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Digital Modelling

C-flat 28 Feb 11 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Feb 11 - 11:05 AM
C-flat 28 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM
Leadfingers 28 Feb 11 - 09:07 PM
C-flat 01 Mar 11 - 02:46 AM
C-flat 01 Mar 11 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,mattkeen 02 Mar 11 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 02 Mar 11 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Mar 11 - 11:33 AM
C-flat 03 Mar 11 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 03 Mar 11 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 03 Mar 11 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Mar 11 - 10:21 AM
C-flat 03 Mar 11 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 10:35 AM

I know this topic has a limited appeal on this forum but there are a few of us on here who cross musical genres, so here goes.

Some years ago I bought a Variax electric guitar, having been seduced by the idea of all those digitally modelled instruments in one.
To be fair, it's been a useful tool but I always felt I was missing something and that I never quite nailed the sound I was after.
As time passed I found myself reverting back to the old Telecaster when I was out with the band and the Variax took a back seat.

Recently I was reviewing my gear set-up and it occurred to me that I never really got to grips with the technology that the Variax offered and that I should try and embrace it again. To that end I bought the POD XT Live floor pedal that offers a range of amp and effects to match the guitars on the Variax.
Alongside these you can download the Line 6 programmes to access a "Tone Library".
Since I made this discovery I've been beside myself with excitement!!
I can now choose a guitarist or named track that I want on my pedal, make a couple of mouse clicks, and it's there!! On my floor pedal!!
It can even tell my guitar what model it should be and which pick-up setting, then it'll add the relevant effects!!!!
I currently have a Martin Jumbo 6-string, Rickenbacker 12, Stratocaster, and a Gibson Banjo side by side on one bank for no other reason than because I can!
Most of the tones are right on the money and there are over 6000 pages of shared tones to go at.
In a perfect world I'd own one of everything and pay a guitar tech to hand me the appropriate guitar for each number on my world-wide stadium tour, but because I gig with a covers band, in small venues, for poor money, this'll have to do and at least now I can make use of the versatility the Variax offers but I don't have to compromise on tone.

I'd be very interested if anyone else has experience of downloading digital tones, or using modelling instruments.

C-flat (with a new toy!)


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 11:05 AM

I'm now happily able to record any permutation of electric guitars and stringed 'folk' instruments
combining analog & digital pre-amps & FX,
real valve amps,
and digital speaker emulating software
for convincing recreations of most any 'classic' sound since the dawn of rock 'n' roll...

I found the best method is to add a line out to a valve amp
after the power tubes and transformer
[using an attenuator device like the weber mini mass]
and record direct into a computer audio interface
using Line 6 Pod farm / Gearbox software.

It's the best of all worlds.
High quality recorded tones using easily available & affordable analog/digital gear & resources.

.. and I've never needed to own a single over priced 'big brand name' guitar or amp.
Modern budget priced copies are not far off the real thing in terms of sound & playability
and indistinguishable in tone when mixed in recorded tracks.


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 04:47 PM

Thanks for the response punkfolkrocker.
You sound like someone who can very happily inhabit the world of technology.
I envy you that.
It took me some years and a great deal of one-fingered-computer-poking to get to the basic level I'm at, but what a result!

I've looking at POD Farm without understanding what it's for. Line 6 are a great company but seem to assume that anyone interested will have a fair degree of computer savvy anyway and so don't bother to describe how to get started etc. I ended up downloading so many Line 6 programmes because they don't tell you which one you need ("edit")to successfully open the Tone Library.


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Feb 11 - 09:07 PM

I , on the other hand , am quite content to be a Total Luddite and will happily pick up a different instrument in a different setting .
However , I WAS totally blown away by a guy I saw some years ago who played a Low D Whistle with a fitted mic or pick up through a variety of effects pedal and made the most incredible sounds !


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 02:46 AM

Even for Luddites like us, technology can be beautiful sometimes!!


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 04:00 PM

Here's a link to Line 6 for anyone who hasn't seen a Variax.
Variax

And another showing the range of artists who endorse the products.
http://uk.line6.com/artists/list/

I often thought I should have had a band called "Free beer and Strippers". The posters would have drawn a good crowd.
Similarly I maybe should of thought of a sexy title for this topic.....


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:48 AM

I have had a Line 6 POD, and have used many sampled instruments

They sound much better than they used to - but personally I can tell a Line 6 recording a mile off and am not that keen on it. There always seems a space around it that keeps it apart from the rest of the recording.

I have got to the stage that I want to limit the palette I can use rather than expand it

On the other hand if you work in a serious covers band then the technology can be very useful


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 08:49 AM

Telecaster------ valve amp------- GO!


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Mar 11 - 11:33 AM

Hi Matt, that's why it's a definite improvement to combine the warmth & dynamics of real valve amps
with the convenience and palette of digital speaker emulations and FX.
On my restricted budget and living in a terraced town-centre house
I need to be pragmatic and resourceful;
creating music positively within a reasonable compromise of affordable old & new world technologies.

Of course if I had the £££$$$ I'd love a purpose constructed sound proofed studio to mic up real speakers.
I'd also like my own gym and swimming pool.
But it aint ever gonna happen..

Speaker isolation boxes with built in mics might be a better solution, but they aint cheap enough either.
Though definitely worth condidering if folk have the wood working skills and tools
to construct their own.


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 03:12 AM

Telecaster------ valve amp------- GO!

Absolutely, Guest 8.49. I love my Fat Tele through my VT Marshall. It certainly does "GO" but it only goes in a certain direction. Sometimes I want to go a different way which is where the Variax comes in.

Mattkeen, I can usually hear the difference with modelled tones but, using the Variax along with the POD XT floor panel, I'm getting some fantanstic tones. I can't say that, in isolation, you wouldn't tell the difference, your ears may be far superior to mine, but I did my first paid gig 40 years ago and, to me, it's the best new development in many a year and in the general mix of the band my new set-up sounds great. Even drawing praise from other band members!!
Unheard of from non-guitarists!!


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 06:31 AM

I am a bit of a techie actually - but think am very careful these days where in a project I use.
For instance
Telecaster -- nice amp---- Gefell mic---- Apogee Interface--- Apple Mac with Logic result: joy

There are many very good small wattage amps these days

I use Blackstar HT 5 at home - it has an emulated out for headphone use but actually is low powered enough to be able to use it through the speaker

I dont have superior years as I am over 50 now!
But have spent years working in recording studios. Funnily enough it is when modelled tones are NOT in isolation that I notice it most - they tend not to gell with the rest of the band/track.

Its just a personal thing with me - I just try and restrict the options earler on and that seems to make for a more creative

Less tracks when recording etc

I couldn't live without good digital reverb though
There's a plcae for everything


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 06:32 AM

years = ears! Ha


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 10:21 AM

My problem is miserable complaining new neighbours on one side
who wouldn't hesitate to get the local council to confiscate all my music gear,
even though they drill and hammer away at their home improvements without any warning whenever they feel like it;
dogs that are easily set off barking on the other;
traffic noise constantly droning in through our front windows;
and a window glass delivery depot round the back of the house.

Unfortunately even running a small 6" speaker cab at micable volumes
isn't a consistently practicable solution in my particular circumstances.
Particularly late at night after the mrs has gone to bed
when I'm relaxed and at my most creative...

Basicaly, micing anything at home is a bit hit and miss
unless I'm ever able to convince the wife we need to find the £££$$$
and space in the house to construct some kind of small sound proofed recording booth.

So right now I have to settle for direct recording with a nice variety of solid state & valve amps with speaker emulated line-outs;
including analog speaker emulating hardware from Award-Session, Hughes & Kettner, and Emerson Williams,

As well as all this, Line 6 software and various freeware alternatives,
are definitely a positive benefit,
despite any debatable limitations, in helping to achieve the kinds of classic 60s & 70's tones I want to record.
Bouncing tracks out to to my old Tascam 4 track is an additional option if I want a flavour of grungey lo-fi tape compression..

I should also investigate speaker / room Convolution Impulses
which seem to be well regarded by guitarists on some music tech forums.

Btw.. I also firmly believe the Telecaster rules supreme.
I make do with my good quality far eastern copies..

But if I'm ever going to jusify the cost of owning one USA made 'classic' guitar..

...well my next big birthday will be my 60th..


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Subject: RE: Digital Modelling
From: C-flat
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 12:19 PM

I hope you go for it, even before you're 60!

We try to justify everything we do to be reasonable in the eyes of others, but nobody who doesn't play is ever going to understand the desire to own a quality instrument or piece of kit, and what having that means to you.

It's ok to die regretting what you did, but not what you didn't.

C-flat.


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