Experiences with Bias FX Standard?

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?

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.

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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.

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.

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!

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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…

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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

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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…

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I was wondering about the Bias Amp 2 which is on sale right now. I know the thread is old and a slightly different product, but I thought I’d revive it rather than start another. I had been impressed with Bias Amp awhile back so it was kind of on my wish list. I would just go with the Standard version as it’s pretty reasonable on sale. The Pro and Elite look awesome but quite pricey, even on sale.

I don’t really need more guitar amp sims, but was curious enough about this one to keep checking it out. Anybody had experiences with version 2 (not sure how long it’s been out)?

I bought v1 and love it. I also demoed v2 for a while, and didn’t really get anything more out of it than I could out of v1. A thing to note about Bias Amp is its complexity. You can just go and download presets and work that way. But the download system is utterly awful in my experience. Because Bias Amp basically run 3 versions of the same plugin, you will come across presets that only work in in Pro or Elite versions of Bias Amp which is infuriating.

If you delve into the plugin itself, you can get lost in changing the tubes in your amp, the transformers in your preamp, and every other setting that it offers you. If you like the techie side of amps, it’s heaven. If you need a tone quick and easy, then you better have a library of them already worked out and saved. Because doing that on the fly will cost you an evening of your life. Sound wise, I love the crunchy Guns and Roses type tones, but recently I got my hands on Mercurial’s Spark and Kuassa’s Caliburn amps. Both ridiculously good. The clean tones in Spark are gorgeous, and the distortions in Caliburn are simply stunning. I find myself using Bias less and less these days.

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I do find that part very interesting, I don’t think I have seen it anywhere else.

Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me, and I haven’t been able to find much information about what exactly you get in Standard as they really only tout the features of the more complete versions.

Ugh, I saw the Kuassa sale and almost got Caliburn, then I let it slide. :pensive: Thanks for the info, it gives me a new perspective to consider. :beerbanger:

It might make you happy that Kuassa’s new amp, Amplifikatkion Matchlock was released today to model the Fender Amps faithfully. They have a demo available and a low price for the introduction. I haven’t tried it yet, but based on their pedigree its almost a sure bet I’ll be buying it!

On a related note, I’ve started treating plugin Amps much differently to what I used even a few months ago. Whereas I used to look at a Bias Amp type modeller to do the A-Z of my guitar signal, I now favour the smaller CPU hogging Kuassa or the Waves PRS amps, with a number of guitar (virtual) pedals in front of the amps. I absolutely adore the Mercurial TSC (Ibanez TS-808) pedal. Having owned this pedal, I’m still in awe of how good this pedal is. Add to this Logic’s own pedal board, and the ridiculously cheap Kuassa Wah pedal (with my home made Midi Wah Pedal), I sometimes sit in my studio and just have to stare at my setup to believe that I can get the sounds I get with just my guitar plugged into an interface.

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Coincidentally, after your previous post, I pulled up a riff I had recorded using a Kuassa amp and tried out a few free pedals I had already downloaded a few months ago and tried them out some more. I know what you mean, the lack of sustain on amp sims had been frustrating me, and I found that those types of pedals can really help with the sustain. That TSC did work quite well, and I also saw on the Mercuriall site they released a new MT-A free pedal, based on a Boss “Metal” pedal. That one is quite nice too.