How are you dialing in your tones ?

LPV

Member
Messages
822
This is my second time around using a modeller. First was a lousy experience with an atomic amplifire which I subsequently gave up on.

But I’ve had the Helix for a year now and it’s all I’m using now with the band. Completely different experience. I’ve had none of the issues I had with the Amplifire but I’m also doing it differently.

I own the PA we practice with. 1000w on the mains and another 1000w on 2 massive 18” subs. The system is eq’d flat with an RTA mic and a DEQ2496 right in front of the power amps.

I dial in loud. I think this critical in getting the high end right. I use inears but also have my guitar in the monitors for the other guys. I have zero issues being heard or hearing myself and no problem cutting through the mix.

An error that I was making initially was cutting too much high end. The Fletcher Munson effect definitely is in play here. Walk 20-30 feet away from the mains and the high end really drops away. And trying to get a tone that would translate to the big system using a plastic speaker like an alto or headrush or crappy studio monitors is almost impossible.

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erniecaster

Member
Messages
924
Hi,

I do my homework first and finetune together with the band. I tell the guys that I need some time for this, so nobody gets angry.

cu

erniecaster
 

Pick53766

Member
Messages
1,259
Kemper here.

I am not a very serious musician so I kind of do quickly whatever seems to somewhat work and be done with it. Two approaches:

1) I have devised a set of EQ block presets (mid boost, high cut and so on) which I have on the device. I just load one of them as I feel/hear is appropriate. This is when I have the modeller only.

2) Fact is, that I seldom like the modeller alone so I would typically have a Kinsgley Jester + something in the dirt loop + a GE-7 in the other loop so I normally leave the Kemper be and tweak them knobbies on the pedals.
 

Lele

Member
Messages
1,980
I dial in loud.
I think this is the main point. And playing with the band or backing tracks similar to your band arrangements. In my case I did that (alone in the rehearsal room, loud levels, with backing tracks) and I put together some references presets, that later I fine-adjusted with my band (but few things were necessary).

From that point, it is easier for me to make new presets at home (with studio monitors and backing tracks) that are close to what works well with the band, because I can compare the tone balance against the presets I already made.

With headphones anyway the above procedure doesn't work well unfortunately.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,945
You seem to have learned the main lessons with using a modeler which is to focus on the endgame of what the audience will be hearing.

This is an older picture of my rehearsal space, but it captures all the main elements I find necessary to get my tones dialed in and gain staged appropriately.

The key pieces are the high end powered speaker which is a DXR 12 sitting at roughly chest height so I can give it some space to be able to hear it as the audience does. Additionally I have a QSC K 10.2 so I can get a good feel for the stage monitor setup. I always use the actual live mixing board as it's the best way I've found to gain stage my presets so they are always consistent for an entire performance. It also saves time when gain staging for a live performance.

I generally target around 85 to 90db SPL overall volume at around 8 feet to ensure I avoid Fletcher-Munson problems. There's really no reason to go higher than that since a higher volume won't have any effect on the tone. I don't really worry about the RTA process at home, just at the venue. These days I rehearse with a performance track to get a better feel for how the guitar will sit in the mix.

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Bruc

Member
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63
This is why I have strong concerns for live playing regarding getting Helix/Kemper or just staying on my pedalboard with DSM Simplifer at the end going directly to PA. With Simplifier there are just some tweaks needed with each different PA in different venues and I am ready to go. Would then different EQ saved settings on modelers be enough for quick fix of the sound right before the gig?
 

DunedinDragon

Member
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1,945
This is why I have strong concerns for live playing regarding getting Helix/Kemper or just staying on my pedalboard with DSM Simplifer at the end going directly to PA. With Simplifier there are just some tweaks needed with each different PA in different venues and I am ready to go. Would then different EQ saved settings on modelers be enough for quick fix of the sound right before the gig?
I very seldom if almost never have to do any kind of adjustments to my settings regardless of the PA unless it's a MUCH older PA with out of date technology. Todays systems tend to be so precise and accurate everything I do at home translates quite well to any normal venue. The only difference might come in with the venue acoustic environment, but as long as they have an RTA process at the mixer they can correct that pretty easily. And I shouldn't be doing any corrections for the acoustic environment because that affects ALL instruments and vocals equally so that's something that should be handled globally at the mixing board.
 

LPV

Member
Messages
822
This is why I have strong concerns for live playing regarding getting Helix/Kemper or just staying on my pedalboard with DSM Simplifer at the end going directly to PA. With Simplifier there are just some tweaks needed with each different PA in different venues and I am ready to go. Would then different EQ saved settings on modelers be enough for quick fix of the sound right before the gig?
Isn't that really just the exact same thing as using a Helix? In the end you're DI to the FOH. It's just a different way to generate that signal. Different tool to get the same result. I don't have a ton of live experience with my Helix but I was kinda shocked at how well it worked live. And I've done hundreds of hours of band rehearsals at full live volume and it's always sounded great unless I tried something dumb with a preset.
 

LPV

Member
Messages
822
I generally target around 85 to 90db SPL overall volume at around 8 feet to ensure I avoid Fletcher-Munson problems.
We play small stuff mostly but I still find I have to dial in a sound for about 20-30 feet away. The energy in low frequency waves is so much greater and what sounds bright in a small space quickly becomes darker at a distance like a tone control rolled off. Not a big deal if we're supplying PA but I find it easier to have a bit of top end dialed back at FOH rather than not have enough.
 

John Mark Painter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,581
That is a good method.
Mine is a bit backwards from that.

I am mainly a studio player. I get my sounds at moderate volume (85db) on studio monitors just like I would if I were doing overdubs and mixing.

The importance for me is that I get sounds IN CONTEXT.
I will play along with a song.
Or I will program a drum beat with SUperior Drummer and loop a bass track etc.

Then I will check that sound at a loud volume.
This always translates well for live use.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,945
We play small stuff mostly but I still find I have to dial in a sound for about 20-30 feet away. The energy in low frequency waves is so much greater and what sounds bright in a small space quickly becomes darker at a distance like a tone control rolled off. Not a big deal if we're supplying PA but I find it easier to have a bit of top end dialed back at FOH rather than not have enough.
That very well could be an attribute of using passive speakers. The modern powered speakers actually use separate amps for driving the high end (horn) and low end (speaker) frequencies that allow them to better project and blend evenly across larger spaces.
 

suparsonic

Member
Messages
3,908
Dialing in my tones on a Modeler takes way longer than my amp, it’s the problem with having to many options.
Ultimately I get a ball park tone at home and test it a rehearsal. What might sound great at home may not gel with the vocals or other instruments.
Rinse and repeat.
 

AlexMalaska

Member
Messages
720
That is a good method.
Mine is a bit backwards from that.

I am mainly a studio player. I get my sounds at moderate volume (85db) on studio monitors just like I would if I were doing overdubs and mixing.

The importance for me is that I get sounds IN CONTEXT.
I will play along with a song.
Or I will program a drum beat with SUperior Drummer and loop a bass track etc.

Then I will check that sound at a loud volume.
This always translates well for live use.
This. Context is King. One of the huge advantages of a modeler is that it's really easy to record it or play along to a backing tack of some kind and hear the sound in context to other instruments. I have gotten better sounds by doing this and then just checking at loud volumes than by just dialing in a loud naked guitar sound, saving it, and then hoping it will sound good in a mix when I load the patch at a gig.
 

John Mark Painter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,581
This. Context is King. One of the huge advantages of a modeler is that it's really easy to record it or play along to a backing tack of some kind and hear the sound in context to other instruments. I have gotten better sounds by doing this and then just checking at loud volumes than by just dialing in a loud naked guitar sound, saving it, and then hoping it will sound good in a mix when I load the patch at a gig.
It isn’t easy to develop that perspective. A lot of people will have a better batting average cranking up the volume like they are used to hearing it on stage with an amp.

I’m just the opposite :)
 
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1,174
I just got an ABY box and have a modeler on one side and a tube amp on the other side

and I try to get the modeler to sound like the tube amp

by AB-ing back and forth
 

AlexMalaska

Member
Messages
720
It isn’t easy to develop that perspective. A lot of people will have a better batting average cranking up the volume like they are used to hearing it on stage with an amp.

I’m just the opposite :)
Good point. I’ve only played with in-ears in church and been messing around with recording since the pandemic and got my HX Stomp concurrent with this development so it ended up being a natural move to also do the opposite I guess
 




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