• 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.

Real VS Model collection thread :)

FreeMind

Power User
Hi there.
I think it's a good idea to make a Fractal model vs Real amp comparison collection thread.

Rules:
Make or download a guitar DI audio file.
Run the Audio file through a real amp, record the direct output of the real amp into a loadbox.
Set the exact same settings on the model as the real amp, record the direct output with the exact same DI. Make sure that the levels of these two recordings are as close as possible.
Upload both for comparison. Describe: Amp used, Firmware.

The idea is to avoid all differences that could occur anywhere in the chain. The Amp should be the only variable, therefore, avoid using cabs, or use the exact same cab IR. The point is not to make it sound good, but to make an amp tone comparison.
Also, This should be a comparison of the amps as they are, so do not use tone match.

I think such a collection might help Axe FX skeptics see that modelling in the AXE FX is as good or nearly as good as the real thing.
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
This would be difficult for a few reasons.

First amps can vary WILDLY between the exact same models, so what one person thinks a certain amp should sound like can be very different from the next.

Second, the settings on the Axe don't correlate exactly to the settings on physical amps so there's no apples to apples to be had there.

Lastly, people that are truly open and curious about the Axe will be impressed enough when they hear it. If they have to be convinced because they a firm "nothing beats teh toobz" people then no amount of comparisons will hange their minds.
 

FreeMind

Power User
the settings on the Axe don't correlate exactly to the settings on physical amps so there's no apples to apples to be had there.
Why? Aren't they supposed to model all parts of the real amp?
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
The models in the Fractal are the same as the real amps that Cliff uses to MIMIC.

But other examples of the same amp from the same manufacturer are not going to be exactly the same. Too many component tolerance issues and variance.

For some amps, like new boutique amps, the chances of being the same between two amps is much higher in my experience.

For vintage amps, no way. Especially Marshall amps. They are all over the map in regards to tone and feel within the same model and year.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Second, the settings on the Axe don't correlate exactly to the settings on physical amps so there's no apples to apples to be had there.
Sure they do. This myth needs to end.

The only controls that do not necessarily match are the Presence and Master Volume. The Master Volume taper is the same for every amp. This was done to provide some consistency in finding the "sweet spot" of power amp break up and to prevent wildly fluctuating volume levels. The Presence control has a reverse log taper which gives the control a more reasonable behavior than that of most tube amps. A typical tube amp's Presence control does nothing over the first 80% of it's rotation which is stupid.
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
Sure they do. This myth needs to end.

The only controls that do not necessarily match are the Presence and Master Volume. The Master Volume taper is the same for every amp. This was done to provide some consistency in finding the "sweet spot" of power amp break up and to prevent wildly fluctuating volume levels. The Presence control has a reverse log taper which gives the control a more reasonable behavior than that of most tube amps. A typical tube amp's Presence control does nothing over the first 80% of it's rotation which is stupid.
my apologies, that's what I was referring to but didn't word it precisely. there was no negative intent...
 

ibanezfreak4

Power User
A typical tube amp's Presence control does nothing over the first 80% of it's rotation which is stupid.
Stupid tube amps... Gosh.. ;)

I have noticed this as well Cliff on a couple Mesa's that I've owned and used. I didn't know that it was that high (80%) requirement to add any color to an amp on the AFX.

As far as the OP, it is a good thought and might be worth trying in spare time. Currently I am helping a buddy repair his 1969 Twin Reverb and would be willing to invest some time recording with an SM58 or SM87. I can tell you that the SUPER VERB is 100% accurate to the warmth and clarity that I hear out of the Fender in person through the 2X12. Spot on barely says it any more ;)

Thanks again Cliff, you rock'n'rolla.
 

chucma

Power User
I created a patch a couple days ago based on a YouTube video of a Vox AC30 Top Boost. I didn't use Tone Matching, I just copied the same amp settings that I could see in the video, found a similar cab and tweaked very slightly. The results were pretty much identical with my guitar (Les Paul with PAFs). Obviously this will change with different guitars, but here is the link to the patch below:

Axe-Change - Download Preset - VOX AC30 TB Drv - by chucma

And the video is:
http://youtu.be/GcrgNYjwMTM

What blew me away was the way the Axe Fx reacted exactly like the real amp in the video.
 

Morphosis

Fractal Fanatic
A typical tube amp's Presence control does nothing over the first 80% of it's rotation which is stupid.
Cliff is totally right with "improve" presence taper vs. actual rotations:



Take a look at the 3 blue to turquois colored plots:

Reußenzehn Tube Power Amp with
Presence = 0
Presence = 5
Presence = 10

From zero to noon (5) -> nothing happened.

Related to the "real Amp" vs. "Axe-Fx modelling":
You miss the correlation between Power Amp and cabinet in you suggested comparison. So, what about Speaker Page? Default settings would`nt match with a reacticve Dummy load and more less with a resistive Dummy load. If you don`t translate the real behaviour of a real cabinet (or used dummy load) into the the speaker tab, you won`t compare accurate.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
Hi there.
I think it's a good idea to make a Fractal model vs Real amp comparison collection thread.

Rules:
Make or download a guitar DI audio file.
Run the Audio file through a real amp, record the direct output of the real amp into a loadbox.
Set the exact same settings on the model as the real amp, record the direct output with the exact same DI. Make sure that the levels of these two recordings are as close as possible.
Upload both for comparison. Describe: Amp used, Firmware.

The idea is to avoid all differences that could occur anywhere in the chain. The Amp should be the only variable, therefore, avoid using cabs, or use the exact same cab IR. The point is not to make it sound good, but to make an amp tone comparison.
Also, This should be a comparison of the amps as they are, so do not use tone match.

I think such a collection might help Axe FX skeptics see that modelling in the AXE FX is as good or nearly as good as the real thing.
For the most part this has been done quite a few times. I understand your point, it would be nice to have ONE place to go listen to all of the recordings like this that have been done. There are plenty of examples out there on Youtube and here on the forum in the recording section to listen to unfortunately you have to hunt them down.
 

axel

Power User
Sounds like it would be an effort in futility. Since most real amps are recorded by mic'ing a cab (not using a loadbox), and the Axe Fx is almost always recorded direct (using IR's), that would be the 1st hurdle, which is a huge one. Second, feeding a recorded guitar signal into the front of a real amp is not the same as plugging a guitar into that same amp. The list goes on and on...
 
Last edited:

Alex EShadow

Inspired
Method 1:
-----------

Amp: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> Amp -> Cab -> Microphone -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW
AxeFX: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> AxeFx without cab sim-> Solid State FRFR Power Amp -> Cab -> Mic -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW

This method compares the amp simulation alone of the Axe-FX, without the impulse responses, to the real amp with a 100% accurate chain. It is not an effort in futility as @axel says

Method 2:
------------

This method compares the AxeFx amplifier simulation to the real amp, but uses an impulse response (cab sim) instead of a real cab + mic + mic pre chain. One could claim it's less "legitimate" as it's using a cab sim which you'd probably not use with the real amp, and the attenuator might change the sound a bit

Amp: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> Amp -> Attenuator with line out -> Cab (not miked) + AxeFx input 2 -> AxeFx Cab Sim-> AxeFx Out -> A/D converters -> DAW

AxeFX: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> AxeFx Input> AxeFx Cab Sim -> AxeFx Out-> A/D converters -> DAW

Method 3:
-----------

Step 1: Use the AxeFx to capture an impulse response of the miked cab
AxeFx Output -> Solid State FRFR Power Amp -> Cab -> Mic -> Mic Pre -> AxeFx Input 2

Step 2: Record Amp vs Axe
Amp: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> Amp -> Cab -> Microphone -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW
AxeFX: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> AxeFx Input -> AxeFx Cab Sim -> AxeFx Out-> A/D converters -> DAW

This method compares the full simulation of amp + cab + microphone + microphone pre in the axe with the real deal recorded in a studio. It not only evaluates the axe's capability of reproducing an amp, but also the capability of the captured impulse response used in the cab block to reproduce the cab + mic + mic pre chain.

Method 4:
------------

Amp: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> Amp -> Cab -> Microphone -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW
AxeFX: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> AxeFx with power amp sim off (Sag = 0) and cab sim off ->Amp FX Loop Return-> Cab -> Mic -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW

This method compares the preamp simulation alone of the AxeFx while still going through the real amp's power section. In my experience this was very much accurate already in the AxeFx Std/Ultra and most of the improvements brought on the AxeFx II were on the power section emulation, I could be wrong though.

Once I get my hands on a JVM 410 (soon) I'll do a shootout using all 4 methods to see where the Axe excels and where it fails.

The AxeFX is NOT an EXACT simulation of the real amp though. If it was, you could take both waveforms, one from the amp and one from the axe, reverse the phase and no sound would be heard. This is far from being the reality right now, though it probably is closer to being so with Cliff's amps, as every unit sounds a bit different even when they're mass produced using PCBs.

IMHO, YMMV.
 

ibanezfreak4

Power User
Method 4:
------------

Amp: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> Amp -> Cab -> Microphone -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW
AxeFX: DAW -> D/A converters -> Reamping box -> AxeFx with power amp sim off (Sag = 0) and cab sim off ->Amp FX Loop Return-> Cab -> Mic -> Mic Pre -> A/D converters -> DAW

This method compares the preamp simulation alone of the AxeFx while still going through the real amp's power section. In my experience this was very much accurate already in the AxeFx Std/Ultra and most of the improvements brought on the AxeFx II were on the power section emulation, I could be wrong though.

Once I get my hands on a JVM 410 (soon) I'll do a shootout using all 4 methods to see where the Axe excels and where it fails.

The AxeFX is NOT an EXACT simulation of the real amp though. If it was, you could take both waveforms, one from the amp and one from the axe, reverse the phase and no sound would be heard. This is far from being the reality right now, though it probably is closer to being so with Cliff's amps, as every unit sounds a bit different even when they're mass produced using PCBs.
Stop! You're going to make Cliff cry mate!

;)

Nah, he is probably still banging his head on the wall at this point.
 

Alex EShadow

Inspired
I'm pretty sure he spends his days phase flipping and trying to get no sound ;) The day that happens he'll move on from the amp block and make everything else in the Axe even more awesome
 

Severed

Power User
Hey guys.... the Marshall forums is that way ---->


There you will find the real ones who care about this.
 

Alex EShadow

Inspired
@Severed

TBH I love my Axe, and it's not a question of wether the AxeFx is GOOD or not, it's the best amp modeller out there with unbelievable customer service and never ending updates and surprises. I absolutely love it, and wouldn't sell it even if you offered me a ton of gold for it.

That said, I just want to know how much of a gap is there, and where in the signal chain does it lie. I also want to know which amps are well represented and which ones are lacking - though I'm sure eventually processing power improvements in a future unit as well as further advances in Cliff's research will make the gap smaller every time.

I find it perfectly legitimate to be curious about, for instance, if it would make sense at this point to record the AxeFx through a cab + mic + mic pre instead of going through the IRs for me. Does it make a difference at all when layered on a mix? Does it even make any audible difference? I think blind faith is best left for religion and would love to hear sound clips to build my own non-subjective judgement.

As far as my tone goes I'm an atheist and I'm not inclined to simply adopt the dogma that you don't question AxeFx's accuracy and pray at the FRFR church. I've recorded guitars for a decade and a half now, and even with the AxeFx don't find myself fully satisfied with the results I get out of the modellers when layering crunchy Marshally goodness. I wasn't satisfied with the results I got from my Mesa and Fender combos in the past either, but I figured the AxeFx would be a great tool to find out what I like and what I dislike as far as amps go, not to mention lighter and cheaper than buying/selling amps until finding the holy grail.

I haven't owned a single Marshall in my entire guitar playing carreer, but I find myself using the Plexis and the JVM 410 more than other models these days on the Axe, so if I'm getting any amp, it would be one of those two.

Since a Plexi doesn't have a master volume and needs to get LOUD to get crunchy, it would require very forgiving neighbours and wife, as well as constant use of earplugs or attenuators. I've figured the JVM 410 would be good enough to get some pant flapping adrenaline action every now and then and to have a reference amp to compare the Axe against when I get frustrated with the tones I'm getting.

I currently use my AxeFx exclusively through studio monitors (KRK RP6s, not the greatest but not bad either), but I do plan on getting a power amp and a cab to go with it, in order to be able to capture my own IRs, as well as compare results between IRs and the real deal. All in all, the recording process for me is always a challenge, finding a tone to suit the mix is hard work, and whatever works best for me I will keep on using, be it the axe through power amp + cab, IRs, or an actual amp through an actual cab.

And sorry, I don't have any business at the Marshall forum, I love my Axe, I really do, I just want to see how can I make it work better for me. Asking people to post comparison clips is surely easier than renting all of the amps I like in the AxeFx and going through the process myself. Besides it could benefit every other AxeFx user out there, since once Cliff hears about the differences he may have a clue of what is missing in the Axe to close the gap.

I love how people online get very edgy very fast, and have this "you're either with me or against me" attitude that is not much unlike religious extremism.
 
Top Bottom