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I can't seem to get ANY good tones?

Oscarraap

Member
Well, I played your patch with my JP6 BFR and it sounds good. (You were using a User Cab that was unidentifiable, so I just loaded Factory #43 cab which is a 4x12 Recto SM57.) I don't hear anything that sticks out to me as a bad patch. I'd tweak it a little more to my liking, but that's just because of my ears and setup. Sorry that I couldn't be more of a help to you.
Well, a second opinion is always helpful, so thanks for trying. Im gonna try monitors.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Hey guys, I have the XL for one year and Im still struggeling a lot with harschness. I prefer the Mesa Boogie sound that well known musicians have achieved but me Im fighting these amps (or the axe?) somehow. I did a lot of reading on the forum and the actual amp manuals,

Im using headphones
The problem with headphones is that there is no acoustic reinforcement of the guitar. There is zero coupling between the speakers (inside the headphones) and the guitar. Without that coupling, which is a type of positive feedback, the sound is lifeless, thin and harsh.

When your heroes recorded their guitar parts that weren't using headphones.

On "Appetite for Destruction" Slash recorded his guitar parts in the control room. To get even more coupling into the guitar a combo amp was in the control room with him pointed at the guitar. A volume pedal allowed him to adjust the volume of the combo amp so he could control the coupling. With the volume pedal all the way up he could get controlled feedback.

I've actually done tests comparing the spectrum out of the guitar when there is no coupling (i.e. monitors turned off) and with typical coupling (monitors loud or using a conventional cab). The boost in the low midrange is significant. I forget the actual numbers but it was at least several dB.
 

rodzimguitar68

Fractal Fanatic
Have you watched Mikko's video about tuning the Mesa Models? One thing that surprised me was that he turned the BASS knob down to 0, and then used the graphic EQ in the Amp block to put bass back in there. I don't understand enough about amps or electronics to understand how that works, but it did help remove the flabbiness of Mesa, that I normally had struggled with, because I would turn the bass up to 5 or whatever, like a normal human being.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Have you watched Mikko's video about tuning the Mesa Models? One thing that surprised me was that he turned the BASS knob down to 0, and then used the graphic EQ in the Amp block to put bass back in there. I don't understand enough about amps or electronics to understand how that works, but it did help remove the flabbiness of Mesa, that I normally had struggled with, because I would turn the bass up to 5 or whatever, like a normal human being.
Mesa Mark amps have the tone stack before the gain stages. Therefore the purpose of the tone stack is to shape the input EQ. A common theme among high gain amp designs is to reduce the amount of bass before the gain stages. So with a Mesa you do this with the tone stack by turning the bass way down. The higher the gain, the less bass you want.

The Mark IV owner's manual reinforces this point: "...note that too much bass combined with too much of a LEAD GAIN setting will take away from the tight, highly focused sound...".

Personally I wouldn't set it to zero but I use more moderate amounts of gain.
 

Oscarraap

Member
Thank you for the details about coupling. I had no idea it has such an impact. I will try it.

I know about the bass with mesa amps, thanks, its fairly under control. I seem to struggle with achieving smoothness and avoiding harshness. Im using the darkest IR's available (ownhammer sm57 on position 4, which is on the edge of the cone mixed with R121) to get anywhere.

In another attempt to smooth things I put the Mark IV 2200 fader at -3, which I think is an unusual setting, but it seems to take some harshness out. Also presence really low at 3 and cab hi cut at 7500.

Cheers!
 
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Rex

Legend!
Try changing the Cab High Cut slope to 12 dB per octave. If that's not enough, try dropping it down to 7000 Hz.

I don't think 2200 Hz is where your harshness lives.
 

xprophet

Inspired
I strongly recommend purchasing all of Moke's presets. If you are using monitors, then you will immediately get amaZing tones. Moreover, you can learn how to tweak your own from these delicious goodies. If you don't have amazing results right off the bat, then there is something wrong with your system. Seriously, buy the presets and you will thank me later...or rather Moke!
 

AtomicBlaze

Inspired
I am getting amazing tones through my headphones, using DT770s. I finally got over my fear of modifying the advanced parameters in the amp modeling and I can get exactly any tone in my head now. If I were you I would pick your favorite amp and really just explore the advanced settings one at a time to see how much you can sculpt your tone. Also learn to get really good at using EQ, that is one of your most powerful tools. You also might want to try the 3 Sigma IRs, I have a found a few IRs that work for most of my tones and it really simplifies the process, because I know I am starting with a great IR which can be half the battle.
 

H13

Inspired
Did I mention that cabinet is everything?

Once you find a cab that you like, you're in business. I actually use the same cab for every tone, simply because I "know" it so I know how to get what I want from it.

Sure, it might be more "accurate" for a Fender Twin to be plugged into a 2x12 combo, but I get a pretty damn good sound out of my Mesa 4x12, combined with a custom IR that I tone-matched from a studio session I did once.
 

Tommy Tempest

Experienced
How about the secret to good in ear tone is learning how to EQ a guitar....
Exactly. I've seen so many complaints from posters claiming their sound is muffled, flat, etc. I credit that to too much bass and poor EQ. After getting the AXE and coming from a Triaxis, I decided to rethink the entire process and find out why the guitar Gods have such great tone on their CD and live. So I searched for isolated guitar tracks on Youtube and was shocked. They sound great with the whole band and terrible by themselves. You can have a great preset. But without proper EQ, it usually sounds bad.
 

Jason W.

Inspired
Maybe you could specify what you mean here?

Cab modeling is on! Global EQ levels are all flat. Does tweaking these settings make a big difference (and where do I start?)
Have you adjusted your input level? Go to the I/O menu and dial your signal to where your just tickling the reds.
 
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