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Tone Envy - A Case of the Fizzies

mrstrat

Experienced
As you can hear below, all of my high-gain presets have the "Fizzies", this very high frequency artifacts that are driving me crazy! :-x


I've heard sooo many excellent sounding high gain clips out there. (Sean Ashe's Mesa Youtube videos were what sold me on the Axe)

For whatever reason, despite spending hours and hours trying to nail these tones, I'm not able to figure it out. Gaaaaah!

Anyway, any guidance from this great group would be most appreciated! :)

BTW, this is Mark Day's HBE preset w/no modifications, using OH Beta 412 Bogner V31 SM57 6 IR. Direct/dry> MOTU 8 Pre > Acid Pro.
 

GM Arts

Power User
Well, I consider myself (over)sensitive to high end crap, and I've heard a lot worse than your soundclip.

Can you let us know your signal chain, and also an example of what sort of tone you're striving for? Will help a lot when folks make suggestions.
 

Wolfy

Member
Mark uses way too much gain (he admits it freely), and I think your clip of his preset shows this. Try backing down and approaching your tone from a lower gain setting. Also, Mark's clips often sound great because his guitar sits nicely in the mix with the backing track, but if you listened to a direct recording of his preset you might hear something like your current tone.
 

groovenut

Power User
One way (and there are many) of getting the "fizzies" under control is to use the Triode 1 and/or Triode 2 plate frequency controls in the amp block advanced parameters. Each controls a Low Pass R/C Filter on the plates of the last two triode gain stages in the circuit. You can see Triode 2 is at 10500.3Hz in it's stock value. I recommend starting with one (doesn't matter which one at this point) and reducing the frequency. The effect can be very subtle (much like the "fizzies" you are talking about) so move the control a little and play a lot. With some tweaking I am sure you can find the tone you are looking for. Please report back here so others can know the results of your experiments.
 

clarky

Axe-Master
also.... try replacing the cab with the 4x12 25W cos it's much softer with respect to the extreme highs
and then dial it's hi-cut down to about 7500
 

mrstrat

Experienced
Well, I consider myself (over)sensitive to high end crap, and I've heard a lot worse than your soundclip.

Can you let us know your signal chain, and also an example of what sort of tone you're striving for? Will help a lot when folks make suggestions.
Thanks GM, I'm running a Suhr Standard with a JST DSH Humbucker direct into the Axe II > GT1000FX > 2 x Yamaha SM15MV's. My pre-Axe II rig was a Mesa Triaxis > TC Gforce > Simul 2:90 > EV12M & Celestion G12T-75 1 x 12 custom cabs. I always loved the Rock tones from that rig, but I wasn't able to get the chimey cleans I want. And the slight break-up tones (SRV) were not good. Ironically, I'm able to get amazing clean and slight break-up tones, but haven't been able to nail the Classic Rock tones yet. I get closest when I run the Axe > Simul 2:90 > EVM & Celestion. But I really want to get those great Rock tones using FRFR setup.

My band does 70's, 80's, 90's rock covers. (I know, a lot of ground to cover...which is why I was so stoked about the flexibility of the Axe) But my bread and butter tone is the Classic Rock pushed Plexi and Brown sounds. (AC/DC to Van Halen)

Thanks again for your help!! :)
 

mrstrat

Experienced
Mark uses way too much gain (he admits it freely), and I think your clip of his preset shows this. Try backing down and approaching your tone from a lower gain setting. Also, Mark's clips often sound great because his guitar sits nicely in the mix with the backing track, but if you listened to a direct recording of his preset you might hear something like your current tone.
Great suggestions Wolfy, I'll try backing off the gain a bit. I'll try adding a backing track and see if it mellows out the highs.
 

mrstrat

Experienced
PEQ cutting everything above 10k ... do it and tell me what you think.
Hi Rocker, thanks for the suggestion. I had actually thought of this...is everyone using PEQ to get rid of the Fizzies?? I had thought that the cab IRs should eliminate the need to slap PEQ on the signal chain? I'm willing to do it, I just assumed that it was the "easy" way out, and that I was missing some other important setting.
 

mrstrat

Experienced
One way (and there are many) of getting the "fizzies" under control is to use the Triode 1 and/or Triode 2 plate frequency controls in the amp block advanced parameters. Each controls a Low Pass R/C Filter on the plates of the last two triode gain stages in the circuit. You can see Triode 2 is at 10500.3Hz in it's stock value. I recommend starting with one (doesn't matter which one at this point) and reducing the frequency. The effect can be very subtle (much like the "fizzies" you are talking about) so move the control a little and play a lot. With some tweaking I am sure you can find the tone you are looking for. Please report back here so others can know the results of your experiments.
Wow, great suggestion Groove. I'll experiment with this when I get home tonight. I absolutely will share my results. Thanks! :)
 

clarky

Axe-Master
Hi Rocker, thanks for the suggestion. I had actually thought of this...is everyone using PEQ to get rid of the Fizzies?? I had thought that the cab IRs should eliminate the need to slap PEQ on the signal chain? I'm willing to do it, I just assumed that it was the "easy" way out, and that I was missing some other important setting.
cab choice is killer with hi-gain..
cos some of them will aggressively enhance the highs
 

RockerAlex

Inspired
Hi Rocker, thanks for the suggestion. I had actually thought of this...is everyone using PEQ to get rid of the Fizzies?? I had thought that the cab IRs should eliminate the need to slap PEQ on the signal chain? I'm willing to do it, I just assumed that it was the "easy" way out, and that I was missing some other important setting.
I don't see it as easy nor "cheating" in any way, those frequencies cause fizz so if you don't like it remove them.

Grid modelling off also helps a great deal.
 

GM Arts

Power User
Thanks GM, I'm running a Suhr Standard with a JST DSH Humbucker direct into the Axe II > GT1000FX > 2 x Yamaha SM15MV's. My pre-Axe II rig was a Mesa Triaxis > TC Gforce > Simul 2:90 > EV12M & Celestion G12T-75 1 x 12 custom cabs. I always loved the Rock tones from that rig, but I wasn't able to get the chimey cleans I want. And the slight break-up tones (SRV) were not good. Ironically, I'm able to get amazing clean and slight break-up tones, but haven't been able to nail the Classic Rock tones yet. I get closest when I run the Axe > Simul 2:90 > EVM & Celestion. But I really want to get those great Rock tones using FRFR setup.

My band does 70's, 80's, 90's rock covers. (I know, a lot of ground to cover...which is why I was so stoked about the flexibility of the Axe) But my bread and butter tone is the Classic Rock pushed Plexi and Brown sounds. (AC/DC to Van Halen)

Thanks again for your help!! :)
Lots of good suggestions already. I can probably only add that I often use a filter block set to low pass, 4th order set at about 6KHz but with a Q set to about 1.2 - this gives a small peak just before the cut-off frequency for a little high-end bite without the fizz.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Thanks GM, I'm running a Suhr Standard with a JST DSH Humbucker direct into the Axe II > GT1000FX > 2 x Yamaha SM15MV's. My pre-Axe II rig was a Mesa Triaxis > TC Gforce > Simul 2:90 > EV12M & Celestion G12T-75 1 x 12 custom cabs. I always loved the Rock tones from that rig, but I wasn't able to get the chimey cleans I want. And the slight break-up tones (SRV) were not good. Ironically, I'm able to get amazing clean and slight break-up tones, but haven't been able to nail the Classic Rock tones yet. I get closest when I run the Axe > Simul 2:90 > EVM & Celestion. But I really want to get those great Rock tones using FRFR setup.

My band does 70's, 80's, 90's rock covers. (I know, a lot of ground to cover...which is why I was so stoked about the flexibility of the Axe) But my bread and butter tone is the Classic Rock pushed Plexi and Brown sounds. (AC/DC to Van Halen)

Thanks again for your help!! :)
You're not going to hear the same thing through FRFR that you heard from guitar cabs. Your audience will hear something very similar but you won't. What you're hearing through FRFR is a mic'd representation of the cabs. It takes some getting used to. You have to start thinking like a producer/engineer rather than a guitar player. If you start trying to dial out what you call "fizz" and "artifacts" you're going to end up with a tone that doesn't cut. It might sound good to you but it won't fit in the mix. That fizz and sizzle is what makes those classic rock tones work. Listen to some isolated tracks of VH and AC/DC and you'll hear a ton of high-end sizzle. In the mix, however, it's not noticeable. If you remove it then the guitar sounds dead.
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Cliff beat me to it.

Try that 'fizzy' tone in a mix first - then decide.

In fact, keep that tone, save it to the next preset and then dial that 'fizzy' tone out.

Next rehearsal or gig, try switching back and forth between the two.

We are so used to hearing things as guitarists; when you use direct-to-FOH/FRFR, you need to hear it like an engineer. You need that 'extra' crap that sounds fizzy to cut.

On the flip though, that is a LOT of preamp gain there in the clip and personally, I'd lower that drive level way down and use the input trim to get the right balance of sustain. Another factor here is that IR was done using a SM57 and *that* is a MAJOR contributor to that 'fizzy' thing you are hearing. It will work in a mix; a 'naked' SM57 all alone like that will sound nasal, fizzy and irritating solo'd out.
 

cobbler

Fractal Fanatic
It was about a year ago I came across a couple of Led Zep tunes with isolated tracks. I played the drum part. Pretty much what I expected. Same with the bass. Then I played the guitar trak and was astonished. It sounded like utter crap. I said to myself this has to be corrupted or something. Played them all together and it sang. Yep, that's the tune. Replayed the solo track. Just terrible.

It was then that I finally got what all you guys were saying by "how it sits in the mix". The next day I bought "Mastering Audio" by Bob Katz.

Eye opening is all I can say. One of the moments you might say when the light bulb went on.
 

Sean Ashe

Experienced
Oh wow man thank you so much for the shoutout, to be perfectly honest I don't think it sounds too bad at all. Hi End is soooo important and even in those Mesa Videos I had online, there were tons of 'fizz'. That's good :) Usually it gets lost in the mix/master but they're still there. If they weren't there, it would sound really bland and dead
 
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