WHO WE ARE?
amalgam audio is a small and young company based in Riga, Latvia (Northern Europe) and amalgam captures is our newest project. Electric guitar is our passion and within the vast landscape of gear for electric guitars its the vintage tube amps that make our hearts race faster.
In the last decade we've acquired a number of golden units from the most iconic vintage amps for various projects and they have stuck with us, as each of them bring something truly magic and unique with them. In recent years we have been developing our own innovative tube amp - the amalgam audio element amplifier. Therefore we know the hardware side of real tube amps and we know how to take care of them.
After trying the Quad Cortex and hearing the results of well made captures, we realized that this is a game changer - for the first time there is no compromise in going digital and for the first time we felt confident that a digital product can authentically reproduce these legendary pieces of gear to a point where the captures are almost indistinguishable in a scrupulous direct A/B comparison.
We make these captures just as much for ourselves as for our customers, as we transition to the Quad Cortex for our daily playing and we're leaving the real amps for the odd studio session. And therefore we fully stand behind our products.
OUR CAPTURE PROCESS
We specialize in DI amp captures, as these, in our tests and experience, deliver the closest tone to the reference amps, when paired with an appropriate cabinet impulse Response. Furthermore Neural DSP's own factory captures are all DI captures and the whole eco-system of the unit just lends itself best towards this approach. Another advantage to the DI captures is the ability to further sculpt the desired tone with your favorite cabinet impulse responses - it is just way more flexible and practical.
The DI captures are created with the amplifiers working in conjunction with the speakers or cabinets they have been intended to operate with. The caprtures are created at full volumes, without attenuators or other devices in the chain that might affect the tone. Each cabinet has its own characteristic load on the amplifier, which affects its tone and response. The DI signal is tapped directly from the amps output, not an attenuator or load box, keeping the most natural and authentic response of each amp. We carefully level-match all our captures in order to achieve a consistent output throughout our captures, in order to let you focus on what is the most important - your tone.
Our captures come dialed in for 5 EQ presets - Thin, Bright, Balanced, Warm and Fat. While most presets will sound good with many pickups, you will find that the brighter presets will lend themselves best for Humbucker and P90 style pickups, while the warmer ones will play very well with single coils and other brighter pickups/pickup positions. Though the specific guitar used is not part of any phase of the capture process, we test our captures with humbucker (1980's Yamaha SA-1000) and single coil (62 Hot Rod Strat) types of guitar.
But one of the most important parts of our capture recipe starts a long time before we even consider starting a new capture. Our amps live a happy life at our studio and have been treated well with proper maintenance, tubes dialed into their sweet-spots and components working according to specification. We know our amps in and out and we are familiar with their quirks - we run them at the voltages they sound optimal at and we know which amps prefer what output impedance (which sometimes means a deliberate impedance mismatch). On top of that some of the old British amps surprisingly give the best results with the higher voltage tap (245v) instead of the 230v tap one would expect. We warm the amps up for at least 2 hours before we start the capture process, as some of the old ones simply tend to sound better when they're hot.
AMP AND GEAR COLLECTION
Most of the amps in our collection are vintage units, but some are authentic replicas and boutique models. In contrast to most captures available for the Quad Cortex currently, which tend to cater a bit more to the Hard Rock and modern Metal tones, our focus lies on vintage style low to medium gain amplifiers and pedals. Therefore our capture sets, packs and bundles lend themselves more towards such genres as Classic Rock, Psychedelic, Pop, Funk, Country, Jazz, RnB, etc.
DELIVERY OF CAPTURES
When purchasing a capture set, pack or bundle, you are asked to enter your Cortex Cloud ID, so that we can share the purchased captures or presets manually with you. You also need to follow us on Cortex Cloud in order for us to be able to share the captures with you. Our Cortex Cloud ID is amalgamaudio.
As this is a manual process there can be a delay between your purchase and the delivery of the captures, although we are doing our best to to deliver the captures as fast as possible. Depending on your time zone and other factors please leave us 24h to share the purchased captures on the Cortex Cloud with you.
As we are selling digital goods, we are not able to issue refunds. After sharing the captures with the customer, we have no way of retrieving the captures from the customer - they can be locally saved on the unit and there is no way for us to control that. We do however do our best to represent the tone of each of our capture sets via audio demo recordings.