Let’s Talk Amp Effects Loops

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by LSchefman, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Haha! I’ve gone ‘round and ‘round with the same dilemma since I started playing!

    I think others have, too.

    If I was a high gain player, as I think you once said you are, and used time-based fx like delay and reverb, I’d try the fx loop just to see if I liked it. To give it a shot, you can always sit a pedal on top of the amp and use a couple of short pedal interconnects into and out of the loop.

    I think Angus or Malcom actually used the preamp from an old wireless device to boost or color their signal before hitting the front of the amp. I don’t know much about it, as I’m not into that style of play, but I’ve read there’s a company making a reproduction of it.

    Then, too, they had the stuff that could be done with effects at the recording console and FOH mixer when playing live. From the sound of the records, seems that a substantial amount of compression was used to even out guitar levels.
     
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  2. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    I am indeed an ultra Gainiac


    Angus used the Schaefer Vega Diversity System built by Ken Schaefer in the 70s and used by many.

    The original SVDS was a wireless unit containing a preamp which I believe was employed to correct signal drop due to playing wirelessly.


    Engineer Tony Platt has appeared in a couple of articles recently saying that on the BIB record, Angus' amplifier(s) had Distortion set at 2.
    He was using the same guitars and the same amp(s) in the studio that he was using onstage, and complaining that it sounded different. Mutt Lange asked him well then, what's different? And Angus said he wasn't using his wireless, and so Mutt said to go ahead and use it.

    If I remember right, it was only on the solos.


    YouTuber SoloDallas (real name Fil), has gone to painstaking efforts to exactly recreate Angus and Malcom's tones on the early records. He is about 99.9999% accurate. You really can't hear the difference, and he is playing everything note for note, technique for technique, wiggle for wiggle perfect. Everything is exact down to the nth degree, and the subtlest detail. I've never seen anybody perfectly recreate tones and playing style the way he has. It's truly remarkable to listen to.

    Anyways, he sells a replica of the tower unit, sans wireless capabilities, on his website, SoloDallas dot net. It runs a couple hundred USD. He also sells a pedal version for significantly less but, still a lot of money.

    In addition, he sells amplifiers with his own name on them which look and sound identical to vintage Marshall units, and at least one set of pickups for that Angus tone. I think he's making guitars to vintage spec as well.



    Angus is known for using 70s techniques to this day to get his stage tone. I think he runs his tone knob at about 7 or 8, right there where it's just about to take off, and then for leads, he will bump it up to 10. IDK how old you are or how much you've read but, back in those days, you didn't have all these pedals. You had to make it work with a guitar and an amp. That was it.

    The Young clan are well known for being creatures of habit. If it ain't broke, the guitar tech will be bludgeoned to death for fixing it. They don't like anything being messed with. Period.

    There's a great Premier Guitar Rig Rundown on YouTube that highlights much of this information with Angus' tech from the ROB world tour, as well as Stevie's tech.

    To get that Malcom tone, Stevie is playing telephone cable sized strings and will wear his picks in half within one song. He's gotta hit them strings HARD.


    NOTE:
    BIB is widely regarded as one of the ultimate records for big loud heavy thunderous looming ominous Rockin guitar tones. Angus' gain setting: 2. Yeah. TWO.
     
  3. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    Angus hits the living hell outta those strings, too. He argues that you can't get the full range of tones out of the guitar unless you learn how to play really hard.

    I steal this technique but have modified it by using a much heavier pick. Angus uses Fender Extra heavy picks. I finally found one and it was comparable to a 0.88mm. I'm up to 1.40mm. I don't have to physically hit it as hard. The end result is I have Dynamics available in both directions. I can pretty it up by playing softer, or I can send my picks to hell! \m/
     
  4. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    So, listen to Les. He's of one school, I"m of the other. But, and this is a big but, he explains why, and he explains that if he was of my school, he would do it my way.

    One of the things you'll learn over time from reading forums... there "usually" isn't a "right" and a "wrong." There are different ways of doing things. So even if a guy really clearly has a lot of knowledge, that doesn't mean he's always right. It means that the way he does things, it works for him. Another guy telling you the exact opposite may be just a right as the first guy... because his way also works for him.

    Les explained why he does what he does, but then he also explained why guys who use more gain normally do it differently. So, if I were you, I'd listen to him and do it the way he says will work best for you.

    And, if you're just learning this stuff and want to keep it simple, I strongly recommend that you do so... by buying one pedal at a time. Incorporate it. Learn it. Get it doing exactly what you want, before you add another. Going out and buying 6-8 pedals and putting 5 in front and 3 in the loop and then trying to figure it all out, is a recipe for disaster for someone just learning how to sort through these things. IMHO.
     
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  5. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    I totally agree!!

    There isn't a right way or a wrong way - just one way or countless other ways - it really depends on what you are looking to achieve. There may well be a more 'common' usage of pedals and placement - things like putting modulation, delay and/or reverb after any tone shaping (inc the pre-amp and any EQ/gain) but that certainly doesn't mean its the 'right' way and definitely not the only way to do things.

    I admit, and I have already stated, that I do prefer to put Modulation, Delay and/or Reverb into the FX loop because I do prefer that distorted/crunch/gain/EQ 'tone' to hit certain effects pedals rather than have the delay, reverb and/or any modulated tones be affected by the Amps EQ and Gain settings. From 'my' perspective, I wouldn't put Delay, reverb etc before a boost, Overdrive, Tube screamer, EQ etc so I prefer to have these in the loop so these FX are not affected by the Amps EQ and any Gain. If I am running a Clean Amp, I am less bothered about putting things in the FX loop - whether others also use this approach to pedal position and use of the FX loop or not, it certainly doesn't make it the ONLY way or even the right way - its just the way I prefer.

    Experimenting with Pedal Order can be quite inspiring. You can come up with interesting and a wide array of differing sounds. Some may well not be particular pleasing to you whilst others could well be useful, unique, inspiring to create something. Whether that something ends up mire in the background or the main focus it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if something you hear has no benefit now, it may do in the future.

    I do agree that its better to have an understanding of a pedal, know what it does and what it offers is better than having a Pedal board with little idea of what each pedal does. Maybe even have an idea of what differences may occur if you put your Tube Screaming tone into a Wah pedal or a Wah tone into a Tube Screamer.
     
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  6. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    You were doing so good, right up until the very end there. "IMHO".

    You can call it humble opinion all you want but, everything you said there was an actual fact.

    Every item that you listed was originally discovered and recorded by the ancient Aztecs. It's just facts.

    To their credit, the ancient Mayans also discovered and recorded these facts but, the Aztecs were first. You can even look it up at www.AllGuitarTruths.AncientAztecs.BS :D


    EDIT:
    I didn't think that would actually post as a hyperlink. Obviously, I was being facetious, and you click at your own risk
     
  7. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    And everything you said there was solid, up til the Aztecs. They didn't have any electricity! So clearly they could only use digital devices. At least, that's what the website you linked said.
     
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  8. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    You're thinking of the Amish. It's the Amish who don't have electricity.

    Shocked that you made that mistake. SHOCKED I TELL YOU!!!
     
  9. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    Was it the Amish? I knew an Amish girl once.
     
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  10. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Les,

    My guitar effects are currently in a state of flux (Mooer Two Note Preamp & Torpedo CAB M being added).

    According to Mooer's Help Desk, the best way to use a preamp is in the FX loop of your guitar amp. While you could use a preamp in front of your amp, you'd essentially have your dirt and boost pedals, as well as a preamp pushing the front end of your guitar amp, which may produce tones that may not be as desirable as using the amp's FX loop.

    So provided with this information, it will be possible to hear discernible differences in tone and sound quality.

    The remaining question would be that the CAB M power amp modeling section may be able to be used for recording purposes while hearing audio signal via my guitar amp, not the CAB M / audio interface, if the proprietary connections can be made with the guitar amp and CAB M.

    (Since I'm comparatively recent to audio recording myself, it may prove more wise to simply connect the Mooer Preamp, remaining effects and CAB M and use these exclusively for audio recording playback, or for onstage mixer/PA use, and bypass using a guitar amp's FX loop altogether, where one need not bring an amp to a gig.)

    Yet, for simple jamming or practice, the guitar amp's FX loop is certainly a viable option that has yet been undiscovered in my household. Given this weekend, a re-wiring of my FX board, and some small investigation into various scenarios, I think my questions will be satisfactorily answered and fairly clear to understand by Sunday evening.

    Mooer Preamp / Guitar FX / Brunetti 35W Singleman FX loop report by Sunday evening.
     
    #90 CandidPicker, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  11. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    Who do you think invented digital devices?

    ANCIENT AZTECS!
     
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  12. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    Dude, post your profile pic. It's blurry as all hell.

    Is that PRSh on the cover of what to expect when you're expecting, and carrying with him a bouncing baby PRSi?
     
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  13. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    Well, the Aimish WOULD HAVE invented it, but they didn’t have any electricity! DUH! :p
     
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  14. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    The Amish would have invented a lot of things if they'd get with the times
     
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  15. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yup, because you're using the Mooer as your preamp; you're actually replacing and bypassing your amp's preamp with it, including the gain stages, tone stack, etc.

    Yes. I agree with the second paragraph.

    I just looked at the Two Notes page on the Cab M. Since it hasn't got a load box built in like the other Two Notes stuff, you need a speaker load with it to avoid blowing up your amp. My own experience with these kinds of devices is that if I'm hooking up the speaker cab, it's just as easy to mic it up, and you'll get a better sounding, "real thing" recording.

    If I have to record one of my amps direct, I use an analog load box recording device that Mesa makes, along with speaker impulse responses, but only if I need to avoid making loud noise. Since it's a load box as well as a speaker sim, it doesn't need a speaker cab. For me, it's a second-best kind of choice, but it does work well.

    Truthfully, it's less hassle/mental gymnastics for me simply to stick a Shure SM57 in front of the speaker cabinet and record the real speaker, if I'm gonna make noise.

    For recording your own amp, with or without your preamp pedal, the real thing makes more sense to me, unless you don't care for your amp's speaker.

    Recording a real speaker is just so easy; stick a Shure SM57 a few inches, or even farther away (I often go to about 18” to get a more natural sound) in front of the speaker cone wherever it sounds best, and hit "record". Boom! The sound you've heard on countless records. Simple. 99 bucks. Done! I keep all 3 of my amps miked up and ready to go so, whenever the recording process is at the point to record an amp, I don't waste any time setting up and losing the inspiration. If I want to add a room mic to the equation, usually a ribbon or condenser, I’ll have it ready to go well in advance, too.

    I use a simple switching box made by Lehle to switch between amps, so I can record all three amps on a project separately with one button press, and one click to go to the next track. As you can see, I’m either very focused on the playing when recording, very lazy, or both!

    [​IMG]

    It'll be fun to read your report!
     
    #96 LSchefman, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  17. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Nice room; I like the clean lines and organized look! What type of mic stand bases are you using for your room? (Would like to find one of these if possible)

    To address the noise issue, I think balance is key. With the Two Notes, you have an option of using 2 separate mics for a fuller range of tone/sound, all that can be EQ'd within the CAB M. Without a measure of balance, there exists all kinds of crazy "baggage" that would need sorting out.

    I recently heard someone speak to our study group, saying, "If your car makes a funny noise, you fix it. No sense in turning up the radio to drown out the noise, just fix the car." I think this holds true IRL. The guitar amp's speak is good for recording and sounds great currently. However, my computer/music/living room is less than adequate for recording and hence the amp/mic/cab sim to fill the need. Best to work direct with my FX board and a sim into the audio interface.

    My Mooer is still in transit, due to arrive later today, but I'm not holding my breathe on this; it may be Monday before the 010 arrives.

    Thankfully, like you, I own a Shure SM57 for amp recording. I'd love to invest in a decent ribbon or condenser, though my wallet says a Sennheiser e906 might need to be the way to go. My issue is that I don't own any quality audio gear (mic-pre's, EQ or other mastering gear) other than my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 (can't afford it).

    Recent to recording, trying to find the correct effects and interface settings is somewhat intimidating, since I personally know little about how to go about obtaining the correct levels without clipping.

    It might be helpful if one or more forum members could write up a generic tutorial for use with GarageBand or Logic, with a basic understanding of effects and audio interfaces so that putting signal path together at acceptable gain/volume levels would be appreciated. The DIY adjustments from signal path beginning to end, I think, would be appreciated.
     
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  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    That would be a book, not a post.

    I highly recommend Edgar Rothermich’s “Logic Pro X, How It Works” series. Edgar is a very good writer, and he knows what he’s talking about. He’s a regular on the Logic Forum, as well. His books have diagrams and really explain the inner workings of the application.

    Your Focusrite audio interface is a perfectly fine way to get audio in and out of your computer. Focusrite’s preamp technology is based on the ISA-1, one of the best mic preamps ever made, that was originally built into the one million dollar Focusrite Console, and it was designed by Rupert Neve.

    The mic preamp on the Saffire is basically that design using less expensive chips instead of discrete components. It’s still pretty damn good, especially for the money.

    Setting level without clipping is pretty easy - turn down the level on the interface just until it doesn’t clip - usually a red clipping light will come on if it clips. I don’t have a Saffire, so I don’t know if that’s done with software or with a knob on the interface itself.

    Then adjust the fader on your daw so that it doesn’t clip internally. Pretty simple.

    When you speak of effects, are you talking about your pedal effects, or about plug-ins? Not that I want to write a book here, but perhaps I can point you in the right direction with an actual book.
     
  19. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    This?

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Tremontinator

    Tremontinator New Member

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    I'm fucking dead!!!!:D:D:D:D


    I'm stealing this meme, and you can't stop me! :p:p:p


    Look at...
    Hey...
    Look...
    Look at...
    Goddammit...
    Look at me!
    This is MY meme now! :p:D:p:D:)
     

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