Monday, November 1, 2010

What's the Difference, Bro?


Lately I've been rather intrigued by the guitar amp/effect modeling features in my version of Garage Band. In fact it inspired me to conduct a little experiment.

Would would happen if I tested Garage Band's model of a Vox AC30 with my AC30?

Check out the following clip to see (or hear, I guess) the results.



  1. I like that you did this! Nothing beats the real thing, but at least the models don't sound horrible. They are better than most.

  2. Sam,

    Thanks for writing. Yeah, I thought the AC model on Garage band was pretty dang good. I really like the cleaner sound, and in fact I think it sounds relatively close to the real thing. The real amp has a little more mids than the virtual one, but I thought a lot of the tonality and dynamic range was pretty close. With that said, the dirtier sound on the garage band amp wasn't nearly as dirty as the real amp itself, even though the knobs on both the virtual amp and the real one were at the same place on the panel. But here's the biggest things I took away from this experiment:
    1. The settings of the virtual amp are NOT burned on to the track itself. Meaning, after I record a track, if I want more gain, less gain, more mids, more bass, I can make those adjustments on the fly as many times as I want and change the tone of the track without having to re-record! Not so with the real amp!
    2. I know that in order to make the real AC30 sit in a song as part of a greater work of music, I would need to compress it and dial down some of the harshness in EQ. The Garage Band amp already seems to have that covered. In other words, the fake amp sounds more "track-ready" than the real one does unprocessed.

    This begs the question: After adjustments, tweaking and mixing of a track using the real AC30, would it possibly end up sounding like the virtual one afterall?

    Thanks again Sam,

    PS Anybody else got any thoughts, perspectives, ideas, suggestions? I don't care if you post anonymously, I just want to hear from you!

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