BIAS FX 2 Metal Tones: High Gain Virtual Amps

By Jason Stallworth

December 15, 2019


If you’ve been following me for a while (thank you, I appreciate you!), you know that I’ve been using Positive Grid’s plugins for a while. In fact, I’ve recorded 3 albums with their virtual amps and effects.

So it’s no surprise that I jumped on the latest BIAS FX 2. And as you would expect, I went straight for the high gain metal amps. But when I purchased it, I had no idea that I was going to do what I did…

I got this crazy idea to create a video playing through all 30 of the high gain amps.

TMI Backstory: I was actually taking an Epson salt bath when I received this holy revelation to record a video with all 30 BIAS FX 2 high gain amps.

So I immediately cut my bathtime short and started working on this for you! Yeah, I know…TMI.

Anyway, here’s what you’ll get in this post…

Video: Listen to All 30 BIAS FX 2 High Gain Amps

First, I’m going to give you the video below so you can listen to all 30 high gain amps. You’ll hear each amp cranking out some metal for just under a minute.

Oh, and so that you know which amp is being played, there’s a screenshot of the amp in the lower right corner of the video. And one more thing – I’m wearing a different t-shirt for each amp as another distinguishing factor for each tone.
*I didn’t realize I had that many shirts…and here I am trying to be a minimalist!

Here’s the BIAS F 2 high gain amps video…

Special Note: What you’re hearing is the factory settings. I did not (and did not have the patience to) mess with the EQ or cabinet it was paired with and such. I literally just pulled up each and started playing/recording.

BIAS FX 2 High Gain Amp List

Before I go into the details of each amp, here’s the full list of BIAS FX 2 high gain amp. I also included the time each amp is being played and the t-shirt I’m wearing for each amp.

This helps serve as a reference guide for the video (and it also helped me when it came time to synch the audio and video!).

Below this reference table, I’ll give my 5 personal favorite BIAS FX 2 amps. And don’t forget at the end of this post, I’m giving you the details of how I recorded these tracks.

Time High Gain Amp Shirt I’m Wearing
0:17 04 Insane 5153 V2 Keep it Metal
1:03 92 Treadplate V2 Masterpeace
1:49 92 VH4 Meow
2:35 1979 British High Gain Lightning
3:20 American High Gain Chuck Norris
4:06 BE 101 Red V-neck
4:52 Black 100 I Pooped Today
5:38 Black Bull Tie Die
6:24 Classic Insane Captain America
7:09 Cobra Nightwish
7:55 Ecstasy 101 V2 Testament
8:41 German Fire V2 Keep Calm Listen
9:26 High Gain EL34 V2 Arch Enemy
10:13 Insane 6508 Justice for All
10:59 Insane Hargen Hurley Tank
11:44 Insane Roadie Delain
12:30 Insane SATAN V2 Chang
13:15 Invader Lobsters
14:01 Lighting Atari
14:47 Mark V CH3 Singha tank
15:33 Modded Mark IIc+ V2 GWAR
16:19 Pushed Mark IV Rust in Peace
17:04 RD 53 Vader
17:50 RD V2 Light Blue V
18:35 SLO SP88 Heavy Metal Workout
19:22 Slayer King Doxie green
20:07 Snake’s Lead 800 V2 Unicorn
20:53 SwitchAxe Lead Amon Amarth
21:39 Two Stone Lead Blue V-neck
22:55 YM 100 Hawaiin

*You can get the comprehensive list of BIAS FX amps and what each amp is modeled after on Positive Grid’s website: BIAS FX Amp 2 Amp Model List.

My Favorite 5 Amps for Metal Tones

Now let’s go through which the amps are best for metal guitar tones. As I mentioned in the beginning, this is just my personal opinion based on my taste and style.

I’ll list the amp, what it’s modeled after, and a short description based on my thoughts. And these are in the order of my top preferences, although that’s subject to change at any time. You know how us guitarists are always flopping back and forth between tones!

Also, I’m giving you more details on the below amps as I’ve toyed around with these more after creating the video of the 30 high gain amp (remember, I did not touch the settings for that video). But after making the video, I took my personal favorites and started tweaking the settings, cabinets, mics, etc.

One more thing…you’ll notice ‘V2’ by the first 3 the amps below. These are amps that are in the original BIAS FX suite.

*You can read about and hear my original BIAS FX tones in this post: Positive Grid BIAS FX Metal Tones

92 Treadplate V2

BIAS FX 2 92 Treadplate V2

Modeled after the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier

From the original to the new BIAS FX 2, the ’92 Treadplate has been my favorite virtual amp from Positive Grid (including BIAS Amp 2). It’s also the most diverse as you can dial in tones for almost any sub-genre of metal with this amp.

The Treadplate is super tight and it’s got that nice mid-range. It also gives a ton of clarity making it great if you do a lot of riffing, which is the core reason it’s been my go-to amp for metal.

With the Treadplate V2, you don’t need to crank up the gain super high for your rhythms. Try your gain at around 5-6. That will give you the most clarity while still having that saturated tone. Crank it to about 7-8 for leads and you’ll get all the sustain you need.

The Treadplate V2 can also be paired with the standard cabs or the Celestion cabs if you have the BIAS FX 2 Elite version. I use the Celestion Vintage 30s for one rhythm and the Celestion Greenbacks for the other rhythm track (and hard-pan each; I’ll get into more of that at the end of this post).

I used the BIAS Amp 2 version of the Treadplate for my album Masterpeace. And this album features 7 string guitars and is more of a ‘power metal meets thrash metal’ style. And it has about 4 different vocal styles, too.

I also used the Treadplate from the first geneal BIAS FX for my album Heavy Metal Workout. This is a classic instrumental metal album (and as you may have guess, it’s made for pushing iron!).

04 Insane 5153 V2

BIAS FX 2 04 Insane 5153 V2

Modeled after the Peavey 5150

I was going back and forth between this amp and the Treadplate (from the original BIAS FX) when I was recording the Heavy Metal Workout album. This amp sounds awesome but there was something lacking in the original version that the Treadplate had.

The new version, ’04 Insane 5153 V2, sounds amazing. I’m almost liking it more than the Treadplate V2. I can see myself using both amps together in the future.

One thing I’ve noticed about this virtual amp is I boost the mids a little more than I normally do, and that gives you a smooth, crystal clear tone. And like the Treadplate V2, you don’t need a ton of gain for your rhythms.

Like the Treadplate V2, I also recommend using the Celestion impulses with the ’04 Insane 5153 V2. If you’re using the standard cabs, try the Thrasher; that will give you more of a melodic death metal tone.

Modded Mark IIc+ V2

BIAS FX 2 Modded Mark IIc+ V2

Modeled after the Mesa Boogie Mark IIc+

Here we are with another V2 from the original BIAS FX. The Modded Mark LLc+ just has a really cool sound. And to me, the BIAS FX 2 version is definitely a step up from the original.

The original has this weird frequency that I just could never get rid of or EQ out. Of course, that could have been just me. But this new version in BIAS FX 2 is solid!

You can cut the mids of the Modded Mark LLc+ V2 and get that old Metallica guitar tone along with several other classic and thrash metal tones.

For cabinets and speakers, I prefer using the standard BIAS FX cabinets for this amp. To my ears, those fit this amp better than any of the Celestion impulses.

Black 100

BIAS FX 2 Black 100

Modeled after the ENGL RB100

I’ve always loved the sounds of real ENGL amps. In fact, many of the European metal bands I listen to use ENGL amps.

But many amp sims fall short in trying to capture the true sound and essence of an ENGL amp. So for me to put this particular amp in my top 5 is saying something.

The funny thing is BIAS FX 2 has an amp sim called ‘Invader’ which is clearly modeled after the ENGL Invader 100. But that one just doesn’t do it for me. However, I really dig the RB100 here.

The standard BIAS FX cabinets seem to work best with this amp. Especially the ENGL and Thrasher cabs. You could mix those cabs for 2 rhythm guitar tracks and get a really nice metal mix! And this amp is the gateway to some of the heavier and darker sub-genres of metal.

1979 British High Gain

BIAS FX 2 1979 British High Gain

Modeled after the Marshall JPM Plexi 1979

This is probably the most diverse virtual amp in the BIAS FX 2 suite. Of course, being modeled after a Marshall it’s clearly a good choice for classic and thrash metal music. But I’m surprised at how well it can handle some of the heavier and more modern metal.

This amp is perfect for stuff like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Queensryche. It’s got that distinct tone and distortion but it’s also a lot tighter than what you would expect. And for solos, dude, your leads will soar with this amp. I’ll do a separate video on solos later.

You can also back the gain down and get that raw, hard rock tone. Or if you have parts of a song where the guitars die down a bit, like holding out or arpeggiating your chords, backing the gain down will make those parts sound awesome.

As far as cabinets go, the standard cabs work quite well with the 1979 British High Gain virtual amp. I also like the lead tone you get when pairing with the Orange cab impulse. That really helps your notes cut through the mix.

BIAS FX 2 VS the Original BIAS FX

Now for the ultimate question…

Is the new BIAS FX 2 better than BIAS FX?

Well, you tell me (watch/listen to the video below)!

I did a comparison video using both virtual amps using my favorite metal amp: the Treadplate. I was happy to see that they included the Treadplate in FX 2.

And for this video, I dialed in my personal amp settings. You can check them out below:

  • Gain: 6.9
  • Bass: 5.5
  • Mid: 3.7
  • Treble: 6.7
  • Presence: 3.4
  • Volume: 6.0

I also used the tube screamer simulator in front of the amp (Gain: 0, Level: about 7, and Tone: 6), and a noise gate.

I did use the default cabinet settings for both virtual amps. I believe this is called the Treadlate 4×12. And I used the SM57 mic sim with the same placement.

Recording with BIAS FX 2

Jason Stallworth - Masterpeace t-shirt and metal horns

So how did I record the guitar tracks for my BIAS FX 2 video? Here’s basically everything I did…

  • Amp/Cab Settings: Used the factory EQ, cabinet, and mic presets for each amp
  • Effects: Only used a noise gate and tube screamer in front of the amp with a slight touch of reverb after the amp
  • Guitar Tracks: I recorded 2 rhythm guitar tracks and hard-panned each (each track had the exact same amp settings)
  • Bass: Recorded one bass track but used Studio Devil’s Bass Amp Pro – I may do a BIAS FX 2 bass amp demo in the future
  • Drums: I compiled some loops from Toontrack’s EZ Drummer using a mix of Metal Machine and Death Metal packs

That’s pretty much it. I kept it simple. Now, let me tell you more about the actual songs you heard in the video…

What Songs Was I Playing?

Everything you hear in the video is my original music. I literally wrote everything the day I started recording the video.

In fact, I’d say 98 percent of my YouTube videos feature my own music. I’ve just never been a huge fan of playing someone else’s music. That doesn’t mean I won’t do a cover from time to time, because that’s cool. But most of the music you hear from me, in general, is going to be my own.

*My albums and releases are on all the major platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, etc.

You can find these links to listen to, buy, and stream all of my music here: Jason’s Music.

Now the secret here is I didn’t write a full 23 minutes of music (that’s about what you’re getting in the video). I actually wrote 6 pieces of music and played those 5 times. I suck at math, but I think that equals 30 (30 high gain amps).

So you’re hearing the same riffs every 6th song/amp. I figured that would be enough distance between the songs to not become too monotonous.

I hope you enjoyed the BIAS FX 2 high gain amps…all 30 of them! Leave a comment on the video if you have questions, and also let me know what amp tone you like best!

Keep it Metal,

Jason

Jason Stallworth

About the author

Melodic death metal with a side of thrash is what my music is all about. My goal is to deliver quality metal music you!

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