The basic guidelines for a clear (not clean) but heavy tone...or something... Some things first: A good metal tone doesn't mean, gain all the way up and the middle knob at 0! Take it slowly and keep the knobs of the amp at a neutral setting for starters. This goes also with the real hi gain amps. Usually, if not always, an ultra gain setting with the middle knob all the way down to 0 sounds, let's say, unpleasant.
I'll be talking about Guitar Rig 2 through Cubase SX2. You'll need Voxengo Boogex or
Voxengo Pristine space or
Revalver MKII. Voxengo boogex
is a free plug in, Voxengo Pristine Space is not free (but it can be found...).
So let's try this from the top. Open your DAW (this means open Cubase). Start an audio recording session. After the multitrack view appears, press F3. You'll be directed to the "Mixer" window. In this window you can see some columns with volume sliders. Go to the far lest volume slider. Directly to the left of it you can see an "e" button. Click it. The "VST Input Channel Settings" appears. Here you can load any plugin you want (Guitar Rig 2, Amplitube 2, Revalver, equalizer plug ins, compressors, delays, reverbs etc) with a limitation of 8 slots (that means you can load there up to 8 plug ins). Left click on one of the slots and choose Guitar Rig 2 from the menu. Now it is time to create a preset. Load the Gratifier amp. Switch from clean to modern channel. It sounds a little weird/crap doesn't it? Notice how the sound changes by putting a distortion pedal in front of it (that means above the gratifier, avoid the fuzz pedals at all costs).
Generally a distortion/overdrive pedal is a vital addition before the Gratifier amp. The "Cat", "Skreamer", "Transamp" or the "Treble Booster" are very good pedals to put in front of the amp. You'll be using only one (not all of them together!).
If you encounter noise while not playing (which is most likely due to the high gain), put the Noise Reduction component in front of the distortion pedal. Stop playing and adjust the THRESHOLD of the Noise Reduction at a level where there is almost utter silence. If you notice that the Noise reduction kicks in late after you've completely stopped playing, press the "+" button and set the "release" knob at a lower value.
Right now the chain of components within Guitar rig should be this, NoiseReduction----->one of the forementioned distortion pedals------>Gratifier amp------>and the cabinet that was loaded when we loaded the Gratifier. The standard cab/mic combo that appears after we have inserted the Gratifier model is the 4x12 Gratifier cab with the Dynamic 609 mic. Switch to the dynamic 421 mic and see the difference. Add another gratifier cab with a dynamic 57 on axis. This is a nice cabinet combo. Also turn the AIR control all the way down in both cabs.
The following clip was done with the forementioned chain. For the distortion pedal I used the Demon Distortion with the "cruncher" preset loaded. The amp has flat settings. The second clip is the same chain WITHOUT the distortion pedal! Listen to the difference! The demon distortion is a difficult stomp box to master however!
http://www.esnips.com/doc/e848cc96-5387 ... WITH-DEMON
http://www.esnips.com/doc/f9320065-0538 ... HOUT-DEMON
Now time to use an impulse. For now, what you need to know is that "impulses" actually take the place of the guitar rig cabinet. Remember the Mixer window? Press f3 to make it come back (you may need to press f3 twice). Again press the "e" situated to the far left. Left click a slot that is situated under
the slot that you have placed guitar rig 2. Select Voxengo Boogex
from the list. Now go to guitar rig and turn it's cabinets off
It's time you downloaded some impulses. In this forum you'll find plenty. I recommend downloading these http://www.guitarampmodeling.com/viewtopic.php?t=1226
Impulses are really really short wav files, you won't hear anything if you put them in winamp to listen.
After you have extracted the files, go to the Voxengo Boogex
interface and press "File". Search for the files you extracted and load one impulse (for example load the "between0" file). Remember that by now you must have turned all of guitar rig's cabinet's off. Play and you'll notice a big difference in the tone. Now it's time for some adjustments in Boogex
. The "Pre Filter" knobs must be all at 0.0db. Turn all the "Amplifier" knobs to 0.0 and the "Out" knob at -24db (it can't be turned off). Turn the "Dry Podt Cab" knob at -inf db, and the "Dry Pre Cab" at 0 or above. Try other impulses too. With Boogex
you can use only one at a time.
After all this procedure, you may start tweaking the amps settings, change overdrive pedals etc.
Here is how the initial preset sounds now with the impulse:
http://www.esnips.com/doc/9f800d78-09f8 ... TH-IMPULSE
Don't expect to achieve everything overnight! You'll have to make efforts to understand how the whole thing works. Also create audio clips. That is the only way to see if you are making progress or not. It's good to make pauses when you've been tweaking your sound for a lot of time and listen to a band you like, and then go back. Then you'll understand if the tone you've been working on is good or bad.
If you are completely new to recording through Cubase, it is good to take some time and study some basics that are explained in the manual!