I’m using my MOD with an amp so I’m not using it for amp modeling or cabinet emulation so I want to use it primarily for effects. Up until now I’ve been using it with a small but loud Fender Pro Junior tube Amp but I recently added a larger Vibrolux Reverb and and I’m becoming aware that the headroom for signals between the Input Analog to Digital Converters and Output Digital to Analog converters is a bit of an issue (for me).
I fully understand the MOD’s gain adjustment structure and the ability to change gain stages and trim the input and output db, where I have difficulty is once the gains are dialed in to not overload the inputs or the outputs the signal coming out of the MOD is significantly reduced, so much so that the amp must be turned up so much that a lot of extra noise is introduced. Anyone who’s used tube amps knows there’s a ‘sweet spot’ on the dial where you get a nice full tube sound without unwanted distortion (that’s what a tube screamer is for!). So the options for fixing this are (1) turn the gains back up on the MOD… now with a small naturally saturated tube amp you can get away with it and a bit of digital overload just becomes part of the roar and gets masked… but in a larger amp with more clean headroom it just sounds nasty. Or (2) plop a compressor or limiter in your MOD effect chain and club the dynamic range down… possibly OK if you play high gain music and dont want a lot of dynamics response to your picking, but if you’re playing jazz, blues, country, indie or roots rock the magic of a tube amp is the dynamic range…
Recently I hooked up my previous analog stompbox pedalboard and realized it doesn’t attenuate the signal going to the amp (with no effects switched on), it’s much quieter and since the signal path is all analog there are no headroom concerns with the signal path so there is a lot of dynamic range. Obviously my old pedalboard is VERY limited compared to the expansiveness and configurability of the MOD but it really seems to be once the signal goes digital there is not near enough headroom to get it in and out of the MOD and preserve a nice clean strong signal without introducing overload in the internal signal path.
My point is NOT to say one thing is better or worse, I love my stompboxes and I love my MOD and I want to use both as needed… how are other people here handling this signal reduction issue with larger amps? From the developer side of things is there any software way to get more adjustment out of the ADC and DAC converters?