Tube amp sounds like a Pod in front of a mic
I had a Vox AC15 on loan that I took to a service that I was playing. We use in-ear monitors there and run the amps backstage.
I noticed that the Vox sounds different when standing in front of it vs how it sounds in my in-ears on stage. Keep in mind that I have professional quality ear monitors. I came to the startling conclusion that the Vox through my ears, sounded just like my Pod does. I have used the Pod with in-ear monitoring systems many times.
This confirms something someone said in the guitar amp thread on this forum. A digital modeler is modeling an amp as heard by a mic, and not an amp as heard by human ears.
I've therefore come to the conclusion that a good digital modeler will stand up to a mic'd tube amp as heard by a congregation mic'd to the house, or as heard by a studio recording in a mix. The only difference is the guitarist's experience if he/she has the privilege of playing with the amp on the platform.
Thoughts on this?
Well I don't know if I was the ONLY one to say that, but I did say it.
Once I made that mental switch and I started listening to my sound as it came across on a record, it changed how I play and dial in tones.
There is one neat trick that I haven't tried yet, and if it works like I think it might, it would be possible to achieve a multi-mic'd solution similar to the real world.
Set up a dual amp patch, both with the exact same settings, exact mics and exact cabs. Set ONE of them to off-axis (the other should be ON axis), and turn up the E.R. (early reflections) setting to max on the off-axis side and to 10% max on . That should simulate having a room mic as well as an amp mic. Adjust levels to taste, knowing that the room mic would probably have to come down a ways.
Not exactly scientific, but it should be fun to try!
In my opinion this is due to a few things- first, no matter how high quality our IEMs are, they will always sound different than hearing something in a room. As the above post said, with ears, we are missing all the room ambience (which is likely more than we may realize). Also, most of the time when we listen to our amps "standing in front of it" like we all do, the sound is hitting our knees and so we are not hearing anything close to what a mic hears. (And I know you know all this but I'm just putting in my thoughts on the idea!).
So, I agree with you- a POD (especially the new HD series) really does sound nearly identical to a mic'd amp, which ought to translate out to the house. The player's experience is, as you said, different. There's just nothing that sounds like standing on a loud stage with your amp hitting you from 10 feet away! At least, not from the player's perspective. But to the audience, a POD does the trick very well because they are getting all that room ambience, etc.
It humbles me to say this as someone who abandoned the POD after 2.0 and never looked back. I've got a really great amp/pedal rig that I really want to use but just can't in my church setting. But the more I work with the new POD HD500, the more I'm impressed with the final result, if not my own experience on the platform.
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