Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

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Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Guitar App Sales: Nembrini vs. Overloud vs. ?

At some point I'll delve into how I lost my mind and bought a guitar a week after picking up an OP-Z. (Short story: Burst of creativity, started playing my acoustic feverishly — and then dove back into the Volca and the Digitakt because of the OP-Z. Music store had a huge one-day "stupid deal" sale, and so now this lifelong bass player has his first Telecaster.)

I picked up the Nembrini Vox emulation, and OH MY. What a blast. I never understood the giant threads devoted to guitar amp sims. Now I get it.

But I can see it's a rabbit hole. The Overloud pedals pack is quite appealing. But then it's just a little more for the amps — and then just a bit more for the whole package. And since this is a sale weekend, I've got my fingers crossed that something guitar-related will be on sale.

Is MixBox CS guitar-oriented? Is $49.99 the sale price?

What is the best value for somebody who seems to have lost his mind and will probably drop $50 this weekend...?

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Comments

  • edited April 2

    MixBox is great. Or, for super focus, consider an Overloud "Rig" of your choice. (Pedals are good but not necessarily the best.)

  • @ExAsperis99 congrats on the tele.

    It really depends. How do you like to play, AUM/AB3, in a DAW, or standalone? Do you like having a million choices, or just a few components to play with? Do you like to chain apps together for a guitar rig or use one big guitar app for everything, including foot midi control. Are you trying to record, practice, or play live? If you can answer any of these, many of us will help you spend $50!

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    At some point I'll delve into how I lost my mind and bought a guitar a week after picking up an OP-Z. (Short story: Burst of creativity, started playing my acoustic feverishly — and then dove back into the Volca and the Digitakt because of the OP-Z. Music store had a huge one-day "stupid deal" sale, and so now this lifelong bass player has his first Telecaster.)

    I picked up the Nembrini Vox emulation, and OH MY. What a blast. I never understood the giant threads devoted to guitar amp sims. Now I get it.

    But I can see it's a rabbit hole. The Overloud pedals pack is quite appealing. But then it's just a little more for the amps — and then just a bit more for the whole package. And since this is a sale weekend, I've got my fingers crossed that something guitar-related will be on sale.

    Is MixBox CS guitar-oriented? Is $49.99 the sale price?

    What is the best value for somebody who seems to have lost his mind and will probably drop $50 this weekend...?

    IN my opinion, I’d focus on getting amp or a couple of amps that is/are in the ballpark of what your ideal amp would be. I think the bundles end up distracting away from using them. After tons of experimenting, I have settled on the Nembrini Soldano clone and the VOX as my favorites for dialing in the sounds I like (I also like the Cali Dual Reverb a lot but have focused on the Soldano clone because of a particular tone I’ve found on it that I really like).

    The Chow Centaur is an awesome low to medium overdrive pedal. It’s free and in my opinion is al,ost magic. The Overloud effects bundles are nice, but if you already have a chorus, delay and phaser you like might not need it. IMO, the best of the Overloud are rigs not included in the amp bundle.

  • edited April 2

    MixBox is oriented around mixing and polishing tracks using different module components chained together. It also has guitar modules. It’s one of the best purchases on iOS, but it’s not a typical guitar amp app. It’s really for mixing, bussing, etc...

    Nembrini sells amps and fx a la carte, and have a few bundles. So $50 bucks will get you far, you’ll have fewer components, but most of them will be great.

    Overloud is also great, but you will have too many choices and will end up not using half of them. Unlike Nembrini where you have to chain everything in AUM or a daw, Overloud is a complete in the box guitar universe app, so it has everything inside of it, including complete midi control.

    There are other single amps that are great, like Gain Stage Vintage Clean.

    If you already have fx and apps you’d use for guitar, consider those before getting more that you don’t need.

    I use Overloud and Nembrini, and have all of their stuff. They both get expensive. So MixBox could be a good bet if you also have non-guitar needs.

  • This is excellent advice. Especially @espiegel123 the idea that I do NOT want endless options to tweak.

    I'd say that an AC 30 is my ideal all-purpose amp, and I basically have that in the Nembrini. I always liked a Roland JC120 (is the MixBox simulation any good?) It would be handy to have a Marshall around, but I'm a bass player, and I could never tell the difference between a JMP or a JCM or whatever.

    This is for recording only, mostly at the moment into AUM but eventually into Logic and/or Ableton.

    And when I was making records in the 90s (that would sound like bragging if it wasn't 20+ YEARS AGO), the best amps to record were always the weird little Nationals or Silvertones or department store things.

  • My favourites (for mostly clean sounds) are Overloud, Nembrini Cali Reverb, and the new (still in Beta and not yet released) Flying Haggis 20th Anniversary app.

    With Overloud I would just go straight to the rigs and ignore the main package.

  • @richardyot said:
    My favourites (for mostly clean sounds) are Overloud, Nembrini Cali Reverb, and the new (still in Beta and not yet released) Flying Haggis 20th Anniversary app.

    With Overloud I would just go straight to the rigs and ignore the main package.

    Wow interesting @richardyot what are your preferred rigs?

  • edited April 2

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    This is excellent advice. Especially @espiegel123 the idea that I do NOT want endless options to tweak.

    I'd say that an AC 30 is my ideal all-purpose amp, and I basically have that in the Nembrini. I always liked a Roland JC120 (is the MixBox simulation any good?) It would be handy to have a Marshall around, but I'm a bass player, and I could never tell the difference between a JMP or a JCM or whatever.

    This is for recording only, mostly at the moment into AUM but eventually into Logic and/or Ableton.

    And when I was making records in the 90s (that would sound like bragging if it wasn't 20+ YEARS AGO), the best amps to record were always the weird little Nationals or Silvertones or department store things.

    Once you’re in Overloud th-u, you can “log in” and get more free stuff. 10 free rig profiles, another amp, a few stock fx pedals that are already great. It may be enough for you to use in AUM without spending more. You could then get the all fx bundle or the funk or rock bundle, or the all distortion bundle, if you want. You can choose one rig to buy of a real life amp you want. The rigs sound the best, especially ones by Choptones and BHS. But I love the pedals too, and some of the amp sims. It makes more sense investing in the full pack if you want to use the internal midi with a big foot pedal board and utilize standalone more often. If you’re in AUM, why not just have two nembrini amps, some of their fx, the free Overloud stuff, and that’s it. I’d also recommend the soon to be released 20th anniv. amp from db audioware, for a simple one amp with internal fx solution, good for Vox/Fender tone.

    Spend your $50 on MixBox, for recording mojo. Or Blackice for bass, or a mogami cable!

    ChowCentaur is free and all you need for overdrive and mid gain distortion.

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    This is excellent advice. Especially @espiegel123 the idea that I do NOT want endless options to tweak.

    I'd say that an AC 30 is my ideal all-purpose amp, and I basically have that in the Nembrini. I always liked a Roland JC120 (is the MixBox simulation any good?) It would be handy to have a Marshall around, but I'm a bass player, and I could never tell the difference between a JMP or a JCM or whatever.

    This is for recording only, mostly at the moment into AUM but eventually into Logic and/or Ableton.

    And when I was making records in the 90s (that would sound like bragging if it wasn't 20+ YEARS AGO), the best amps to record were always the weird little Nationals or Silvertones or department store things.

    I think you are good to go amp wise if an AC30 is what you like. The Nembrini is great. Check it out with. Chow Centaur or two in front of it, too. I don’t have MixBox...so, I can’t comment on the JC-120 emulation. I haven’t been impressed by other JC-120 emulations .... which is weird because you’d think it would be an easy amp to emulate.

  • Soldano by Nembrini and Vox are the two best. The rigs by Overloud are even better. My favorite is still the
    Twin

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    This is excellent advice. Especially @espiegel123 the idea that I do NOT want endless options to tweak.

    I'd say that an AC 30 is my ideal all-purpose amp, and I basically have that in the Nembrini. I always liked a Roland JC120 (is the MixBox simulation any good?) It would be handy to have a Marshall around, but I'm a bass player, and I could never tell the difference between a JMP or a JCM or whatever.

    This is for recording only, mostly at the moment into AUM but eventually into Logic and/or Ableton.

    And when I was making records in the 90s (that would sound like bragging if it wasn't 20+ YEARS AGO), the best amps to record were always the weird little Nationals or Silvertones or department store things.

    I think you are good to go amp wise if an AC30 is what you like. The Nembrini is great. Check it out with. Chow Centaur or two in front of it, too. I don’t have MixBox...so, I can’t comment on the JC-120 emulation. I haven’t been impressed by other JC-120 emulations .... which is weird because you’d think it would be an easy amp to emulate.

    Great clean amps are not easy to emulate.

  • Not to question the other great suggestions here, but take a look at the Nembrini PSA1000jr. It's based on the SansAmp PSA-1, and could be the ticket for recording. Someone's posted the original factory presets as AUM presets, from which they can be extracted; see https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/40603/nembrini-apps-presets-how-to-manage-them-and-some-psa1000-jr-presets.

  • edited April 2

    Someone on YouTube did an A/B of the Neural Soldano and the real thing. The real thing was clearly better. But we knew that.

  • @mjcouche said:

    @richardyot said:
    My favourites (for mostly clean sounds) are Overloud, Nembrini Cali Reverb, and the new (still in Beta and not yet released) Flying Haggis 20th Anniversary app.

    With Overloud I would just go straight to the rigs and ignore the main package.

    Wow interesting @richardyot what are your preferred rigs?

    Chop tones Fender Super Reverb, Bassman, and 63 Trem

  • Ha! Just in time for Easter sales weekend, Overloud has raised the price of their TH-u Full back to $109.99 🙄

    Happy Easter, everyone!

  • Instead of a colorful Easter Egg, they gave us a pile of bunny turds....

  • McDMcD
    edited April 2

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    At some point I'll delve into how I lost my mind and bought a guitar a week after picking up an OP-Z.

    I read this as "I bought a guitar a week" and wondered how many weeks it's been since you
    switched to Guitar GAS. 3 months is typical for a Guitar Binge and a dozen guitars.

    But now , I see I misinterpreted your words based upon my own experiences.
    I have since downsized and backslid a few times and still hover around 8-10.
    I try to give them away to build Karma for the one I really need.

    But software wise... Nothing Sounds like OverLoud to me for an ear-gasm. But it's like crack... you by more and more. Get the FULL pack and then you can get a Rig per week.

    Mooer's "GE Labs" is free but you must buy slots to save configs. They operate a cloud where you can download USER defined Rigs. Worth several days of your time without spending a penny or maybe $4 for 2 slots. Sounds pretty damn good too. They want you to buy their hardware so it's a user capture play. GE Labs is IAA. Most other guitar sims are too.

    Nembrini is great. But once TH-U got in my head I stopped playing them. Cold. Just my brain chemistry, I suspect.

    MixBox is for mixing but can be like a box of studio hardware for a direct recording. 70 units for $40.

    TH-U and one bundle (Funk and R&B) was the gateway drug for me. $18. Then 1 want ala carte to FULL and now FULL has upgrades for me with new Amps, Stomps and Cabs.

    ChowCentaur (use 2 in series) into a GE Labs rig for free in any DAW.

    Find out what you like in this world of guitar sims or TH-U FULL. In for a penny or in for a pound.

  • wimwim
    edited April 3

    I got my three Nembrini amps that cover all the territory I need. Clean (Cali), Fender (Soundmaster), and Brit (DC 30). Every one of 'em brings a surprised smile to my face every time I fire them up.

    I have just about every Nembrini FX 'cause they're irresistibly cheap when they're on sale. Got Thafknar or Impulsation for cabinet IR's and a single collection of Ownhammer IRs that covers all the ground I need.

    That's it. I am officially and ecstatically happily done with a 20+ year search for digital tone. I deleted TH-U for the fifth and last time. All the IAA sims are gone the next time I need space. Not looking back. Not trying any new apps. No need. I scan the voluminous tone-chasing threads for pure entertainment value now. Kind of like watching sportscasters' post-game shows or election returns. :D

    The only downside is I no longer have any excuses to dick around endlessly looking for tone instead of practicing and making music.

    ...

    I do need a new guitar though. :#

  • @wim said:
    I got my three Nembrini amps that cover all the territory I need. Clean (Cali), Fender (Soundmaster), and Brit (DC 30). Every one of 'em brings a surprised smile to my face every time I fire them up.

    I have just about every Nembrini FX 'cause they're irresistibly cheap when they're on sale. Got Thafknar or Impulsation for cabinet IR's and a single collection of Ownhammer IRs that covers all the ground I need.

    That's it. I am officially and ecstatically happily done with a 20+ year search for digital tone. I deleted TH-U for the fifth and last time. All the IAA sims are gone the next time I need space. Not looking back. Not trying any new apps. No need. I scan the voluminous tone-chasing threads for pure entertainment value now. Kind of like watching sportscasters' post-game shows or election returns. :D

    The only downside is I no longer have any excuses to dick around endlessly looking for tone instead of practicing and making music.

    ...

    I do need a new guitar though. :#

    I agree with @wim, Nembrini and some IRs is plenty. The Overloud stuff might be great but IMO it’s worth if you want to enjoy the actual looking around more than actually recording something.
    I do want the Soldano Nembrini after reading this thread...

  • Instead of wasting money on everything under the sun, I think most guitarists would be quite happy with the 20th anniv. amp from db audioware (when it is released) driven by the free ChowCentaur when extra gain is needed. Add a dusting of Ownhamer IRs and you’re good to go!

    If your needs go beyond that, then purchase some of the Nembrini offerings, or specific Overloud rigs that fill your sonic desires.

  • Great stuff here.
    I think I’ll have to learn what Ownhammer means now.

  • @richardyot said:

    @mjcouche said:

    @richardyot said:
    My favourites (for mostly clean sounds) are Overloud, Nembrini Cali Reverb, and the new (still in Beta and not yet released) Flying Haggis 20th Anniversary app.

    With Overloud I would just go straight to the rigs and ignore the main package.

    Wow interesting @richardyot what are your preferred rigs?

    Chop tones Fender Super Reverb, Bassman, and 63 Trem

    100% Bassman and 63 Trem are my two favorite rigs for clean, and Bassman is good for overdrive too. 63 trem has a beautiful jangle. The Super Reverb is just a little too dark for me, so I prefer the clean and honky Twin rig.

  • edited April 3

    the Nembrini Soldano is truly special, something very warm and alive about it, especially when dialed to low-medium gain and paired with an OwmHammer IR. My other Nembrini faves are the Vox and Cali Reverb, but don’t forget the Marshall, it’s also very good. I actually really Iike Peavey and Soundmaster as well, but it’s an acquired taste for some, with the Peavy being really bassy and Soundmaster thuddy and brittle. The clean on the Peavey is actually quite good, and the harmonic golden clanky content on the Soundmaster is prominent. Then there’s the PSAs, and Blackice, masterpieces. Out of the fx I happen to like the Delay 3000 the most, as well as the Fuzz and the Boss.

    Btw, Nembrini will soon release a Brian Eno inspired Shimmer Delay. It’s an absolute ambient war machine masterpiece, a polyphonic swell shimmer that’s more focused on Delay rather than reverb, and with a sub octave like Quinta. It’s awesome.

  • wimwim
    edited April 3

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Great stuff here.
    I think I’ll have to learn what Ownhammer means now.

    Ownhammer sells guitar cabinet impulse responses. They have huge collections of them, which I avoid like the plague. I don't want or need zillions of different permutations of guitar cabinet and microphone types/placements. I bought one small collection that I felt should cover my needs, then refuse to even visit that site or any other IR supplier. Of the many dozens of IRs in that collection I have a small handful that I use and keep the rest at arms length. The last thing I want to do is to get sucked into auditioning 50 different guitar cabinet configurations every time I pick up my bloody guitar. :D

    (BTW, Nembrini amps do come with guitar cabinet IRs. I just haven't found them that satisfying, thus the use of Thafknar or Impulsation. Lately though I've been skipping even that while jamming, just sticking with the internal ones.)

  • @wim said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Great stuff here.
    I think I’ll have to learn what Ownhammer means now.

    Ownhammer sells guitar cabinet impulse responses. They have huge collections of them, which I avoid like the plague. I don't want or need zillions of different permutations of guitar cabinet and microphone types/placements. I bought one small collection that I felt should cover my needs, then refuse to even visit that site or any other IR supplier. Of the many dozens of IRs in that collection I have a small handful that I use and keep the rest at arms length. The last thing I want to do is to get sucked into auditioning 50 different guitar cabinet configurations every time I pick up my bloody guitar. :D

    (BTW, Nembrini amps do come with guitar cabinet IRs. I just haven't found them that satisfying, thus the use of Thafknar or Impulsation. Lately though I've been skipping even that while jamming, just sticking with the internal ones.)

    @ExAsperis99: the OwnHammer rEvolution bundle probably has a great collection of cabinet IRs and is likely the only collection you would need. There are Vox AC15 and AC30 cabinets in there that I use a ton. Nembrini's Vox comes with at least one IR that sounds great. For all their other amps, I prefer using one of the OwnHammer IRs from the rEvolution bundle

  • The trouble with Ownhammer is that it's all a bit of a hassle. I bought the Revolution Bundle on Black Friday, and this is what you're presented with:

    Inside each one of these zip files you then get this:

    And inside these folders you have this:

    So basically you get a million files all labelled with a horrible naming convention, that you then have to transfer onto your iPad and into a convolution reverb app.

    To make the whole thing more manageable I went and renamed all the folders to something more descriptive and just put a very small selection of IRs in each:

    But basically I thought the whole process was pretty poor, from the naming convention to the choice paralysis when presented with hundreds of files to choose from.

    Someone should make an app to simplify this whole process, a convolution app with a small number of high-quality cabinets so that users don't have to deal with this kind of hassle. Maybe other people have more patience than me, but this is not how I want to spend my music time.

  • That was what I felt too. Even though it is less cost effective, I avoided the collections altogether and just bought two individual amp cabs. Then I did a once through to pick out two or three variations that immediately struck me as sounding best. Only those few ended up on the iPad. I’ve avoided the rest ever since.

  • edited April 3

    As someone that bought bias thinking "they must go AU at some point, it's inevitable" I now regressed to just using the mixbox amps since it's fast to set up and convenient and since I never had high quality gear (until last year all I had was my 15 year old line6 spider, jesus christ) I don't even feel like I'm missing anything. :D

  • @wim said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Great stuff here.
    I think I’ll have to learn what Ownhammer means now.

    Ownhammer sells guitar cabinet impulse responses. They have huge collections of them, which I avoid like the plague. I don't want or need zillions of different permutations of guitar cabinet and microphone types/placements. I bought one small collection that I felt should cover my needs, then refuse to even visit that site or any other IR supplier. Of the many dozens of IRs in that collection I have a small handful that I use and keep the rest at arms length. The last thing I want to do is to get sucked into auditioning 50 different guitar cabinet configurations every time I pick up my bloody guitar. :D

    (BTW, Nembrini amps do come with guitar cabinet IRs. I just haven't found them that satisfying, thus the use of Thafknar or Impulsation. Lately though I've been skipping even that while jamming, just sticking with the internal ones.)

    I was avoiding the whole Ohwnhammer thing altogether, Thought it was a bit “snobby “. But they do make a difference, they sound noticeably better than the included Nembrini IRS.
    So your friend is the “Summary” folder as seen in @richardyot screen caps. That contains a few representative IRS that should be enough for the 99% of us.
    For me it’s about not spending 90% of the time focusing on how to make something 1% better.
    So you’ve spent 1 hour going through 400 IR responses, carefully listening to every nuance and subtle characteristic. You settle on one, it’s the perfect one. Then you stick an eq after it and slightly move a knob. That little knob twist has more effect on the sound than the previous 2 hours going through folders if IRs.
    I use IMPULSation for IR as I find it gentler on the eye and I can’t spell Thafknar. I have a few favs that are significantly different (sparkly, bassy, roomy) and just go with that.

    I remember playing a gig at some random bar and the guitarist on the other band would switch guitars and play on a vintage amp that was worth 10x my whole equipment. You know what?. We were both heard through the same shitty PA. Both sets sounded equally mediocre, no room for subtlety. Translating that to IRS and 1000 amp sims and combos... if you enjoy the process and have fun matching this with that go ahead. If you want to do stuff, your mixing capabilities, your monitors, and a dozen other factors are gonna make that IR subtlety irrelevant.

  • @tahiche said:

    @wim said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Great stuff here.
    I think I’ll have to learn what Ownhammer means now.

    Ownhammer sells guitar cabinet impulse responses. They have huge collections of them, which I avoid like the plague. I don't want or need zillions of different permutations of guitar cabinet and microphone types/placements. I bought one small collection that I felt should cover my needs, then refuse to even visit that site or any other IR supplier. Of the many dozens of IRs in that collection I have a small handful that I use and keep the rest at arms length. The last thing I want to do is to get sucked into auditioning 50 different guitar cabinet configurations every time I pick up my bloody guitar. :D

    (BTW, Nembrini amps do come with guitar cabinet IRs. I just haven't found them that satisfying, thus the use of Thafknar or Impulsation. Lately though I've been skipping even that while jamming, just sticking with the internal ones.)

    I was avoiding the whole Ohwnhammer thing altogether, Thought it was a bit “snobby “. But they do make a difference, they sound noticeably better than the included Nembrini IRS.
    So your friend is the “Summary” folder as seen in @richardyot screen caps. That contains a few representative IRS that should be enough for the 99% of us.
    For me it’s about not spending 90% of the time focusing on how to make something 1% better.
    So you’ve spent 1 hour going through 400 IR responses, carefully listening to every nuance and subtle characteristic. You settle on one, it’s the perfect one. Then you stick an eq after it and slightly move a knob. That little knob twist has more effect on the sound than the previous 2 hours going through folders if IRs.
    I use IMPULSation for IR as I find it gentler on the eye and I can’t spell Thafknar. I have a few favs that are significantly different (sparkly, bassy, roomy) and just go with that.

    I remember playing a gig at some random bar and the guitarist on the other band would switch guitars and play on a vintage amp that was worth 10x my whole equipment. You know what?. We were both heard through the same shitty PA. Both sets sounded equally mediocre, no room for subtlety. Translating that to IRS and 1000 amp sims and combos... if you enjoy the process and have fun matching this with that go ahead. If you want to do stuff, your mixing capabilities, your monitors, and a dozen other factors are gonna make that IR subtlety irrelevant.

    For recording professional studio grade music without the hassle of setting up an actual amp with mics, there’s no question that impulse responses are the way to go. They give you a real cabinet stage in a room, with more harmonic content and better playing feel as well. Basically forget all cabinet sims and pair the amp sim with IRs always. Even the preloaded IRs in Nembrini and Overloud rigs are better than cab sims.

    For live playing I’m still on the fence regarding software vs hardware, so I have a hybrid set up, real amp and pedal board, but also an interface on the board that can take some pedals at the front end and go out to iOS for processing, and to front of house or an frfr.

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