Friday, January 19, 2007

Digitech GNX3000 Guitar Amp Modeler

I just got this pedal about two months ago and I'm loving it! I've used a Mesa Boogie Simu-class 2:90 amp and Digitech 2112 front end for years. But so many places want you to plug directly in to the PA that I needed something I could plug in and have it sound like a real amp. In this case, 41 different amps. I also record directly into the Mac with. The sound quality and modeling are amazing.

After a lot of on-line auditioning I chose the GNX 3000 for it's raw ability to mimic various amps, and for it's strong direct to computer recording and playback abilities. I considered the Line6 Podxt, which I have played and heard in concert many times. It sounds great. But I thought the GNX3000 had the edge in terms of realistic amp sound.

So I took the plunge and entered the land of "simulated amps."

The built in patches were pretty good, and some, like Carlos (Santana), Satch, or the plain VOX 15, were outstanding! But I quickly started creating modifications to some of the existing patches to get the tones and effects I needed.

Using the X-edit software on the Mac was easy. However, it's library>sound component resource interferes with Final Cut Pro and some other software, so I had to create a new user account and install it there, while hunting down and deleting all the X-edit files. I spent about an hour on-line tracing this bug down.

Fortunately this fix works great and actually, it's for the best. When I log in to that account everything is configured and I can even leave X-edit and other music software running. The mac system seems to be able to recover the RAM memory when I log out to do other work so there seems to be no downside.

OK, can a real world tube and high end quitar amp lover enjoy this modeler? All I can say is that with a good, neutral power amp, good studio grade monitors, the answer is absolutely!

I often take a song and play it back in iTunes while looping through Garageband to play along live and learn parts or create new presets. It's amazing how much the Digitech modeling sounds like the great tube gear on the recordings when coming through the same speakers.

CAVEAT: I'm talking about the sound of rigs when mic'd and recorded in the following paragraphs, not compared to live play trying to go though a guitar amp.

I have not yet hooked it up to my Mesa Boogie rig. But that's not really why I bought this and I doubt I ever will do that. This is for PA and recording. And man does it deliver!

I honestly feel like I own a Fender Twin again. Or the little Fender Champ I had in high school. And the Highwattage 100 or the Matchless 30, and especially the VOX 15 and 30. Wow! The responsivness, drive, artifacts, it's all there. I even forget after a while that I don't have the actual amps.

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