[LAD] A small article about tools for electronic musicians

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Fri Apr 30 06:18:02 UTC 2010

Tim E. Real wrote:
> Just a follow-up about plugins:
> Wow, man! I just spent an hour playing with 
>    Guitarix Distortion (ladspa plugin) +
>    caps C* Amp VTS  (ladspa amp sim plugin)
>  in MusE's plugin rack.
> Gotta tell ya, by the end of the session I had the
>  sweetest, most pleasant sounding, longest 
>  yet cleanest sustain, from just two ladspa plugins.
> Strumming, appegios, pick sweeps, chunka chunka power chords,
>  long sustain, esp with hammer-ons...
> I don't know what it was about the combination
>  but I can't wait to try tomorrow (it's late).
> Am I correct in what I thought I heard?
> 2nd order harmonic 'style' all the way through the chain?
> I know C* amp is tube and I think Guitarix is as well, am I correct? 
> It seemed to help with the picking.
> I saw some other quite capable looking tube preamp ladspa plugins
>  as well, can't wait to try them with the C* amp series, which I never
>  realized was so good !
> I suppose I've always been looking for a monolithic solution.
> Been disappointed by one single plugin. Sort of give up looking, you know?
> But two really is better than one. 
> I learned that from studying pedal schematics, I had built simple
>   two-diode fuzz boxes and began to wonder how they get that 'metal' or 
>  'crunch' sound. So I knew that more than one 'diode stage' was required,
>  but never tried it with ladspa plugins till now. I had also learned a key 
>  difference between fuzz and other types - asymmetrical clipping.
> Rakarrack made it easy to experiment, with its two independent drive stages. 
> Once I tried Rakarrack, I was finally able to retire my analog FX box 
>  (Boss SE70) from its send-and-return (insert) loop in MusE.
> Ramble ramble... 
> Cheers. Tim.

Hi Tim :)

so you do play guitars directly to the mixing console too?!

I had the most satisfying result when I used a Hughes & Kettner 19" 
tube-device, borrowed from a friend.
When I need sustain for clean sounds, e.g. for bottleneck, I still use a 
Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer.

Did you get deep basses for the guitar's sound by using guitarix? I 
guess this is the biggest problem, so when playing directly to the 
mixing console I often use a drop D, unfortunately this leads to 
Badmotorfinger like compositions.

But I do agree that some Linux (to be fair and Windows) plugins do 
produce good sounds and even if playing without a real stack has some 
disadvantages, I like to have the option to listen to distortion and amp 
simulation, while I just record the clean guitar signal, so I'm able to 
change the kind of distortion and amp simulation later. Btw. instead of 
an amp simulation I sometimes use early reflection reverb, for this I 
prefer hardware effects from the 80ies, because of their limited 
frequency response and OTOH better early reflection simulations they're 
a kind of amp simulation.

Rakarrack is very good, excepted of the deepness for the bass sound of 
the guitar. I guess playing Rakarrack to a stack would enable to abandon 
all other effect devices, as long as somebody e.g. won't simulate the 
original sound of Jimi Hendrix, e.g. like Randy Hansen does. Some 
effects can't be replaced.

Compiling Rakarrack for outdated distros sometimes doesn't work :(, but 
an outdated distro might be a stable recording system ;).



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