Tone knobs , volume and the outputed sound

Hi all, I have a question about amps like the Katana which come with a tone Studio.

I was watching a video recently about the tone knobs on guitars which the long and short of it was play with volume and tone to see what sounds you can make.

So, Would I be right in thinking that should a tone that you want may not possible in certain invironments because of noise levels. Say you needed quite a lound volume setting to generate a certain sound for instance, not possible in a small flat.

Could you therefore cheat and get a patch loaded into a tone generator/studo and regardless of volume get the sound you want much quieter because its all preprogrammed.

I’m not sure if this will make sence or not, but I hope so.

FYI, I cannot raise the volume to much on the amp or guitar because of neighbours so tone generation from the amp is not that great. !


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I do not know about tone generators, but yes, some amps, especially tube amps, cannot produce their best tones below a certain volume level.

Some solutions I know of this:

Use an amp attenuator but good quality ones have eye-watering prices: Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box - Andertons Music Co.

Use an amp that can cut down the wattage. Some modern amps have this setting For e.g. my tube amp has a 20w-2w switch, at 2w the sound is still almost as good, and kind of OK to use in a room (still loud though). The same amp has a 5w - 0.5w switch version as well, that one would probably be perfect.

Use an amp with a digital output (if there is one) and get the sound from normal speakers. My amp has this option, it uses the tube amp, but emulates the speaker. The difference between the real (celestion) speakers and the emulated speakers is unnoticeable to my untrained ears.

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I can’t speak about the Katana and it’s software since I don’t own one, but I do have Amplitube which is guitar gear simulation software. In that, you can indeed get whatever tone you want at whatever volume you want. You use the controls on the simulated pedals, amps, cabs, etc to get the exact tone you want, while using the overall output of the software itself to keep the volume in check.

So if your tone requires pushing a tube amp to it’s limits, for example, you can do that without blowing out your own ears or annoying your neighbours. It’s one of the reasons I invested in the software rather than buying a modelling amp.


So your initial post is a big confusing.

Your guitar has a tone and volume knob. These control the output signal from the guitar. If you turn the volume down it will lower the signal going to your amp. A typical use of this might be if you have an overdriven amp setting and want to quickly get something cleaner…you reduce the volume on your guitar and it’ll reduce the signal to the amp which will in turn mean a clean amp sound (I wont go into the details of why here). If you are using a clean tone on your amp then the volume knob on the guitar will reduce the volume that comes out of the amp (no or lower signal from the guitar means low or no output from the amp). The tone knob on your guitar will generally adjust the overall sound of the what comes out of the amp as well. You can play with these regardless of how you have your amp setup.

The Boss Tone Studio is a piece of software for creating your patches for the Katana. It allows you add/change different guitar effects and amp settings to create a “preset”. You can then allocate that “preset” to one of the Tone Setting buttons. You can switch between presets on the katana using the Tone Setting buttons. This is nothing to do with guitar tone knob that you might have seen described in that video. When you create a preset in Tone Studio (or on the amp itself) it’ll load up your predetermined fx and settings for your amp when you press the button.

Your katana amp has an attenuator (power control it’s labelled as) which allows you to lower the overall power output of the amp (well at least on my 100w Katana). I have 0.5w, 50w and 100w. So you put it on the lowest level and you’ll find the volume from the amp as you adjust the volume on the AMP will be less than if that attenuator was at 50w or 100w (on mine). That is as good as it’ll get…unfortunately it’ll still be loud if you increase the volume. The other option is obviously headphones. The attenuator/power control should help maintain the quality of the sound coming from the amp whilst reducing the volume.

Obviously if none of the above lowers your volume enough you could look at smaller amps with less power (and less volume). There are lots on the market.

Sorry if I’m repeating something you already know but hopefully the above will help.


Jason above commented pretty well on the matter, what I can add is about controlling volume or patches. On each patch in Tone Library you have a volume control knob which you can set. So if you have your master volume loud because you are on a stage and you want next song to be clean and quiet you can hit the foot controller or use your laptop to switch the effect that will have effects volume on 5 instead of 95. That should get what you want if I understand original question correctly

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Yes it is, you can see in the attenuation vid that when he plays "sound changes " based on how hard he plays and volume used. The quiet parts ok in my flat but the sound from harder and louder are not.
So my question was with a patch in the tone studio set to create that louder playing, but at volume .5, not 50 so to speak.

Seems the answer is yes but I’ve not looked into the studio yet.


PS, sadly no headphone yet.

I just bought a Zoom G1X multi-effect pedal, and it has software you can make patches in too. Been messing with it this morning since I posted above, and it’s much like Amplitube in the way it works. You use the component settings to get the tone you want, and can then use the overall patch volume to bring it up/down without affecting the tone itself. From what the others have said, it sounds like Boss Tone Studio works the same way.

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Thank you everyone. :slight_smile:


Be careful with headphones Rachel. My son has given himself tinnitus from practising guitar at too high a volume.