Are Digital Amp Modelers Finally Replacing Guitar Amps?

The Future of Guitar Amplifiers: A Digital Revolution

As the beat of technology reverberates faster and louder across industries, no corner of the world remains untouched. The music sphere has evolved significantly, especially with digital amp modelers. With more artists now leaning into the digital world for their sound, one question arises: Are Digital Amp Modelers Finally Replacing Guitar Amplifiers? Dive into this episode of the Future of Music Podcast as we dissect this intriguing shift.

As guitarists and music enthusiasts, we’ve reveled in the warm embrace of tube amplifiers for decades. But digital amp modelers are tuning up for a central role in a world where tech transforms tradition. Are they just a passing trend or the new standard? Hosts Jonathan Boyd and Ryan Withrow strike a chord between the nostalgic past and the digital-driven present. Whether you’re a purist or an innovator, this conversation promises to resonate.

Digital Amp Modelers

The Shift to Digital

The age-old magic of guitar amplifiers is witnessing a revolution. How would you feel if you could get $10,000 worth of pro-sounding tones right from your bedroom? The power to dial up Joe Satriani’s actual guitar rig with a mere click is no longer a distant dream. In this era, artists no longer have to delve deep into the intricacies of mic placement, EQing, and more. All it takes is a click of a button!

Only a decade ago, the very idea of digital instruments, especially for guitar tones, seemed comical. Early tones mirrored the polyphonic ringtones of the first cell phones, sounding more like video games than professional music. To get a genuine sound, artists had to venture into studios with the perfect acoustics or set up their own space, hoping for a decent sound outcome.

Jonathan and Ryan share their journey from owning traditional amplifiers to venturing into the world of digital amp modelers. They delve into the conveniences the digital age offers, from a reduced need for physical space to avoiding the hassle of lugging around heavy amplifiers.

Titans of the Digital Amp Modelers Industry


One of the forerunners in the digital amp modelers realm is NeuralDSP. Founded in 2017 in Finland, NeuralDSP has quickly risen to prominence. The platform offers presets from notable guitarists like Tosin Abasi, Corey Wong, and the iconic John Petrucci. It mirrors the experience of a physical amplifier, allowing users to choose from a range of microphones and even find the sweet spot on the speaker cone.

VSTs: A Game Changer

Virtual Studio Technology (VST) has revolutionized the world of digital music. These plugins, housed within digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Cubase, Logic, and Pro Tools, mimic the effects one would achieve with a physical mixing board.

The Verdict

As the curtain falls on our deep dive into the evolving world of guitar amplification, one thing is clear: music and technology are inextricably linked, each pushing the other to new frontiers. Digital amp modelers may not spell the end for our beloved tube amps, but they undeniably represent a dynamic shift in the soundscape of modern guitarists. Whatever side of the debate you land on, innovation ensures the music plays on louder and more diverse than ever. Thanks for joining Jonathan Boyd and Ryan Withrow on this sonic journey.

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The Future of Music Podcast – Huge Guitar Tones With Zero Amps

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