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amsdenj

Global String Levels vs. String Volume in Models

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By default the Variax sets the global string levels at 0dB and the volume of each string in the models to 100%. However, most Variax instruments have quite a bit of volume variability in each of the piezo pickups. So it is important to balance the string volumes.

 

Does anyone know the relationship between the string volume percentage in the models and the global string levels in dB? I found that for my Variax Standard, the following string levels work pretty well across models and pickups: E-50% A-50% D-60% G-60% B-90% E-100%. However, I don't know how that translates to global string levels in dB.

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By default the Variax sets the global string levels at 9dB and the volume of each string in the models to 100%. However, most Variax instruments have quite a bit of volume variability in each of the piezo pickups. So it is important to balance the string volumes.

 

Does anyone know the relationship between the string volume percentage in the models and the global string levels in dB? I found that for my Variax Standard, the following string levels work pretty well across models and pickups: E-50% A-50% D-60% G-60% B-90% E-100%. However, I don't know how that translates to global string levels in dB.

It's nice that those settings work universally, but it's just dumb luck. Took me quite a while to balance the levels of all the models that I use, and they certainly are not all the same. At the time I was forced to wonder why they even bothered with global settings at all, as some of the models are quite different with respect to relative string volumes. The global settings are of no use to me at all...fixing one model this way just ruins 3 others.

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I would expect there to be some variation in the pickups and/or guitars they modeled. In my limited experience, if you use good metering (I used Logic Pro X), you will see differences in string level in every model. I didn't worry too much about that. Rather I took an average that got things close, and then applied that to the global settings. My intent was to adjust for differences in the actual piezo pickups on my guitar, rather than all the variation in the models themselves. That may not be perfect, but it seems close enough given all the other variables that impact string volume while playing. 

 

Also, after adjusting the global string settings, you might need to also adjust the levels in the models. Since I had to bring the hot strings down to match the weakest pickup, I brought the overall volume of each model back up to compensate.

 

Another thing that seems to help the model a lot is to blend in some of the magnetic pickup. This can fill in some of the dynamics and high end that's missing from the models. I don't do this because I want to be able to use the open tunings. But it might be useful in some situations.

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