Axe FX-III Impression From A Long Term Helix User

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Mark Al, May 3, 2020.

  1. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    I didn’t say anything about bias, I said turn the sag control down. I actually run the bias a touch hot.

    The compressor I mentioned doesn’t effect the dynamics like you’re thinking. It’s more for how it effects the overall sound and brings the effects all together, it doesn’t really do much but I like the little subtle thing it is doing. It’s a parallel compressor set subtly, so my dry sound and attack is still coming through. I can ditch it and still be happy with everything it just adds a nice polish.

    D
     
  2. Mark Al

    Mark Al Member

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    Not trying to convince you or anyone else, really, just reporting/sharing my experience.

    In the years I own Helix, I have tried pretty much everything I can to fine tune the feel out of it, especially with those advanced parameters, sag, bias, and biasX (don't overlook the biasX, which has a noticeable effect when you strike the strings hard), and all sort of different combination of them, honestly I could not get the dynamic response from HX to the level I am getting now out of Axe FX-III. Not sure if I am just extra sensitive to this dynamic response aspect of feel, which others may or may not care as much...

    Anyway, I think my report/sharing is done for now, I will update you guys if I have any new findings down the road. Again, tone wise, we can not even hear the difference between HX and Pod Bean from years ago during playback (see the other thread comparing them), it's not the tone that we are after now with amp modeling as guitar players, it's a genuine playing experience that we crave for and aspire to, aka the "feel". And that is the more hard-core nuanced stuff in the technology, involving tons of sophisticated mathematics and DSP power... I certainly hope Line6, Fractal and other venders continue to innovate and improve in this technology in the years to come!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  3. Fractal Audio

    Fractal Audio Member

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    Some people are more sensitive to these things than others. I've always been sensitive and I'm even more sensitive now than I was 10 years ago.

    Those tiny details require lots of DSP. We model things that other products simply cannot as it requires more CPU power than available. The Axe-Fx III dedicates an entire 1GHz DSP to just amp modeling. And this DSP is 2-4x more powerful clock for clock than typical DSPs. We even model esoteric things like the bias excursion in the phase inverter. And that's just one thing. There's dozens of other little things like that. Many that I can't talk about because they are secrets.
     
  4. Elric

    Elric Supporting Member

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    The two basic rules of long TGP D&M threads.

    1. Every thread becomes a Helix thread, if given sufficient # of pages.

    2. Every brand comparison argument becomes an argument about UI, if it goes unmoderated long enough, because it is the only thing where Helix is unarguably the consensus winner over everyone else.
     
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  5. ejecta

    ejecta Supporting Member

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    :rotflmao
     
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  6. James Freeman

    James Freeman Member

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    Correct.
    Fractal has a huge forum where all the Axe- Fx owner dwell.
    Line 6 forums are bleh, so all the Helix folks are here on TGP, including the Line 6 staff.
     
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  7. mikah912

    mikah912 Supporting Member

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    3. There never is a "winner" because everybody just advocates for what they already have, and these comparisons are only relevant in direct A/B pissing matches anyway. Truthfully, everyone would sound like themselves on any of these (see Leon Todd, Rabea and Pete Thorn videos across multiple high end hardware and software modelers).
     
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  8. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    You do realize that the title of THIS thread includes the word “Helix” right?

    D
     
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  9. fretworn

    fretworn Member

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    I know of which you speak of Mark.

    The juice is worth the squeeze.
     
  10. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Member

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    The "Feel" of a tube amp is heavily impacted by the volume you're playing at. The "feel" at home practicing levels is very different than on a large stage where the amp and speakers are really pushing it. That higher volume "feel" is not well replicated by any of the well liked (Helix, Axe, Kemper, etc) modelers ... but what they do well is approximate the feel at lower volume playing. But, to be honest, most tube amp / guitar cabinet "feel" is de-activated at lower volumes.

    Volume is the one factor, at least so far, that cannot be accounted for in modeling programming.
     
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  11. fretworn

    fretworn Member

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    well perhaps that’s your experience

    Mine is very different... my FAS amp models (and fx) played through traditional cabs/backline do and feel like the “real thing” ... Incl. producing a great front of house sound, monitor mix and board recording through cab IRs.

    Not as easy or consistent with using the real thing either.

    Huh; go figure?
     
  12. Elric

    Elric Supporting Member

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    Some threads get there quicker than others.
     
  13. Willowdale

    Willowdale Member

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    So the only opinions that should be taken seriously are from those of us who own all of them......correct?:cool:
     
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  14. BINGEWOOD

    BINGEWOOD Member

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    You couldn't hear any difference?
     
  15. Mark Al

    Mark Al Member

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    Tonal wise, yes. Quality wise, I am not sure.
     
  16. BINGEWOOD

    BINGEWOOD Member

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    At least you heard a difference after all, quality is in the eye of the beholder...
     
  17. mikah912

    mikah912 Supporting Member

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    I've had them all too. Doesn't change that I have different ears and tonal preferences than you or the next guy or gal.
     
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  18. Mark Al

    Mark Al Member

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    1. I compared HX and Fractal a while back, but didn't feel the obvious "feel" difference as I do now: Based on my previous experiments, I have strongly contended that the difference between HX and Fractal is small, that is until now :)
    2. It's not a difference that can be discerned by ear, e.g. blind test listening to playbacks is mostly missing the point!
    3. It seems Axe III has made progress in leaps and bounds in the past year or so, I think folks might want to re-evaluate it based on its current status, since it seems many fundamental aspects of its amp modeling has been tweaked, changed and improved. :)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  19. BINGEWOOD

    BINGEWOOD Member

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    It's something that can't be heard?
     
  20. Willowdale

    Willowdale Member

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    He’s talking about feel...
     

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