Gain Staging of the C.A.B M+
When connecting to C.A.B M+ the signal at the input is optimal when as loud as possible. When not using preamp pedals, set the IN LEVEL switch to +12 dB. The VU meters on the pedal's screen show the input and output levels; to ensure best performance, the top bar graph (input level) needs to be as high as possible without clipping. For output leveling, ensure all DSP-powered processing results in the output VU metering matching (or sitting slightly under) the input VU meter.
Once the signal passes into the pedal, there are a number of points where levels can be raised:
- The Preamp
- The Poweramp
- The Mic Levels
- The Enhancer
- The EQ
- The Preset Level
Our Suggested Process for optimising your C.A.B. M+ Gain Staging
1. First set the built in EQ and Enhancer to OFF.
2. Preamp and Poweramp Configuration
Set the preamp gain to taste - after 50% you will notice some saturation is applied to the signal, and - like a real preamp - this will include some noise post this point. When looking for pristine clean tones, set it to 45% or lower.
The Power amp will provide differing tonal textures depending on the tubes chosen. The volume is the master volume of your amp. If it’s cranked, it will add the natural drive of the power tubes along with some noise, just as a tube amp does when it is pushed. Depending on the choice of tubes, and if you use a Pair or a Single Ended setup, you will need to set your volume accordingly.
3. Mic Configuration
First, start with Mic A (mute Mic B). Not sure which microphone to use? We would suggest the studio staple ”57” variant. It provides the all important edge you will need and is the perfect complement for the other mics included in our catalog. Think of Mic A as your foundation tone; move the mic around the cabinet until you get the fundamental component of the tone you are seeking. Once you have found this position, listen to what you are missing (top-end, bottom-end, etc).
Mute Mic A and unmute Mic B. Audition mics for slot B to find the sonics you are seeking. If you are looking for bottom end and warmth, choose a ribbon mic. If you are looking for top-end and a bit of air, choose a condenser mic.
Then, move Mic B around and position to taste.
Once you’re happy with the positioning, turn the level of Mic B all the way down.
Unmute Mic A, and gradually increase the level of Mic B until you have the perfect balance. A great tip is to check what Mic B is bringing to your tone, so we advise muting it occasionally.
By using this technique, it is highly likely that you will not set the same levels for Mic A and B - Mic B will often be lower as it is not the fundamental component to your tone.
In terms of levels, do not boost the signal in the mic settings (avoid going past 0 dB).
4. Set the preset level to 0 dB.
5. Once this balance is done, you can experiment with the Enhancer and the EQ to further fine-tune the preset.