SimVibe Alternatives?
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33 posts in this topic

After easily the most horrendous customer support experience I've had in my 25 years in IT I'm looking for an alternative to SimVibe.  I nearly had to file suit in small claims court to get Simxperience to reply to me and finally refund me - so I'll never do business with them again (and STRONGLY suggest no one else do either - happy to share the story if asked).

As such I'm looking for an alternative to run my ButtKicker.  Just looking for simple engine, road surface, wind, effects as I have a NLR V2 motion platform that handles all the big effects.  I'm currently just running the bass channel to the ButtKicker and while that's better than nothing I'd rather have something a little better.  I've played a bit with X-Sim but it seems sorta dead and, if it can be believed has a worse interface than Sim Commander.

So any suggestions??

Thanks!

-Ross

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Well whaddya know, that looks perfect - thanks so much for pointing it out.  Will be downloading and trying shortly, hopefully it's a viable alternative to the incredibly terrible practices at Simxperience.  ...I really need to post that story soon to save others....

UPDATE: I'll have to write a full review soon but I'm happy to say this works GREAT.  It was a little unclear how to set up a few things but given my extremely complicated setup it wasn't surprising it took a while to get it going (what real sim setup isn't complex right?).  It's very easy to tweak and tune the various parameters and read data from PC2 and iRacing just fine.  And it's less than half the price of SimVibe without the draconian licensing practices and lack of support.

Will play a bit more but will be happy to hand over my cash (rubles) soon.

-Ross

Edited by LotusExigeInCO

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I'd be interested to hear your story.  I was looking to go down the SimVibe/Buttkicker road within the next few weeks.  Also curious to hear if you noticed any difference between SimVibe and SimShaker.  Thanks for posting.

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8 hours ago, StealthTT said:

I'd be interested to hear your story.  I was looking to go down the SimVibe/Buttkicker road within the next few weeks.  Also curious to hear if you noticed any difference between SimVibe and SimShaker.  Thanks for posting.

I'll write up the whole thing later with copies of the emails but in short they only allow a certain number of installs/activations.  As I rebuild often over the years I've hit that limit several times and each time it takes them days to reply to fix things.  Their support is horribly slow as I'm guessing it's one guy - I finally had enough and asked to either have it fixed once and for all or a refund.  After about 2 weeks they said they'd rather give me (and my customers) a refund than deal with the support - then over 2 months later still no refund.  Was hours away from filing a small claims suit against them over it and only then did they finally do something.  I've seen some bad customer service in my day but nothing like them - in short I'd never do business with a company like this.  Their attitude was they are the best/only option so I can screw off if I don't like it - which sadly, until this has been true there hasn't been a good alternative.  Still I'd rather have nothing than deal with companies like them.

As for difference sure but fundamentally no, they both work the same way.  They take telemetry data from the game and play low frequency sound to your ButtKicker to make the vibrations.  I actually greatly prefer SimShaker as it's far more flexible with a better interface.  They are both a bit confusing (with SimVibe needing a degree to understand) but with SimShaker you can easily change the underlying sound files if you want giving you far more control.  Sim Commander (the main app around SimVibe) can do more logging and control motion platforms where SimShaker is just for ButtKickers (and something else I can't recall) but for rumble it's perfect - and at half the price with a free demo you can try.

To me it's a no brainer - give SimShaker a try since you can do so for free then spend $38 instead of $85 - and you're supporting a single guy vs. a company that so clearly doesn't care about it's customers.  Never would I have imagined a company would say "here's your refund if you promise never to buy from us again" - seriously?  Request granted!

-Ross

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14 hours ago, LotusExigeInCO said:

Awesome.  Thanks for replying.  I agree with you.  I rebuild and switch hardware often.  So if that's the licensing strategy they are going with, that's not going to work for me.  And I have no issues shunning companies, that think their shit doesn't stink.  You've won me over on going SimShaker.  For software like this, I also think it's more inline with what it's "worth".   So thanks again for replying!

 

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I do own both software , each has it's own virtues.
Simvibe (SV) and SimshakerWheels (SSW) both have restricted installations. Hadn't a problem with SV yet been saving the license file and installing from that , SSW has a 5 installation limit before needing support.
SV can become chaotic , but it's much more adjustable. Don't know though how deep people go since documentation is a joke.
SSW is simpler , but still documentation is a joke.

Mr.Latte , a tactile enthusiast has lately been involved a lot in making custom effects for SSW in RD forums. He also had a bad experience with Simxperience , banning him from the forums for thus not being able to retrieve his SV serial. Weird company.

Andre has been really supportive towards his SSW , hearing community's feedback , but his target is towards supporting the Gametrix GW908 rumble seat cover . SSW was initially designed around gametrix cover after all.

In any case since performance is the issue here , both will enhance the racing experience , and can also be mixed which is interesting.
SSW also can output 6 channels from one sound card , and SV 4+4 from 2 sound cards.
If someone is new to tactile , I'd suggest to have in mind the gametrix seat as well. It's all in all a much more cost effective way of tactile feedback. Transducers and amps can really pile up and the cost skyrockets. But the effects can get really strong as well.

 

As for me , currently running SV with 6 transducers due to lack of time to setup. Lot's of small shakers waiting in the shelves. Definitely I do have appreciation for both software approaches and in my final build I think there will be place for both.

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On 3/5/2018 at 1:26 PM, asteroulis said:

... SimshakerWheels (SSW) both have restricted installations. Hadn't a problem with SV yet been saving the license file and installing from that , SSW has a 5 installation limit before needing support.

 

...Mr.Latte , a tactile enthusiast has lately been involved a lot in making custom effects for SSW in RD forums. He also had a bad experience with Simxperience , banning him from the forums for thus not being able to retrieve his SV serial. Weird company.

Andre has been really supportive towards his SSW , hearing community's feedback

Boy do I wish I'd seen this before purchasing SSW - no where on his site does he list that there are limited installations and that he doesn't offer refunds - you only see that policy (refunds) AFTER your purchase.  I'd tested it in the demo period and it worked great but as soon as I got the key (which you have to wait for from a personal email - this is 2018 after all, are you kidding me?) I replied and said if that's true to kindly refund my purchase and revoke my key as I wasn't about to deal with that.  He was exceedingly rude (happy to share the thread if anyone would like) and I let him know that he could either make this easy and refund me or I could contact Paypal and my credit card company to dispute the charges.  While he was extremely rude about it he did issue the refund.

What is with these companies "renting" us their software?  I have no intentions of spending my money like that, I want to purchase something.  I rebuild my sim rig every 3-6 months which was exactly why I left SimXperience in the first place.  Very good to know that I'm not alone in being treated like crap by them, sad to hear they've done the same to others and banned them.  Seems the community needs to know this as I doubt many know they are treating customers of a rather expensive niche product like this.

So I'm now back to Xsim which I'll be spending some time on soon.  I've been doing much more flight sim lately, specifically the same sim Elite Dangerous which doesn't support external data anyway so it's not a huge deal.  Right now I'm just tapped off my sub channel to get a bit of rumble making my car feel like it's running.

Thanks for the suggestions, bummer that both these guys/companies would be such jerks to customers in such a small community.

 

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Lotus like mentioned above, all you had to do in SimVibe was save your license to a different location and point to that when you re-install.

There have been people who tried to install SimVibe on multiple computers and or friend's computers.

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15 hours ago, Milito said:

Lotus like mentioned above, all you had to do in SimVibe was save your license to a different location and point to that when you re-install.

There have been people who tried to install SimVibe on multiple computers and or friend's computers.

That may very well be the case but as I hadn't backed it up I needed to get a new key from them - the issue also being their incredibly rude attitude and weeks and weeks of lying to me after finally promising to issue me a refund.  Treating me like a pirate when I'm not at all is NOT an excuse - I have a single Sim rig and do NOT share software with others no pirate it.  Companies treating me like I am or do is unacceptable, period.

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I've dealt with the good folks Sim Experience for many years, not only do they make quality products but their custom service is second to none. I am going on 8 years at iRacing and have known Berney and the gang as long. The OP is asking for perspective customers to avoid Sim Experience at all costs. When I read this kind of drivel it tells me one thing, that the OP needs to sharpen up his negotiation and communication  skills. The one thing that pisses companies off more then anything is people that start demanding things when they aren't answered in 10 minutes time.

Anyone that haven't dealt with Berney and the gang and want to run the best shaker software in all of sim racing, then do contact Sim Experience, SimVibe is the industry standard. I run 5 aura shakers, 2 buttkicker gamer 2's all under 5 shaker amps. The good folks at Sim Experience make a great manual that anyone can follow, well, almost anyone.

 

BTW, OP, share your story!

Edited by left888

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On 3/5/2018 at 11:26 AM, asteroulis said:

 

Mr.Latte , a tactile enthusiast has lately been involved a lot in making custom effects for SSW in RD forums. He also had a bad experience with Simxperience , banning him from the forums for thus not being able to retrieve his SV serial. Weird company.

 

Mr Late, was banned from iRacing because he thought he was smarter then everyone else at iRacing, including Bernie at Sim Experience. I invited Berney to come over to a sim racing web site, to inform people that wanted to learn how SimVibe works. To Berney's credit, he took time out of his busy schedule and had several great discussions. As usual mr late shows up and starts beaking off to Berney, the creator of SimVibe. mr late is trying to tell Berney that he is wrong and mr late is right. Several people tried telling mr late, he had no clue what he was talking about, which he didn't. 

 

Berney is a class act and rather then stay and argue over and over, which is something mr late has done, over and over, Berney just left that web site and communicates with serious minded sim racers at iRacing, well, low and behold, who shows up? Yes, mr late (aka Rodney) and he proceeds to make a huge ass of himself. Not only does mr late embarrass himself but he is attracting the attention of guys that build $50,000 rigs, that don't sit around and talk about how good they are like mr late does. No, these guys are the real deal. Soon the staff at iRacing told mr late to cool it, but no, he did not. To me it is hilarious when people start bullshiting others and think they are smarter then the rest of us. Like the OP of this thread and mr late.

 

mr late talks the talk, but no one has ever seen this world setting sim rig he keeps talking about. How do I know all this, I made the mistake of sharing my knowledge with him and had the bad fortune of listening to his BS. So if Sim Experience loses the OP of this thread and mr late, I'd say it was a win, win for Sim Experience.

 

If anyone is interested in setting up SimVibe, I would be most happy to share.

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On 3/16/2018 at 1:08 PM, LotusExigeInCO said:

but as I hadn't backed it up I needed to get a new key from them 

What? and you say you have 25 years in IT?  ROTFLMFAO. Your BS is so hard to take, I think you don't have a clue about SimVibe, although you want to sound like an expert, you are most certainly not.

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On 3/24/2018 at 12:08 AM, left888 said:

What? and you say you have 25 years in IT?  ROTFLMFAO. Your BS is so hard to take, I think you don't have a clue about SimVibe, although you want to sound like an expert, you are most certainly not.

Wow, someone it quiet the ranging fan boi aren't they?  Time to calm down son - apparently you aren't in IT and don't understand that things like gaming rigs don't generally need to be backed up as you just reinstall everything you need.  Wow, I've seen some bullshit ass kissing in my day but you've taken it to a whole new level.  I mean seriously, you needed 4 posts in a row about this?

As for the level of customer service if you'd like me to post the dozens of emails over a period of months I will.  Maybe you don't understand that different customers have different experiences.  Pick any company you can and you'll find those that love them and those that hate them - and there are generally reasons, sometimes good and times not.  My incident wasn't a single one, it was multiple issues over years that culminated into utter idiocy at the end with numerous lies and broken promises.

Once you get your lips off their ass and calm down a bit maybe you'll understand these basic facts.  I usually expect this kind of attitude on Reddit as you generally get a higher level of comment on a forum like this.  Thanks for lowering the bar my friend, well done. 

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Save your drivel boy, if you are half the sim racer that you think you are, you would understand SimVibe is the standard in Sim racing. Tell you what boy! why not drop over to the iRacing forums and post the same thread you have here. I can't believe I am even responding to you here, you are such an amateur it exudes from every post you make. I built my first PC in the early 90's, at 58 years of age I am not your son, boy! I have lost count on how many PC's I have built over the years. You are not in IT, I can spot a fake like you a mile away, boy!

 You look to be about 21 or 22 years old? regardless, all of your posts here say rookie sim racer, rookie gamer and big whiner. You cry about how poorly you were treated by Sim Experience and you offer to all that read your turdflume thread not to deal with those guys. Berney and all the guys at SimExperience are successful because of their support, but you cried the very second you couldn't figure out how to work SimVibe, Berney is a great guy but obviously you whined and whined and he is all to glad to be done with chumps like you.

 

Do us all a favor boy, move on, you are just a rookie racer and you will never be ready for prime time. But do not dis Berney here, he is one of the good guys, you boy are not!

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12 hours ago, UNKLE said:

These guys are offering a basic alternative to SimVibe included in their software, they've just started out and are making frequent updates

https://www.simracingstudio.com/

 

Thanks for bringing us back to the original topic.  I knew they were making the wind simulators but didn't know they jumped into the tactile vibration field.  It looks like they only support 4 different telemetries at the moment: Engine rumble, Gear change, Vertical Acceleration and Suspension movement.  So they'll be interesting to watch.

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Been using SSW for the last 8 months.

Along with custom WAV files I have truly awesome tactile experience.

 

Buttkicker x4 Advance

Buttkicker Large LFE x1

ClarkeTST239 x1

 

Along with VR this has made my sim racing  incredibly immersive.

May try SV very soon and compare.

 

 

 

Shift Vib 1.JPG

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Hey Signman,

I've been following along with you, Ceolmor and Mr. Latte on RaceDepartment.   You have a pretty nice rig!  Where did you get your BK Advance plates made at?   I have a custom built 80/20 and just received 2 BK Advances and an iNuke 3000DSP.  I'm still trying to decide whether I should put these in CM or EM but I'm thinking I'll do stereo CM, with just the seat for now. In your opinion, what effects do you like the best?  What I'm trying to get out of my setup is engine vibrations and kerb vibrations and bumps. 

Thanks!

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Simhub software, among other things, offers a Bass shaker output that uses the telemetry from the game similar to Simvibe. It's free software that comes with full features for any donation amount. It has a lot of tricks that Sim Commander does not have.

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I've got a full size buttkicker hooked up to my system, the audio is split off from my pc with a Y connector and running into a full size iNuke amp that filters out everything above 80hz or so.  I get very little rumble at all, super disappointed in the effect.  Would using one of the myriad of softwares listed above correct this problem?  If I did that, would I need a sound card or any other hardware?  Right now I just have standard audio coming off the mobo.

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If the audio for the buttkicker is split from the main audio, you will only be getting the low subwoofer frequencies from the regular audio. Maybe turn up your amp if you're not getting any rumble. If you use one of the software options listed here, it will be driven by effects based on what is happening in game.

 

You will need to use a separate audio output device from the PC to the amplifier. When it shows up as it's own sound device that you can switch to separate in Windows, you're ready for software.

 

You can download Simhub for free to try it out. Just go to the shakers menu on the left side, and choose the device that is the buttkicker. You can tune the output to your preferences with the many options available in Simhub.

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