TOPIC: Lowering the pitch range of distortion

Lowering the pitch range of distortion 3 weeks 20 hours ago #18095

On a synth, it is easy to get very low-pitched, gritty, growly distorted lead sounds. However, I struggle to do the same using guitar (or bass) and amps.

When I play the low strings of a 7-string guitar into S-Gear, I can still clearly hear the undistorted, smooth, low fundamentals of the notes, below the higher-pitched distortion. It sounds to my ears as if midrange distortion is simply added on top of the original notes, without distorting or changing the low fundamentals of the original notes.

Is there a trick or tweak to lower the pitch of the distortion? Preferably the pitch range of the distortion should overlap that of the original notes, so that the original notes are not audible any more behind the low, growly distortion.
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Lowering the pitch range of distortion 3 weeks 12 hours ago #18096

Turning the Tweak section "Pres Frq" knob way down allows more low end amp section harmonic distortion, but it can also make the bass more boomy/muddy. Use your ears. Of course, turning the Treble and Middle down will reduce high end amp harmonics. The Treble range of guitar amp tone stacks generally rides atop the Middle knob setting, so reducing the Middle will also reduce the Treble. Not true of "active" tone stacks.
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Lowering the pitch range of distortion 3 weeks 4 hours ago #18100

This is why I think S-Gear needs “Drive Thing”. Distortion pedals in front of a clean or close to break amp can provide a lot of flexibility in voicing distortion tone. If Mike can do for front of the amp distortion what he has done for amp disortion, that could be pretty fantastic. Since we’re in the digital domain, we don’t need to be restricted to low power transistors or diodes for clipping.

Regarding distortion, I can get all the sustain I need out of the existing S-Gear amps. And Mike has created great starting points for voicing between the channel and drive switches, as well as other voicing switches. But I find the amps a bit too inflexible to be able to tailor the distortion voicings for different guitars, single vs. double coils, music styles and specific songs. This is what I hope Drive Thing will eventually address. I’m thinking of Drive Thing in front of Duke, with an optional compressor for clean tones an a bit of gain boost.
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Lowering the pitch range of distortion 3 weeks 1 hour ago #18101

jamsden wrote:
This is why I think S-Gear needs “Drive Thing”. Distortion pedals in front of a clean or close to break amp can provide a lot of flexibility in voicing distortion tone. If Mike can do for front of the amp distortion what he has done for amp disortion, that could be pretty fantastic. Since we’re in the digital domain, we don’t need to be restricted to low power transistors or diodes for clipping.

Regarding distortion, I can get all the sustain I need out of the existing S-Gear amps. And Mike has created great starting points for voicing between the channel and drive switches, as well as other voicing switches. But I find the amps a bit too inflexible to be able to tailor the distortion voicings for different guitars, single vs. double coils, music styles and specific songs. This is what I hope Drive Thing will eventually address. I’m thinking of Drive Thing in front of Duke, with an optional compressor for clean tones an a bit of gain boost.
Yeah... a "Drive Thing" AND a "Compressor Thing" with the added capability of being assigned both in front AND/OR after the amp are the most basic, most useful, yet completely overlooked devices in S-Gear. A VST loader would also be a more than welcome feature, although I don't see it happening anytime soon. Anyway, one can dream, isn't it, Jamsden? ;)
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Last Edit: 3 weeks 1 hour ago by LtKojak.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: ges

Lowering the pitch range of distortion 2 weeks 4 days ago #18108

Mike, “Drive Thing” could be simple. You already have the gain stages and voicing models. Just separate them out into reusable components that can go in front of any S-Gear amp model, and provide some some bass and treble controls for voicing. Minimally bass cut before and treble cut after distortion will cover most needs. A switch to control different mid hump frequency points might be nice too. There’s nothing new required to implement this. That is, I’m not convinced that there’s a need to model the distortion characteristics of various transistor or diode clipping devices - these were just low power, low space compromises to what we couldn’t do practically with tubes. These constraints don’t apply in the digital domain, so maybe there’s no need to bother modeling the compromises and limitations of the past.

Note I’m not saying there aren’t good sounding solid state overdrive and distortion devices. I’m really just saying that if we could have built them cost effectively with tubes, we would have.
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Lowering the pitch range of distortion 2 weeks 4 days ago #18111

jamsden wrote:
This is why I think S-Gear needs “Drive Thing”. Distortion pedals in front of a clean or close to break amp can provide a lot of flexibility in voicing distortion tone.

I'm nor really missing a Drive Thing - the Web is full of (even free!) great vst stompboxes, and chaining them in front of S-Gear just requires a decent VST host. I like S-Gear because it focuses on great amp sounds - I actually rarely use the built-in reverbs and delays (even though they're great!), because I have specialized plugs to deal with that - and I can switch the amp settings without cutting off reverb tails...

It's just the one step of moving from S-Gear stand-alone to a specialized VST host like Cantabile, and suddenly S-Gear becomes immensely more powerful! And no need to restrict yourself to classic stompbox plugins - I use great studio compressor plugins in front of S-Gear or use a pre-S-Gear EQ like FabFilter Pro-Q to change the frequency spectrum of my guitar signal before it hits the preamp stage.

Or what's keeping you from creating a multi-amp setup like a "clean-center, effected sides" configuration or a Keith-Richards-like combination of clean and driven amps?

So start out by getting the free version of Cantabile and plug a number of free VST stomps before S-Gear - The Distorque and TSE offerings are free and great. Or give the Mercuriall Greed Smasher a try...

Cheers,

Torsten
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Lowering the pitch range of distortion 2 weeks 3 days ago #18117

jamsden wrote:
This is why I think S-Gear needs “Drive Thing”. Distortion pedals in front of a clean or close to break amp can provide a lot of flexibility in voicing distortion tone.

If I use pedal sims from other companies in front of S-Gear, is there a way to get a deeper, growlier distortion?

The Darkglass Alpha-Omega pedal is famous for such tones (and is the signature unit of Jon Stockman, bassist of Karnivool), so at least I know it is possible!

The following video illustrates how the Alpha Omega pedal magically transforms plain DI bass into an angry, snarling dragon (starting from 8m32):



In fact, the Alpha Omega has a "Growl" switch for "Shelving-based boost for a fatter tone and increased low-end saturation"!
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Last Edit: 2 weeks 3 days ago by julian.
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