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Does any 'Amp Modeler + Plug-in' Hybrid Digital Solution Exist?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Dans, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Dans

    Dans Member

    Jul 3, 2014
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    Being an avid user of guitar amp sim plugins for years, both in the studio and during live performance, I thought I can't be the only one who wish for some sort of 'Amp modeler + plug-in' solution in a more all-in-one form. Let me explain what I've always wanted and feel free to chime in. I'm very interested in hearing what you guys think.

    I've been using amp sim VSTs for studio and live for years, and also having had experiences with Axe Fx II, Pod, Helix, Kemper and whatnot, I've always wonder the following:

    1. Wouldn't it be great if I can use the amp sim VSTs in combination with amp modelers and in any order (of the signal flow) I like? For example, using the Ignite Amps Emissary VST as the main amp head, but have hardware amp modeler responsible for boost pedal (before the VST), and IR, delay, reverbs (after the VST). So it'll ease the CPU loading on my computer while benefiting from the external processing power.

    From what I know, this is only possible by hooking up the output of a modeler to an audio interface, have a computer process the VST and then out from the audio interface back to the modeler. I'm not sure if there's any method to achieve this without going an additional AD/DA conversion.

    2. Wouldn't it be great if I can not only have the above-mentioned setting in a live situation, but also able to switch not only the on/off of any effect on the amp modeler, but ALSO the plugins on my computer, all from the same floor unit (the amp modeler).

    I don't mean the amp modeler has to host/process the VSTs, I just want to be able to hook up both the modeler and the plugins (a computer, and possibly thru only one USB cable or some sort) in any order I like and have all the controls right beneath my foot step.

    So, there're several products that can tackle my request with different angles, but none of them really does everything all together (not from what I know):

    1. UA Arrow (or most products of theirs): Audio interface with DSP. It's possible to use it for amp tones along with 3rd party plugins in any combination in your DAW (if I understand the product correctly). But you need an additional MIDI controller if you want to switch plugins on and off.

    2. Nektar Pacer: Seems to be the most up-to-date MIDI foot controller that works great not only with DAW, but can be mapped to switch pretty much any amp/amp modeler. But then you still need to carry at least an amp/amp modeler/audio interface of some sort to use it with.

    3. Blue Cat Audio Axiom: The software solution for my request, which integrate both the internal processing and 3rd party plugins extremely well, however all the processing is still done by the computer, and you still need something else to do the foot switching.

    From what I know, most of the advance amp modelers these days (Axe Fx, Helix, Kemper, etc) can all do very extensive MIDI switching. Having the computer switching all the patches for you while playing along with the DAW session is of course great, but on top of that, none of these units seem to be able to do what I'd like to do, that is, to integrate the 3rd party plug-ins into the floor unit for intuitive control, so I can use my favorite plugins, have the DAW switch patches for me (if I want), reduce the computer's CPU loading, and have all the switches on the same unit.

    I'm by no means a pro when it comes to these things, so I wonder if something like this is possible, or maybe some manufacturers will incorporate these features in the future products? If there's already viable solution out there for my need (or if I totally miss/misunderstand some of the functions of the existing products), please let me know!

    Anyhow, I hope you guys find the topic interesting. Cheers! ;)
  2. deLuther

    deLuther Member

    Aug 2, 2007
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    VSTs require significantly more computational power. In case of HW amp modellers processors usually have less computational power and fewer memory.
    In case of of performing some computations on addition processing machine most probably you will have more latency.

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