Guitar Amp Software

Questions and Answers

Use your PC as a guitar amp.?

At target, I saw a guitar cable where one end was a USB. Is there some sort of software where I can plug my guitar into my PC, and it would have a bunch of distortion effects that I could use instead of an amp?

Posted by joe d
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Yes but you need a massive amount of equipment better off just getting a good amp, and a few pedals. Unless of course your a guitar teacher.

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Questions and Answers

Do amp modelling softwares work with electro-acoustic guitars?

I've got a Granada steel string electro acoustic guitar (active internal pickup). It gives an beautiful clean sound when connected to an amplifier, or played unplugged. The problem is that, I can't get the same clean tone when i use amp modelling programs lie amplitube 2 or guitar rig. The tone has a distinct nasal tone to it, and the chords are worse. I connect the guitar to the line in port using a cable converter. So Do amp modelling softwares work with electro-acoustic guitars? Or do I just need to play around with the settings a bit?

Posted by Banshee
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Of course, although you have to fiddle with it a bit to make it work.

First I would ask if you've tried connecting a different guitar and heard the results. There are a fair number of variables that you're working with, and it could be a number of different things.

As the other answerer said, it could be weak computer speakers. Does it sound that way with headphones?

Second, have you tried turning all options and effects on these programs off first, and used the cleanest settings you could (ie reduce your gain!!!).

Third, have you tried it with a different guitar and gotten the same results?

Fourth, its important to note that when an instrument is played through speakers, a certain amount of high end is rolled off (usually around/above 3 khz). This is integral to getting the "guitar" sound that we hear, and not having it leads to lots of fuzz and static when you're playing with distortion, or definitely a weird over-trebly tone without. So, using whatever options you have in your program (sorry, not familiar with enough to give you specifics) try the following:

* add a cab/speaker simulator in the signal chain. Try using a 4×12 cab setting, as this will generally cut the most high end and give the biggest bass boost.

* add a low-pass between 3 khz – 6 khz at the end of your signal chain (try both pre- and post-preamp). Also try a gentle boost in your lower mids, say +3db between 400 and 800 hz. I don't like to boost lower than that, because the low end on the guitar tends to muddy up the mix. When mixing I automatically high-pass the guitar at 150 hz, then listen and see how it fits in as I raise the low-pass. I've gone as high as 500 hz when that particular guitarist/amp/mic combination was just totally trashing on the mix. Doing this makes the guitar sound weak when played solo, but really helps it fit in with other instruments.

* reduce your guitar's output and/or reduce the line in volume/gain

* do you have onboard EQ on your guitar? Lower the tone/high frequencies.

* reduce the gain!!! Low gain = better clarity, more headroom, chords sound better, etc.

Some internal pickups are made from piezo elements (ie contact mics) and they tend to have a brittle, trebly quality to them. If that's the case…. Well, no, it sounds good plugged into an amp. Hmmm….

If you want a good distorted sound, you will most likely have to take out a chunk of the guitar's lower mids. 300-400 hz and even around 800 hz are good places to cut aggressively (ie -6 to -9 db, if not higher). Its also worth doing a low-pass before distortion (ie pre-amp), and/or putting the high-pass before distortion as well. In fact, bass is the biggest contributor to crappy sounding (fuzz, muddy, farty) distortion, so don't be afraid to take a chunk out of the low end by any means necessary!

That's about it… Good luck!


Questions and Answers

Is it possible use a guitar amp software on an acoustic guitar?

I bought a microphone that can stick to my shirt, in short, a pinch microphone. I have a sound system that i use with my pc and it has a microphone port of 6mm ( I think ). I insert the mic head into the sound hole of my acoustic guitar and i plug in the mic and voila! It works fine. Now I can hear my acoustic guitar amplified. But I want to use a guitar amp software on my acoustic guitar. Tell me if it is possible with that.
Thanks in advance.

Posted by Usman
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Technically yes you can do that. You'd use a multitrack audio software that takes VST or AU (Mac) plugins, and load that amp sim as a plugin. Then you'd record to that track, and the signal will be processed by the amp sim.

However, the guitar amp software typically expects the input signal to sound like that of an electric guitar, which by itself is quite dull and muddy sounding. Since an acoustic is brighter and sharper sounding, through a guitar amp sim you might get a thin scratchy sound. You could put an EQ plugin prior to the amp sim and roll off the highs a bit, maybe the lows too and approximate an electric guitar if you're going for a distorted sound.

If you want a clean sound, then you're better off running the acoustic guitar signal directly through an EQ, compressor, and reverb plugin without need for an amp sim.

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