• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

WICKED WIKI 4: Adjusting Amp Gain

yek

Moderator
Moderator
If the Drive parameter in the Amp block doesn't get you the results you want, you can use various other methods to increase amp gain.

Here's a list. Reply if you have more suggestions!

  • Amp Gain in the Global menu: this applies to all Amp blocks, adding or subtracting up to 12dB of gain. It applies to ALL presets and therefore lends itself as a way to compensate for the differences in output between guitars, if you need that.
  • Input Trim in the Amp block: similar to Amp Gain, but with a range of +/- 20 dB gain and only applies to the current Amp block. You can use this parameter as a substitute for the Lead Drive control on a Mesa Mark amplifier or other amps which have two Drive/Gain controls. You can attach a controller to this parameter.
  • Master Volume in the Amp block: depending on the amp model, turning up Master Volume will increase power amp distortion. Turning it up too much on MV-models may result in mushy tones.
  • Master Volume Trim in the Amp block (firmware 10 and later): depending on the amp model, turning up Master Volume will increase power amp distortion. Turning it up too much on MV-models may result in mushy tones.
  • Boost in the Amp block: this works on the input signal. It boosts the entire signal by 12dB.
  • Bright in the Amp block: the gain of some amp types will increase if you engage their Bright switch. Examples: Plexi and Euro Blue.
  • Transformer (Xformer) Drive in the Amp block: this advanced parameter affects the way the virtual transformer in the power amp stage operates. It models the core saturation in the output transformer.
  • Transformer (Xformer) Match in the Amp block: this parameter affects how the virtual power tubes are driven into clipping. The higher the Master Volume setting the more pronounced the effect.
  • Saturation switch in the Amp block: this switch emulates a famous preamp mod (known as the "Jose" or "Arrendondo" mod) on Marshall-type amps. It switches in a zener diode clipping stage right before the tone stack. It's enabled by default on the Cameron Ch.2 model.
  • Clean boost: you can put a "neutral" effect block before the Amp block and increase its level to boost the input signal. It's operates the same as the Boost switch, but this method lets you finetune the amount of boost. A Filter, set to Null, works great for this purpose because it doesn't use much CPU capacity and it lets you attach a controller to Level (not possible with Boost in the Amp block). For more "mojo", try a FET Boost or Tape Dist instead.
  • Old school hard-rock/metal trick: put a (virtual) OD pedal such as the TS808 before the Amp block, set to zero gain (Drive) and maximum level. Decrease Drive in the Amp block to prevent too much saturation. This tightens the overall tone and bass response.
  • Adding an extra tube gain stage: finally, you can virtually mod an amp yourself by adding a "tube gain stage". Put a Tape Dist before the Amp block, set it to HV tube, use a moderate Drive setting and set Level as appropriate for the amp block it's driving. Source: Jay Mitchell.
Now go rock!

Wiki: How to adjust amp gain

To get a list of all Wicked Wiki threads: type "Wicked Wiki" in the Search box.
 
Last edited:

MaxTwang

Experienced
Thanks Yek, here's some more:

Tone Location - this can add a lot of gain depending on where you place the Tonesstack
Tonestack Type is a great parameter for getting the gain just right and increasing gain with active tone controls.
Triode Hardness get's more crunchy on the lower settings, punchy on the higher settings.
Grid Modelling turn on for more gain detail (but don't call it fizz).
Speaker Drive turn up to simulate driving the speaker
Speaker Motor Drive Found on the Cab tab turn up to add some compression from simulating driving the speaker motor to the point of heating up the magnet and weakening/distorting the magnet's field.
 
Last edited:

yek

Moderator
Moderator
How about:
Tone Location - this can add a lot of gain depending on where you place the Tonesstack
Tonestack Type is a great parameter for getting the gain just right and increasing gain.
Triode Hardness get's more crunchy on the lower settings.
Grid Modelling for more gain detail (but don't call it fizz).
Speaker Drive to simulate driving the speaker
Speaker Motor Drive on the Cab tab to add some compression from simulating driving the speaker motor to the point of heating up the magnet.
Indeed!

I was focussing strictly on the "amount" of gain. The things you mention do affect gain / distortion too, maybe in particular the color and detail of it.
 

Home Skillet

Inspired
Wow. Thanks for doing this. I've always done the old school method with a ts808 before the amp. I can't wait to try the other techniques later.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
Input trim is a fantastic thing. If you just need a little more, 1.1 to 1.3 on this parameter does wonders.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yek

jon

Fractal Fanatic
Bright cap and power tube bias!

Edit - From the wiki:
BRIGHT CAP — Sets the value of a virtual capacitor to determine the sonic effect of the BRIGHT switch (above). Increasing this will make the preamp brighter and vice versa.
POWER TUBE BIAS — Sets the bias point of the virtual power amp. Lower values approach pure Class-B operation. Higher values approach pure Class-A operation.

The bright cap effectively increases the preamp gain, and the power tube bias will set the tubes to work harder. Bright cap results in more overall gain, and power tube bias will give more saturation....more 'fizz'
 
Last edited:

krcassid

Inspired
Hmmm....I've never touched this. Something new to mess with tonight!
I use this frequently and even assign an expression pedal to it. I look at it as the ultimate clean drive or attenuator. It's like an extension of my volume knobs. If I understand it correctly, it's no different than putting a clean boost before your amp to drive the amp. I find it more useful than other things that might affect my tone. I guess you could probably accomplish the same thing with a null filter before the amp but this is easier and exists already in every preset.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I use this frequently and even assign an expression pedal to it. I look at it as the ultimate clean drive or attenuator. It's like an extension of my volume knobs. If I understand it correctly, it's no different than putting a clean boost before your amp to drive the amp. I find it more useful than other things that might affect my tone. I guess you could probably accomplish the same thing with a null filter before the amp but this is easier and exists already in every preset.
I use it with single coil guitars more often than not. I can't hit the red with the input maxed, but this really helps to kick it up a tad so that I can hit the front of the amp a bit harder without having mess with the overall gain structure and tone of the amp in a preset that's already dialed in.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Input trim is a fantastic thing. If you just need a little more, 1.1 to 1.3 on this parameter does wonders.
truly. It is also great for compensating for guitars with different outputs, like single coils vs. humbuckers. Just assign a controller to it, set it for a range to boost your low output single coil pickups
 
Top Bottom