Metal Rhythm Tone
Few would argue that a mean metal rhythm tone is one of the cornerstones of guitar tonedom. Just so we're on the same page, when I say metal, I mean brutal, aggressive, crushing tone. Although many amplifiers are capable of sheer brutality right out of the box, something special happens when you place an overdrive pedal in front of a tube amplifier. It's hard to beat even with modern amp designs.
For this preset, we'll explain the magic of that classic combination and how you can use it to expand your tone bank.
No other stompbox 'screams' better than the very popular late-'70s overdrive pedal we modeled for the Greener effect in ReValver. Although there's really nothing special about the Greener when used alone as a distortion device, it comes alive when employed to overload the preamp of a tube amplifier.
Overdriving an amplifier by cranking the preamp gain to 11 can give you a cool buzzsaw tone, but a major drawback is that it can smear together notes and chords into a wash of noise. By placing an overdrive component such as the Greener before the amp—in other words, by overdriving or saturating the input of the tube amplifier, and then cutting the distortion of the amplifier itself—you can have tons of gain while preserving your picking attack and signal dynamics. The combination of the input saturation and the amplifier distortion creates a perfect metal tone that is highly distorted while retaining note clarity.
The amplifier we'll use in this preset is the classic Peavey Triple XXX®, a three-channel, high-gain amp employing four 12AX7 tubes in the preamp and four 6L6GCs in the power section. Notice that the preset uses the Crunch channel of the Triple XXX with the gain cut back. This allows the Greener to do its thing.
A popular mod on the Triple XXX is to swap out the 6L6GCs with EL34s. This would be a great opportunity to dive into the deep-editing functionality of ReValver's Tweak Module. Swap the tubes and see what happens, all from the safety of the warm glow of your computer monitor.
Anyway, enough babble ... download the ReValver preset and soundclip below and enjoy the metal.