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Amp simulator vs “the real thing” argument

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Best answers
0
I'm currently editing a video that could possibly put a stop to this debate. Honestly it's like digital cameras vs "paper photo cameras". When DSLRs first came out there was a backlash of people going back to the old "paper photo cameras" for that "mojo" but it's very rare to see any of those these days used by professionals. You see them more often in the hands of hipsters and people who didn't live at the time when they were "the norm".

Both take a picture but a DSLR is much more handy because you can do so much to the photo digitally. Do you consider a paper photo a real photo vs a digital image? No. How is that different from modelers vs tube amps?
Being a professional sports photographer for about 15 years I lived through all of this.

When auto focus was coming onto the scene tons of people bashed it, then when digital came along tons of people bashed it, while shooting AF film cameras, then when smartphones got popular people bashed it, while using digital cameras which were the tools of “real” photographers, even though it was previously said real photographers used film. Of course there is a number of folks who now are shooting old manual focus cameras with film.

Eventually you stop carrying and just use what works. I’ve sold all my dslr gear and work with just my iPhone now, plus some moment add on lenses. Results that meet my current non professional needs and easy to carry. I spent enough time on the sidelines, looking the part etc, that I don’t need the gear to give me a source of identity. Some photographers want that $1800 105mm f1.4 lenses because shows how committed they are, how they are a real photographer and not merely a snap shot shooter. It’s like “look at me, I walk around with this brick of glass becasue I’m so committed to my craft”.

Same thing with music for some folks, they play poorly set up old discount store guitars becasue they have a look associated with them. They deal with unreliable old amps because they say something about them as a player.

A modern guitar and modeler can play easier, sound great etc, but what about the identity ?

If the style music you play, gear you use, etc is all tied to a certain image, a certain lifestyle, who are you if you have an Axe III on stage instead of a rare old amp and a pedal board of dusty old pedals ?

People can know what your about just by seeing what gear you show up with to some extent, it gives of a certain image and expectation.

But if you see my Axe on stage, what are you going to get ? Heavy “djent” or blooze rock ?

You could argue it’s going to sound good whatever it is, but not exactly the same as if you see a Randall Satan on stage. Probably have some idea of what that that owner will be playing, right ?

As such, we might not do much be against a new technology, but view our current technology as part of our identity and that is what we don’t want to give up, and what so many seem ready to fight over.

When you buy a Harley motorcycle are you merely buying a motorcycle or are you also buying into a certain brand and image and culture ?

I used to have a Honda Shadow 750, great bike, rode better, cheaper, more reliable than a Harley, but certainly didn’t have the cool factor. No one really wears Honda motorcycle gear on stage, but lots of guys proudly have HD on their boots etc as a badge of honor.

Some people simply won’t ever own a Honda bike either. Doesn’t matter if it’s better, it’s simply not a Harley. Same for some musicians I think, if they think they are a rocker through and through, they might never give up their Marshall, it’s who they are.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Best answers
0
Ain't that the truth. Here's the video I was talking about earlier: https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/axe-fx-iii-vs-mesa-dual-rectifier-vs-helix-vs-kemper-free-presets.145106/

Honestly the way I have things setup lets me A/B/C/D real amps and modelers very easily and it's not that difficult to make them sound almost identical to real amps. The Axe-Fx III only needed tweaking on the speaker page to make it sound this close to the real thing. Amp settings are the same on the amp and the amp block.
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
Best answers
0
Being a professional sports photographer for about 15 years I lived through all of this.

When auto focus was coming onto the scene tons of people bashed it, then when digital came along tons of people bashed it, while shooting AF film cameras, then when smartphones got popular people bashed it, while using digital cameras which were the tools of “real” photographers, even though it was previously said real photographers used film. Of course there is a number of folks who now are shooting old manual focus cameras with film.

Eventually you stop carrying and just use what works. I’ve sold all my dslr gear and work with just my iPhone now, plus some moment add on lenses. Results that meet my current non professional needs and easy to carry. I spent enough time on the sidelines, looking the part etc, that I don’t need the gear to give me a source of identity. Some photographers want that $1800 105mm f1.4 lenses because shows how committed they are, how they are a real photographer and not merely a snap shot shooter. It’s like “look at me, I walk around with this brick of glass becasue I’m so committed to my craft”.

Same thing with music for some folks, they play poorly set up old discount store guitars becasue they have a look associated with them. They deal with unreliable old amps because they say something about them as a player.

A modern guitar and modeler can play easier, sound great etc, but what about the identity ?

If the style music you play, gear you use, etc is all tied to a certain image, a certain lifestyle, who are you if you have an Axe III on stage instead of a rare old amp and a pedal board of dusty old pedals ?

People can know what your about just by seeing what gear you show up with to some extent, it gives of a certain image and expectation.

But if you see my Axe on stage, what are you going to get ? Heavy “djent” or blooze rock ?

You could argue it’s going to sound good whatever it is, but not exactly the same as if you see a Randall Satan on stage. Probably have some idea of what that that owner will be playing, right ?

As such, we might not do much be against a new technology, but view our current technology as part of our identity and that is what we don’t want to give up, and what so many seem ready to fight over.

When you buy a Harley motorcycle are you merely buying a motorcycle or are you also buying into a certain brand and image and culture ?

I used to have a Honda Shadow 750, great bike, rode better, cheaper, more reliable than a Harley, but certainly didn’t have the cool factor. No one really wears Honda motorcycle gear on stage, but lots of guys proudly have HD on their boots etc as a badge of honor.

Some people simply won’t ever own a Honda bike either. Doesn’t matter if it’s better, it’s simply not a Harley. Same for some musicians I think, if they think they are a rocker through and through, they might never give up their Marshall, it’s who they are.
Awesome post. The fact that we tie our own identity and self-worth up in the things we own and use is the Elephant in the Room no one wants to talk about with regard to gear (and so many other areas in a consumer culture). Most people *want* to be able to hear the difference between some vintage or hand crafted special purpose boutique amp; whether those claims are disingenuous or not; because it enables them to join that club and project that identity they want to align with.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Best answers
0
I _still_ beleive that one day, someone is going to come up with a mathematical relationship between the human body, and the 45 degree V-twin. common pin engine. Just listening to that engine does 'something' for me - no idea what - but it feels good - Like my Fractal Modeller.
Thanks
Pauly


Being a professional sports photographer for about 15 years I lived through all of this.

[snip]

When you buy a Harley motorcycle are you merely buying a motorcycle or are you also buying into a certain brand and image and culture ?

I used to have a Honda Shadow 750, great bike, rode better, cheaper, more reliable than a Harley, but certainly didn’t have the cool factor. No one really wears Honda motorcycle gear on stage, but lots of guys proudly have HD on their boots etc as a badge of honor.

Some people simply won’t ever own a Honda bike either. Doesn’t matter if it’s better, it’s simply not a Harley. Same for some musicians I think, if they think they are a rocker through and through, they might never give up their Marshall, it’s who they are.
I
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
Best answers
0
I would have gone this way but I worked out the cost and discovered I couldn't afford the technicians.
I can understand why some people may not be willing to bear the associated costs but you haven't lived until you have experienced the warmth and feel that tube computations provide. On the downside, a tube went out at tax time last year and I overpaid the IRS by $1000.
 

AJ 83

New here
Best answers
0
Can I use FracTool to convert my AX8 presets to punch cards? This one looks like it's already setup to select scenes!

I don’t think that one is actually ready for scenes. I see a hanging chad and demand a recount!
 

Mohi

Regular
Best answers
0
I find particularly weird the "feel" argument. I own a JVM410, a YJM100, a JCM800 from the eighties and a JMP1, and none feels the same than the others so how can those analog connoisseurs argue what any given amp "feels" like without intensively trying it? even in multichannel amps like the JVM Crunch Channel does not "feel" like Clean Green or OD1, many of these discussions are totally out of point IMHO, and a lot of people is buying snake oil when purchasing analog and/or boutique stuff.

Tone wise I think we have reached a point of no return with the Axe Fx III, the only one I know. I own a LB2 as well and after receiving the Axe FX used it to compare amps with sims, don't do it anymore, the Axe Fx stuff is just impressive and delivers me everything I need just by turning on the unit and at the same cost, if not cheaper, than a more limited set of "real thing" gear.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Best answers
0
I find particularly weird the "feel" argument. I own a JVM410, a YJM100, a JCM800 from the eighties and a JMP1, and none feels the same than the others so how can those analog connoisseurs argue what any given amp "feels" like without intensively trying it? even in multichannel amps like the JVM Crunch Channel does not "feel" like Clean Green or OD1, many of these discussions are totally out of point IMHO, and a lot of people is buying snake oil when purchasing analog and/or boutique stuff.

Tone wise I think we have reached a point of no return with the Axe Fx III, the only one I know. I own a LB2 as well and after receiving the Axe FX used it to compare amps with sims, don't do it anymore, the Axe Fx stuff is just impressive and delivers me everything I need just by turning on the unit and at the same cost, if not cheaper, than a more limited set of "real thing" gear.
It isn't a matter of them feeling the same... It is a matter of the feel, period.

I've owned a number of modeling devices, and while they can often be made to sound like a tube amp they have not had the same response, tactile sensation and "interactiveness" of a tube amp. The dynamics, sag, note bloom, etc are missing.

The Axe Fx has all of those things...
 

Mohi

Regular
Best answers
0
Yes, that it obvious, but my point goes in the direction of talking by default about feel of an amp without having played it, some amps feel stiff and not so responsive to the picking as others, but still the feel word is thrown into the debate without distinction. Axe Fx has that response, as Mercuriall or S-Gear to some extent do as well.
 

BillHoudini

Regular
Best answers
0
I'm mostly using Mercuriall Spark for some reamping and practicing when I'm bored to switch on my amp, it's a great plugin for Marshall tones. It's definitely a step to the right direction.
 
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