Wanted: Tips on getting the best out of guitar modeler

Learn and share TouchMix tips and tricks.

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  • I use a TM with a varying setup of 4 KW181's and a pair of KW153's, or 2 KW181's and 2 K12's.

    My guitar rig is an Axe-FX II, a well-regarded preamp/cab/effects modeler.

    The direct signal is plenty hot enough, so I don't use any digital or pre gain on the guitar channel. I run it at unity, and while its in the mix, sometimes it seems like it gets a little lost. People often tell me that the guitar needs to be 'louder', but I tend to think maybe its more of an EQ issue.

    Any tips on what frequencies should be tickled in the EQ to make the guitar sit better in the mix?
    pir8matt
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  • As a guitar player myself, I've experimented plenty with how to make a full-range guitar processor "sit" in the mix. The best thing to realize is that even though your processor and mixer may be full range, a "real" guitar amp/cab combo is not. Most popular guitar speakers actually only reproduce audio between 60 Hz and 7 kHz at the widest, so the first thing you'll want to do is apply a high and low cut filter somewhere around those frequencies (I will often go down as low as 4.5 kHz on the high cut to really remove the nasty, fizzy frequencies that come with full-range guitar processors that muddy up the mix).

    Second, your upper-mid "bite" will come somewhere between 1 kHz and 2.5 kHz. Adjust that frequency with a slightly more narrow bandwidth to pull some of the harshness out, or brighten up a darker tone.

    Third, focus on 400 Hz to find the low-mid "scoop." This can either make the guitar sound very honky or very hollow if adjust too far, but can help the guitar sit in the mix better with minor adjustment.

    Lastly, don't occupy too much of the bass frequencies. Bass is there for a reason, so don't make you'r guitar sound "woofy" on the bottom end. Adjust 60-80 Hz to account for an overly tubby-sounding amp model, or like I said earlier, just raise that low cut filter until the bass and guitar blend and work together in tandem.

    These are just some suggestions from my personal experience. Hope that helps!
    Chris Brouelette
    Product Manager - Pro PA Loudspeakers
    QSC Audio Products, LLC
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    Chris Brouelette
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  • I also use an AxeFX and using Touchmix as in-ears.

    As for my tones to sit in the mix (play hard modern rock), I use the Cab block lo cut at 150 and hi cut at 5k. I keep the Lows at around 3 on the Amp block (I use a Friedman HBE), and the Mids are bumped to around 6-7. I keep the High at around 4. I also use an OD block as a "clean" boost to bump up the mids.

    On the Touchmix, I use a bit of reverb to add some "amp in room" sound, and my IEM is in stereo. If you're using wedges, look into Atomic CLR, those are the best in the market now.

    Hope this helps!

    -PJ
    pjrake
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  • During the time I spent creating the monthly Guitar World POD Tone Page for Line 6 and dialing in sounds for a huge variety of material, one invaluable thing I learned was that you need to dial in your tones at performance levels (or at least spend some time testing them there), thanks to the way the human ear compensates to maximize informational content in sound for intelligibility (aka loudness compensation/Fletcher-Munson curves). Like doing a mix for a recording, you need to get the SPL to the point where those curves flatten out enough to not have a burdensome effect — around 85dB. I used to take tracks to a rehearsal studio as a final check, playing along with the track at performance levels to make sure that it would sit in the mix properly when I actually had to take something live.
    GVDub
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  • ^ i agree! ^ i have played well over 1000 gigs with my Digitech GSP1101 rig and the best thing i ever did was come into the large club i was set up in before they opened on a Saturday and fire up the system and tweak the EQ right off the PA...i did that years ago, and my FOH tone has been huge and consistent night after night ever since.

    i have owned virtually every type of guitar rig imaginable over the last 30 years, but i've never had as many compliments from other players than getting a great DI sound through a nice hi-quality PA. i typically cut the low frequencies, boost the mids a bit and roll off the highs, to mimic the response of a typical lo-fi guitar amplifier. i also like to use one global cab simulator rather than change the cab type with every preset, like most modelers are set out of the box. i have found that using a global cab greatly improves patch-to-patch consistency, but that's just my preference.
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    shucj@fordav.com
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  • Any chance of making your settings available as a preset, Chris? Would be much appreciated.
    pspiteri
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  • Hi - I see this was a year ago. Ia m also an Axe FXII user and just got the TouchMix. Have you come up with good presets? Thanks, Fred
    Fred120
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  • Fred120 wrote:Hi - I see this was a year ago. Ia m also an Axe FXII user and just got the TouchMix. Have you come up with good presets? Thanks, Fred


    Hey Fred, while I'm constantly tweaking to improve things, my main gig patch is pretty well sorted now. I use a single patch (with about 8 scenes) for almost everything, with the Fender twin for cleans and Friedman BE/HBE for mid gain/high gain. I follow most of the EQ tweaks (high cut/low cut/mid boost) in the global output settings on the Axe itself, so I don't have to futz with it in the patch itself.

    Sadly, my IEM experience is still largely unsatisfying. I have what most would consider excellent IEM's (Ultimate Ears UE18's), but I can't seem to get a decent in-ear mix using a mono aux or the stereo aux. We run tracks and a click, and I find that boosting things for one instrument tends to force them to run into another, or cancel each other out. I've removed almost everything I don't need from my mix but I still tend to end up turning up my pack to 'hear' whats going on, and end up with ringing ears as a result, which is frustrating since that's what IEM's are intended to prevent.

    As far as the patch itself goes, all the advice mentioned here is good info.
    pir8matt
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