NEURAL DSP – FORTIN NAMELESS SUITE
Genres: Djent, Prog, Death Metal, Extreme Metal… you get it.
Uses: Rhythm, Lead, Crunch
Score: 10 / 10
It’s hard to find someone that’s into amp sims that didn’t at least bat an eye when the news of Nameless Suite hit the internet. It sent every djent kid into an immediate frantic slobbering GAS rage, forums, facebook, youtube and other sources were on fire with news and suddenly, not a day went by without reading or hearing mention of it. Even the snobby Kemper elitists were enjoying it. I was wondering who this company was and where the hell they came from.
Look, 200+ guys have done reviews of this amp for it’s djenting abilities and there will be 200 more, we know it can djent and we vouch for its djenting abilities. However, I am going into this review looking to see what else this sim can bring to the table. I am aiming for a thrashy death metal tone like Decapitated, or maybe Aeon type tone. I’d also like to see if it can do thrash, tech death, metalcore and slam.
At first glance, the visuals are crisp, well done and sharp without going over the top. Everything is well laid out with a great workflow. You can tell NeuralDSP put a lot of effort into creating a really convenient layout with just the right amount of graphics.
First, I see the Fortin grind pedal, which looks and sounds identical to the real deal. I can’t tell that it’s software at all. I owned the grind pedal for a time and I didn’t overly care for it in person but I can say the grind pedal provided here is very accurate. The issue with the grind combined with Nameless Suite is that you are adding a lot of mids to an amp sim that dishes out plenty of mids as it is. You can blend them nicely but it will take you some time to nail it.
My usual methods of tweaking in a good starting point with an amp or amp sim didn’t play well with Nameless Suite so it did take me some time to really feel what the controls were bringing out. I immediately notice that it’s bright, like really bright so be careful with the treble and presence knobs as well as how much treble and level you add with a boost if you opt for your own. The cool thing about the high end is that it never really takes you to that shady digital breakup that you’d expect it should. Again, this comes down to the developers doing a fantastic job.
I will admit that I had to look through the manual to really get to know my way around the sim because there are a few settings that are a little bit unclear for those unfamiliar to the real amp. I would suggest that everyone that grabs this plugin take a good look at the manual because it really does help when trying to understand how to dial in the sound you are looking for. Most amp sims are pretty universal when it comes to dialing in a good starting point but this one is a bit more complex.
The cabinet / impulse is absolutely awesome. It’s a very good sounding impulse and the detail, versatility and quality of the whole cabinet setup is fantastic. You can use their cab, use it as an IR loader for your own impulses or bypass the cab altogether in favour of your own IR loader and Impulses. If you like the cab enough you could also bypass the amp sim for your own while using Nameless Suite’s cabinet section. I tried it with some great results.
The high gains are exceedingly usable but if you are using a boost, you’ll need to tweak those settings as well rather than the standard 0-10-10 TS settings. I would say more of a 0-3-8 or less because there’s no need to add much to the high end. This amp has a few ways to alter the amount of gain you are using. I strongly suggest everyone read the manual and get comfortable with how the gain and levels work on this amp. You have two channels; two gain knobs and an MVC knob. The MVC knob takes a little getting used to. You can twist and turn whatever you want but these knobs have a huge impact on the tone so save some time and get acquainted.
Nameless Suite isn’t really meant to be a versatile sim as much as it’s supposed to be a flaming dragon in a box and so high gain wise there’s miles of gain and ways to really tweak the high gain tone to your liking. Moving to the lower gain settings, I felt that the sim lost some pop but let’s be honest, this amp wasn’t made to play love songs in the tall grass, it was meant to crush neighborhoods and scorch the earth so it’s not a slight on the amp to suggest that it’s best suited for higher gain use.
I settled on using the Mercuriall Grid Slammer plugin called the Greed Smasher in front of Nameless Suite instead of the Grind pedal because it really puts things into place and calms the high mids down a touch and provides a boost that seems to gel with the amp. I used the loader to load up an Ownhammer Marshall EVM impulse that also really connects the tone together well. The result was the Decapitated-esque tone I had been seeking from the beginning.
Once we took the time to be meticulous with the settings, the amp really did shine so if you are a gearhead you will be in heaven but if not, take a breath because if you are looking for high gain and spend a little extra time you won’t regret it. It’s worth the money and worth the extra tweaking time. Nameless suite really impresses.
UPS / DOWNS:
Final analysis here is that the Fortin Nameless suite has been crafted with absolute meticulous precision and it shows in the incredibly high quality of the end result. Bravo to the incredibly nice people at NeuralDSP for their fantastic product and I am very eager to see what they bring to the market in the future.
Is it versatile? Not really no and normally that’s a little off the score but the quality, detail and precision Neural DSP put into this product is beyond incredible so it’s getting top marks regardless. It might be a bit of a one trick pony but not totally and it’s also godlike at that one trick.
The price for next gen and premium amp sims seems to be going up so when I see a lot of people slagging the price, it confuses me. People kept whining about amp sims sounding fake and needing better technology but when that tech comes around, people complain that it’s more expensive.
Posted Dec 1st 2018