Reality Check before the bias plunge.

  • After playing with amp sims, Does anyone ever go back to real Amps and pedals?

    I’m considering getting the desktop studio bundle for bias. Digging in and learning the ins and outs. I’m primarily an acoustic player who is getting into electric guitar sounds—on the doom/heavy side of the spectrum.

    I remember the early days of vst effects where the reverbs/chorus/whatever were never quite up to snuff—no matter how much you tweaked it.

    I’m thinking of recent Tosin video where his entire live rig is/was analog. He looked extremely happy—like a kid in candy store. Digital gear mysteriously absent.

    Is it generally accepted that amp sim tech is good enough now?
    Kind of like very few people discuss merits of digital over tape—as the tech got better.

    I’m not well versed in amps/pedals for the guitar and I could go either way as the bias bundle is $500+.
    I’m not looking for a rant response. Mostly, do electric guitarists generally accept that the tech is ‘good enough’ sonically? If so, I’ll dive in!
    Thanks in advance.

  • A2

    I do my absolute damndest not to mic any guitar stuff, and rarely even take an amp's line out to a IR modeller. For distorted sounds I have never ever been even as close to as happy as I am now with Bias FX. I still do some other stuff for crystal clean (usually), but even that I tend to have bias fx in the chain for. I'm not super thrilled with the included choruses always, but as this is part of a VST chain, it doesn't really matter, I just use whatever other one I want.

    It took me some doing to get over the moon happy, by using some external IR's and baking them into the amps in Bias Amp, but with even the included 4x12's that come stock with bias fx, (especially the mesa cab from bias amp 1), I was happier than with any real amp recording setup I've ever recorded....this from a lifetime and going on my third decade of doing nothing else in life but working in recording studios.

    The closest second was the intro guitar sound working with Max Norman on Megadeth's Almost Honest, which used to be the tone I aimed for since that job, but I can get a sound I am happier with than that now with BiasFX stock (with a multiband compressor after it anyway)

  • Apart from all that other good stuff, it's very hard to beat the sheer convenience of it all, in fact impossible to beat. But it is fun playing through real amps when ever the urge takes you, but certainly not the lugging and setting up :)

  • Most of the biggies play amps all the time. Pete Thorn plays everything, but I bet he prefers an amp if he can. And there's a difference in sound between when he mics one, and when he plugs into an interface. Both sound good or great, but the amp sounds more in front of you.

  • Dude, we can't tell you if you are going to like something or not and no one has hard data on what most people think. Some people love digital, some don't. If you are going to be focused on recording or DAW use, plugins are the way to go, IMHO; but you can come up with a bunch of testimony from other people who feel differently; it is like religion.

    The basic thing is this, though: ten to fifteen years ago, almost everyone felt like digital was a compromise. Now, it is fully viable with many people like myself, feeling like it is superior (have fun micing those cabs and treating those rooms analog guys). I would never go back to a traditional rig. You have many more professionals some of them with enough money to use anything doing it too, at least some of the time, live in particular. Look at the Kemper and Fractal users and the rig rundowns on Premier Guitar... more and more digital units.

    My advice would be to demo the software yourself. That is one advantages of VSTs in particular. Most of them allow you to go hands on and see if it is for you.

  • Thanks to everyone their opinions and advice!
    I think I’ll scale back my bias buy and get a nice boutique 5-10 watt tube amp too. Why not grow with both?

    I’m basing my decision (partly) on tone I was able to get with the full suite of bias fx and amp2—on my iPad. I’m assuming the tone quality is reasonably similar b/w desktop and the iPad.

    Learning with both. I think that will be more fun (less stressful) —which is the main goal these days.

    Again, thank you.