What Do Guitar Home Recording Artists Think Of Amplitube Software?

My musician friend is doing his best to convince me that this is the best PC-base amp modeling software going (for my price point…he uses Pro Tools).

Is this shit worth it? Anyone used it?

Here’s what he recommended to me:

http://www.samash.com/avid-fast-track-solo-usb-audio-interface-w-pro-tools-express-a6532600x

In conjunction with this:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AmpliTube3e/

Video demo of amp models: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_B_TTQitKs

Anyone have any experience with this shit?

I use Logic Pro 9 and it has a bunch of amp models and stuff included with it… but i never use it because I already have my own guitar gear, which now includes USB outs so I can plug my effects board into the computer and record direct. I even got a XLR-to-USB converter from Shure for my microphones so I can record my vocals (or whatever else) direct now too.

Do you really need the amp modeling software or is it “something that is cool and would be kind of neat to have”?

Well, I’m interested in recording my playing, and to do that with a PC it seems you really need some kind of modeling software, in addition to other equipment. I’m just seeing if anyone has any experience with any of this kind of stuff because I don’t.

Ah ok, no, you don’t need any modeling software to record your guitar.

All you need is a program like Sound Forge or Acid Pro (even the free Acid Music will let you record tracks) or Cubase or any of a zillion other multi-track record/mix programs available.

Now how you get your guitar into the computer could take some work, but at worst you might need to convert your XLR to a ¼" jack and then to a mini in order to use the mic input on your computer. My recommendation, if you are using a microphone, is to get the aforementioned Shure X2u. Heck, I just checked and you can get them on Amazon for $99. They work with any XLR mic; I have a collection and so far they’ve all worked perfectly with the X2u, even the Sennheisers and the AKG mics. :wink:

If you use a pedal board or multi-effects pedal board or even just a single stomp box, if you bought it within the last 2 years, chances are it has a USB out.

And if you are using midi gear, as I sometimes do, you can’t beat a Midiman and they’re cheap too at $69.

If you have a guitar rig already, and you have effects so you can access a number of different sounds you like (country twang, crunchy rock, slick solo, etc.), you prolly don’t have any real need for amp modeling software. As I said, I have it and I never use it, preferring to just use the guitar sound I’ve been writing songs with and am used to playing.

I’ve used Amplitube. It is pretty neat with a couple caveats.

The good: You can dial in some pretty nice tones. You can change tone after recording. There are a ton of different options and effects.

The bad: Lag. Unless you’ve got a really spiffy PC the lag between hitting a note and that note traversing the wire, hitting the plugin and back out to the speakers can screw with your timing. Do to the lag I recorded with Amplitube out of the loop which is a bit of bummer as you don’t know if certain things (especially pick harmonics) come out clean until you go back and listen with it in the loop. With Amplitube 2, the tones were good but they aren’t great. I don’t know about 3.

A note, Pro Tools is a recording platform, not an amp sim. The interface in your first link comes with a lite Pro Tools version. Amplitube will run as a plugin to Pro Tools.

If you already have an amp you like, the Avid interface and a Sure SM57 ought to do fine. Pro Tools should come with some plugins (reverb, delay, eq) and even with the simple tools you can get some pretty good sounds if you play around a bit.

Slee

Absolutely no clue; sorry. I don’t spend any of my guitar time recording and have no software as a result. Probably should, but I have so little time to just sit down and lose myself in guitar to begin with that I am selfish about hoarding that time…

I have Guitar Rig but I seldom run it as I’m usually noodling around on my acoustic. There’s a lot of complexity to it which kind of turned me off. But the tone, modelling , looping and other features are great if you want to invest some time in becoming competant with them.

Yes…I meant it to say that but your words came out better!

So I’ve got Amplitube 3 now, but I don’t yet have an audio interface like the Avid Fast Track USB listed in my OP. My friend convinced me that this device was the way to go as it uses a watered down version of Pro Tools and will work seamlessly with Amplitude. So if I understand everything correctly, I will need that USB audio interface, possibly some cables if they aren’t included, headphones or monitor speakers (apparently these types of things won’t play through your PC speakers), a guitar and the Amplitude and I should be good to go…right?

The Amplitude software is smart too. I just opened it for the first time after downloading it and it immediately noticed that I had no audio interface.

There’s a cheap and easy way around that lag problem: LightSnake cables.

It’s a ¼" male connector on one end, with a USB on the other AND with a female ¼" jack so you can plug headphones in and listen to your guitar before it makes it to the computer. I used them for years before everything came with a USB out and can testify as to their reliability (100%) and that they work as advertised (they do).

You need an audio interface of some sort. The nice thing about the little packages is that they generally give you everything you need to start. The down side about that particular interface is that it is 24-bit/48 kHz resolution. The khz is the sample rate IIRC and that is pretty low. The higher the better. I believe that the lower end Avid/Pro Tools interfaces are at 96kHz. The higher end interfaces are at 192kHz.

I would really suggest spending a bit more on the outset. For a $150 more you can get the MBox. It is higher resolution and more interfaces.

Additionally, look for bundles with plugins included. Sometimes you can get drum machines/synths and all kinds of stuff tossed in for free.

Slee

To clarify this further for FoieGras, in my experience pretty much all modeling software (Amplitube, Guitar Rig, POD Farm, etc) will run as plugins in any host that can run VSTs on Windows (I’m less clear about Mac plugins). And pretty much any recording software you want to use should load VSTs. Pro Tools, Ableton, yada. I can’t speak toward lower cost or free DAWs and VST compatibility, but I bet it’s there.

There are also quite a lot of free VST plug-ins out there. Some do modeling.

They all do that. Audio software is pretty useless sans audio.

No experience with Amplitube. I record through a Tech 21 Leeds pedal plugged directly into an audio interface and it sounds great.

I texted my friend about that issue with the resolution and he said to essentially forget about it because I won’t ever hear the difference and that it basically has nothing to do with the sound and everything to do with the sync rates between hardware. He elaborated to say that his metal band recorded their entire record at that resolution, and from the tracks he’s sent me I must admit they sound pretty damn good.

So, I’m inclined to believe him. sleestak I investigated that latency issue you described with older versions of Amplitube and consulted my friend…he said that the Avid box will resolve any latency issues as it will serve as the system clock. I also saw that there’s downloadable patches online to deal with that issue, so…

Yeah. I guess I’m still fishing for opinions.

There’s a deal for Amplitube right now through IK multimedia, that someone over on the Rocksmith forum posted a link to, where you can get two to six free Amplitube software products with a purchase of one, depending on how many other people join in the deal. The deal runs through Feb. 28th.

Poking around there, it looks like there’s a demo version, so you could try it out.

Thanks for that. Unfortunately I have already purchased the digital download for Amplitude 3 for a hundred bucks through sweetwater. I am still combing eBay for deals on the Avid audio interface.

I sure hope my PC can run all this.

I’ve got both Amplitude (LE edition, came with my Tascam USB audio interface) and Guitar Rig (full version). I run them both as effects in Ableton Live. On my i7 laptop, I don’t have much latency.

I much prefer Guitar Rig - maybe because I have used it more and for longer (7 years or so). I have set up MIDI controls with my FCB-1010 to change patches/modulate controls. It is cool and fun, although the names given to the amps are a bit silly.

In fact, I am not sure Amplitude works properly - I had issues with Authorization and UAC. But with most of my music gear in a shipping container I haven’t had time to sort it out.

When GuitarRig came out, it seemed to be the standout, according to most posts on forums where people with clues might post.

I use Scuffham’s S-Gear, which for $100 is awesome. (Actually, I have an earlier version; they’ve added a couple more amp models.)

IMHO, no amp modeling software sounds like a real good bluesy tube amp. But for home recording, it sounds a lot better than what I can do miking an amp, without spending a lot of fuss on room treatment, mic placement, etc., and driving everyone I live with and the neighbors nuts.

Part of the fun of recording electric guitar is trying all the million things you can do to get a cool sound. Ignoring mic placement (which is big), stuff like this:

  • amp back to the wall
  • pulled out a couple feet
  • facing the wall
  • in a closet (door shut, open, or between)
  • in a bathroom (door shut, open, or between)

The list goes on and on. The thing is, I’m just no longer into that much fun. I guess I got old, or I got tired of people I live with giving me a hard time about all the noise. So I plug in and use headphones.

I have not compared the various programs. I’ve mixed guitar tracks recorded (by others) using Line 6 POD XT (and that was years ago) and I liked the way those sounded. I also have a (rather old) Digitech Genesis3, which doesn’t sound as good as the POD XT but I like it and it’s great when I play keyboards and second on guitar. I would not want it as primarily a guitarist, though I have recorded a few tracks with it. Even a modest tube amp like my Fender Blues Deluxe is way better (and too loud, dammit).

If you have budget limitations, don’t waste money on an audio interface over and above a typical decent USB one (though, try to pick one with low latency on your hardware platform … I don’t remember where to find the latency benchmarks). As you spend over $150 on an audio interface, you’re probably spending money for a tiny incremental improvement you’ll never hear, whereas you could put that money towards something else that makes a huge difference.

Here’s my general order of importance:

1 - instruments
2 - monitors (you can’t mix what you can’t hear. If you’re only tracking, less important.)
3 - mics
4 - mic preamps
5 - audio interface (assuming you have one that’s at least decent)

Before bothering with the audio interface, also try your computer’s line inputs, if it has them, with ASIO4ALL driver (for Windows) which will give you much lower latency. (Without it, built-ins aren’t worth bothering with.) Don’t even bother with a mic input; they’re crap (and I’m no purist). While built-in line inputs aren’t ideal, they’re often still pretty damn good.

Google “dpclat” and “LatencyMon” for two useful Windows latency checkers, to see if you have issues, but don’t assume its red line means not good enough. They give slightly different info and I find them both useful.

I’ll just go ahead and recommend a zoom H4n. It’s a portable recorder with pretty good mics, left/right xlr-inputs and usb(Functions as an audio-interface. Guitar is mono anyway, so just go left or right and double it in whatever software you choose.), and can also do 4-track recording. For software I’d either go for some lite demo thing, garageband or cockos reaper(cheap and awesome), and go to kvraudio.com for a couple of free vst’s.

I’ve been using this setup for a while with a mixer added, and since I do a lot of my stuff live anyway it’s kind of ideal bc of the portability. It’s simple, quite cheap and have some flexibility if you find out that you want to expand from just recording guitar at home.