Why are amps still dinosaurs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kcducttaper, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    That's true, but that's largely down to interface design. Which art is not in a good place at the moment. I imagine few of us use more than about half the controls on our amps if they are of any complexity, but we each use a different collection. Given really sophisticated interface design one would be able to group all our personally important controls on a single convenient screen, and only have to go into the menus and clicks in rehearsal or in exceptional circumstances.
  2. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    Can you or someone else explain what Kemper means by "profiling".

    Seems to me a profile is just a preset of an amp or setup that you can load into your unit. In effect a synthesizer patch.

    Is the core technology used simply physical modeling? (which works great and has been around in keyboard/synth land since the 1990's)

    Or is is something totally different?

    I really have no idea what "profiling" means; I looked around their website for a while (not that extensively) and they extolled the virtues of it but never really explained what it was.

    Obviously too complicated for bass players and guitar players to understand LOL

  3. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    A full on touch screen interface is a HORRIBLE idea for a device designed to be used live, you know under conditions like outside, bright stage lighting, etc.

    I don't know the device but I would assume the different sized knobs are for different functions - the more important the function the bigger the knob.

    Hell Honda went to no volume knobs on their car stereos a few years back and people complained so much they brought the volume knob back.

    Same with synths, starting with the D-50 and the M1 they streamlined the interface and cut out the knobs. Once the novelty of the sounds wore off people realized "damn I miss the knobs and switches". So 1991 Roland uncorks the JD-800 which was a digital synth FULL of knobs and switches, and people loved it. This began the trend back to actual physical interfaces again on synthesizers.

    Even synths with touch screen interfaces still offer a lot of knobs and switches.

    RE: The Librarian, what does it run on?

    That's another problem with digital hardware; eventually it gets replaced and your editor only works on your old computer because the new version of the hardware uses a new editor that only runs on Windoze 27 or the Apple Uranus OS.

    I actually keep an old XP laptop around because I have four of these editors like this, and they will no longer work on anything past Windoze 7.

    The idea is you see, you just throw out your old **** and buy new ****, along with the new computer, etc.

    I just came back from the landfill this morning, to recycle some oil. We throw away way too much **** in this world just because there is new **** to buy.

    agedhorse and DJ Bebop like this.
  4. Yup!
    I just fired up an Atari 1040 ST the other day to retrieve some music made on it and to use the Roland MT32 editor :thumbsup:
    chadds and BassNugget like this.
  5. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    Editors are really cool as long as you can still use them :)

    Kinda off topic but the last band I played in, our PA used two effects processors on vocals. A Lexicon MPX-1 for a "bed" of light reverb and 100 ms delay, then a MX300 for "special sauce". Stuff like ducked long delays, slapback, etc.

    As we worked on songs at practice I would program the thing with the editor (kept a laptop at practice for playing back cover song parts and also for the editor) to suit the song, then of course the preset got named with the name of the song.

    Live, I would just step through a footswitch (I ran the PA from the stage as most of our gigs were small places) as we ran through each set.

    What was GREAT about the editor was whenever we changed the sets(s), dropped songs, added songs, changed the order I would take the laptop home, plug it into the OTHER MX300 I owned and "reshuffle" the presets and save that group of patches. This process usually took me about a half hour or so.

    Then at the next practice I would take that file, and blow it into the MX300 in our PA and instantly it was all set up for the new songs and new sets.

    The MX300 was not the finest reverb Lexicon ever produced but it was fine for live use. What I made extensive use of was the "ducked delay" feature; mainly on U2 and Foo Fighters songs.

    For those who do not know what a "ducked delay" is, it was pioneered by the TC Electronic TC-2290 digital delay (most famously used by The Edge and Steve Stevens).

    "Ducked Delays" take the input signal and reduce the level of the delay output, so when you are playing/singing loud the delay is not stomping all over it. BUT at the end of the phrase (especially on leads or vocals) the delay ramps up and gives you an "echo'd" tail on the part.

    "Learning to Fly" is a great example of this, as is "Vertigo" by U2.

    But yeah without the editor it would have taken me HOURS instead of a half hour to do this.

    LOL the guys in that band thought I was some kinda genius, to the point the singer just called me "The Professor" LOL

    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Check out the TC RH450/750 series.
    I bought one based on the features which most amps
    do not have. It's a mini computer IMHO.
    kcducttaper and seamonkey like this.
  7. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Al Kraft and D.A.R.K. like this.
  8. Amps are still dinosaurs because there's still a few of us cavemen still fascinated with 'em.
    Rockbobmel and BassNugget like this.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    It means recording many different control settings on the physical amp into the modeler. Not just one sound, potentially dozens or hundreds that when you're all done are realizable by interactive controls just like on the real amp. So not one B-15 sound snapshot like a synth patch, but essentially all the B-15 control sweeps you have the patience to profile, for example. And not just a B-15, but your B-15 in your room, miked up with your mic(s). And then of course a big part of the marketing appeal is that there are already tons of profiles for carefully blueprinted unobtainium amps and cabs.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
    Al Kraft and D.A.R.K. like this.
  10. Sleeper_560x330_MSDSLEE_EC030_H-thumb-560xauto-28566.jpg
    Try this...!
  11. I already have all my important controls right there where I can get a very quick result by turning a knob. I don’t need the added step of going to a menu. Venues vary substantially and presets don’t really work unless you know the room and it’s characteristics and can be sure that audience numbers or furniture changes or other variables aren’t going to interfere. In my opinion menus are just adding another unnecessary step.
    chris_b likes this.
  12. Ihaveshingles


    Dec 24, 2018
    They’re not dinosaurs it’s just that nowadays people feel really entitled that every thing is catered to their exact specs, even large production run amplifiers....A lot of us seem to be able to make it work with what is out there and available, not sure what the OP’s issue is
  13. Ihaveshingles


    Dec 24, 2018
    And let’s not forget markbass a decade ago had the momark series where you could swap Eqs, preamp’s like a modular system and well it didn’t really take which I can’t understand I think it’s actually a great idea
    Slough Feg Bass likes this.
  14. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Seymour Duncan did something like that with the ‘Convertable’ series guitar amps back even earlier.
  15. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Some of these sub-topics, like knob vs menus vs touchscreen remind me of the digital camera world, where a dizzying number of necessary choices must be organized. There are almost as many specific solutions as there are camera models.
    There may be a place in the future for a smartphone-style interface - or just do it with your phone - where you can configure amp settings to your heart's content, then save as many shortcuts or scenes as you like and organize them on a home screen. But as some have pointed out, knobs and buttons may never become completely obsolete. When you have them, there's a choice whether to make them assignable/configurable or not; both approaches have significant pros & cons. (At least on digital cameras IME.)
    The more I think about all this, the more I just want to do everything with my 50 watt tube head. I could seriously glue all the tone knobs at noon, the trim & governor knobs wide open and only ever use one volume control. I had a great time the other night, playing a large room with it.
    But much of that was thanks to the exceptional house sound guy, and he was working all night on a large digital console and a tablet.
    Passinwind, JimChjones and agedhorse like this.
  16. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    That's a horrible idea, half the times when I just touch my phone if the screen is unlocked it opens up some app I rarely use or sometimes it decides I want to delete an app and does that iOS thing where all the app icons are wiggling with an "x" in the bottom corner LOL.

    The main reason touchscreeens have taken over in cars is nothing about tech, it's about cost. Telsa is the logical extreme of this. Dedicated switches and buttons cost more money, you have to mount them in the dash and then have wires/harness going to them.

    Pushing it all off on the touchscreen saves space, but it also saves the car company money. But it gets marketed as "high tech" which is laughable to me because I just found out my 9 year old iPad is now so fully obsolete I cannot even load new copies of my magazine subscriptions on it.

    Touch screens might have been high tech and trendy 15 years ago but now they are just a cheap way of providing control inputs and frankly pretty damn annoying.

    I actually deleted some contacts from my phone (people who were basically ******** I no longer want to talk to) to keep from accidentally dialing them.

    swink, duncmill and agedhorse like this.
  17. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    p.s. I am not a full troglodyte, I will say being able to changes settings on a digital mixer whilst walking around the venue with a tablet is very useful, but would you want to mix the entire show on the tablet? No freaking way
    DJ Bebop and agedhorse like this.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004

    Just a few examples of some Sound Engineers that have moved past their smartphone woes ;)
    Jefenator and DJ Bebop like this.
  19. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    If the user interface was good enough why not. Might need multiple devices to get enough screen real estate of course. I haven't kept up with PA tech, but I imagine it must be at or very close to a scenario where multicores are obsolete and all the kit stays on the stage except for the actual console, and that's connected via ip over w/lan, nothing physical. At my amateur/semi pro level that sounds like a major blessing just for setup and teardown in a cramped venue. The prospect of a teardown where there are nearly no cables on or off stage, and its just chuck all the kettle leads and extension leads in a box and load up would fill me with enthusiasm.

    You know Jackson Browne had it right: the only time that seems too short is the time we get to play, and if the wasted time at each end of the gig can be reduced with tech I'm all for it.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021 at 2:11 AM
    chris_b likes this.
  20. Personally, I don't want to be a slave to my amp. Fine tuning is getting a great tone going with an amp that starts with a great tone. In a live band setting, all you need is a good function for the band mix. NO ONE ever listens to the bass tone that closely except us. Just listen to any really good live band and it's the clarity and definition that matters and how it compliments the song. What you are describing is something that functions like a synthesizer lead instrument. Not for me. IMO
    Here's my dinosaur......
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021 at 10:02 AM
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 17, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.