What do you use for Guitar Amps in your DAW?

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I use Logic Pro X and have been quite happily using its build-in "Amp Designer" plug-in for a while now for recording electric guitars. But recently I fired up my (real) Princeton Reverb Reissue again, and it dawned on me that the Logic Pro X amps are not quite at maximo-inspirational levels for me :-)

I then read about IRs and as a result downloaded some free ones from Redwirez. I quite liked some of these used as cabs for Amp Designed amps - they seemed better than Amp Designer's own cabs. But I was still a bit disappointed when I set my results against the real Princeton.

I know I'm probably unlikely to get anything as good as the real thing, but I'm intrigued enough by the Redwirez experience to think that maybe I can do better than Amp Designer. So, does anyone have any recommendations for alternative amp plug-ins (ideally not too expensive)??

Or even tips for getting better sounds from Amp Designer? I mainly use clean sounds with sometimes a little bit of hair; I like both classic Marshall and Fender cleans. I (try to) do jazz as well as rock/pop.

Thanks for any thoughts you can share...
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  • KeikoKeiko Frets: 396
    edited February 19
    Try this for your Marshall sounds:


    I run it on the clean JTM45 setting and then add a bit of overdrive and reverb from the other Kuassa effects pedals.  It's basically free, but has some white noise every few seconds unless you buy it. Give it a try.

    I like how you can edit the cab settings and mic positions without going onto a different screen.
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  • FezFez Frets: 345
    Amplitube is what I use recently bought v5 
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5831
    Im a bit of an amp sim whore....I regularly use the following:

    Amplitube 5
    Brainworx VH4
    STL tonality
    Helix Native

    Also have a bunch of thers that I dont use so much..or ever in the case of bias fx
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  • siremoonsiremoon Frets: 960
    Helix Native
    “He is like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” - Noel Gallagher
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  • Logic / Mainstage. But I only use sims for their convenience. None of them really do it for me.
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 1993
    Positive Grid bias fx2.  I like the tones I get from it and like the interface and options in there. 
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 3419
    Helix Native, S-gear and the plug-in alliance VHT
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6148
    For a good clean sound I just record my amps straight in the DAW from the effects loop. For a good dirty sound I do the same but monitor my playing with a Sans amp sim then when I have the opportunity I send the track back out the DAW and into the effects return of either my Marshall, Bugera or Fender amp. 

    The problem I have now with Digital stuff isn't that it's not good, it's that everybody sounds the same. I think I only notice this because I watch a massive amount of instructional guitar vids but it's kinda put me off. Actually using real amps with no digital processing at gives a more pleasing sound to my ears. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 14361
    Helix hardware and Native plugin 
    neuraldsp plugins
    Hardware bass preamps.



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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 141
    edited February 21
    Thanks guys - some interesting stuff to consider there. I do like the idea of recording straight from the effects send of a real amp. Unfortunately, neither of my valve amps has an effects loop! I’ll try it with my Mambo - that might hopefully yield decent recorded cleans.

    One thing I tried yesterday: I used an amp sim that came with a software package I bought a while back called “MIDI Guitar”. The main point of the package is to drive MIDI software instruments directly from a guitar, and it does that really well. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the throw-in amp sim, which I’d ignored until now, actually sounds pretty good - better than any of the Logic ones to my ear.
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  • LooseMooseLooseMoose Frets: 756
    Well, this thread is 100% relevant to me as this is my entire rig these days!

    I’ve got the following:

    - Audio Assault Sigma. Amazing! £5 or so? Sounds tremendous

    - Nembrini Sound Master. £30 or so. Solid Fender ish setup. IR’s are very weak, sounds good with an external IR running via your favourite loader

    - Neural Cory Wong. £70 - was my fav until the Sigma came along as the value just eclipses it, but the best clean sounds in town!

    - Positive Grid Bias FX2. Utter bobbins. Just dire.

    - Guitar Rig 5. Some okay tones but takes a little too much fiddling to get there and not as responsive as it should be.

    - Guitar Rig 6. No discernible difference to 5, waste of money upgrading for me. 
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5831
    Helix hardware and Native plugin 
    neuraldsp plugins
    Hardware bass preamps.
    Ive not tried the guitar stuff but parallax is amazing. Its basically all I ever use on bass these days :)
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  • zedhexzedhex Frets: 126
    does anyone else find BIAS Amp to be nothing but a box full of fizzy distortion?
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  • DodgeDodge Frets: 720
    Your Princeton into a REACTIVE load box, into your DAW and through a decent IR will be better than all the amp sim plugins. You'll have less choice than software amp sims though.

    You could also create your own IR of your own cab and mic.
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 1993
    Not me,  I like my tones from Positive Grid bias fx2. 
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  • Kemper
    Helix
    amps + mic'd up cab
    amps + loadbox (although I need a newerer and betterer loadbox)
    “It's called a sense of humour broski; get one!” - Thomas Paine
    TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE DISASTER
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  • smigeonsmigeon Frets: 141
    Dodge said:
    Your Princeton into a REACTIVE load box, into your DAW and through a decent IR will be better than all the amp sim plugins. You'll have less choice than software amp sims though.

    You could also create your own IR of your own cab and mic.
    Good point! I might well end up doing this - I do love the sound of my Princeton. 

    OK, next question :-) : what's a good reactive load box to get for a Princeton? 
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  • mudslide73mudslide73 Frets: 2236
    I've previously used Guitar Rig and Amplitube. Currently on Helix Native but sometimes I use Lepou's IR loader if I want more blending options or I've recorded real amps direct. I like the Lepou stuff generally. 
    "A city star won’t shine too far"


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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 5831
    zedhex said:
    does anyone else find BIAS Amp to be nothing but a box full of fizzy distortion?
    I would rather record my flatulence than use bias. 
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  • I use a Torpedo Captor to connect my amps to my interface
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 5775
    smigeon said:

    Or even tips for getting better sounds from Amp Designer? I mainly use clean sounds with sometimes a little bit of hair; I like both classic Marshall and Fender cleans. I (try to) do jazz as well as rock/pop.

    If you want an amp sim that does that really well - scutham S gear is the one to go for... 

    for cheap as chips results, Harley Benton do a  attenuator with xlr out that you can plug straight into your interface and run an IR... £70 delivered.. works well...

    Alternatively have a word with @dainty his latest album was done entirely with logics amp designer! and there is cock all wrong with the tones on that album!!!! “Dainty - ODAAT” if you want to listen...

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  • DodgeDodge Frets: 720
    smigeon said:
    Dodge said:
    Your Princeton into a REACTIVE load box, into your DAW and through a decent IR will be better than all the amp sim plugins. You'll have less choice than software amp sims though.

    You could also create your own IR of your own cab and mic.
    Good point! I might well end up doing this - I do love the sound of my Princeton. 

    OK, next question :-) : what's a good reactive load box to get for a Princeton? 
    I've got two 16 ohm Tube Town Tonehounds which I built, and two 8 ohm Two Notes Captors.  Both are excellent.

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 21040
    Danny1969 said:


    The problem I have now with Digital stuff isn't that it's not good, it's that everybody sounds the same. I think I only notice this because I watch a massive amount of instructional guitar vids but it's kinda put me off. Actually using real amps with no digital processing at gives a more pleasing sound to my ears. 
    I'm starting to think the same. I'm getting surprisingly good results when roughing out ideas using the onboard DSP amps in my interface and I've used a fair few other amp sims over the years, but it removes the "happy accident" effect of using real amps, pedals and mics. 

    Adding to which I don't have a cab sim for a 1951 Richard Allan Radio Bafflette Deluxe, so I have to use a real one. :)


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  • SnapSnap Frets: 4445
    edited February 24
    I've used Guitar Rig pro 5 for ages. It's OK, but tbh most of the patches are real overkill. I tend to build my own simple set ups which IMO are much better.

    Recently I've started to use the Waves guitar stuff a lot more. I bought the Gold bundle and that comes loaded with a load of stuff for guitar. It's simple and crisp and sounds great. I like it. I use that for a lot of bass too now. It's much more like using traditional amps, mics, cabs and stomp boxes.

    I also have Eventide's TH3 which is very good. Sounds good.

    I'll be upgrading Komplete to 13 soon, so will have a look at GR Pro 6 too, which is bundled with it.

    Lately I've also started using my guitar dry straight into the DAW, and processing the sound afterwards. That's proving to be a useful alternative too.

    With all this stuff, I find that you easily lose sight of what you want really, which for me is a straight up clean or dirty tone. For me, a lot of the software is just too FX and processing heavy. 

    When I first started in a band in the early 80s, all I used was a guitar a 2x12, a head, and a couple of stomp boxes. I find more and more I am coming back to that simplicity really.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 464
    I use the Slate package, which used to include Scuffham, I got used to that and then they dropped it for Overloud THU, which I now use quite a lot. They appear to have modelled a Kemper, and Slate includes a plexi model which I use almost exclusively.
    I like a few of the LePou free ones as well as the free ones from Ignite, including their IR loader.
    No need to pay for anything else.
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  • NerineNerine Frets: 1023
    Dodge said:
    Your Princeton into a REACTIVE load box, into your DAW and through a decent IR will be better than all the amp sim plugins. You'll have less choice than software amp sims though.

    You could also create your own IR of your own cab and mic.
    This. 
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  • This little £30 box does it for me. 


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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 556
    Sounds great @LightB4sound ;
     What guitar were you using with it?
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  • LastMantraLastMantra Frets: 1453
    Vandal. 
    MYMUSIC

    I wanna be a door
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