Hi guys, this is my personal website. A place where I share my music. A little random information about me:
My name is Dimitar Nalbantov. In short: Dimi
I live in Bulgaria and all my life is connected with music and most of all, playing the guitar, recording and making guitar tones with virtual amplifiers.
I’ve been playing guitar since 1993.
All started in my high school of arts, looking at my friends playing some Metallica tunes on their cheap acoustic guitars. I quickly became obsessed and wanted to explore the amazing instrument. It was so great to watch someone strumming these metal strings hanging over a piece of wood. It was like a magic and so easy in my young eyes… Well, I was wrong
It was a long way of trials and errors, but eventually the music turned out to be the most important thing in my life, after my wife, of course!
Many years later, what I have found was the amazing possibilities to express one’s feelings, views and thoughts about life and man’s existence. For me, the music is all about passion. It is an ember of life.
I’m really thankful that I have a chance to play and record my ideas.
Today’s technology gives me everything that I need to share my art with the rest of the world. I owe it all thanks to the Internet communications and to all the friends I’ve met.
The Digital Audio World
I’ve started exploring the amazing world of digital audio world around 1996-7. My first “DAW” was Fast Tracker 2, spending nights programming drums and exporting them for backing tracks.
Then I’ve discovered Cakewalk Pro Audio. Programming drums in Cakewalk 3.0 using my Yamaha OPL FM synthesis equipped sound card was fun!
In the period 2000 the technology started to move forward, because of the personal computers innovations. Continuing to evolve, grow and reshape.
I have had a simple computer with AMD processor and Sb Live PCI card, using one of the first ASIO drivers ever with the possibilities to play in real time. There where some doggy ported drivers from EMU APS which worked with the Sb Blaster Live just fine.
It was equipped with the same EMU10K1 chip and this worked great in my Win98 machine… / vintage / 😀
After while I’ve upgraded to one of the first AMD Thunderbird processors
In 2001 I’ve recorded my first demo album “Seven Pieces of Mind” Using Sound Fonts SF2. Which are sample banks developed for use with the SB Live and Audigy sound cards by Creative.
You can hear the opening track: Adventures in Asia
The guitar was recorded with my KORG AX1000G processor. Everything else programmed in Cakewalk using Sound Fonts for the drums and the rest of the instruments.
The AMP Simulators – The Beginning
My first experience with an amp “Sim” was MDA Combo and Guitar Suite
In 2001-2 I stumbled upon the SimulAnalog GSuite. www.simulanalog.org › guitarsuite
The SB Live card was capable of “real” time playing and I’ve started to record entirely with software.
Not having the chance to own and record a real amp pushed me in an entirely new universe. The Digital Audio World.
I’ve spent many nights tweaking the virtual amps, trying to master the software, looking for the best tones in my music collection and trying to recreate the best ones from my guitar heroes. I’ve spent sleepless nights analyzing many musicians guitar rigs, how everything works and how to achieve it with the software alternatives, that just started showing up over the web.
Tube Amps – Short period!
A few years have passed and in 2006 I’ve met an American producer online, and we worked on my first debut album “Universe”.
In the same period I had the opportunity to put my hands on a real tube amp.
The signature amp of Steve Vai — Carvin Legacy 2×12 combo.
You can hear the amp in the track: “Unknown Town” from the album “Universe” 2006
I’ve managed to record 6 tracks with the combo for the album, without being killed by the surrounding neighbors. Living in a small apartment put me back in my old journey.
But it wasn’t practical at all, I sold the amp and buried myself in to the digital madness again.
Amp Simulators in a Pedal
Also, in the same period Sergey Maritchev from AMT Electronics contacted me, to record demos for his company. One of theirs first pedals California Sound / an amp emulation in a pedal enclosure/ ended in 5 tracks of my debut album “Universe” 2006.
You can hear the California Sound Pedal in the track: Purely and Simply
The sound of the solo guitar is just this pedal, wah pedal Cry Baby and some Delay and Reverb added post in the mix.
Using hardware pedals has its own pros and cons, but not having the chance to re-amp and tweak the tone further in the mix, turned me back to the software solutions.
Back to the Software
* In 2008, My second album “Mother Earth” was released. All the guitar tracks were recorded with amp simulators.
The solo guitar tone was sculpted using one of the first prototypes of Kuassa’s amp simulators, made by the DSP guru and Kuassa’s founder, known in the forums as “Aradaz“.
It was one of the first audio VST plugins that provided the tone and response of a real amp.
I have starved for that organic and saggy “tube” tone of my Carvin Legacy amp. So, the “Crunch” Amp ended in almost all tunes.
A great example how Aradaz Crunch sounds is the track: “Abandoned Place” from the album “Mother Earth”
Arie / Aradaz / and I have found each other on KVR Audio forums and we became good friends, sharing the passion of the technology and the desire of perfecting the guitar tones using amp simulators.
10 years later we are still together sharing the same philosophy and working for the love of the music and tone!
Building Your Own Pedals
Since 2013 I pushed even further and started to analyze audio circuits and especially the DIY community.
I’ve build over 40 DIY guitar pedals on VERO boards. One big success in my personal development was this pedal based the pre amp section of my old love Carvin Legacy Amp
Thanks to IvIark and his amazing blog!
You can hear and see it in my Youtube channel @ diminalbantov
Search for Carvin Legacy Pedal DIY
This helped me to have deep understanding how the guitar electronics are prototyped, what is the topology and how everything is related.
And always remember where your inspiration came from and why you are still going. Time flies by…but please don’t become an observer; propel your life forward by being mindful. Take a moment to observe what you are doing this very minute and keep the fire inside.
2019 – Currently working with the Italian singer and musician Vesperius
Profound BIO – 😉
Bulgarian guitarist Dimitar Nalbantov found solace in the recorded works of guitar greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Nalbantov’s love of art and music has been cultivated into a career as an art teacher but more importantly to music fans he has found inspiration in the guise of the beloved string instrument the electric guitar. Taking his passion for artistic endeavors, Nalbantov picked up the electric guitar in ’93 and never looked back.
Born in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria in 1976, Dimitar Nalbantov lives and works there today as an art teacher. His free time however, is devoted to his true passion – the guitar. Dimi (as his friends call him) displayed an interest in art and music at a young age, but it was art that was chosen to be the focus of his formal education. That focus began to shift in his high school years when one day in 1993, he picked up an electric guitar for the first time.
Outside of his art studies, the next seven years found Dimi teaching himself to play, studying the music of such guitar greats as Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai and playing in local bands. While he was pursuing his art degree at South-West University, the guitar continued to play an important alternative role for creative expression. In his senior year, it became somewhat of a lifesaver. Prior to graduation in 2000, a deceitful art promoter stole 17 paintings from Dimi – almost all his work of the past four years. He was devastated.
Unable to pick up a brush, he turned to his guitar and began to study music composition and arranging. He also began to teach himself the English language to understand the vast amount of digital music technology information available on the Internet, written mostly in English. Not long after, he won the Internet “Guitar Player 2000” Contest in the genre of alternative music, sponsored by www.guitar.ru. In the years since, Dimi has recorded studio tracks for several band projects, also serving as audio engineer. He has made presets and recorded numerous demo tracks for AMT Electronics Company, Kuassa, Overloud, IK Multimedia, NI and many more, gaining him many fans and friends around the world.