Okay... I suck with tones and stuff in general, as i've pretty much played my whole life on clean settings. I've recently started getting into stuff that requires lots of distortion.

my question is, how can I make muted percussive strums less... abrasive and noisy? I have a vox ad30vt but i've been mainly playing through my line6 toneport ux2 (with Gearbox.... more options to mess with). The idea i'm trying to get at is in "Peace of Mind" by boston, with the distorted guitar plays the intro chords later in the song. It has this raunchy badass tone but the muted strums are so clean, and I can't figure out how to get that. Any ideas? (I'm pretty much trying to get Tom Scholz tone out of minimal equipment)
I think the UK80's setting would get close to that, maybe add a tube screamer type OD on top for the sustain. My favorite od sound on the amp is the UK Modern which i feel really closely emulates a marshall jvm series so you might want to tweak it a little bit. With your toneport there should be some boston presets. To clean up the sound a bit try rolling your volume back to play the rythms to clean it up a bit. I don't know what else to really suggest. Sorry.
Boston's first two albums are masterpieces of 1970s post-production techniques and Scholz worked for years to get every nuance just right. In other words, you may be aiming pretty high unless you are an expert at recording. You might try a noise suppressor to try to eliminate some of the unwanted noise - set the threshold until the pick scrapes don't come through.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley