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Author Topic: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor  (Read 13850 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2015, 04:52:06 pm »

Ok, Devil's advocate here...
Do you feel that anyone in the audience would be able to tell the difference, or is the "playing next to the amp" only for the performer's benefit?
It depends on if the audience is hearing only the PA or the venue is small enough that they hear the stage wash (like in a small bar).

Sound samples are like 2-D while standing next to a guitar amp is like 3-D. If you mic the guitar amp (or take a direct out) you converted it from 3-D to 2-D just like the sample, so depending on the quality of the sample, indistinguishable (is it live or memorex  ;D)  after it comes out of the PA.

In fact this phenomenon is not just running instruments through a PA...   A classic marketing demonstration was to put a loudspeaker and a small chamber music group on stage in a large concert hall. By the time the sound reaches the audience it has been so smeared by room reflections and reverberation that the speaker sounds just like the real instruments, even if using crappy memorex tape... (or AR loud speakers in Symphony Hall).  8)

JR

 
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2015, 04:55:01 pm »

Ok, Devil's advocate here...
Do you feel that anyone in the audience would be able to tell the difference, or is the "playing next to the amp" only for the performer's benefit?

For myself, I like to be close to the amplifier so I can have it just slightly below the point of feeding back as I find that gives a nice feel.  I play 1950s rockabilly with a hollow body Gretsch and this is achieved quite easily with a small amp at not too high a volume.

I am now equally happy using my 17 watt valve/tube WEM amp or one of Fender's little Mustang modelling amps. No, the modelling amp is probably quite a bit different from the amps it is trying to model - however, I can get it to make a sound I like and it feels right playing through it so I don't think I can ask much more of it.

I suspect the rock players will have similar views but with solid body guitars and bigger amps at higher volumes.


Steve.
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David Buckley

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2015, 05:10:50 pm »

And because the sound from the speaker causes vibrations in the generating part of the instrument there is a whole gestalt to how it works as a system.
Yeah, which is why I like rocking through my Marshall stack.  Whatdayamean, turn it down?  It doesn't do quiet, it has one setting, loud.

(The Marshall stack (100w, 50w, and 3 4x12s) got sold in the 1980s.  Been using a GX700 for years.  yes, its a compromise)
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2015, 05:22:21 pm »

There are a few different aspects of that.  If the performer benefits in being able to play better, does that then benefit the audience?  Example: I did a showcase for a local artist where he had this idea for a kind of JB/I Got You part on the guitar.  Standing next to my amp at a great local jazz venue (Kuumbwa if you've heard of it) I was able to milk sustaining notes sliding a chord back and forth over one fret.  He liked how it came out and called me in when he got a budget to do proper recordings of his tunes.  That engineer put my amp in the room and expected me to play in the control room listening to a mix on NS-10s.  I managed enough of them that they were able to computer edit into the ones that didn't come out.  But what a pain!  Had the guy let me be in the same room with my amp and able to hear it, I could have pulled the part off just as I had done live.  Maybe even better.

That story leads into the discussion of musical genres.  That was essentially jazz with a funky twist.  Acoustic piano, horn section, split between acoustic and electric bass, electric guitar and drums.  Subtlety of tone production and dynamics are much more important there than something like death metal, or even the rockish guitar parts in modern country.  In those genres with denser arrangements and layers of sound, a more uniform and controlled sound is an asset.

I have a buddy who plays in Vegas.  While playing for a certain brother/sister act, they asked him to re-record some background guitar parts that were on tracks.  For that, he used a Pod kidney bean.  Recorded well and blended together in the production that was the "show".  Conversely while working for a Vegas legend singer/pianist who was also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and often featured his band my friend brought out his prized blackface Twin and engaged with the other musicians in actual "live" performances ranging from jazz to older pop.

I've seen Maroon 5 a couple of times.  Valentine has a pile of high end amps behind him to get sounds he likes and I suppose inspire his playing.  Levine has a handful of things hiding behind a fake Marshall backline that he only hears in the IEMs.  Both are good players, but I hear much more expressiveness in Valentine's playing.

I missed most of the '80s and the giant racks of doom as I stopped playing out and mostly listened to classical and acoustic jazz at home.  That Lukather super processed sound never has appealed to me.  There is a live album called No Substitutions that features both Luke and Larry Carlton.  As amazing as Lukather's technical and theoretical prowess is, it tends to go in one ear and out the other until I hear Larry kick in.  When I go hear Larry stand next to his Dumble at Kuumbwa or Yoshi's, I hear complete musical statements with every aspect of each note formed with artistic intent.

It's probably just my prejudices but I can't tell the difference between a wound up Rectum Fryer and a Kemper so that may be appropriate to those genres.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2015, 05:55:06 pm »

To be honest most of the high gain amp models probably sound better than their modeled counterpart when ran full bore, but that's where it ends. I like high gain amps not so much because of the gain, but because of the ability to go from somewhat clean to mean. If you take a gain banger like the Peavey 6505+ ( which is not exactly known for being a blues or clean amp ) and turn the guitars volume down, you can get some really nice bluesy break up. It does not sound like a pushed Fender Twin, but it sounds bubbly and organic.  It does not sound sterile or lifeless as one might think. This is where the difference between the modelers and the real thing show. When you turn down the volume or let the note ring out, the modeler starts to fall apart and it's noise gate, and decay algorithm start to choke the sound and it's starts to sound fake and the dynamics go away.

I have no idea how the models of amps are made? What I think they need to do is nail down what an amp sounds like at X setting with the full sweep of the guitars volume and tone knobs. Repeat this step for each of the X settings on the amp and you may get there?
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2015, 06:10:54 pm »

I've seen Maroon 5 a couple of times.  Valentine has a pile of high end amps behind him to get sounds he likes and I suppose inspire his playing.  Levine has a handful of things hiding behind a fake Marshall backline that he only hears in the IEMs.  Both are good players, but I hear much more expressiveness in Valentine's playing.
Interestingly, Valentine uses an Axe-FX for some of his effects. Hasn't given up his amps yet, but why should he? He likes the way they sound and he doesn't have to haul them around or set them up! ;-)
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2015, 06:27:52 pm »

Some years ago at a party I met the CTO of a company that made specialized processors for running audio plugins including modelers.  He was actually a pretty fair guitarist in his own right and was also playing at that party.  Using his companies products of course.  He was the one who explained to me the difficultly of converting digitally modeled distortion and the aliasing artifacts you get.  I think the Fractal people either knew him or had played with his products as the AxeFX was the first dedicated guitar modeler I heard that didn't reek of those artifacts, although they were still there.

I told him about the internet craze over Dumble amplifiers (back when they were running $30K instead of the $100+ or whatever Mayer paid for his) and he was interested.  He'd heard my Dumble derived Fuchs at the party and was impressed.  I'd told him that if he could nail that, he would have a goldmine.  His response was to ask about schematics.  He said they approached modeling by adding together the behavior of each component and the interactions the computer could derive.  This was supposed to be better than the convolution models folks like Roland were using.  I sent him some schematics that were on the net with the caveat that Dumble tweaked each amp for the session player he made it for so the reverse engineered schematics on the net were only a snapshot of those particular amps.  Never heard back how it went but I never saw any claims on TGP or elsewhere about someone nailing the Dumble.  There's only one guy who's been successful at cloning one of them as a physical amp in spite of all the people who've tried.

WRT JR's comment about 2D and 3D, there is also the effect of the speaker cabinet radiating in all directions.  And how all those overtones mix together in the live sound you hear from an amp.  Similar to micing a drum, micing a guitar amp is an art in compromise to try and approximate the complete sound in space of the instrument.

Like the reproduction of any acoustic instruments, your tolerance for approximations depends on your familiarity with the natural sound.  It's like the inverse of people trying to get acoustic drums to sound like things they've enjoyed on recordings.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #57 on: September 02, 2015, 07:19:13 pm »

LT Spice is a program that when a schematic is entered into it, will provide the probable waveform of the results. I have heard a few results from members on a homebrew amp forum called AX84.com. This is a great site for information on guitar amp related circuits. I was going to build one and then they closed the Doberman store. I have since moved beyond the basic structure of the AX84 core project amps and am ready now to instead build a SLO-100 replica. In either case I get the feeling a program like LT Spice is only the very beginning of how the model is created. There is then cab, mic and environment modeling not to mention the fine tuning of the amp model itself.

I remember the first modeling amp that I can recall that boasted component level modeling; the Fender Cyber Twin. It claimed to recreate the physical signal path of the amps it modeled by switching in and out the needed analog components and or digitally creating it ( reverb, tremelo, Timbre shaping etc. ). This was in 2001. It was a cool amp and sounded pretty dang good. But it still wasn't what it was modeled to be. I currently have a Mustang 1 practice amp. While it is far from the real deal, it sounds pretty dang good and I would play a gig with it just to be a brat. It has some models that you can tell they spent a better deal of time on.
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David Buckley

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2015, 07:30:17 pm »

...there is also the effect of the speaker cabinet radiating in all directions.  And how all those overtones mix together in the live sound you hear from an amp.  Similar to micing a drum, micing a guitar amp is an art in compromise to try and approximate the complete sound in space of the instrument.
I'm actually not that fond of the actual sound that comes out of a guitar amp's speaker(s), or indeed, out of most drum kits.  Once there is a well-placed mic in front of the source, and a bit of appropriate EQ, I find that a far more present listen.

About the only "electronic" source I like natively is a Leslie, and of course they are a nightmare to capture decently for live use.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2015, 08:22:52 pm »

I'm actually not that fond of the actual sound that comes out of a guitar amp's speaker(s), or indeed, out of most drum kits.  Once there is a well-placed mic in front of the source, and a bit of appropriate EQ, I find that a far more present listen.

About the only "electronic" source I like natively is a Leslie, and of course they are a nightmare to capture decently for live use.
When you are shoe horning a 3-D instrument like a drum or guitar amp down to 2-D to run though a PA there is some skill and art involved in making it sound good. Note: i did not say making it sound like the actual instrument, just making it sound good through the PA a different task. Of course you will always get the performance.

JR
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Re: Frackel Guitar Preamp/Processor
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2015, 08:22:52 pm »


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