I do that, too – have a dbx 266xl compressor/gate that I got used for $20 – perfect to tame the signal slightly before it goes ITB. It does help, especially when you’re trying to hit that sweet spot on a fairly clean amp sim that is just being pushed a bit too hard, like Jonathan described. I don’t use it when playing thru my real amp (Roland JC-90) though – it does that on its own.
Hope you don’t mind me chiming in, but Scuffham is just really good for the feel of a guitar hitting the input of a good amp. Prior to getting Scuffham, I was using a POD HD 300. If you’re really good at setting up presets on the HD-300, or you find one that’s provided through their user group, you can get some nice sounds, especially the cleaner amps. You will not, however, be convinced you are playing an amp, and therefore you change your approach to how you play. The Scuffham input is more like a real amp than anything else I’ve played in that regard. It still takes some tweaking skills, and the idea of taming the input with a little compression is a great idea. It’s very good for relatively high gain stuff, and the Fender.emulations are very good if you like the Strat twang through a Twin or Super Reverb. It’s also a blast to play with some of the presets for some late night shredding through headphones, and goes well with a good single malt.
Not at all dude! That’s why its on a forum and not in a p.m.
Speaking of input, I ran the eventide blackhole (plugin version) before the amp and it acted just like the hardware model. At the end of the day, its all digital but its getting better as time goes by.
I did find a use for some of the waves plugs and UAD sim plugs. There’s nothing stopping you from running a waves compressor infront of your Scuffham rack. It doesn’t seem to work so well with cabs…has something to do with the way the signals are processed I think. But pedals before the Scuffham amps can mix and match just like stuff in the real world Fun!
+1000 on this… I’ve done this with compressor pedals and it’s great. Another option is to record the DI clean (use a DI box though instead of an interfaces instrument input) and then add the comp to the beginning of your plugin chain. That way you can muck around with different compression characters before it hits the amp sim, and you’ve always got the clean DI. Although I’ve started to think more about committing to tone earlier… still thinking about it…
Just curious… what is the reason to prefer the DI box over the interface Instrument Input?
More often than not, you can get a better signal into the DAW by using a DI box. There’s various other things, like if you want some coloration from DI transformers or things like that, but in my experience, you can get more clarity and a cleaner signal. People’s mileage varies, and not every interface is the same though, so all this can be taken with multiple grains of salt.
I had not heard of the trick of doing some compression on the DI signal ahead of the amp sim. Seems like a good idea now that I think about it-- will definitely give that a try. I’m strictly ITB though, just don’t have space for outboard gear, so it’ll be the route of putting a comp plug ahead of the amp sim in the chain.
For distorted guitar, I am not adverse to radical band pass on the way into the sim… maybe only letting the sim “see” 200hz to 4K. I’ve even done 400 to 1250Hz for a lead tone. But that was due to an inherently noisy interface input. It worked fine. Haven’t done much comp on the way in except for Bass
I find a little compresion or even clipping before going into the interface can help. A transparent overdrive pedal set very low can help a lot
When I’ve done it using a plugin will get you half way there. The DI or Hiz signal is just so dynamic that controlling it before it ever hits your interface makes a big difference. Everything just seems to sit better. Granted amp sims have come a long way since I was experimenting with them.
I have tried all the amp sims too. Scuffham is the only one that I really can say that I enjoy using. I would like a compressor added to it and a resizable GUI would be nice too. But for me it blows the others away.
I found that turning the speaker sim even on the latest offerings from big names like IK and NI, and using 2nd party sims or mine renders a much better result. Still at the end of day the real live amps sit much better and find a spot in my mix, so that’s what I end up with in my final production. I at least find it a lot easier to dial in a good amp sound and capture that to sit right than to fiddle with numerous plugins and filter this, eq that…etc. Not that I don’t get decent results that way but once I A/B with the real amp…there’s just no comparison.
I haven’t tried Scuffam yet, but many others. Just a couple of days ago I tried Bias Amps of which a stripped down but very usable version is free for clients of Focusrite. And compared it to some other (mostly free) amp plugins: a marked difference. A better response to my guitar playing, and great tone (specially liked the ‘Tweed’ which is a small Fender I suppose, don’t know which). Specially around the point where it all just starts breaking up (or just over ). The paid version is expensive (couple of hundreds of dollars). Anyway, I wonder how it compares to Scuffam. Maybe I’ll download a trial version of Scuffam to compare.
But for those of you who have Focusrite gear: it’s worth checking out this free offer of Bias Amps.
Bias is actually one that I have not tried. So I cannot comment on it against Scuffham. Once I tried Scuffham, I had found what I was looking for and stopped looking. I have heard some good and bad things about Bias.
I’m quite happy with Scuffham though.
I’ll have to check out the demo. Looks similar to Avid’s Eleven/Eleven Rack to me, but I’ll try to do a comparison
I have the fx version, and its not bad at all, only the high gain’s sound a bit weird on there own. Haven’t tried that compressor first trick yet though, but they tend to sound pretty noise in the higher frequencies and overall cardboard-ish.
I got the free version of Bias Amps last week. I’ve mostly been trying to get a good overdriven sound. Last night I was trying to get a good sound for soloing guitar over one of my instrumental tunes. Seems like everything I tried was way too thin and weak sounding…,…I’m not sure if if the way I’m using the simulator or if I just haven’t found the right settings yet, but I couldn’t get my leads to have any thickness at all…I’ll try again.
have you guys tried the joey sturgis amp sims? I’ve had the chance to try them last week and they sound very close to the real miked amps. Im diggin the low end energy / sound you get when you mic a real amp. I havent heard / felt those in almost all ampsims that ive tried.
I thought Joey Sturgis actually used Line6 fx to get all his guitar sound, that was in interview last year.
hmmm i havent seen the interview yet. i’ll check it out. heres a jst guilty pleasures (marshall emulation) sound and ben bruce on the center parts. here they are in action. pardon the drums, its in a raw state at the moment