Guitar amp modelling project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by integrated, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. integrated

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hi guys,

    This isn't a physical electronics project, but I hope you will be able to help me anyway.

    I am a physics student in my final year of university. This year I have to do a project and what I am thinking of doing is modelling a tube guitar amplifier in C++, using the Steinberg SDK to create a VST plugin. At the moment I am trying to find out whether it is feasible for me to do this project in about 6 months, considering that I will have to learn C++, DSP and more electronics.

    The modelling process will involve getting the guitar amplifier schematic and analysing each component - diodes, capacitors, triodes, pentodes, etc - and how it interacts with other components in the circuit. Then, somehow, this analogue behaviour will have to be simulated in C++ with DSP.

    I have been in touch with a few people who have done a few amp modelling projects previously and they have told me that it is the DSP that I will have a problem with, not the C++. Apparently I should start by analysing each component mathematically and will end up with a set of nonlinear differential equations. My main concern at the moment is finding/forming the equations for components I'm unfamiliar with - the tubes/valves of the amp. I have no idea where to start; a Google search does not seem to return much information on this matter.

    As you may be able to tell, I'm not so knowledgeable in these matters at the moment, so I'll leave it here. I would really appreciate it if you could give me some direction - book/website recommendations, suggestions, etc.
  2. Rbeckett


    Sep 3, 2010
    I have a freind who does tube amp restorations and he always comments that the digital electronics will never equate the warmth and timbre of a tube amp. He says it has something to do with the way tubes are heated and the way the grids are biased that make tube amps so superior. I think the differential equations are going to be more signifgant than you might be giving them credit for. If you analyze a tube circuit you get the "perfect" set of parameters and tubes rarely perform that well thus the difference when they are compared. Trust me I am not attempting to discourage you, only bringing up a frequently made remark from some one who modifies and repairs old Marshal and peavey type equipment. I asked him to email me some thoughts and parameters in case you need some input or help. Hope this helps, and good luck..