Aug 222008

I admit it. I’m a gear junkie. So when i read about Line6’s blowout deal on the GearBox Gold Bundle a few weeks ago, i couldn’t resist. For $99, you get a guitar-oriented DI box and Line6’s GearBox software and ALL of Line6’s amp model plugins. I love real amps, but i love the tones of so many of them that it’s just unrealistic for me to start collecting the real things, so digital modeling works for me (until i get rich and/or move into a MUCH larger house).

Click to read my initial impressions…

I finally got around to cutting a quick demo just to see what it could do. This is really quick, because i’m about to take the strings and bridge off my Dean in order to swap out pickups, and i wanted to do a quick recording to capture a baseline of my Duncan Custom 8 (a Custom 5 with an Alnico 8 magnet) before i swap it out for a Bare Knuckle Nailbomb.

First off, i must say, this is an impressive package, especially for the money. The array of available tones is just staggering. One frustration, though, is that there’s no legend that will tell me which of the stupid Line6 amp model names corresponds to which real-life amp. Some of them are easy to figure out, some not so much.

After quickly running through a few presents, i’m blown away with how BAD most of them are. They sound like they were created by engineers and not by players who are experienced in dialing in tones with all these differnet amps. They’re ridiculously over-gained for the most part. The Treadplate preset was a horrible, sludgy mess, with the gain and EQ all boosted WAY too high. I backed it off to a more realistic setting for a Rectifier, dropped a Tube Screamer in front of it, and got a much more girthy, defined grind.

The “crunch” presets were similarly over-gained. Way too distorted for what i expect in a “crunch” setting.

This recording is just two quick-and-dirty takes with my own hastily-prepared Treadplate preset modification, and an AC-30-based crunch setting. Both tracks are my Dean EVO Special 7 with the Duncan Custom 8 in the bridge, recorded directly into GarageBand using GearBox on my MacBook Pro. And yes, i even monitored through the laptop speakers, because i was too lazy to run downstairs and get my headphones. I told you it was quick-and-dirty!

Just the first in what i’m sure will be many experiments and demo recordings.


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