Pedals straight into an amp using plug-ins!

Hi Audified friends,

I am Murky, and I have a problem...I love guitar pedals! :)

We live in a golden age of pedals, that’s for sure. And not only the physical ones - the classic old school stompboxes. We live in the golden age of pedals as a concept, and as a school of thought. In today’s blog post, I will take a look at using a good ol’ “pedal into an amp” workflow, while bringing it to the digital environment using our favorite Audified tools. My goal is to make it sound as raw and lively/organic sounding as possible. (Oh, those buzzwords. ;) )

Going back to the year 2000, Audified released the first-ever real-time software guitar pedals - DSound Stomp’n FX. Going back to 2018, we brought to life our collection of virtual takes on classic stompbox designs favored by many generations of musicians - we released the MultiDrive Pedal Pro plug-in.

Today, I have paired MultiDrive Pedal Pro with our trusty ampLion Pro amp sim and created some genre-specific sound combos for you to have fun with. One side note here - MultiDrive Pedal Pro can be, of course, used on its own as well! It all depends on the sounds you want to achieve and the instrument you are pairing it with.

My goal is to test out the classic guitarist approach of running the mid to high gain pedal into the clean or “on the edge of breakup” amplifier. All tracks have been recorded using my 1980s HSS MIJ Fender Stratocaster modded to the hell and back.


Now let’s take a look at sounds you can create this way:

Starting with nothing short of bold, we have here one of the more monstrous sounds. Our BAT Distortion is run into 530 HiGain preamp (yet dialed down clean) with a matched power amp, and RKing 4x12 - C90 Half-Back and RKing 4x12 - V30 Half-Back cabinets, both mic'd up with the Bass Dynamic 6.

The BAT Distortion does most of the heavy lifting, making it growl like an unchained beast. Just like the classic 80s and 90s rhythm sounds. The volume of the pedal pushes the amp, and the filter position makes it sound direct and tight. The amp itself is set completely dry with a considerable bass roll-off, mid push, and a presence boost. Mics are very close to the cabs, on-axis, and rather off-center. (Open the pictures to see the settings close up.)


MultiDrive Pedal Pro and amplLion Pro


The second example throws hats off to the classic gnarly blues guitar sounds. For this, I have selected the B-Drive stompbox followed by the Bass Crunch preamp with the matched power amp. As for cabs, I have chosen FBlues 1x12 Combo, mic'd up with the Dynamic S57, and FRocPro 1x12 Combo, mic'd up with Condenser 1000. The S57 is used for close miking and the condenser is set quite far away. Both are centered.

The B-Drive pushes the signal in terms of level and treble, while the gain is set quite conservatively at about 10 o’clock. On the amp itself, on the other hand, the normal channel is used and gained up a tiny bit. The treble control is cut while the presence is boosted. This eliminates an unwanted treble frequency build-up, while it moves the highs towards a more pleasant place.


MultiDrive Pedal Pro and ampLion Pro


The third sound is a beastly lead crunch, created most probably by all the Rock gods together. Just kidding, of course. :) This sound is meant to give you all the energy you need for classic 80s lead lines. It is dry as a bone and noisy as the real classic amp turned up would be. Do not hesitate to use a noise gate, or pair it with a delay or other time-based effect of your choice, too. ;) My goal was just raw energy, tho.

Regarding this sound, both elements (the pedal and the amp) are equally as important. The amp model is 800 Lead with a matched power amp and Classic 4x12T Closed back cabs mic'd up with the Dynamic S57 (close) and the Condenser 1A (backed away). Both off-axis. Volume and middle are maxed out (oh yeah!). Bass is pushed while treble and presence are cut away. The S-Drive pedal completes the doom. Drive and tone are set to noon, but the level attacks the front end of the amp, making it compress and overdrive more, but without changing the character of the amp itself. Just like it was done in the old days! :)


MultiDrive Pedal Pro and ampLion Pro


So there you have it - three classic and raw sounding stompbox driven guitar tones, made in the virtual realm by virtual tools.

Do you like these sound examples? Would you be able to tell how they were created only by ear? Let me know by sending me feedback via the feedback form, and have fun with the suggested settings! :) You can also leave us a review of the MultiDrive Pedal Pro plug-in.

Continue to Part 2