New Toys: Neural DSP Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite

The latest from Helsinki-based Neural DSP is Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite plug-in—a collection of emulations of Mesa Engineering's sought-after amp tops along with a choice of three different speaker cabinets. Neural DSP has replicated both the Mark IIC+ and Mark IIC++ amplifiers with extreme accuracy. The Mesa Boogie amp is/was the choice of James Hetfield, Prince, Steve Lukather and more; it is sought after for its versatility and vast tone palette!

Clicking on any of five graphics at the top of the photo-realistic GUI provides access to: a 9-band graphic equalizer that builds on the original hardware's 5-band, a stomp pedal board with Compressor, Overdrive-1 and 2, plus a lovely Chorus pedal. There is also an effects pedal board with a stereo tempo-locked delay and reverb pedal with pre-delay and the cabinet page is where you can choose your favorite microphone and set its exact positioning.

I liked that after all your tweaks you can store it as a preset—all controls are fully automatable. This is as close as you can get to actually owning and using a Mesa Boogie amp and what initially attracted me to getting it!

My tests in Pro Tools included re-amping already recorded direct guitar tracks; Neural DSP has mono-to-stereo instances that were great for building stereo presentations. Both the reverbs and delays project out stereophonically automatically in this mode and definitely sound amazing. In addition, the cabinet page has L/R Room mics you can pan and adjust their levels.

An amazing feature is Transpose that shifts up/down in exact semi-tone increments up to +/- an octave and then there is the Doubler with a L/R Spread control. Gate is a simple noise gate with adjustable Threshold. 

One of many guitar plug-in suites from Neural DSP, the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite sells for $99 MSRP.