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#1
i talked on the phone with the dude from Voodoo Amps about modd'ing my mesa amp
and we were talking and talking about this and that, and about what i liked to play and at what levels.
and it turns out that i told him that i used to run my pre-amp gain knob at 8.5, and i found myself turning the dial down lower and lower.
and he said that the ear develops as one gets older (he said specifically at age 40). and needs less pre-amp gain to sound metal/saturated.
i listen to many metal clips where i think the tone has the gain WAY too peg'ed for the style that's intended. even extreme-metal styles. regardless of whether the tone gets muddied with higher gain settings or not.
now a'days if i'm playing metal-style, i have my gain knob on about 5.5/6 and it sounds better than on 8

btw, the kind of metal i listen to are Obituary and **OLD** melevolent creation (retribution, 10 cmndmnts).

what are your thoughts?
#2
Most of today's high gain amps have more than enough gain for jsut about anything.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#3
I thinks that's true of all genres, not just metal. Most amateur guitarists use a lot more gain than is needed.

That said I have great respect for guitarists and bands that use more clean tones than dirty ones. Some very famous guitarists (won't say names as to prevent flaming) stay away from clean tones simply because the gain hides their sloppy playing.
Last edited by JayLacelle at Aug 14, 2010,
#4
I'm only 19, playing for 5 years now, and since quite some time I've actually found myself turning the gain down lower and lower, and just using the actual EQing to get more punch, crunch and clarity out of my gear. (Plus, sound's a lot tighter when you've got less gain going round)

I honestly can not believe how I ever could have thought using loads of gain sounded good, and it really bugs me hearing lots of songs these days with just 'too much' gain.

Actually hurts my ears oftentimes =/
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#5
Years ago I read in a guitar magazine some death-metal player talking about how you don't need that much gain and that a lot of players definitely over do it.
When I started playing guitar I HAD to have the gain up full, and I was like that for about 2 years, then I started turning the gain down as much as possible while still sounding aggressive.
#6
Interestingly, i've never used ultra high gain as far as distortion, i use a lot of fuzz usually but the way i use it gets more of a squishy sound than anything so its more just a sustained kind of synthy thing than a br00talz distortion setting.

Though the last few days i've been only using my amp distortion on a low to mid gain setting tbh, i like the tone and it's making me work harder to get the sound i want, you need to put more into every note similar to playing clean. I'd never given my amps crunch channel much of a chance till recently i suppose.
#7
16 year old here finding my self turning gain from ten down to about 4.5 - 6 because just like u said it just sounds better...
#8
I always had the gain knob full up, until I started recording, and realized it was way too much gain.
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#9
Yea im 15 and i now find less gain = MORE AWESOME
CAPITALISM
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#10
I noticed something funny, actually; With a 6505, I had more gain than I knew what to do with it at about 5 on the pre gain control.
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Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#11
To say that I play at 3/10 on the gain knob is rediculous. Every amp has a different amount of gain and on some amps you may need to have the gain fairly high to get the right amount of saturation going.

That said, you only ever need your gain high enough to give your plam mutes a thick, heavy tone. Anymore than that and it starts sounding like rubbish.
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#12
Yea, theres definitely a setting of gain perfect for palm muting, and any higher or lower it sounds either too crappy or not defined enough
CAPITALISM
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#13
I over do the gain cuz i liek itz dat way. But thats interesting that it sounds that way for you. I didn't think we had many guys at 40 her in the forums. I, being pretty young, enjoy having brutal amounts of gain at all times.
#14
Yeah, I have a peavey xxx with some pretty stupid hot pups (my preference and I can play many styles with them) and on my lead channel I have the gain set to about I'd say one o'clock or so? And I find that that is planety of gain and anything more is just adding noise, but i find that anything lower than like, 11.75 o'clock is too little and sounds too much like my crunch channel

but what you say is true as far as clearer, more expressive, etc
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Quote by gumbilicious
thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration
#15
Less gain is a better metal tone. Also, it adds clarity.

You don't have to be that old to tell what good tone is. Hell, I'm 18, been playing for 8 years, and I hardly ever run ANY of my amps past halfway. Metal or otherwise.

EDIT: 10 years. Not 8.
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Last edited by stratman_13 at Aug 14, 2010,
#16
Too many people tend to turn up the gain when they play at low levels to get more compression and sustain, and they don't turn it down or adjust their EQs or the Gain to compensate. I turn my gain down from 5 o'clock to 3 when i go from practice volume to jamming volume.

plus, when you record, everything gets compresses and gain gets added in later. better off recording lower gain tones because it'll sound clearer in the end.
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#17
I think every guitarists discovers this. I run the gain on 2 with a bad monkey boosting the front end of my Triple X. Sounds wonderful.
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#18
I always keep my preamp gain around 3.5 anything more sounds too compressed and is just excessive IMO especially if you're double/quad tracking as gain is cumiulative. Nice clean punchy distortion is the way to go
#19
I rock it at 5/12 gain. I thought everyone on UG was like TEH MAD GAINZ ON 13 PLUS TEH MAD DISTORTIONZ!!!!

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You tell me that it's evolution
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But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
#20
Gainwhoring sucks. I'm getting a Laney VC15 and that amp provides enough gain for me to do the metal I want. Getting a pair of PAFs too, so that Baf Monkey I just go. may come in handy for more than simple tone shaping.
#21
I rarely ever turn the gain past 6 or so on anything, except maybe the Mark IIC model on my POD. The Insane model really only needs it around 10%. Everything else I run between 54-65%.

That's for black metal and grindcore too, so it's not like I'm playing Nickleback covers.
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Last edited by STABxYOU at Aug 15, 2010,
#22
I play with my gain at 6.5. I used to play with it at 8 but I traded the extra gain for more mids.
I think the better you learn to eq your amp the less gain you will need to make it sound awesome.
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#23
I think it really depends on your pickups.. I have passives and i believe my bridge pickup is med-high output, so i like to keep the gain on my 6505+ around 5.7-6.1 or so.

Using less gain often goes hand in hand with scooping less mids. I remember 2 years ago when i got my first electric i was all scooped mids and gain at 10 sounds great.

Boy, was I wrong (and not playing in any bands thankfully until my 2nd year of playing )

Third year of playing now, and I think my gear preferences have progressed excellently (Alot of it due to this forum)
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Last edited by DakoRob at Aug 15, 2010,
#24
I decided to get lower gain pre amp JJ tubes to put in my XXX and now in order to get in metal territory I have to max the gain. I also use my MXR Classic Overdrive to tighten it up. Earlier I had the higher gain ones, and it got to the point that I was leaving the gain around 10 o clock because it was too much. Sadly I can't turn it up to truly let this beast shine since I live in an apartment complex
#25
Quote by sethp
i talked on the phone with the dude from Voodoo Amps about modd'ing my mesa amp
and we were talking and talking about this and that, and about what i liked to play and at what levels.
and it turns out that i told him that i used to run my pre-amp gain knob at 8.5, and i found myself turning the dial down lower and lower.
and he said that the ear develops as one gets older (he said specifically at age 40). and needs less pre-amp gain to sound metal/saturated.
i listen to many metal clips where i think the tone has the gain WAY too peg'ed for the style that's intended. even extreme-metal styles. regardless of whether the tone gets muddied with higher gain settings or not.
now a'days if i'm playing metal-style, i have my gain knob on about 5.5/6 and it sounds better than on 8

btw, the kind of metal i listen to are Obituary and **OLD** melevolent creation (retribution, 10 cmndmnts).

what are your thoughts?

I'm 21, going on 21, and for my metal tone, I keep my gain knob no higher than 6 at least 80% of the time. I use this for thrash, death metal, black metal, etc. i run a Randall MTS with an Ultra XL module that I'm using more and more than my SL+ nowadays, and I'm actually gonna mod the SL+ for less gain. I use less bass and gain than most people, and put my mids up higher.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#26
Less gain = easier time making your music sound dynamic. This is a good thing.
Quote by Marty Friedman
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#27
The gain on my Cobra can be set at 4 and still sound metal. I just usually kick it up to 6, so there's more saturation and thump. Too much gain makes you sound like balls.
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#28
If you need evidence that as you get more experienced you start reducing the gain just walk into a guitar store and watch all the 14 yo kids on the Spiders cranking the insane channel.
If you can't discern the notes you can't discern the wrong notes either.
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#29
Quote by Cathbard
If you need evidence that as you get more experienced you start reducing the gain just walk into a guitar store and watch all the 14 yo kids on the Spiders cranking the insane channel.
If you can't discern the notes you can't discern the wrong notes either.

This is very evident in AFI's last few albums. They've gone from Hardcore Punks to Intelligent Rockers and I attribute it all to maturity and personal growth.
#30
The amount of gain you use is completely personal to your tastes and of course depends on how you EQ your amp.

I use around 6-7 gain on lead 1 and lead 2 channels (They stack) on my ENGL Savage and that is a hell of a lot of gain.... However I boost my mids a lot also, my EQ is 7.5 bass, 10 mids, 4 treble. Which means if i want that punch I need the gain up high. I also have a compressor up front engaged in full.

Live my tone is pretty amazing. Classic Rock EQ with heaps of gain gives you a real roaring tone. However recording I would back the gain off a little.

Gain ***** reporting in, but it's better to gain ***** than to scoop mids in my opinion
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#31
Depends on what I'm going for, really. Sometimes I want that extra sizzle you get from cranked gain. Sometimes I want more clarity.
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#32
My Fireball runs at 2-3/10 gain, sometimes with a TS9 as a boost in front of it.
Anything past 5 on that thing sounds horrid.
I do not want to have a signature anymore.
#33
The more you turn your gain up, the less effective your EQ settings become. I try to keep my gain relatively low in most cases. It just sounds better in general, more defined.
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#34
Quote by Talentless
The amount of gain you use is completely personal to your tastes and of course depends on how you EQ your amp.

I use around 6-7 gain on lead 1 and lead 2 channels (They stack) on my ENGL Savage and that is a hell of a lot of gain.... However I boost my mids a lot also, my EQ is 7.5 bass, 10 mids, 4 treble. Which means if i want that punch I need the gain up high. I also have a compressor up front engaged in full.

Live my tone is pretty amazing. Classic Rock EQ with heaps of gain gives you a real roaring tone. However recording I would back the gain off a little.

Gain ***** reporting in, but it's better to gain ***** than to scoop mids in my opinion

This is tr00f. I do like to crank my Ultra XL's gain from time to time, but on average, it has as much gain as a Peavey 5150, so 1:00 on the dial is actually quite a lot. That's almost the case as well on my SL+, which once I mod it, will actually have LESS gain, and one of its sweet spots around there (I've done it before) is around 9:30-10:00, then one around 3:00 I believe.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Last edited by Shinozoku at Aug 15, 2010,
#35
Quote by Burgery
I always had the gain knob full up, until I started recording, and realized it was way too much gain.


this is how I figured it out too.

Saturation is great for some things, and def makes those pinch harmonics easier, but "heavy" and "saturated" are not the same thing by a long shot.

Too often I'll see someone plug into a 6505 (or similar high gain amp), and the first thing they'll do is dime the pre gain and barely open up the power amp. when I go over and "correct" this, they usually like the results. the furthest I'll push the pre gain knob on this particular amp is say noonish, maybe 1:00 for certain styles. On my VH4 I barely touch the gain on the 3rd & 4th ch's.

Many amps these days have soooo much gain on tap that they actually surpass the point of "useable gain." Jeff Diamont from Diamond amps describes this problem exactly in one of his amp demos (I forget which one).
#36
man,im 14 and everybody my age is like GAIN 10 METAL FOR LIFE,its annoying as f***
i always use a tube amp and set the gain around half,at most 7,and use a tube screamer for more push for solos n stuff,but yeah,dont use too much gain,you'll just look like an idiot.
#37
i think it depends on a lot of things. how hot the pups are, how good the speakers are, etc.

but that said, the most gain i use is 2:00-3:00. (tweaker, not a XXX or 6505 lol) After that point you lose clarity and things get unusable imo.

i do use a boost on top of that for solos, but not adding gain just volume.
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#38
I generally just turn the gain so it sounds fat and then stop when it starts just adding fizz and other such nonsense.
#39
Exactly. My way of EQing an amp:

Set volume for level of playing.

Turn everything to noon (gain to 9:00 if its a super high gainer, presence and density off of they have it).

Adjust mids for punch.
Adjust highs for cut.
Adjust bass for warmth/extra punch/tightness (so turning this down as needed).
Double check other knobs to see if I want anything different.
Adjust gain for punch and the slightest bit of sizzle.
Adjust presence and density.

Then I do a similar method for cleans, which I like to be punchy and crisp, yet with a bit of clang and warmth at the same time. I find a happy midpoint with presence and density controls after finding them for cleans.

I recently acquired an Ibanez TS7 and plan on integrating it mostly as a clean boost with some extra mids, using very little if any gain from it.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Last edited by Shinozoku at Aug 15, 2010,
#40
Is everyone waking up to this? Even lolSlayer's newest album has reasonable and desirable tones; it's clean and pristine, for them especially, yet is still heavy and fun.

It depends on what I'm trying to portray. Some old school black metal requires a gritty and harsh sound that begs for gain, but try playing Stemmen Fra Taarnet clean if you dig Burzum; it actually sounds just as great.
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