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TOPIC: Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs

Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16656

In my experience this is often just due to digital clipping somewhere in your gainstaging before the input.

You have this hidden harshness in one particular plugin which is exceeding its own internal 0 dbfs limit, and it ruins the sound before it ever even reaches the ampsim.

Digital clipping in any way, shape or form is a demon that molests even the most pristine guitar setup in-the-box. Eliminating it is #1 priority.

In short - turn your interface input quite low, to where you never dip into yellow when strumming hard, and turn your speakers up LOUD on your main outs - I mean, so loud that you can nearly hear the white noise from them, and so loud that you have to turn down windows/OSX system sound from within the operating system sound mixer because system noises are scaring the crap out of you :silly: .

This way, you will never be attempting to boost gain to absurd limits within a plugin as a means just to hear your guitar. Make all your input adjustments from a single plugin preferably, in front of your ampsim. Try to avoid plugins which do not include a clipping meter, because this is information you need to see. You can be just fine in the master buss as well as the channel meter, and be dipping into the red within a single plugin environment, so proper gainstaging takes work.

As hateful as it might sound, the best recommendation for some of you might be to invest in a better pair of monitor speakers for your computer studio setup. Remember, the speaker will be the limiting factor for anything you do in the box - if they can't put out the necessary dB at high fidelity, then sadly you'll never achieve a good guitar tone out of them :frustrated: .
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by LorenzoGamble.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16658

LorenzoGamble wrote:
In my experience this is often just due to digital clipping somewhere in your gainstaging before the input.

You have this hidden harshness in one particular plugin which is exceeding its own internal 0 dbfs limit, and it ruins the sound before it ever even reaches the ampsim.

Digital clipping in any way, shape or form is a demon that molests even the most pristine guitar setup in-the-box. Eliminating it is #1 priority.

I repeatedly see this come up in this discussion, it's a bit besides the point. DIgital clipping is to be avoided in all circumstances. Prior to the amp modelling, we can apply gain at the analog stage (before A/D), or post-A/D. This should be order-independent, meaning if you put a 6 dB boost in the analog stage OR post-conversion to digital, the difference should be negligible. The question remains: how can we calibrate the input stage to known range/constant, to get the models to respond as closely as possible to the real thing.

By analogy, this would be like having a mystery pedal before a REAL amp that alters amplitude what the amp sees, having a dramatic impact on tone. The audio interface input has exactly such an effect. How can we adjust for the as yet unknown properties of the mystery pedal, so that the amp behaves as though there was no mystery pedal there? This has *absolutely nothing* to do with digital clipping or clipping at audio interface input.
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Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by adamqlw.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16662

adamqlw wrote:
LorenzoGamble wrote:
In my experience this is often just due to digital clipping somewhere in your gainstaging before the input.

You have this hidden harshness in one particular plugin which is exceeding its own internal 0 dbfs limit, and it ruins the sound before it ever even reaches the ampsim.

Digital clipping in any way, shape or form is a demon that molests even the most pristine guitar setup in-the-box. Eliminating it is #1 priority.

I repeatedly see this come up in this discussion, it's a bit besides the point. DIgital clipping is to be avoided in all circumstances. Prior to the amp modelling, we can apply gain at the analog stage (before A/D), or post-A/D. This should be order-independent, meaning if you put a 6 dB boost in the analog stage OR post-conversion to digital, the difference should be negligible. The question remains: how can we calibrate the input stage to known range/constant, to get the models to respond as closely as possible to the real thing.

By analogy, this would be like having a mystery pedal before a REAL amp that alters amplitude what the amp sees, having a dramatic impact on tone. The audio interface input has exactly such an effect. How can we adjust for the as yet unknown properties of the mystery pedal, so that the amp behaves as though there was no mystery pedal there? This has *absolutely nothing* to do with digital clipping or clipping at audio interface input.

Frankly there's really no need to be that precise, because you're going to get quite a large degree of variance, (or mystery pedal, as you say) anyway in the signal you pump into the input of a real amp head from your guitar.

Why? Because the pickups on different guitars vary quite drastically in the information they both receive from the strings and transmit through its wiring and finally out the main jack to the amp pre.

So many things affect this, including the wiring scheme, magnet type and aperture shape, pickup height, and to a lesser degree even the type and condition of caps/pots used for the knobs. The construction and shape of the guitar itself will also have a huge effect, of course.

My Clapton Strat with custom pickups for example is literally 5 db quieter than my Ibanez RG that I use for my main lead guitar, and my Les Paul is louder than both of them. To compensate for this I made some presets in my compressor plugin that I use as the very first part of my signal chain (on all my guitars) for each specific guitar. That way I can just switch to a preset in my Sonalksis Mk2 compressor whenever I swap out for another axe. You could do something similar with basically any kind of gain plugin

In short, there is no "set level" a guitar needs to be at before the input stage, just use the input gain (or other stuffs in front of the amp pre) and your ears depending on whether you want to saute' some cream or fry up a nice pan of sizzling hot bacon :P .

The question you really should be asking is "how can I get a consistent input level across all of my guitars", in which case just use a good meter and make presets as mentioned before.

As far as how loud it should be coming into the amp pre? Again, it's not an exact science, but strive for headroom. This is the method that I use:

It's important to remember that past a certain point in any amp, real or sim, more gain just degrades the sound. One thing I like to do to find the "sweet spot" is to adjust the input gain in front of the pre to the point where an 8 or 9 on the pre knob is taking the signal into territory that is no longer practical. This assumes that the master amp stage doesn't saturate the signal nearly as much as the preamp (which is the usual case). If the master gain interacts in a more serious way with the gain character, I use the same technique but with the master volume about half-way up. That way I have my maximum gain basically at the far upper range of the preamp control, and I get to conserve all the headroom under that range. This technique should bring you close to the "ideal" input dB for that specific guitar.

That's why it's important to have unified gain levels across all your instruments, so that you don't have to make adjustments to the amp every time you plug in another guitar, just flick a compressor/gain preset on your plugin and you're golden :thumbs up:

Cheers,
Lorenzo
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by LorenzoGamble.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16663

Hi Lorenzo, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! I agree there is no need to be quantitatively precise to a high degree in this case, and that you will get a large degree of variance in signal between guitars. But this is exactly the variance I wish to preserve! I want to preserve the fact that difference guitars sound different, and the totality of this information is expressed in the frequency and amplitude of the signal. I am taking whatever happens prior to the analog input as fixed and supplied by the idiosyncrasies of the guitar/cables etc used.

The fact that your Clapton strat is 5dB quieter than your Ibanez RG is precisely what we wish to preserve. If you were plugging into a real amp, the odds are you’d have to turn up a little (affecting the tone) or add some compression (affecting the tone) or add more gain (affecting the tone). But what you are unlikely to do is add a 5dB boost before the amp to even that out, although that is what you do in the *digital* domain. Because gain staging is non-linear, WHERE you compensate for that 5dB difference across the signal chain really matters. You CAN use your ears, or you can remove subjectivity from the equation with some measurements.
I don’t think getting consistent input level across all guitars si the right question to ask, because it violates what we are trying to do: preserve the unique sound of each guitar as expressed by frequency and amplitude. How loud it should be coming into the amp pre can be benchmarked against the real world: how much gain (or reduction) is necessary so that the amp model behaves as closely to what it aims to recreate. You mention that past a certain point, more gain degrades the sound, here I presume you mean distortion. But the *character* of distortion is shaped by gain at the input stage, because distortion is non-linear. This increases the significance of proper gain staging. It’s also the reason preamp gain and power amp gain sound different, opening up the spectrum of possible tones.
I totally agree it’s important to have unified fain levels across all instruments, the question is how to determine what that unified level should be, based on the interface and software being used.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16664

You could also take the opposite view. Variance between guitars is a result of unfortunate compromises in physical design. Those single coil pickups have great tonal character and highs, but they hum a lot and don't have enough output to drive a typical Fender amp.

In the digital domain, we don't necessarily have all the same constraints. We can overcome some of these compromises because of the unique flexibility that comes from digital signal processing.

But the key to this discussion is really the boundary between the analog and digital worlds. Its the A-to-D converters on the input and the D-to-A converters on the output that are the critical components. This is where we have to deal with limited dynamic range and the issue of digital clipping. Eventually we'll have 32 or 64 bit converters that will provide the headroom to support complete transparency. In the meantime, this will continue to be a source of compromise and a challenge for digital amplifiers.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16665

adamqlw wrote:
Hi Lorenzo, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! I agree there is no need to be quantitatively precise to a high degree in this case, and that you will get a large degree of variance in signal between guitars. But this is exactly the variance I wish to preserve! I want to preserve the fact that difference guitars sound different, and the totality of this information is expressed in the frequency and amplitude of the signal. I am taking whatever happens prior to the analog input as fixed and supplied by the idiosyncrasies of the guitar/cables etc used.

The fact that your Clapton strat is 5dB quieter than your Ibanez RG is precisely what we wish to preserve. If you were plugging into a real amp, the odds are you’d have to turn up a little (affecting the tone) or add some compression (affecting the tone) or add more gain (affecting the tone). But what you are unlikely to do is add a 5dB boost before the amp to even that out, although that is what you do in the *digital* domain. Because gain staging is non-linear, WHERE you compensate for that 5dB difference across the signal chain really matters. You CAN use your ears, or you can remove subjectivity from the equation with some measurements.
I don’t think getting consistent input level across all guitars si the right question to ask, because it violates what we are trying to do: preserve the unique sound of each guitar as expressed by frequency and amplitude. How loud it should be coming into the amp pre can be benchmarked against the real world: how much gain (or reduction) is necessary so that the amp model behaves as closely to what it aims to recreate. You mention that past a certain point, more gain degrades the sound, here I presume you mean distortion. But the *character* of distortion is shaped by gain at the input stage, because distortion is non-linear. This increases the significance of proper gain staging. It’s also the reason preamp gain and power amp gain sound different, opening up the spectrum of possible tones.
I totally agree it’s important to have unified fain levels across all instruments, the question is how to determine what that unified level should be, based on the interface and software being used.

Yeah I get where you are coming from, I just don't think it's really a practical concern as far as actually recording music goes. If you are dead-set on creating a 1:1 emulation of a piece of gear interacting with your guitar though, I suppose you could go about doing some measurements at different gain levels comparing real world archetypes with their virtual counterparts and sort of "derive" the input gain.

But then you run into a new problem: Where are the real-world counterparts to the amps in S-Gear :??: ? Sadly I don't know of any. So then what is the analog "standard" we are going to use to make our measurements against?

It's pretty much the same thing as using a custom-built boutique-grade amp. It might have similar components to other stuff, but in the end its a unique beast and the gain-staging you choose to use will be subjective.

Taking it a step further, in a lot of the classic tones you hear from your favorite albums the guitars are going through a myriad of pedals before the signal even hits the amp to the point where the input gain could be well, anything.

All this to say I believe there's still loads of improvements to be made in ampsim technology (kudos to Mike being one of the guys pushing it forward), but I don't believe having a calibrated input level is one of them.

That being said, the quality of that signal is absolutely critical to milking the virtual amps for all they're worth, and as Jamsden said having pristine converters and preamps in your audio interface (or at the highest level, external modules) is probably the most fantastic investment you can make for this sort of thing, coupled with good monitor speakers.

This is one of the reasons I run all my guitars through gold-plated mogami cables and a Radial DI box before the interface. It really does make a difference in frequency fidelity and headroom, I highly recommend it.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by LorenzoGamble.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16666

jamsden wrote:
You could also take the opposite view. Variance between guitars is a result of unfortunate compromises in physical design. Those single coil pickups have great tonal character and highs, but they hum a lot and don't have enough output to drive a typical Fender amp.

In the digital domain, we don't necessarily have all the same constraints. We can overcome some of these compromises because of the unique flexibility that comes from digital signal processing.

But the key to this discussion is really the boundary between the analog and digital worlds. Its the A-to-D converters on the input and the D-to-A converters on the output that are the critical components. This is where we have to deal with limited dynamic range and the issue of digital clipping. Eventually we'll have 32 or 64 bit converters that will provide the headroom to support complete transparency. In the meantime, this will continue to be a source of compromise and a challenge for digital amplifiers.

Man, you are making me want to impulse buy a new interface right about now :unsure:

Been looking at the new presonus Quantum, the latency it supports at 32 sample buffer sizes is insane. I've seen some YT vids of folks running an insane amount of plugins in playback without it skipping a beat (all with crazy computers as well of course)

But for $1000 USD there's loads of other things I could waste my money on. :lol:
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 3 weeks ago #16667

Hello,

If anyone has not done so, you have a look at the ZOOM UAC-2. Even at USB2 speeds I am getting excellent results. And the quality of the HI-Z input is excellent!
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 2 weeks ago #16755

I had used real-world counterparts to make the analogy easy to understand, but even in the case of S-Gears amps, this is a problem.

Consider this scenario: You have a patch that you made with a particular guitar. You change your audio interface, and the signal is now 3 dB louder, due to the interface. Your patch is not going to sound the same, and unless you had taken note of the 3 dB difference, you could be compensating for it in the wrong place (and with non-linear impact).

The simple problem being tackled here is consistency, predictability, and reproducibility. Even when all those classic tones has a myriad of pedals before them, the sensitivity of the amp’s input was a constant. The use of audio interfaces makes this constant become a variable that depends on which interface you happen to be using. This is not optimal.

“Caliberated input” is not an improvement to the quality of amp simulation technology. But it removes one unnecessary variable from the equation, which makes amp sim technology more accessible and more intuitive as it mimics real-world functionality. And really all we need is someone who knows what the constant it is being calibrated to is to figure out a fixed point of reference.

In the case of hardware, one could send a known signal into the Axe FX or ElevenRack or Helix, and take that same known signal sent through the soundcard, and figure out the difference between the two to make the signals identical. We do not have that luxury with amp sims as hardware is now a variable, not a constant. Only the creator of the sim would know (or if the sim was accurate, someone with a real-world amp could figure it out using a similar method).
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 1 week ago #16766

Yeah that's another wrench in the gears as well, as far as I know Mike doesn't really model his amps to emulate any real-world counterparts, he just uses his expertise to know what works, what sounds good and what doesn't. He's basically like a boutique software amp designer.

But try to realize, when you run a pedalboard full of effects into an amp input, you're really altering the input level/signal a heck of a lot more than the Hi-Z your audio interface ever would in most cases. That to me is a pretty conclusive rationale for not worrying too much about calibrating the input to "real world" standards (especially when using compression on the way in to the amp, as with hi-gain recording situations)

:thumbs up:
Last Edit: 2 months 1 week ago by LorenzoGamble.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 2 months 1 week ago #16769

For what it's worth, I have personally typically plugged directly into the amp with no pedalboard. Even in the digital realm, most of my effects are post-amp. So if you run a pedalboard full of effects, you might reach down and given the output knob a tweak to compensate for different guitar output levels. This is exactly equivalent to adjusting the input gain depending on your guitar, and hence in your case, I can see why there is no need for a calibrated input *in that case*.

I have always liked the fact that different amps have a gain sweet spot that varies from guitar to guitar. This is partly, I believe, by design (it is in fact WHY a bright cap was introduced in the first place in older amps). It's not a deal breaker by any means, but I am somewhat surprised this issue has not cropped up earlier. I guess that's probably because most people who like the simplicity of plugging straight in and knowing what to get are probably the type of people who don't wade through the minefield of computer-based amp sims.

edit: Also, having had an elevenrack AND an axe FX2, I have seen the direct input signals on both .The Axe FX2 in particularly has levels that look WAY lower than I expected, absolutely nowhere near tickling the red, The explanation is below.

"The Axe-Fx II USB is 24 bits. This is 144.7 dB of dynamic range. Full-scale is about +20 dBu. So even if your guitar is -20 dBu (-40 dB re. FS) you still have over 100 dB of dynamic range.

A typical single coil pickup can easily exceed -20 dBu. A humbucker can easily exceed 0 dBu. Full-scale of 20 dBu gives you a few bits of headroom in case of very hot pickups.

The self noise of a guitar pickup and associated electronics limits its dynamic range to less than 100 dB typically."
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 3 weeks ago #16988

Do you guys set the input gain before or after inserting the s-gear plugin? I usually set the input gain so that the meters read -18 db (average), which is supposed to be 0 db in the analog world, before turning s-gear on. Then I adjust the input and output level in s-gear. But I'm still rather new to recording guitars with amp sim plugins so my question is: am I doing it all wrong and, therefore, not getting the best out of s-gear?
Thanks and sorry for the newb question...
Cheers
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 3 weeks ago #16989

SergioAureo wrote:
Do you guys set the input gain before or after inserting the s-gear plugin? I usually set the input gain so that the meters read -18 db (average), which is supposed to be 0 db in the analog world, before turning s-gear on. Then I adjust the input and output level in s-gear. But I'm still rather new to recording guitars with amp sim plugins so my question is: am I doing it all wrong and, therefore, not getting the best out of s-gear?
Cheers

Input gain (if you mean the one for your audio interface) should be set completely independent of your "in-the-box" processing chain, independent of the amp plugin you're using. The only purpose of setting input gain on your interface is to get a clean input signal with a high enough level to avoid too much noise, but low enough that you don't overload your audio interface (this is a horrible sound - definitely NOT a musical overdrive.

Unfortunately, different guitars have different output levels, classic Strats being at the lower end of the spectrum, hot-rodded guitars with active pickups delivering far more powerful output,

Traditional guitar amps don't care so much when you feed them with ultra-high guitar output - this simply drives their input stage harder; depending on amp technology, this may actually be something you want to achieve (because it sounds good), either by using high-output guitars or effects pedals like a treble booster.

Contrary to this, a digital interface is far more picky - when you drive it too hard, it simply creates digital clipping, which sounds horrible.

So you'll need to set your interface input gain sufficiently low that your loudest guitar leaves enough digital headroom to never clip the audio interface. And we are talking PEAK levels here, not average or RMS levels - this is important! Set your interface like this and then leave it alone.

Now the consequence of this is that with different guitars you will now have varying levels inside your DAW, depending on their output level. On the other side, any amp simulation has a certain level "sweet spot" where it sounds most natural; if you hit an amp with a signal that is too low, you'll have to crank the amp's gain unnecessarily high.

So in my book you're doing pretty much the right thing: get your signal into the box without clipping and then adjust the level that feeds into S-Gear's amp simulation so that you get the amp to run within its comfort zone. This you can do either with S-Gear's input level control or by inserting a volume plugin or a (virtual) boost stomp box plugin before S-Gear. Doing it with a separate volume plugin / stomp box has the one advantage that you can use the same S-Gear preset with different guitars - you simply activate the "boost" plugin before S-Gear when using a "weaker" guitar. Using S-Gear's input gain means you'll have to create different S-Gear presets for different guitars - but that may actually be preferrable to some, since you'll probably also use different tone stack settings (treble, bass) for a Strat than for an LP.

The only thing I'd be checking in your setup: setting input gain to -18dB (average) may not fully eliminate digital clipping, since some peaks may actually get your interface to clip (especially for dynamic guitars like Strats). Have a look at the signal inside your DAW / VST host with a peak level meter and see where your peaks are (in digital full-scale-measurements). If you find that all peaks are below 0dB FS, you're in good shape - this means that nothing is clipping your audio interface. If you get 0dB FS peaks, there is a good probability that your input is clipping - turn your interface input gain down until you have about 3-6 dB of peak headroom.

Cheers,

Torsten
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 3 weeks ago #16998

Torsten, perfect response, thanks. I would only add that its ok for guitars to have different outputs, you don’t necessarily want to normalize them all to the highest one. This way you retain the guitar differences when using them into the same track plugins. Then use the guitar that fits the song.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 3 weeks ago #17010

Torsten gives great advice here. Couldn't have said it better myself :rock out:
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 3 weeks ago #17026

adamqlw wrote:
Consider this scenario: You have a patch that you made with a particular guitar. You change your audio interface, and the signal is now 3 dB louder, due to the interface. Your patch is not going to sound the same, and unless you had taken note of the 3 dB difference, you could be compensating for it in the wrong place (and with non-linear impact).

I know where you are coming from - I have a somewhat similar situation with my studio and live setup, plus my live backup equipment. Three different audio interfaces feeding the same Cantabile session with S-Gear in it. Initially, I tried to calibrate at the audio interface level, adjusting preamp gain, marking gain knob positions or whatnot. All with the simple goal of having my guitar sound the same through all three setups.

I find clean(ish) and break-up sounds far more sensitive to this - higher gain settings turn minor volume differences to flat peaks anyhow ;-), but if a clean sound is suddenly 3 dB louder or quieter, this makes a significant difference!

Problem was that some of my audio interfaces are not very easy to adjust precisely enough (some only adjust input preamp gain in 3 dB steps). Therefore, I have since changed my approach a bit: I now set my audio interfaces to a roughly "safe" level for all interfaces (no clipping with my loudest guitar hitting hard chords). Then, I put a simple volume/gain plugin at the first position of my VST effects chain leading to S-Gear. For this plugin, I now create a preset for each audio interface that adds/subtracts just enough gain to get me to a consistent level (which I measure by simply strumming A chords on one of my guitars (always the same guitar/pickup of course) whilst checking the adjusted level with a decent VU meter plugin (VUMT by Klanghelm). Once I get the level to sit where I want it to be, I simply save the gain plugin preset - now I have a calibrated adjustment for each of my audio interfaces. If I buy a new audio interface, it's a matter of one or two minutes to create a new adjustment preset.

In my live setup, I now simply select the correct preset for the interface I am currently using at the beginning of the gig and happily rock on into the night!

Maybe this calibration procedure is useful to others as well - give it a try!

Cheers,

Torsten
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 2 weeks ago #17071

Hey Thorsten, that’s an excellent workflow (and one which mine follows closely). Definitely the compression added by distortion reduces the perceived impact of being 3dB louder.
It’s not such a big deal whether the gain adjustment is made pre- or post-A/D conversion, except for how it affects the noise floor, which is less of an issue at 24-bit. Electric guitars have a dynamic range of around 100 dB if I recall, while 24-bit audio has a dynamic range of 144 dB. As long as you are not clipping and above -40 dB, your audio interface is capturing your guitar in full.
Your solution is optimal for normalizing across multiple devices, and fully solves the problem. And for Helix Native, one could similarly calibrate the input from the soundcard to the input of the Helix floorboard (if they had the hardware). But for pure software-based modellers like S-Gear, it will probably be impossible to move beyond “use your ears” unless there is some disclosure about the design philosophy with regards to optimal range of guitar input.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 2 weeks ago #17080

adamqlw wrote:
Hey Thorsten, that’s an excellent workflow (and one which mine follows closely). Definitely the compression added by distortion reduces the perceived impact of being 3dB louder.
It’s not such a big deal whether the gain adjustment is made pre- or post-A/D conversion, except for how it affects the noise floor, which is less of an issue at 24-bit. Electric guitars have a dynamic range of around 100 dB if I recall, while 24-bit audio has a dynamic range of 144 dB. As long as you are not clipping and above -40 dB, your audio interface is capturing your guitar in full.
Your solution is optimal for normalizing across multiple devices, and fully solves the problem. And for Helix Native, one could similarly calibrate the input from the soundcard to the input of the Helix floorboard (if they had the hardware). But for pure software-based modellers like S-Gear, it will probably be impossible to move beyond “use your ears” unless there is some disclosure about the design philosophy with regards to optimal range of guitar input.

In reality it is very difficult to achieve >100dB dynamic range with a typical audio interface. Audio convertors are good these days, but not perfect. Another consideration is that convertors may not perform linearly across the entire dynamic range, which might be more of an issue with cheaper devices.
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Adjusting interface input gain for different gtrs 1 month 2 weeks ago #17081

Hello,

Not too sure about this one...but if I did use different electric guitars, I would invest in a multi-channel interface.

At present I am using a ZOOM UAC-2 and a ZOOM UAC-8 - both which have two HI-Z inputs. So, you have one guitar on INPUT 1 and the other on INPUT 2. Set the gain levels on the interface and then leave it as it is. However, most interfaces today have two HI-Z inputs.

After this, you will still, more-than-likely, have to adjust the presets for each guitar. I would then save the same preset - but have one for each guitar.

I have to do this with my two acoustics - one nylon and one steel. I set the gain levels on the interface, then adjust the attenuator on the channel strips, then setup the EQ. I finally adjust the reverb for each guitar - saving a preset for each guitar.

This is done for each guitar even though they are both using the same internal mic'ing system. Being completely difference acoustics, they need to be adjusted accordingly. I use scenes to call up the channel configuration for each guitar I am using.

Lastly, would all of this discussion not also be referred to as "gain staging"?
  • mr-es335
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