View Full Version : Clarity
09-06-2006, 08:12 AM
I was listening to the TC Electronics video on their site about the G-system. Next I watched the GT-Pro demo's from the Roland site. It struck me that the Pro has much more muddy-nes in it, where the G-System has way more overall clarity. Talking about the HC and stuff, isn't it wat we try to do: Add more clarity to the Pro? I am not able to dial in clarity in the GT, without also adding musquito's to the sound... :?
09-06-2006, 08:46 AM
I feel that comparing the GT Pro to the G System is like comparing apples to oranges. The G System was designed to be a multi FX processor (no preamp or speaker sims). If you compared apples to apples (just the effects on both units, you would not find a drastic difference in the clarity of their effects. Part of what you're paying for with the G System is the included MIDI pedal and the MIDI switchable loops.
All that being said, as an HC owner, I can say that I bought it to remove the fizz and add the mid range warmth present in a saturated tube amp. It delivers on both counts and yes, I can boost the highs without it sounding fizzy so you are correct, in the end I gain add clarity and definition without it sound fizzy.
09-06-2006, 09:34 AM
Well, let me put it this way: My concern is not that the TC is not an amp modeler or whatever. What concerns me is that the PRO misses this clarity. Getting rid of the fuzzyness is one thing. But a unit expensive as the pro, with all the features it has should not always sound muddy. Even the demo's from Boss themselves sound muddy. And a lot of people are trying to compensate that with extra gear, even myself. Or am I missing the point here? Is this maybe "the Boss sound" some people refer to and is it something other people actually like? It's just that all of a sudden I am not so sure anymore of the overall Pro's quality...
09-06-2006, 09:49 AM
What and how are you using your GT Pro? Is it your preamp and effects or are you using it just for its effects with an external preamp or amp?
Regardless of which pieces of gear people are using to enhance the sound of the GT Pro, it's all related to the preamp section of the GT Pro and not the effects. Heck, my HC is in the FX Loop so the only effects that are affected by it are the pre-distortion effects (e.g. wah, compressor, etc). Even then, I'm only using the HC to make the GT Pro sound more like a real tube amp. There are still plenty of people that are perfectly happy with the sound of the GT8/Pro with no external gear though alot of those folks are using guitar amps or guitar cabs (as opposed to FRFR cabs).
Also, every modeler I've ever tried or heard suffers from the same fizziness that the GT Pro has. Even then, the fizziness has nothing to do with muddiness from my perspective. There two different issues in my opinion. I had no problem creating tones that were not muddy using just the Pro. However, I ran into the same issues you have regarding clarity and defintion. I could not get a clear and defined distorted tone without hearing fizz.
09-06-2006, 10:14 AM
Yep. I use it for preamp and effects, both into a PA, with cab sims, and into my Peavey 50/50 tube poweramp, without cab sims. Fizzines and muddiness are 2 different issues indeed. But it is so easy when trying to conquer the muddiness, the sounds becomes fizzy because of the highs one would dial in.
What bothers me though is that, as stated, the Preamp section generates this muddiness. But the Preamp section should be the Pro's jewel on the crown. It is what the Pro's all about.
So one solution would be to bypass the preamp (and distortion?) section, and replace it for instance with a tube-preamp?
09-06-2006, 10:22 AM
Well guys. This is a nice and healthy discussion.
Let’s make one thing clear: Clarity doesn’t necessarily mean HF (high frequency). Every instrument needs to be present in its own frequency range in order to get the most and the best out of it. In the case of the electric guitar, you don’t really need frequencies higher than 8 KHz and in most cases 6 KHz is enough. You may ask why is that so. Well if you look at the “Old guys” (if you listen to their sound) you’ll barely hear any guitar having very much of HF characteristic to it. In the old days, when the transistor technology wasn’t that available (luckily), people used a tube to amplify the sound. As we all know the tube puts warmth to the sound. But how does the tube make the sound warm? Well we people want to be perfect, but we don’t seem to like perfect tings. The tube is anything but a perfect amplifier. And a saturated tube is even worse amplifier. But this is what seems to do the trick. The one and the most important advantage the tube had over the transistor is the response time. This is why the tube amp has a better attack (time response) when you slap a string. Now days the transistor technology produces far better (according to specifications) sound than the tube, but still the warmth isn’t there and never will be with out seeking the possibility to add it artificially.
So the biggest advantage of the tube, the response time, isn’t advantage anymore as the most transistors and digital circuits have been taking this advantage on their side, so that the only thing left is to somehow damage, corrupt, distort or degrade the sound in order to put warmth in it. The first thing to try is to emulate saturated tube which distorts the sound (just a little bit). The next step is to use some High CutOff filters or notch filters in order to get rid of the very HF above the 8KHz mark. Further you can try to boost the midrange (anything from 2 kHz to 5 kHz) with variable Q factor for versatility. All that sounds like mounting a 1000 break horse power engine in a car and put a throttle limiter or a speed limiter at the same time, so that the car won’t be able to exceed the speed limits. However, when you have done these three things with your guitar sound, you’ll be as near as you can get to what tube amp makes with the sound. If you are keen to play with such things and experiment much, I’m sure you’ll find what you search for. Going a little further, you can make use of a resonator with variable parameters for simulation of a cabinet with variable size and number of speakers.
I did all that and now I am extremely happy with the sound of my gear. I don’t have fizz in my sound but I have clarity. I don’t need to use much compression or drive but I still have the body, the punch and the power when I touch a string. So as some say: “Less is more”.
The “Old guys” did not have to deal with the overkill the today’s technology offers to us musicians, which means the sound that they had was just a natural sound with out them even knowing the potential problem brought later to us by the modern technology.
Luckily for us the same modern technology provides us with the “anti venom” tools to remove the unwanted effect of the high quality electronic.
09-06-2006, 10:26 AM
Ok, cool. We're on the same page now.
I too thought that I wanted a tube preamp over the GT8/Pro's preamp until I actually tried a tube preamp (the Triaxis in my case) side-by-side against the GT8 with and HC. I could not perceive a measurable difference.
If you're even considering a tube preamp, I would highly recommend getting a Harmonic Converger instead. The HC will give you the tubiness you're looking for, retains all the flexibility of the GT Pro and makes the GT's preamps more dynamic and responsive. I am not aware of a single person who has bought an HC that wasn't happy with it. Heck, I'm going to order my second one this week! 8O There's not a tube preamp out there that can compete with a modeler's versatility.
BTW, if you completely bypass the Pro's preamp, you also bypass the speaker sims but you might already know that. The only workaround to that is to just the Full Range Preamp. Regardless, I would still take an HC over an external tube preamp any day of the week.
09-06-2006, 10:38 AM
The next step is to use some High CutOff filters or notch filters in order to get rid of the very HF above the 8KHz mark. Further you can try to boost the midrange (anything from 2 kHz to 5 kHz) with variable Q factor for versatility.I'm very familiar and comfortable working with parametric EQs. I tried the things you suggested before I bought and HC and I just ended up with a muffled tone. Besides, guitar speakers will reproduce frequencies about 8 kHz and the guitar signal has harmonic content that goes beyond 8 kHz.
Going a little further, you can make use of a resonator with variable parameters for simulation of a cabinet with variable size and number of speakers.I've had good luck using resonators but I've also achieved good sounds without them too.
I did all that and now I am extremely happy with the sound of my gear. I don’t have fizz in my sound but I have clarity. I don’t need to use much compression or drive but I still have the body, the punch and the power when I touch a string. So as some say: “Less is more”.Wait a minute, aren't you using the Behringer Modulizer and Virtualizer to achieve your tone?
09-06-2006, 11:02 AM
EQs, FILTERS AND CABS.
About the EQ settings that I recommended, I said that they can be to extreme for someone while to soft for others, so you must self find what you want as the result depends on the guitar, the amp and the whole rest of pieces you use in you gear.
Guitar cabinets can produce above 8 KHz but it shouldn’t produce them as loud as the midrange. There is no good professional guitar cab which produces frequencies above 10KHz with the same level as the midrange level or at least must provide a minimum of 20 dB Hi cut adjustable filter starting from 10 kHz downwards.
Resonators are good, but there are many different ways to simulate cabinets. I personally like the phasing method. Using flangers and / or phasers in manual mode can give very impressive results.
Yes that’s right. I am using modulizer and virtualizer to get the sound that I love. The modulizer and the virtualizer has the technology that I mentioned earlier (saturated tube, hoch and cutoffs, resonators, cabsims and all that stuff).
09-06-2006, 11:06 AM
Wait a minute, aren't you using the Behringer Modulizer and Virtualizer to achieve your tone?
Aha! cought in the act... 8)
Fizziness is not my problem. I have already dialed some good overdriven, tubelike sounds in my pro. It's just that it never sounds real "open" to me. It would realy finish of my sounds. And I went through the whole book: Pe / post dist EQ, less gain etc... The sound is always a little compact (c.q. muddy). About the HC: The sound samples posted do not convince me that it opens up / give clarity to my sound.
09-06-2006, 11:12 AM
EQs, FILTERS AND CABS.You are absolutely right about the frequency response curve of guitar speakers and I never meant to give the impression that there isn't a steep drop off after 8 kHz. However, the drop off is rarely smooth of even which is why EQs never really do it for me.
MY SOUND.Yes that’s right. I am using modulizer and virtualizer to get the sound that I love. The modulizer and the virtualizer has the technology that I mentioned earlier (saturated tube, hoch and cutoffs, resonators, cabsims and all that stuff).From what I've heard that you've posted using these 2 devices, you and I are both ending up with similar results and spent about the same amount of money to do so. While I can see the advantage of having switchable gear to do all of that, I can also see the advantage of having a passive box that sounds good with no tweaking. I would like to check out both of those Behringer pieces but they are very difficult if not impossible to come by in the States.
09-06-2006, 11:31 AM
I like to support what I am talking with facts.
Here is a link to a well known Celestion guitar speaker with some specifications.
Deffinition for guitar speaker from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_speaker
A guitar speaker is a loudspeaker, usually 12" in diameter, which produces less than full frequency response. A guitar speaker produces some distortion when driven hard.
More about guitar speakers and guitar amps from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_amplifier
Types of instrument amplifiers
A wide range of instrument amplifiers is now available, some general purpose and some designed for specific instruments and even for particular sounds. These include:
• "Traditional" guitar amplifiers, with a clean, warm sound, a sharp treble roll-off at 5 kHz or less and bass roll off at 60–100 Hz, and often built-in reverb and "vibrato" units. These amplifiers, such as the Fender "Tweed"-style amps, are often used by traditional rock, blues, and country musicians.
• Hard rock-style guitar amplifiers, which often include a preamplification controls, tone filters, and distortion effects that provide the amplifier's characteristic tone. Users of these amplifiers use the amplifier's tone to add "drive", intensity, and "edge" to their guitar sound. Amplifiers of this type, such as Marshall amplifiers, are used in a range of genres, including hard rock, metal, and punk.
Please pay attention to the frequency response of the speakers and cabs. It never exceeds 6 KHz.
Guitar speakers and cabinets that respond to HF are really meant for using as control on stage or backstage.
09-06-2006, 11:38 AM
Matt_B. Ok. But why should you restrict your self down to only using Eqs for tweaking the sound. You could also use deeper parametric EQs or noch filters (cut off filters in general).
And yes I like switchable gear as it gives me freedom and possibility to express my self in a better way when I make my sounds.
Hmm… I thought Behringer was quite in the US.
09-06-2006, 11:51 AM
I like to support what I am talking with facts.
Here is a link to a well known Celestion guitar speaker with some specifications. http://www.zzounds.com/item--CELVINT3008I never trust any specs listed on a retailer's site because they can often be wrong or at the very least misleading. Check out the frequency response curve for that speaker on Celestion's website (http://professional.celestion.com/guitar/products/classic/detail.asp?ID=4)
Please pay attention to the frequency response of the speakers and cabs. It never exceeds 6 KHz.Regardless of any roll-off that occurs, there is harmonic content present in a distorted guitar signal that is lost when I use the LPF in the GT Pro. It gives that wet blanket sound. Even if the frequencies above 6 kHz are substantially reduced, they are still present and contribute to the overall sound.
09-06-2006, 12:09 PM
Check out the frequency response curve for that speaker on Celestion's website (http://professional.celestion.com/guitar/products/classic/detail.asp?ID=4)
Matt_B, the specs show no difference from one site to other
Power Handling: 60W
Impedance: 8 or 16 Ohms
Sensitivity (1W @ 1m): 100dB
Resonant Frequency: 70Hz
Frequency Response: 70Hz - 5kHz
Magnet Weight: 50 oz.
Power Rating 60W
Nominal impedance 8Ω and 16Ω
Frequency range 70-5000Hz
Resonance frequency, Fs 75Hz
Magnet weight 50oz, 1.42kg
I don’t see a difference. What is the point?
09-06-2006, 12:15 PM
I don’t see a difference. What is the point?I'm sorry, you're right. I was adding an extra zero to the specs on Celestion's home site. I need a bigger font. :)
In all seriousness though, I really don't trust the specs listed on retailer's websites. Check out the specs for the GT Pro on various retailer's sites (Musician's Friend, Sam Ash, Guitar Center). They all list the GT Pro as having "three stereo effects loops" which we all know is incorrect. That's why I don't trust retailer's sites to have the correct info, that's all.
09-06-2006, 12:27 PM
Ok. I agree. However whether this Celestion speaker has the specs listed on the website or not, is one thing, while the fact that a good guitar speaker shouldn’t reproduce higher than 8 KHz is completely another story which we all know is true and it doesn’t have anything to do with trusting dealers on the web.
Anyway, you woke up my curiosity and I would like to hear to you guitar sound. Do you think it is possible for you to publish some sound clips made by you?
09-06-2006, 01:36 PM
...the fact that a good guitar speaker shouldn’t reproduce higher than 8 KHz is completely another story which we all know is trueOK, the last thing I'm going to say about this I don't look at it nor do I hear it like that. The high end roll-off of a guitar speaker is more complex than a shelving EQ. It's not a smooth slope of X dB per octave. Even if a guitar speaker does not reproduce frequencies about a certain range efficiently, it does reproduce and this, to my ear, add to the overall tonal character of the final sound. That is why using a shelving EQ to roll off frequencies above a certain range does not sound sound the same to me as what a real-life speaker does to my sound.
Anyway, you woke up my curiosity and I would like to hear to you guitar sound. Do you think it is possible for you to publish some sound clips made by you?Yes, I should be able to do that this weekend if not a little sooner. I've got a new acoustic arriving today that I've been dying to play so it will probably get a lot of attention over the next few days.
09-06-2006, 02:22 PM
Yeah. :D It’s always nice and cozy with some new stuff. The exciting is unquestionable.
As for the EQs and cut-offs I completely agree with you. HF cut-of done physically by a speaker is way too complex and cannot be compared to what a shelving EQ does and I’m sorry if you got the impression that I meant the opposite. You can never fully emulate a cabinet using a conventional EQ no matter what. That’s why speaker simulators incorporate complicated circuits and cost sometimes as much as full featured guitar combo.
I look forward to hear some sounds from you.
09-06-2006, 05:58 PM
Thanks for all the info. I use a Peavey 50/50 power amp driving one (or 2) 1x12 Marshall 1912 cabinet. And I use a mixer whith some high quality headphones at home (neighbours...pfh...) with main out Amp Select = JC-120, 1x12 Cab). To be honest: The headphones configuration sounds pretty close to the power amp setup. (both have this "muddiness" though, but..whatever). I am too looking forward to some soundclips...
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