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Trying to create a tone


isak531
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Hello, so having owned a Helix for nearly a month I figured it's time to try and create some Iron Maiden sort of tone, aiming at the song Revelations. Played around some with some harmonisers aswell for a few guitar melodies.

 

However I seem to be running into the same sort of problem as I did using real amps (also owning a Marshall Mini Silver Jubilee). I seem to be able to get a pretty decent tone for rhythm playing (at least good enough for my inexperienced ears) but when I want to create a lead tone for solos and stuff it's always so icy cold/trebly, any general tips for how to go about that? To create the actual lead tone for solos etc, what to add, delay? volume boost? mid boost? more reverb? any general advice would be most welcome as I'm quite inexperienced with this.

 

Been playing around some with a low & high cut, 10 band EQ which actually made the sound much better for rhythm playing but the same problem seems to be there for soloing etc. Uploaded my preset to customtone, would be very appreciated if someone could take a look! Cheers!

 

https://line6.com/customtone/tone/4205646/

 

 

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On 1/6/2019 at 1:28 PM, isak531 said:

However I seem to be running into the same sort of problem as I did using real amps (also owning a Marshall Mini Silver Jubilee). I seem to be able to get a pretty decent tone for rhythm playing (at least good enough for my inexperienced ears) but when I want to create a lead tone for solos and stuff it's always so icy cold/trebly, any general tips for how to go about that?

 

With mid/higher gain setups you need to refocus the EQ to get a solo to jump through the mix. This has been easily accomplished by many great players over the years by simply placing a mid focused overdrive before the amp, and engaging it for solo's. 

 

I just revisited "Revelations"... and that sounds like a classic JCM 800 with a Tube Screamer engaged on the solo to me. 

 

The Tube Screamer is not the only option, but it was one of the first and has been extremely popular over the years. It rolls off the lows and highs producing a "mid hump" when boosted. This provides a thicker and richer tone to single notes that pop through the mix. A TS has fallen out of vogue in recent years but it's still very effective and is likely what you heard with Iron Maiden and other groups of the era. Again, it's not the only option, but you can try it, just to see what type of effect it has on the solo tone. (hint:you want the tone of the TS, not the gain... keep the gain on the lower half of noon)

 

Another trick of the era was a half cocked wah pedal. Nothing that moves... just a fixed frequency. This is actually very similar to the approach already mentioned, but with a little more focus which may or may not be what you are after. 

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Yeah I've watched most of Jason's videos but I'm still struggling.

 

Using a TS808 as a mid boost works pretty well however the problem kind of still remains. If I want the rhythm tone to be close enough to the Revelations recording I need to keep the Treble & Presence of the amp (2204) above 8, however playing single notes on the lower strings then sounds kind of dull but if I reduce the Treble and/or Presence the rhythm playing gets muddy, tried to decrease the 500 hz frequency which helped a bit though.

 

Im using the Cali v30 x2 with a 57 mic and a ribbon 1048. Amp is the 2204 with Gain around 3.5, Master at about 6.5, Bass at 8, Treble and Presence about 8 and Middle around 5.

 

Just find it hard to achieve the warm rhythm section's tone without turning it all into mud. It feels like this is a pretty strange problem as Maiden doesn't use a lot of gain to my ears, so finding clarity in the power chords shouldn't be too hard, right?

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44 minutes ago, isak531 said:

Im using the Cali v30 x2 with a 57 mic and a ribbon 1048. Amp is the 2204 with Gain around 3.5, Master at about 6.5, Bass at 8, Treble and Presence about 8 and Middle around 5.

 

Just find it hard to achieve the warm rhythm section's tone without turning it all into mud. It feels like this is a pretty strange problem as Maiden doesn't use a lot of gain to my ears, so finding clarity in the power chords shouldn't be too hard, right?

 

Just a few things to consider and possibly try ... 

 

You are correct, they don't use lot of gain, not in today's standards. However, you have created a mid scoop with those tone settings and Maiden (especially the song you reference) is very rich on mids. I'm not surprised that your single notes sound really thin with those settings... and although the rhythm might sound better, I would suggest it is artificially better. If you turn that tone up and add it to a mix, it will likely be boomy, brittle, and lack definition. 

 

Try this: Set all tone controls on the amp model to 5 (half way) then push the mids to about 7 or 8. Now adjust (up/down) the highs and lows as required. The louder you are, the less of those you will likely need. 

 

I'd also try experimenting with one of the 4x12 Marshall cabs, or the Park 4x12 instead of the Cali v30. Just remember... when you change a cabinet, don't just accept the previous amp settings... you may need to adjust them. 

 

On mic choice/placement/technique, check out this video from Jason about using the split x-over on cabinet.... it's a great technique that works well. 

 

 

 

 

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Just to add one more thing about the tone you are chasing. These are studio productions, not raw amps you are hearing. Those tracks would have gone through an 1176 or an LA2A compressor during mixing. Once you get a better raw tone, try adding the Studio Compressor to the end of your chain to help refine it. 

 

Jason also has a video about that as well... based on the effects he ALWAYS has near the end of his chains for post production. 

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2 hours ago, isak531 said:

Yeah I've watched most of Jason's videos but I'm still struggling.

 

Using a TS808 as a mid boost works pretty well however the problem kind of still remains. If I want the rhythm tone to be close enough to the Revelations recording I need to keep the Treble & Presence of the amp (2204) above 8, however playing single notes on the lower strings then sounds kind of dull but if I reduce the Treble and/or Presence the rhythm playing gets muddy, tried to decrease the 500 hz frequency which helped a bit though.

 

Im using the Cali v30 x2 with a 57 mic and a ribbon 1048. Amp is the 2204 with Gain around 3.5, Master at about 6.5, Bass at 8, Treble and Presence about 8 and Middle around 5.

 

Just find it hard to achieve the warm rhythm section's tone without turning it all into mud. It feels like this is a pretty strange problem as Maiden doesn't use a lot of gain to my ears, so finding clarity in the power chords shouldn't be too hard, right?

If I'm reading correctly, you have a rhythm setting that works, but when you kick the TS808 in for a solo, the treble and presence need to come down. The answer is Snapshot 2. 

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I agree that a second snapshot for your lead tone is the way to go. One easy way to make snapshot 2 your lead tone is to add an eq block after your cab. Then, you can boost your volume and change the dynamics of the tone without having to change your amp settings. That is how my patches are set up, and it works well. I also use a delay to fatten the lead tone (and sometimes the Tubescreamer, as well). 

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3 hours ago, codamedia said:

Just to add one more thing about the tone you are chasing. These are studio productions, not raw amps you are hearing. Those tracks would have gone through an 1176 or an LA2A compressor during mixing. Once you get a better raw tone, try adding the Studio Compressor to the end of your chain to help refine it. 

 

Jason also has a video about that as well... based on the effects he ALWAYS has near the end of his chains for post production. 

Yeah I've got this compressor of Jason's at the end of my chain. But yeah, I understand that I I probably won't get the exact same tone however I do believe it shouldn't be that hard to get something close as it's a pretty generic tone afterall (not Eric Johnson or some other stuff). And yeah you're right about the mid scoop, didn't think about that for some reason! Will try to play around with the amp settings / cabs later tonight! 

1 hour ago, specracer986 said:

If I'm reading correctly, you have a rhythm setting that works, but when you kick the TS808 in for a solo, the treble and presence need to come down. The answer is Snapshot 2. 

Yeah that's true, I can get it to sound okish using Snapshots however there's often short licks or basic palm-muting in between some of the rhythm parts which would then sound really dull.

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1 hour ago, isak531 said:

however there's often short licks or basic palm-muting in between some of the rhythm parts which would then sound really dull.

 

Then find a "happy medium" tone for those parts, probably without the boost, and that's Snapshot #3...

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The Helix gives you the power to recreate a studio scenario, but it still can take a long time to dial the whole mess in.  Studio recordings in particular often have massive amount of production involved for the lead, the rhythm, the second rhythm, the second lead . . . and on and on.

 

Everyone above is correct that your answer is snapshots.  Hell, with the Helix I think you get 8 snapshots vs. the Stomp's 3 so you have plenty of room to dial in every single nuance your looking for. The work to get there will take a while, but once it's finished you'll be able to instantly move from part to part.

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