Sound examples: aliasing in amp simulation in Live

Aliasing in amp simulation is super annoying. Here’s how aliasing sounds like in Ableton Live using the native Softube Amp device.


Yesterday I published a post about aliasing in amp simulation in Reason and the oversampling techniques with are used to prevent it from generating annoying aliasing effects. Today I want to focus on Ableton Live. Unfortunately Live doesn’t over oversampling modes for Softube Amp and it’s Overdrive device. Kinda strange because the Softube Amp rack extension in Reason won’t generate aliasing artefacts while in Live they will! Softube Amp in Live uses totally different Amp and Cabinet algorithms compared to those used in Reason. To make a long story short: Softube Amp in Reason sounds great while in Ableton Live it sounds like shit. An update in Live for Amp and Cabinet is most wanted!

Here are the sound examples I made with Live. It’s a bit annoying to listen to these tracks ’cause I am bending the high e-string of my guitar in such a way so you can hear the aliasing which is going on. Aliasing artefacts all over the place:

P.S. these tests are done using a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. Sometimes I use 48 kHz for video projects.

Update: the Saturation and Dynamic Tube devices have Hi-Quality modes (right-click on the title-bar of these devices to activate it) which are using oversampling techniques to prevent aliasing.


Honestly, I was never really satisfied with Amp as a guitar Amp simulation. Everytime I am testing it I switch to Amplitube quite fast. I don’t really like Amplitude either but it I am satisfied faster than with Amp. Maybe I am expecting too much or need to have better settings. But I remember going into a music store, plugging a guitar into an amp/cabinet combination (I don’t remember the brand) turning some knobs and just played for an hour because it was sounding so nice. So far I never had that with a plugin. Maybe it’s a matter of settings, maybe a bias. But maybe Amp and other simuations just sound bad.

I can play for hours using amp sims in Reason. They are really great. I never liked Guitar Rig and some other plugins I tried. Softube Amp in Live is the worst amp sim ever imo.

In the early 90s I bought a Peavey ProFex for it’s amp simulator because it got a great review in a Dutch magazine. That was my first experience with aliasing. Then ProFex sounded like shit. And it showed me that some reviewers can not be trusted… 🙂

I own a Marshall Studio 15, Vox AC 15 and Koch KV-50 tube amp. The Vox has a broken tube which needs to be repaired. The Marshall has a dying tube (some weird noises come out of it now and then) and the Koch has pots which are dirty. I love the sounds of tubes but I prefer software. Not only is software capable of sounding as good as tubes, software is way more convenient.

I would like to have a solid software amp emulation. I heard brainworx Rockamp is good. I have to test the free player. Aren’t the amp simps in Reason from Kuassa? Maybe I should check them. I have their free version too just need to check it.

By the way, I heard a lot of people like to use GuitarRigs filters or other effects for tone shaping other than guitar.

I tried the preset-version (free) of brainworx Rockamp. Didn’t like it.

The included amp sims in Reason are from Softube but are totally different than those included in Live. Really nicely done. And Kuassa makes 2 rack extension for Reason, Vermilion and Creme, which are very nice also. They have oversampling parameters which are super handy.

Maybe one day I will start building my own amp sim in Max4Live though…

Oh, and by the way I think when a DAW has plugins with the name of an external company I think those plugins should be original plugins, not stripped down versions. If I had a company I would make sure that when people see my name on a product, they can excpect a certain quality.

Yes, never understood why the joined forces of Softube and Ableton delivered such a bad product.

I was involved in testing the Softube Amp for Reason. The first thing I told them: if you add the same shitty amp sims as in Live, forget about it, it would be a showstopper for sure. I am glad they really did a great job this time. They probably have listened to the complaints.

I will not even listen t the examples as I know how bad the sound will be.
Why they even bothered is beyond me.

Tons of ppl use these stock plugins in Ableton without even realizing they ruin sound with aliasing.

Many ppl can’t hear difference oversampled vs non-oversampled though, so they think aliasing doing nothing.

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