It’s all about the crunch tone

January 16, 2009

Since a few days, we’ve been tweaking Vandal’s guitar amp tube stages for the ability to deal much better with slight overdrive. That’s a tough one, but I think we’re close to getting that nailed. We’re aware of the fact that delicate, responsive crunch is what divides a good amp from a bad one.

Here’s the current status, a video by Dimi Nalbantov:

What we did is basically fine-tuning the biasing of all affected preamp tubes (2 in ‘classic’ mode, 3 in ‘british hybrid’, 4 in ‘modern high gain’) as well as changing the tube character in particular.
We now have different models of tubes stuffed into the virtual circuits. In some stages we got more or less 12au7 behaviour and 12ax7 tubes when more gain is needed. Apart from ‘mu’ (amplification factor) and characteristics, each tube got implanted its own tonal response. We now got even more degrees of freedom than before, yabbadabbadoo…

It should be audible that we progressed somehow. The whole amp is now more responsive to volume change on the input and reacts a lot nicer on slight overdrive settings. It ‘breathes’ more, hopefully.

We still got stuff to do soundwise… so check back often 🙂

New Vandal Guitar Amp videos

January 13, 2009

Our tester Dimi has published a few videos where he’s getting serious with our software. Have a look:

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Guitar amp circuit revision

January 12, 2009

Now, this might sound strange…:
Even when you’re developing a software guitar amplifier, you still have to get to know the beast yourself! Our model has gotten pretty complex and so close to the real deal that we have to play with it for longer than initially thought. Otherwise you’re tempted to stick to first-sight impressions and perhaps go on into false directions.

So we’ve done even more intensive listening tests at the beginning of January, after an ear-recalibrating Christmas break. This immediately led to some changes under the hood of VANDAL’s guitar amp: Read the rest of this entry »

Listening tests – part II

January 7, 2009

Of course, development went on in December. We almost had daily builds of the VANDAL plugin that went out to the test team. I’ve got a feeling the sound of the whole software is getting more mature recently… hopefully.

Here are a more audio snippets of VANDAL, once more played by Dimitar Nalbantov (

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