Creating a better D.I. tone for amp&cab sims

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by alessandroarzilli, Oct 12, 2018 at 6:45 AM.

  1. alessandroarzilli

    alessandroarzilli SS.org Regular

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    Hello everybody!
    I'm trying to make my guitar's tone better, but I'm really stuck in the mud now. :)
    My goal is to achieve a tone similar to Necrophagist's on the Epitaph album for the lead parts and similar to the great Ola Englund in this video at 01:46.
    I'm using a Jackson JS22-7 equipped with a bridge Seymour Duncan Invader SH-8b pickup recording straight into an M-Audio M-Track 2 straight into Cubase.
    I've been using many many different amp&cab simulators throughout the years, but neither never really got that "wall of sound" tone that we all have in mind, nor went closer to it.
    Lately, I'm trying both Ignite Amp's Emissary (waiting for V2 to arrive) and Fortin's Nameless, but there's always something missing in my final mix/mastering, the guitars' sound always seems dry, unexpressed.
    What do you think could be the problem? Starting from scratch, what should I do step by step to get something better?
    I've heard somewhere, can't find it now unofrtunately, Ola saying that he plugged his guitars directly into an Apogee / U.A. interface and got great D.I. signals because those devices have a preamp built inside them, so the D.I. signal is much better than a standard external soundacard like mine. Should I buy for example an Apogee One?

    Thanks for reading all this.

    Here are some old examples of my tones, so far (last is the newest).

    Heavy Metal / Hard Rock (Quiet Rebels - Cut Me Softly)


    Death Metal (Hybrid Practice - Pain)


    Djent Metal (DarKarma - Fallen Resistance)


    Thrash Metal (Violent Ordeal - Cat In The Night)


    Black Metal (Malevolent Promulgation - Unleash Your Demons)
     
  2. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Were all these recorded the same way? You said the last one was the newest, but to my ears, it's the lowest quality compared to all the others.
     
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  3. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Hmm, well your tone sounds nothing at all like the Ola example. It does sound ballpark close to the Necrophagist example at least. Theirs has much more presence and high end sizzle compared to yours. Maybe you're just low-pass filtering too aggressively. Personally, I don't bother using low-pass filters. I quite like the high end which helps your guitars to be hear and gives them some "air", making them sound less dry.

    I really doubt it's the DI affecting things that much. The Apogee does have nice preamps, but it won't result in a radical change of tone.

    My top three guesses:
    1. Impulse response selection
    2. Mastering and post-EQ (as above - I suspect you're killing high frequencies)
    3. Your playing technique (you aren't Ola, so won't sound like him)

    And all the other things - new strings on the guitar, having it set up well, tweaking the pickup height etc.
     
  4. newamerikangospel

    newamerikangospel Tonight.......you

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    It could be gain staging at DI level. You may try to increase the gain on your preamp. My $200 audio input had decent enough DIs as is.
     
  5. tender_insanity

    tender_insanity SS.org Regular

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    I've been thinking about this too. After I saw that latest dual recto vs 13 sims and tried the same settings as in the video. I mean the guy has gain maxed with TH3 for example and it sounds nice. When I use pre gain on audio interface where I always keep it, maxed gain is really muffled.

    Then again I am pleased with my own patches with whatever I use as an amp sim I use an m audio m track eight.
     
  6. alessandroarzilli

    alessandroarzilli SS.org Regular

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    Yes, all of them were recorded just by plugging my guitar into an M-Track II external soundcard. There were of course some different kind of equalizations and compressions between all the different songs.

    I'm thinking of buying a classic Behringer DI100 Active Ultra-DI Pro, which would be phantom powered by my M-Track II, so my guitar signal would be OK anyway.
    I usually tend to let my recoreded guitar sound to stay between 50 and 15.000 Hz, adding HP and LP filter at these frequencies with a Q similar to not more than 24dB/octave.
    Which impulse response would you recommend me? Any chance to understand how to setup pickup heights?

    Would you recommend me buying a cheap external DI box then? I was thinking of a Behringer DI100, because the M-Track II preamp is really inconsistent.

    What do you mean gain maxed with TH3?

    Thanks for answerring me, guys!
     
  7. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Your HP and LP filtering sounds fine.

    Maybe you can upload a DI here (or dropbox, google drive etc), and we can run it through our own setups and see whether it's your DI or your amp sim/cab impulse.

    I just listened to the Ola clip again, and I think that ballpark sound should be pretty achievable with the Fortin Nameless plugin. Don't use the Grind pedal. Set the gain, turn the presence down. Use the M160 microphone off axis a bit. And pick really hard like Ola.
     
  8. tender_insanity

    tender_insanity SS.org Regular

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    His sound on the video had the Dual Recto Ch3 gain full. I wouldn't do it for it's way too much and I prefer with almost all high gain amp sims to lower the gain at about 4-5/10 and boost it.
     

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