It is the TSE x50 v2 which is a 5150 and an engl e530 amp sim, the best high gain sim I have found and very simple to use, no extra goofy stuff. You can try the demo for free, it is just a very very good high gain sim, period. Also very reasonable price at just 69USD. Check it out, it’s lovely in all regards. (no, i don’t work for them).
I also tried a demo of the OVERLOUD TH-U which is also incredible if not TOO MUCH, can bring about analysis paralysis with the vast amount of crap you can actually do in there. I prefer to just get the tone and go. Having 100,000,000 options leads to more tinkering about which can be good for some, I suppose. If you want a trillion settings and options, that overloud TH-U is hard to beat.
With that OVERLOUD TH-U, it does not have an input “learn” like the TSE X50 does but rather an input meter that comes up and it tells you to raise your guitar input volume until you hover in the green area of the meter. So, when demoing that as an insert through some already captured DI tracks , I had to use clip gain in Cubase to raise my DI level by nearly +11dB or +12dB (which is A LOT) to get it where it needed to be in the green area.
I know the #1 rule of all with digital is DO NOT CLIP ON THE WAY IN, period. I can easily, in multiple places, raise the level of that DI signal after I have tracked it. 2 places before it hits the sim (clip gain or pre-gain), and then inside of the sim itself with its input level. So I think the balance there is getting a really fat signal into the sim, which is probably as close to 0dB as can be and then use the plugins output to set the track itself to be very near to -18dbFS for all of the headroom needed later on. This raising of the DI signal level after it has been recorded only covers the mixing stage. If the sim does not have this cool input learn function like the TSE does, my current DI level feeding it, is not hot enough. It CAN be after it is recorded, but not when playing through in real time.
The Neve RNDI is fixed, there are no levels to set on it. My RME takes the RNDI DI signal into MIC/ANALOG 1. I leave this input at unity gain in the RME panel but I can engage a +10dB boost on this and doing so will drastically raise my DI levels. They are much hotter and will only clip if I hit my strings REALLY REALLY HARD, but… it can still clip because often times I do indeed hit my strings REALLY hard. (Drop C, .060 gauge, hot Duncan pickups, etc).
It took me a long time to break myself of this mental habit of wanting to slam every track, every input, every bus, every output and get as close to 0 as possible. This is/was HORRIBLE behaviour. I’m still trying to sort out the DI rules…