Modeling - The Future of Guitar Tone
Hassle-free and flexible boards that can augment or replace your analog rig
Published October 23, 2018 by Miguel C.
Picture this: your gear is all set up for the gig, you tune up your guitar and fire up the good ‘ole tube amp. Your pedalboard is plugged in and you are ready for sound check. The only problem is that no sound is coming out of your amp. What is it this time? It could be a battery in your overdrive pedal, a bad patch cable on your pedalboard, or a tube that blew, and now you have to take time away from soundcheck to troubleshoot this issue.
If you’re like me, this all sounds too familiar. Crafting a perfect pedalboard and finding your perfect tone takes a lot of time, and when you show up to the gig you want to be completely ready. You don’t want to have to worry about badly soldered cables or dying pedal batteries. Whether you play in clubs, church or even huge conference halls you have dealt with some of these issues. You can either deal with the maintenance and headache and settle for lesser tone from a quieter tube amp, or you can look to a different solution – amp/cab modeling.
Modeling technology has come a long way in the last few years. Analog gear will always have a place in the heart of every guitarist, but the digital vs analog debate has moved away from which one sounds better to which solution works for the individual player. Digital modeling technology has become more realistic than ever. I have personally switched over to exclusively using digital gear in the last year. Not only have I been able to perfectly replicate the sounds of my old analog gear, but I spend a lot less time tweaking my tone and more time playing music. Getting a great tone has been easier and I have even more flexibility with my current rig then I have had in the past.
To determine whether or not you are a player that would benefit from modeling gear or not, take a look at a few really great digital systems below.
We start off this list with one of the pioneers of modeling technology: Line 6. It is arguable that Line 6 began a modeling revolution with the Line 6 POD. The very first POD gave guitarists the option to have many different modeled amps in a size and cost efficient package. From the first POD to the newest entry in the modeling fray, the Line 6 HX Stomp, Line 6 has been a leader in modeling technology. The Line 6 HX Stomp takes portable modeling to a new level. It is the newest in the HX line-up that consists of the Helix, Rack, Floor, LT and HX Effects.
The HX Stomp is a professional-grade multi effects processor that delivers the sound of Helix amps, cabs and effects in an ultra-compact pedal format. You can take advantage of the various inputs and outputs of the HX Stomp and create a very complex rig by incorporating it into your pedalboard or you can throw it in your gig-bag and carry around one of the smallest “amps” around!
The HX Effects is an excellent option for the guitarist that loves his amp but wants to simplify his effects section. You get a fully featured pedal format with simple switching options. You can also insert your favorite effects into the two effects loops and turn them on or off from the HX itself! For the customer who has been a long time Line 6 fan who is looking to add flexibility to his rig or completely replace it, the Line 6 HX series is for you.Explore the Line 6 HX Series
This is the pedalboard of your dreams! The HeadRush line features the HeadRush Pedalboard Modeling Processor and the newly released Headrush Gigboard. Created by the original team that brought you Eleven, the HeadRush Pedalboard offers a great selection of vintage and modern amp and effects models. Featuring a quad-core DSP system, the HR Pedalboard has been tailor-made to deliver a fast and powerful amp and effects processor.
With the introduction of the Gigboard, players can now take the high quality of the effects and amps in the HeadRush and take advantage of the smaller form-factor. The built-in expression pedal has been removed and there are now only four footswitches. Featuring the same 7-inch touch display as the HR Pedalboard which allows you to touch, swipe, drag-and-drop to edit your rigs – the Gigboard is a great option for the player that is looking for the great sound of the HeadRush in a smaller form-factor.
If you are a customer who loves the sounds from Eleven’s other offerings or you are someone who wants to step into the world of digital modeling for the first time, the HeadRush line is an excellent option.Explore Our HeadRush Bundles
Boss has long been a leader in guitar effects and amp modeling. From classic designs like the Boss DM-2 Delay to the GT Series, Boss has delivered excellent effects for beginners and professional players alike. The GT-1000 is Boss’ newest entry into the world of high-end modeling. Combining a large assortment of cutting-edge effects and incredible amplifiers and cabs, the Boss GT-1000 is a great tool for the guitarist looking to step into the world of modeling.
The GT-1000 features AIRD technology, which allows you to create patches and rigs with highly musical guitar amplifiers. This flagship processor also includes effects from the DD-500, MD-500, and RV-500 effect pedals. Boss has also included Bluetooth so that you can take advantage of wireless editing. With its intuitive design and incredible sound, the Boss GT-1000 is an excellent choice for the gigging guitarist.Explore the Boss GT Line
Using a Modeler: Tips
Before you sell your rig and buy one of these amazing digital systems, there are a few things to remember.
While moving to one of these systems will definitely help you to remove hassle from your rig, you still will need a few key accessories. You will need a few cables (1/4” or XLR, depending on the system you choose), a gig bag, some headphones or a speaker for practice and maybe an extra expression pedal. The good news is we offer many exclusive bundles that will help you get the accessories you need!
One last thing to remember is that with modeling gear, you are not hearing an “amp-in-room” tone. You are hearing an emulation of what amp sounds like cranked up in the other room and mic’d. You have lots of options when it comes to cabinets and micing the cabs within these units, which allow you to finely tune your tone to be exactly what you need it to be!
If you are looking for a hassle-free system or a completely flexible rig, look no further than amp modeling.