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Clean overdrive recommendations - low end mud


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Hi gurus - hoping for some tips on how to dial in a better tone. I've done a ton of playing around with combining overdrives and different amp/cab models, but I'm still not finding the sweet spot I'd like. 


I'm playing mostly in really detuned 6-strings, or even drop-A 7-string. I have a hard time finding something that's not muddy for low power chords, and/or not scratchy sounding on the high end. 


I'm playing through an older Crate amp (12", solid state) and through headphones - the latter exacerbates the problem, as they're good headphones that catch everything. I'm playing on a Fender Strat with Texas Special pickups, and on a Schecter 7-string with EMG 707 active pickups. 


I can dial out the muddiness but have a hard time not having hiss/scratch/static at the high end. 


I've tried Screamer, which sounds decent with headphones, and Line6 Distortion, which sounds good on the amp. But I'm new to combining overdrive with amp model overdrive, and dialing in EQ. 


However, often times Overdrives sound too weak, and distortions have too much high end garbage. Trying to find a nice middle ground. The folks I listen to seem to use MXR or similar Overdrives, plus amp drive. Just not sure about stuff like noise gate, compressor, EQ, and amp/cab models.


Any recommendations? It's frustrating that I have really nice equipment and can't dial in something that sounds nice like on my favorite records  :huh:


What should I try? Can anyone share a patch setup with me? 



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The solution is pretty much always the same, whether you're using amp model distortion, or a dirt box...low EQ cuts to deal with the flub, and high cuts to deal with the fizz. This can be accomplished any number of ways, from using an EQ block, the low and high cuts under the cab parameters, mic choice, input impedance etc. etc... finding what works best for you is mostly trial and error.

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Does the crate amp have an FX loop?

Just with the headphones lower tunings will make things flubby use the Amp Cab cutoff near or about 120hz.

For metal you want to decrease the gain a bit and use EQ FX before and after the Amps. Around 300 hz and a fairly wide Q will handle some tubby whilst keeping the low end punchy.

A high shelf roll off will emulate the  cabinet response better and make it less brittle as digital can go much higher than a tradition amp and cab in it's response.

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jumping between a guitar amp and headphones can be a but difficult. Basically, you have to make sure you are using Studio direct when you have cans and one of the power amp modes when you use your amp...You didn't say much about your output modes, so I am just assuming you got that square like you like it...Anyhoo, if you are having trouble with brash highs, one of my favorite ways to tame it a bit is to use the InputZ setting...try knocking down to 300k or one of the low settings...You will hear, the lower the impedance, the darker the tone gets...It's nothing more than a ballpark setting, so you might want to flatten out some other things so your correction is less radical...Best of luck!

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