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My leads are not cutting through - need a great lead tone!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Gasp100, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I'm using a Caline Pure Sky (Timmy clone) for basic breakup and a REVV G2 which is amazing for rock rhythms. The G2 can seriously do it all, but of course no presets so I stick with one tone and run with it; the G2 stacked into the pure sky is "pretty good" for getting lead tones, still not popping out.
    I also have a Joyo US Dream dedicated to leads and the box is super loud at home, but just disappears at gigs?
    The G2 + Caline simply sounds better with much more clarity.

    I DON'T want another G2. I would consider a G3 but these suckers ain't cheap!
    What single pedal would give me big, bold, beautiful rock lead tones like Luke or Schon without the mess of chorus/delay, etc.

    I'm going into a clean amp OR a Strymon Iridium set to very clean Deluxe Reverb...

    THIS SHOULD BE EASY!

    Maybe a Friedman BE-OD? Deluxe?
    Maybe Dirty Shirley and make the G2 my lead tone?
    Other thoughts?

    I owned an Archer Ikon for a bit, had huge volume boost behind my drives but I didn't like the character - I know I need mids, but it was way too middy. The best tones were the Archer driving my drives, but then that was just more gain, no volume.
     
  2. Purple_Plexi

    Purple_Plexi Member

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    Try it the other way around. Bump up the mids on the G2. I'm sure there are suitable tones to be had.
     
    twoheadedboy likes this.
  3. darkwaters

    darkwaters Member

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    I like to place an equalizer before the OD. That way you can shape your clean tone multiple ways and goose the OD with frequencies that cut thru, if desired.
     
    Tonekat and Steve73 like this.
  4. andy474x

    andy474x Member

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    Funny, Dirty Shirley was the first thing that popped into my mind when reading the first part of your thread, glad you mentioned it. I use the DS for the majority of my lead tones, because it sounds great, and has tons of mid that can be dialed in if needed. I would consider either running the DS after the G2, so you can use either alone or both if you want to push the DS front end some.

    If my description of “lots of mids” scares you after the experience with the Ikon, let me say, the mids are more focused and overall more articulation than a K style drive. I use a Tumnus as the other part of my lead boost equation frequently, but always as the first stage going into something else, it will add a dose of midrange but the following stage will clean up the EQ.
     
    Gasp100 and phazersonstun like this.
  5. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    A Butler Tube Driver will stomp over anything, with its high output. Run the gain lower, and output around middling. I kept the tone on my three-knob version a little past noon.
     
  6. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    Getting leads to cut through a mix is a simple matter of adequate volume and enough mids. If your volume is already fine for rhythms, you need more mids. Based on the pedals you mentioned you already have, and the ones you're considering buying, my guess is you're playing into a clean amp and using pedals for dirt.

    If that's the case, then what I'd recommend is getting a clean boost pedal with EQ controls and put it after your dirt pedals. Set that pedal to boost your mids and maybe cut some lows and a slight cut in the highs. You can also give it a slight volume boost. Doing that can make even the thinnest pedal jump out for leads.

    A couple of pedals I'd recommend for that - TC Spark full size. Mooer Pure Boost.

    I use both of those for precisely that - getting leads to cut through a mix. For example, take the Pure Boost. It has volume, bass, treble, and gain controls. I have the volume almost maxed, the gain between 0 and 3 depending on how much additional volume I want, the bass control is set to about 10:30, treble also around 10:30. By lowering the bass and treble and turning up the volume, the net effect is a nice bump in mids, plus a little bit of extra volume. That makes my leads really jump out.

    You can do the same with the TC Spark.

    If you're happy with your rhythm tones, there's no need for another dirt pedal. You just need a bump in mids and volume for leads. The clean boost pedal AFTER your dirt pedal is the best way of doing this.

    Someone else mentioned a pedal before your dirt pedals. That doesn't work nearly as well as putting the clean boost w/EQ after your dirt pedal. Plus, a pedal in front of a dirt pedal will not give you more volume, just more gain. You don't need that, you need a bit more volume and a bump in mids. The only way to do that is with the boost/EQ after your dirt.

    BTW, if your amp has an FX loop, put the boost w/EQ in the loop. That's even more effective. If you don't have a loop, then just put the boost/EQ after your dirt pedal.
     
    lhama and Balok like this.
  7. AuntieDiluvian

    AuntieDiluvian Member

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    This. You want to take the space in the mix that the vocalist(s) normally occupy when you shift to lead.
     
    Calebz, SimAlex, twoheadedboy and 5 others like this.
  8. phazersonstun

    phazersonstun Member

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    I can add a strong +1 to the Dirty Shirley. That being said, if you like the basic lead tone you have but just need it pop through more, an eq after gain with the mids tuned in & a little more volume just plain works.
     
    Gasp100 and andy474x like this.
  9. Mike J.

    Mike J. Member

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    I have a Dirty Shirley Pedal that combines great with my Vemuram Jan Ray (close ballpark to your Pure Sky). But cutting through means increasing mids and decreasing bass...
     
    Spooky Action and Gasp100 like this.
  10. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I actually like the G2 as my main rock rhythm tone (of course it really can be dialed to do anything).
    I think I prefer a slightly different voice for leads. I had the DS mini amp and it was killer. The Dirty Shirley pedal into clean Blackface amp is very intriguing.

     
  11. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    OK, so here's what I would personally do in that situation - put the Caline Pure Sky before the G2, then add one of the clean boost pedals I mentioned after the G2. When it's time for a lead, kick on the Caline for more sustain and the clean boost for more mids and volume. Problem solved. This is what I do.

    For the record, I have a Caline Pure Sky, Joyo US Dream, Dirty Shirley pedal, Mooer Pure Boost, TC Spark, and about 50 other pedals.

    With the G2, US Dream, and Caline, you don't need another dirt pedal to accomplish what you're trying to do. All you need is to re-order the Caline and G2 and stick a clean boost w/EQ adjustments as your last pedal.

    That said, that is all you "need" to accomplish your goals. If you're like me, the gear I have has very little to do with what I "need". I just like messing around with different gear depending on my mood. But at gigs, I do stick to what I "need" to get me the tones I want. When I'm playing through a clean amp, my dirt pedal chain looks like this ---

    Guitar > Low gain dirt (ala Pure Sky, etc...) > Medium to high gain dirt (ala Dirty Shirley, Xotic SL, Joyo Uzi, etc..) > clean boost (Mooer Pure Boost or TC Spark). That's all I need for great rhythm tones that don't step on the vocals and great lead tones that really cut through the live mix.

    And I do cover Luke and Schon tunes.
     
    Gasp100 likes this.
  12. Phopper

    Phopper Member

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    I find higher gain pedals to be pretty bad at lead tones. I like to find a good mid gain pedal that has some mid push to it. Currently I like the Zendrive for this. Set the gain fairly low, volume fairly high and step on it to poke out of the mix with just a bit of added drive. Of course this works ideally in a gain stacking scenario where you already have one or two drives on.
     
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  13. Comanche5

    Comanche5 Member

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    You should be fine with what you have. Make sure you set up your gear in a band setting rather than in isolation.
     
  14. dirtytony

    dirtytony Member

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    TS808HW best sounding overdrive ever... as it sounds like a vintage one, you can set it on the treble side and have great sound without it being thin, love it
     
  15. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Silver Supporting Member

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  16. Nicks

    Nicks Member

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    Do you have a photo of how the pedals are set? Are the levels turned up high? It could be that you are already driving the input of your amp and have run out of headroom.

    When I have been unable to get a decent boost in volume it is because I’m running the boost into a gain stage that is already overdriving.

    I use a Timmy for my solo boost, it has loads of level on tap, could you not put that at the end of your drive pedals?
     
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  17. ChipOnly

    ChipOnly Supporting Member

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    Would suggest turning knobs on amps, pedals, rearranging order before spending money. You already have the tools to EQ that tone, try some different strategies. Way forward rarely a straight line and usually not just a matter of buying stuff....
     
    darkwaters likes this.
  18. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    I'd say just more mids. Depending on the song I sometimes use more gain for leads. Adds sustain, makes pinch harmonics easier, makes it easier to get controlled feedback while holding a note, etc...

    Come to think of it, I almost always use less gain for rhythm tones and more gain for leads.
     
    riffy likes this.
  19. Scordare

    Scordare Member

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    If you like the tone and response, I would say just add an eq after your dirt. Boost the level slightly and find a mid frequency to boost if needed.
     
  20. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Member

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    Something I never hear mentioned in these types of threads is that maybe the other guitar player, keyboard player, etc. might want to back down a little when you are talking a solo. I'm sure I never did that because I was always focusing on me (the bass, typically).
     

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