Guitarix Best Practices

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a.d.
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Guitarix Best Practices

Post by a.d. »

Hello All:
I've been using Guitarix for a couple of years and am happy with it. I've been able to get sounds I like, however I have no idea what I'm doing.

The tone I'd like to emulate is comparable to a JCM 800 with a 4x12 cabinet. I can get a great tone with Guitarix 0.42.1 with the following settings:

* Noise gate at .062
* JCM 800 preamp at 0.86
* The Guitarix amp: < no tube emulation selected >, Master Gain: 18, Master Volume: -25.8
* Power amp: Input: 15.2, Single ended EL84, Output: -1.5
* Convolver: Left knob: 1.8, Right knob: 100%, Guitarix's included Mesa Boogie Mark V.wav IR, 100% wet mix

These settings allow me to have both a distorted sound when playing loudly, and a cleaner sound when playing more quietly. My concern is that I've been unable to sanely add equalization. I don't quite understand the Tonestack nor where it should go in the order of effects. There is a 3 Band EQ, however it seems like the only place this EQ can go is at the very end of the stack. Needless to say, when I play with the Tonestack and various EQ's (and change their order in the stack) I mess up my sound.

Assuming I have a reasonable setup, which Guitarix effect would be akin to the "low, mid, high" controls of a typical amp head, and where should the effect go in the stack?

Cheers!
Basslint
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by Basslint »

a.d. wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 7:59 pm Assuming I have a reasonable setup, which Guitarix effect would be akin to the "low, mid, high" controls of a typical amp head, and where should the effect go in the stack?

Cheers!
That would be the Tonestack! I reverse that question - where should it go if that were a physical setup? :D
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Bjorn218
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by Bjorn218 »

Try this,

Gate,
EQ
Preamp
Guitarix

Your Poweramp is wrong. JCM800 is a class A/B using el34's, 6550, 5881, or KT88's.
IR loader The IR for the Mark V will probably be V30's which do not do the 800 justice. Find one that is using Celestion V12T-75, V12-65's, pr V12-100's

The reason is that the V30 is designed to accentuate the high mids that modern amplifiers lack and the 800s have in spades. The speakers that came in that era cabinets have a slight upper mid cut or some say scooped in the region. They balance the tone of the amp itself the V30 types that a Mark V would have are like having a +6db peak at 2300Hz then using an EQ to add another 4db to 2365 with a wide Q. the other speakers will flatten that initial peak a little. You can also use greenbacks, but I find them to be a little squishy if using a JCM800 master volume head(the one everyone improperly calls a JCM800, the amp is actually a 2203), if using a Superlead type amp sim or amp[ Greenbacks work great.

You may also check out the eq plugin between the preamp and the Guitarix. that would emulate using an eq in a fx loop

I have not used the software you are speaking of, but Ive been using amplifier sims since around 1999-2000. You may also look at the Air Windows plugins. I cant stand the UI of them, but they always sound good. they are also really lightweight on your resources.
a.d.
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by a.d. »

Hi @Basslint . In a physical setup there would typically be EQ knobs as part of the preamp. When I add the Tonestack (default personality) either before or after the JCM 800 Preamp I seem to lose a bit of gain. It sounds a bit better to have the Tonestack after the JCM 800 Preamp, though I can't yet make the setup sound better after adding the Tonestack.

This makes me think I'm not understanding the flow properly, or that I should expect different behavior when using a separate preamp and poweramp.
a.d.
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by a.d. »

Great write up, @Bjorn218. In this case, Guitarix has all of the above functions and more. The same software has various preamps, poweramps, cabinets, and built-in impulse responses. To your point, you can make configuration combinations that are sub-optimal in the real world, or might sound amazing.

I always record two guitar tracks. The first guitar track uses Guitarix, the second is just the normal signal from my guitar interface. I can return to the recording at any later point and add a different effect to the normal signal.
Rodney
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by Rodney »

The way how I setup is gx_head at the "---" setting with all knobs left unchanged but with all the buttons disengaged. Then the signal chain goes as follows:
1) overdrive pedal(s)
2) Gate (if required)
3) JCM800pre
4)Tonestack (JCM800 profile)
5)JCM800Powa (experimental plugin not released by guitarix team yet) but can be replaced by any other power amp plugin
6)Convolver (I use Red Wirez Free G12Ms impulses)
7) Effects (reverb, delay etc.)

That´s it. Have fun

Cheers,

Rodney
a.d.
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by a.d. »

Thanks @Rodney. Putting the Guitarix amp first in the chain improved my sound. I've found the Tonestack changes the signal a bit too aggressively so I'm doing without. I'm also looking forward to trying the JCM 800 power amp!
Bjorn218
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by Bjorn218 »

a.d. wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 10:57 pm Great write up, @Bjorn218. In this case, Guitarix has all of the above functions and more. The same software has various preamps, poweramps, cabinets, and built-in impulse responses. To your point, you can make configuration combinations that are sub-optimal in the real world, or might sound amazing.

I always record two guitar tracks. The first guitar track uses Guitarix, the second is just the normal signal from my guitar interface. I can return to the recording at any later point and add a different effect to the normal signal.
Yeah you dont need any help, you know whats up. I was mainly commenting as it sounded like you weren't sure of the topography of the Marshall 2203 circuit, and was confused by the software layout. Which is a little confusing on how its routed. It is similar to the BIAS stuff, but has more lateral modules, than the usual linear layout aside from the usual effect loop a plugin my have, but those always seem to be serial loops anyway so still linear, just having to turn into a culdesac so to speak. Where a parallel loop rides parallel to an amp signal so you have a wet/dry mix. which is actually closer to how DAW software works but I digress.

Right now I am undecided if I am going to stay fully in Linux for everything as I do not like Hydrogen and I do a hell of a lot of drum programming for local kids bands for side coin. Hydrogen is built more for dance music and less to mimic a real drummer, so there are no on the fly envelopes it seems
a.d.
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by a.d. »

Hi @Bjorn218. You are quite correct that I don't know the internals of Marshalls. Worse, I still am a hack at best getting tones out of Guitarix. My mention of a JCM800 was to give an idea of the sound I'd like to achieve. In the real world I use the distortion from a Peavey 5150 rhythm channel, while using it's lead channel as my clean tone. If you use a lot of gain on the 5150's rhythm channel, you get a distortion that I much prefer over the 5150's lead channel.

Suffice to say, many don't know about this 5150 rhythm channel "trick", so I feel the desired sound is comparable to that of a JCM800.

I highly recommend DrumGizmo, especially paired with @JamesPeters
Tchackpoum drum kit: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=21233. Both DrumGizmo and James's kit have been created to sound very natural. James included many velocity layers, and DrumGizmo has very convenient features to humanize the sound. Both DrumGizmo and James's kit are brilliant and deserve more fame.
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milo
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Re: Guitarix Best Practices

Post by milo »

Also a quick plug for the AVL Drumkits lv2: http://x42-plugins.com/x42/x42-avldrums

It is a little lighter than DrumGizmo, but easy to get great sound out of.
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