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Virtual inst. for guitar vs. real amps in final recordings?

Member for

14 years 2 months
Hello all,

I have been using NI's Guitar Rig for a while now for quick and decent sounding guitar tracks when recording song demos. Music I generally tend to create are more on the punk rock/nu-metal spectrum.

I have been trying to do a little more research into the possibility of even using Guitar Rig/Amplitube for actual final recordings, but have been just a little curious as to how it compares to when actually recording the traditional way with mics and a decent amp. Not just how it may only compare to guitarists, but in the eyes and ears of mixing engineers or producers as well.

For all those that are aware or have some idea, do the fairly established or decently produced bands (i.e. bands that appear on billboard charts such as Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Hoobstank, The Used, etc.), only and just ONLY record their guitar tracks with mics and amps or do some of them also use these virtual guitar instruments for their final recordings?

Appreciate your comments and advice.


Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Sat, 12/29/2007 - 07:57
I haven't done any kind of scientific survey, but jsut reading various magazines indicates that (1) there are plenty of modeled amps used on hit records, but (2) using miced amps is still by far the most popular method.

While that's an answer to the question you asked, its not clear the answer has much bearing on a lot of people's situation. What is best for a multi-million dollar pro studio is not always what is best for a multi-thousand (or hundred) dollar project studio. Modeling devices make a lot of sense if you (a) are experimenting with a lot of different sounds, (b) can't afford a high quality amp of the type you really want, or (c) can't logistically handle recording with a real amp because of space or noise considerations. In particular, it doesn't makes sense to go out and buy a cheapo solid state amp because recording with an amp is the "right" way to record guitar. Not sure if any of this applies to you. My $.02.

Member for

14 years 2 months

RockNRoll Sun, 12/30/2007 - 10:36
Hi all,

Thanks for the comments! Yes, I posted the same topic in the music player forums to see what the community there thought...And in similar fashion, there seems to be a general consensus to a few people that this matter greatly depends on one's access to resources/time/budget...

I guess that it isn't exactly a 'cop out' or 'cheap out' to go the amp sim way especially if resources do not permit to go the 'killer analog' route.......if it sounds good with a lot of time spent on tweaking and mixing the final audible result and the track is rockin', then I guess one can't be faulted for anything if it sounds good especially if some people may not even know absolutely sure if it was analog or amp simulated, unless they were told so...

Thanks again!

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 12/30/2007 - 11:38
I wouldn't necessarily say "it's wrong to use modeling on your recordings", but I personally feel that the real deal is the best way to go. I've messed with Guitar Rig and Amplitube and sure, you can get some decent sounds out of some of it. But in the end I always went back to my 57 and Mesa. Just keep doing what you feel is best for you, but if you do have the equipment, time, and know how, I urge you to go with a mic'd up amp.