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guitarbloke1980

My HX Stomp can't keep up in a full band - why? :(

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I’ve been using the HX Stomp at rehearsals for a few weeks now.  I use it mainly for amp modelling with a touch of delay and reverb.  If it helps, I’m playing hard rock covers in a bar band (Guns n Roses, Poison, Motley Crue – that sort of thing)

 

But it seems to sound pretty weak in a band environment (the other guitarist is using a Dual Rectifier + Mesa 2x12 cab and sounds massive).

 

Now, I was using a 10” FRFR speaker which probably wasn’t doing me any favours.  I had the speaker behind me, angled up on an amp stand.

However at last rehearsal, I started using the Stomp into the return of my real guitar amp and using my 2x12 Zilla Fatboy cab instead of an IR.  It sounded better, presumably because of the 2x12 cab, but still nowhere near as fat and warm as the other guitarists tone - I recorded some of the rehearsal and when I listen back my tone sounds waaay thinner than the other guitarist. 

 

I'm sure 99% it's not the patches I'm using - I'm using some that I bought from Glenn DeLaune who is an absolute master at this stuff.

 

I’ve tried messing with the Global EQ, but I’m struggling to wrap my head around all the different frequencies, and often I just end up making things sound worse so I have set them back to their stock values.

 

Would replacing my JBL 10” with a dedicated 12” FRFR speaker help matters – I’m looking at the Headrush 112 (and then maybe adding the Headrush 108 later)

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1 hour ago, guitarbloke1980 said:

I'm sure 99% it's not the patches I'm using - I'm using some that I bought from Glenn DeLaune who is an absolute master at this stuff.

 

There are no guarantees with patches created by somebody else, on a different rig, in a different listening environment, with different guitars, different playing style(s), etc. The odds of dragging and dropping a patch that'll work for your unique situation with no editing whatsoever, is near zero... no matter what "master status" the internet has conferred upon the guy who created the patch.

 

I’ve tried messing with the Global EQ, but I’m struggling to wrap my head around all the different frequencies, and often I just end up making things sound worse so I have set them back to their stock values.

 

Global EQ is for making subtle tweaks for different rooms... not creating your tones. You'll never have any luck trying to use it as a primary tone-shaping tool. An EQ curve that works for crystal clean sound with single coils is not likely to make you happy for a patch with high gain and humbuckers.

 

 

Quote

Would replacing my JBL 10” with a dedicated 12” FRFR speaker help matters – I’m looking at the Headrush 112 (and then maybe adding the Headrush 108 later)

 

Your problem is not the size of the speaker. You just need to get more familiar with how to get the sounds you want. Modeling has a learning curve... and experimenting with combinations of amp/cab/mic models and EQ is the only way to get there. Everybody's secret sauce is different... which is why buying patches is a crapshoot, at best. You gotta do it yourself.

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Hi GB,

 

Using someone else's patches almost always requires you to dial in the amp sound for your guitar and pickups.  Gain staging is a huge issue with these modelers, so I would take Glenn's patch, turn off everything except the amp and see how it sounds with your guitars(s) and the FRFR/Amp+Zilla.  Tweak it till you get it where you want it.    Obviously, a 10 inch speaker isn't going to push as much air as a 2x12 Recto cab.   You are experiencing the "Amp-In-The-Room" from the other guitarists Recto-Rig.    It's hard to compete with that amp in the room sound in a practice space or on stage with a modeler unless you have a good back end.  That's why products like the PowerCab exist.   Most agree that the Headrush 112 isn't going to give you the same amp in the room feel/sound.  I have 2 of them in my basement with a variety of amps and cabs and I agree it isn't amp in the room, but it sounds really good, and I can get great amp tone out of it.  I get the amp in the room sound from my Line 6 DT25 hooked up to my Helix and that feels fantastic on the back line.  And it cuts through anything.    I have a friend who is using a Headrush 112 as his back line in the cover band he plays in, and he is content.  But he uses In-ears and mixes everyone else which is a mix of mic'ed tube amps digital   He is completely happy because he is in control of the mix in his monitor mixer during shows and practice.  Everything is consistent.  

 

Take a look at Max Carton's YouTube videos  on getting the most out of the HX Stomp.  He has some great advice on dealing with your situations and demonstrates building basic Amp & Cab patches to get the best tone for Crunchy marshal tones.  I like how he takes an empty patch and gets it sounding best, and often compares it with the real amp.  

 

There are a lot of things that go into making your tone sound good and mix well with the band.   Having the right back end is certainly part of that.   Running a stomp preamp block into the return of your guitar amp and Zilla cab "should" yield good results that can cut through the mix with the other folks in the band.   Make sure you use a preamp model that is setup the same way as Glenn's Amp block, and disable the IR/Cab block and tweak that Preamp with your Amp/Zilla to taste.

 

I wish you successful tweaking

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Disclaimer: This is purely my own, subjective view of things.

 

Mids are your friends. I also noticed that they're lacking in quite some of the factory and Customtone patches. They're as well not too prominent on most Helix cabs and IRs that you will find.

I would try to dial in some on patch level and get familiar with the mid band of the global EQ as well, for last minute fine tunings. I have mine sitting there with a center frequency of 415Hz and a rather broad Q-value of 4-5, I adjust the level to taste. In addition I do a low cut at 60Hz because with the broad and comparatively low mid boost things may start to get flubby.

Note: I don't often need to use this, but in case I had to compete with such a rather massive sounding setup as that of your colleague, I probably would.

 

Then, not sure how you dial in your patches, but you should do the final retouching at gig/rehrarsal level. There's the Fletcher Munson effect we can't escape from. When listening to stuff at low volumes (or adjusting amp tones) we tend to dial in more treble and lows, simply because our ears don't perceive them as well anymore. But as a result, when you crank your amp up, things may start to sound shrill and/or boomy. You may know the loudness button on home HiFi systems. You're using it at lower listening volumes and it's raising lows and highs.

IMO it's absolutely crucial to be aware of that and prepare for the situation when you need the opposite of the loudness button (hence my global EQ settings). And really, ask your bandmates for a favour and have them just jam around for a bit while you adjust your sound.

 

I would as well at least try to not place your FRFR monitor on an amp stand, it might need a bit more "substance" of the floor to back up lower frequencies and it might even need some reflections to sound proper. In case it's a wedge style monitor, these things are made to be placed on the floor. Always good to experiment with both options, though. Personally, on boomier stages, I tend to place mine on a plastic "stuff"case I usually have with me, but in case the stage isn't resonating much, it always goes straight to the floor.

In addition, others than a typical guitar cab, at least wedges are not made to sit behind you. They're made to go straight into your face. Perhaps the second most irritating thing when switching from traditional cabs to FRFR monitors. Had to get used to that myself, too, but now I wouldn't want to miss it anymore as it just gives me more control over my sound than I ever had before. In case things aren't loud enough for your bandmates, try to route a parallel out to the PA system and just turn it up a bit.

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16 minutes ago, bobcoss said:

Hi GB,

 

Using someone else's patches almost always requires you to dial in the amp sound for your guitar and pickups.  Gain staging is a huge issue with these modelers, so I would take Glenn's patch, turn off everything except the amp and see how it sounds with your guitars(s) and the FRFR/Amp+Zilla.  Tweak it till you get it where you want it.    Obviously, a 10 inch speaker isn't going to push as much air as a 2x12 Recto cab.   You are experiencing the "Amp-In-The-Room" from the other guitarists Recto-Rig.    It's hard to compete with that amp in the room sound in a practice space or on stage with a modeler unless you have a good back end.  That's why products like the PowerCab exist.   Most agree that the Headrush 112 isn't going to give you the same amp in the room feel/sound.  I have 2 of them in my basement with a variety of amps and cabs and I agree it isn't amp in the room, but it sounds really good, and I can get great amp tone out of it.  I get the amp in the room sound from my Line 6 DT25 hooked up to my Helix and that feels fantastic on the back line.  And it cuts through anything.    I have a friend who is using a Headrush 112 as his back line in the cover band he plays in, and he is content.  But he uses In-ears and mixes everyone else which is a mix of mic'ed tube amps digital   He is completely happy because he is in control of the mix in his monitor mixer during shows and practice.  Everything is consistent.  

 

Take a look at Max Carton's YouTube videos  on getting the most out of the HX Stomp.  He has some great advice on dealing with your situations and demonstrates building basic Amp & Cab patches to get the best tone for Crunchy marshal tones.  I like how he takes an empty patch and gets it sounding best, and often compares it with the real amp.  

 

There are a lot of things that go into making your tone sound good and mix well with the band.   Having the right back end is certainly part of that.   Running a stomp preamp block into the return of your guitar amp and Zilla cab "should" yield good results that can cut through the mix with the other folks in the band.   Make sure you use a preamp model that is setup the same way as Glenn's Amp block, and disable the IR/Cab block and tweak that Preamp with your Amp/Zilla to taste.

 

I wish you successful tweaking

 

Thanks for the really detailed advice Bob – I am leaning more towards using my real amp and cab with the Stomp to be honest.  I do love the amp-in-the-room feel when I’m on stage or at rehearsal.  I have a nice enough amp – it’s a Suhr Badger 35w head, and it sounds great with an overdrive pedal pushing it, but it’s a bit of a one-trick pony and I just love the versatility of having modelling options available.  Maybe I need to rethink the EQ on the physical amp as well - I’ve been doing all my EQ’ing via the modelled amps on the Stomp...

 

I’ll check out Max Carton’s videos when I get home from work – it sounds like they’ll be really useful.

 

I did contact Glenn for some advice a while back and he was really helpful – he mentioned to me that his IR’s are more of an EQ than an actual IR and that his patches are designed to be used with the IR enabled even if running into a real amp and cab – But as you say, tweaking is no doubt required to take into account the difference in equipment.  I’ll try your suggestion of disabling everything apart from the amp and go from there.

 

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7 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

Disclaimer: This is purely my own, subjective view of things.

 

Mids are your friends. I also noticed that they're lacking in quite some of the factory and Customtone patches. They're as well not too prominent on most Helix cabs and IRs that you will find.

I would try to dial in some on patch level and get familiar with the mid band of the global EQ as well, for last minute fine tunings. I have mine sitting there with a center frequency of 415Hz and a rather broad Q-value of 4-5, I adjust the level to taste. In addition I do a low cut at 60Hz because with the broad and comparatively low mid boost things may start to get flubby.

Note: I don't often need to use this, but in case I had to compete with such a rather massive sounding setup as that of your colleague, I probably would.

 

Then, not sure how you dial in your patches, but you should do the final retouching at gig/rehrarsal level. There's the Fletcher Munson effect we can't escape from. When listening to stuff at low volumes (or adjusting amp tones) we tend to dial in more treble and lows, simply because our ears don't perceive them as well anymore. But as a result, when you crank your amp up, things may start to sound shrill and/or boomy. You may know the loudness button on home HiFi systems. You're using it at lower listening volumes and it's raising lows and highs.

IMO it's absolutely crucial to be aware of that and prepare for the situation when you need the opposite of the loudness button (hence my global EQ settings). And really, ask your bandmates for a favour and have them just jam around for a bit while you adjust your sound.

 

I would as well at least try to not place your FRFR monitor on an amp stand, it might need a bit more "substance" of the floor to back up lower frequencies and it might even need some reflections to sound proper. In case it's a wedge style monitor, these things are made to be placed on the floor. Always good to experiment with both options, though. Personally, on boomier stages, I tend to place mine on a plastic "stuff"case I usually have with me, but in case the stage isn't resonating much, it always goes straight to the floor.

In addition, others than a typical guitar cab, at least wedges are not made to sit behind you. They're made to go straight into your face. Perhaps the second most irritating thing when switching from traditional cabs to FRFR monitors. Had to get used to that myself, too, but now I wouldn't want to miss it anymore as it just gives me more control over my sound than I ever had before. In case things aren't loud enough for your bandmates, try to route a parallel out to the PA system and just turn it up a bit.

 

 

Thanks so much SaschaFranck – this sounds like some solid advice! 

And thanks for the suggestions about the Global EQ settings – I appreciate I’ll need to do some tweaking with it myself, but it’s always nice to have an example of how others are using theirs :)

 

Looks like I still have a long road ahead of me before I’m ready to play live with the Stomp, but I’m looking forward to trying out all these suggestions and seeing how I get on!

 

 

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All good advice so far. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you build a patch at home volume, you're going to have to edit for loud volume, again if you're switching from FRFR to a real cab, etc. 

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