The 2112: Anatomy of a Patch
Every patch on the 2112 has some common components that can be activated or inactivated and adjusted in several ways. This page will explore the various components and parameters of any patch (User or Factory) and we will take a Factory patch, modify it, and store it as a User Definable Patch or preset.
The 2112 groups several settings or parameters together into the PREAMP MODULE. I strongly suggest building one or more preamp settings that work well with your guitar, amp, and your ears. We will learn how to save the modules a bit later.
The PREAMP consists of
Analog Wah (use with Control 1 expression pedal or another external volume/expression pedal)
External Effects Loop (for inserting stomp boxes, for example)
Tube Distort (a misnomer, it doesn't HAVE to be distorted -- clean sounds are excellent)
Tube EQ (10 band graphic)
Distortion (also a misnomer, this is actually the Solid State Preamp)
Distortion EQ (also 10 band graphic)
One feature that is not emphasized in the manual is that you can save all these settings as a custom default. You can then call up those defaults whenever you are creating a new patch or modifying an existing patch.
Turning the Wheel clockwise until you are past the Noise Gate settings will bring you to the Effects modules. See below for an exercise in changing both the Preamp settings and Effects settings.
EXERCISE (refer to MP 19)
Load our example patch (Factory Preset #45 - Stereo Country -- refer to MP 15 to refresh your memory on loading programs). Now press the [Preamp] button -- you'll see the Preamp module components flashing on the display. The display emulates an effect chain, much as you might assemble a bunch of stomp boxes. Rotate the wheel to go back and forth among the various Preamp components and settings.
Start by turning the Wheel until you see Compressor. The factory setting for this patch is too compressed for my taste. Either turn it off by rotating Knob 1 counter-clockwise until it says 'bypass' or else set it to a more gentle compression by rotating Knob 4 until you see the Factory Default called 'Light' -- it should be F1 (factory default #1). That change alone will make it sound more like what we're after
Now, turn the Wheel until you reach TUBE GEQ10. This is the 10-band graphic equalizer. We will begin to learn how to tweak the patches by changing the EQ to something that sounds better for steel. Looking at the front panel, just below the LCD display panel, there are five knobs that serve two purposes: In EDIT MODE (which we are now in, since we pressed the [Preamp] button), the blue labels are used. One is marked 'Page' and the others 1, 2, 3, and 4. The parameters or settings are arranged in 'Pages'. Use the [Page] knob to scroll through the EQ settings. You will see that there are 5 pages of EQ settings -- most of them are the levels for each of the 10 bands. Go to Page 3. Set everything to 5 EXCEPT set the 800 Hz to 0. That should give you a decent steel guitar sound. Listen carefully. Now decide whether you want to change it. I personally like more bottom end and tend to go with the following for the 10 bands (in order from low to high):
5 -- 8 -- 8 -- 5 -- 0 -- 5 -- 5 -- 5 -- 5 -- 5
Those settings work well on my old Emmons through a MosValve 500. You may need to change your amp settings if you're using a combo amp with tone controls since the EQ on the amp AND the 2112 are affecting your overall EQ. At this point, you should have a pretty decent steel guitar sound.
Turn the wheel again until you reach the Effects -- this particular patch has Dual Delay and Dual Chorus, which are both FULL modules -- each one uses a full S-DISC chip -- so we know that this patch CAN'T be 'Seamless', but we also know that EVERY POSSIBLE EFFECT IN THE 2112 IS AVAILABLE -- TWICE. Go to the Dual Delay module and rotate Knob 1 (that's the second one from the left) all the way counterclockwise. It should read 'Through Module'. Now begin turning the knob clockwise and listening to each effect. There are some pretty cool ones there and each one has a bunch of settings and parameters that can be changed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Each preamp and effect has factory defaults. Try them first. They may all suck. :-)
You may find that some are just dandy and others that need to be fine tuned a bit. REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN SAVE DEFAULTS FOR THE PREAMP AND FOR ALL EFFECTS. Instructions are on MP 21.
Just for fun, turn Knob 1 until you see 'Stereo Delay'. The default setting is 700ms with about 3 delays -- a bit too long for our purposes. Turn Knob 4 until you see '350ms / 0%'. That is closer, but we need a few more repeats. Turn the Page knob (first one on left) until you get to Page 3. Now set feedback to about 15% (3 delays or so). Turn the Page knob to Page 2 and change the FxLevel to 15 to 25%. Now you have a patch with the right EQ and a useable delay setting.
Since we're tweaking the Delay parameters, there's one REALLY SLICK feature that you should try: Tap-IT. This is one exception to what I said about changing individual effect settings on the fly. You can set the Delay Time (time between repeats) very quickly by pressing the TapIT button twice. If you press it twice quickly you will notice that the delay time is very short. If you leave more time between the 'clicks' you will lengthen the delay time. Play with it. It can be very useful. For example, you can set the delay to be exactly the tempo of the song by pressing it on the beat. This is a very useful feature.
Now for the final step, lets save this patch as the first user setting (MP 18).
Here are the steps:
Press the [Store] key (it should be red, since you have changed several parameters)
You may change the title that goes with the patch. If you want something other than 'Stereo Country', you will need to edit the title
The 'Page' knob and knobs 1-4 have changed function -- they are now used for text entry / editing
The Wheel will cycle through the alphabet or numbers
Page will move you through the various letters of the existing title
CAP will toggle between upper and lower case letters
nbr will toggle between letters and numbers
ins will insert a space at the flashing cursor
COP will copy and paste characters (I don't find this especially useful)
To erase the entire title, move the cursor to one space past the end of the existing title using the 'Page' knob, then turn the 'ins' knob counter clockwise until all the text is deleted. Give the new patch an appropriate title using the knobs and the Wheel. Once you have the new title entered, press [Store] again. The 2112 will suggest a place to store the new patch (probably Patch #45 on the User bank). Lets store it as User Patch #1. Turn the Wheel counter clockwise until you reach Patch #1 and press [Store] again. This will store your new patch in the first position in the User bank.
You sometimes HAVE to change a patch on stage. You can find the effect or parameters you need to change more easily using the black buttons on the lower right section of the front panel. As we've already discovered, pressing 'Preamp' will take you directly to the preamp settings. The same is true for the Mod (modulation effects like Chorus or Flange), Pitch (pitch shift like an octave up or down), Dly/Rev (delay or reverb), and Other (settings like Master Mix Wet vs Dry). Learning to use these features will save you a lot of grief when you just can't live with a certain patch in the middle of a gig on the bandstand.
TUNER MODE (MP 17):
In a pinch, the tuner in the 2112 can be used. It's not as readable as a dedicated tuner, but does a pretty good job. You can change the reference pitch to between A=427 and A=453.
FRONT PANEL EQ SETTINGS (MP 30):
Sometimes a room fills up just before the third set and it sounds like all the treble has been sucked from your amp. When this happens, you may use the Global EQ settings (same knobs we used to change parameters and edit text) to boost or cut the Hi, Mid, and Lo EQ on the fly by +/- 12dB. When using Global EQ, you should be sure that your master setting for EQ/Mix is glbl -- hit the [Utilities] button to display the first page of the Utilities menu. Use Knob #4 to change from Local to Global if necessary. This will make any EQ changes you make on the front panel apply to all patches you use. If it is set on Local you will have to change the front panel EQ settings each time you change patches.