Archetype Nolly Review
Product: Neural DSP – Archetype: Nolly
Price: 135 euro (for EU-customers VAT is added at checkout)
Place to buy: NeuralDSP.com
Specific Detail: Guitar Amp Simulation Plugin (specifically designed for rock and metal)
Guarantee: Non-refundable/non-exchangeable – all purchases are final (14-days free trial period)
My Rating: 9 out of 10
Double Tracked Rock Guitar Riff Using Archetype Nolly
Take a listen to me testing all of Nolly’s own presets
The last couple of years my interest in amp-sims has been steadily growing. The main reason for this is that they open the door to record guitar tracks from pretty much anywhere. After a good friend of mine told me about Neural DSP and that he’d purchased an amp-sim called Archetype: Nolly, I decided to visit their site and give the amp-sim a chance to make my own opinion about it. I’m glad that I did.
Neural DSP is a company with a growing variety of amp simulators. On their website they write in their own words that: “Our mission is to design the next generation of both audio software and hardware products in order to empower musicians’ creativity to expand alongside technology.”
Their selection of plugins are made in collaboration with renown artists such as Nolly, Abasi and Plini to create digital signature amps with as analogue feel and reaction to the guitar signal as possible while preserving the option to shape the sounds anyway you like.
In order to get the best experience using this plugin you need a good DI and preamp and a strong computer with enough CPU-power to deal with a CPU-heavy plugin like this one. There is a way around this issue which I will explain later in this post. It’s not a perfect solution but it works.
The Plugin’s interface
To start out I want to give you a brief walkthrough of the plugin’s GUI.
There are 5 top menus to swap between and one master channel:
5 TOP MENUS
- Effect pedals before the amp
Includes a compressor, 2 overdrives and a short delay. Each pedal can be tweaked to your liking.
- Amp selection page
4 of Nolly’s favorite modified amps that you can tweak however you like. You change amp and cabinet in the bottom and there’s an option to link the amp with its cabinet or unlink the amp and choose another cabinet without changing amp. You can access amps and cabs from all 5 pages.
- Post amp EQ
A 9-band graphic equalizer to shape your sound even more from the plugin itself.
- Cabinet mic selection and placement
4 mics to choose from and up to two mics in front of the cabinet – also possible to load your own impulse responses.
- Post Amp effect pedals
Includes an advanced delay pedal and reverb pedal.MASTER CHANNEL
In the master channel you have a few options.
- First of all on the far left and far right there are an input and output knob to adjust the levels coming into – and out of the plugin.
- Secondly, there’s an intuitive gate knob to help you control noise from your recordings.
- Next to the gate knob is a simple mono/stereo button. Sometimes stereo is too wide in a dense mix. Mono could be the solution for that problem.
- Then comes an oversampling function. This creates even more aggressiveness to the sound.
- After that there’s a preset section. The plugin comes with a variety of presets but it’s also possible to make (and save) your own presets.
Hard On Your CPU
The Archetype: Nolly can be a little hard on your CPU since it’s processing a lot of calculations in real-time. This can be tough to work with if your computer’s CPU overloads. But there’s a way to get around this problem even if you don’t have the fastest computer on the market.
How I Use Archetype Nolly
Since my CPU sometimes hits the ceiling in a dense mix, I’ve developed my own way to use the Archetype Nolly. For this technique it’s necessary to have access to a less CPU demanding amp-sim.
Here’s my step by step way of using Archetype: Nolly on my laptop.
- Pick up your guitar and plug it into your DI which is routed to one of the inputs on your audio interface.
- Create a track in your DAW and set the inputs correctly and insert Archetype Nolly and the CPU-friendly simulator on it. Most DAWs come with amp-sims.
- Record your tracks by using the CPU-friendly amp-sim.
- After recording your tracks, deactivate the CPU-friendly amp-sim and activate Archetype: Nolly.
- Tweak your tone in Archetype: Nolly until you’re happy.
- Render/bounce the guitar tracks to wave files. Most DAWs can do this inside the DAW. By doing this you’re committing to the sounds. This is good.
- Disable the guitar DI tracks and hide them so you don’t have to look at them. (Don’t delete them in case you have to go back and re-amp the guitar tracks later in the process)
This method completely eliminates the extra CPU usage and is also a very good exercise to commit to the sound you choose. If you find later that the sound has to be changed you can always go back and reamp the DI tracks.
A free CPU-friendly amp-sim I recommend is the Le Pou: HyBrit Head. You can get it for both windows 10 and Mac.
I like the sounds I can create with Archetype: Nolly and the raw sound like the one I’ve used in the double tracked guitar riff is inspiring to me. I just picked a preset which I thought sounded great and hit the record button.
As written earlier, there’s a 14-day trial if you want to try it out for yourself. After the trial the plugin costs 135 euro (before VAT in EU).
Since Nolly is a heavy metal guitar player this plugin is generally for the metal players out there. However, I would still say that Archetype: Nolly works fine on other genres as well. I would even use it as a distortion plugin on a bass track.
I’m sure that I haven’t even covered half of what this plugin contains. Therefore, my advice to you is to test it for yourself and make your own opinion.
Any thoughts or questions just leave them below in the comment section and I’ll get back to you.
Thank you for being a reader here on GeekyGearGuy.com