Website, forums and general user experience

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Napalmhardcore, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Napalmhardcore

    Napalmhardcore Member

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    Hi,

    I was actually going to post this months ago but due to either a problem with my PC (I've since reinstalled Windows) or a problem with the forums, I was unable to login.

    I'm an Amplifire 12 owner. Admittedly, I have not used it very much. For the sake of convenience (less cables smaller footprint, less chance for potential noise issues due to connecting multiple pieces of gear) I instead use my Zoom G5 for everyday practise due to its built in looper (which is essential for the way I like to practise). I do however check in from time to time to see if there have been any updates that make it worth the effort to hook it up again.

    I have personally found the lack of upfront information available on the Atomic website and in these forums quite frustrating. One of the times I visited, the main site stated the latest firmware was one version (or it might have been the release notes, I don't remember clearly), while the forums said it was another. What made this worse was that it wasn't even the Atomic News or Latest Software threads that I learned what the latest firmware actually was. I found out due to someone mentioning it on one of the discussion threads.

    What is the point of having sections of the forum dedicated to specific information such as product manuals or latest software if they remain empty? Wouldn't it also be useful to have "stickied" threads with information such as an up to date list of amp models and effects? People shouldn't have to post a thread saying "What's current?" or dig through random discussions to find out basic information about a product line which has had such an irregular update schedule.

    The forums and website are an extension of the user experience with a product such as this. Competing products seem to have improved vastly over time with regular updates that include new effects and amp models. I also seem to have had much less trouble finding information about these products. There has been comparatively very little added to the Amplifire line and the forums and website are pretty lacklustre. With these two points combined, I feel the user experience as an Amplifire user has been a bit disappointing.

    The defence I've regularly seen from Amplifire users is that they feel it sounds better. Firstly, "better" in terms of sound is largely subjective and secondly, I've watched comparison videos where myself and a large proportion of the people in the comments section didn't think it sounded better at all. Then come comments such as "The stock IRs aren't great, you need to use..." or "This guy doesn't know how to dial it in" and then proceed to give EQ block parameters or deep dive settings like damping etc. You can tweak almost any modeller to sound good if you run it through a decent IR and tweak every parameter under the sun. The real test is if something sounds good out of the box using similar settings to what you would use to get the real amp to sound good. Many people seem to be singing the praise of the Strymon Iridium for that very reason. While it lacks versatility in comparison to pretty much every other modeller, due to its lack of deep editing, anything said about how it sounds (whether you like it or not) stands. How it sounds is how it sounds and the only real variable (aside from basic amp controls) is if you choose to import IRs.

    Edit: For some reason I am unable to post anything on the forums using Firefox (my preferred browser). I instead have to use MS Edge. I told Atomic about this months ago (before reinstalling Windows) and it seems nothing was ever done about it. Luckily I copy my posts before hitting the post button in case something goes wrong, otherwise I would have had to retype everything (I think I'd have just given up secure in the knowledge that Atomic really don't give a toss).
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  2. NelsonP

    NelsonP Senior Member

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    I agree that some forum housekeeping might help to make this place feel a little bit more loved and contribute to the overall user experience.

    There are a number of really useful threads on here, some of which have been created by Atomic (mainly Jace) and others which have been created by users. Someone was recently talking about creating an Atomic wiki. I quite like the user generated nature of some of these posts, from folks who are passionate, have knowledge and want to share it etc.

    Organising these a bit better would not only would help users, but would also help Atomic to deliver a better user experience and therefore drive sales.
    It might also encourage more folks to come on here, more often, which would be a good thing.
     
  3. afterhoursblues

    afterhoursblues Member

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    I’ll agree on the limited point that the forum is bugged (most often my posts fail to publish) and that detracts from my customer experience... but still couldn’t be more pleased with both my AFB and AF12.
     
  4. SLAPBACK59

    SLAPBACK59 Member

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    Yes, I myself am not a big contributor, but own AFB and AF12 and previously AF3.
    Let's not forget what great products these are at this price point, or the great work put in by Jace and others to guide us through the (necessary?) complexities of setting them up to work at their very best.
     
  5. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Senior Member

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    I'd go so far as to say, at any price point. They each have their advantages and things they do a little better than the others, but, for my money, the Atomic has the best-sounding amps in the game.
     
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  6. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Well-Known Member

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    Confused... did I accidentally log into the forum for a cell phone manufacturer? Computer?
     
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  7. Brad Ollis

    Brad Ollis Member

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    I'll agree that this Forum is bugged beyond belief. I can't get it to work for posts in Chrome, Firefox or on my mobile. If I hadn't seen this thread, I wouldn't have thought to try Edge, so thanks.

    I agree that a web presence and an active community is important for a serious amp modeller, and the website and especially this forum do get in the way of that. I don't come back nearly as often as I used to when I first got my AA6. But I disagree on some points, like the product needing to compete on the update schedule and new features of competitors. My AA6 cost me lest than 1/3rd of what a Fractal AX8 would when I bought it, and to my ears it's in the ballpark (better or worse as you pointed out is subjective). It's even cheaper relative to the Helix Floor, half of the Floor LT or Headrush, and even a few hundred under the Helix Stomp. What it lacks in models it makes up for with the ability to use every block all the time with no surprises.
     
  8. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    I agree in part but I remain happy with my Atomic.

    The forum seems dated, it isn't active enough and valuable threads aren't stickied so that they can be easily found. This is a great shame as there are some invaluable threads on here from users and Jace so it really should be easier to access them.

    I also agree that the controls on the Atomic are ludicrously complicated compared to how easy the controls tend to be on even boutique stompboxes or alternative modelers. If the Atomic really needs that many parameters to fix amp models and especially effects, there's something wrong with the basic amp model or effect. You'd think that EQ blocks would be used to tweak individual amp models and presets to taste but I use exactly the same EQ settings for Pre, PEQ1, PEQ2 & PEQ3 on EVERY preset that isn't clean and I can only conclude that this consistency means I'm doing this to rectify something that is fundamentally wrong with the Atomic as a whole.

    Having said all of that, the tones I end up with are superb. I have no desire at all to return to a valve amp and no desire at all to buy an alternative modeler that will cost significantly more money and won't sound any better; arguably worse!
     
  9. UXCow

    UXCow Member

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  10. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Well-Known Member

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    Not to be argumentative, but I disagree with pretty much everything in this section of your post. 1) Too many controls, vs. not enough controls. No way to win that war with every user... And the premise that the effects must be messed up because they give you so much control... well, that's just wrong. No matter how good they are or aren't, more controls gives you simply that. MORE CONTROL. There are presets that have good effects and you can copy those and modify to taste. So yeah, a one knob Phase 90 is easier to use, but that's not always going to get you what you want or need. 2) I use the EQ blocks exactly as you said they should be used and NEVER have to use them the same for every preset to "correct" something that's wrong. Sounds to me more like that you are adjusting them to your playback system/ears/preferences. Using 3-4 EQs the same way on every preset? No way! I've had my AA3 for over 3 years and AA12 for over 1 now, and never used "multiple EQs set the same way for every preset" to make them work. And I've played them through everything from cheap monitors, and affordable to very good FRFRs, and directly into PAs of all shapes and sizes (most common when I play live is a Yamaha M7CL!) In fact, I've been in this forum for years and TGP forever, and never heard one other user make such a claim.

    I have tried lots of other peoples presets. The Singtall ones, Amp Factory, TONS of users here and TGP. MBritt, etc. I've seen people use lots of those EQs in their presets and formed some "opinions" of those who use them heavily. From what I've seen, either they are going for a very specific tone (aka a 3db boost with a .5Q exactly at 1.2k) or, they are EQ'ing around a particular IR that they like, but have to EQ around both IR deficiencies and specific tone preferences. More to the point, I'll be glad to look again, but I've never noticed Singtall or MBritt presets all using the same EQs on every preset, as if they were fixing an inherent problem, rather than EQing to taste. I have whole sets of presets that sound great through a humble QSC CP8, with NO EQ blocks used at all except for the one I put in my solo button preset for a boost for solos. I'll also add that, when I kept having to "add" things to every preset before I was happy, was when I was using cheap studio monitors that WERE NOT FLAT. Even decent ones, and I quit using all the EQ fixes.

    YMMV...
     
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  11. Eric Raymond

    Eric Raymond Well-Known Member

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    The extra controls on the effects are great to have, but I also like something that layers over them to provide a simpler three knob type effect.

    Even better is to have a dropdown menu with various "models" of effects and allow choice of these clones or the advanced model that has all parameters exposed. This is a cheap way for Atomic to have more "effects" without having to program new algorithms. For example, we could haver a Chorus type that includes Boss CE2, Dimension C, TC SCF, ..., and "Advanced" (the current option).

    I'm willing to have this feature only available via the AA Editor (and not on the device's lcd editor). I'm sure keeping the two editors at feature parity mkes each new feature a bit more expensive.

    On the need for global eq (across multiple presets), I'd find that handy when going between different cabs and guitars. It might not be perfect across all presets, but it gets me in the ballpark. YMMV

    I agree that the flexibility/control that the AA provides is not a sign that the device is broken. An F-14 Tomcat jet has many more controls than a simple plane; it the right hands it can do amazing things.
     
  12. Eric Raymond

    Eric Raymond Well-Known Member

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    You mean like not having a picture of the back of the Amplifire on the web site? Why would anyone want to know what jacks are there? ;-)
     
  13. Dave_5150

    Dave_5150 Senior Member

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    Like this one?


    upload_2019-12-5_23-23-45.png
     
  14. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Senior Member

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  15. Eric Raymond

    Eric Raymond Well-Known Member

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    Points well taken. I stand corrected!

    To summarize:
    • AF6:
      • No back panel image on the AA6 main page.
      • If you click "buy it now", there is an image of the back panel
        • This is pretty buried, IMHO. How many people would click "buy it now" to do research?
      • Pictures of the side outputs, but not inputs.
        • Not as important as the back panel, IMHO.
    • AFB:
      • No pictures of the devices i/o
    • AF12:
      • Nice back panel image on the AA12 main page!
    We could probably improve the main pages for the AF6 and AFB to provide the port images up front. Hiding AA6 info on a shopping cart page doesn't help that much. Clearly someone at Atomic gets this because they did it for the AF12. We can't see it in a store; the web site needs to sell it; make it really easy to understand what you are getting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019 at 11:27 AM
  16. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Well-Known Member

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