Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Way To Tweak AWESOME TONE From the Line 6 VETTA! (Part 2)

Getting awesome tone from the Line 6 Vetta isn’t as hard as you think.
A small investment of time is all that’s required. Think of the $$$ you’ve spent on this piece of gear. Why not get the most out of it? Part 1 of this article may have seemed like a lot of info to take in, and that’s because it is. But actually learning your own rig’s tendencies with the Vetta is pretty easy when you actually do it. Line 6 Edit Live Tweaking gets you to a real understanding of your rig’s tendencies within the context of your band/music, and this can be accomplished quickly.

Your exact rig will help you get started. For example, I play an Ibanez RG1570 with D’addario EXL140 strings (Tuned DGCFAD) into a Vetta Head, dual Monster cabled in stereo into a Marshall 1960A 4x12 cabinet with G12T75 speakers. I make only Blended patches, that utilize the Amp 2 slot for the Low, Low-Mid part of the patch with Channel Volume at 100%, and the Amp 1 slot for the Hi-Mid, Hi part of the patch with Channel Volume at around 50-80%. Both amps are panned to Center, and I always use NO CAB sim. The Vetta is in 4x12 mode in Stereo, Presence ON, Loudness OFF, SM-57 AIR Global.

Look at your rig the same way. Are you playing straight into a Vetta Combo or using a separate cab, 1x12, 2x12, 4x12? What kind of characteristics do your speakers/cab have?

I know that at Live volume, my Marshall 4x12 adds a lot of thump/bass, so I tweak all of my patches in the Vetta with a Bass setting of 20% (9 o’clock). This also helps my bassist Ted, because now the Low End can be his domain in the live mix. And my tone is still nice and warm and chunky.

This is an example of how one learns their rig within the context of the Vetta being the tone source. You have to learn your rig the same way.
You have to find this out in the environment that you play in. If you are a LIVE player, then you must learn this playing at Live Volume(LOUD). If you are a BEDROOM player, then you must learn this at BEDROOM Volume (LOW).

BEDROOM patches do not transfer to the LIVE environment,
and Vice-Versa.

In explaining how I set the amp model variables, I want to keep clear that these settings are relative to my exact rig and your settings will probably be different. These settings have been constant for me, ever since I figured them out.

Since I make only Blended patches, I will refer to Amp 1 and Amp 2 settings (Amp 1=Hi-Mids, Highs - Amp 2= Low-Mids, Lows).
I start with Amp 2 before adding Amp 1.
My Settings are basically the same for both Clean and Hi-Gain tones.
(Some amp models require certain variant settings, so saving as default is always good) (Cab Sims are “OFF”)

Amp 1 = 50%
Amp 1 = 50%
Always set this to 50% for BOTH models.
You can tweak from there later, but start with the Nominal Tone Setting, as stated by Line 6 in their Manual. Sometimes after the patch is finished,
I will increase the 50% to 52% on Amp 2, and I’ll get that right amount of tube saturation sound on the patch. Sometimes adding it only to Amp 1 does this. Sometimes setting both to 52% makes the magic happen. Sometimes it’s 60%, 70%, 83% on Amp2…
You have to figure out what values favor YOUR RIG.

Note: Gain Staging
(Essentially, too much of 2 DRIVE/GAIN/distortion sources mixing together = NOISE ☹ bad).

Amp 1 = 20%
Amp 2 = 20%
I mentioned before that I set both Bass levels to 20%, due to my Marshall cab adding Bass at LIVE volume. That is true on most patches. Sometimes I set Amp 2 to 23% for a bit more chunk/thickness. Some models require a starting Bass setting of 50% to find their thickness, like the Line 6 Big Bottom, Marshall JMP-1, or Soldano X88R models.
Most of the time it’s 20% for me.
You’ll have to see what works for you.
For example, my friend Adam’s Vetta is 36% Bass Level.
He uses a Schecter Guitar>Vetta II HD>Line6 4x12 V30s.
You can see the variance.

Amp 1 = 50%
Amp 2 = 16-20% - 18% on most of my patches.
While you would probably want to keep the Mids low with a Tube Amp,
that will not work with a Digital Amp like the Vetta.
You’ll need to push the Mids to cut thru in a Band Mix for LIVE volume.
That’s why I always have Amp 1 = 50%. It makes sure that I cut thru.
(You can set the Mids any way you want for BEDROOM volume,
Cause you’ll always cut thru by yourself ☺ )

Amp 1 = 82%
Amp 2 = 70%
These settings are very standard for my patches. They don’t change at all,
except for on a few Clean amp models where Amp2=50% because of the Highs. Otherwise, these are set in stone for MY RIG.

Amp 1 = 83%
Amp 1 = 83%
Another “Set In Stone” Setting for My Rig. Because XONE is tuned to DGCFAD, I need a lot of Presence to be in front in the mix. This Presence setting puts me there, without becoming “shrill”.
(I also have the Global Presence Boost “On”).

Amp 1 = 30-83% (50% is the standard setting that always works)
Amp 2 = 100%
I always set Amp 2=100% because I believe that the models sound best when pushed to “11” here. Amp 2 carries most of the patch.
I usually set Amp 1 to 50% to start tweaking it into the tone.
Many times it stays at 50%. Sometimes 83% works really good,
Sometimes 30%, 60%, 70%. Sometimes 52%. Sometimes 44%.
Here’s where the Blending really takes place in Blended Patches.
It’s a lot of fun HEARING a new tone come together from two different amp models.

Note: Checking your Gain Staging at the end can sometimes add that last little bit of Magic that a tone is missing. You might not even know it’s there, until you type it in, try it, and realize, it sounds right!

I want to reiterate, that using LINE 6 EDIT to TYPE IN these exact values,
rather than turning knobs, allows you to get to the finite, best tone out of the Vetta. You can LITERALLY HEAR the difference in quality between say, 50% and 52% or 83% and 88%, in any of the Vetta’s variables, amps, effects. You cannot make these changes with the faceplate knobs. If you want AWESOME VETTA TONE, you gotta tweak it with Line 6 Edit…

I really love the Line 6 Vetta. And I think that Line 6 has really delivered an awesome Multi-Variable Tone Machine to those who are looking for such a piece of gear. It’s not for everybody, but it’s definitely for me.
I wanted something similar to John Petrucci’s Rig, but I have neither the Money, nor the Time and the ability to Cart it around, nor even the Chops for such a HUMONGOUS rig ☺. I purchased my Vetta in 2003, and it has provided everything I wanted originally and MORE over the last 6 years. I’m having so much fun with it. I want you to have the same fun with your Vetta.
And I’m not going to sell it to you for money like some would.
I’m sharing it for FREE. (Like our CD)
All you have to do it test this method out thoroughly,
and try Line 6 Edit Live Tweaking with your Vetta!

No Factory Patches Allowed!!

Stay Tuned for Part 3…

UPDATE: Here's Part 3!!!!