I'm one of those people that just play because I enjoy it. I'm not necessarily that skilled considering the time I've put in, and I don't know that much really when it comes to music in general. Now I'm trying to get into amp sims whether it's VST or hardware and it's not working out. At all.
I own 2 amps. They're decent, I guess. I'm not going to upgrade, if anything I'm looking to get rid off them because I can't use them to their fullest as it is because of my housing situation. So I'm trying out digital ones. Luckily there are alot of free software out there and most paid if not all have trials so I've tried pretty much everything. All of it haven't been crap. But none of it have been good for me either. It's just kinda like noise or fuzz, or noise and fuzz. The best results I've gotten is with my POD HD that I picked up super cheap. It's miles better but I still don't think anyone would consider it viable. I can't get any crunch or grit in the sound. It's almost like if the distiortion I'm trying to add just slips off the signal, like it never gets properly applied. If that makes any sense. And just to clarify - yeah, it sounds super digital. As long as I can get a good distorted tone I don't really mind at this point. I've heard tones that sound more digital than anything I've ever heard but they still sound like a guitar. And a damn good one at that! I just want to achieve that myself.
I know what these things are capable of and I've seen people do great things with very cheap stuff. So I just can't wrap my head around what is holding me and my sound back.
Can a guitar sound good with an actual amp and absolute crap with digital ones? I have never played my current guitar through "proper" high end amps. Mine are not really that good as I've said, so it might not be the best point of reference. But it sounds killer considering what I've got to work with. And I just recently turned the guitar in for fixing because the output was getting loose. Other than that the guitar was just fine. And he even said that it sounded great so I assume he actually tested it out. The signal is kinda hot. It peaks in the DAW but from what I've heard it shouldn't really affect the sound much if at all. So I have pretty much ruled out the guitar myself. It is not the problem (I hope).
I have a good PC and I've used other peoples DI's with great results so I'd think it got nothing to do with processing power or broken VST's.
My guess would be that it's something in the signal chain. But how would I even know what? I've tested several soundcards. More expensive ones like Focusrite Forte to cheaper ones that I have beside me right now like Presonus Audiobox and Focusrite Saffire 6. It makes no difference. I've tried using different cables all around. The only difference in sound I ever got was when I tried out a crappy instrument cable that I didn't even know I had. And it got worse, of course. It couldn't be as simple as an instrument cable? Right?! My primary cable is perhaps not high end but it sure ain't cheap.
Well, I'm all out of ideas. I have no clue what the problem is. If there even is one! I will probably upload a clip or two later and see if it helps.
Could you post an example? Signal chain might help, including the guitar, too.