Amp Sims for PC Questions and DAW

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Rockbly66, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Rockbly66

    Rockbly66 Member

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    I have a Focusrite scarlet 2i2 2nd gen coming and I want to know some good free amp sims to try out before I commit to buying anything. Also any information on doing this for the first time would be great. Video Links, Forum links, etc. I play mostly Blues to Blues Rock some hard rock. I also Want to Know about DAWs. Do You need this for the sims to work. I do a little light recording now but this is just mainly going to be used for the amp sims and effects. I want to use this as a headphone amp that I can play along to the programs on my computer that slow down video and audio
     
  2. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    Probably should have kept this in one thread. But, as far as I know all the main amp sims will run on their own. But will also run in a DAW as a VST.

    In order for any of these to work well, you'll want to run the sim using ASIÓ drivers. This gives the sim direct control of the audio interface and that reduces latency (the delay between hitting the string and hearing it).

    I have a Focusrite Scarlett something or other that has maybe 6 outputs. Point is I set the amp sim to use one pair of stereo outputs, say outputs 3&4. While the main Windows audio output is set to outputs 1&2.

    Doing this allow the sim to use ASIO, while the PC can still use the interface. This means you can play a backing track using say Windows media player, yet run the sim with low latency. All interfaces don't do this.

    It gets a little confusing since the outputs as seen by the software are NOT necessarily the actual hardware outputs. This is a good thing, since the sim acts like it has its own outputs, but these can be mixed with other sources and go to one actual hardware output , such as you monitors.

    The Focusrite driver software functions like a software mixer. So you do control what goes where from within that.

    Hope that makes some sense.
     
  3. Rockbly66

    Rockbly66 Member

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    Basically what I want to do is use my Computer as a headphone amp for electric guitar. I have two programs. One that slows down video at same pitch and one that slow down MP3s at same pitch. I want the effected sound of my guitar from the Amp/Effect sim to come out the Headphones as well as well as the sound of the two programs I mentioned above. This is what I want to use to practice. Right now I am using a Line 6 Podxt Red Bean. It allows the sounds from the computer to come out of the headphones attached to it along with the effected sound of the guitar. It is like 10 years old and I thinks it is time for an upgrade especially since I just moved up to Windows 10 and it no longer supports a program where you can control the Pod from your computer screen. That is why I need help with a good setup. Already got the Focusrite Audio Interface now I need to figure out the rest. Thanks
     
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    I have a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 series interface which does have more I/O than yours. But they all use the Scarlett Mix Control software.

    Where it gets confusing is that the software sees virtual output ports. These may or may not be directly associated with actual hardware ports.

    So my DAW or amp sim (Amplitube) uses outputs 3 & 4 while my PC uses line-out. These go to outputs 1 & 2. But the Scarlett Mix Control funcitons as a sofwtare mixer and both get mixed and actually go out a single hardware port that my monitors are connected to. So I hear both at the same time from the same speakers.

    And as I mentioned before the DAW (Reaper) and amp sim (Amplitube) are set to use the low-latency, ASIO drivers. This works fine.

    I do have another program for audio testing that can only be set to use ASIO drivers if absolutely nothing else in the computer is set to use the interface. It requires total control of the whole thing. So, it is possible that a different DAW or different amp sim won't play as nice as Reaper and Amplitube.

    Also, while there could be any number of virtual outputs, I think my Scarlett 18i8 still limits the number of virtual outputs to the actual number of hardware outputs.

    This is actually very confusing. They really are not directly connected, but their software and manual are not very consistent with defining the difference.

    I'm guessing a 2i2 is as small as they come. I assume it only has 2 outputs (a stereo pair). I have no idea how many virtual outputs in may have. Meaning, can you still assign the default PC output to say virtual outputs 1&2 and have another pair (3&4) you can assign your DAW to. I have no idea.

    It seems possible you could be limited by the interface. If so, I think this would be an arbitrary software limitation. I do know that when I bought my Scarlette, I studied several manuals of other brands of interfaces, very closely. And the Focusrite Scarlett were more flexible.

    While I am sure you can get default PC sounds from another program, coming out of the card at the same time as your DAW or amp sim, the problem is you really want the amp sim (standalone or DAW VST) to be using ASIO drivers. But ASIO drivers give control to just one program for any set of outputs or inputs.

    I don't know how much ASIO matters for the inputs and the outputs. I.E., does ASIO only really matter for inputs and not so much outputs. Or can you even run one with ASIO and not the other. Probably depends on the the program (DAW, amp sim etc).

    Without using ASIO, most interface latency (time delay) is just too long to be useful. You pluck a string and the sound is delayed too much. Something like 100 mS which is much too long. You really need latency in the range of 10 mS or less.

    For some perspective on latency, sound is delayed ~1mS for every foot from the sound source. So a 10 mS delays is equivalent to standing about 10 ft from your amp. That's probably farther than we do most of the time, but not unreasonable. 100 mS is like standing about 100 ft from your amp. That you're going to notice, and hate.
     
  5. bfcg

    bfcg Senior Member

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    that with a pick or without?:run:
     
  6. Rumblefish

    Rumblefish Junior Member

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    I have a Scarlett 2i2 and use Amplitube 3. I use the Focusrite ASIO drivers. I can play along to YouTube tutorials using the Amplitube amp sim while listening through headphones plugged into the 2i2. I also use Reaper which is a DAW and Amplitube 3 as a VST within Reaper. I can load mp3 tracks into Reaper and then change playback speed without changing pitch, as your software packages do.

    I recommend Amplitube 3 - there's a trial version I think. Most of the amp sims you can use as a standalone without using it as a VST in a DAW.
     
  7. Mexicanbreed

    Mexicanbreed Senior Member

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    What sort of tones are you after? When you go shopping for amp sims, I suggest you check out the demos. I wanted to do something similar as what you wish to do, and the only amp sim that immediately worked for me was S-Gear by Scuffham. It´a very nice plug-in, especially for clean and bluesy, tubey breakup. It´s got only 5 amps, and that seems comparatively short, but the 5 amps are super versatile and the tones are really great.
     
  8. rocksmoot

    rocksmoot Member

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    I do exactly the same thing using Guitar Rig 5 and Transcribe. Guitar Rig 5 is set to use the asio drivers and transcribe uses the standard Windows outputs. There isn't any problem hearing both at the same time, and I often use the same configuration with my DAW (Sonar using ASIO) and Guitar Rig 5 to record with very little latency. Sonar uses asio as well and I arm the track for recording but use Guitar Rig standalone for monitoring. The track in sonar also has a Guitar Rig plug-in active but I have do not monitor through Sonar.

    By the way it sounds like you already have software to slow down video and audio but transcribe does both flawlessly. Good luck!
     

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