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Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

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Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Dolmetscher007 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:47 pm

[Edited this post after having many of my questions answered in another post]

I've been having some trouble reliably getting my signal to the -15db sweet spot. It's always too loud. Turning amp and/or pedal volume knobs alter the amp's tone, just like a real amp. I find myself relying on the "Output" fader of Amp Designer. Sometimes, I end up having to slide the output fader waaay down to like -30db to get my peak levels under -15db. Having to do something that drastic makes me wonder if I am missing something somewhere else.
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby desmond » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:29 pm

Well, if your amp gain stage is adding 30dB of gain to get a nice distortion effect of running an amp hard, the output slider will compensate back down again - it's what it's for. :thumbup:
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:36 pm

Desmond makes a very good point, of course.

But what you also need to remember is that a lot of amateurs still think its a good thing to peak signals at 0dBFS, so a lot of virtual instruments and amp sims are set up to deliver high levels to meet that expectation.

If you need to pull the output fader back to re-establish a sensible headroom margin, so be it. It's not a problem doing that.
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Dolmetscher007 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:51 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:If you need to pull the output fader back to re-establish a sensible headroom margin, so be it. It's not a problem doing that.

So, am I correct to say, there is no real-world analogy to a software instrument/plug-in's output fader?

In other words, actual electronic guitar amplifiers and guitar pedals have volume knobs, master volume knobs, gain knobs, etc. but there is no attenuation knob or fader that keeps the amp or pedal's tone exactly as it is, but just reduces its output. Correct? And Logic Pro's Amp Designer Output slider is a purely DAW concept.
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Wonks » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:02 pm

Yes. It's an addition to the normal amp controls in the amp sim. The closest real-world analogue would be an attenuator between an amp and the speaker, but even that doesn't have quite the same effect.
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:25 pm

Is it not fairly closely analogous to padding down the microphone on the channel that's being used to record an amp?
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Re: Gain Stages: What is a real-world analog to the "Output" slider in Logic Pro's Amp Designer?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:00 pm

Dolmetscher007 wrote:So, am I correct to say, there is no real-world analogy to a software instrument/plug-in's output fader?

Lots of hardware instruments have outputs faders. Guitar amps can be run hot but have their output attenuated by a 'soak' between amp and speaker. And for recording purposes, an ultra loud guitar amp speaker can be miked up, and a suitable gain structure established to provide the required level.

So yes, there are plenty of real world analogies.
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