Ok, so here's the story. I've always been a metalhead and finally wanted to play it but I know nothing about electric guitar. So I've been taking the advice of people I know as to what to buy. I've got a peavey express 112 amp and an epiphone les paul elitist custom. People tell me I can play metal with this set up but after messing around with the settings on the amp (which I don't even understand) I can't get anything but clean sounds. Anyone know what I'm doing wrong? Really starting to get frustrated. New stuff is here and I just want to play.

The settings on my amp from left to right look like:

1. high and low gain plug ins
2. normal gain dial
3. bright button and channel button
4. equalization dials (low, mid, high)
5. lead gain dials (supersat, post)
6. voicing dials (bottom, body, edge
7. effects plugins (send, return)
8. reverb

If someone could point me in the right direction of a place to find some good info to explain all this for me, or could do it themselves, I'd be insanely appreciated. Like I said I just want to play but it's no fun when I can't get anything to sound right

Anyways, thanks in advance.
Who bought you an elitist as a begginer guitar?

I have a similar amp. Put pre gain to full and post gain as low or high as you want.
For anyone thinking I'm some stuck up rich kid whose mommy bought him everything, you're wrong. I bought both the amp and guitar second hand, have about 700 bucks into the both. I didn't want to start with cheap crap and have to upgrade. I know I want to play as I love this type of music and have played acoustic for years, like I said I just have no knowledge of amps.

Anyways, thanks for the info. I'll give those ideas a try.
Don't worry so much about what people might think. You asked a reasonable question.

Have a download of the manuals, and check the reviews on here

I'm guessing it looks something like this.

I'll go in order here.

The low input will be the same as high, only about 6 decibels lower.

Volume button will affect the volume of the clean channel.
The first low mid and high knobs are the equalisers for the clean channel.

The pregain knob won't affect the clean channel, only the distorted channel.
It will boost the distortion, and to a lesser extent the volume.
The second set of low mid and high knobs will EQ the distortion channel.
The post gain affects the volume of the distorted channel.

The reverb will be present on both channels.

As for the buttons, the bright button should affect the clean channel, and give it a brighter sound with more treble.
Peavey Rage 158
Ibanez RG 320 FM
Boss MT-2
Boss CH-1
Belcat Delay
Digitech Jamman Solo
ya man just change the channel and if you want to ask anymore questions you can pm me because ill really help you because i remember how overwelming being a beginner was and how you didnt know who to ask (im the only musican in my family and im not going to go to a shop and ask beginner questions) and since your playing metal i suggest lowering your middle or "mids" on your distortion channel and highering your bass a little bit more higher than your treble. also about the pre and post gain its one of those things your just gonna have to play with to get the right amount of distortion for what you want and the rig you have is really good dude that guitar you have should last a long time and that amp isnt all that bad either and it should also last you and if someone wants to buy it or something say no because its awseom gear and dont listen to anyone thats mean to you because your new, we were all "noobs" at one point or another
Peavey amps have low mids and highs, rather than bass, mids and treble.
Same thing though.

Dl'ed the manual and got some extra info for you too.

the "gain" switch gives the lead channel a gain boost,
the "bright" switch gives a +6dB boost to the treble frequencies,
the "thrash" switch notches the mids by 20db. Not sure what that means, but i'd assume it means it scoops your mids, and sticks them at 20db.

Also, the last knob before the effects loop adjusts the power level of the amp. I'd assume it's like a built in attenuator.

the FX loop is generally for pedals and stuff to be plugged into, I've never used an amp with one, so I'm not the person to ask on that.

As for the external speaker jack (found at the back), that means you can chuck your amp ontop of a cabinet (giant speaker box) and turn it up nice and loud.
Although it does disconnect the amp's built in speaker to do so.
Also note on that, the cabinet has to be rated at 8 ohms or higher to work properly. If you use a 4 ohm cab with your amp, it'll probably melt into fecal matter in a matter of minutes.
But since you're new to electric, you probably won't need to use a cab for a while

And since i didn't address the question before, Yes, your setup should be able to do metal.

I have a peavey rage 158, same line of amps as yours, just smaller.
I have the pre gain all the way up most of the time, same with the high, the lows about half and the mids a bit less than the lows.

But it's all about finding a tone that YOU like. Take suggestions from other people, and build on them to find yourself a really kickass tone.
Peavey Rage 158
Ibanez RG 320 FM
Boss MT-2
Boss CH-1
Belcat Delay
Digitech Jamman Solo
Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it. Wasn't expecting to get that much help. Unfortunately, nothing I do can get a dirty sound out of this thing. I've used the channel button, the pre and post gain...it all sounds clean. Seeing as I bought this used could it somehow be broken? Or am I just that dumb?
Since the preamp (where you get your distortion) is solid state it could be messed up and still work on cleans. Try cleaning your pots (under the knobs) with some contact cleaner, especially the volume and master (or gain) pots. Squirt some down the shaft after removing the knobs, turn them about 10 times back and forth, wait about 10 minute till they dry out and try them. May just be a dirty pot.
Slightly off topic, don't listen to anyone who suggests scooping (cutting back on) your mids. They're just looking to make your guitar sound like crap, just ask Kerry King. Boosted mids are your friend.
No gods, no countries, no masters.
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Be Serious.
Shorties represent!
Ibanez SZ520/Ibanez ORM-1/Ibanez RG7321/Pocket POD/Crate GX/Boss HM-2
Yeah, the standard setting for metal people that suck is
Low/bass - 10
Mid freq. - 0
High/Treb - 10

And it sounds like ****.

As for it being completely clean, how many of the knobs DO make a difference to your sound? Try it with both the channel button in and out, and come report back.

As for pre gain and post gain, try these setts.

Pre gain - full
Post gain - however loud you want.

Lows - 6-8
Mids - 4-6
High - 7-full

And try push the gain button in and out, see if that makes a difference.
Peavey Rage 158
Ibanez RG 320 FM
Boss MT-2
Boss CH-1
Belcat Delay
Digitech Jamman Solo