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avalon650

HX Edit: Drive, Volume, Distortion amp equivalents?

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I am having trouble understanding some of the parameters in HX Edit for amps.

All amp models have Drive, Ch Vol and Master.

 

Drive : is this preamp distortion (Input volume)?

Master : is this power amp distortion (output volume)?

Ch Vol : What is this? Is this to allow both preamp and power amp distortions together?

 

 

 

 

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Drive is generally the same as the preamp volume, yes. In amps that don't have a master volume knob in real life, the Drive control is the volume control (like on a Deluxe Reverb, for example).

 

Master is the master volume. It controls the signal entering the power amp. Or another way to think about it that the higher it is, the more power amp saturation you'll have.

 

Ch Volume, or Channel Volume, is best thought of as the overall volume level for the amp block. It has no effect on the modeling. It simply makes the sound from the amp block quieter or louder in the Helix's signal flow.

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Thank you for the clarification.

 

So Drive = preamp input, Master = power amp input, and Ch Vol = Amp output level/volume.

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Yup, you've got it correct. Also, for amps that did not actually have a master volume in real life (e.g. old Marshalls), then Master defaults to 10 and that's where it should be for authentic modeling of the original amp.

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22 hours ago, avalon650 said:

I am having trouble understanding some of the parameters in HX Edit for amps.

All amp models have Drive, Ch Vol and Master.

 

Drive : is this preamp distortion (Input volume)?

Master : is this power amp distortion (output volume)?

Ch Vol : What is this? Is this to allow both preamp and power amp distortions together?

 


Hi,

 

I suggest a visit to <helixhelp.com> and under the “tips” section check out Common Amp Settings for a little more insight.

 

https://helixhelp.com/manuals/helix/the-blocks.html#common-amp-settings

 

Welcome to the world of digital modelling.

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To elaborate further, here's an example comparing 2 different models at the extreme ends of this.  The Twin Reverb ("US Double") is a high-headroom, clean tube amp that doesn't distort until you reach ear-splitting levels, and then it's almost all power-tube distortion.  The "master" control in this model will essentially determine how clean or distorted the amp is when you take the drive control all the way to 10.  So if you set the master volume to 5 or so, the drive will generally just act as a volume control, and nothing else (maybe a little bit of breakup once you get to 10").  If master is at 10, then the drive will start acting less as a volume control towards the upper end of its range, and start adding distortion.

 

On the other hand, an amp like the Engl Fireball (Angl Meteor), which has its high gain channel modeled, has a master volume AND a gain control.  So essentially, the gain control just acts as the preamp gain, controlling how much pre-amp distortion is present.  It really won't affect the volume.  The master volume, strangely enough won't affect the volume much either, but will serve to alter the amount of the distortion that is coming out of the power amp.  The channel volume is the one constant between various models, in that it will always act as a pure volume control.

 

In between these extremes, you'll find that these controls end up acting in different ways along the spectrum.  Sometimes, I've actually found that setting the drive quite low actually seems to boost the volume higher than a high drive setting on a few amps, if the master is already cranked.  I think that's due to how the power amp is modeled to react to being overloaded.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, JimGordon said:

To elaborate further, here's an example comparing 2 different models at the extreme ends of this.  The Twin Reverb ("US Double") is a high-headroom, clean tube amp that doesn't distort until you reach ear-splitting levels, and then it's almost all power-tube distortion.  The "master" control in this model will essentially determine how clean or distorted the amp is when you take the drive control all the way to 10.  So if you set the master volume to 5 or so, the drive will generally just act as a volume control, and nothing else (maybe a little bit of breakup once you get to 10").  If master is at 10, then the drive will start acting less as a volume control towards the upper end of its range, and start adding distortion.

 

On the other hand, an amp like the Engl Fireball (Angl Meteor), which has its high gain channel modeled, has a master volume AND a gain control.  So essentially, the gain control just acts as the preamp gain, controlling how much pre-amp distortion is present.  It really won't affect the volume.  The master volume, strangely enough won't affect the volume much either, but will serve to alter the amount of the distortion that is coming out of the power amp.  The channel volume is the one constant between various models, in that it will always act as a pure volume control.

 

In between these extremes, you'll find that these controls end up acting in different ways along the spectrum.  Sometimes, I've actually found that setting the drive quite low actually seems to boost the volume higher than a high drive setting on a few amps, if the master is already cranked.  I think that's due to how the power amp is modeled to react to being overloaded.

 

 

  Yeah some amps for sure when the master is cranked will compress more and create a less dynamic sound.  Thus keeping it lower might keep the amount of crunch in your preset similar, but allow for more punchy transients to come through as they arent being squashed by the compression a cranked Master Volume brings in some amps.  

 

My downfall is that in my head I have the 'sweet spot' for some amps locked into a number...and when adjusting things I dont like, I have a hard time getting to adjust those settings first, instead of massaging 8 other things first.  I'm learning, but not having 'real world' experience with some of these models can for sure create parameter paralysis.  I can't wait for the 3.0 release and 'favorites' however it is included as this will help me be able to explore amps in detail and save those settings to recall later.  Some guys have their own methods with blank presets filled with blocks saved to certain settings, that doesnt work for me as much, but I appreciate the approach there.  The best thing is experiment and dont be afraid of moving things.

 

I've found that on some of the 'compressed' amps that I like increasing the bias up to 1.0 higher, but also decreasing the Bias X up to 1.0 lower.  Sometimes increasing Sag a little as well.  This creates, for me, a saggy but tighter attack.  Sounds contradicting I know...and it doesnt work for all amps.  But sometimes the interaction between drive/master isnt enough to get the feel where I like it for some things.  

 

Cheerz!

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On 7/12/2020 at 4:02 PM, themetallikid said:

  Yeah some amps for sure when the master is cranked will compress more and create a less dynamic sound.  Thus keeping it lower might keep the amount of crunch in your preset similar, but allow for more punchy transients to come through as they arent being squashed by the compression a cranked Master Volume brings in some amps.  

 

My downfall is that in my head I have the 'sweet spot' for some amps locked into a number...and when adjusting things I dont like, I have a hard time getting to adjust those settings first, instead of massaging 8 other things first.  I'm learning, but not having 'real world' experience with some of these models can for sure create parameter paralysis.  I can't wait for the 3.0 release and 'favorites' however it is included as this will help me be able to explore amps in detail and save those settings to recall later.  Some guys have their own methods with blank presets filled with blocks saved to certain settings, that doesnt work for me as much, but I appreciate the approach there.  The best thing is experiment and dont be afraid of moving things.

 

I've found that on some of the 'compressed' amps that I like increasing the bias up to 1.0 higher, but also decreasing the Bias X up to 1.0 lower.  Sometimes increasing Sag a little as well.  This creates, for me, a saggy but tighter attack.  Sounds contradicting I know...and it doesnt work for all amps.  But sometimes the interaction between drive/master isnt enough to get the feel where I like it for some things.  

 

Cheerz!

It's funny how much effects have improved in the last 30 years; there's now such a wealth of deep dive editing that we have the first world problem of sorting through all the available options.  Before I got the Helix last year, I was a bit concerned that the modeled amp count was still lower than my Digitech RP-1000.   As it turns out, the Helix power amp parameters alone can make a single amplifier model have the potential to be the equivalent of several different Digitech models, just by adjusting the bias or sag options (absent, along with a number of other parameters, on the RP-1000).  I'll tell you- I remember back in the early 90s when the Digitech RP-1 was considered the shiznit with its four (COUNT 'EM- FOUR!) distortion options.  Now?  I can have half a dozen or more distortion tones in the same patch with some creative footswitch assignments if I want.  Ditto if I was using an Axe-FX, to be fair.

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