Why you mad, bro?
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Gold Supporting Member
- Jan 9, 2008
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I had this, and it rocked for its time.
I'd agree. I tried modellers around circa 2010-2011. This was Line 6 Spyder and Peavey Vyyper days. Even the amp sim plugins of that time, were tried. I tried some of those original Fender Hybrids, the SUper Champ XD. I also tried the Blackstar ID:TVP which came out a little later (2013, 14?), which came damn close to the Tube Amps tone, and more importantly feel. Even it, had some slight artifact issues, and feel deficiencies (though it was real close). But ultimately left them, alone, for tube amps and pedals.Never really got it at the time, and the video reminds me why. It's kind of variations of "wasp stuck in a jam jar", and OK, the cab sims give a huge variation in size and tonal makeup of the jam jar, but it all lacked subtlety and feel.
When the presenter says "it gave real tube amp tone", I can still remember that back in the year 2000 I had a couple of 60s Vox AC30s, a Hiwatt DR103, Marshall JMP50 and JMP100, and two righteous sounding 4x12 cabs. Then for smaller gigs I had a '73ish Deluxe Reverb, and if it was a really small one, a Princeton Reverb. All of those got played somewhere either side of edge of breakup, mainly with a highly modified Ibanez TS-10, a stock RAT 2, a Russian Big Muff Pi, and a stock Color Sound Supa Tone Bender to drive them to varying levels of amp and speaker torture. Line 6 products, along with lots of other multi amp multi fx gadgets in any form, just felt really poor in comparison. I couldn't have practised with them, let alone stood in front of an audience and played through them. (I had a mate that did, Line 6 combo, and wished I could have just bought him a SF Twin Reverb; it would have sounded so much better, and he would have played better).
I think it's fair to say they gave "real tube amp tone" unless you had ever been anywhere near a real tube amp. For me, modelling technology came alive in 2016-17, when Kemper and Fractal got truly competitive in trying to recreate the feel of tube amps. I dipped a toe in the water around 2007, but the sims still sounded silly in comparison. Even around 2010 I tried a few of the latest modelling solutions (admittedly nothing really high end) and there was nothing going to part me from real amps.
Did the Pod age well? Not so much, couldn't love it at the time. Is it important for what it inspired? Too right it is. If Line 6 had never tried, would we have all the remarkable amp models and cab IRs some of us depend on nowadays? I can't knock them for trying to do something different, because even though I couldn't love it at the time, it inspired a bit of a revolution.
It was when Frank was getting (and giving back ) quite a bit of stick that I realised something was going on. When I switched onto the Axe FX II early in 2016, quite a few that know me were taken aback. I was so wedded to Marshall, Fender and Vox classics for so long, and I had failed to find any genuine alternative to my 2 favourite Marshall JMP heads and Fender silver face combos that most people I have played with must have assumed that was it for life. One of the Fenders had been a regular gigging amp for me since 1984, and the Marshall thing had started in the early 90s. I flirted with other amps, but always fell back on the same 3 or 4.
So well written, I will simply say Ditto. The only real difference was me searching for that low volume and studio tone, instead of Gig/live tone, so different tube path.It was when Frank was getting (and giving back ) quite a bit of stick that I realised something was going on. When I switched onto the Axe FX II early in 2016, quite a few that know me were taken aback. I was so wedded to Marshall, Fender and Vox classics for so long, and I had failed to find any genuine alternative to my 2 favourite Marshall JMP heads and Fender silver face combos that most people I have played with must have assumed that was it for life. One of the Fenders had been a regular gigging amp for me since 1984, and the Marshall thing had started in the early 90s. I flirted with other amps, but always fell back on the same 3 or 4.
I could go on to write a medium to long essay about why disruptive technology never comes from within the mainstream of a particular industrial sector, but rather than that, let me just say that I think Cliff and team at Fractal, and of course Christoph and team at Kemper are absolute visionaries. Fractal just happens to float my boat in a good way, because I was messing with SPICE models for work in the early 2000s. I knew if anyone put in the work to make that happen in real time, and with an understanding of which details genuinely made a difference, they would be leading a revolution.
The bit I got from Frank's posts was the understanding that this was getting good enough to feel right, and that meant it was only a matter of time before sound, tone, and feel would become good representations of existing amps, and even creations of amps that had never existed before. That was followed pretty quickly by an IR revolution/revelation that often came from 3rd parties, and somehow Fractal have pickup from there, and this year refined power amp modelling to a remarkable level of detail, I am guessing enabled by the processing power of the latest models.
I have to salute @frankv for inspiring me to wonder, "What if this guy is actually right?", and for dragging me into IR experimentation when it was coming of age. I am gutted he isn't getting to share opinions on the latest firmware versions, he would have got such a kick out of it (and probably would have been massively cantankerous with it ). If you are out there in the ether Frank, thank you! It has been a trip that I would quite possibly still been waiting for but for your passion.
[Also, with any of the IRs that you "lent" me Frank, if I liked them enough to do more than just audition them, I bought full versions from the vendor. I'm guessing you knew I would...]