The working point of non linear plugins like many distortions, etc, are all over the place. Some TAP plugins use -20dBFS (decibels relative to full scale), some others like the GxSD1 or the tube screamer or GxQuack seem to expect signals much closer to 0dBFS. This makes using these plugins without having to almost clip the input stage of the MOD hard.
As an example on the loops I have to jump through to get a usable high gain sound from GxSD1: I set the input stage of the mod to hit the yellow peak only occasionally (-12dBFS). Then inside the pedal board I need to use the Mod Gain to increase the gain, then at the end of the pedalboard I need to use another Mod Gain to lower it back to a non clipping range.
How to reproduce
- Try to get a high gain sound from the MOD Duo using e.g. GxSD1
The standard for “normal” signals in the digital domain seems to be -18dBFS (EBU and BBC), so taking this into account I propose:
- Instruct users to setup their instruments and the mod input stage to hit -12dBFS (the yellow peak LED blinks occasionally). This should be a good compromise with respect to the signal noise ratio of the MOD
- Lower the digital signal by 6dB to get to -18dBFS before hitting the pedalboard
- Fix all non-linear plugins to have their working point at -18dBFS
- Do the inverse on the output stage (raise by 6db digitally)