TOPIC: New to S-Gear - A Few Questions

New to S-Gear - A Few Questions 1 month 1 week ago #20399

Hi All

I'm rediscovering S-Gear, and amp sims generally, and have a few questions that hopefully you can help with. I use S-Gear with a Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interface for at home playing via headphones.

(i) I have a copy of Amplitube and am also trialing Helix Native so I can use the effects into S-Gear. My method is loading these up in Reaper. I do this by inserting a new track, choosing Helix as the first FX and S-Gear as the second FX. I then go to Helix Native FX and clear all blocks for the given preset (in particular the amp and cab), just leaving the effects I want to use.

I notice when I do this, my input signal is significantly hotter than if I load S-Gear as stand alone for the same S-Gear preset. I need to dial down the input gain on my audio interface when using the above method.

Am I doing this correctly or is there something else I need to do to make this work? And does it matter which order I load up the FX in Reaper?

(ii) I would like to run external drives, fuzzes and distortions into S-Gear. There was an interesting thread a few months ago talking about this which raised the issue of digital clipping at the audio interface input. I am experiencing this also with some of my pedals.

Would a volume pedal, or possibly a clean boost, placed between the distortion and the audio interface be a good solution to dial back the distortion's output so I don't clip at the audio interface? I don't have either of these to test unfortunately. Or is there some other solution for this that doesn't impact the character if the distortion?

(iii) I see Lehle Sunday Driver mentioned often as a good pairing with S-Gear. What exactly is the purpose of this? Is it just for getting that nth degree of performance out of s-gear/my audio interface or does it provide a significant improvement? If significant improvement, what other alternatives provide similar functionality?

Thanks all
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by goostah.
SIGN-IN TO REPLY

New to S-Gear - A Few Questions 1 month 1 week ago #20401

goostah wrote:

Hi All
I notice when I do this, my input signal is significantly hotter than if I load S-Gear as stand alone for the same S-Gear preset. I need to dial down the input gain on my audio interface when using the above method.

Am I doing this correctly or is there something else I need to do to make this work? And does it matter which order I load up the FX in Reaper?

yes, it does matter: the signal goes through your plugins in sequence, so if you want to use Helix as front-of-amp pedals, you'll need to load it in slot 1, then S-Gear in slot 2. You could even add another instance of Helix after S-Gear if you want to use additional effects after the amp (Modulation).

Just note: it's not your actual input signal (at the audio interface) that gets hotter by inserting Helix before S-Gear, but it's the output of Helix that is higher than the original signal. Turning down your interface gain is not the best way - noise floor goes up, dynamic range down. The better solution is to turn down the output of the Helix plugin (either within the plugin or in the Reaper FX dialog) until the volume matches exactly when no effects are active.
goostah wrote:

Hi All
Would a volume pedal, or possibly a clean boost, placed between the distortion and the audio interface be a good solution to dial back the distortion's output so I don't clip at the audio interface? I don't have either of these to test unfortunately. Or is there some other solution for this that doesn't impact the character if the distortion?

Most distortion / overdrive pedal have a "level" control - turning that down until your audio interface input doesn't go "into the red" anymore will do the job. If you have a longer effects chain, you'll have to manage the gain across the whole chain so that the overall level stays within healthy limits.

Just one caveat: frequently, drive pedals are used to overdrive the input of the amp, so the "drive" parameter is kept low (little distortion) and the "level" is pushed. Connected directly to a "real" amp, this will create additional overdrive / distortion within the amp (preamp or power amp). For obvious reasons, this will not work with software amp - you would only clip at the audio interface. For this kind of sound, you'll need to use a software stomp box within your Reaper plugin chain before S-Gear (or a multi-pedal platform like Helix or TH-U etc).

Cheers,

Torsten
The following user(s) said Thank You: goostah
SIGN-IN TO REPLY

New to S-Gear - A Few Questions 1 month 1 week ago #20406

ToH2002 wrote:

goostah wrote:

Hi All
I notice when I do this, my input signal is significantly hotter than if I load S-Gear as stand alone for the same S-Gear preset. I need to dial down the input gain on my audio interface when using the above method.

Am I doing this correctly or is there something else I need to do to make this work? And does it matter which order I load up the FX in Reaper?

yes, it does matter: the signal goes through your plugins in sequence, so if you want to use Helix as front-of-amp pedals, you'll need to load it in slot 1, then S-Gear in slot 2. You could even add another instance of Helix after S-Gear if you want to use additional effects after the amp (Modulation).

Just note: it's not your actual input signal (at the audio interface) that gets hotter by inserting Helix before S-Gear, but it's the output of Helix that is higher than the original signal. Turning down your interface gain is not the best way - noise floor goes up, dynamic range down. The better solution is to turn down the output of the Helix plugin (either within the plugin or in the Reaper FX dialog) until the volume matches exactly when no effects are active.
goostah wrote:

Hi All
Would a volume pedal, or possibly a clean boost, placed between the distortion and the audio interface be a good solution to dial back the distortion's output so I don't clip at the audio interface? I don't have either of these to test unfortunately. Or is there some other solution for this that doesn't impact the character if the distortion?

Most distortion / overdrive pedal have a "level" control - turning that down until your audio interface input doesn't go "into the red" anymore will do the job. If you have a longer effects chain, you'll have to manage the gain across the whole chain so that the overall level stays within healthy limits.

Just one caveat: frequently, drive pedals are used to overdrive the input of the amp, so the "drive" parameter is kept low (little distortion) and the "level" is pushed. Connected directly to a "real" amp, this will create additional overdrive / distortion within the amp (preamp or power amp). For obvious reasons, this will not work with software amp - you would only clip at the audio interface. For this kind of sound, you'll need to use a software stomp box within your Reaper plugin chain before S-Gear (or a multi-pedal platform like Helix or TH-U etc).

Cheers,

Torsten

Thanks Torsten, this is great info.

Didn't even think of Helix's output volume and will experiment with this. Just to clarify, if I load Helix in slot 1 for drives and then S-Gear in slot 2 and if I adjust Helix's output I should be all good, no other settings I need to adjust??

The way you described drives is typically how I use them, no to low gain levels and I use the output knob to drive the preamp. These are usually TS, Klon, Guv'nor etc based pedals. There seems to be a lot of options for these in the virtual world so a software stomp box should be easy to find. Helix also has good options for these that I may find pleasing given your tip on slot 1 output volume.
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by goostah.
SIGN-IN TO REPLY

New to S-Gear - A Few Questions 1 month 1 week ago #20407

and if I adjust Helix's output I should be all good, no other settings I need to adjust??
You need to check the output - and then the related input - for everything.
That's called "gain staging" ;)

Once you get this set up for the first time - you won't have to keep checking things...
  • jbraner
  • jbraner's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Tone Master
  • Posts: 305
SIGN-IN TO REPLY
Time to create page: 0.071 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum