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ymiraku

Trouble getting metal tone with hx stomp

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Hey guys,

 

I recently purchased a hx stomp and have been spending countless hours playing around with it. But it doesnt seem to matter what I do I just cant seem to get a solid and punchy metal tone out of it. I have tried custom IR's using eq's, overdrives, different amp models etc. I am getting a better metal sound running through my studio monitors using my cheap Zoom g3n. It seems whatever i try with the hx stomp there is this harsh honky midrange which I cant seem to cut using any IQ and a boomy bass which when i try to cut with eq's ends up gutting the tone and leaving it thin. I have tried IR's the built in cabs, multiple amps, settings and everything but I just cant get the tone I am looking for or the tone that I see people getting on youtube videos with the same equipment. Can anyone help me here? or maybe the stomp just isnt for me. Im almost starting to regret buying one. I can get amazing cleans and overdrives with great effects but cant get a nice tight metal tone to save my life.

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There's no such thing as "Metal tone".

There's Nu-Metal, Death-Metal, Black Metal and on and on thru endless sub-genres.

Start by identifying, SPECIFICALLY, what you mean by "Metal Tone".

Maybe the specific band or, better yet, the specific song.

Then maybe one of the many very happy metal-heads on here might be able to help.

 

Or, you could blame the tool.......

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6 hours ago, ymiraku said:

Hey guys,

 

I recently purchased a hx stomp and have been spending countless hours playing around with it. But it doesnt seem to matter what I do I just cant seem to get a solid and punchy metal tone out of it. I have tried custom IR's using eq's, overdrives, different amp models etc. I am getting a better metal sound running through my studio monitors using my cheap Zoom g3n. It seems whatever i try with the hx stomp there is this harsh honky midrange which I cant seem to cut using any IQ and a boomy bass which when i try to cut with eq's ends up gutting the tone and leaving it thin. I have tried IR's the built in cabs, multiple amps, settings and everything but I just cant get the tone I am looking for or the tone that I see people getting on youtube videos with the same equipment. Can anyone help me here? or maybe the stomp just isnt for me. Im almost starting to regret buying one. I can get amazing cleans and overdrives with great effects but cant get a nice tight metal tone to save my life.

This guy explains in some of his videos how to get some good rock and metal tones. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCEhLxldbW1mCNzEQDshbAA/videos

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8 hours ago, ymiraku said:

I have tried custom IR's

 

I definitely recommend custom IRs, stock cabs are pretty lousy for high gain tones, at least in my opinion. You probably should get a 4x12 Rectifier IRs, they're a kind of a standard metal cab. I recommend Ownhammer, but York Audio and ML Sound Lab also offer good stuff.

 

As far as dialing tight tones - throw an 808 in front of the amp, set gain to 0, tone to 5 and level to 5 initially. The biggest effect of the 808 is that it aggressively cuts the low end, this what will make the sound "tight". Afterwards, throw in either Archon, Revv (Red or Purple) or Soldano, I think those are the easiest amps to start with. Make sure not to oversaturate the power amp, for metal high gain tones this is something to be avoided. Keep the gain as low as you can, for those amps around 3 is quite a lot of gain. If you want to cut a little bit of low mids, throw in a parametric EQ right after the amp, set the mid frequency to around 500-600hz, Q between 0.7 and 0.2 and cut to taste, I usually cut around 1.5-2db. If you're playing with headphones, make sure to add a subtle reverb at the end, otherwise the sound will be too dry.

 

I've attached an example, the chain is 808 -> SLO -> Parametric EQ (slight 1.5db mid cut and a very slight 0.5 high boost) -> IR -> Reverb.

soldano_example.mp3

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6 hours ago, nckj said:

 

I definitely recommend custom IRs, stock cabs are pretty lousy for high gain tones, at least in my opinion. You probably should get a 4x12 Rectifier IRs, they're a kind of a standard metal cab. I recommend Ownhammer, but York Audio and ML Sound Lab also offer good stuff.

 

As far as dialing tight tones - throw an 808 in front of the amp, set gain to 0, tone to 5 and level to 5 initially. The biggest effect of the 808 is that it aggressively cuts the low end, this what will make the sound "tight". Afterwards, throw in either Archon, Revv (Red or Purple) or Soldano, I think those are the easiest amps to start with. Make sure not to oversaturate the power amp, for metal high gain tones this is something to be avoided. Keep the gain as low as you can, for those amps around 3 is quite a lot of gain. If you want to cut a little bit of low mids, throw in a parametric EQ right after the amp, set the mid frequency to around 500-600hz, Q between 0.7 and 0.2 and cut to taste, I usually cut around 1.5-2db. If you're playing with headphones, make sure to add a subtle reverb at the end, otherwise the sound will be too dry.

 

I've attached an example, the chain is 808 -> SLO -> Parametric EQ (slight 1.5db mid cut and a very slight 0.5 high boost) -> IR -> Reverb.

soldano_example.mp3 412.24 kB · 1 download

 

I purchased the heavy hitters 1 a while back and tried all the A1 picks on it and some of the other ones. They all add this crazy amount of bass and make the sound really muffled. but when i try to cut the low end frequencies it guts tone and leaves it sounding thin. Do you recommend that I purchase the rectifier pack instead? what im looking for is tight low mids.

 

As for tones the type i metal tone I like are lamb of god, killswitch engage, opeth tone like what you would hear from watershed/ ghost reveries etc.

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Posted (edited)

In still experimenting but slowly getting nice tones, right now I'm happy with everything except excessive frequency buildups around 1000 hz(iirc) and some other Freq when quad tracking. Problem for me is also I need a clean amp block cause I wanna be able to play clean too, this requires a bit of wizardry due to lowish dsp power but I'm getting there. My fav as of now with emg81 is 10 kohm input>hard gate>tube screamer>badonk+Cali4x12 cab (I tend to like their cabs better than the IRs I've tested in it), tweak to taste. Also mess around with the early reflections as I think the sound is too dry with it set to zero, sounds unnatural.

Edited by ossianott

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8 hours ago, ymiraku said:

 

Do you recommend that I purchase the rectifier pack instead?

 

Heavy Hitters 1 has a 4x12 Recto cab in it.

 

8 hours ago, ymiraku said:

They all add this crazy amount of bass and make the sound really muffled

 

I agree, I prefer bright tones myself. Most of the commercial IR mixes sound rather dark to me, but I think that's the trend with modern productions, I rarely hear bright high gain tones that were common in the 80s and 90s. Considering that IRs in general seem to be marketed for mixing rather than simply playing by yourself, it makes sense.

 

In any case, since you have Heavy Hitters 1, just got to the 4x12 Recto cab with a V30 speaker, go in the mic section, make sure to select the MPT IRs (so that you can blend 2 or more IRs without any phase issues), and try a single 57 mic or a blend with 57 and 121. Try the Fredman technique 57 too (they'll also have them pre-mixed in the Mix folder). Be sure to read the included .pdf manual, it explains what everything in the pack is. In general, you want your IR to sound as close to the finished tone as you can. So if you used a bright amp, for example, with treble and presence cranked, and the tone it still dull, change the IR to something brighter, don't try to EQ the tone (though it can work sometimes). EQ is a very crude an primitive tool, it's hugely useful, but it can only affect the sound so much, use it for small adjustments only, if you find yourself doing crazy adjustments and the tone is still not right, just change the IR.

 

As far as dealing with the low end, first of all, there's always the good old 808 before the amp. You can also use a 10 band graphic EQ, start cutting from 250hz and downward in a diagonal kind of way (cut 2db at 250, 3db at 125, 4db at 62.5, and so on). You can also try boosting from 1 or 2 khz and upwards in the same fashion to accentuate the pick attack. You can also try your luck with a tilt EQ before the amp.

 

Then, there's the IR block, make sure to use the low and high cuts, personally I cut lows at around 80hz and highs at around 10khz. Finally, use an EQ before (or after, doesn't really matter, but if you're using stereo IR configuration, it makes more sense to throw a mono EQ right after the amp) the IR. Parametric, high shelf, and tilt all are very useful, you can use more than one too to get the desired effect. For the parametric EQ, try the low band at 120-200hz, play with the Q (0.2-0.7) and cut 1.5-3db. And easy way to brighten the sound it to use a high shelf at around 4-5khz, then just boost that range to taste. Tilt can work too, but it's kind of a one trick pony, it might work, but it might not quite give you the result that you want. Be careful with the high cut and low cut in the parametric EQ, they have a pretty steep roll off as compared to the high and low cut in the IR block (in the parametric EQ, the high cut is noticeable if you set it at 20khz, that's a pretty massive roll off).

 

Obviously, there's also the amp. Recto is flubby as all hell, that's just how Rectos are. Fireball also has tons of bass, and Mark IV can be hard to dial in. With the rest of the high gain amps, make sure to pay extra attention to the balance between bass and resonance. Power amp saturation will affect the bass response as well, Bias and Bias X will also have an effect if you have some power amp saturation going on (for high gain, you don't want a lot of it, try using it sparingly as a tool to smooth out the high end and bring in some extra mids). Don't be afraid of cranking the treble and presence, with some amps you can crank them really high without any ice picky harshness, others - not so much, and of course it all plays together with the power amp - when you're cranking treble, you're increasing the volume of the high frequencies, which will make the power amp saturate those frequencies more if the power amp is cranked high enough, and if the power amp is cranked high enough, it will squash and distort excessive high frequencies instead of amplifying the linearly like an EQ. The Friedman amp is a good example - the default master setting is really high and it makes the amp sound rather dark. Dial the master way down to 3 or 2, and it brighten up considerably. If you then tinker with the controls (try the saturate setting on, and everything else off), it can be dialed really bright.

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The darker profiles in some of the Ownhammer packs work really well live because of the Fletcher-Munson effect. If you crave brighter sounds, the York Audio stuff might be the way to go.

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Okay i factory resetted the helix and it seemed to make a big difference to the tone for some reason. Ive taken everyones advice here and im now starting to get the tones ive been looking for. I was choosing the A1 picks from the ownhammer cab pack i brought but i didnt like any of them so i went and found the folder with all the mesa 412 cabs with different mic setups. WAY better! Also im finding that the soldano amp model that was suggested here is by far the best one that I have played around with so far.

 

Still trying to get that punch into the sound, a tubescreamer adds a fair bit but it still is a bit spongey. adding two screamers adds this weird harmonic overtone that i dont like. i gotta play around more with the tilt and the other pedals. I also ordered a seymour duncan invader to go into the bridge position of my ESP horizon because i heard that the custom 59 pickup i have is more upper mid focused and invader is more tighter lows which is what I want. 

 

I might buy some of the York audio mesa pack soon to see how i like it. Im still finding the ownhammer stuff to sound a bit too muffled but its still very good.

 

 

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I'm mainly playing along songs from different genres of metal  even using Digitech Drop pedal.
I started using 3Sigma IR first because I was not used to the stock cab but after a year I finally switched to stock cab. The main difference is that I don't need to do a lot of heavy EQ tweaking to sound close enough to the band I'm playing along with as the stock cab gives more flexibility with the different combination. Selecting the right combination in the cab is probably the most difficult part.

Some things I've done to improve my usage of the HX Stomp:
- I've always found a bit of harshness (my ears or my headphones) which I fixed by cutting 4khz with 10 Q and -3db in the global eq.

- don't stick with using 808 in front of amp, try ToneSovereign ( set first gain stage to 1, change second stage to boot if there's too much distortion, use presence to add brightness), try StuporOD. To tight a sound try Klon. My go to OD is probably ToneSovereign now when I'm using Digitech Drop, but again it depends on style of music. Try several combination some just do not work even with low gain

- try the Metal Zone without and amp, suprisingly good

- always use a separate block with dual cab. Find the correct combination of speaker type and mic. In 90's/2000 era it seems they generally used a combination of V30 and G12T75. Start with Dyn57 on both, try to change the distance, sometime it's needed to set at 4 or 5 on both. Depending on the type of amp you may brighten the sound using the XXL cab and a dyn57. If you need a less "defined" sound you may choose UberV30 and Cali. 

- try Meteor, 2204 Mod, Fatality, Badonk. I usually use Meteor with just more treble than the preset and I cut cab at 95hz or more to remove some bass

- post eq the cab with a cut at 390hz 4Q -3db, gives punch for palm muting. Add some db at 1.6khz, for brightness add at a freq between 6/8khz

- to simulate dual track guitar add a Tile reverb, decay at 2 and mix at 35% it gives more "presence"

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On 5/2/2020 at 7:18 AM, ymiraku said:

Hey guys,

 

What amp do you want to use?

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