Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

How Much Gain Do You Use? How Much Do You Actually Need?

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How Much Gain Do You Use? How Much Do You Actually Need?

    Ok, so my main gigging guitars are my PRS SE and my CP Jazzmaster. I use the PRS for my original band, which plays modern-ish rock. I use the Jazzmaster for classic rock covers and pretty much everything else with other bands. My original band sort of needs a heavier sound, though I never use metalhead-level gain - I use an AC30, and I only have overdrive pedals.

    Anyway, at my last gig, I broke a string on my PRS (first time that's happened since a gig during winter '08), and I grabbed my backup, which just so happened to be my Jazzmaster. I usually bring a Les Paul as a backup, but I brought the Jazzmaster because it's only in a gig bag, and I figured I wouldn't need it. It turns out, that even though I had a little less gain using it, I found my sound to be better - much clearer, and the music's vibe didn't suffer from me losing a bit of gain. In fact, with the bass using a bit of crunch, it was a great complimentary sound.

    So here's what I'm thinking... how much gain do you use, and do you actually need that much? I always thought I used less than average, but using even less was kind of refreshing.
    Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

  • #2
    when i played punk i used an sg or tele, a ratt pedal into a vox type amp. Now I use a twin reverb and green screamer mostly. For dicking around I plug into one of my fuzz pedals. But, I havent played a gig in several years.

    that bbe green screamer is awesome. I can get just a tad hair or as much OD to cop Jimmy Page/zep1-2 tones easily. Thats all I need really.

    Once I get a tweed deluxe and a deluxe reverb amp I wont use any gain pedals.
    _________________________________________________

    stuff:
    52RI Tele
    Gibson SG 1970s Tribute
    more stuff:
    65 Twin Reverb Reissue
    Cox Tweed Deluxe Ultimate


    The REAL Angry

    Comment


    • #3
      With gain youll notice less is more....even for metal, (which is what we play) and were considerd pretty heavy....i set my Egnater's gain on like 5 mabye 6 and it sounds pretty brootal...more volume gives you more drive too...(if your runnin tubes)tweak your EQ crank your volume a little more, and youd be surprised how heavy a sound you can get with less gain
      "The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought"
      Sir Thomas Beecham

      Comment


      • #4
        Nothing sounds worse than too much gain. People would rather neglect clarity then learn to play with less gain, it's a shame. When using my amp for gain I have it set between 6 and 7 which is enough for the thrash stuff I play. Though it does depend on the amp. I do not use use OD pedals but I'm a fuzz maniac and when using a fuzz I set the gain to about 3 then set my fuzz to whatever.
        Jackson Dkm2
        Peavey Valve King 112
        Laney mxd 120 that doesn't work
        Morley BHW 2
        Mod Tone aqua chorus

        Comment


        • #5
          I always crank the gain all the way up. Then again, I could probably do with the gain on like 8.
          Originally Posted by Ultrahighgain


          ...and there it is. The mind is no more than a chemical reaction and when life ends conciousness simply ceases to exist.



          Peavey OCC Guitar
          Marshall MG10
          Ernie Ball .010-.052
          Dunlop Tortex .88
          Live Wire Cables

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, fuzz is a different animal altogether. I like the thick tones you can get with fuzz, but I've only used fuzz at home; I've never gigged with it.

            My amp's "gain" (volume on the Top Boost channel) was just past 9 o'clock, and the master was just past 11 o'clock. It was very full, but very clear.
            Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

            Comment


            • #7


              My amp's "gain" (volume on the Top Boost channel) was just past 9 o'clock, and the master was just past 11 o'clock. It was very full, but very clear.


              Yea it really depends on the amp. Some amps sound crystal clear with the gain on 10 while others sound like you are swimming in a swarm of mosquitoes.
              Jackson Dkm2
              Peavey Valve King 112
              Laney mxd 120 that doesn't work
              Morley BHW 2
              Mod Tone aqua chorus

              Comment


              • #8
                I've noticed over the years that I use less and less gain. The type of music hasn't changed or anything, I just use less gain. My guess is it correlates with increases in my ability, but it might just be associated with the appearance of gray hair.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yea it really depends on the amp. Some amps sound crystal clear with the gain on 10 while others sound like you are swimming in a swarm of mosquitoes.


                  Well, if my amp had numbers, it would have been on 3 and 4, respectively. Although the AC30 does keep fairly clear with it maxed out, although it is a bit spongey. I've heard it's because of the tube rectifier, but I don't know.
                  Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    With gain youll notice less is more...youd be surprised how heavy a sound you can get with less gain


                    So true!
                    Mahogany Is Tone Wood! Taste Like Crap Though!DSGuitar Blog Spot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm using less gain than before. I try to keep things not too heavy, along the lines of classic 60s and 70s rock. I used to overdo it with the gain levels, but I learned to cut that down for a better sound. I play a lot more cleans and just slightly breaking up tones these days, especially with the neck pickup.

                      I still like the over the top sound of heavy fuzz (like White Stripes, Black Keys etc...) but I use it less than I used to.
                      Originally Posted by Michael Scott


                      That's what she said.



                      Favorite Bands/Influences:
                      Hendrix, Thin Lizzy, early Scorpions, Jack White/White Stripes, Eric Gales, Michael Landau, Andy Timmons, Greg Howe, Otis Rush, early Clapton, Zeppelin, The Who, Arthur Lee & Love, Deep Purple, Animals as Leaders, the Dirtbombs, Black Keys, Freddie King

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm just a bedroom (or living room really) player but On my elecra-dyne I tend to keep the volume knob (re-amp gain) between 10 & 11 o'clock and cycle a lot between clean and vintage-lo modes (occasionally flipping into vintage-hi for some heavier riffing).
                        At that setting, while in vintage-lo, the Strat (69 grey bobbin pickups) gets just a touch of breakup under normal playing but I can dig in for a bit more Bite. The Gretsch (powertron pickups) pushes the amp a bit harder so I'm able to get a bit more crunch.
                        The electra-dyne uses these crazy ganged pots so the sweet spot really sits between about 10 and 2. anything under that and you don't get much breakup at all, and over that and it quickly starts getting out of control.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A fair amount, but not so much that I can't hear the individual notes in chords. Preamp gain on the HT-5 is only at 9 o'clock, then I slam the front end with the Small Fry which is set on max vol with the burn around 10 o'clock. A dirty boost into a barely overdriven amp gets me into old school metal territory - early Sabbath, Maiden, and if I push a little more, early 80s thrash like Metallica's Kill 'em All or Megadeth's Killing is My Business. Haven't got 'round to the ultra heavy sounds yet; I'll need humbuckers for that - overwound single coils can only get you so far... not for the brootz.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As little as I can get away with - I basically dial just enough to get the amount of sustain I need for soloing. I'd say my style is funk, blues, and classic rock with a bit of jazz vocabulary thrown in. I actually never use thick, saturated distortion when playing rhythm, just clean or with a touch of powertube OD using the guitars volume to move from one to the other. I use an overdrive to step out for solos and make it "sing" more. I'm not big on buzzy or raunchy tones, prefer a smoother sound, not to say that some bite in the top end is a bad thing.
                            My Soundclick
                            My YouTube Channels

                            '01 Heritage H535
                            '05 USA G&L Legacy
                            Taylor Big Baby

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              well, when you are playing by yourself in your bedroom, It's ok to use more gain since you are not fighting for space with other instruments, but in a band situation I imagine the less is better aproach makes perfect sense.

                              In fact in a recording situation you absolutely need to use as less gain as you can get away with in order to get a good clear sound, even if you are doing metal and specially if you are layering tracks.
                              music:
                              "The Mr Footinmouth Chronicles"

                              Videos:
                              My Youtube Channel

                              Epi LP
                              Jay Turser V
                              Welcome to Bucketheadland

                              Gear:
                              Epiphone Les Paul Standard
                              Ibanez RG321MHMOL
                              Ibanez AF75BS Artcore
                              Ibanez AM77TNBK Artcore
                              Ibanez SAS36FM
                              Yamaha RGX121D
                              Jay Turser V JT-FV
                              B.C. Rich Warlock Metal Master
                              Roland Cube 30
                              Vox AD30VT
                              DOD VGS50
                              Digitech RP250
                              Korg Ampworks
                              Vox Satchurator

                              Comment













                              Working...
                              X