Need some serious help with my lead tone!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by lifeson1, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    I really like my live setup, but as a gigging musician I'm really noticing that my leads aren't 'soaring' as much as I would like. I'm finding my notes are really dying without a lot of sustain, and they aren't as driving in the mix as I need them to be - especially with another guitar player in the band.

    Here's my setup:

    Amp> JTM 45 Clone into a 1x12 1x10 Cab
    Guitars> Music Man Axis or Modded Fender Strat
    Pedalboard: Tuner>EP Booster> Loopmaster controller> Boss Noise Supressor> Boss EQ>Amp

    Loop 1 for my main dirt is a BB+
    Loop 2 for added gain is a Timmy
    Loop 3 is my Boss Delay (or Time Factor)

    I used to have a Keeley two know compressor on the board but it's currently off. I also have had a Wampler Pinnacle on the board that is off, a Fulltone Clyde Deluxe, which my brother said to try for leads, and other time effects that are off the board.

    I was looking at a Zenkudo overdrive to maybe help with this issue coupled with the BB+, but I don't know if that will solve my issue. For my leads, I usually have both dirt loops engaged along with the Boss EQ, and periodic delays. The EP is on at all times. . . At low volumes, the amp is fine, it gives me the amount of headroom I need, but at club volumes I'm losing something. Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

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    whats the EQ on the amp and Boss pedal look like?
     
  3. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    It's a basic mid scooped setup with:

    Presence: 0
    Bass: one o clock
    Mids: ten o'clock
    Treb: two o clock

    And the eq is just a boost. . .
     
  4. JP~)

    JP~) Member

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    It's the BB, eveytime i put mine on the board it's the same as you describe.
     
  5. Whiskey N Beans

    Whiskey N Beans Supporting Member

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    Maybe turn up the mids and presence on your amp. Also, maybe try a more mid -heavy, TS type of OD for your leads. Hate to suggest a $200 fix but used Screwdriver will give you a lot more lead options too. Loving mine, not a bad sound in it. Sings for days.
     
  6. Seektone

    Seektone Member

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    I would say that if you have a scooped setup, make sure that during your leads, your tone is less scooped than your fellow guitarists. That will help you cut through. The amount of sustain is harder to diagnose. Trial and error is the best, but a few questions may help:

    What guitar are you playing? What type of music?
     
  7. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Scooping the mids will do it. That's where your guitar's voice lives for solos. I would try the Timmy in front of the BB+. When I put boosts in front of my favorite ODs and fuzzes, it helps them with definition and dynamics.
     
  8. Delayed Delay

    Delayed Delay Member

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    Hmm... You want more sustain yet you scoop your mids? That's certainly not the entirety of your issue, but that definitely doesn't help. Marshall's were made for teh mids; scooping them out would, IMO, hinder what that amp was designed for. Perhaps you'd feel more at home with a blackface style of amp instead?

    Definitely boost the mids for starters... A great compressor wouldn't hurt either. As long as you like the tone of your dirt pedals, a great compressor would be a great tool to get you more sustain without coloring your tone too much.
     
  9. dave s

    dave s Member

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    My 'live rig' philosophy: Start with the fattest clean tone you can squeeze from your amp, then add pedals to get boost, OD, dist, fuzz, or whatever you might need.

    I took a turn on a friend's JTM45 awhile back. Seemed to me the amp was pretty bright to begin with. Ended up with bass around 8, midrange 6, treble 2, presence OFF. We turned it up pretty good and stood about 20' in front of his 212 cab. HUGE clean tone.

    Then, we dialed in his pedals one at a time. Xotic RC boost for clean boost, a nice OD, a cruch box, a fuzz of sorts. Funny, they all sounded full and cut through like a hot knife through butter after that. Nothing was fizzy on the top end or in any danger of being lost in the mix.

    Lastly, you might want to add a delay to fatten up your leads. Always helps to get the notes to hold on for you.

    dave
     
  10. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    I agree with a lot of what is said above - why the scooped mids? I love midrange, so I would also agree with the suggestion of using a TS9 (or two).

    One thing no one mentioned is the NS - it might be cutting off the decay of your notes depending on your volume and its threshold. A good power supply might help getting rid of noise and won't have a tendency to ruin more things than it fixes (like the NS is often consider to do).
     
  11. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tips- ill definitely dial up the eq a bit, try dropping the Timmy in front, maybe look into the screwdriver, and dime the amp with my attenuator. I've been thinking about having it modded with a master volume and mmabe even turning it into more of a jcm 800 style amp. My number one guitar is an Axis and I also use a LP and a strat as backups.
     
  12. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Look into a PPIV rather than a traditional master volume. It is the best option I have found - stands for Post-Phase-Inverter-(master) volume.

    The Screwdriver is a great 'tame' fuzz (meaning not as much distortion as some boxes). The Lunar Module can do the same thing, but also has more on tap. Those are both very versatile for lead or rhythm, the Pig Mine will give you a ton of sustain if you go for a muff rather than a fuzz face type sound, but it is tough to use for rhythm IMO.
     
  13. ZeroChan

    ZeroChan Member

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    Nobody noticed that the OP has a noise supressor..maybe the threshold's too high on it.
     
  14. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

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    Good tips!!! Get the mids up, and try to fatten up the tone by using the least amount of gain you can feel comfortable with...
     
  15. gigs

    gigs Member

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    Great advice.
     
  16. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    Thought about adding that EP Booster at the end of the chain, maybe dialing that in just for my leads. Going to give it a whirl at the studio tomorrow night! Will report back, for sure!
     
  17. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I think its the noise suppressor. I think they work as advertised. But unfortunately good tone, sustain and dynamics are also "noise".


    dk
     
  18. AXXA

    AXXA Supporting Member

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    Personally, I'd jack the mids up and slam the input with a strong boost. Works for me. Are you able to stand near the amp? I find that can help sustain too. Volume and a little finger vibrato never hurt either of course!

    Noise suppressors freak me out. If its helping you, keep it, but maybe try it off the board in case its killing some sustain.
     
  19. lifeson1

    lifeson1 Supporting Member

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    I cannot stand too close to the amp, it feeds back like no other. I mainly use finger vibrato in my playing, but that's my issue with the notes dying out. I am going to kick off the noise gate to see what happens.

    It's funny you mention hitting it hard up front, because I was just at 30th St yesterday and Matt Brewster said the exact opposite. He said that hitting it hard up front was what was killing the signal on the output, making it thin out. Going to try a few things and then see where it goes. . . Thanks for the advice!
     
  20. dysorexia

    dysorexia Senior Member

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    Get the amp cooking. Don't worry about overdriving the preamp. That will just be thin overdriven tone. Get the power tubes going for soaring leads.
     

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