Questions & Answers

Can Ampire's mono/stereo processing be improved?

+4 votes
asked May 12, 2023 in Instruments and Plug-Ins by flanger001 (350 points)

When I use Ampire, I will frequently set the channel mode to Stereo because some of the pedal effects output in stereo and it is pleasant to not have to use an additional insert or bus send to get stereo output. However, it appears that when the channel mode is Stereo, everything that can possibly be stereo in the chain is always stereo regardless of where it is placed in the chain, and there is no way to control this. This is unintuitive and presents in strange ways.

For example, the PAE Chorus 1 pedal is a beautiful sounding effect, but it always outputs an extremely wide stereo signal even if placed before the amplifier, which is rarely what I want. Guitar amps do not typically have stereo inputs (and none of the real-world counterparts to the modeled amps in base Ampire or the Metal Pack do), and so my expectation is that signal is collapsed to mono at the amplifier even if stereo input is supplied. It would be nice to either always treat amps as mono, or be able to toggle an amp being stereo input and output independently, but it appears the input mode is tied to the channel mode.

However, this is not consistent even within Ampire:

  • The Reverb pedal also outputs in stereo, but if a hard-panned input is supplied, the reverb will only sound on the panned side, which is not how a reverb would be expected to work. This is not how either Room Reverb or Open AIR work, for example.
  • However, the Space Reverb pedal does "correctly" output on both channels even if a hard-panned stereo input is supplied. 
  • The Delay pedal always collapses all wet output to mono, but will leave stereo input alone.
  • The Modulation pedal outputs in stereo, but tracks its output to its input, i.e. hard-panned input will result in hard-panned output. This is more or less what one would expect.
  • The reverb control on the Blackface Twin amp model is always mono as one would expect.

Finally, some pedals do not have stereo output, but maybe should? The aforementioned Delay pedal is an obvious candidate. Perhaps the Tremolo?

This behavior is replicated in Pedalboard, also.

Ampire is often my first choice for an amp simulator even when third-party options are available because it sounds great, it is incredibly efficient, and it is much easier to share sessions with Ampire due to it being a stock plug-in. However, it is becoming more difficult to justify using for more creative sound shaping due to the inconsistencies in its stereo processing. I know if I really, really want a mono PAE Chorus 1, I can use Pedalboard and a mono collapsing pan plug-in after it, but that is definitely a workaround and has its own drawbacks, and it would be so nice to just have consistent behavior within Ampire.

Please consider adding mono/stereo controls to Ampire. Thank you!

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