Audio interface/hardware amp modeller thing?

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Is there a hardware amp modeller thing available that doubles as an audio interface?

I don't like software models and personally prefer something tangible, my experience with software plugins has left me feeling a bit let down too.  Yes, I know it's the wrong way to do it and softamps are much more flexible for tone tweaking after the fact but I just don't get on with them.

So, I'd like a hardware device I can plug my guitar into that will USB/Firewire decent tones to my Mac, and that I can also plug my monitors into and use as a playback/hardware monitoring device.

Does such a thing exist? 

I'm guessing Fractal products do all this but let's assume I don't have a Fractal budget ;)

As always, thanks in advance!

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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 361
    I believe you can use a Helix as an audio interface
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 995
    Haych said:

    I don't like software models and personally prefer something tangible, my experience with software plugins has left me feeling a bit let down too.  Yes, I know it's the wrong way to do it and softamps are much more flexible for tone tweaking after the fact but I just don't get on with them.


    Have you tried s-gear? Great plugin... 
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    poopot said:
    Haych said:

    I don't like software models and personally prefer something tangible, my experience with software plugins has left me feeling a bit let down too.  Yes, I know it's the wrong way to do it and softamps are much more flexible for tone tweaking after the fact but I just don't get on with them.


    Have you tried s-gear? Great plugin... 


    No, I'm not saying they're all bad, I just don't like them.  I prefer real dials to tweak, not virtual on screen controls with a mouse pointer, it gets very tedious very quickly for me and stifles creativity.

    I have to buy a new audio interface anyway so I'd prefer something that can do hardware modelling at the same time.


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  • exocetexocet Frets: 515
    yamaha THR series
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 175
    edited June 20
    Digitech gsp1101 has usb it will allow you to record guitar and playback audio from pc at same time.  Will set you back a lot less than kemper, helix, fractal but similar quality of tones use xlr or 1/4" outs for monitors and will playback from pc via same outputs.
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    exocet said:
    yamaha THR series
    I would have also said this except I can’t plug my monitors in to take advantage of hardware monitoring. 

    To monitor I’d have to play via the THR and listen via another audio device. While it works it also increases latency a bit. 
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    mr-mac said:
    Digitech gsp1101 has usb it will allow you to record guitar and playback audio from pc at same time.  Will set you back a lot less than kemper, helix, fractal but similar quality of tones use xlr or 1/4" outs for monitors and will playback from pc via same outputs.
    Ooooooh, liking the look of this a lot. Thanks for the recommendation :)

    Anyone have anything good/bad to say about whether the POD HD Pro X might work, too?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17545
    IMHO it is better to split functionality.

    The Axe FX II is an amazing modeller but sucks as an interface.
    I've never seen a modeller work as an audio interface without a severe degree of compromise.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 175
    Gsp seems to offer good quality recording and i belive an asio driver so recording software can hook in directly.  They quoted about 5ms latency on a moderately equipped XP pc so imagine under 5 is attainable on most reasonable modern hardware.  Didn't use playback so much but when I did the sound quality seemed reasonable and there is a setting in menu where you can set the guitar to pc audio volume level so can adjust how loud one is to other.
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  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 2795
    Haych said:
    exocet said:
    yamaha THR series
    I would have also said this except I can’t plug my monitors in to take advantage of hardware monitoring. 

    To monitor I’d have to play via the THR and listen via another audio device. While it works it also increases latency a bit. 
    The THR becomes your monitor when connected to pc via usb. I didn't notice any particular latency with mine and was very impressed. 
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    DiscoStu said:
    Haych said:
    exocet said:
    yamaha THR series
    I would have also said this except I can’t plug my monitors in to take advantage of hardware monitoring. 

    To monitor I’d have to play via the THR and listen via another audio device. While it works it also increases latency a bit. 
    The THR becomes your monitor when connected to pc via usb. I didn't notice any particular latency with mine and was very impressed. 
    Yes I’m aware you can monitor through the THR as I used to do this with mine. But as good as it is it sounds nowhere near as good as listening to the mix through nearfield monitors. 

    So then I’m having to change audio outs in the DAW between recording and playing back. I can record via the THR and monitor through a separate interface but then latency increases - it’s not terrible but it is noticeable. 
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 798
    Boss GT-100 / GT-001 does what you want and is getting cheaper all the time. The replacement GT-1000 probably does too.

    The GT connects to your computer via USB and acts as an audio interface for playback and recording. When recording, you can record one stereo input with all the effects turned on and another stereo input is the raw guitar. Then, if you want, you can play back the raw track and re-amp with different effects. 

    Then the left and right outputs from the GT then connect to your powered monitors. 
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 384
    Boss GT 001 also has a mic input. I've used it for vocals.  I've not yet tried miking a cab with it but can't see why it wouldn't work. The GT 001 can also provide phantom power for a condenser mic. You can't use the mic and guitar input at the same time though.

    I think the big Helix (not LT) also has a vocal mic input. 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13577
    revsorg said:
    I believe you can use a Helix as an audio interface
    I use my helix as my only audio interface and it’s been bloody marvellous. Guitar, bass, keys, mic you name it it’s been brilliant. 


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  • wave100wave100 Frets: 124
    Zoom G3X works also.
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438

    So over the past few days I've been looking at the suggestions you've all made and I'm quite impressed with the possibilities the Helix presents.  If it weren't made of unobtanium I'd have one on it's way to me already.

    I think I'll have to bide my time if I want to go down the Helix route.  A decent audio interface is going to be in the region of £200 so I can knock that off the cost right away but even then finding another £900 or so right now is pretty much impossible unless I go down the credit card route, which I don't want to really. 

    Maybe I'll have to sell my amps, as much as I love them, and just go Helix all the way.

    Thanks all for your engagement in this thread and your suggestions, it's been informative.

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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 361
    Back in March this Helix sold for £699 here on the forum.  I was sorely tempted.  Maybe a similar deal might come up again if you keep an eye out.
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    revsorg said:
    Back in March this Helix sold for £699 here on the forum.  I was sorely tempted.  Maybe a similar deal might come up again if you keep an eye out.

    Cheers man :) I'll keep an eye out for sure.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 8
    just an idea,
    you could get a Marshall Code 25 for a little over a ton, and it would go a long way to getting what you want.
    I only tried using mine once as an interface, but it seemed to work fine, didnt go far down the road though.
    Still, its a lot of fun for something that costs the same as an average distortion pedal.
    YMMV
    cheers
    andy k
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  • Handsome_ChrisHandsome_Chris Frets: 3367
    From my experience, I can say that the DIgitech GSP1101 will do this for you with not too shabby modelling, as will the Boss GT-1000 and the Axe-FX II.  

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  • HaychHaych Frets: 438
    From my experience, I can say that the DIgitech GSP1101 will do this for you with not too shabby modelling, as will the Boss GT-1000 and the Axe-FX II.  

    AFAIK the GSP1101 is now discontinued, I can't find anywhere that has stock in any case and used prices are anything between £150 and £300, going by what's sold on eBay recently - that's another good chunk of cash towards the Helix.

    The Boss GT-1000 is whoa?? How much?  I'm sure it'll do a grand job but it's a good chunk of the price of a Helix (which is what I'm leaning towards at the moment).  I'm also not that keen on the form factor for use as an audio interface and would much rather a rack mountable unit.  TBH even if I was gigging I'd still probably want a rack unit.

    The Axe FX II, well, yeah, as I said before I don't really have the money and I couldn't really justify the price if I did.

    I can buy an ex-Demo Helix with full guarantee for £900 so I'll probably bide my time for a few months and pull the trigger at the right time - maybe prices will have fallen a bit by then, who knows?

    Thanks for the input though, it's all appreciated.




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