Jump to content

Compression post cab to even out clean vs drive sounds


zooey
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been experimenting with going from clean(-ish) to overdrive with the volume knob on my guitar, instead of using different snapshots. Tone-wise, it can be very cool, but I'm getting more of a volume jump than I'd like.

 

Sounds like a job for a compressor, but I haven't found one that can handle the job without sounding too compressed when volume is full up. The amp itself is already compressing then anyway, and adding more doesn't appeal. If anything, I'd like more compression on the cleaner sounds, but I don't really need that either, and it's backwards from physics.

 

My understanding is that that's one thing the Kemper does really well, compensate for volume differences with different drive levels.

 

Has anyone figured out a good solution to this in Helix?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if this helps, but (I know I sound like a Rockman fanboy) but compression was an integral part of the Rockman sound.

 

I used to do exactly as you...  I used my volume to go from clean-ish to crunch, and additionally I used my tone between 70% and 100% to accomplish punch.

 

The key with the Rockman, and I assume the Helix although I haven't tried it... is the 3 band Compressor is the FIRST thing in the chain not the last.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would second the idea that you'll probably come closer to what you want with the compressor at the beginning the the signal chain.  No matter what you do it's going to be a bit tricky because you'll need to gain stage the compressor pretty carefully so that it really doesn't compress very much and leaves a bit of uncompressed signal when you turn up the volume on the guitar.  The only one that I would trust for this would be the LA compressor as it tends to have a better set of controls for managing such things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the Bassman (US tweed I believe since I am not at the Helix) patch I created following a video concerning a real vintage tweed Bassman it works well.  I have several guitars that work with the patch.  I max the mid and the presence with the bass & treble zeroed.

 

Dennis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't make sense to me. If it keeps the level going INTO the amp steady, it won't clean up, right?

 

Point is to drive the amp less, but keep the total output level a little more constant than it would be naturally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't make sense to me. If it keeps the level going INTO the amp steady, it won't clean up, right?

 

Point is to drive the amp less, but keep the total output level a little more constant than it would be naturally.

Exactly what I was thinking. It makes more sense to have a Leveling Amplifier after the cab to compensate (make up gain) for the lower output as you lower the guitar volume.

Real tube amps do this naturally but only at very high volumes. I played with a guy who used a cranked Super Reverb and he'd use his guitar case to cover up the two lower speakers and his leather jacket to cover one of the upper speakers. The lone uncovered speaker was mic'd and that's how he got his sound. The amp was at its maximum output capability and so was unable to do anything but compress and distort anything beyond a certain level. It was all about sweet power tube saturation and compression... and it was freaking glorious! When he turned the guitar down, it cleaned up but only lost a minimal amount of volume - because it couldn't get any louder when he cranked the guitar volume. It just saturated the power tubes. No pedals, just guitar and amp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed, just haven't found one, or maybe it's settings for one, that keeps volume more consistent without​ sounding more squished than I'd like. I'm a fan of squash sometimes, but here I'm just looking not to get *that* much louder when I turn the guitar up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed, just haven't found one, or maybe it's settings for one, that keeps volume more consistent without​ sounding more squished than I'd like. I'm a fan of squash sometimes, but here I'm just looking not to get *that* much louder when I turn the guitar up.

Please read my amended post. I want to able to do what I describe there on the Helix. It is proving difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe a very transparent compressor like the the LA Studio or even the Deluxe comp with low ratio and the threshold placed appropriately with the attack set high enough not to kill the guitar's attack. Experimenting with the compressor's 'Mix' control might also let a bit of the uncompressed signal through and help to get a sound that controls the increased volume without sounding squashed. Somewhat counter-intuitively it might help to place the compressor block after the amp/cab so it does not impact the amp's response characteristics to the increase from the guitar's volume knob.

 

Without using snapshots it is hard to think of an ideal way to accomplish what you are striving for with a standard guitar. With a Variax you can assign the volume knobs to various Helix parameters such that for instance you could simultaneously lower the volume on the Channel volume, a volume block placed after the amp, or even the output block as you turned up the volume knob on the guitar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zooey, how about this for an idea?

 

What if we had an inverse gain control placed between the output of the modeled preamp and power amp? The idea would be to set a nominal level being sent to the power amp to induce the level of poweramp saturation one wanted but, the "Inverse Gain Control" would raise the preamp's output to compensate for the lost level when you lowered the preamp's volume? What do you think?

You may not be able to use the guitar's volume to control it but you could certainly use the expression pedal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could set up a pedal to control preamp gain and inversely its output, that's roughly what my snapshot versions do.

 

I kind of just wanted to use my guitar's volume control, old-school-style though. I'm thinking about treating Helix more like an amp I can just play through, less like a pile of tech I have to be face deep in all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could set up a pedal to control preamp gain and inversely its output, that's roughly what my snapshot versions do.

 

I kind of just wanted to use my guitar's volume control, old-school-style though. I'm thinking about treating Helix more like an amp I can just play through, less like a pile of tech I have to be face deep in all the time.

I totally get that. We need something that watches the nominal input level and adjusts the output of the amp block accordingly to maintain a predetermined level.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been using the deluxe comp exclusively for a few weeks now. Seems very transparent to me and not very squishy even at 20:1. It just normalizes things really well.  

 

I haven't tried it in the middle/end of the signal chain though. I may give that a try. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...