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#1
Hello all,

I am new to the community, so forgive me if this is posted elsewhere, but I couldn't find anything too closely related.

I have been playing around with some free metal guitar VST's, and they haven't been as nice as I was hoping. I have tried several of different chains of amp sims and impulse loaders that fellow youtubers have recommended, with little to no luck. I realize that my sound will not be exactly as theirs, due to different equipment and such, but I am nowhere in the ball park. I dont want to exactly copy someones particular sound, but stealing some settings seemed like a good place to start.

My guitar has a muddy, scratchy, and all around harsh sound to it. It sounds like a cheap solid state 10 watt amp. Inputs aren't clipping, and I have tried different cables.
If any of you have experienced anything like this, tips would be very much appreciated. As i said, i understand that as a beginner, I will not get studio quality, but i feel as though exact settings should put me somewhere close to metal tones on many of the videos.

I have a tascam us1641 and I am using Reaper as my recording software. For the guitar, i have a shecter damien elite, with a new battery, and new strings.

The vst chain is the ts808,kvassa amplification lite, and lecab2 with catharsis impulses( i have tried several).

Any help at all would be appreciated.

Thanks
#2
Have you actually loaded impulses into the impulse loader? I know that for some reason lecab2 defaults to "off" when you load it, make sure you turn it on too.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Jun 1, 2014,
#3
ChemicalFire,

Thank you for your response. Yes, as far as i know they are in there. The red indicator lights are on, and the name of the impulse shows up on either side.

Thanks.
#4
Could we maybe get a clip and a picture of your VST settings?
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#5
I find working with VST amps to be completey different from real amps. On my real amp the eq is almost flat, just a few tweaks, but the vst amps sometimes need more aggressive eqing, ie. bass @ 2, mids 9, highs 6. I'd never use those settings on a real amp but with sims its a different story. They tend to need some hefty eqing after the amp sim as well to cutout a lot of the harshness or mud. They can sound great but at least in my case you really have to tweak the **** out of them to get something good, not that that's necessarily a bad thing.
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#6
ChemicalFire
Here are the vst settings.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u300w1pm3s06c2e/VST%20settings.jpg

and

here is the song clip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g2kkxpi2wyo0i8c/asdf.mp3

Thank you.

robertito696:

Thank you for your response. I agree with you on eqing the audio, and maybe thats where my issue is as I am a novice in recording . I just dont see how i can be so far off from reusing somebodies settings.

Here is the clip that i saw where this guy was showing several of the amp sims:

http://live4guitar.com/article/free-guitar-vst-plugin-collections-free-your-amp-and-the-rest-will-follow

I would be very happy with almost any of those tones, so long as I can figure out how i got there, ie, eqing...etc


I appreciate both of your responses.
#7
Quote by mondeau90
ChemicalFire
Here are the vst settings.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u300w1pm3s06c2e/VST%20settings.jpg

and

here is the song clip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g2kkxpi2wyo0i8c/asdf.mp3

Thank you.

robertito696:

Thank you for your response. I agree with you on eqing the audio, and maybe thats where my issue is as I am a novice in recording . I just dont see how i can be so far off from reusing somebodies settings.

Here is the clip that i saw where this guy was showing several of the amp sims:

http://live4guitar.com/article/free-guitar-vst-plugin-collections-free-your-amp-and-the-rest-will-follow

I would be very happy with almost any of those tones, so long as I can figure out how i got there, ie, eqing...etc


I appreciate both of your responses.

Unless you have the same pickups and input level as someone it's tough to mimic the sound. Throw ReaEQ last in the chain, highpass ~100, boost ~500, and lowpass it. There's usually some nasty fizz ~2k and 8k, and I tend to get a weird whistle sound ~1.6k too. On the tse808 do max volume and barely any gain, tone to taste.

Those tones are in a mix too, whereas yours is by itself, so keep that in mind too. Cymbals tend to overlap some of the annoying high end harshness and the kick/bass will fill out the low end, so try to tame the low end muddiness. Your tone seems severely lacking in mids, that'll really help it punch through. Sounds like you've got a delay/reverb on too, that'll really muddy up distorted rhythm guitar.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#8
First things first, turn down the gain on the amp, it doesn't need to be that high. Secondly, you'll be better off if you turn the drive all the way down and the gain all the way up on the Tube Screamer and play with the EQ settings on the amp itself.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#9
Thanks guys.


I didn't have a reverb effect in there, but i noticed that it had reverb at the end. I just started with a fresh project. There mustve been something in there that i couldnt see.

robertito696: The 100hz high pass helped a little, but i am unsure of how to boost 500hz while low passing it. When i low pass the band, it doesn't let me boost it. I may have misunderstood.

ChemicalFire: Turning the gain down helped quite a bit and reduced some of the muddiness.

From both of you guys it sounds like eqing is going to be the biggest issue for me to deal with. Is there a general way to eq guitars, or is it all done by ear?
#10
You should be able to get a workable tone PRIOR to EQing it. Just keep tweaking it.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
...It's the last place I was seen before I lost myself



Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#11
Sorry, I meant lowpass the track, somewhere around 16k or something, just because past 10k there's really just hiss and noise, at least for guitars. Then with a separate band boost ~500. Should have been clearer about that.

There are some frequencies that are generally wanted or unwanted, things like cutting out the really low lows and high highs, but it's mostly to taste. It really depends on the tone your after, I like a really crunchy midrange heavy tone, without much high end, but for someone looking for a more classic metal tone or a smooth jazz tone, my eq would be all wrong. I usually start by cutting out anything I don't want, then I pick 1 or 2 freqs I like and boost them a bit, always best to cut rather than boost.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#12
Thanks guys. This is all good information. I have something ok to work with for the time being. I appreciate all of your help.
#13
I had the same problem, equalizing will help you achieve a better tone, , try adding a bit of reverb and delay.
I didn't hear your clip, but what I tend to do is lowpass sround 10khz and boost at 8khz a little and cut the muddy area(800-1300) a bit. It's not a rule, so it depends on your guitar and mix.
If you Listen closer, you can see that most of Necrophagist solos sound similar to each other
#14
With the Catharsis impulses, I would advise not using more than one impulse at a time.
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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.
#15
Quote by oneblackened
With the Catharsis impulses, I would advise not using more than one impulse at a time.

^Agreed, especially not panned hard left and right with different impulses. If that's a shoddy attempt at avoiding double tracking just suck it up and track it properly, it'll sound multitudes better.
#16
Quote by mondeau90
Thanks guys. This is all good information. I have something ok to work with for the time being. I appreciate all of your help.


Also if you like to try X50 (v1) setup I have been using for when creating new stuff.
Chain: GGate > TSE 808 > TSE X50 > NadIR (Gods Cab/96/NO-TS/57_2_inch_cone_near_pres_5)

GGate: -44.7dB, 2.0ms, 0.10s
808: Drive 0, Vol middle (0) , Tone middle (0)
X50: (my settings from real 6505) pre: 6.5, low: 5 mid: 5 high: 6, post: 5, low end: 5, presence: 8

GGate I switch on/off based on content.

Generally this should give quite ok Peavey sound, though real 6505 will pull bit more dynamic to sound which sadly no VST can yet match.

As example I added this chain top of Thomas Sladek clean test tracks and this have no EQ added to guitars.
https://soundcloud.com/mharjul1/tommytest
Thomas Sladek guitar is a bit more flat sounding compared what I get with 11Rack + Jackson Warrior(WRMG) combination, so probably you can't really match 100% similar sound .. but should give solid base to work with.

edit.
Reaper FXChain file in http://pastebin.com/Rg0X036y
Save as *.RfxChain in C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\REAPER\FXChains\ (odd forum bug, no spaces in FXChains dir)
Last edited by Hevipeikko at Jun 5, 2014,
#17
Hello again all,

Its been quite some time since I've been on the message boards, as I had given up on recording when my interface crashed. I've recently purchased a focusrite scarlett 2i4 and notice a cleaner signal. I am still having problems with the harshness of the guitar sound. I'm getting very scrathy sounds on the higher strings, as well as a muddy sound on the low end. I looked back at all of the information you all have posted, and tried everything, and the clip in the link is the best I can come up with. Am I still missing something, because I see most people not even using eq, and usually just an amp sim and IR loader and an impulse, and they get much cleaner sounds.

Iv've brought eq into the mix, high pass at 70-100, and cut out some of the harsh frequenies, as well as a lpf. If i bring my low pass filter any lower(experimented between 10k-14k) I lose the essence of the guitar, but it softens the harshness.

I'm trying to get everything out that I've tried, so maybe someone can point out something I'm missing. It seems like I am so far away from anything usable, and I've spend quite some time researching and messing with settings. Is it possible that the issue is something other than the vst's? Has anyone else run into this issue and ended up getting something reasonable out of it?

Thank you in advance for any responses.


Settings:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ifwdfe5jst8k25t/settings.jpg?dl=0

Sounds clip:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dxlfr0qfqwjip8a/test.mp3?dl=0
#18
Tried turning off the "bright" switch ?

Also you can try using other impulse response files...I tend to use the "s-preshigh" one a lot

Try turning down the "contour" knob maybe ?

*edit* just noticed that you are using the high-gain mode...tried using the low-gain mode ?

Also , if i were you , i'd turn the drive on the tse808 down by a little bit...you do not need as much drive as you think you need.

Hope I was of help
Last edited by NRG_sama_ at Dec 2, 2015,
#19
In general, vst plugins don't excel at high gain tones. I definitely enjoy some of the crystal cleans I can get out of them, such as bias desktop, but in general they sound to fake and sterile to me. For starters, I would recommend keeping the gain low, and roll off the highest frequencies, a hp filter would do the trick. Anyways, good luck!
#20
Hello,

Thank you both for your responses. I went back and turned down gains everywhere. I literally had all gain/drive knobs turned to zero, and then played with treble and contour. I was still getting the harsh sounds. I went back to the beginning and checked my clean signal. I think this may be where the issue is. I've always compared my distorted signals to other signals with the same distortion, but never the cleans. I realized that there are some overtones on the high strings that probably get worse with any amp sim. I also realized that my guitar sounds muddier even when just listening to the clean signals.

So, there has to be something affecting the tone before the digital recording box. Any input on this would be helpful. I play a schecter damien elite, with emg 81/85, going into a focusrite scarlette 2i4 using the instrument line, with the pad, and there is no clipping on the di end or visible in reaper.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
#21
Quote by mondeau90
Hello,

Thank you both for your responses. I went back and turned down gains everywhere. I literally had all gain/drive knobs turned to zero, and then played with treble and contour. I was still getting the harsh sounds. I went back to the beginning and checked my clean signal. I think this may be where the issue is. I've always compared my distorted signals to other signals with the same distortion, but never the cleans. I realized that there are some overtones on the high strings that probably get worse with any amp sim. I also realized that my guitar sounds muddier even when just listening to the clean signals.

So, there has to be something affecting the tone before the digital recording box. Any input on this would be helpful. I play a schecter damien elite, with emg 81/85, going into a focusrite scarlette 2i4 using the instrument line, with the pad, and there is no clipping on the di end or visible in reaper.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.


Try replacing your guitar battery and try another guitar cable too
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#22
I'm thinking guitar battery. Can you possibly test with another guitar/mic/amplifier, CD player, etc. just to verify you're not getting distortion on that clean channel.

I think it might be battery or the EMGs might still be too hot. Try also lowering the volume knob or put a buffer pedal in between and see if you still get that.
#23
I have the same problem. A lot of these youtube tutorials don't show you the meticulous EQing they do in order to get that sound. Also guitars sound totally different in the mix then by themselves.

So after months and months of pounding my head trying to figure this out I just gave up and went with whatever sounds decent. I may never get that heavy ass crisp punchy epic sounding metal crunch that I've always wanted but I've wasted too much time trying.
#24
Thank you all for your replies.I replaced the cable and the battery, and the harshness is still there.

-I will have to borrow a guitar to see if that is the issue. I've recorded some vocals with a mic and the channel seems to be clean.

- As far as the buffer pedal, will anything work for this... I have a boss me-70 that i can grab. What is the thinking behind the buffer pedal?
#26
Quote by diabolical
Try the ME70, the idea is that actives sometimes overwhelm the input so you put in a buffer as a volume control, or in the case of the ME70 it has volume control.

Honestly, I've never had actives clip my DI input ever on any interface. Passives, however, yes. Yes I have.

My Apollo's got a 5 step input meter on it, and it never goes above the 3rd one (-9dBV if I'm remembering correctly) with active EMGs (81/85) . They clip internally long before the DI does.

with the passive BKP Nailbomb in one of my other guitars, and in the past with Duncan Distortions and JBs, those clip it quite easily.

also, OP:

that guitar sound you love? Half of it is the bass. This is a quick demo I did a little while back. Hear how much low end the bass has? https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11901104/UAD%20Friedman%20BE100%20Quick%20Demo%20.mp3
Current Gear:
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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.
Last edited by oneblackened at Dec 21, 2015,
#27
Thanks for your replies.
diabolical- I've tried the me70 in the chain and it did not seem to make any difference.

oneblackened- I realize that the bass will add a lot of the thickness into the mix, it is just that i have not been able to get anything really usable.

Im hoping that someone will be able to tell me if my clean guitar is the issue.Here is the link to the clean guitar.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/BjFCafojmH3mXegMJROFi9GnwaMjoS4EBEaAuSxmKlIfakdM75Y0JFBqhdRHjcru/file

There is some eq applied, just a hi pass at 80hz, a lowpass at 10k, and some mids removed around 800hz. I would like everyones opinion on if the signal coming in an issue, or is it just not eq'd correctly?
#29
Hello, Sorry about the wait. I finally found some time to get back to this. Here is a clip of just the clean guitar, with no eq.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/s2dbU0uZQ4IhOiWQivKDBwvx2frNwQqqHC8erZ1QvTzzsALFisHApXSPXOVv7roW/file

In the beginning there is some hard strumming, so some of the harshness is present from that. After that, it is average strumming, and you can hear the harshness on the top three string especially.

Thanks for any advice/comments.
#32
The sound engineer I have worked with in the past hates active pups. He reckons they are extremely difficult to get sounding good in the mix. It's not impossible obviously, just much more difficult.
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#33
Quote by RubberSoul54321
The sound engineer I have worked with in the past hates active pups. He reckons they are extremely difficult to get sounding good in the mix. It's not impossible obviously, just much more difficult.

That's complete hogwash. Most metal producers work with actives and prefer it.
#34
Based on the clean recording signal, can anyone verify if that is a "usable" signal or if there is something I may be overlooking?
#35
Quote by mondeau90
Based on the clean recording signal, can anyone verify if that is a "usable" signal or if there is something I may be overlooking?


It sounds like it should be usable, though I tried re-amping it with a tone that works fine for me and it sounds like the main problem is the tuning. Make sure the guitar is perfectly tuned before any recording and make sure the string gauge is appropriate for the tuning.

It sounds like you're in Drop C, so I'd go for 10-52s at least. That way, it shouldn't go out of tune too much when you press down.
#36
Quote by CorrosionMedia
It sounds like it should be usable, though I tried re-amping it with a tone that works fine for me and it sounds like the main problem is the tuning. Make sure the guitar is perfectly tuned before any recording and make sure the string gauge is appropriate for the tuning.

It sounds like you're in Drop C, so I'd go for 10-52s at least. That way, it shouldn't go out of tune too much when you press down.


I agree. It's clean enough, but out of tune and really flabby.
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#37
Thank you both for your responses. I'll try out some new strings.

CorrosionMedia, when you re-amped, were you still getting the harshness coming through? Would you be willing to post what you had so I could see what is possible to achieve?
#39
CorrosionMedia,

Thank you for posting that. If I compare something from your single to the podfarm 2 patch that you used on my sample, I see a huge difference in quality of the signal. I've changed strings out, and the sound is a little tighter, but still have the overall nasty tones in the signal.

I'm beginning to wonder about the guitar being the cause of the signal. Is there anything that anyone has seen in guitar setup that would cause this? Action seems good, and the pickups seem to be at a reasonable height. Has anyone seen a loss of signal from pickups, maybe not originating from pickups, but wiring or something else?
#40
Corroded connections can sometimes do it, but it's rare. So can cheap cables, but also rare (I use cheap Yorkville cables and never noticed a tonal drop)

Have you tried using a different VST? How does the guitar sound through an amp?
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