Hi dear UG people!! I don’t know is this the right thread for posting my problem, but as I can’t find the thread related to my problem so I’m posting it here. I have been playing electric guitar for over one year. I have been trying to come up with great tones for lead and riff since then. Just trying around and experimenting with the features of my multi-effect unit, I happen to make few tones that sound okay but not that good. At one point I was close to purchase another new multi-effect unit but later I backed off as I thought I don’t know the very basics of tone making so how come getting a better multi-effect unit even with more features can help me to make good tones. So I didn’t purchase a new one, instead I want to learn the fundamentals of tone making then I will think about getting a good one.

But still no luck with my little knowledge on guitar effects. I’ve also searched online but the articles/posts I found on this can’t clear my concept about it. Now I’d like to know how to use the combination of Gain, Compressor, Mid, Bass, Presence, Treble and Channel Volume with amp for making tone for lead and riff. Specially I want to know more about Compressor, Mid, Presence and Treble. I’m expecting valuable comments and constructive suggestions from you.
Try googling the terms you're unfamiliar with. That way, you'll gain a basic understanding of what they mean and how they affect your tone. Then just try experimenting to HEAR how they affect your tone, this is important, because noone can really explain to you in writing how something sounds.
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First find an amp model that you like the sound of. Turn all effects off, turn the compressor off too. Gain controls your distortion (more gain = more distortion). You want to find a spot where you get enough distortion and sustain but the notes still sound clear (ie, don't crank the gain). Well, channel volume is there just for balancing the volume levels of your different presets, so that one doesn't sound freaking loud and the next one doesn't sound too quiet. Then you have your EQ controls - bass controls low frequencies, mid controls mid frequencies and treble controls high frequencies. Then there's presence that controls higher frequencies than treble. By experimenting with different EQ settings you should be able to figure out what they do. Start with everything at 12 o'clock.

After this add the effects you need (if you need them).

Compressor is for making your sound have less dynamics. It makes louder notes sound quieter and quieter notes sound louder. It can also add sustain. I don't really like using compressor. Sometimes it's good to use it for clean sounds to make it sound more "even".

For lead tones you may want to use a bit more mids and gain than for rhythm. You could also add reverb and delay to your lead sound.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 4, 2013,
Quote by MaggaraMarine
First find an amp model that you like the sound of....

First of all thank you for time to explain this tone making real simple and easy for me. I keep my Bass at 10 o'clock, Mid, Treble and Presence at 2 o'clock most of the time. One more thing is setting up the Gain. I've noticed that if I keep the channel volume a bit lower than the gain then it sounds okay otherwise it sounds really bad [for an example Gain is at 3 o'clock and Channel Volume is at 5 o'clock/full volume]. Is this normal? I use a little bit of Delay effect to make a note sustain otherwise the note doesn't last at all.

Quote by clegtr
Try googling the terms you're unfamiliar with....

I can understand what you are trying to say but the jargon people use I do not understand most of the time like get extra punch in the output, adding more scoop, make the sound crisp etc. The thing is I experiment and make tones but still do not get the tone I want to make. I know my multi-effect and amp are not world class but they are not absolutely bad either.