#1
lately i have been rolling back the gain a lot, because i think high gain can cover many mistakes while low gain forces you to be clean and accurate.
the distortion im talking about is for shred solos, so a lot of alternate picking and some legato/sweeps/taps. how do you know when the gain is enough and when you are using too much?

thanks
#2
Well technically, gain doesn't cover anything, it makes mistakes ring louder. It's harder to play extremely cleanly with gain.
(although I hate it when people use too much gain)

Sadly, I can't really help you with your question. To me, too much gain is when it sounds like sh!t.
#3
You listen to it. Does it sound good? Yeah? Then leave the gain exactly there.
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#4
Honestly, it's subjective. I've always seen too much gain as being the amount that causes your tone to lose clarity.
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#5
to me, too much gain is when it's there to cover mistakes. if you can play cleanly using super high gain, then brilliant. if you use that much gain to cover up mistakes, it's too much and you should work on technique.
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#6
you're never using too much gain.

just turn the gain all the way up and learn how to play clean with just your pick attack.
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#7
I've always felt the best way to tell is to get right in front of your amp and listen to it. Either that or throw a mic up right in front and record something. I've noticed a lot of times that I'll think something sounds fine from the speaker that's down on my floor, but when I put my ear in line with it, I can hear all the fuzz and static and it just sounds like I'm playing sludge. It's subjective, but I think making sure you're in line with the amp when you judge helps a lot, as does recording. Listening back to a recording is completely different than hearing your self live. You'll be a lot more critical of your sound in most cases because that's all there is to judge, not any feel of how you think you did.
#8
It's honestly not even that high gain covers mistakes. It just compresses your tone to make your lead lines sound smoother than they really are.
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I took a pic of myself, cut a hole in the face and stuck my knob through so i could see what I'd look like if I got bitten by a radioactive elephant.
#9
I used to heap the gain on almost everything I played. I rolled back and found that my guitar cuts through the mix better now.
There are occasions when I'll crank it, but not that often.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
#10
Quote by AcousticMirror
you're never using too much gain.

just turn the gain all the way up and learn how to play clean with just your pick attack.
To be fair, you dime the gain on a 6505 or something, pick attack starts to become less effective.
Quote by MightyAl
I took a pic of myself, cut a hole in the face and stuck my knob through so i could see what I'd look like if I got bitten by a radioactive elephant.
#11
Quote by Anty 7
Well technically, gain doesn't cover anything, it makes mistakes ring louder. It's harder to play extremely cleanly with gain.
(although I hate it when people use too much gain)

Sadly, I can't really help you with your question. To me, too much gain is when it sounds like sh!t.

Only to a point though. A lot of people have a habit of using gain until you can't hear their mistakes.
If it's too muddy and not enough note definition for you, dial back the gain.
#12
Quote by Ferrets!
To be fair, you dime the gain on a 6505 or something, pick attack starts to become less effective.


pick softer.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
Quote by Ferrets!
Honestly, it's subjective. I've always seen too much gain as being the amount that causes your tone to lose clarity.


+1
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#15
When you find the speaker voice coils in a molten pool in the bottom of the cab.. really.
#16
Quote by AcousticMirror
pick softer.
I'll start playing with a feather.

But in all seriousness, I've always been an advocate of the logic of "crank the amp more and play lighter." I generally try to dial in an amount of gain that'll bite and have good crunch when I dig in, but clean up really well when I play light.
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Last edited by Ferrets! at Jun 5, 2011,
#17
Its kinda a subjective issue, to me too much gain is when I strike a chord and I can't differentiate each from from the others.

If all my strings sludges into an incoherent lump of crap, its too much gain.
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#19
Quote by BobDetroit
When you find the speaker voice coils in a molten pool in the bottom of the cab.. really.



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#20
Depends what your playing? Thrash metal i prefer maxed where death metal i prefer to ease back just a tad an dime out the bass.
Try playing covers of stuff similar to you an see then? If you play stuff like cream practice some covers an see if your settings compliment or ruin the song.
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#21
Quote by stig354
Depends what your playing? Thrash metal i prefer maxed where death metal i prefer to ease back just a tad an dime out the bass.
Try playing covers of stuff similar to you an see then? If you play stuff like cream practice some covers an see if your settings compliment or ruin the song.

I would use the opposite.
Thrash usually uses a lot less gain than most metal genres. More gain makes things muddier. For Thrash you use as little gain as possible so you can keep things tight and clear.
#22
the best way to tell is to record yourself playing and listen to the playback. you never seem to need as much gain as you think.
#23
My rule is to use as little gain as I need to achieve the tone I'm looking for
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#24
Quote by al112987
the best way to tell is to record yourself playing and listen to the playback. you never seem to need as much gain as you think.


When I was playing shows we had a rule of setting our gain where we liked it then turning it down by 1. For high gain stuff no matter who you are you will almost always have more gain than you really need even when you consciously think about it. With everything in the mix you don't need gain to get a heavy sound.
#25
for me, when it starts turning to mush, and the extra gain starts making it harder to play again.

however i do have a lot of time for the "you're never using too much gain" school of thought, as espoused eloquently by min.
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#26
When your tone is the audio equivalent of flaming elephant dung, you've used too much gain.

I always set my high gain tones up to where my palm mutes have a nice percussive chug. After that more gain just makes it noisy and muddy.
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#27
This has probably already been said somewhere in this thread already, but I'd make sure the EQ on your amp is set right; especially in the bass and mids. From there just play with your DS-1 or whatever and adjust the knobs until you get the sound you like.
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