A slightly different angle on Digital Versus Tubes

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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6135
    At a technical level is is obvious that the models themselves will asymptotically approach perfection and that they will pass the threshold of human detectibility at some point. 

    Also in a way the inflexibility is what I like about valve amps, if you get ones with a good voicing then no matter how much you tweak its still going to sound good whereas with modellers I might have to wade through a bunch of dross first.
    And yet loads of people wade through lots of toob amps (and pedals) to find the right one and resulting combinations with pedals. modellers make that bit easy
    Once you have your modeller set right, you don't have to tweak any more than you have to tweak an amp.

    Maynehead said:
    John_A said:
    If I were a millionaire rockstar I’d probably use proper amps for gigging and recording, just because I could, not really because I thought they sound better

    So even with all the benefits that modellers have to offer, there's still something that draws you towards a valve amp...

    And therein lies the reason why digital may have won some good battles so far, but it will not (yet) win the war.

    Although of course, plenty of big name acts have bought the helix and use it live.
    Costs, eventually will always win the war and I suspect that modelling in the long run will make tours a damn site easier.
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  • Well the state of the music industry will make tours a thing of the past for all but a select few I reckon.
    My Channel: Wires Dream Disasters --- My Band: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster --- My Studio: Orogenic Productions (website coming)
    Disclosure: I'm an audio engineer, product owner, and content developer working for FXpansion Audio UK Ltd.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 10215
    Once you have your modeller set right, you don't have to tweak any more than you have to tweak an amp.

    No, but genuine question, what if tonight's venue requires a global EQ tweak, say a touch more mids, or a hint less treble?

    I'm not familiar with Kemper or Helix, is it a simple, one-knob adjustment mid-song?
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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 784
    I believe Helix has a global EQ.
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 720
    Well the state of the music industry will make tours a thing of the past for all but a select few I reckon.

    so much truth.

    Why would people pay to travel 1000's of miles, sleep in crack den hotels, and live off a service station diet. when you could set up a live stream. people tune in for as long as they want. keep the camera angles high and you don't even need trousers on...

    As the new generation get used to the sound of digital amps and forget valve ever existed, the feeling of a live crowd will also die out.

    how morbid for pre-09:00 on a Tuesday.

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 10215
    People will always go and see good, entertaining live music, but nobody is owed a living. 

    Just 'doing' it is not enough, sometimes you need to be self critical enough to look at why you're not being paid. 

    Sometimes you need to examine why a 'select few' are making a living from it and why you're not. 
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6135
    p90fool said:
    Once you have your modeller set right, you don't have to tweak any more than you have to tweak an amp.

    No, but genuine question, what if tonight's venue requires a global EQ tweak, say a touch more mids, or a hint less treble?

    I'm not familiar with Kemper or Helix, is it a simple, one-knob adjustment mid-song?
    Yup you can with helix. Though I really resist tweaking mid song / set. I don’t think that from the stage is the right place to do that.
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3871
    All the years I gigged a real valve amp I don't think I ever tweaked the EQ for the room. The only real variable was the absolute volume of my rig, and then I might make some compensation for that (for example, turning up the gain a little to make up for the loss of sustain from feedback, or turning the treble down a little because a less saturated power stage led to more fizz).

    Beyond that, I trusted the soundman to do what was right for the room in the FOH - even if they were terrible. Because there's no getting round a bad soundman, they'll fuck your sound up no matter what.

    With a modeller I can't imagine doing it any differently.

    I guess part of it is that in practices I'd set tones that worked alongside the rest of the band as a sonic event - frequencies falling into place alongside the other instruments, dynamics suitable for the song and the other parts - and I trusted those judgements, arrived at over in some cases literally years of playing songs, far more than the nervous rushed decisions made on a dark stage in an unfamiliar space seconds before the set was due to start.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 745
    sgosden said:

    keep the camera angles high and you don't even need trousers on...
    That a big selling point, is it?  =)
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 10215
    Cirrus said:
    All the years I gigged a real valve amp I don't think I ever tweaked the EQ for the room. The only real variable was the absolute volume of my rig, and then I might make some compensation for that (for example, turning up the gain a little to make up for the loss of sustain from feedback, or turning the treble down a little because a less saturated power stage led to more fizz).

    Beyond that, I trusted the soundman to do what was right for the room in the FOH - even if they were terrible. Because there's no getting round a bad soundman, they'll fuck your sound up no matter what.

    With a modeller I can't imagine doing it any differently.

    I guess part of it is that in practices I'd set tones that worked alongside the rest of the band as a sonic event - frequencies falling into place alongside the other instruments, dynamics suitable for the song and the other parts - and I trusted those judgements, arrived at over in some cases literally years of playing songs, far more than the nervous rushed decisions made on a dark stage in an unfamiliar space seconds before the set was due to start.
    I generally agree with you i an ideal world, but last weekend's event was in the restored stables of a stately home and we were surrounded by three tiled walls, but the week before was in a plush ballroom.

    There are times where you have no choice but to ignore your rehearsal settings and change things on the fly. 
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  • I always used more treble and presence when we play live, versus the studio.
    My Channel: Wires Dream Disasters --- My Band: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster --- My Studio: Orogenic Productions (website coming)
    Disclosure: I'm an audio engineer, product owner, and content developer working for FXpansion Audio UK Ltd.
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2241
    Give it 20 years and younger players who have grown up without valves will accept it as the norm and the older players who can tell the difference will be so deaf they can’t tell
    Pardon?  horns 
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6135
    p90fool said:
    Cirrus said:
    All the years I gigged a real valve amp I don't think I ever tweaked the EQ for the room. The only real variable was the absolute volume of my rig, and then I might make some compensation for that (for example, turning up the gain a little to make up for the loss of sustain from feedback, or turning the treble down a little because a less saturated power stage led to more fizz).

    Beyond that, I trusted the soundman to do what was right for the room in the FOH - even if they were terrible. Because there's no getting round a bad soundman, they'll fuck your sound up no matter what.

    With a modeller I can't imagine doing it any differently.

    I guess part of it is that in practices I'd set tones that worked alongside the rest of the band as a sonic event - frequencies falling into place alongside the other instruments, dynamics suitable for the song and the other parts - and I trusted those judgements, arrived at over in some cases literally years of playing songs, far more than the nervous rushed decisions made on a dark stage in an unfamiliar space seconds before the set was due to start.
    I generally agree with you i an ideal world, but last weekend's event was in the restored stables of a stately home and we were surrounded by three tiled walls, but the week before was in a plush ballroom.

    There are times where you have no choice but to ignore your rehearsal settings and change things on the fly. 
    Yes, but you’d do that before you played during sound check, right? Just like with a valve amp.

    all the top modelers have way more eq functionality than most amps.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 10215
    Soundcheck?!! 

    They were in the middle of speeches when we arrived, then it was showtime. My days of long European tours with our own crew are long behind me tbh, we have to wing it a bit these days to make a crust. 
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  • VoxmanVoxman Frets: 2241
    TTBZ said:
    I believe Helix has a global EQ.
    I'd be very surprised if it didn't as even the baby Tonelab ST has this.  ;)
    I started out with nothing..... but I've still got most of it left (Seasick Steve)
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