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What tricks do you guys use for getting a good metal/high gain tone?


judsonmwall
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Hey guys! I use the Helix a lot for higher gain recording and I thought we could start a thread for good tricks or 'go-to' things we do when making a high gain patch.

 

Some of the things I do often are:

  • With a narrow Q remove 2-4db at 4kHz and 2.3-27kHz (depending) with the parametric EQ
  • Usually have the drive between 2.5-3.5
  • high cut around 8-10kHz with a broad Q boost 5.5kHZ-6kHz 1-2db
  • add the Minotaur OD or 808 before the amp with the gain between 1-4, tone about 5
  • use light compression at the end of a signal chain (deluxe/la studio) 
  • mandarin cab, mandarin cab, mandarin cab

These are general things that depend on the guitar and other variables but are general things I do on a lot of the patches I make. I am a big fan of just using my ears and I want to know what things do YOUR ears think sound good and you usually do?

 

To take it a step further here's a video I made today (11/19) going through my whole thought process. You can download the patch in the video description.

 

 

Hopefully this is something to take your mind off that sweet 2.10 coming ;)

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Isn't it interesting..  I removed myself from the whole FRFR thing (for various reasons.. which I don't need to get into here), so the key for me as of late has been dialing in the right amp - one that works well with my VHT 2/50/2 valve power amp. And because I'm using the power amp, I'm loading in a PRE-AMP as opposed to AMP, or AMP + CAB.  

 

That said, putting a Minotaur, or Timmy etc in front of the amp, as well as an EQ in front of the amp and an EQ after it certainly 'cleans' things up a bit and it really starts sounding like a real amp, not an amp sim as such.  BEING able to do this and tweak settings in an environment where you can really crank it up, say at band-volume, is paramount too. Creating/making patches at bedroom volume is probably fine if/when using your computer monitors etc, however for those of us that play live, who don't use FRFR, this is a good way to experiment. 

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I'm surprised that there are those who think that using FRFR instead of cabs doesn't play out with a band. I assumed that in these times there were many that did. Or maybe I misread what you mean.

 

I'm sure many do mate, and there's many players out there that live and swear by FRFR - I'm just not one of those guys.  I play live shows in a hard rock band with another guitarist who plays a Mesa 4 channel Roadster, and I never go front-of-house, or DI etc. Gimme a valve power amp + the Helix + 2x12 or 4x12 and I'm happy.  To me, FRFR cannot compete with this for various reasons, BUT, like I mentioned above, other players will think otherwise.  It's what works for you and your surroundings. I like German Shepherds, you might like French Poodles.. my favourite colour is purple, yours might be teal..  who cares, right?  Right now, I'm using my Helix, and VHT 2/50/2 power amp, and a vertical Mesa 2x12, and it thumps. Other times, I use my actual 120w valve power amp with the Helix in 4CM + 2x12 and that too works really well. 

 

I will add though, it's not so much that it doesn't play out with a band, a real amp has... i dunno.. something going on that amp/cab sims don't - which is probably the best way I can put it. Second to that, having owned an Axe FX 2, having tried a sh!t-tone of various amp sims on both the Axe FX and now the Helix, there's just something more appealing to my ears about having a valve power amp + real cab + amp sims from the Helix.  To me, this works better than running cab sims. 

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Hey guys! I use the Helix a lot for higher gain recording and I thought we could start a thread for good tricks or 'go-to' things we do when making a high gain patch.

 

Some of the things I do often are:

  • With a narrow Q remove 2-4db at 4kHz and 2.3-27kHz (depending) with the parametric EQ
  • Usually have the drive between 2.5-3.5
  • high cut around 8-10kHz with a broad Q boost 5.5kHZ-6kHz 1-2db
  • add the Minotaur OD or 808 before the amp with the gain between 1-4, tone about 5
  • use light compression at the end of a signal chain (deluxe/la studio) 
  • mandarin cab, mandarin cab, mandarin cab

These are general things that depend on the guitar and other variables but are general things I do on a lot of the patches I make. I am a big fan of just using my ears and I want to know what things do YOUR ears think sound good and you usually do?

 

To take it a step further here's a video I made today (11/19) going through my whole thought process. You can download the patch in the video description.

 

 

Hopefully this is something to take your mind off that sweet 2.10 coming ;)

Heres a tip to trade for a lesson  ;)   Often times i like to double up on a cab. I too like the Mandarin, and if im getting too many mids and highs whilst using the 421 mic, then by using the same cab twice, i can choose to load a different mic and even out any "imperfections". Sort of like layering 2 cabs together. Using one to offset the imperfections of the other.

 

OK, now time for you to teach me  :D  How do you get so much editor information on your screen?? I get about half of what you get. Sure i can drag it, but my screen is maxxed out. Probably a windows setting.

 hx%20scree.PNG

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to do the vid. I have the same guitar so it will be interesting to see how your choices  translate/compare.

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I get plenty of air movement and volume with my 15" coaxial powered monitor on a pole behind my head... don't miss the large guitar cab at all anymore.

 

Church is not ear though and not the same. However, it's all about little too no stage volume there.

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