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  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Hi Joe/All I'm confused about whether to use rack effects in Amplitube for EQ, compression etc or whether to use the usual plug-ins in my DAW (Tracktion Waveform) since they both do the same job. Putting any sound difference to one side for a minute, what would be the typical workflow in a real studio?: 1. Guitarist records tracks with stomp boxes, amp and cab and then producer mixes and adds EQ/Comp/Delay in the DAW or 2. Guitarist records track with stomp boxes, amp, cab and EQ/Comp/Delay rack effects to get the 'perfect' sound they want and then producer mixes with minimal plug-ins, just what's needed to avoid any clash with other tracks/instruments. or 3. A combination of both 1 and 2. I know I can break the 'rules' but it would help me to follow what would normally happen in the studio first and then I've got a starting point for any further tweaking. I'm leaning towards option 2 purely because, what would be the point of having rack effects in Amplitube if everyone used their DAW plug-ins instead! Cheers Steve
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1520
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Hi Steve - Often guitarists will want to record with their favorite stompboxes, to make sure they get down their "signature sound". However, those effects can sometimes be noisy or buzzy or otherwise problematic for a studio recording, or those effects might turn out to not work eventually in context of the full mix, so it would be nice to record a clean guitar signal at the same time, if possible, so if there's an issue later the mix the engineer might have the option to recreate that "signature sound" with higher-quality studio effects/plug-ins, or modify the sound as needed for the particular song/mix. This could potentially be done via a direct box inserted prior to effects/amp in the guitarist's signal chain. Of course, if you're using virtual stompbox effects then it's always possible to change/modify the sound at any time, so there's always full flexibility. To get a particular guitar sound, I'd tend to apply effects that model traditional stompboxes ahead of the virtual amp, for the sound of those effects being run through the amp, as they would be wired in on stage -- typical FX might be distortion/overdrive/fuzz, etc; effects that model rackmount boxes might be applied after the virtual amp. For more general-purpose processing, the usual effects -- EQ, compression, etc --can be added specifically for the particular mix, as needed. But as you noted, if you're using virtual stompboxes & effects there are no rules, so whatever sounds best is the way to go..
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  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Thanks Joe, the fog is starting to clear! I get what you said about stomp boxes especially fuzz/wah etc before the amp and the need for a DI input as an alternative to the hardware effects that the guitarist might bring along to the studio. But I'm still a bit mystified about post-amp rack effects and when they would get used... The virtual rack effects in Amplitube are compressors, EQ, delay etc. and I'm assuming they are modelling what was originally a piece of hardware. Was the original hardware part of a guitarists stage performance kit or was this always part of the recording studio equipment? If it's the first option then maybe the idea is to reproduce the sound the guitarist would have produced on stage? If it's the second maybe it's to reproduce the sound the guitarist would have produced in the studio before recording to tape? In either case, I'm trying to understand the context and history of these rack effects to understand why Amplitube went to the bother of emulating them in their product when they could have relied on producers using their DAW plug-ins instead and just provided the virtual stomp boxes. Another thought that crossed my mind was that maybe they are intended for stand-alone/performance use when Amplitube isn't being used as a DAW plug-in and the performer doesn't have access to other DAW plug-ins? Sorry to labour the point but I don't want to invest a lot of time in learning how to use them and then find I would have been better off using my DAW plug-ins in any case. Cheers Steve
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1520
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Hi Steve - Many guitarists want to be able to get the finished guitar sound on their records on stage as well, so they may carry around a rack with all the studio effects they prefer, in addition to any stompbox effects they may run the guitar through on the way to the amp. Guitarists have been doing that since long before virtual effects, so I assume Amplitube is offering models of some of those classic rackmount effects, for anyone who wants the sound of a particular favorite hardware effect -- maybe one they've been using live for years. You could certainly try using some of those rackmount effects as an alternative to your usual studio effect plug-ins, especially if you like the specific analog-like sound of some of them. But for general purpose (post-amp) mix processing your DAW's effects should also be fine.
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  • Dark Lane
    Posts: 16
    Joined: May 14th, 2020
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Thanks Joe - much clearer now Steve
    Reply
  • speakerz
    Posts: 4
    Joined: Nov 26th, 2021
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    Use amp sim effects for guitar sound. I don't like to add effects after I record my guitars. It can be done for piano or drums, but not with guitars
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1520
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Using rack effects in guitar amp sim plug-ins
    While some guitarists do present a fairly finished sound for recordings, when guitar tracks are worked into the mix, just like any other instrument parts they might benefit from some further processing at times -- it all depends on the specifics of the parts, the particular recordings, and the overall mix. And remember, if a guitarist plays through an amp/effect sim plug-in when recording, the amp sound and the effects are not printed to the track, so they can always be tweaked and fine-tuned later in context of the finished arrangement.
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