#1
Is it just me, I go looking for a decent distortion pedal or overdrive and they all sound the same! Mix pedals with amps and it still sounds like I'm playing through a tin can and when I record OMG it's horrific, No depth what so ever. I'm starting to wonder what I need to do with my amp to get a sound that is tolerable and when I record doesn't sound like generic garbage! I use a tube head on a 4 12" cab and mainly use guitars with humbuckers over single coil..
#2
Quote by s.casey1977
Is it just me, I go looking for a decent distortion pedal or overdrive and they all sound the same! Mix pedals with amps and it still sounds like I'm playing through a tin can and when I record OMG it's horrific, No depth what so ever. I'm starting to wonder what I need to do with my amp to get a sound that is tolerable and when I record doesn't sound like generic garbage! I use a tube head on a 4 12" cab and mainly use guitars with humbuckers over single coil..


what amp and how are you recording? recording a distorted guitar is more difficult than just slapping a mic in front of it. because of saturation when recording you have to back off the distortion a fair bit otherwise you get bees in can or muddy mess.
#3
Quote by monwobobbo
what amp and how are you recording? recording a distorted guitar is more difficult than just slapping a mic in front of it. because of saturation when recording you have to back off the distortion a fair bit otherwise you get bees in can or muddy mess.


Egnator 20 watt tube head and I was using garage band with a digital interface! It just sounds so tinny and when I up the bass and lower the highs it sounds muddy! I'm currently using a Boss ME-50 multi pedal setup but have used DOD and MXR and still a generic sound, no meat at all just blah!
#4
Quote by s.casey1977
Egnator 20 watt tube head and I was using garage band with a digital interface! It just sounds so tinny and when I up the bass and lower the highs it sounds muddy! I'm currently using a Boss ME-50 multi pedal setup but have used DOD and MXR and still a generic sound, no meat at all just blah!


ok not real familiar with that. do you mic the amp or are you using a line out? I've found that without some kind of cabinet sim that the results you mentioned can happen. with a line out its' just the preamp and that can sound rather thin. if your ME-50 has amp modeling and cab sim then you might want to consider using that instead for recording. although I have a couple of tube amps I use a POD for recording because it's just plain easier.
#5
Quote by monwobobbo
ok not real familiar with that. do you mic the amp or are you using a line out? I've found that without some kind of cabinet sim that the results you mentioned can happen. with a line out its' just the preamp and that can sound rather thin. if your ME-50 has amp modeling and cab sim then you might want to consider using that instead for recording. although I have a couple of tube amps I use a POD for recording because it's just plain easier.


Line out through ME-50 direct. Haven't tried a mic with the cab yet to be honest (not a bad idea) Just seems I can't get a good live aggressive sound either. The clean is amazing...
#6
Mic the amp and see, it might do a lot better. I never liked the line out sound I got with my solid state practice amps. Set up a mic and they sounded better.Put the mic close, an inch or two, and slightly off center. It may take a few tries, the further you move the mic from center, the more bass you get. So you can fine tune the overall sound by changing mic placement.

Start with getting a good recorded clean sound. Set the gain on your distortion pedal lower than you think you need. Try different tone settings on the pedal, along with mic placement and tone controls on the amp. I set my clean sound to get as close as I can to the first few notes of the song "The Wind Cries Mary", by Hendrix. I've heard others that are close, that's the easiest one to remember. From there I can fine tune my pedal to get what I want. Same as playing onstage, the gain will always be lower than you probably use for bedroom practice. I found out years ago once I got onstage it got really muddy really fast, and it took me 10 years to get it through my thick head what was happening. turn the gain and saturation down well below where you think you need it. Gain is probably your biggest problem. Same as onstage, it gets muddy fast, and the mic or line in picks it up really well.

Once you get it sounding good by ear, fine tune it by changing mic placement and amp tone settings. The tone setting on the pedal may make a huge difference too. A low volume level might work better than cranking it up loud. The only exception I've found is my Fender Champ, for that wide open tube amp sound, I crank it to 10 and wail, it works perfect. Otherwise I keep the volume low.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
Quote by s.casey1977
Line out through ME-50 direct. Haven't tried a mic with the cab yet to be honest (not a bad idea) Just seems I can't get a good live aggressive sound either. The clean is amazing...

If you're just using the line out through the ME-50, then your amp isn't doing anything. The amp does have an amp simulator for the line out but you have no controls over it on that unit and I'm not sure it has cabinet simulation. Mic your amp.
#8
Quote by JELIFISH19
If you're just using the line out through the ME-50, then your amp isn't doing anything. The amp does have an amp simulator for the line out but you have no controls over it on that unit and I'm not sure it has cabinet simulation. Mic your amp.


Agreed line out is not going to sound good without some kind of simlulator to mimic a speaker cabinet.
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#9
Quote by s.casey1977
Is it just me, I go looking for a decent distortion pedal or overdrive and they all sound the same! Mix pedals with amps and it still sounds like I'm playing through a tin can and when I record OMG it's horrific, No depth what so ever. I'm starting to wonder what I need to do with my amp to get a sound that is tolerable and when I record doesn't sound like generic garbage! I use a tube head on a 4 12" cab and mainly use guitars with humbuckers over single coil..


Quote by s.casey1977
Line out through ME-50 direct. Haven't tried a mic with the cab yet to be honest (not a bad idea) Just seems I can't get a good live aggressive sound either. The clean is amazing...


Here are some suggestions:

Scale back your signal chain entirely and start from the ground up. I am not familiar with the Egnater 20W you are using but these tips should work for any amp:

1. Unplug everything. Make sure your speaker output to the cab is set to the right ohms.

2. How long have you had the amp? If for more than a year you may want to troubleshoot your output tubes at the very least to ensure they aren't dying. If everything sounds awful (just to your ears, not in recording) it could be your tubes.

3. once 1 & 2 are ruled out, plug straight in to your amp, don't use any pedals. Get a perfect clean tone and I mean crystal clean, no harshness on the highs or anything like that and smooth controllable low-end. Once you're satisfied with that clean tone, save those settings (write them down). Then get yourself a good overdriven sound, straight from the amp, dial up your volume (output tubes) and start with your pre-amp gain still on the clean setting. Dial your output tubes up to at least 11'o'clock to get them cooking. Then slowly raise the pre-amp gain to find the type of overdriven sound you want. Keep fiddling with the combination of your output and pre-amp gain until you get an overdriven tone at good volume that you like. Every amp has its own sweet spot for this so it takes some testing. Again, save these settings once you like what you have.

4. Now it's time to add your pedals in. It would help to know what pedals you are using but these recommendations will work for anything. First and fore-most, if ALL you want is a distortion/OD pedal in front of the amp, then only add that to your signal chain. Don't create a longer signal chain than you have to because without a significant buffer you will lose a lot of that signal before it gets to the output and that can result in poor sound. Use cables that are as short as possible, the longer the cable, the more signal you will lose (there are ways around this but I'm just keeping it simple here).

5. Test your OD pedal out with BOTH your clean amp settings and then your Overdriven amp settings. See if you get a good result, you should spend a lot of time on each messing around with the tone/ controls on the pedal. You also want to match the output volume of the pedal to be equal with the amp for the purposes of this test so when you stomp on it the volume is the same, it's just adding its own layer of distortion/od. Work with this for a while. If you can't get a good sound out of that pedal on either your clean amp settings or your overdriven amp settings (which you previously liked without the pedal) then it's quite possible that pedal does not get a long well with your amp. If you do get the sound you're looking for, awesome! Time to move on and record:

6. You need to mic the cab. In my experience, nothing can replace micing a cab properly. Many people would recommend the SM-57 Mic I am sure, and I would join them in that recommendation. It's inexpensive and very good for recording overdriven guitar. Mic placement is personal preference but just play around with it recording short sections until you get what you're looking for. As soon as it sounds on the recording just like it did acoustically to you, you're good to go (as long as what you're after is to catch your 'true' tone).

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If you can't get a good sound out of the amp by plugging straight in to the amp then you've got a bigger problem!
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#10
Thanks everyone! It seems I have a busy weekend ahead of me. I'll post my report lol