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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:39 am 
 

A little background of my playing abilities and knowledge. I've had an acoustic guitar for around 5 years but I am pretty average in terms of skills. Anyway, so I got an electric guitar as a gift. Don't judge but I got the Alexi-600 Scythe with EMG HZ pickups. It's pretty smooth. It's been lying around for quite sometime and now I'm actually planning to do something about it.

Questions:
- I really don't want to invest in an amp, so how do I go about setting up something with my laptop?
- Does my laptop have to have an Line-in port?
- I'm going to sound like a noob but what are these 'tones' that people talk about...if I can download such things, how do I cover all my bases say...if i'm looking for OSDM, modern death metal, 80s thrash sounding tones, are these easily available?

If there's anything else that I should know, it would be great if someone could help me out.

Much thanks!

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:35 pm 
 

If I understand correctly, you want to play/record with distortion generated via software?
You could use VST plugins which are virtually unlimited in terms of tone.

It does require a small investment in the shape of an audio interface (quite cheap, such as the Tascam US122 MkII).
And possibly DAW software.

Most interesting VST-stuff for guitar tones is free, check this video, the explanation and download link should get you started.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6PHzkPjH7c

Good luck.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:07 pm 
 

Goran wrote:
It does require a small investment in the shape of an audio interface (quite cheap, such as the Tascam US122 MkII).
.


That's the one I'm currently using. It's pretty decent, inexpensive and the pre-amps seem good.

shouvince wrote:
- Does my laptop have to have an Line-in port?


Nope. Most interfaces connect to a computer via USB or FireWire.

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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:43 am 
 

Cool. Thanks guys. I'll check out the pre-amps and the interfaces.

Any good (read cheaper) DAWs? I was suggested Reaper over Cubase. Also, what are the issues with latency with this set up? How do you overcome it?

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:36 am 
 

I'd suggest Reaper also.

Latency should be no issue, unless you record/play with a fully loaded project (taking up loads of memory/CPU).
Or maybe if you have an old computer. ;)
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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:50 am 
 

Goran wrote:
I'd suggest Reaper also.

Latency should be no issue, unless you record/play with a fully loaded project (taking up loads of memory/CPU).
Or maybe if you have an old computer. ;)


I use a laptop mostly. Planning to upgrade to a faster machine. Btw, I checked out your videos. Quite awesome covers :metal:

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:19 am 
 

I always recommend Line 6 interfaces--they're always cheap and have very good quality. The Line 6 Studio GX is like $50 or less on Ebay, and comes with PodFarm, which has LOADS of virtual amps.
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Dubhar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:03 pm 
 

shouvince wrote:
Any good (read cheaper) DAWs? I was suggested Reaper over Cubase. Also, what are the issues with latency with this set up? How do you overcome it?


I got the bundle version of Cubase with my ZOOM H-4N (microphone/recording interface/DI thing), and it's complete rubbish, crashes at the slightest touch. My cousin uses the full retail version in his studio and says it works fine for him, while the bundle version he started with did the same to him.

I'm not too experienced with DAWs, but the ZOOM H-4N is worth checking out for the recording side, it's got some alright amp/cab sims in it, though I mostly just use the bass ones, which are pretty hard to find online.

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Det_Morkettall
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 610
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:35 pm 
 

Here, reposting this for the benefit of everyone. This is an old post I made about two years ago, and it covers ALL the free amps I've ever used.

In terms of amp simulation software, you're much better off going with free programs than you are paying for something. Guitar Rig has relatively lifeless tone, as mentioned in a post above. If you're dead set on paying for amp sims, then get Amplitube 3. It's expensive but completely worth it. You can definitely get a good tone with it, but it takes lots of time. If you choose that program, then play with the micing of cabs and try different microphones. What I would suggest is going through each microphone and listening to for subtle differences in them.

If you're okay with getting free amp sims (and who isn't?) then here's a list of all the ones I've used that are worth anything (as well as other plugins that are essential for good tone:

LePou
~ LeGion (original amp model from Poulin; it's great for rhythms, but I wouldn't use it for leads)
~ LeCto (supposed to be modeled off a Mesa Boogie Double Rectifier, I think. It does the job great, and has two different drive settings. Both are pretty high gain, so you could probably find something you like out of this)
~ LeXTAC (this amp is creamy sounding, but very high gain. It's awesome for thick leads that cut through the mix)
~ Hybrit (this is a great british Class A amplifier meant to model 70's Marshall sounds. With a Tubescreamer plugin, it can be used to attain a really thick, doomy tone)
~ Le456 (this is an Engl Fireball model. The GUI isn't exactly my favourite aspect of this amp, but it's pretty good at modeling the high gain and the punch of the Fireball)
~ SoloC (this is a Soldano amp model. It's sort of like the LeGion almost, but it's got more versatility in the tones you can get. I haven't played with this one too much, honestly.)

Ignite Amps
~ NRR-1 (If there was ever an amp that should be mandatory to have in your collection of sims, it's this one. It's clean tone is GOD LIKE, and it can only be rivaled by the clean tones I've gotten with Amplitube 3. It's absolutely fantastic. It's got really great drive too, but clean is definitely it's strongest point, hands down.)
~ The Anvil (I think, personally, this is a weaker version of the NRR-1, but it's still got some strengths about it. Haven't used it too much since it's pretty resource heavy.)

TSE
~ TSE X50 (this is a Peavey 5150 amp sim, supposedly, but I think the sound and design is a bit closer to the 6505. Calling it great doesn't do this amp justice; it's probably one of the best free amp sims I've used, and it's got monster gain. My only complaint is that it's incredibly resource heavy compared to other amp sims, so keep that in mind. It's still definitely worth the download.)
~ TSE X30 (this is an ENGL Tube Preamp 530 model. This thing is like the X50 but just a step under it. It's really great, and has really colourful distortion, as well as a great EQ section. Probably still my favourite amp sim.)

Stuff you MUST get
~ TSE 808 (Excellent Tubescreamer 808 sim, and it's fantastic. It's got the tone right, doesn't cut too much low end like other TS plugins, and boosts the signal.)
~ LeCab (this is an impulse loader from LePou. LeCab 2 is also out, but I think LeCab is simpler to use if you're not recording. There are MANY MANY MANY impulses from many different cabs all around the internet. PM me if you want some links)

Other Notable Amp Sims
~ Peavey ReValver mk3 (this is an official Peavey software in which their most famous amps are modeled, along with some generic stomp pedals, and a great option to mod the amps to your liking by changing the tubes, adding tubes, changing tonestacks, etc.)
~ Ronald Passion (first thing you should do is turn off the cabs since they're pretty garbage. Next, get LeCab or LeCab 2 and load some cab impulses of your own. It's great for dirty drive tones, but just get rid of the stock cabs!)
~ Simulanalog Guitarsuite (this comes with a Marshall JCM900 sim, a Fender Twin Reverb sim, a Tubescreamer plugin, and various other famous effects. Don't download it from the official download page. Instead, get it from Requietus)
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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:30 pm 
 

shouvince wrote:
I use a laptop mostly. Planning to upgrade to a faster machine. Btw, I checked out your videos. Quite awesome covers :metal:

I use a laptop with 6 GB memory and i5 processor. Very doable.
Thanks - for your information: the more recent covers are purely VST-based. ;)
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rabidmadman
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 529
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:29 pm 
 

Get yourself a cheap soundblaster soundcard that would work well with guitar rig. Pirate Get yourself a copy of guitar rig (at your own risk) Get a 1/4 to 1/8th inch adapter for your guitar cable and plug into your sound card. This should cost you no more than $15 total.


Last edited by Zodijackyl on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don't advocate illegal things, thanks.

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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:10 am 
 

Sweet. Thanks for all the inputs guys, especially Det_Morkettall.

Dubhar wrote:
shouvince wrote:
Any good (read cheaper) DAWs? I was suggested Reaper over Cubase. Also, what are the issues with latency with this set up? How do you overcome it?


I got the bundle version of Cubase with my ZOOM H-4N (microphone/recording interface/DI thing), and it's complete rubbish, crashes at the slightest touch. My cousin uses the full retail version in his studio and says it works fine for him, while the bundle version he started with did the same to him.


I doubt I'll ever get the Zoom H4N coz I have the Zoom H1 for basic recording purposes. Thanks for the warning though, I won't go with Cubase and I was looking at a home computer/laptop set up anyway.

xpsychoblissx wrote:
I always recommend Line 6 interfaces--they're always cheap and have very good quality. The Line 6 Studio GX is like $50 or less on Ebay, and comes with PodFarm, which has LOADS of virtual amps.


I checked out the reviews and demos on youtube and for a noob, that looked drool-worthy at dirt cheap rates. I am going to seriously consider that. Amazon is retailing it for $99. I'll check the local music stores, might get a better offer there.

Goran wrote:
shouvince wrote:
I use a laptop mostly. Planning to upgrade to a faster machine. Btw, I checked out your videos. Quite awesome covers :metal:

I use a laptop with 6 GB memory and i5 processor. Very doable.
Thanks - for your information: the more recent covers are purely VST-based. ;)


Yup, I'll get a faster processor and RAM.

rabidmadman wrote:
Get yourself a cheap soundblaster soundcard that would work well with guitar rig. Pirate Get yourself a copy of guitar rig (at your own risk) Get a 1/4 to 1/8th inch adapter for your guitar cable and plug into your sound card. This should cost you no more than $15 total.


Hmm, seems like a temporary solution? I'll check out Guitar Rig.

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somefella
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 2533
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:31 am 
 

You can buy a Vox Metal Amplug. It's a tiny device that lets you play guitar through headphones, or a hi-fi, or computer/portable speakers. All the above are pretty big investments. If you're just looking to try out playing electric guitar, just get this. It's pretty damn cheap anyway.
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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:29 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
You can buy a Vox Metal Amplug. It's a tiny device that lets you play guitar through headphones, or a hi-fi, or computer/portable speakers. All the above are pretty big investments. If you're just looking to try out playing electric guitar, just get this. It's pretty damn cheap anyway.


Hey, thanks for the info but I checked out the link on Amazon and it says:
"Available in three styles: VOX AC30, Classic Rock, and Metal."

That's somewhat limiting, no? I am looking for a cheap but durable option. Correct me if I'm wrong but through the StudioGX + PodFarm, I'll be getting lots of tweakable tones, right?

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:39 pm 
 

shouvince wrote:
somefella wrote:
You can buy a Vox Metal Amplug. It's a tiny device that lets you play guitar through headphones, or a hi-fi, or computer/portable speakers. All the above are pretty big investments. If you're just looking to try out playing electric guitar, just get this. It's pretty damn cheap anyway.


Hey, thanks for the info but I checked out the link on Amazon and it says:
"Available in three styles: VOX AC30, Classic Rock, and Metal."

That's somewhat limiting, no? I am looking for a cheap but durable option. Correct me if I'm wrong but through the StudioGX + PodFarm, I'll be getting lots of tweakable tones, right?


Yea, with pod farm there's basically an unlimited amount of tones you can get. You also can tweak what type of virtual microphone you're using and you can change the virtual distance it is from the speaker(s). There's also virtual effect pedals, distortion pedals, noise gates, compressors, etc. On top of all of that, there's amps for bass and vocals too, if you ever want to get into that. The Studio GX is also high quality--more than good enough for recording pro-quality music. Definitely go with the Line 6 stuff. You won't regret it. lol

*Edit* I forgot to mention that the Studio GX has a headphone jack and stuff, too, so playing with headphones is really easy. The installation of PodFarm only takes like 10 minutes max, so you'll be playing with tons of amps in less than 15 minutes after plugging it in for the first time.
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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2709
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:58 pm 
 

Thanks for the info Psychobliss! Yeah, I have pretty much made up my mind on buying this. Now all I have to do is save up and probably get this with my January salary.

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xThe__Wizard
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:59 pm
Posts: 845
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:01 pm 
 

Wow that Tascam US-122MKII looks nice. Perfect for what I want to do.

Props to Goran yo!
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:26 pm 
 

shouvince wrote:
Thanks for the info Psychobliss! Yeah, I have pretty much made up my mind on buying this. Now all I have to do is save up and probably get this with my January salary.


No problem! When you get it, let me know how you like it!
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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:29 pm 
 

In case you want to know what some of them sound like, check the link in my sig to my new album. All the rhythms were done with LePou VSTs, specifically the LE456 and the LeCab 2.0. The leads were done with various VSTs, mostly LePou's stuff. I'm by no means an expert, but I think I got a pretty good sound out of them, and I highly recommend his stuff.
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