• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

How to model real amps?

So this may make for an interesting open discussion,

How do you model your physical real amp in the fractal? I have a wonderful real collection of amps and I want to have them virtually in the fractal.

Obviously a custom IR would help a lot but what other approaches does everyone take to get their sound as close possible? Are people measuring transformers and matching the values? Etc.
 

JoKeR III

Fractal Fanatic
Don't know if you're asking about models not in the FM9 or how to get the FM9's model of an amp you own to sound the same. To answer your question from the latter position, I have never obsessed over getting an amp or effect to sound 'as close as possible'. I have been able to replicate several amps and pedals to my satisfaction but never got to the point of being hyper-critical about the differences, if any.

I have yet to find an amp model in the FAS system that doesn't provide exactly what I expected from the physical amp. The ability to adjust and tweak so many parameters that really aren't accessible on a physical amp tends to create a lot of angst and desire to make an amp 'perfect'.

If you were to buy a second or third physical amp of the same model, how much would you obsess over making sure they sounded 'as close as possible'? There's been a few threads discussing the differences in component tolerances that makes is extremely difficult to have two amps of the same model sound exactly alike, side by side. Would you measure parts and components and attempt to replace them with others with closer tolerances?

This is a rabbit hole with no bottom that, from what I've seen, only leads to a lot of frustration. Accept the FM9 for what it is, a collection of some of the best amps on the planet accurately recreated in the digital world. You have the option to obsess over minute adjustments, if that's what you like to do, go for it. If you want to play guitar, pick an amp and tweak it as you would your physical amp and enjoy.
 
Well yeah Im asking about getting the FM9's model of an amp I own to sound the same. I guess for me, I am interested in obsessing to get "as close as possible" since I have the time and the desire. With regards to amps, you're right in that many will have slight difference in component tolerance. I'd never expect them to be exactly the same, but if i can get this digital unit to be 98% the same as my particular amp, id be happy.

I guess I'm asking more on the process of doing it and how some people here might approach it, rather than the typical "adjust treble and bass".

I've been recording my amp(s) with a 57 and then a/b'ing the fractal to the recorded clips and adjusting pretty much every knob possible.
 

Lopp

Inspired
Well yeah Im asking about getting the FM9's model of an amp I own to sound the same. I guess for me, I am interested in obsessing to get "as close as possible" since I have the time and the desire. With regards to amps, you're right in that many will have slight difference in component tolerance. I'd never expect them to be exactly the same, but if i can get this digital unit to be 98% the same as my particular amp, id be happy.

I guess I'm asking more on the process of doing it and how some people here might approach it, rather than the typical "adjust treble and bass".

Was going to answer, but the answer was pretty much "adjust the treble and bass." Well, I guess I am answering anyways.

My main amp is a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV. Setting the Fractal settings to my Mark IV settings, both preamp and graphic EQs, gets me close enough. Then, I'll make small tweaks to taste. Along with that, I give +1s to @Rex and @chris , because choosing the right IR is a huge factor.

(Albeit, this is on an AX8, but I do not foresee anything changing with the FM9).
 

markmurtha

Inspired
Don't know if you're asking about models not in the FM9 or how to get the FM9's model of an amp you own to sound the same. To answer your question from the latter position, I have never obsessed over getting an amp or effect to sound 'as close as possible'. I have been able to replicate several amps and pedals to my satisfaction but never got to the point of being hyper-critical about the differences, if any.

I have yet to find an amp model in the FAS system that doesn't provide exactly what I expected from the physical amp. The ability to adjust and tweak so many parameters that really aren't accessible on a physical amp tends to create a lot of angst and desire to make an amp 'perfect'.

If you were to buy a second or third physical amp of the same model, how much would you obsess over making sure they sounded 'as close as possible'? There's been a few threads discussing the differences in component tolerances that makes is extremely difficult to have two amps of the same model sound exactly alike, side by side. Would you measure parts and components and attempt to replace them with others with closer tolerances?

This is a rabbit hole with no bottom that, from what I've seen, only leads to a lot of frustration. Accept the FM9 for what it is, a collection of some of the best amps on the planet accurately recreated in the digital world. You have the option to obsess over minute adjustments, if that's what you like to do, go for it. If you want to play guitar, pick an amp and tweak it as you would your physical amp and enjoy.
I definitely agree with you. When I listen to recordings of my favorite guitarists from various periods of their career, their amp sounds vary, but their playing is still unmistakable. I think our time is better spent on making great music rather than getting mired in the minutia of amp sounds. The Fractal products make it so easy to get great tones, you can use just about any combination of amp and cab and come up with something musical. I think the real magic is in the fingers, not the guitar or amp.
 

William Mims

Experienced
Definitely concentrate on IR's that are close to your cabinet construction. HUGE contribution to creating the sound you're used to no matter
which amp heads you plug in or what combo amps you have.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
So this may make for an interesting open discussion,

How do you model your physical real amp in the fractal? I have a wonderful real collection of amps and I want to have them virtually in the fractal.

Obviously a custom IR would help a lot but what other approaches does everyone take to get their sound as close possible? Are people measuring transformers and matching the values? Etc.
Start by learning what the designer based the amp on. A Bassman, Deluxe, or a Tweed, or an AC-30? Were they going for cleans or dirty or a mix?

Most amps are based on simple amps out of old tube books. Find out what tonestack they used, what preamp and power amp tubes and speaker they used.

Then look through the Wiki’s Amplifiers Models List for those amp models, or ones with similar components or basis, and start tweaking based on the information about the model and your experience using the real box. If the cabs don’t sound right try looking at others.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Well yeah Im asking about getting the FM9's model of an amp I own to sound the same. I guess for me, I am interested in obsessing to get "as close as possible" since I have the time and the desire. With regards to amps, you're right in that many will have slight difference in component tolerance. I'd never expect them to be exactly the same, but if i can get this digital unit to be 98% the same as my particular amp, id be happy.

I guess I'm asking more on the process of doing it and how some people here might approach it, rather than the typical "adjust treble and bass".

I've been recording my amp(s) with a 57 and then a/b'ing the fractal to the recorded clips and adjusting pretty much every knob possible.
That's an exercise in futility. If you want to do it right you need to capture an IR of your cab with the 57 in exactly the same position as when you made the recording.
 

Deadpool_25

Power User
Well yeah Im asking about getting the FM9's model of an amp I own to sound the same. I guess for me, I am interested in obsessing to get "as close as possible" since I have the time and the desire. With regards to amps, you're right in that many will have slight difference in component tolerance. I'd never expect them to be exactly the same, but if i can get this digital unit to be 98% the same as my particular amp, id be happy.

I guess I'm asking more on the process of doing it and how some people here might approach it, rather than the typical "adjust treble and bass".

I've been recording my amp(s) with a 57 and then a/b'ing the fractal to the recorded clips and adjusting pretty much every knob possible.
For my amps that are in the Fractal, I really didn’t bother with this much because I found the model to be close enough (debatably better). I did this with the 5153 50w and used 4CM (FM3 at that time). It took like 3 minutes to realize that was a waste of my time.

For an amp that’s not in there, I also used 4CM. I picked an amp model that was close enough to start with, dialed in BMTPD until it was closer, then used the graphic EQ block to get even closer. I found myself working pretty hard to nail it before I realized that although it wasn’t exactly the same, I liked it just as much.

I’ve since dropped all thoughts of such comparisons in favor of just running the FM3–now the FM9–into my amps’ FX loops in stereo and enjoying myself.
 

RevDrucifer

Power User
I've done it two ways-

Recording the amp and then trying to dial in the Fractal to match it as closely as possible. I'll just track a DI along with the recorded amp sound, then keep AxeEdit open to tweak the DI until it's as close as I can get it to the amp.

A couple months ago I brought my III over to my buddy's place as I was dying to hear his Friedman JJ in person. He was doubting I could get even close to it with the III, so I plugged into the Return of it and then started tweaking. By the time I was done he goes, "Yeeaahhh, ok, that's pretty fucking impressive but there's no way I'm hooking a computer up to my amp, I just want to turn the knobs!"

But yeah, I'd definitely try to find a way to shoot IR's of your speakers because that'll be the main thing to really get ya there.
 
So this may make for an interesting open discussion,

How do you model your physical real amp in the fractal? I have a wonderful real collection of amps and I want to have them virtually in the fractal.

Obviously a custom IR would help a lot but what other approaches does everyone take to get their sound as close possible? Are people measuring transformers and matching the values? Etc.
If you get the IR of your speaker, the rest is just turning a few knobs here and there. I have all my amps running into my X-Load, and then into the Axe FX III, so I am playing my amps through the same IR's that I use the Fractal amps through. When I compare my Deluxe Reverb Reissue to the one in the Axe FX III (which isn't a reissue), it's just a matter of saturating a couple points and EQ'ing slightly.

Once you get that, save those amp settings in your Block Library, and regardless of what preset you're in, you can always insert "your" amp.
 
Top Bottom