Low distortion/poor tone bias amp 1&2

  • As a stand alone or running in a DAW, my insane, metal and high gain amps all sound like they should be in the crunch section. Very muddy and similar in sound. I'm running a Jackson KV2 with stock pickups into a behringer UMC 22 interface to windows 10 with behringer studio 50 monitors. I've seen others post about this question but haven't found any answers. Am I missing something?

  • @matt-mcginness It is almost certainly a signal level issue or DAW config issue.

    For signal level you have:

    1. The input. The input typically is a make or break point for a computer direct recording setup.
    2. Gain stages along the signal path.

    The UMC22 has a high Z instrument input. Make sure you are using that as it is a better input for a direct guitar. It is not the world's best High Z (that may literally be the cheapest interface made ;) ) but it is WAY better than plugging a guitar level signal into a line interface which is what input 1 is on that box. It will be 'input 2' on your DAW/driver. The input 2 also has a gain adjustment dial on the device. Dial this and strum solidly... adjust the gain until it clips (red light) now back it down until it consistently stays green with no clip. You want the highest level signal you can get that is NOT clipping.

    Gain Stages:
    There are usually several points along any signal path where 'gain' can be adjusted all of these you want high enough to get a strong signal at that point in the chain but low enough to not clip it's own I/O or the next stage's. The first point you adjusted at the input but the others you will need to look at individually these will include things like (the plugin's input and output level sliders, the daws control for channel, master, and bus input.output level, the computer drivers settings for input/output levels.

    Other stuff:
    For muffled sounds or signals where the frequency content is off (like say not enough treble is common) there are other potential culprits. Cable quality and length (addressed by new cables or buffers in the signal chain), Impedance of your pickups and the interface input mismatching (addressed by better interface, direct boxes, buffering). Etc.

    It seems like a lot to mess with but a lot of the stuff will be okay out of the box. In your case I would be suspect of the signal coming into the interface input or the interface's high-z. Once you have adjust the input as per the above and just do a quick spot check of all your levels.... if you do not see an immediate improvement from that, I would try putting a buffer or direct box in line with the signal and using the line input that might slam dunk your problem... or I might skip all that and shop for a higher end interface and setup from scratch.

  • @elric thank you for the extensive reply!

  • @matt-mcginness Go to the preamp section and click the preamp dropdown and select a more aggressive preamp. There are several, and you might find what you are looking for.

  • @danbieranowski for an example, in the bias amp 2 demo done by Ola on YouTube, he clicks on the mesa setting and the tone he is getting without tweeking the amp is no where near the distortion I'm getting. OD pedal? post production?

  • @matt-mcginness Dude I'm telling you it is almost certainly your input level.

  • @matt-mcginness What kind of pickups are you using? What does your input volume look like?

    Also, yes he could be using a pedal on the front end to push the amp. I use a Horizon Devices Precision Drive to push mine.

  • maybe toggle the 'direct monitor' button as well. if that's on you'll hear just what the interface hardware is getting, not what the software is sending back.

  • Ola said there was nothing else involved. I think it was his pickup, super hot....although I'm using something about as hot as a Tone Zone, and I get plenty of input gain.

  • @matt-mcginness You're not the only one. There's a whole other thread going on here about that (look up 'Celestion┬« IR's and more'). No answers in the comments - but a LOT of people w/the same issue (me included).
    To me, BA 2 sounds completely dull and responds like a cheap guitar. Sound like all the high end has been rolled off, and a weird mid-range honk going on. I hope they fix it, soon!

  • @elric Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is experiencing this. Bigtime! Though in regards to other variables such as cable length/quality, interfaces, buffer size, etc; what about the people who haven't changed a single thing except for BIAS itself? I'm using an Audient iD14 w/Logic & Mac. Monitors are brand new JBL LSR-305's.
    (I can't believe this slipped by somehow (?))))))

  • @matt-mcginness It's not your DAW config. or signal level. Let me ask: Did you change your DAW settings or alter your normal signal level somehow? Probably not. Because I didn't and I'm having the exact same issue: BA 2 sound horrible like there's something wrong with it. Bigtime. I didn't realize it until I opened both 1 & 2 together and A/B'd them. The shock was (still is!) astounding. I went through EVERY SINGLE STOCK AMP, which all contain the exact same internal/external(knob) settings, cabs, mics, and mic placement, and in every instance, BIAS 1 sounded bright, and spanky, great response, no weird midrange honk on amps like Marshalls, Hiwatts, & Oranges, etc. Idk.

  • @mark-meyers My experience with ba2 is the same... Something wrong has happened in this new release. What seems really incredibile to me is that PositiveGrid is not releasing a patch or something similar to a fix. BA2 is simply unusable imho at the moment. Anyway, Please PG do something :disappointed: !

  • @ironfede80 Hey man, I started a whole new thread on this. See if you can find it "NEW INSIGHT INTO POOR TONE RESPONSE BA 2". Mine just started working after I put it down for a few hours, but there was still something off compared the stock amps in BA 1. Like a pillow in front of the cabs, lifeless, all the top end rolled off? If that what you're hearing? The discrepancy between the two versions is the mic placement. For ex. (..and I suggest you open BA 1 & 2 in standalone simultaneously to quickly A/B the amps. Just dial up stock amps and cabs and don't touch anything) if you dial up a JCM800 in BA 2. You'll have to move the mic closer to the cap (if not dead hovering over it). Also, some models (mostly the higher gain amps) will require some distance adjustment to get them the "match". But who's to say the "new voicings aren't more accurate? Idk, but my instincts say no. More importantly, PG has been made aware of my "mic placement calibration" issue and they're investigating it.
    But I honestly don't think there's a "problem" per se'. Though it sounds like your install went sideways like mine somehow. I'd suggest all the obvious: restart everything, etc. Then Try to completely uninstall it and reinstall it. You'll know when it starts working correctly. Then it's just a matter of realizing that the mic placement sounds way darker even though the distances "appear to look" the same and you're gonna automatically need to move the mic closer to the cap to get the brightness and spank back. I explained to PG that I wasn't sure how this would affect the amps as a whole, but it seems to be a disadvantage to have the brightest part of a Greenback in BA 2 sound like cone edge in BA 1, only to get "darker" from there opinion. Idk. But rest assured. PG is on it ;) Let me know how your progress or breakthrough( breakdowns?) go! Msg. me if you have any more questions!

  • @matt-mcginness Hey man, did you see my thread from yesterday? About the INSIGHT INTO POOR TONE RESPONSE BA 2? Check it out. Mine started working (at first it was horrendous! I think that's an install issue that some are having, like myself - which like I said, fixed itself). But the issue with the "muddiness", etc. is with BA 2's mic placement (!) That's it! All the mics basically need to be moved closer to the cap(if not dead center) and some models require some distance adjustment too. It's a delicate dance. I'd first try and make sure your install went ok. I'd even dump it, restart, reinstall, restart, then launch. You should hear it the moment it starts to sound "right", then it's just a matter of moving mics closer than you normally would in BA 1. And like I said in another post: PG is investigating this right now. So stay vigilant and keep us all up to date on your situation. Sweet! Good luck! So in conclusion, I was originally wrong about everything, and the one guy here was right about your input level - but it's not YOUR input level, it's the mics input level (as in being voiced closer to the edge) and possible the "bad install bug" that a select few seem to be having. And I assume half of your opinion is founded in comparison as a BA 1 user? I'm telling ya'. We're all gonna get through this!

  • @mark-meyers I will try a reinstall but I have noticed a big improvement when using active pickups. My main guitars all have passive Seymour Duncan sh-4 and TB-4's in them and one with dimarzio mark morton SIG humbuckers. Dug out a BC Rich with EMG's in it. Its still not there yet. Went from dark and muddy to a brighter tone. Worked on the levels with some improvement but now into the clipping stage. Thinking a DI box or a better interface.

  • @matt-mcginness Just out of curiosity, have you been able to try the 100 PG amp match presets on the cloud? A lot of the higher gain amps sound bright to me, and if they're a tad dark for taste, they can easily be brightened up just by using a bright mic (57) and moving it away from the cab.

    These official amp match presets sound (for the most part) clear as day matched up with my Music Man passive pup guitars and LP. On a side note, I actually find the Celestion Classic Cabs and the stock cabs in BA2 Elite to be quite a bit darker (out of the box) than the recently released cabs in the amp match presets on the cloud. I find them to have a prominent high-midrange coloring that requires way more tweaking to tame.

    As far as low level input/less gain in BA2, I'm not having any issues here that I find to be unmanageable. If your clipping your input, might I suggest instead of pushing your input to increase your gain/distortion, increase the gain stages in the preamp (if you haven't) or use a third party drive pedal plugin before BIas Amp. Mercuriall drive pedals are what I use and they sound great and are free. The Greed Smasher and TSC match up well with Bias...or any guitar software for that matter.

    If your maxing out the preamp gain stages and input, but still have minimal gain, you definitely might want to look at the interface as the possible culprit

    They can be found here
    Mercuriall free stuff

  • @anthony-newcomb I'm getting pretty good tone using an OD pedal plugin like you mentioned, but its not the "stock tone" I'm hearing from everyone else. Mine all sound like a crunch to hi gain Marshall with not much variation. Im going to try to post some audio examples this week of what tone I'm getting versus others. Maybe that'll be a quick way for someone to pinpoint the issue.

  • @matt-mcginness are you increasing the gain stages in the preamp section or any other settings that naturally increase gain within the components? Or are you just using stock amps and adjusting your gain and master on only the front of the amp?

    Reason I ask is because hearing your sound sample is kinda limiting what others can help with, but knowing what amp, preamp settings, and power stage settings your using are going to be far more helpful in determining a fix

  • @anthony-newcomb the samples would be others stated stock tone. Say...the triple rectifier. Just guitar into interface then into bias on PC with no tweeking of the amp. My sample would be the same way same amp. Just want to have my purchase sound the way it should. Its frustrating.