Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today is a special day, because we are presenting an article with a shootout of the best guitar amp sims with video samples, divided by author.
We know that there are many others out there but we chose the three top producers, because they had enough simulators to compare and because many others does not have a 64 bit version (which are the only ones I have used).
Let's start with the italian pride: Ignite Amps.
These guys make both hardware and software products: they let you use freely the vst version of their amps and pedals, and if you want they can also manufacture a real version of their softwares, like the beautiful Emissary head letting you customize it according to your taste.
In the video we actually use almost their entire plugin lineup:
in all the samples we have used their od TSB1 - Tyrant Screamer, the Power Amp Simulator TPA-1 (yes usually all amp simulators have also a power amp section modeler but this one really adds a lot of weight to the sound, I suggest you all to add it to your chain), and the NadIr impulse loader as a speaker simulator.
Basically the Ignite chain is the same one used also for the comparisons of the other producers, the only thing that I have swapped is the amp simulator, all the rest is identical, and the general rules I have used in recording these samples have been:
- no post production of any kind: no eq, no comp, only a limiter in the master bus.
- all the amp simulators have been left as flat as possible (often I have left them totally untouched, and all in the overdrive channel), I have made just some small adjustment in the controls to even out the volume and let it sit a little better in the mix.
By a quick listen to the samples you can really tell the different shades of the three simulators:
- The Anvil is aggressive and very versatile, it is based on the amp with the same name by Andy Zeugs and features three independent channels (a clean that is Fender style, a crunch that is modeled after a Plexi and a lead channel based on an Engl).
- The NRR-1 is but modeled on a Soldano X88R base (the base also for a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier), but with some modification requested by the (former) Fleshgod Apocalypse guitarist Cristiano Trionfera: it's slightly darker than the Anvil (and still today, even if it can't be heard in the video, I think it has one of the best clean channels around), and unlike the Anvil, the Rhythm channel has also a boost function.
- The Emissary is much more mid-oriented: there is a lot going on in the high mids area and the eq allows you to control and fine tune low and high mids; with some tweaking this could be one of the most screaming amp sims you can find (in facts it is also used extensively in the extreme metal scene, also live!). This is probably one of the most tube-sounding amp sims around, and also in this one the clean channel is beautiful and warm (click here for a more in depth review).
What do you think? Which one do you prefer?
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2/3: LePou
CLICK HERE FOR PART 3/3: Nick Crow
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