VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

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samuraipizzacat29
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VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:59 pm

HIYO!

so i've finally learned how greatly a model of a bass amp affects my tone. It's extremely gratifying to get that extra crunch or sparkle that can be had from a good amp (or model of one). Fretted synth has a number of good ones that I've been using, as well as the amplitube le that came with my e-mu audio card. So - I wondered which ones you guys use, and what type of techniques you use to really accentuate tonal differences. There's a whole dream world that can be had with compression/expansion/exciters, and after a few years, I feel like I'm finally learning how to use the tools in my toolbox in some kind of non total noobish manner. But - now I feel like its time to expand the toolbox, so that's where learning from my more experienced peers comes in.
Thanks!
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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by madtheory » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:21 pm

I was using the IK Multimedia Ampeg model for a while, but since I got a Hofner bass with flats, I just use a BSS DI and a touch of compression. Just got Mellowmuse IR1 so I'll probably try a few cabs in that.

The IR doesn't get the distortion, even the subtle kind. My ideal would be an Orange or Ampeg miked with a C414 B-ULS, but it's not convenient...

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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by tekkentool » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:00 pm

I mostly use Guitar rig 4, as it came with komplete and i quite like the sound of it when you pair it with some decent cab impulses. Though if you're using it for very heavy guitar it doesn't tend to deal well with extreme detuning. Anything lower than half a step down and it starts to become a bit mushy and not "tight". (Not sure if Amp or Cab problem).

For bass I don't normally use an amp sim, I just DI and EQ it. If I'm adding effects though I do it in parallel, Double the track or make a send. If you do this with horrible nasal disgusting distortion and lay it over the top again you just get an awesome Justin Chancellor grind to it with nice deep fundamental tone still.

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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:13 pm

I have a couple of amp sims, Amplitude 2, Peavey ReValver and the Amp plugin for Live. All three cater more towards guitar than bass, although only ReValver lacks an actual bass amp model. Not too surprisingly when you load up similar amp models in each one, they sound very different...so much for expecting them to sound like the "real thing". Of the three, ReValver was the only one I actually paid for, the others came with bundles.

In pro studios, I have always DIed my bass so I only use amp sims as an effect. I track my bass into Live, add a compressor preset to smooth the levels and then worry about final compression/EQ settings and whether to use an amp sim at mixdown time. For guitars, I'll grab an Amp preset that sounds OK and keep that until mixdown.

Things I dislike:

--Amplitude has caused Live and Cubase to crash on me so it's my sim of last resort. The crashes wiped out any interest I had in their Ampeg SVX.
--Live's Amp has no tuner! What were they thinking? Also no stomp box effects. But it's the quickest to set up for tracking.
--ReValver is the best of the three for guitar, but has no actual bass amps (I have the cheaper "HP" version, the full version might).
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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:47 pm

excellent responses so far. Let me clarify a little though:
I'm using models of bass amps along with vst synths, and sometimes kicks, toms, etc to fatten them up. My main gripe with vst synths is that they never sound "good". Now that I've discovered models of bass amps - it seems to be just what the doctor ordered. For instance, I wasn't too overly impressed with TAL-Bassline (sh-101 model) but then I added the amplitube ampeg model (I think that's the one), added a send to a hpf, and then a bit of compression, and it was heavenly. It's good to know I was going for gnarl and snarl, and so it had it driven the whole way, and the master as low as it could go without clipping the bajesus out of it and still keeping the overdriven sound. Maybe I'll post a wav later when I get home.....
I've farted around with distortion effects and guitar amp sims to no real avail. They do harmonic distortion ok, but don't seem to do anything for my bottom-end sound (actually more harm than good in most cases). Like voxengo boogex (http://www.voxengo.com/group/free-vst-plugins/). It's a quality plugin, but didn't give me quite the pleasure I was after. Then I found Fretted synths helian (http://rekkerd.org/fretted-synth/) and I seemed to find exactly what I wanted. And the other little beastie from amplitube seemed to really cut the mustard as well. Why the mustard needs cut - i don't know......
Anyway: my bass left a long time ago. Now I just use analog synths and vsts, as (at the time) they took up less space. You know how that ended up, but just the same, I'm learning to prefer working in the computer as far as effects and tweaking goes, because there's so much more freedom. So - have any of you barked up the same tree I have and what have you found when you got there?

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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by colmon » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:17 pm

amplitube 3 ftw

but you should try some of the airwindows plugs if you're looking for itb colouration. the free channel3 combined w/ the (also free) density/drive distortions can get you pretty far towards "fattening up"

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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by silikon » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:46 am

You might consider looking into some stuff like Ohmicide:Mehloman from Ohm Force -- they have some very fun effects -- stuff you wouldn't need to waste CPU cycles (Guitar Rig 4 is a resource hog, as is Amplitube..) on, and maybe get to where you're going in a more efficient manner. There's also Izotope Trash (which is along the same lines, multiband distortion, cab sim, etc)

Filters and distortion and frequency shifters, oh my! Lovely lovely goodness.

And don't take that as disparaging remarks about any of the Amp modelers; I have many, and use them judiciously. Just thought I'd give you one different perspective on ideas how to achieve what you're looking for.

You could also consider layering sounds under whatever you think doesn't have enough low end; or maybe run one plugin through the effects loop of another. Layer something with content one or two octaves lower...

The longer you play with cabinet sims that include different mic placements and whatnot, you'll start to get a feel for where they cut, boost and notch and can get reasonably close (and maybe have a eureka moment with something new) with simple EQ.

Cabinet sims are neat, and good -- but perhaps using subtle EQ along with some effects will get you what you need, and at less CPU cost than the Amp Modelers? Just a thought. Plus, most DAW's have these integrated, so there would be little need for you to shell out extra cash.

Also, I don't know if I read this right but:
samuraipizzacat29 wrote:added a send to a hpf,
And
samuraipizzacat29 wrote:but don't seem to do anything for my bottom-end sound
Am I reading that right? Because a HPF cuts the low end out of your sound -- could that be an issue?
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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:45 pm

silikon wrote:Also, I don't know if I read this right
yeah - i just use the hpf as a send, fiddle with the resonance, and find the frequency sweet spot for further audio delights.


The first is just tal-bassline (not very interesting imho) it's obviously 16', also about 3/4 PW, and nothing else of interest param wise. Then comes in amplitube ampeg ba500 model driven to the ends of the earth, not limited, but with the master turned pretty far down. Then tom's hpf added as a send (basically just to accentuate given frequencies). Then a short delay. Then I change my shorts (again). oh - it's clipping a little bit, but nm. What's there is from the vsts themselves and not hard limited by the pc.

Thx for the input on other distortion/amp/cabs. I've also found that pitch mangling and filtering (usually of the extreme sort) is fun to get distorted sound. When I do that, though, I find I lose my sounds "throat" "balls" "cajones" or however you say it in the language of your country of origin :) I use ndc's "the modulator 2" a lot for fm/ring mod type modulations and you can get pretty extreme with that.
But it seems to me the bass amp model is the quickest way to get good punch and warmth from basically any synth or drum sound without much effort.

edit: oh and as far as simple eq: have any good ones to suggest? I think my problem is that I want certain frequencies to be more resonant, so I get there faster when I send to filters. But then filters overpower, so it's hard to tweak to "just right". What i'm saying is EQ's generally don't get extreme enough, or aren't narrow enough band to get me exactly what I want. But that's also just what I feel ATM, and definitely plan to do some more exploring. :) I love sound. 8-)

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Re: VST Bass amps (and vst guitar amps for that matter)

Post by silikon » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:42 pm

What DAW are you using? Reason I ask is that many come with EQ...

Also, PSP Audioware -- Neon HR, great EQ -- Fabfilter Pro-Q, also the kit. You can dial in a pretty tight Q and notch or peak to your hearts content.
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