The Guitar Doctor Is In

Ask questions and get answers about how to make music in any particular way. Hardware or songwriting or whatever.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:33 pm

Well the usual order is to have delay (time based effects, to be specific, so delays and reverbs) after gain so that you are repeating the distorted sound rather than distorting the repeats. The first way is clearer repeats, the second way can be great too but you have to be a bit more careful with the delay levels.

Back in the day, amps were cleaner generally so people discovered that the preamp in an Echoplex or whatever would do good things for their tone, basically a light boost and tighten the bass, and there weren’t effects loops so people just did that. I tend to put delay second to last after reverb in my chain, if I have both. A lot of the time I just have a gain and a delay though.

The Big Muff has a massive mid scoop that can make it drop out of a mix, even if the level is up high, so even Gilmour and whatever would put a color boost after the Muff to EQ it to sound good.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:01 pm

I'm no expert but that seems like an odd pedal order to me. Personally I prefer tuner->volume/wah->gain/overdrive/fuzz/etc.->boost (optional)->time-based effects. Also it's interesting to me that you're using an amp simulator pedal into an amp. I'm curious to see what exactly you're doing with the Joyo, beyond just for a boost and some EQ-ing. You should post a close up photo of your pedals so we can see how you've got the dials set!
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by jb » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:17 pm

mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:33 pm
The Big Muff has a massive mid scoop that can make it drop out of a mix, even if the level is up high, so even Gilmour and whatever would put a color boost after the Muff to EQ it to sound good.
Yes, that's what happens if I have it earlier in the chain. After the drive, though, the midscoop is compensated for by the drive, and I crank the hell out of the tone on the Muff, and it is kind of apeshit sounding.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by jb » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:23 pm

Lunkhead wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:01 pm
I'm no expert but that seems like an odd pedal order to me. Personally I prefer tuner->volume/wah->gain/overdrive/fuzz/etc.->boost (optional)->time-based effects. Also it's interesting to me that you're using an amp simulator pedal into an amp. I'm curious to see what exactly you're doing with the Joyo, beyond just for a boost and some EQ-ing. You should post a close up photo of your pedals so we can see how you've got the dials set!
I'll post a pic tomorrow. I won't claim it's any kind of intelligent setup-- it's a trial and error thing with my amp. The goal being to get the loudest most spectrum-filling sound I can that's not harsh, since we're a trio. There are a lot of trios around me in DC playin this kind of loud music, and they've all got their own setups, typically much more involved and thoughtful than mine.

My thought with the Joyo is basically that it's almost replacing the preamp in my Fender. Hence the first thing I thought of was that it should be the end of the chain. Then the Muff was just "it's not working anywhere else, lemme try at the end". I think some of the Muff's success for me is down to sheer volume. It's set louder than fuckall, certainly louder than anything else in my setup.

BTW Lunkhead, I bought the MXR Carbon Copy because I liked yours that time I was in SF for a session-- I think when we made "We Sound Like Each Other".

J
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:45 pm

That's a great delay pedal, for sure. Sounds like maybe you're mostly using the Muff for a boost. I bought a boost a while back and fiddled with it and lost interest until recently. Playing around with it again, trying various things out, I heard what folks were saying about using a boost before vs after a distortion pedal. Before means you're driving your pedal more so you get a more distorted sound that's maybe not really much louder, after you're making your signal going into your amp a lot louder so you'll probably mostly just be louder overall when not really playing with the amp cranked up to the point where the boost would be over driving it. I am no expert at all though.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:59 pm

I mean a Muff kind of just sounds like a Muff, big and nasty, no matter where you put it so I would guess on this case it’s all about the flavor of the Muff tone as the last thing going into the clean amp rather than as a boost per se, where I usually understand that goal as boosting the tone you’re already getting, if that makes sense
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:01 pm

I mean the Fender Princeton 112+ is a 65 watt solid state amp, very similar topography to my old Yamaha actually so pedal boosting isn’t really going to kick it into overdrive as much as just be louder. Headroom to spare, especially if you don’t get to turn it up much
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Lunkhead » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:02 pm

Sure, I'm just thinking, not hearing the pedal do anything when it's before the amp sim pedal vs hearing it do something when it's after the amp sim, that sounds very reminiscent of what could happen with a boost pedal and an overdrive pedal, minus any tone color changes that may also be happening from the Muff. It didn't sound clear to me like the Muff was making things cut through more just from being super loud or from any EQ changes it was making, I wonder if it's maybe just louder?
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by grumpymike » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:11 am

Thanks Mo and everyone. I guess I should elaborate on my use cases.
Recording: no
Making my 4x12 easier to manage in practice space: yes.
Finding a cab or combo for infrequent gigs: yes.
Enhancing my rig: no.
mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:14 pm
Assuming you're talking about a Dual Rec half stack, and not one of the combos
Yup. This guy. And this is the cabinet I have.
I know nothing about anything, and bought it used off Craigslist because I know it was associated with some bands I liked. I've played a handful of shows with it and don't use it for recording. I use an amp simulator that sounds relatively like it for recording. I do like the tone but I don't think it's important to have the physical manifestation.
mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:14 pm
you mentions something about the gain knob being "touchy" but I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at--is it that the taper is too abrupt? Is it that when you get a good tone it's simply too loud? Something else?
I haven't played with it in a while, but these are the things I recall specifically:
1. Going between clean and distorted tone with the pedal was very difficult to calibrate. The distortion would be too quiet or too loud.
2. There's a very small segment where the gain knob causes the volume to go from too quiet to "blow your eardrums out".
3. Yes, in general, the problem is when I'm looking for higher gain.

I do recall something like a "Hot Plate" attenuator being an option that sits between the cab and the amp and sucks off energy. Though it doesn't really solve all the problems.
mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:14 pm
A smaller speaker cab will move less air and inherently be less loud, but it'll still be f'ing loud. But who knows, maybe that's enough for your needs.
Recommendations? Should it be paired with a Mesa?
mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:14 pm
Dual Rec styled pedal into a clean amp. I have a buddy who does this with an Okko Dominator, but I'm sure there's plenty of other pedal options that might be less expensive/more accurate/more suited to you.
I have a rackmount Line 6 Pod X3 that I use for recording, and also have the pedalboard version. Is there a good clean amp that's recommended for this specific purpose?
mo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:14 pm
but I don't know how you run your rig.
Answer: Like an idiot. Imagine if you gave a baboon enough money to have an expensive music hobby.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:33 am

Maybe this would give you the sound but in an easier to deal with package. Still probably loud as hell though.

https://reverb.com/p/mesa-boogie-roadst ... -amplifier

Half stacks seem like complete and total overkill for club gigs. If your drummer is so loud you need a half stack to play over them, yikes.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by jb » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:54 am

That doesn’t even seem physically possible if the drums aren’t miked. Wonder if there is a world record for loudest unamplified drum set performance.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by jb » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:14 am

It's true the Muff acts as a boost, but it definitely dirties the tone further as well. It goes from "That's a growly sound" to "Things are getting serious now".
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:39 am

grumpymike wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:11 am
Thanks Mo and everyone. I guess I should elaborate on my use cases.
Recording: no
Making my 4x12 easier to manage in practice space: yes.
Finding a cab or combo for infrequent gigs: yes.
Enhancing my rig: no.
Ok so what I'm getting from this is that you are open to any of the possibilities, which is good on the one hand bc there are options, but OTOH you might have to go down a couple of rabbit holes to find the option that is the best for you.

1. If you really like your amp, then I'd try just getting a 112 cab with the same speaker, the Mesa one is mostly likely to have similar sonic characteristics (there is a whole rabbit hole not just of speakers, but cab construction, material, size, open/closed back, etc. *shudder*). That will inherently be less loud than a 412 because, well, less speakers. You can also consider trying to find a speaker that has similar EQ but is less efficient, i.e. doesn't generate as much loudness. Celestion for example does make some speakers with different decibel ratings within the same model.

2. Get a similar combo, as Lunkhead suggested, the 112 Roadster has a great rep. I haven't played one and the Dual Rec tone isn't really my thing so I haven't played a lot of them (I tend to prefer the early Boogie amp sound, go figure).

3. Get a little clean tube amp, like a Fender Princeton--there are a myriad of options around that 10-15 watt range, basically Fender is always a good way to go for clean tone platform, and add a pedal. The Port City amps and the Wampler Bravado are amps that are designed specifically to be clean platforms for pedals also. But I would look at a Fender because they are easier to find and might be a bit cheaper--but also because what is Mesa Boogie? A company that got started modifying Fender Princetons for more saturated gain--so their clean tone foundation is pretty much a Fender type clean.

These clean amps should also work fine with the digital modeling from a POD, but depending on which POD, with power amp and cab sims, you might be better off with just a powered monitor, because you might find that the POD models the whole amp to speaker chain, and if you do that, you'd want a full frequency range reproduction, not the additional filtering of ANOTHER preamp/power amp/speaker. You could also plug into the effects return of a clean amp that has an effects loop, and bypass the amp's preamp, but again, you're still getting the power amp and speaker of the amplifier adding filtering to the POD. A powered monitor will just reproduce the sound coming from the POD's output.

There's a bunch of pedals out there that are designed to do Dual Rec type tone, so you can research that and see which one sounds closest to you. This is one of those things you really have to try yourself, I feel. As a bonus, if you go the pedal route, you might find that you can also pair that pedal with your current amp to get the gain you like at a lower volume.



Now to the question of the gain control. When you say
"1. Going between clean and distorted tone with the pedal was very difficult to calibrate. The distortion would be too quiet or too loud."
What I understand is that you're talking about the channel switching via the amp's footswitch, yes? The problem is there are SO MANY controls on a Dual Rec that I don't know if, say, the issue is that the wattage power levels are set differently, so the channels are behaving too differently, or if it's some other difference between the different modes. Maybe it's the EQ that makes it sound less present but there's still plenty of volume (cf. the discussion above on the Big Muff, which can be a really tough pedal to use in certain kinds of band mixes). Every channel has a master control, so I would've thought it would be easy to dial in. The main caveat here is that if you are having to play on a relatively low volume setting, most amps don't behave as consistently as they would when you can get a healthy flow of electrons into the power section.

It might be as simple as messing with the different gain modes. But again, in general, high gain modes tend to be like this--you add preamp gain and adjust the channel master volume to the level you want. I assume you're doing this already though, so I am not sure what else to suggest without actually being there to try to dial in your amp. I can say that my recollection is that the gain knob on a Recto needs to be higher up anyway because of the kind of taper on the pot they use, which is a lower value than most other amp gain controls.

And again we are back to why stompboxes are awesome, because the other way to do this is simply to have a pedal set up to get that tone by boosting your clean channel, and you have a lot of control over a pedal.

Hope that has something helpful in there!
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:52 am

My only note about the drummer volume thing is that if you've ever had to be on stage in an 8 person band so that you're the one who has to be next to the drummer, and your ears are more or less at cymbal level, you won't hear anything else for the next couple of days. My last keyboard player got stuck there once and was desperately trying to invent a process for having his head encased in Plexiglass for the rest of the night hahaha
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by ujnhunter » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:29 pm

Some amps have massive volume shifts between channels and it's unavoidable. Not sure how the Mesa Dual Recto is setup... but it may be that there is no good way to switch between channels on the fly with your footswitch without an unavoidable volume jump. Sometimes amp channels share certain controls like the EQ/Gain and the dirty channel is louder by default... you may be able to use a clean boost pedal in front when using your clean channel to try and match the volume of the dirty channel, but you'd have to tap dance and turn it off when switching to the dirty channel.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:53 am

I dunno, man. I find it hard to believe that an amp maker like Mesa would let such a volume jump issue between channels get out the door. Never had one, probably never will. But I did have a Bedrock 1600 combo that had TWO seperate pre-amps, each with two channels. It took a lot of fiddling to get all of them balanced right so that there weren't massive volume shifts between channel switches, but it got done. Heh. Probably never touched the volume settings again, though.

One amp from among many amps, I know. But I guess just keep on fiddling. Frustrating, but should be doable. That 1600 was a monster amp. Brutal.
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by mo » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:07 am

I mean either way the Dual Rec has independent master volume controls for every channel, that’s one of the things it was known for, as not every amp had that back when it came out. Without actually futzing with the amp it’s a little hard to tell if it’s an amp maintenance problem, an amp design problem, user error, or what. Grumpy’s going to have to try stuff and get back to us haha
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by jb » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:16 am

At that price point though... send that shit back if it's defective for sure.
mo wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:07 am
I mean either way the Dual Rec has independent master volume controls for every channel, that’s one of the things it was known for, as not every amp had that back when it came out. Without actually futzing with the amp it’s a little hard to tell if it’s an amp maintenance problem, an amp design problem, user error, or what. Grumpy’s going to have to try stuff and get back to us haha
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Re: The Guitar Doctor Is In

Post by Lunkhead » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:02 pm

I'd be happy to futz with that amp when I'm in Madison for Song Fight Live. Maybe we can do a virtual guitar doctor house-call over Skype or something. :)
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