Experiences with Bias FX Standard?

Experiences with Bias FX Standard?
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#1

I’m tempted by a current special offering of the Bias FX Standard package for $69.00 (+ a $20.00 discount code) but I’m concerned that I’ll get on their ‘tone cloud’ and find that the vast majority of available tones will only work with the Bias FX Pro which is about $100.00 more.

Does anyone have any experience with the ‘standard’ version and are there ample amounts of tone cloud content for the standard package? Is it worth the 50 bucks or am I in for a lot of frustration because it’s not the ‘Pro’ package?


#2

Not had experience with Bias FX, but I do love Grid Bias, which is the basic amp package. Tone Cloud is a hot mess in my opinion, I have so many problems downloading presets, I get errors in versions, Pro or not. I’ve ended up just giving up on Tone Cloud altogether and creating my own presets. You will will spend a little more time doing this, but the product is solid in my opinion.


#3

Thanks for the feedback on this. It’s been my experience in the past that these ‘presets in the cloud’ ideas sound great in theory but end up poorly managed and are a bit of a mess. I bought a used PODxt years ago but when trying to pick up some extra tones online you’re continually running into “you don’t have the right software” issues and the community is extremely disorganized.

Good to hear directly that the Bias product you have is solid. I have the demo of Bias FX and had no issues with it for my evaluation so I’ll have to give it some serious thought.


#4

Actually, I have a beef against presets in general. A good friend of mine (who is not a guitarist) loves Amplitube. But his method of dialling in a tone was to just click on the presets and choose “Stadium Solo” or “Rough Rhythm”.

For me, those presets always sound great when you only hear them soloed. Put them in a mix and they just murder the sound. I then sat with him and explained how a guitarist would approach making a sound, starting with pedals, and then setting the sound of the amp. So I now approach virtual amps and effects exactly as I would plugging my guitar into actual pedals and an amp.


#5

In particular, the so-called ‘Factory Presets’ seem to be designed to sound good on their own… giving you that “Hey this [insert product] sounds great!” That will seldom translate well in the context of a mix. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a guitar track soloed out that sounds lousy on its own, but that sounds terrific in the mix. It can seem a bit counter-intuitive.

That being said, as a ‘bedroom guitarist’ who doesn’t have real experience with a decent amp or a variety of pedals, I do rely on presets to give me a push in the right direction. I don’t mind twiddling knobs but sometimes I’m not even sure how to get the sound I’m looking for, so the idea of being able to find something close to what I think I want, seeing how it is created and then modifying it is appealing.

I’m leaning towards just sticking with what I have for now and saving the $50. I’ve been enjoying the sounds i can get from the TH3 plugin in the free Cakewalk by Bandlab package so it should hold me for a while.

Thanks again for the input!


#6

This is absolutely me as well. I use presets to get me close to what I have in mind and then tweak as necessary to get things to sit in the mix effectively. Not only do I lack this kind of experience in the way @skua does, but I even lack a clear idea in my head of what tone I want in the first place. Probably a symptom of that same lack of experience… I just don’t have some great vision of “it needs to sound this particular way”.

And this points up yet again that decisions need to be made in context and not in isolation…


#7

Oh I’m there with you my friends! At the moment I’ve been concentrating on compression in mixes, and using the presets is wonderful for me to see what you can do to bass, or vocals, or guitars. The only advice I can give you with guitar effects is to really “less is more” any effects that come in presets. Firstly, take off the reverb from the presets. They soak the signal in reverb. As a rule reverb is put on in the channel using reverb plugins in my tracks.

Secondly, look carefully at the distortion / OD levels of everything. Pull those levels down (unless you’re making a metal album). It’s amazing how little distortion you need on normal pop / rock / blues guitars. You can sweeten a guitar beautifully with some subtle phase or delay. Apart from that I would keep the signal chain simple and add your effects in the channel strip


#8

Awesome, I must be doing something right-- I take all these steps as SOP when using a preset. First cycle through some until I come across something that sounds OK (typically while playing over a looped section of the tune so that it’s in some kind of context), then ditch whatever reverb it may have in favor of the reverb send(s) I’m using, and adjust the distortion. Depending on which sim I’m using, I’ll then feed that into a channel strip, e.g. Izotope Alloy, or one of the Waves “named producer” things.

The other thing I try not to do is get bogged down with the limitless options available, which is always an issue with the kerjillions of settings, sims, presets…