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Logic 9 Amp Designer - Getting Started

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by JNJ, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. JNJ

    JNJ New Member

    I just installed LE9 and am excited to see all the differences from GB, but I'm completely lost! I simply want to first try out the guitar amps/effects, but cannot find anything on the Help menu. I play through an M-Audio Fast Track.
    If someone could just help me get started in getting a sound and exploring the amps/pedals, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks.
  3. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    - Either open one of the exiting template songs or create a new empty one.
    - Create an audio track.
    - Either select one of the channelstrip presets for Amp Designer (I wouldn't do so, they don't do it proper justice...) or
    - open the Pedalboard in the topmost insert slot and
    - open Amp Designer in the second insert.

    Then just fool around.

    - Sascha
  4. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    If you play guitar as a live input you need to activate Software Monitoring in the preferences. And record enable the track, I think...
  5. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Since this is software and doesn't have to mirror the real world exactly; I wonder about the creative possibilities of running Amp Designer first into Pedalboard after!
  6. Janne

    Janne Member

    Even in the real world it's common to put certain FX after the amp/distortion stage.
    You "usually" put things as overdrive, compressors, wha-wha pedals before the preamp and then put "modulations" as chorus, flangers, delays and reverb after.

    It's close to what kind of fx You put "on-channel" and on busses in a DAW.
    You can of course experiment and see what kind of sounds You get by mixing things up, I heard that Neil Young likes the sound of reverb before a distorted amp, getting a kind of "broken" feel to it since the ambience will get less and less distortion as it fades away...
  7. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    I totally agree that in software land there's several more options than what we're used to from hardware. In case of Amp Designer it doesn't seem to make too much sense, though, especially on any overdriven settings. I mean, while Amp Designer has improved a LOT, compared to GAP, it's still a rather noisy affair. So, the combination of AD and Pedalboard in that order might be fine for some things (post-amp modulation and the likes), but for any overdriven sounds I'd go the traditional route.

    Talking about noise, I really wish both the Pedalboard and AD had an "intelligent" noise gate a la Guitar Rig and TH-1. They both have a really easy, no fuzz but absolutely working noise gate as the first thing in the signal chain, plus there's a learn function, so all you do is to turn your guitar up, mute the strings and press "learn". Instant silence - and very little artefacts such as cut off notes. Now, in Logic I'm often placing a noise gate in the top most insert, too - but I usually find it pretty tough to adjust it so it works as well as the mentioned ones.

    As a sound tip: Load the "Boutique Retro Combo" and the "Boutique Retro Distort" preset. Back the gain up until you find the sweet spot when the drive just starts to get more noticeable. Now slap a "Vintage Drive" in front of it and set the drive amount rather low (probably even below 9 o'clock). Use the output knob to somewhat boost the amp.
    With this combination, just fooling around a little with the two drive controls (amp and overdrive), the drives output level and a little tone/treble adjustment, endless really useful tones in the bluesy/funky and/or classic rock realm are possible. In addition, this very combination reacts extremely well with your playing dynamics and your guitars PU and volume controls (a key point for me when it comes to any amps).
    Personally, I really like AD and the Pedalboard for slightly breaking up sounds and classic rock/blues kinda leads (the Tweed models are really nice for clean stuff, too, I don't like the "blackface" models too much, though), in this area AD is absolutely up to the competitions standards. What it doesn't do too well (at least IMO) is heavier stuff. For all that NuMetal "chugga chugga" you probably better look elsewhere (Amplitube Metal but also Guitar Rig and TH-1 are doing a nice job there).
    Anyway, the combination mentioned above has become my absolute "to go for" sound (I saved it as a channel strip, along with a noise gate in front and a tape delay after) whenever I'm just fooling around, looking for ideas.

    - Sascha
  8. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    Well, sure. One of *the* classic amp/FX settings has got to be something like whatever Tape Delay unit in front of, say, a cranked up Fender Bassman. People such as Brian Setzer are using this all the time. I've seen Mr. Setzer and his Big Band 2 years ago, and apart from it being an absolutely remarkable musical event (a truly kickass band), the guitar sound was to die for. Of course it helps a lot that Brian Setzers playing is just incredible.

    - Sascha
  9. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    It would be nice if Pedalboard had a Break-out Jack "box" where you could toss in Amp Designer into the signal path.
  10. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    Probably. But, at least IMHO, undoubtedly the best thing would be if the two were one plugin anyway. Think Guitar Rig, Amplitube, TH-1, etc.
    That way you wouldn't permanently have to switch between their interfaces. FWIW, while they're not looking bad, these are by far the worst interfaces of all Logic plugins. I have never seen space wasted that much. And the amp controls are just placed wrong for a software solution. To adjust drive, master and level, you need to mouse around a *lot*. On a real point-to-point soldered (or even on a cicuit board based) amp, this arrangement is making sense, in software land it's absolutely counterproductive and all the controls related to levels should rather sit next to each other.
  11. JNJ

    JNJ New Member

    Thank you for the quick answers to my original question. So easy when you know how to do it! I was surpirsed at how Noisy Amd Designer is, but glad to know it's not just me.
  12. orjankarlsson

    orjankarlsson Member

    So you think it's too long a distance between the knobs?? :) How about setting the mouse speed to a higher value, that way you could navigate from the drive knob to the master in less than 5 minutes!! :)
  13. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    I use a laser mouse and it's set so that I can cover the entire range of my two monitors in a matter of around 3-5 cm (depending on speed acceleration). Ever since I use mice, I always set them up extremely fast, so that very few people can work with my settings (on a sidenote: I think this is a good idea to avoid a carpal tunnel syndrome and the likes).
    Anyway, it's not only Amp Designer that suffers from the "photorealistic problem", many plugins, especially amp simulations, do. A logical layout would be to have all level related controls next to each other (drive, level, master out), with the EQ and speaker sections following. Also, while presence in a real amp is placed in the power amp section (so it makes sense to have it next to the actual circuit), in a software amp it should be next to the EQ section.

    And as said, the GUI is really too big. I know you can reduce the size, but that way you lose access to some parameters. Again, it's not only AD suffering from this, most amp simulations do, but with AD it's extreme - and quite a controverse to most other plugins coming with Logic, which, IMO are partially excellent from the design side of things.

    - Sascha
  14. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    I agree, that would be fun!

    OTOH, the way to emulate that now is:
    1. Instantiate one instance of Pedalboard with your "pre-amp" pedals
    2. Instantiate Amp Designer
    3. Instantiate another instance of Pedalboard with your "fx-loop/post-amp" pedals

    It takes up an extra Insert slot, but it's the same end result.

  15. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Brilliant, Orren!
  16. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Senior member

    I really don't mind extra insert slots, but gathering control over all that is not as easy as it'd be if everything was combined in one GUI. That's why I really like Guitar Rig (even if it still wastes lots of space, too).

    - Sascha

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