The market for guitar amp and effects modeling products has become increasingly crowded since Overloud introduced TH1 back in 2008.
With the recent introduction of its TH-U standalone/plug-in software, Overloud has delivered a product that rivals the most sophisticated (and expensive) hardware units available today.
In addition to providing a vast selection of guitar rigs comprising the most-coveted classic, modern boutique and obscure cult amps, a wide variety of speaker cabinet options and a comprehensive selection of effects, TH-U provides powerful modification capabilities that include the ability to swap preamp and power tubes and adjust voltage with a virtual Variac.
With the addition of the new Rig Player feature, which reproduces rig models profiled from real-world setups, TH-U is one of the most powerful amp/effects modeling software packages available today.
While TH-U is available in genre-specific Metal, Rock and Funk/R&B packages that each contain 16 amps, 15 speaker cabs and 16 effects focused on their respective musical styles, the TH-U Full package delivers considerably more bang for the buck by providing 89 guitar amps, four bass amps, 52 cabinets, 77 pedal and rack effects, 18 microphones and more than 1,000 presets.
Amp models include the usual suspects (Fenders, Marshalls and Mesa-Boogies, Hiwatt DR103, Roland JC-120, Vox AC30, Dumble Overdrive Special and so on) as well as authorized models of various Brunetti, DVmark, Randall and THD amps plus uncommon but totally cool selections like the Mesa-Boogies .50 Caliber, Orange “Graphic” 120, Lab Series L5 and Polytone Mini Brute.
Optional Rig Libraries allow users to load hundreds to thousands of additional amp rigs via the software’s Rig Player feature, including various Laney models, the classic brownface Fender Deluxe, numerous Marshall Silver Jubilee and even Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde Signature rigs.
Users can modify any of TH-U’s 89 amp models with the Amp Tweaks feature. Preamp options include 12AX7/12AT7 tubes or silicon/germanium diodes, and power amp options include 6L6, 6V6, EL34, EL84, KT88 or 5881 tubes, solid-state and Class A or AB. The Amp Tweaks window also provides a virtual Variac for adjusting the voltage from 60 to 110 volts.
Other key features include a built-in convolver for loading external guitar cab impulse repsonses (IRs), sophisticated MIDI control capabilities and a multitrack looper. TH-U is compatible with Mac or PC computers (Intel Core i3/AMD Quadcore Quadcore or higher, RGB RAM minimum, OS X 10.8.5 Mac/Windows 7 SP1 PC or later) and operates as a standalone application or as a VST, AAX or AU plug-in.
The software can be authorized on up to three computers and one USB stick.
The sound quality of THU’s amp models is simply stunning, capturing the entire tonal range of their real-world counterparts and delivering authentic amp feel and response.
Overdriven tones will even clean up when the guitar’s volume control is backed down. I was impressed by the clean and slightly overdriven tones, which had rich body and certain three-dimensional quality often lacking from digital models.
Programming new presets is very simple thanks to the graphic display and drag-and-drop functionality. Zoom in/out functions (25, 50, 75, 100, 150 and 200) make it easy to view the entire setup or tweak individual settings in detail.
The presets comprise a wide variety of genres as well as specific well-known songs, which make a great starting point for users to find tones close to what they’re looking for and further tweak to their preferences.
The selection of speaker cabinets and effects cover all the bases as well as a few lesser-traveled paths for more adventurous sound designers.
- TYPE: Guitar amp and effects modeller (VST, AAX or AU plug-in)
- KEY FEATURES: 89 guitar amp models, four bass amp models, 52 cabinet emulations, 77 pedal/rack effects models; Amp Tweak, Rig Library, Rig Player, Looper
- SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.7 Lion and later (Intel Core i3 1.4GHz with 4Gb of RAM, 1280x800 video.Windows Vista and later, (Core i3 1.4GHz with 4Gb of RAM, 1280x800 video)
- CONTACT: Overloud