Matching preset output levels

  • So how do you guys go about making sure the output levels are the same across presets like clean to crunch to high gain?

  • A2

    %$#^$#$&$ $&$%*&% ^^% & needs per preset output volume!!! And a $&%$% signal generator and meter

    I end up doing it with -15dBFS pink noise in VST and put the free Melda loudness meter thing on the output. Often I'll use the graphic EQ as a volume control, but since you cant &^^((&((&(*^%&^ fine tune, its not always how you want

  • @brian-dress

    Same way I make the presets - by ear : ]

  • Ok I get it but what actually makes the change? The master volume of the amp is supposed to introduce saturation right? So what is the method to actually make the sounds even if you’re doing it by ear?

    I’m doing this on mobile fyi

  • @brian-dress

    Well i know there is quite a few ways to do this - one way to balance it inside BFX is like with the mixer after the 2 amps (in dual) a good place to make some level adjustments. I also find that I like using the the tubebooster after the amps as sort of a master level, tone, and texture control. Some times one of the EQ's after the amps for the same purpose. All of these are in BFX but also when I can't get it right I go back to BA2 and make adjustments there and then go back to BFX. It does take some time but this task has always been a challenge even in hardware like 11 Rack (which I sold) or any of the other multitude of guitar gear I have used the past 38 or so years.

    I've 4 main presets I work with right now that I focus on and it's getting there. I have to say that BA2 is really easy to try too hard in when subtle adjustments can make a huge difference. A small change can destroy the setup or make it totally righteous and with so many changes you can make one must expect to spend many many months exploring all the possibilities and in today's world of instant-grat it can be a whole other challenge to just slow down and spend some real time and I mean hundreds of hours tweaking the Bias platform. I made the reference the other day that Bias seems more like an actual instrument to me than an app. I mean that just like an instrument it can take years to explore and find all the great sweetness we seek. If I approach it this way then I don't get worked up so easy about not getting what I want quickly, been playing guitar for oh a while and I still suck bad but it has not stopped me from trying thus far : ]

    cheers Brian!

  • @tafkad hey great tips there friend. I do like using Bias amp 2 inside of Bias fx. I feel like the sounds are better. I’m wondering how you control the amp output in Bias amp. I feel like I used to see some sort of level adjustment on the cab block. Maybe I am mistaken. I wish I had the slightest idea how to work with the different controls in Bias amp. This is where your statement on taking time is really true. I usually use an amp from the tone cloud and adjust from there

  • @brian-dress

    You are correct it is in there where the compression section is not to mention many other little level tweaks all over the app (even tonestack tweaks and tone adjustments throughout affect level). I feel that BA has so many adjustments you can actually make it sound horrible if you want which most people are not used to imo, I think people just expect only good sounds can be dialed in but it is a much wider range of control to try and meet with any situation. In some ways for some people it is great and in other ways for hasty people it could be a nightmare I'd guess.

  • @tafkad yeah I’m still learning how it all works together. Is there any kind of tech manual that can help with the learning? Or is it more play with it and see what you get?

  • @brian-dress

    Truth is I feel this is all new ground in amp modeling - a lot of the controls just don't react exactly like real world counterparts or as I'd expect them to which brings me back to treating it as it's own animal and a real instrument. When I swap real tubes from cheap new production to NOS tubes there is a big difference for me so imagine how hard that would be to try and model the difference between crap JJ 12AX7's and 1950's RCA long black plates - in modeling they just say 12AX7 (no idea what they used for the reference) When Bias got the 12AY7 I was stoked but not as much as I would have been if it was a "Triple Mica Black Plate General Electric JG-6072" best tube ever (I have a lot of those in stock) and they do sound different to me. So I guess it would be hard to suggest what to read to help. You could read tons on just Cathode followers alone or filter caps etc. Then go into BA2 and still have to explore like it was it's own entity - a reflection of the complexities of adding so many variables in an amp sim app to try and get it pleasing for each different ear and touch. I highly commend PG for taking on this challenge in a way that no other has and look forward to them keeping me busy til I'm dead (highly possible on this side of the hill haha)

  • A2

    There's some debate as to whether the master volume o nthe amp is non-linear. Also, adjusting the volume upstream can have some drastic unintended consequences if there are non linear fx downstream. More reasons why I'd love to see it as my Bias FX 2 Suggestions guide had it, or some other per preset output volume trick would work it

  • @pipelineaudio I feel like in looking at all of it my best chance is to adjust the levels of the master output level in the cab block of Bias amp. I could be way off. I have other questions about bias amp as well. When you’re adjusting on the preamp and poweramp sections there are level adjustments for gain knob and master. I’m wondering if these do something to effect the way the gain and master knobs on the amp front panel operate or if they are the real gain and master knobs. It’s all quite confusing to me

  • @brian-dress said in Matching preset output levels:

    I’m wondering if these do something to effect the way the gain and master knobs on the amp front panel operate or if they are the real gain and master knobs.

    I'd actually say both - just like the tonesatck the internal controls affect how the external controls (amp knobs) adjust. So if you look at it like this in regard to your query - let's say you plan "not" to change any knob settings on the front amp panel, will the internal gain and master knobs act as real gain and master knobs? in this case yes because the amp sound will change. But as we know we will mess with the knobs afterward, so will the front panel knobs also react differently with the different internal settings? yes - just like Gain Stages drastically shape the sound in a "real" way before you make any knob changes on the front panel the Gain Stage settings also determine the front panel knobs range of control - if any of that makes sense : ]

  • @pipelineaudio

    yep that's exactly what I meant about how easy it is to over-tweak this baby and make it sound bad (right when you almost have what you want when maybe it was just a tweak too much on that parameter and another parameter would be better to move to) and this can take some real effort to learn just what to do - and as with all things musical try a little at first on any setting idea or changes and maybe just one at a time and then play it a bunch and keep working that parameter to get the best idea of how it is affecting and affected - now add to that the I don't know how many total adjustments there are inside but it's a butt-load and makes for a true steep learning curve (I hate that term as it scares people off but it is accurate in this case)

  • @tafkad was reading through this again. So adjusting the back panel tonestack controls will affect how the front knobs operate? Ok I guess more fiddling is in order. Still having some difficult time leveling out my patches so my clean isn’t so quiet and my high gain isn’t so so oberpowering

  • @brian-dress I think there is a real thing going on here in regards with levels to the "clean sounds" and their relationship to the "driven sounds" where it is very difficult to get this to react like a "real multi channel amp" - my experience with real world amps that have multiple channels has usually been that the clean channel is harder to keep leveled to the same output as the dirty channel with the dirty channels having a much more even and compressed output and the clean channel needing to be turned down lower to match that output. Whereas it seems a lot of us are having difficulty in the opposite way in Bias FX getting to an even output from the clean channels.
    I can get pretty decent clean amp sounds in Bias Amp but when I take the amps to Bias FX and start switching between presets the clean seems lacking in comparison to the dirty and needs to be re-tweaked to get close. For some time I have felt it's not so much a problem with the clean vers dirty amp but ends up for me feeling like the clean amp level is not staying true all over the neck - in fact I feel the sounds is much louder in a certain area of the neck up near like the 12th fret say on the G string and B string and lacks true even definition and accurate loudness on the lower notes of the low E and A strings in the open positions up through say the 9th fret - meaning if I am playing open and up to the 5th and 7th frets and adjust my volume to fit the mix and then keep playing higher up on the frets and strings there is a noticeable loudness shift the higher I go on the neck and strings and I have to turn the volume down so much that the bottom end volume loses it's power to cut through and becomes weak sounding. Not real balanced up and down the neck. It does make it difficult and is why I have come up with a couple workarounds, one being using the tube driver at the end of the chain for my main output control to and a little grit to my clean tones and even the neck out and also the same by adding more gain stage and grit to the amp internally and then rolling back my guitar volume a little to help clean it up. I uploaded a patch a while back that is an example of the 2nd method. On it's own not so clean sounding (not like the glassy clean) but in the mix and with the volume on my guitar slightly rolled back it feels clean compared to my high gain presets. If you want to try it search for the word "dynamatic" and download it - note the picture shows a drive pedal but it is off by default.

    I need to go back and mess with some of the clean sounds as I did find some I like but just so busy I haven't dug in and done more lately. I'm sure it's all in the tweaking to get it right. Just so much to tweak and so little time...

  • Using a db plug in in your DAW or even a db meter app on your cell phone may help with the volume levels. For tweaking it's like a race car. You don't add 2 lbs of air to the left steer tire, and 1 to the right do a track bar adjustment and add 2 degrees of negative camber. You add 1 lb to the left tire and see how that works. Then you add/subtract one variable at a time and pay attention to not only what the change makes, how it interacts with other changes.

    Over time you'll have a idea in advance, what changing a variable will do. Always save your original amp and incremental changes that work and mess with a copy. This way if you mes it up you don't ave to start over.

  • A2

    Except that there isnt actually a per preset output volume. You could stick an eq plug at the end or something but its volume control is not fine enough, nor does it tell you its value at a glance nor does it allow direct entry