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Thermionik review and demo (in 9 styles)

Discussion in 'Backline' started by guitarjon, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. guitarjon

    guitarjon Member

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    I've been spending the last weeks exploring a LOT of guitar amp modeling platforms.
    Someone mentioned in one of my threads a while ago that I should check out Thermionik by Kazrog, so I did!

    I was aware of Kazrog since I bought Recabinet 2 years ago and a year or two ago I had bought K-Clip which is a cool limiter/clipper plugin.
    Since there was a discount on the Kazrog site I decided to buy the full bundle with all the Kazrog plugins including Thermionik.
    I didn't know much about that plugin, maybe I had seen it mentioned before once or twice.
    However, this proved to be the perfect opportunity to check it out.

    Thermionik is basically a 'simple' amp modeler with a very -to the point- interface.
    The interface isn't made to look fancy, that may through some people off at first but the sound is totally worth it.
    Each amp has it's own plugin so if you want to switch amps you have to load another instance.
    Also, there is no built-in cab in the actual amps so you have to use an IR loader after Thermionik.
    Luckily Kazrog has also release Recabinet 5 which is a cab loader with some cool functions.
    Browsing IR's in Recabinet is easy and there are some handy EQ and Filter options etc. in the interface.
    I also really like the speaker dynamics control.

    In total there are about 25 amps available, to be purchased seperately or bundled.
    One cool thing about the amp choices is that there are some more 'rare' amps and some highly sought after models too.
    Amps that stood out for me in that regard were the FB100 (Friedman BE100), Fueled Blue or Silver (Diezel VH4), M2CP or M4 (Mesa MKIIC+ and MKIV) and the Serpent (Framus Cobra).
    Some of those amps are very rare in amp modelers and some of them aren't often done well.
    One more feature that I really really appreciate about Thermionik is that all the amps have all the channels modeled.
    The different channels can be accessed via a drop down menu in the bottom of the plugins.
    Another thing that I really like is the switching options the amps have to offer, like bright and fat switches.

    Now about the sound:

    Of course I made another video demonstrating this platform in 9 different styles.
    In the top of the screen you can see which amp models were used for each part:



    I personally think Thermionik sounds very good!
    It's hard to imagine how one person made these amps soo good and made so many of them.
    The eq and drive character is very pleasant and balanced overall and the amps are easy to get right by using the available controls.
    I do think Thermionik sounds very realistic if you compare it to real amps.
    I often record guitar parts via my Axe FX but I imagine I'll avoid re-amping via my Fractal more often now, and just use Thermionik because it's just THAT good!

    There aren't any effects really aside from the drive stompboxes which are available too.
    So if you want an all in one solution with a bunch of effects and routing options maybe Thermionik isn't for you.
    But if you're looking for great raw guitar tones to easily shape to your liking, definitely check out Thermionik

    I would LOVE to know what you guys thought of the tones in the video and for those who have tried Thermionik, which amps do you like and how do you like to use it?
    Thermionik deserves to be talked about, especially here! :)

    Stay tuned for more platform demonstrations very soon!
     
    Kazrog likes this.
  2. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    Thermionic is simply the best sim for me. I've tried pretty much every known "best" sim out there, except S-Gear at the moment and ALWAYS after comparing them to Thermionic, I always prefer Thermionic. Mostly go with Psycho C, Duality, Serpent, Vocal TB and that simply because I'm mostly lazy and each time I put on other ones - I LOVE them.
     
  3. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    What i really like about Thermionik is that it models the amps as they are, there are no extra
    parameteres like in the AXE FX or HELIX that basically do not really anything but
    either make everything darker or brighter ;)

    I have tried the demo and it sounds pretty damn good, however the CPU usage seems quite massive!

    I have a pretty badass PC and a RME interface but loading 4 instances of Thermionik gets me
    pretty much to the limit @128 samples.

    I guess that's the only real disadvantage to the AXE FX II and HELIX,
    soundwise Thermionik absolutely slays!
     
    #3 FIXXXER, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  4. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    It's true that they sound great and the library is awesome. As you pointed out, there are so many choices.

    They do sound very good. What intrigues me though, is why are some of the sims very "boomy" that I must switch the "Bright" switch. While others almost lack low end. For example, the ENGL Savage is a very bright amp (real amp). So, even on "normal" mode, the Thermionik Damage sim is relatively bright (I've tried different IRs, it's always quite bright).

    But as a counter-example, the Duality 3Ch (Dual Rec 3 Channel) is A LOT more boomy, way too much. You need to turn the bright switch on in the sim. It fixes the problem.

    When comparing the 2 amps, yes the Rectifier is anyway "boomier" than the Savage. But the behaviors are not that different. While it's a lot different in the sims.

    It's not really a criticism, because in the end, you more or less figure a way to get the right tone, using the different switches within the sims. I was just curious to understand how come there is that big of a difference in the low end of the different sims.

    Did you notice the same thing in your review?
     
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  5. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    Kazrog always does A/B with physical counter part to approve sim. 2 same amps may sound slightly different + Thermionic knobs are not 1:1 to actual hardware.
    Best precision of tube saturation require more CPU but still I can record whole song (at least 2x rhythm and lead) sporting ezdrummer or kontakt on drums and bass with 64 sample buffer and Thermionic with quality on 5. At start CPU usage was big but now it's a bit more than most amp sims and it sounds better than other (at least for me). HUGE difference on CPU crap-out comes from audio interface drivers/ asio.
     
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  6. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    I've got a very nice interface and running Cubase. I really liked the Kazrog stuff, but it loads down the CPU way too much. That's the benefit of re-amping with my Axe-Fx. I either own or have demo'd everything @guitarjon has made a video of and I always come back to the Axe-Fx. However, Kazrog and TH3 were the better of the bunch.
     
    FIXXXER likes this.
  7. Kazrog

    Kazrog CEO/CTO, Kazrog, Inc.

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    Thanks, and fantastic video as I've told you before!

    As for CPU use, I am working on a new economy mode for low latency, independent of the quality slider itself. It's hard to emulate amps this accurately without using a ton of CPU, but I'd like to at least have a mode that gets "close enough" during tracking. Until then, at least we live in an age where freezing tracks is easy.

    PS - if you're willing to track through slightly anemic tones, disabling the power amp on Thermionik sims will save you a lot of CPU.
     
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  8. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    for me it works only if i turn off power amp simulation, 64 or 32 samples does not make a difference at all.
    i am using an RME interfac e which has pretty great drivers and my PC is pretty good also but on 32/64 samples one instance of
    thermionik in an empty project takes up to 80% of the ASIO. i really wonder how poeple even use ampsims this way especially people who work
    with older PC's or laptops.


    the internal processing of the AXE FX is really the only thing why i have not switched yet.
    IMHO thermionik sounds just as good maybe even better but having everything processed internally is a killer
    feature of the AXE FX.

    turning off the power amp simulation helps A LOT!
    i think turning it off while tracking should not be such a big deal.
     
  9. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Freezing tracks is great, but if you're freezing a lot and then start unfreezing you may run out of CPU. Of course you can commit to a sound and bounce it down in place. Also, you can't freeze FX sends and using a high quality reverb is mandatory for amp sims. They sound like shit without it. Just a touch, though.
     
  10. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    Well, even my 2011 late MacBook running win8 have no problem with projects in mixing stage with active sims.
     

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