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Best All Purpose Generic Amp Sampler Setlist Ideas


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I like to have a "master" setlist for when I'm just flying by the seat of my pants and selecting guitars and amps on the fly.

Currently, each bank is a single amp, with 4 flavors of that amp (usually 4 gradual increases in gain).


I'm redoing this idea from scratch because I found that just isn't very usable or efficient for many reasons (some amps just don't have a huge usable gain range, etc.). 


My new potential idea is to have a single patch per amp model with the EXP-1 controlling the gain. One caveat I can see of this method is that you now pretty much can't use a Wah with that setup, unless you don't mind that you have to max out your gain to activate the wah (the EXP switch has to be pressed to MAX to activate the toe switch and go into EXP-2 mode). I don't use a lot of wah so no big deal. I can always have wah specific patches.


I also would like suggestions on the best (in your opinion) general all-purpose FX setups to go along with this, including where in the signal chain you would put them.


Again, my initial thought is Noise gate, overdrive/dist, comp/boost, Chorus, Phaser, Reverb. I comp/boost, chorus and phaser could go so many places in so many orders in the signal chain, that I'm not sure which I prefer.


It's nice to have a comp/boost in case you need a little extra solo volume, but I also run my HD500 out into a separate volume pedal with an adjustable minimum volume to have a nice global control of that.


I always have such a hard time getting all the volumes adjusted evenly for live use as well. I also like to be able to just turn the amp off via a foot switch to have it dry for acoustics and such from my Variax so I try to match all volumes to the bypassed volume as well.


Any other ideas, opinions, etc. are welcome. Just brainstorming the best overall, all-purpose-general setlist ideas. Thanks!

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I have my HD500X setup as one patch per song, with FS1-8 setup to turn on FX as needed. For controlling the gain, I just dial back the volume on the guitar most of the time. For a few patches, I do kick in a tube screamer or tube drive if I need to have a bit more "hair" on the solo.


For a solo boost, I use the tube compressor as the last FX block and use it to bump up by about 4db, with no compression. But, I may replace this with the FX Loop Boost trick instead.


As for FX order, here is my basic setup


comp->distortion/overdrive->wha->amp->mod fx->(sometimes EQ)->tube comp boost->reverb-> out


For getting the volumes right... I used a sound level meter on my iPhone, while I played at about 60% of my stage volume at home. This let me dial the volumes in so that just about everything was good. I don't know of any other way really to make sure your patch-to-patch volume is about the same. And, you have to do this at a fairly loud volume... low level won't cut it.

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Try setting the FS to 1-8 so you can control 8 effects on/off using the extra four FS as Fx switches instead of patch changes.

You can still do patch change in that mode, it just takes two steps instead of one.


Add an extra EXP pedal, so you can have a better control over setting the amp gain. Also, you can specify a range for the parameters assigned to the EXP pedals, doesn't need to be 0 to 100. So, set the gain from something usable to something else usable, 44 to 77 or something for example.


I use dual inputs from a JTV59 into two amp models, so I actually use two wahs, one for each, and set them to turn on/off using FS 2 and 3 - though I control the sweep range with one EXP, so if they are both on, you can do double wah with one EXP pedal. I can also set them to a "cocked wah" position if I want to use the wah as an effect, rather than use the EXP toe switch to togglee.


Get your amp tones dialed in with ZERO effects first. Or minimal FX.


Also, and I should have asked this question first - how are you listening / amplifying your sound while editing / dialing in your tones?

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I have an idea... you could asign a button to switch between using EXP1 as wah/volume; instead of the EXP1 toe switch.



agree with this. unless the footswitch assignment has been maxed out? i think you only have 6 effects on the chain so you can still use one for the wah/volume pedal

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I can't see a way to do this. You can assign a switch to turn wish on or off bit as far as I can tell the only way to switch between exp1 and exp2 is with the toe switch (or an external exp pedal).

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I can't see a way to do this. You can assign a switch to turn wish on or off bit as far as I can tell the only way to switch between exp1 and exp2 is with the toe switch (or an external exp pedal).




i see. how about  dual amp setup. use the footswitch to switch between 2 identical amps plus enable the wah pedal


toggle 1 - amp 1 with exp pedal controlling gain (wah off)

toggle 2 - amp 2 with fixed gain and wah on

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2 problems with that:

1. let's say I have the volume pedal at 50%. Now I hit the footswitch and it turns the wah on and volume pedal OFF and now my volume is at 100%.

2. I'm using the EXP to control amp gain.

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2 problems with that:

1. let's say I have the volume pedal at 50%. Now I hit the footswitch and it turns the wah on and volume pedal OFF and now my volume is at 100%.

2. I'm using the EXP to control amp gain.

i thought the volume pedal is an external one? based on your original post, this is how i understand it


volume pedal - external pedal (is this connected to the expression pedal input which makes it exp-2?)

exp-1 - amp gain control (built in pedal)

exp-2 - wah (built in pedal)


how come exp-1 is now a volume pedal on your setup? better test out and layout the actual effects that you are going to use before we make the assumptions

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I can't see a way to do this. You can assign a switch to turn wish on or off bit as far as I can tell the only way to switch between exp1 and exp2 is with the toe switch (or an external exp pedal).



You can assign the pedeal to one of the footswitches.  Go to the Controllers page.  Under "Model" select the wah.  Then under "FS Assign" pick the footswitch you want.


See the attached screenshot (you'll have to zoom in).


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I try to get the most out of a each patch, and avoid switching patches too often. I setup four patches, each configured with the same effects, but using different amp and cabinet models for the specific purpose. The patches are all in the same bank, and progress from clean and mellow to distorted and aggressive.

  1. Clean - Blackface Dbl Vib, 2x12 Blackface Dbl
  2. Blues - Tweed B-Man Brt, 1x12 Blackface 'Lux
  3. Crunch - Class A-30 TB, 2x12 Silver Bell
  4. Metal - Solo-100 Overdirve, 4x12 Blackback 30 (or some Marshall-style amp)

I don't tend to use a lot of effects. Most of the effect blocks are taken up to support gain staging allowing a single amp to have a range of distortion tones and voicings. This results in a little overlap between the patches. But since the amps and cabinets are all different, the overlap is more in how the patch could be used rather than the actual tone. This overlap is actually useful because it allows each amp to be able to be used for a wide range of tones using just a couple of foot switches. 


Front of the amp effects:

  • Tube Comp - I use this to smooth things out a bit and provide a little extra boost in front of the first two patches since Fender amp models don't have that much gain. I did some experimenting with a spectrum analyzer (my iPad) and found the Tube Comp was the only compressor that didn't have high-end rolloff. 
  • Fassel Wah
  • Screamer - This provides the most aggressive tone in the patch. I use the TONE control as an amp voicing control, roll of a little bass to reduce the mud, and roll of a little treble to manage any remaining fizz/ice pick.
  • Vintage Pre - this is the secret ingredient. I use the Vintage Pre essentially as another tube stage in the amp. It provides the first level of gain boost using the HPF and LPF as simple voicing controls in that gain stage to focus on the mids. Again, the Vintage Pre doesn't do any other strange things to the tone and its simple, has its own drive control to add a little of its own color.

This allows each amp to have a progression of distortion levels and voicings. As the distortion increases, the voicing has to change, usually additional high and low cuts

  1. Tube Comp, Screamer and Vintage Pre off - the straight amp with the Gain control set to the minimum distortion level for that patch (not necessarily clean)
  2. Tube Comp on - just a bit more gain to push the front of the amp a little harder and provide some compression - this is often left on all the time
  3. Vintage Pre on - the first increase in distortion and subtle voicing change for warm bluesy leads
  4. Vintage Pre off, Screamer on - the next increase in distortion with a warmer voicing to mellow out the increased distortion
  5. Vintage Pre on, Screamer on - the greatest level of distortion with the combined voicings to reduce bass and treble. 

I also use the volume and tone controls on my guitar to fine tune the tone based on the song needs.


After the amp effects:

  • Analog Chorus
  • Digital Delay
  • Chamber reverb
  • FX Loop - mostly used for a Boss JamMan for longer loops.

I keep the delay and reverb on all the time for ambience, but they're pretty dry. Chorus comes and goes as needed.


I make sure there is only one input going into the signal chain - setting Input 1 to Guitar and Input 2 to Variax (to essentially turn it off unless a variax is plugged in). 


I run the mixer right after the amp model and all the front of the amp effects in mono. All the after the amp effects are stereo.


I run a bit of sag to provide some power amp compression and keep the Cab Resonance to 0 to avoid over-hyping the bass and treble. This keeps the tone warmer, more natural, less fatiguing and puts the control back into the voicings at the front of the amp. When the global EQ is available, I'll use this for after the amp/effects final output voicing. This will be used to tweak the tone for the volume level. Quieter settings might require some additional bass and treble.

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I set up most of my patches to have both a rhythm and lead sound on each patch. I use an EXP1 control pedal to rock between them (reserving the onboard pedal for wah). Most of the time I use just one amp. I set up two paths - one for the rhythm clean or light distortion sound, and the other with a distortion pedal added. The two paths have to be summed by the mixer, which means you have to move the amp to after the mixer. I use the pedal to change a lot of parameters, from comp settings to amp settings to reverb amounts, so each is exactly how I like them.


This approach allows me to avoid dancing around on the buttons (I'm a singer and hate looking down every time I want to solo or add a lead line), and it gives a nice range of in between tones through the pedal sweep. But even if I'm not singing, this approach works way better for me, allowing me to throw in louder lines instantly with the pedal instead of buttons. I would hate going back to buttons for each sound.


I also run a volume pedal before going into the pod. I probably would prefer one after the pod, but the one I had on the shelf was a guitar level Boss thing and doesn't work on line level signals.


If anyone is interested in more details of how I set this all up, or to try some of my patches, post a reply and I can elaborate. I will mention, I've put a lot of work into perfecting this approach - I make a good portion of my living gigging, so it pays for me to put the work into getting these patches just right for me.

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