Can't get that sound out of my RP355
I play on Sundays in a Christian band. A few months ago I bought the RP 355 from Digitech. I am pretty ok with the sounds it produces like the chorus, flanger, delay.....etc. But when it comes to get a compact distorted sound......nope.
I would like to play a few songs with a rock sound that sound compact and clean. But what I get is more like a "fuzzy" and grunch sound. No matter how I set the parameters or settings, when I play full chords the six different notes from the strings don't seem to give me a compact rock sound but more like they sound "messy" and fuzzy. That might be a good sound if you like to play metal or something but not for the church.
I'm sorry that I can't explain myself better in this matter as English is not my mother tongue.
I hope that someone understands what I'm trying to tell and could give me some tips. I would appreciate it for sure.
I play with a 79 Fender Stratocaster connected to PA system in the church and I use a small 30 watt Fender amp as a monitor on stage. The sound is as good (or as bad) trough the PA system as the small amp.
Any useful comment is more than welcome. Thank you.
Focus on amp simulations, fender or vox for beatle, stones, rootsy, blues, or marshall more harder rock settings. Use your head phones for finding your settings for the pa. Then set your Fender on the cleanest most transparent sound it has it before you run the pedal into it. Avoid using any effects in front until you find the basic amp you are looking for.
Thank you for the reply Collin,
I have been looking on youtube for advice on amp settings. It seems that EQ setting with lower bass and higher mid settings are pretty important. Also it seems that using the pickup closest to he bridge is better as the strings are the tightest over that pickup. Also recommended are tight strings. They were talking that thicker strings like 11 also effect on your guitar sounding it less dirty but harder to play. Maybe I should go to a shop like Guitar Center and let someone look at my Fender and ask if any adjustments on the bridge or pickups are needed.
Anyway, more tips are very welcome,
Heavier strings are louder and sustain more. They will also push amps into overdrive more easily. That is no different with a simulator. Playing with the amp level and gain on the simulator is no different than if you are plugged straight into your amp. Playing around with volume and tone knobs on the strat will effect how the amp is pushed as well as how hard you pick. A Digitech has a huge variety of amps that all have differetent responses. Heavy strings and always playing from the bridge just push dynamics more. Malcolm Young from AC/DC is an example of someone who plays with heavy strings from the bridge but the volume and gain levels on his amps are low because the guitar is more responsive under those conditions. It is your playing that still controls the amp the heavy strings and bridge pick up just accentuate the amps response. Play around with the volume and tone knobs on the guitar when you play live as many players tend to play somewhat differently in a live or a band situation then by themselves. I have digitech and I love the sounds I get from it.
Here's what you've got from the manufacturer's site: http://www.digitech.com/products/Multi-Effects/RP355.php
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Perhaps you can play around with Death Metal, Grunge, Boss CS-2, Boss DM-2, Boss DS-1, Boss Metal Zone and possibly Proco Rat - I don't have one, it'll either do it or it won't, you'll know soon enough, and some people here have them, so this opens more discussion than it answers? I have other Multi FX and don't know your unit either, but can vouch for the Boss Compressor/Sustainer (not for creating distortion) and the Metal Zone sound as being real down and dirty... it's a blast, compressed and with crunch IMO. If you absolutely had to, or had an equalizer in the chain, you would scoop out/turn down the mids I think, to be like a Cobain to a Dimebag - a hard edge, not too fuzzy and somewhere inbetween.
Oh wait, you said you wanted to avoid metal, so if those don't sound right to you, use DS-1 and Ibanez Tube Screamer.
I'm not a sound expert, just adding what might get you going in the right direction I hope. I'll comment on your Strat later, but want to say I like my Ibanez Smash Box for the most obnoxious and outrageous distortion that I'd ever want.
So, I don't know wassup with your RP355 - I have a Boss GT6 and very portable and easy-to-use, satisfactory ZOOM G1.
Check the output on your Strat pickups, you can get the K ohms read through the ohms or resistance section of a multi-meter off of a 1/4" jack with a cord plugged into the guitar, no power at all, and come pretty close. Hopefully you will have a single coil that exceeds 7K ohms, maybe up to 7.5 which almost pushes overdrive through the OD channel of an amplifier; 8K or thereabouts is my magic number for a pickup alone, or I go to http://www.Deaf-Eddie.net for my series connections but that mods the guitar and yours is vintage. Use the bridge pickup - not either of the inbetween positions.
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.
I'm not too sure about using headphones to get your sound together. I have a Pandora PX4 and find that the phones dampen all the effects. What sounds good through the PX4 sounds way over the top through an amp.
You're probably right about that. I was suggesting that more because head phones have a more neutral response like the p.a. he is plugged directly into rather than the fender amp which really is an instrument in its own right.
I"m not going to read all the above so take that into account when you read the following. If you are going direct to the board and not playing through a guitar amp, go to the back of the unit and make sure the Mixer/Amp button is set to Mixer. That's the pushed in position. I know it's elementary but some(just a few) people have actually ignored this button. I would recommend not using a guitar amp and going direct to the mixer or P.A. or using a keyboard combo amp if you're going to use an amp and pressing that button in. Just my opinion, folks. I know this was sometime last year but you may still be dealing with the problem.
Seconding what Colin RP said.
It is your playing that still controls the amp the heavy strings and bridge pick up just accentuate the amps response. Play around with the volume and tone knobs on the guitar when you play live as many players tend to play somewhat differently in a live or a band situation then by themselves.
With distortion/high gain have the guitar volume much lower than you'd have for clean and consider not hitting all the strings for chords. Playing across all six is louder and more likely to make the sound break up, if you really want to get them all then hit gently and with low volume on the guitar.
I'm not sure exactly what sound it is that you're looking for - is there a recording that we listen to?
Having said that, I'm going to guess that what you want is close to the sound that is made by a tube amp going into overdrive at high volume setting, when the tubes start to "sing" and it becomes very dynamic. Try Vox AC30 or any Fender emulation and add gain. Throwing in some compression might also help.