A Return to AxeFx?

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
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768
Hi Guys -

I'm been a long time user of the AxeFx Ultra, AxeFx II and ultimately sold the AxeFx II (the Ultra still stays in a rack and used for effects). I'm contemplating whether to get another AxeFx II or AxeFX II XL when it comes out and wondering if you could help share of your experiences.

My intended use would be to just use it live and direct into FOH. I tried it before, but found that IEM tone was drastically different than what I took a ton of hours building at home though a pair of high end M-Audios near field monitors and it was frustrating to say the least.

Hence I sold the AxeFx II and the M-Audios.

My best tonal results with the unit was when the AxeFx was run into tube based FRFRs like the Atomic Reactors (and I have the cabs as well as the wedges) and the cleans were warm and amp like as were all the various gain stages. But I ultimately sold those too since I was lugging too much gear around and ultimately decided I wanted to go light and direct into FOH.

On a whim I ended up getting the HD500 and later the HD500x and ran those into a my computer speakers (Bose Companion 5) and got some great tones out of that. The real test was when I took that out to play live direct into FOH. I was expecting a similar experience to the AxeFx but was amazed (as were the sound guys at different venues) that the sounds were very similar and still sounded great with minimal changes to the presets.

With this background (and maybe I'm the only one who feels this way), I miss all the features of the AxeFx and have the following questions for those who use it direct into FOH:

1) What are you using for monitors in the studio/home? How close is it to the live sound (assuming the sound engineer keeps you flat at the board....I understand differences in the rooms, house monitors, etc.)? I use IEM often in this situation so this is important for me for to keep it simple and live tone = studio/home tone.

2) Any other tips you guys have found to get that live IEM tone similar to home? For the HD500/HD500x I found that a huge help is to work the master knob on the HD500 in conjunction with the right input level/gain at the FOH. Huge effect on the gain level, headroom, juiciness of the drives.

Any other ideas/opinions are welcome!

Thanks!
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
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37,687
M-Audio doesn't make high end near field monitors, that might have been a contributing factor.

What firmware/when did you own the AFXII? There has been a lot of very significant development within the firmware over the life of the unit.

Answers to your questions from my opinion/experience:

1) I use (first gen) Mackie 624/JBL sub for near field; hardly high end, though very competent and trustworthy. I also use Atomic CLR's (I have two) that I generally prefer. They work equally well in the studio or on the gig. (*Note they are a very different product than the Reactor's in every way).

2) Choose the right cabinet IR. It's always been the key and there has been significant development on that end of the equation in the past 18 months too (Own Hammer Studio Mix IR's and Fractal Producer Packs; and the impending proprietary Fractal Ultra-Res IR's). See my YouTube channel for tutorials on how to dial in appropriate Reverb and Delay blocks. Also very important to the direct-to-FOH paradigm in my experience.
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
M-Audio doesn't make high end near field monitors, that might have been a contributing factor.

What firmware/when did you own the AFXII? There has been a lot of very significant development within the firmware over the life of the unit.

Answers to your questions from my opinion/experience:

1) I use (first gen) Mackie 624/JBL sub for near field; hardly high end, though very competent and trustworthy. I also use Atomic CLR's (I have two) that I generally prefer. They work equally well in the studio or on the gig. (*Note they are a very different product than the Reactor's in every way).

2) Choose the right cabinet IR. It's always been the key and there has been significant development on that end of the equation in the past 18 months too (Own Hammer Studio Mix IR's and Fractal Producer Packs; and the impending proprietary Fractal Ultra-Res IR's). See my YouTube channel for tutorials on how to dial in appropriate Reverb and Delay blocks. Also very important to the direct-to-FOH paradigm in my experience.
Thank you for your suggestions Scott. I've always found your insight helpful on the various forums given your time with the product.

- Agree with your comment re: M-Audio. Do you find the Mackie able to get you similar sounds to what you get going directly into FOH (if you go FOH and use IEM for monitoring which is seems more and more common in church settings)

- I bought the Ownhammers a while back (few years ago) and didn't really notice a huge difference, but good suggestions on the Reverb and Delay blocks. Similar to my question above, after dialing in, do you find the studio tone similar FOH tone? Or is way off in the studio just to sound good FOH?
 

mix2much

Member
Messages
741
My CLR has been the BEST reference for getting consistent FOH tones everywhere I end up.
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
Thanks guys. Is the CLR tube based? (didn't see anything on the spec sheet, unlike the 6L6 based Atomic Reactors). I can't be sure, but seemed like a lot of the mojo came from the tubes so it really skewed the referencing.

Also, how does the CLR sound at bedroom levels? Is there a big difference in the reference tone?
 

barhrecords

Member
Messages
1,523
Thanks guys. Is the CLR tube based? (didn't see anything on the spec sheet, unlike the 6L6 based Atomic Reactors). I can't be sure, but seemed like a lot of the mojo came from the tubes so it really skewed the referencing.

Also, how does the CLR sound at bedroom levels? Is there a big difference in the reference tone?
The CLR is solid state.

It has a great amplitude response.

Incredibly neutral and loud!

It sounds great at low levels too. Bang on piece of kit.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,339
Solid state but it's likely going to be the clearest-sounding speaker you've ever heard.
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
Thanks guys SS sounds like a good thing here to keep it similar when going direct FOH! I just found out there is a NEO version of it now that is 1/3 lighter? Sounds the same?
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
Thanks, will probably get 1-2 NEO CLRs to go with the AxeXL and MFC101 mk3.

I hear that the Axe XL is coming out next month!
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
I have a Gator 4U rolling rack with the extended size lid for all the cables and this fit my Axe, MFC as well as Mission Pedals no problem.

Anyone know of any all in one smaller (2U?) racks that holds the Axe within and with a compartment on top that can hold the MFC, the Mission and some cables? Would like to keep it as small and light as possible. What are you guys using?
 
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djd100

Member
Messages
3,076
The M-Audio monitors are certainly good enough to dial in guitar tones with a modeler?

No, they're not in CLR's class, but certainly usable for guitar tones which are limited in freq bandwidth anyways.

Don't forget that the monitors placement within the listening environment and the listening environment itself has as much to do with successful monitoring as the speakers themselves within reason (i.e. reasonably decent speakers etc).

M-Audio doesn't make high end near field monitors, that might have been a contributing factor.
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,687
The M-Audio monitors are certainly good enough to dial in guitar tones with a modeler?

No, they're not in CLR's class, but certainly usable for guitar tones which are limited in freq bandwidth anyways.

Don't forget that the monitors placement within the listening environment and the listening environment itself has as much to do with successful monitoring as the speakers themselves within reason (i.e. reasonably decent speakers etc).
As in most things, it matters relative to your goals and situation. Everything is relative to individual situations, needs, experience and expectations - nothing is universal.

If you find M-Audio monitors usable, then they are usable, then great. Are they my choice? Not by any stretch. Does that matter to you or anyone else? Not by any stretch. Does that somehow change how usable they are for you in any way? Not by any stretch.

If you put value speakers in a great room, you'll still have value speakers in a great room. If you put reference level speakers in a great room, you'll have reference level speakers in a great room. If given a choice, I will choose the latter to do serious/critical work every single time. Having worked with good speakers and bad speakers; it is easier to work with good speakers IMHO. Good being defined in this case as honest, accurate and properly setup in a proper environment.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,339
As with many things involving music gear, familiarity with the rig can make up for a certain degree of hardware quality. In the case of monitors, that means knowing how sound on the speakers translates to other systems. Without that experience, it's pretty challenging to dial in tones using speakers that lack accuracy or familiarity.

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted".
 
Messages
3,765
IMO,

You should be spending as much or more on IEMs as you would on a killer 4x12 cab or top-end wedge monitor.

Just like how speakers are the KEY to any good amp tone, good monitors are the KEY to good modeling tone reference.

I think your problem is less to do with the AxeFx as it has to do with your IEM quality.

I spent $1200 on a pair of Ultimate Ears 11s and they sound so good live, that my at home sound with my monitor setup is actually WORSE. I know that if I can dial in a good sound at home where I'm happy, I will be even MORE happy once I put my IEMs in at a gig.
 

690MBCOMMANDO

Member
Messages
768
IMO,

You should be spending as much or more on IEMs as you would on a killer 4x12 cab or top-end wedge monitor.

Just like how speakers are the KEY to any good amp tone, good monitors are the KEY to good modeling tone reference.

I think your problem is less to do with the AxeFx as it has to do with your IEM quality.

I spent $1200 on a pair of Ultimate Ears 11s and they sound so good live, that my at home sound with my monitor setup is actually WORSE. I know that if I can dial in a good sound at home where I'm happy, I will be even MORE happy once I put my IEMs in at a gig.
I like my UE11s as well!

I'm interested in (and think I have the answer) to how to dial in a tone at home/studio that holds up when going direct, but agree that a good pair of ears is very important!
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
BX8s are indeed low-end, useable but I would go with something far better even in the same price range.

But for live use, you need a good set of self-powered speakers, anyway.
 




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