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Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

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Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:47 pm
by garrettendi
So you all know I'm a total idiot... I'd appreciate it if someone dumbed it down for me...

I've got a Behringer HM300 - a clone of the Boss HM-2 - and as per everyone else on the interweb, all the knobs are set to 10! I fed it into my UMC204HD interface (pad engaged), and then into my TSE X50 amp sim which was already relatively high gain, and it sounded marvelous!

But here's the thing, while I did have to turn the gain/trim knob down a wee bit on the UMC, it wasn't clipping at all.... I figured the HM300 dimed would be so loud it'd be unusable into the UMC.

Don't get me wrong I'm glad it works, but it makes no sense...

Explain for the SOS Village Idiot? :thumbup:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:54 pm
by Wonks
A line level signal is hotter than a guitar level signal (so a line level input has more headroom than an amp input). You've certainly increased the guitar signal level, but you've got the -20dB pad engaged, so the overall result is that the input signal is still below the maximum input level for the line input. So no 0dBFS signals.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:55 pm
by garrettendi
Thanks Wonks! That is sufficiently dumbed down! :thumbup:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:46 pm
by Sam Spoons
Remember too that a maxed out distortion pedal is, effectively, a brick wall limiter.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:09 pm
by Wonks
Well, you get gain, distortion/limiting and then a volume control. So you are certainly limiting the peaks by a degree of clipping, but it's not normally full flat-top clipping unless it's a real fuzz pedal. But the volume control still allows extra volume after the distortion section. On some pedals, quite a lot of extra volume. I'm looking at you, MXR Doubleshot Distortion pedal!

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:22 pm
by Sam Spoons
True enough but no real peaks ether.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:04 pm
by Wonks
Well, whatever peaks they do have, they'll have a lot more amplitude than the original guitar signal!

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:05 pm
by Sam Spoons
True, if it's maxed out but it'll still, as you said, probably be less than a line level signal. But a Heavy Metal distortion won't have any peaks with everything set at 10.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:09 pm
by Wonks
It will still have lots of peaks, just a lot all at the same height.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:17 pm
by Sam Spoons
Wonks wrote:It will still have lots of peaks, just all at the same height.

FTFY

:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:20 pm
by Wonks
Are you saying Garrettendi plays without any dynamics? :D

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:30 pm
by garrettendi
Wonks wrote:Are you saying Garrettendi plays without any dynamics? :D

I am hurt and offended by this very accurate comment! :lol:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:07 pm
by Sam Spoons
:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Hmmm, with a maxed distortion pedal (as opposed to an overdrive) there will be, pretty much, peaks and silences with nowt in between however you play. It's the nature of the beast.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:09 pm
by garrettendi
I would like to point out I don’t normally play with quite that much gain but I like to vary things!

I do have a soft spot for a Fender amp with a bit o’ reverb

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:13 pm
by Sam Spoons
:smirk: yeah but in your OP you say

I've got a Behringer HM300 - a clone of the Boss HM-2 - and as per everyone else on the interweb, all the knobs are set to 10!

It's not meant for subtle overdrive and dynamic, it's METAL, so we answer the question as asked.

Fender with a little reverb? Yes very tasty :thumbup:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:17 pm
by garrettendi
Haha! You got me there I guess!

Thanks muchly for the help chaps!

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:22 am
by Sam Spoons
:thumbup:

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:23 am
by ef37a
Some numbers Mr G?

The Boss clone pedal is powered from 9V and therefore can only put out a bit less than 3Vrms* as an absolute maximum.

The line input on the Berry can handle up to +22dBu according to the specc' which is some 10Vrms, so you see you have a headroom of more than times three or about 10dB.

*I you don't know about 'rms, peak, peak to peak' I suggest you find out. I will bet Hugh has covered it at some point in the magazine?

Dave.

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:31 am
by garrettendi
ef37a wrote:Some numbers Mr G?

The Boss clone pedal is powered from 9V and therefore can only put out a bit less than 3Vrms* as an absolute maximum.

The line input on the Berry can handle up to +22dBu according to the specc' which is some 10Vrms, so you see you have a headroom of more than times three or about 10dB.

*I you don't know about 'rms, peak, peak to peak' I suggest you find out. I will bet Hugh has covered it at some point in the magazine?

Dave.

Cheers Dave, the clone is powered by a 9V battery so all your figures would be correct. I'd love to learn more about RMS and peaks and whatnot as I find it all confusing. I'd like to be able to calculate all this stuff myself.

During my lunch break today I'll scour the SOS archives for appropriate articles but in the meanwhile if anyone can recommend anything in particular to read I'd love to know. I'll be sure to look myself when I can though!

Re: Heavy gain effects pedals into interface - Dumb it down?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:47 am
by Kwackman