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  1. #1

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    I always felt like digital amp modeling would not work for me as I "felt" the latency the processing applies. I don't own any hardware device but fiddled around with the amp modeling in logic. And although audio settings with my MOTO 8pre read 2.8 ms (1.4 ms in and 1.4 ms out) latency I thought I would "feel" the latency – resulting in an indirect feeling and lack of dynamics like playing through a strong rubber. I knew that in theory I couldn't "hear" 2.8 ms but I was convinced that I could feel them. OTOH I never had a problem playing the virtual keyboards. My solution so far was to use an analog modeler for the bands that use in-ear and silent stages.

    Today I tried it again as I was recording a demo for the band. I used the cool jazz combo preset and eventually looked at the channel settings. I noticed there was a compressor inserted. As soon as I switched that off my problem was gone. Lesson learned.
    I feel dumb that I didn't notice that the compression was the problem – but that discovery will eventually open up all the possibilities of virtual amplification for me. Not that I'd plan to use heavy metal amps from now on – that clean Twin model will do ... Actually I think the amps in Logic ain't too bad.

    Another thing I found out some time ago is that the input signal has to be prepared in order tommake the virtual amps sound good. The MOTU for example has mic pres. If I just plug the guitar into one of them it sounds rather dull. There needs to be a buffer or impedance changer in the chain – the tech 21 fly rig seems to do the trick with everything bypassed.

    I hope my confessions can help others to avoid these silly mistakes.
    Last edited by guavajelly; 02-18-2021 at 02:42 PM.

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  3. #2

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    2.8ms round trip, that is really good! You must have a powerful computer.

    If you consider the speed of sound traveling thru air, 1100 feet per second, or 1.1. feet per ms... 2.8ms is less time than it takes for the sound to travel from your amp to your ear (assuming your ear is 3 ft or more from your amp) . Using headphones I would think you'd have less latency than playing thru an amp speaker.

  4. #3

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    Yeah, it's a Macbook pro I bought last year. The buffer is set to 32 samples. I'm just demoing for our organ trio so organ, a virtual drummer (using samples and some sort of KI me thinks), the guitar through the amp sim and a bit of reverb is all that's running. Maybe if I'd use more tracks I'd have to use more buffer?
    Anyway the amp sim is really useable IMHO. I use the "Silver Panel Combo" which is modeled after a 70s Twin Reverb (?) and it sounds good. I just discovered that I can use little more gain to saturate the tone just a little bit just like you'd do with an actual amp. I threw out all the effects except for a little reverb. The "Mini Black Panel Combo" sounds also good – a bit warmer but I've got a feeling that the silverface sim sits better in the mix of my small virtual band.

  5. #4

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    BTW I'll be moving the MOTU to our rehearsal space for Band recordings. I think I want a small interface for home use – recording demos of new songs. I'd like to have Hi-Z inputs so I can hook the guitar up directly and I also need MIDI to hook up the keyboard. Is the Behringer UMC204HD any good?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    BTW I'll be moving the MOTU to our rehearsal space for Band recordings. I think I want a small interface for home use – recording demos of new songs. I'd like to have Hi-Z inputs so I can hook the guitar up directly and I also need MIDI to hook up the keyboard. Is the Behringer UMC204HD any good?
    That is what I used and it works great for me (mine is the UMC404HD). Audio quality sounds great to me and it is feature rich.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    Yeah, it's a Macbook pro I bought last year. The buffer is set to 32 samples. I'm just demoing for our organ trio so organ, a virtual drummer (using samples and some sort of KI me thinks), the guitar through the amp sim and a bit of reverb is all that's running. Maybe if I'd use more tracks I'd have to use more buffer?
    Anyway the amp sim is really useable IMHO. I use the "Silver Panel Combo" which is modeled after a 70s Twin Reverb (?) and it sounds good. I just discovered that I can use little more gain to saturate the tone just a little bit just like you'd do with an actual amp. I threw out all the effects except for a little reverb. The "Mini Black Panel Combo" sounds also good – a bit warmer but I've got a feeling that the silverface sim sits better in the mix of my small virtual band.
    one thing you could try to fluff up your built in amp sims is to integrate some third party ir's into the mix, if such a thing is allowed. the ir is usually the weakest point of a sim, especially free/low cost ones, and some decent ones are relatively cheap.

    in your situation, i'd recommend perusing the york audio offerings. then, assuming logic has an ir loader of some kind, and the ir in your amp sim can be defeated, it's a simple matter to insert the loader after the amp sim in the effect chain and just click through them until you find one you like. it helps to record a short loop and let it run as you click through the possibilities. this'll stretch you amp sim to the max and possibly save you from buying something more expensive.

    i use an audient id14 and i'm very pleased with it as an interface. i've also used a few roland units before that and can't complain too much about them. but in all honestly, most anything on the market will suffice for getting guitar into a computer with relative ease. this guy Julian Krause - YouTube has a you tube channel that covers most of the current ones, if you want to investigate further.

  8. #7

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    The compression itself is not the problem, but the buffer needed for any extra plugin. When you add a plugin slot for whatever effect, you add another buffer to the chain.

    Logic has these presets that automatically insert eq, compression etc which is not always obvious. Best way to start is with a clean project.

    This does present a problem if you need to hear some reverb when playing. One can use a modeler with reverb built in. My favorite modelers don’t all have it though, so I use built in reverb in the RME drivers (I plug the guitar into an old babyface).

  9. #8

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    my Behringer umc202hd is good

  10. #9

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    I am also very happy with my Behringer UMC202HD. Very low noise levels on the preamps and the outputs and lots of gain reserve. No problems with very low output pickups.

    The only two features I am missing. One is the possibility to continuously mix direct and DAW signals (there is just an on/off switch for direct monitoring). This can be useful is you want to play along with a hardware amp modeler or a mic'd amp.
    The other missing feature is a level meter instead of just one LED for signal clipping.

    I feel so dumb (digital amp modelling plugin content)-img_6660-jpg

  11. #10

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    agreed ,

    note ... the 204hd has the facility continuously vari the mix between direct in and DAW playback

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    I always felt like digital amp modeling would not work for me as I "felt" the latency the processing applies. I don't own any hardware device but fiddled around with the amp modeling in logic. And although audio settings with my MOTO 8pre read 2.8 ms (1.4 ms in and 1.4 ms out) latency I thought I would "feel" the latency – resulting in an indirect feeling and lack of dynamics like playing through a strong rubber. I knew that in theory I couldn't "hear" 2.8 ms but I was convinced that I could feel them. OTOH I never had a problem playing the virtual keyboards. My solution so far was to use an analog modeler for the bands that use in-ear and silent stages.

    Today I tried it again as I was recording a demo for the band. I used the cool jazz combo preset and eventually looked at the channel settings. I noticed there was a compressor inserted. As soon as I switched that off my problem was gone. Lesson learned.
    I feel dumb that I didn't notice that the compression was the problem – but that discovery will eventually open up all the possibilities of virtual amplification for me. Not that I'd plan to use heavy metal amps from now on – that clean Twin model will do ... Actually I think the amps in Logic ain't too bad.

    Another thing I found out some time ago is that the input signal has to be prepared in order tommake the virtual amps sound good. The MOTU for example has mic pres. If I just plug the guitar into one of them it sounds rather dull. There needs to be a buffer or impedance changer in the chain – the tech 21 fly rig seems to do the trick with everything bypassed.

    I hope my confessions can help others to avoid these silly mistakes.
    I use Garageband, which has the same amp plug-ins as Logic. The default compression settings for that amp preset are pretty heavy, IIRC. I don't think it adds audible latency, but it does kill the note attack, which has a similar feel to latency. You can modify the settings and save a new model preset to avoid having to turn off the effects every time, which I've done with a couple of different models I use. Also, combining the Large Blackface Combo amp (supposedly a Super Reverb) with the SF 2x12 cabinet sounds a little different from the Cool Jazz Combo preset (supposedly as SF Twin), a little warmer with a touch more amp compression to my ears.

    John