A tale of two Amp Sims

Before I started my journey with Midi Guitar 2 I had no real need for a guitar amp vst.

Disatisfied with the amps that come with MG2 I’ve been trying out a few different offerings.

My first stop was Amplitube - it comes highly recommended on a few “best of” lists.

My experience:

A huge (slow download) which included having to register just to test drive their product.
The software certainly has a lot of bells and whistles (How many amp types does a guitarist need? I’ve played in bands for many years with just one amp!).

Straight out of the box the amps exhibit the most extreme latency I’ve ever encountered - it took so long to make a sound I initially thought it wasn’t working at all.

Ten minutes of fiddling with the settings finally brought the latency down to at least a useable (though far from satisfactory) level.

Next there was the white noise! Oh, so they mess up the amp with white noise until you pay for it. Fair enough, but what about the free amps as promised?

I know, I know. I should read the manual - but I’m old-school (and also getting just a little bit over Amplitube). So I send off a “please help” email to their support, who in all fairness came back to me quite quickly to show me what I had missed. (There’s an obscure little button at the top right you have to click to reveal the amps you own…Would it really kill them to use tool-tips?)

There has to be something better out there…

Enter “Blue Cat Audio

Go to their web site, click download…

WHAT? You DON’T want to know my inside leg measurement, next of kin, Date of Birth?!?!? How refreshing!

The amp downloads quickly and easily.

I scan it into MG2 - Holy crap! It just works. Not only that, it sounds awesome.

I think my next task is uninstalling the Amplitube bloat-ware.


i despise companies which consider your computer to be their marketing platform.

fortunately there are more and more solutions which 1) work! and 2) are cheap or free.

and unobtrusive. like a dignified old english butler, lurking silently in the shadows until his services are required.

nope, what we have instead is the virtual equivalent of an apple i-genius hipster doofus constantly reminding us that their new cloud-based tools fully incorporate ai and that we should subscribe now.


I love that analogy.

Blessed are the free software programmers :laughing:

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I’d tried the blue cat amp quite 5 years ago, which has the merit of being free and generously featured, as well as their effects bundle.
However, I found its sound unnatural and uninspiring for lack of feel.

Since then, after trying out (thanks to 14 day trial) most of the different amp simulators on the market (including Amplitube, which I shunned for the same reasons as you), I’ve decided to buy S-Gear by Scuffham Amps, which not only hasn’t disappointed me in 4 years, but continues to give me the thrill I expect when I play.
It’s far from being free, but over time I feel my investment has paid off as I just feel like playing on a real amp.

However, that’s my personal feeling, and everyone has their own preferences.

Among the free amps, do you know Neural Amp Modeler?
I don’t build the sounds myself, but I sometimes use certain models for particular sounds that interest me.

You can download the plugin here (selecting “Play” in the download choices):

And choose the amps here:

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Hi Herold

Neural Amp Modeler is on my “to be researched” list.

I’ll be sure to give S-Gear a test too.

Tone is very subjective, isn’t it. I love Roy Buchanan - I just wish he didn’t play that damned Telecaster! :grin: other people love it. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I downloaded the latest version of Genome 2 days ago.

I’m very impressed by the quality of this amp and feel in osmosis with its sound and responsiveness.
I hadn’t felt this with most other virtual amps apart from S-Gear, which is , as said before, my current main amp.

Genome has a lot going for it: a generous number of amp models, effects and cabs, serial or parallel routing and, above all, a Codex engine featuring complete-compatibility with Neural Amp Modeller (NAM), AIDA-X and Proteus captures, eliminating the need for a Neural Amp modeler.

And all at a very affordable price, considering the features and quality on offer.

I highly recommend testing the 14-day trial version to get a feel for this product and not miss out on an excellent opportunity.
I’m strongly considering acquiring it to use as a complement to S-Gear, and in particular to integrate the Codex engine.

Please note: there is no standalone version, only a plugin version (VST3, AU, and AAX).

at some point soon i’m going to do an amp sw comparison and see if it’s worth forking over the $ for s-gear or genome.

aside from the cost, another issue for me is that the free options run on w7 and up. i’m wary of w11, in terms of audio applications it seem at least as bad as w10 (see link below).

it is my dream to virtualize my setup and spread it over 8 or 10 win7 vm’s. i’d never need to worry about an update stopping things from working. w7 systems can be managed to eliminate non-necessary processes or don’t contain them to begin with (cortana!).

i need to experiment a bit to see if that is really possible. in any case, below i’ve also linked a vocal / audio stem separator, very effective, a vst b3 organ emulation and the voxengo boogex amp sim, all free.

a couple of add’l free tools:

vocal separation: https://ultimatevocalremover.com/

b3: CollaB3. Free Vintage Tonewheel Organ | Sampleson

+1 for Neural Amp Modeler. I sampled my Fender Blues Deluxe (not just the cabinet, the whole signal chain including preamp, but no reverb, NAM can’t handle reverb) and ran it through the google training thing (this is explained in detailed where you download the plug) and I have to say that I would be hard for me to tell the sim apart from the real thing, I am VERY impressed. My problem with a lot of the other virtual amps I have tried is the clean sound, it just never feels like a good clean sound, that is until I tried NAM! I also sampled my MUD Honey guitar pedal and it is equally convincing. And it is free…

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