EQing tone?

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EQing tone?

Postby jem7sk » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:07 pm

Is the best way to EQ your tone to put the Graphic EQ in the Rack at the end and pull down all the sliders from 80 and below and 12.K and above? Any other tricks?
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby pjcass1981 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:07 pm

You mentioned 12K and above, but realistically that number could depend on your audio output source. Depending on your speakers or headphones, the high cut can vary. For me, the high cut can help to simulate the fact that we don't hear our amps with our ears at speaker level. We are usually off to the side and above. It can also depend on the amp.

Also, don't hesitate to bring the low cut up passed 80 when you are playing in context with other recorded music, tracking/mixing, or in a band mix. I've been experimenting a lot with recorded tones and comparing what my ears perceive as a good low end vs what is on recordings I love. For example, I've noticed that Malcolm Young's rhythm tracks on a lot of AC/DC stuff seem to have a low cut at around 120-140. Suprising to me. Looks like the Black Crowes Amorica is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100-120. The magic 80 that I see so often on message forums and dialed in on presets for amp modellers is perhaps best suited for live use not recording. You'll get too much low end build with drums and bass in a recorded mix without a doubt.

Also, don't neglect the impact that an EQ can have going into an amp (see Brian May's boosted midrange god-like tone). Amplitube 4 uses a dynamic amp modelling system and amps react like they do in the real world. Shifting EQ before the amp can do a lot more to the quality of the harmonic content than it would coming after. It will not only do things like reduce or add bass, middle, and treble, it will change the character of the distortion and harmonic content. Can make a Fender sound like Vox etc. in some cases.

People seem to be very impressed with the Strymon Iridium and for the 3 or 4 days I've been testing one, it does seem to have some nice tones. However, I was shocked to hear that the stock IRs look to have a low-cut/hi-pass somewhere in the neighbourhood of 140. I understand their choice, since this works so well in a mix (live and recorded), but I do think it's an odd choice to make since so many buyers would be picking up an Iridium for practice/solo playing at home. Not having that 80-140 can be less than satisfying when playing on your own and is downright :shock: when you A/B something like Amplitube and the Iridium. Amplitube sounds like a SuperHiFiUltraHD3D billion dollar amp simulator with the amp in a real room and the Iridium sounds like an overdrive pedal through a 30 band EQ and a compressor/limiter going direct to the board when comparing. So much of that perception comes down to EQ. I prefer companies to leave it to user to find the cut-off points at the top and bottom of their guitar, depending on what is needed and appropriate for a given context. Changing up IRs makes all the difference for the Iridium because of the expanded range of EQ. Again, just an interesting choice by Strymon for stock cabs.

Eq is a rabbit hole that can make or break your experience with modellers like Amplitube etc. Be patient and find what works for you and the context of your playing. Amplitube has all that is needed to get a tone that is equal to or even better than the 2000$ big boys on the market. I'm just waiting for hardware product that has built in DSP and Amplitube. Come on IK!!!!
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby jem7sk » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:21 pm

Thanks @pjcass1981. Yeah, I was talking about high and low cuts but you brought up something I know nothing about that I'll have to research.. EQing the front end. Where would I place the EQ pedal in the chain? I'm assuming at the end right before the amp. I'm a 80s hard rock and hair metal guy. The Jet City is the best sounding amp in Amplitube to me. The old Marshall amps sound better than the new ones in Amplitube but I tend to prefer the Jet City.

Though, I'd love to get a good late 70s JMP tone so the EQ pedal might be the ticket.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby pjcass1981 » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:01 pm

Before the amp, you’re going to want to experiment depending on what is before or after the eq. If you want to alter your fundamental guitar tone only, it’d go first. If you want to beef up another drive pedal or fuzz, go after the fuzz. That’s kind of a rule of thumb but things need to be experimented with to find what your ears like. Late 70s Marshall tones are in Amplitube without a doubt. The new Satriani can get late 70s Marshall tones easily. I quite like the “older” Marshall models as well. With all amp heads, cabinet choices, speaker choices, mic choices, eq choices etc., there’s got to be something that you like. I have thousands of IRs that I’ll use with the various software and hardware amp modellers that I play around with, but Amplitube still offers more because of the fine tuning you can do. It’s a different approach and very different than the IR approach, but I prefer IK’s dynamic modelling philosophy and algorithm over static IRs. Yes, old tweed Fenders get fizzy and boxy when you crank’em to the max. Like it or not, IK has modelled that kind of stuff very well.
In my experience, the IK stuff is just so much closer to being mix ready and pleasing to ears right out of the box when compared to other companies. Might just be me, but I also prefer to have the realistic visuals as well. What my mind expects when I turn a dial is what I hear after I do it. Who wants to turn the drive up on amp to 5.4? What is 5.4 on amp knob? I’m more of a “around there is where I like it” kinda player.
The last thing I will add is to not neglect the room mic’s and balance. A little (or a lot depending on your tastes) of room/booth/studio/venue/garage mic can make all the difference toward bringing and amp to life and making the experience all the more enjoyable.
BTW, I have the full Amplitube package and all add-ons, along with the full T-Racks. With those two together, there’s no “type” of tone that I can’t emulate to a very satisfying degree.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby jem7sk » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:07 pm

Yeah, I have to agree with you about the amount of tones I can get out of this modeler. One thing great about the old Marshalls in A4 is you can even change the tubes which really adds a lot of tonal range. I love the cab area because I can do what an IR does. Pick a vintage cab and greenbacks, etc.. same difference. Change mics and locations too. It is extremely intuitive.

One thing I'm having trouble with is I usually play with headphones and they sound phenomenal but with my monitors they don't sound as good. Also, I like to play through a power amp and into a Marshall 4x12 stereo cab and it doesn't sound as good either. I probably just need to tune my settings for them but with my hardware modelers I don't have to do that.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby Peter_IK » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:37 pm

jem7sk wrote:Yeah, I have to agree with you about the amount of tones I can get out of this modeler. One thing great about the old Marshalls in A4 is you can even change the tubes which really adds a lot of tonal range. I love the cab area because I can do what an IR does. Pick a vintage cab and greenbacks, etc.. same difference. Change mics and locations too. It is extremely intuitive.

One thing I'm having trouble with is I usually play with headphones and they sound phenomenal but with my monitors they don't sound as good. Also, I like to play through a power amp and into a Marshall 4x12 stereo cab and it doesn't sound as good either. I probably just need to tune my settings for them but with my hardware modelers I don't have to do that.

The Cab Room in AmpliTube is a great thing in my opinion too, though I studied recording as one of my majors and have been putting mics in front of speaker cabinets for decades so I figured that's why it is super intuitive for me. For those that have not gone through this process in "real life" as they say, the flexibility of the Cab Room features can be overwhelming and sometimes results can be unsatisfactory if the microphone placement technique is not good. This is a hard balance to get right, and I believe we'll be making even more strides in retaining the realism while acknowledging that not everybody is a cabinet-miking whiz going forward.

About your mentioned troubles, I don't want to assume but I'll hope instead - I hope you are disabling the cabinet section of AmpliTube when you send the AmpliTube signal out to a power amp and Marshall guitar cabinet. Any guitar cabinet will cover a more limited and more guitar-focused frequency range. It is OK to leave the cabinets on in AmplITube when going out to a speaker with a full frequency range, but not when going out to a guitar speaker cabinet. I'm not sure what might be happening with regard to your monitors not sounding great, though, there are many factors at play there (the monitors themselves, the room, etc). You might want to see if they have any particular settings (usually on the back) that can improve their performance in your space. Or check something like ARC 3 out to help correct issues if they are apparent with more than just AmpliTube's output.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby jem7sk » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:02 am

Peter, do you have any tips for micing the cab section? Just move them around and see what I like or is there an easy list to follow?

I did turn the cabs off when I sent it to my power amp and cabs. One factor I didn't think of was my Scarlett 2i2.. I needed to turn up the monitor volume. I also found turning off the tube compressor helped too. After discovering this I went through some of the presets and they sounded really good after turning off the cabs. Presets I didn't care for sounded great. So it is definitely a difference in what I hear through the phones and the cabs and they have to be configured differently.

Frankly, I was blown away by some of the presets I'd never liked before when they were coming through my cab. I love JCM 800s but never could jive with the one in Amplitube until I played it through my cab. It is incredible how realistic and huge it is coming through a 4x12.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby jem7sk » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:45 pm

I just created the best tone I've ever heard myself play. It sounds awesome through headphones but just blah through my monitors and even worse through my cabs. Wish I could figure out the secret.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby pjcass1981 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:34 pm

I wouldn’t call it a secret. It’s just a matter of psychoacoustics. You’ll have to create completely separate presets for headphones and monitors. Guitar cab, monitors, headphones, iLoud speaker, or whatever else, you are still driving a magnet and a cone. All of them are very different and react to signals being sent to them differently. Good news is, if it’s there in your headphones, it’s there in monitors. You’ll just have to create presets for each.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby carlaz » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:01 pm

pjcass1981 wrote:Also, don't hesitate to bring the low cut up passed 80 when you are playing in context with other recorded music, tracking/mixing, or in a band mix. I've been experimenting a lot with recorded tones and comparing what my ears perceive as a good low end vs what is on recordings I love. For example, I've noticed that Malcolm Young's rhythm tracks on a lot of AC/DC stuff seem to have a low cut at around 120-140. Suprising to me. Looks like the Black Crowes Amorica is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100-120. The magic 80 that I see so often on message forums and dialed in on presets for amp modellers is perhaps best suited for live use not recording. You'll get too much low end build with drums and bass in a recorded mix without a doubt.


Absolutely. In a mix, it seems to me that guitars are often low-cut/high-passed up to 150ish. In classic rock/metal, it seems to me, the bass often lives in the 100-150 zone (with the kick down towards 60ish). So you can often high-pass the guitars to keep them out of the way of the bass, and then high-pass the bass to keep it out of the way of the kick.

pjcass1981 wrote:Also, don't neglect the impact that an EQ can have going into an amp (see Brian May's boosted midrange god-like tone). Amplitube 4 uses a dynamic amp modelling system and amps react like they do in the real world. Shifting EQ before the amp can do a lot more to the quality of the harmonic content than it would coming after.


Yeah, this is really what's behind what the 70s guys (e.g. Brian May) were doing with those "treble boosters" and what everyone else has been doing since the 80s with (for example) the famous TubeScreamer trick (level up, gain down) which I think actually imposes a high-cut on the lower frequencies that tightens up the sound.

pjcass1981 wrote:Eq is a rabbit hole that can make or break your experience with modellers like Amplitube etc. Be patient and find what works for you and the context of your playing. Amplitube has all that is needed to get a tone that is equal to or even better than the 2000$ big boys on the market.

I tend to agree. I mean, OK: it is possible that you could spend USD 100 or more on a single amp model and that single amp model might be audibly (if inevitably subjectively) "better" than the equivalent (relatively recent) model within AmpliTube ... or it might at least sound "different" (since individual real amps, especially "vintage" ones, can vary significantly in tone from other real amps of the same nominal make and model) and you might prefer one or the other model .... But we are getting into fine shades of tone here, as well as individual preferences.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing some better high/low-pass EQ filters built-in to future versions of AmpliTube. Those are probably the most basic and useful EQ tools for guitar (and bass), and the current rack EQ units (which have been in AmpliTube for a very long time) seem a bit blunt for those purposes (though they can be used well enough for other purposes, as many presets in the Satch collection show that use them show).
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby carlaz » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:12 pm

pjcass1981 wrote:Late 70s Marshall tones are in Amplitube without a doubt. The new Satriani can get late 70s Marshall tones easily. I quite like the “older” Marshall models as well. With all amp heads, cabinet choices, speaker choices, mic choices, eq choices etc., there’s got to be something that you like.


Definitely agree. In the real Satch signature Marshall -- on which the Satch VM is based -- though a "modern" amp, its Green mode on the Crunch channel was specifically designed to sound like a master-volume JMP (from the late '70s, much as the older AmpliTube "Vintage Metal Lead" model was intended to do). It will take you there.

Remember also that many guys in the late '70s (and even early '80s) were still using older amps, non-master-volume Marshall Superleads and the like. I would still like to see a "standard" Superlead model, but the JH Gold from the Hendrix package (specifically one of Hendrix's modded JTM 45/100s) serves this purpose well.
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Re: EQing tone?

Postby carlaz » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:20 pm

jem7sk wrote:do you have any tips for micing the cab section? Just move them around and see what I like or is there an easy list to follow?

Honestly, I recommend watching some YouTube videos about how to mic real cabs. In my experience, the techniques and approaches regarding microphone choice and placement work pretty much the same way in AmpliTube. The major difference is that individual real speakers 9and, indeed real microphones -- and real everything else) can sound quite different, while the models in AmpliTube are, of course, entirely consistent.

But the general rules about how different mic models sound, where you place them, the fact that you can get phase cancellation depending on relative placement -- it all kind of works in the AmpliTube Cab Room much as it does in the real world.

Since the '70s or '80s, probably the majority of recorded guitar tones (at least those recorded in the US) have depended on sticking an SM57 right up on the grill, close to the cone. That's a good start. :mrgreen: Then, a lot of people put a 421 off towards the edge of the speaker (though still quite close up), and blend that with the 57. It seems to me that British studios or engineers, through the 70s, were perhaps more likely to use the Neumann mics than 57s (though it's probably all much the same everywhere, these days).

Anyway, there's a lot of useable info about mic'ing cabs on YouTube, and much of it can be translated to AmpliTube.
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