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Author Topic: Power amps - the simulation v stage output  (Read 428 times)

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jimnastic

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Hello fellow tone hounds.
So, my Mp2 has now become my go to rig for soul/funk and classic rock tones now I’ve got in to real time control of gain/chorus/gain/effects return and gain!
I’ve built my rig (with a Lexicon for verby goodness) in to a SS quad 300W power amp and PA style speakers using the speaker simulation xlr output. The results are good, loud but SLIGHTLY erm... you know...solid state (I’ve no other way of describing it; a bit contrived, maybe not compressed in the same way, “too nice”). Don’t get me wrong, people have complemented me on my fendery tone, especially on Nile Rogers songs and it is the best tone I’ve had at gigs (I could list my previous rigs but it would be embarrassing...)
To try and liven things up, I’ve run my MP2 “stage output “ in to FX return on my Jet City 50H and to a Marshall 2x12 with Swamp Thang speakers and it sounds “dead” with all the top end clarity gone. I should say, the amp and cab work super good on there own, so I can only assume the FX return (which goes through a tone stack , unlike the path on Marshall) is sucking something out (even though in theory extra eq should help!)

Has anyone else had this using MP1 or Mp2, with Jet City/Soldano Fx returns? Or if you’ve got a Marshall fx loop are you eqing your MP2 heavily?
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rnolan

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #1 on: Time Format »

Hey jimnastic, interesting conundrum.  You have lots of variables going on and each will make difference (some more than others).  BTW have you tried the MP2 CC macros yet ? I haven't but next on my explore list when I have some time...So I'm assuming you have the Lex in the MP2 loop ? then cab sim outs to poweramp ? I run 3 different ways (but always mixer for Fx send/return, though the MP2 loop does much the same for 1 Fx):
1. - Live I use MP2 stage outs > desk (mix in Fx) > poweramp (currently Carvin DCM 200L, but also Carvin all tube TS100 and previously B200s) > stereo wired split stack or 2 split stacks (so 2 x 12" ADA cabs)
2. - Or MP2 cab sim outs > desk (mix in Fx) > poweramp (currently Carvin DCM 200L, but also Carvin all tube TS100 and previously B200s) > Messa P112 (12 + horn) bass cabs
3. - Or MP2 > desk (mix in Fx) > studio monitors.
The MP2 does sound much more processed than the MP1 (not as raw, I used MP1 set up as option 1. above for many years).  The cab sim outs do sound a "bit" processed direct to studio set up.  I changed to the 2 x 12 setting (rather than 4 x 12 sealed) and it seemed to open it up a bit (for me).  Some of this is volume I suspect.  When you get to stage volume everything changes (allot) as the dynamic range is so much broader.
Typically Fx returns shouldn't stuff your sound, they are usually in the circuit just before the poweramp stage (but not always, you need to check the schematic).But your kind of combining apples and oranges here (not that you shouldn't  >:D ).The signal going back into the Jet City returns is not cab simmed (as you know) so should have plenty of tops and clarity.. unless you have adjusted your patches to suit the cab sim outs into the full range setup (which I imagine you have  :dunno: ), and not necessarily at very loud stage volumes ? Thus less tops and sparkle ?
Try just the stage out Jet setup and make a patch(s) that brings it alive (add tops, presence, room Eq etc) and crank it up loud.Then check how that patch plays out with just full range cab sim option (try 2 x 12" setting)Then combine both.
What is the 300w quad SS amp you are using ? and what full range cabs ?? they will also make a difference to the tone, and again at what volume ?? as you raise the volume the dynamic range increases, the difference between softer and louder sounds is much wider (and less processed sounding).  MP1 and MP2 patches are best created at stage vol and then turned down when required... Anyway my 2 cents  :wave:
« Last Edit: Time Format by rnolan »
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

van Sinn

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #2 on: Time Format »

You din't specify which emulation you use, 2x12 or 4x12..
The 4x12 is quite 'full' at the lower end, and while some might say there's little difference in the high end, I'd still say the 2x12 setting is less rounded-off at the high end.

Whatever.. it isn't like the real deal, though a dose of extra presents presence helps..
Also, do a search in here for MP-2 EQ settings; somewhere I made some notes on using subtractive filtering, that is, rather that upping EQ points, remove other points that interferes with the clarity.
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jimnastic

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #3 on: Time Format »

Thanks for the reply.
I’ve been using the 2x12 switch position as I couldn’t quite lose the “low mids” for my clean tone with the 4 x 12. I’ll have a nose through the subtractive eq notes and try and make the simulation output a bit more convincing. You are spot on that it’s never quite the same.
I tried playing with the patches today (you were correct that I had actually “built” them at a low level) and had the Jet City well up (not quite gig loud but enough to show up the extremes). This did help a bit.
I then had a further play with the eq on the amp Loop return and it did bring things slightly back to life with amp mids fully cranked and bass well down. I did a little more googling then decided to open up the Jet city and snipped the earth on the mid pot (defeating/bypassing the eq pretty much fully). Bingo!!! Lovely, lively rich, clear and “coloured “ but not too much. Turns out, unlike most amps, that the effect loop in on the amp has a drastic effect by having the tone stack at this point.

One thing you say below that intrigues me, you use an external mixer to feed in effects (presumably so it’s in series instead of stock parallel?). Something I find useful is assigning effects loop return on to a midi pedal so I can “bring in” more verb or delay depending on the rooms. Clever ol’ ADA...!
On the macros I am rather partial to assigning V curve to my “rawk” patch as I’m often guilty of doing too much metal scoop and lose my place in the mix (“well I sounded like Nuno before the drummer turned up!”). Conversely, using my go to Fender Tone patch the V removes my mids for a more Mayer tone.
Thanks for the suggestion, I’m back on track!
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rnolan

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #4 on: Time Format »

Good to hear  :thumb-up: , at the end of the day, you combine all these things to make the sound/tone "you" want.  There's a bunch of ways to set things up, all with different outcomes.  I always keep in mind the overall gain structure.  I use the mixer to keep Fx in parallel.  I started with MP1 (and never used the serial loop), Quadverb, IPS33, B200s, Yamaha AM802 (8 in, 3 Fx sends) and back then a Yamaha 4 x 12 cab wired in stereo (later I got 2 ADA slant split stacks loaded with Boogie 90w Celestions).  I've always run it like a PA (then I'm also an audio engineer so it makes sense to me that way and much easier to get the gain structure right).  These days I also have a Midiverb4 in the MP2 loop (but the loop is off on my patches, I'd thought about setting some Fx with it but never bothered so far, just watch the pretty lights LoL).  I also have a MB1 in my live rack (when I played bass for a bit).  I run both MP2 stage outs and MP2 cabsim outs into 4 channels, MB1 into a channel, Fx send 1/2 to Quadverb, Send 3 to Midiverb4 L (mono), QV and MV4 back into 4 channels, main outs to poweramp/cabs. So lots of options  :metal: .
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

jimnastic

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #5 on: Time Format »

thanks guys, some very useful pointers (and looking back on your posts it looks like similar conversations have come up before, so apologies) and the additive/subtractive post is something I'll fiddle with for sure. I've somewhat neglected the 9 band eq option until I've got in the ball park.

Now i've got slightly closer on the guitar amp fx return, i think that's the path to pursue for "that" (and it's closer than ever) tone. Another local gig at the end of next week which I'll try the kitchen sink approach and go simulator out to PA cabs AND stage out for my unsuspecting audience. I like the idea of splitting and mixing the signal for extra fx options...

(To answer your questions below, the quad amp came out of a broadcast facility and doesn't have much in the way of ID other than it's a "240" and the Yamaha PA cabs are BR15 - it's pretty loud for SS and the 15" drivers don't get close to distortion)

Have a good day and thanks for keeping this beasty alive.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: Power amps - the simulation v stage output
« Reply #6 on: Time Format »

Another option might be to use a more advanced cab simulator that uses impulse responses (IRs).
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