds really heavy (like real 5 gain stages, compare with TH3, PRS has more gain and for more has clarity at the same time), clean is the best I EVER HEARD…..cleans are so dynamic. You must have a good IR, in a plugin you have but those are not so good. yeah, 2018 is the best, the borders of modeling are along so far. At this year you really don’t need to buy the real head, in my opinion…rock on…
I think it’s time to consider adding Blue Cat’s Free Amp/Destructor/Axiom and Line 6 Helix Native to the lists and by the way it’s ScuffHAM not ScuffMAN.
Agree about Blue Cat Axiom/Destructor
New versions just out.
Blows many on this list out of the water.
Honorable mention: Neural, STL Tones, Mercuriall.
I really like Brainworx BX sims (Chandler, Mesa) – basing them on their free offering is silly.
I have used Bias FX/Pro. If you tweak, you can find pretty good sound with it! I have also tested Overloud Th3 and found out some very authentic sounds in the collection.
Hi Guys, I hope this helps. For Tracking, I use SimulAnalog’s…No Latency. My Amps are Thermionik, Kuassa and the Free ones from Nick Crow, LePou & Ignite Amps. For IR, I use Catharsis, Recabinet’s & Messiah. I admit, I don’t know if they (Amps & Cabs) all sound like the Real Thing but what really matters to me is how well they sound in my mixes and how intuitive and easy it is to get the sound I’m going for (That’s why I’m not much a fan of those Amps, though sound great, have too much controls). I use the Hohner RP250 with DiMarzio Pickups straight to a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. I use Airwindows’ Guitar Conditioner as my Tone Pedal. My DAW is REAPER. For me they work the way I want them to.
I have both and S-Gear, in my opinion is far better.
I’m using a Line 6 POD XT Live hardware unit for most of my guitar sounds. I like the hands on thing of hardware for guitars, and this thing sounds great with a few different amps & FX. The other thing that works well is feeding it into the FX return of my tube amp and mic’ing it up.
As you say, it’s all about how it sounds in the mix, not soloed.
hi rob ,I have played loud with my band and buddies , I got a big red marshall , and a boss gt 10 , the rhythm guitarist has a marshall head with a different cab , sounds fantastic cranked up to 8 or 9 , perfect for blending with a heavy rock drummer and lung launching vocal screamer, 600 watt pa system .however its late at night , I live in a flat and I want to record or create some music. geez ,don the headphones and ampsim it is , I love amplitube for the more melodic and crunchie sounds , gtr from waves is good for heavier sounds ,but my boss gt10 is just fun ,and it can be connected with a usb, no need for audio device ,its got one built in . like you said ,they are all tools and have a specific purpose to fit our every needs , one size fits all cant work in a diverse world of music ,individual preferences demand as many different tools as our imagination can figure out a place to use them.p s reason 9.5 softube amps (lovely for clean guitar)and guitar sims in Cubase ,all have a place . utilize what you got and write some awesome tunes is what I say .
wouldnt it be prudent to throw a spectrum analyzer and/or an oscilloscope after the plugin and from the mic amps to “see” more about what each source is providing?
altho the ears are ALWAYS the best source of this sort of info
in any case thanks for all you do…and keep on truckin ;-)
What about Peavey Revalver?
I would be really interested in a follow-up comparison video to see if people can tell the difference between a sim and a tube amp similar to what the sims are trying to model. Not to be critical, but I don’t really think it’s fair to make the statement or implication that “most can’t tell the difference between a real amp and an amp sim” if we’re trying to differentiate between a sim and a digital, solid-state “budget” amp. I understand if you can’t find vintage amps to compare, but you could put a Vox AC30 sim up against a Bad Cat Cub or a Matchless DC-30, a Princeton Reverb sim against a Vintage Sound 15, or a Marshall sim against a Tone King Royalist. In my personal experience, the difference is much more noticeable.
I’m not against amp sims. I own two Eleven Racks and I’ve used Ampire in Studio One. I use them often for rhythm electric guitar as well as bass and steel guitar. But for lead guitar, neither the Vox or Matchless sims come close to the sound of my Bad Cat.
I use a pod hd500x into my blackstar venue. Sims sound good but tubes add a saturation and compression that is tasty. And the blackstar has an emulated out so no mic needed and translates well. I’ve found the clean tone is awesome but the crunch and heavy aren’t as tight so I use the emulation from the pod. Best of both worlds.
I’ve only tried one amp simulator (in Digital Performer) and I have been unable to get a tone that I liked out of it. I can plug my Tele into almost any amp and get a sound I like within a few minutes. Even faster if I put my Boss ME 50 in between the two like I do onstage. Granted I don’t record in a bedroom there is nothing like having a real amp at a reasonable volume aimed at you so you can feel what it does to the instrument.
That Tweed Deluxe emulation in the video, sounds terrible. I’ve owned two Deluxes and they sound so much better than that. That sim sounds like it has flat batteries! The head following sounds better.
The only amp simulation that I’ve tried that got close, was the old Line 6 Amp Farm for Pro Tools TDM. It still wasn’t as good as the real thing, but it was much closer.
I agree. That sounds extremely awful
Once again, a reminder to see how much LOGIC RULES !! ?Great content, thanks Rob.
that is very subjective… I happen to think that other DAW rule
I’ve been at this a really long time and finally we have software that not only sounds good, it sounds great! My preference is Positive Grids Bias FX and Bias Amp. I’ve even built a live rig running on my iPad and totally thrilled!
While I am a user of S-Gear and on occasion Logics offering blended with Two Notes Torpedo Wall of Sound. I use the BluGuitar One with the BlueBox Speaker Emulator from Thomas Blug far more often. For me this is the ultimate in recording at friendly volumes. If you have not checked it out Rob, it really is worth a look. The range of tones available quickly and easily are vast and it sounds great. Okay it’s not exactly cheap, but when you consider it works as well live allowing exactly the same tones as you use in the studio? It’s not so bad.
Rob mentioned using a DI box instead of just plugging straight into the interface. Can anyone recommend a decent, affordable one? I find that even with vintage style, passive pickups and my interface gain set as low as it can go, I still need to roll down on my guitar volume to give enough headroom. Will a DI box solve this issue?
One other frustration I’ve had with Amp Sims is that, although they sound good enough in the mix, when starting out a new track, I don’t find them particularly inspiring to play through. For this reason I’ll play something through my amp and tweak things until I get the tone I want when I “write” a guitar part. But then when I try to recreate that same tone in Ampire I often find it thin or nasally by comparison.
I was interested with the DI as well. I have a good DI and did a sound test through S-Gear. Recorded different tones with and without the DI. To be honest I couldn’t tell alot of difference. I would find someone who has a DI and try it before you spend cash.
I have a Radial DI, and it hadn’t made a single difference as opposed to going straight into the front end of my old Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The 2i2 is apparently very flexible in that regard. However, if you’re audio interface isn’t working without one, the Radial is a good one.
Ampire XT is an amp sim that comes with Studio One and I think it’s better than S-Gear by a longshot. The included cab emulations are terrible but you can also drag in your own impulses which combined with any of the amps sound amazing.
I use Ampire which is what comes with Studio One. Any Studio One users who could let me know if any of these ones are significantly better?
@Walter No none of them are really better than Ampire. Like I said in my other comment the cab emulations aren’t good but if you drag in a good impulse to the user cabinet it sounds amazing.
Ooh, I missed this, will add it to the list!
I’m curious though, what was the real amp in the comparison video??
Hey Jose! It was a Fender Deluxe 90
Nice! Now, was it A or B? ? Was pretty confident it was A, but now I’m not so sure!
I use a Two Notes Torpedo Studio and I love it. Its a great alternative to amp sims and allows me to use my heads and get my sound. You cannot tell its not a mic’d cab in the mix. Great tool!
Awesome, I’ll check out out a maybe add it to the list!