First gig with AX8. Initial impressions compared to Axe-Fx

Powderfinger

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,389
Got the AX8 on Thursday. Spent some time setting it up and then gigged with it Saturday night. Some initial impressions.

1. I went with my usual setup of Matrix power amp and 1x12 cab with EV-12L. Was small bar so didn't go direct to FOH.

2. Sounds great--just like my Axe-fx II (duh). Switched between 4 presets--clean twin, AC-15, Friedman BE and Dumble.

3. Was somewhat surprised that I ran into CPU issues when I was setting it up as my layouts are pretty simple I think. Comp, wah, drive, filter (for volume boost), delay, reverb, chorus, cab. Tried to add a Flanger and this resulted in disabling reverb. Will have to work on this.

4. I definitely missed the ability to change settings on the fly without having to bend down. I was hoping my RAC12 would work with the AX8, but so far it doesn't seem to.

5. I set up the switches to be 4 presets and 4 effects (chorus, delay, filter and drive). Worked great during the gig, but I definitely missed having the greater number of switches on the MFC. Could have used another amp preset or two and a couple more effects. (Also ran a wah.)

6. Compared to using Ax-Fx, I don't know if I'm sold on it. For the benefit of saving two rack spaces I lost the ability to make adjustments without bending down, the more switches of the MFC, the CPU issue, and cab de-phase and channel strip (for when I go direct). If I hadn't already used AX-Fx I would be blown away though. Sounds great and easy to use. Easy to set up (with AX8-Edit).

Here's a pic of last night's rig:

 

shawnshack

Member
Messages
2,748
Question about XY. Can you put two amps in a patch and toggle between them using the XY feature or does the single amp restriction leave you to only using a single amp block in a patch?
 

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,748
Got the AX8 on Thursday. Spent some time setting it up and then gigged with it Saturday night. Some initial impressions.

1. I went with my usual setup of Matrix power amp and 1x12 cab with EV-12L. Was small bar so didn't go direct to FOH.

2. Sounds great--just like my Axe-fx II (duh). Switched between 4 presets--clean twin, AC-15, Friedman BE and Dumble.

3. Was somewhat surprised that I ran into CPU issues when I was setting it up as my layouts are pretty simple I think. Comp, wah, drive, filter (for volume boost), delay, reverb, chorus, cab. Tried to add a Flanger and this resulted in disabling reverb. Will have to work on this.

4. I definitely missed the ability to change settings on the fly without having to bend down. I was hoping my RAC12 would work with the AX8, but so far it doesn't seem to.

5. I set up the switches to be 4 presets and 4 effects (chorus, delay, filter and drive). Worked great during the gig, but I definitely missed having the greater number of switches on the MFC. Could have used another amp preset or two and a couple more effects. (Also ran a wah.)

6. Compared to using Ax-Fx, I don't know if I'm sold on it. For the benefit of saving two rack spaces I lost the ability to make adjustments without bending down, the more switches of the MFC, the CPU issue, and cab de-phase and channel strip (for when I go direct). If I hadn't already used AX-Fx I would be blown away though. Sounds great and easy to use. Easy to set up (with AX8-Edit).

Here's a pic of last night's rig:

3. If you didn't do anything to specifically avoid not running into CPU issues, it's not surprising that you ran into CPU issues. The easiest ways to deal with it are:
a) Make sure your firmware is up-to-date. The initial firmware didn't use CPU as efficiently as the later ones
b) Fiddle around in the reverb block. If your reverb is at high quality, set it to normal. If the density is at 8, set it to 4. You'll be surprised at how much CPU you can save

5. Get creative with the Footswitch setup! If each preset needs to have chorus, delay, filter and drive, fine. If not, then you can assign different footswitch functions per preset. And this applies to the footswitches you are using for presets as well. On my AX8, I had the bottom row set for presets 1-4, but when I was in a given preset, that footswitch had a different functions. So, when I was in Preset 1, the bottom row functions were Amp X/Y, Preset 2, Preset 3, Preset 4. When I switched to Preset 2, the bottom row functions were Preset 1, Scene 1/2, Preset 3, Preset 4. Etc...

Your comment "If I hadn't already used AX-Fx I would be blown away though." seems like a fairly typical reaction from current Axe FX users though. Unless you have a particular reason(s) to go with an AX8, it's not going to outshine/replace the rack unit. It wasn't meant to, after all.
-
Austin
 
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