Logic Studio apps Front End to Amp Designer for Guitar


New Member
Hello All,

I an new to the forum, have played guitar for over 30 years live and studio. I was an early adopter of Roland V Guitar modelers and played them live and in the studio for years. Have used many tube amps and effects professionally so I have a lot of experience with both "real" amps/effects and modelling.

I recently just purchased Logic 9 and started to play with Amp Designer and mainstage. I am getting pretty good results and although I haven't compared it to 3rd party guitar software like Guitar Rig or Amplitube, the sounds seem very useable, the interface is excellent.

My question is this. I am connecting my guitar through a Radial instrument buffer/splitter and then to my MOTU 896 audio interface. It all works fine, but I am very dissatisifed with the dynamic response. It feels exactly like plugging into a DI box or solid state preamp. Basically, it does not track the dynamics at all like a real tube amp. Ones symptom is that changing pickups selector does not respond like with an amp. I use a mix of single and humbuckers and use my pickups to kick the amp into different gain and volume levels.

I am curious what others are using in front of the A/D stage, it seems that the software is doing it's job just fine, but that there needs to a tube type of interaction/compression to have it all match up like you would expect.
I've experimented a lot with this. Short answer is, it's not a real amp and doesn't respond "exactly" like an amp does. Also, I think different amp vis respond differently. I kind of like Waves Gtr3 for touch sensitivity. But, still not an amp. For front end I've used my API 3124, Radial J48 DI, my $700 RED DI (tube, which I like the best), and my waves PRS DI. The Waves PRS is a little darker and works fairly well and is cheap. No mic pre needed either. But, I'll typically re amp my important tracks with one of my many amps/pedals and I've found that for me the RED DI gives me more of the real tone going back into the amp. I'd love for these things to be as good as an amp. I think they can get close and on many occasions I've just left them (and not re amped). Try the Waves demo just as a comparator. Also, Line 6 was giving away Pod Farm last month, which isn't bad.

I'll tell you want I do like about this stuff in general. It allows me to be creative quickly and get parts down without worrying about microphones, etc. I can get the tone in the ball park and just go. Also, I can punch in at a later date and get the same exact sound. Then, when I know I'm done recording I can re amp the stuff and not have to play at the same time. I can get the mic placement, amp choice, pedal combo just right. It's awesome!
THis is great feedback. I listened to your myspace and the sounds are great. I went ahead and ordered an IKMulti-Media StealthPedal, there is a special promotion until Oct 31, for the price of the pedal you get 3 of their software titles. Also, music123.com has a Halloween special enter promo code "HALLOW" and they take 30$ off the price, for $169 you get the interface and the whole Amplitube suite.

I am setting my expectations, as you described that these amp modellers are more for convenience and composition, amps clearly still "feel" better
Amp Designer
I haven't tried myself yet but heard very good results with a brutally overdriven input and an EQ right before the Amp Designer. Means, you put one or even two Gain plugins in front and an EQ. I am not talking about high gain guitars but rather about a convincing crunch sound.

A technical explanation could be that the extreme gain at the input stage of the Amp Designer makes the "dirt" of your instrument audible, like a real amp does. I can imagine that a lot of the buried noise is in the often lame attack of computer processed guitars. But well, this is speculation. You'll find out if the trick works for you.
Currently, I'm placing PSP Old Timer in the first insert slot before AD to beef up and even out the input signal going into AD. The signal output by AD is smoother and fuller sounding as a result. You could try an analog compressor plug-in of your choice.

I do have The Brick by Groove Tubes which made GAP sound much better, but I haven't used it in quite some time.

Time to fire up the Brick.

Thanks, that is a really good suggestion. I have patched a compressory before the amp modeller on a couple of patches in which I wasn't getting enough input gain and it definitely helped.

In the meantime I purchased an IK MultiMedia StealthPedal which is an all in one guitar interface for the computer. So far I really like alot. They have a promotion going on where for the the price of the StealthPedal you can also get 2 of their amp modelling products. Overall they sound really good.

Still not exactly like a real amp but the recorded sounds are very good, very useable and obviously much easier and less expensive to use.

I am finishing up a project in Logic in which I used a number of the Amplitude modelling sounds to create a piece that is really a study for me on how to use it all and a pretty diverse set of example sounds. Almost done, will post it shortly.....