Chop Tones

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Slartibartfarst42, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought both Rock packs from Chop Tones so I thought I'd share my experience.

    I listened to the video clips they provide but had some additional questions, like which amps were modeled as the videos don't always make that clear, and which speakers and cabs are modeled. I was told to listen to the videos! I emailed again and this time they ignored me. Nevertheless, I decided to take a punt and tried to buy the packs.The website wasn't working well and it was almost 24 hours later before I was able to complete the order after a great deal of confusion. My experience of dealing with Chop Tones as a company was akin to dealing with the Keystone Cops!

    Anyway, what of the tones? Well, it's a very mixed bag if I'm honest so here are some broad comments on what I found, though I appreciate that tonal preferences can be very subjective. The presets they sell you rely very heavily on the IR options that come with them as there are very few blocks enabled beyond Amp, Cab, Reverb and PEQ2 that is set to 'Notch'.

    Every preset in 'Volume 1' uses a Mesa 4X12 with V30 speakers so the only difference seems to be the microphone used to record. 'Volume 2' offers more variety with a ToneKing Imerial 1X12 with a Creamback; a Friedman 4X12 with G12M speakers and a final option that was a combination of a Mesa 4X12 and a Friedman 4X12, both loaded with V30s. In general, I found every preset to be too dark and sounding almost like a blanket was over the speaker. The tones certainly weren't as impressive as the ones in the videos. They advise you to simply change level and gain settings for your perfect tone but the reality is that it needs a lot more work than that! I started at that point but then I had largely remove all the bottom end they'd added in the Cab block. I also then had to start playing around with the EQ options so that the presets now have far more blocks enabled. I also had to tweak the reverb block as they seem to like a very large room in their presets and it was just too boomy on many of the presets. In some cases I couldn't rid the tones of the hollow, dark sound and I wonder if it has something to do with the PEQ2 'Notch' setting they used because that appeared on every single preset. I confess that I really don't understand EQ so I have no idea what the difference is between Notch, Highpass or Highshelf etc. As a result, I copied EQ blocks from other presets I had that used the same or similar amp models and that seemed to improve matters a lot. I also boosted the Master control on the amp to increase saturation as it was set low on every preset and this helped to remove the hollowness. Finally, I started to swap around the IRs as this is what disappointed me most about the packs. If you want to do a convincing JCM800 patch, surely you want to model an IR on a Marshall cabinet. Using a Mesa just seemed wrong. I found most success with the IR that was a combination of the Mesa 4X12 and Friedman 4X12 and V30 speakers so that is now on most of the presets.

    All of that took me a good part of yesterday and I do have some good tones now. I'm certainly happier now that all of the adjustments have been made but overall I wouldn't recommend parting with your hard earned cash for them. My impression is that you can get similarly good tones yourself through experimentation and following some of the YouTube tutorials that are around. There are increasingly some great presets being offered on this forum so I urge people to look in these places first. This experience has also led me to reflect on buying IRs, which is essentially what I've done. Yes, they can be good and they can be an improvement on the ones that come with your AmpliFire but it strikes me that perhaps a lot of the time, you end up with something different and not massively better. My favoured IR from Chop Tones is good but with the right EQ settings and a bit more knowledge than I have, I suspect you could get really close to the same quality of tone with what comes stock.

    The only other pack I've laid out cash for is the one from Singtall and if I was going to recommend just one of these options, I'd strongly suggest you invest in the Singtall pack instead of Chop Tones. You get way more options for your money and they require a hell of a lot less work to get you the tones you want. If you really want to use custom IRs (the 'Singtall warm' IR in his pack is excellent) then there are a lot of free options out there for you to experiment with. Other people may have bought the Chiop Tones packs and love them straight out of the box and if you do, I'm really pleased for you. This is only my experience so take from it what you will.
     
  2. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    Quick Update:

    I've been playing around with this a bit more because the presets come clipping so level adjustment is required and I took the opportunity to tweak the settings a bit more. The USClean that comes with one of the packs was great right out of the box but I preferred the Deluxe I already had. The Plexi is now sounding fantastic and the Brit800 is very close to how I want it. The Kornfield is by far the best version of that amp model I've ever heard, as is the BE. I think the SLO still needs a bit of work. Surprisingly, there are no HotBrit presets here and my natural dislike of the Rumble continues as I just couldn't get a version of this amp that I liked. This one has always eluded me so I guess it's just me.

    This has taken a couple of days solid work and tinkering, which has been a lot more than I was expecting but the results are finally there or at least very close. I'd now say that if you're prepared to play around a lot with the settings and swap the IRs around a bit you can get some fantastic tones from these packs but they do need work and perhaps with individual tastes varying so much, that is to be expected. Perhaps I was naive to think they might be pretty much there from the outset but at least I've ended up with tones I really like.
     
  3. Rob D

    Rob D Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask what you are monitoring with?
     
  4. NelsonP

    NelsonP Senior Member

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    This sums up my experience of using 3rd party presets. They never sound quite right, so I end up tweaking them, thinking they sound much better.

    Then a few days later I compare them vs my tried and trusted presets and end up preferring my original ones.

    Seems like everyone sets up their presets quite differently in terms of overall levels, ir's, eq etc and that makes it almost impossible to like someone else's presets out of the box.

    If Atomic were to adjust the levels of the amp models to be a little more even that might help. But it would also screw up a lot of existing presets which would set the forums alight with negative comments!
     
  5. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    For monitoring I use either Orange headphones or a Laney IRT-X so as these are FRFR, they should be pretty close to what these presets were designed for.

    It's certainly true that I have always tweaked 3rd party presets and it is about personal preferences so my tastes may not be reflected in anyone else. Clearly I don't care for tones as dark as Chop Tones but in fairness to them, I have ended up with many tones I prefer to my old ones. If I were to invest in something similar again I think I'd be wanting additional IR options for each preset as ultimately, it's the IRs I'm buying and they seem to have the most dramatic effect on the final tone.
     
  6. Dagwin

    Dagwin Well-Known Member

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    I have purchased so far a pack from Choptones and one from Fremen.

    Agree that the Choptones were not usable as is for me and defenitely did not sound like in the video's, although I have a very similar guitar to what he used in the video.

    The pack from Fremen I though was very good, very little adjustment needed.
    The only thing I changed out of the box was the amp level, which I consistenly had to turn down with 10dB to match the sound level of my other presets.

    And in the end, I always change the CAB IR to a Celestion Red Back 412. Every preset sounds better with those :D
     
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  7. Matt

    Matt Well-Known Member

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    If they can’t even set the levels to not clip, what the heck are you paying for? I would ask for a refund.
     
  8. Dave_5150

    Dave_5150 Senior Member

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    I bought their very first pack and immediately reported the issue with the clipping. They said they'd sort it. Every pack since has also clipped badly too.

    In my opinion they are the least useful commercial presets, they're expensive and they sound nothing like the sound clips with any of my guitars. Others will no doubt love them though.
     

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