Fractal Audio AXFXII V18 - Dynamics, harmonics and exploding tubes? *Tutorial added

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Scott Peterson, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Reworked some of my tones with V.18.xx firmware in the Axe-FX II XL and cut this live direct to check dynamics, pick attack and EQ. Sharing because it ended up nailing what I was after. Sorry for the clams; one take. Check the way each amp just sounds like it is on the edge of exploding into fire and smoke; harmonics jumping. I wanted to work with each amp preset here using the volume knob.

    Guitar is my 2001 PRS Single Cut with Motor City Black Belt II covered pickups.

    (0.00) Marshall SLP, (3:20) Vox AC-30, (5:20) Cameron Atomica, (8:22) Friedman BE w/wah

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/spetersonmusic/2015-03-afxii-v18-clip[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    Some of the cool things to be aware of or try out if you have an Axe-FX II are the following:
    -
    • These are my actual working production gigging/recording tones. No goofy stuff with post processing other than to normalize the track once it was in Reaper. Recorded via the USB out on the AFXII.
    • Presets as you hear them consist of PEQ, Amp, Cab, Reverb, Delay
    • PEQ block. Using a simple PEQ setting (low shelf) before the amp block. Using -6db at about 300hz.
    • Amp Block - I am using the "Long Plate" Preamp tube setting for all amps that I run the master volume wide open on (Marshall SLP, Vox AC-30).
    • Cab Block - these are custom mixes I did from Fractal's Cab Pack 10. I am doing a mix of R121 (0db), SM57 (-9db), Condenser (various mics available, just choose one) (-12db) and one from the back of the speaker (various mics available, just choose 1) at (-15db). One key thing I am doing with the Cab block is using the (Mic) Preamp page there in High Quality mode with a Tape 50us setting; Drive at +3.00, Saturation at +2.00; EQ: +1db Bass, +2db MId, +2db Treb. To me, that's a *huge* part of the whole 'fit in the mix'
    • Delay Block - Mono Tape delay mixed to taste; you'll have to really listen to hear it
    • Reverb Block - High Quality "Rec Studio C" setting
    • ***On both the Delay and Reverb blocks I duck the effect in each -6db at -20db Threshold and Release at 60ms

    Have fun. Notice the first thing I do is hit the strings - bottom 2, middle 2, top 2 and then all. What I am doing there is listening to how they balance. I want a fairly even balance between all.

    I use the Axe-FX II's Utility Window VU meters to hit the middle two strings on every preset and have them average at about 0db to match the volume between all my presets.

    NOTE: added a pictorial/tutorial post later in the thread: link here: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showpost.php?p=19756063&postcount=18
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  2. Axeplyr

    Axeplyr Supporting Member

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    That sounds absolutely phenomenal. It might be finally time to pull the trigger on one of these.
     
  3. webe123

    webe123 Member

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    WOW! I have version 10, but THIS sounds awesome!

    I may just update after easter services! Don't want to mess with anything this close to easter vservices, but after easter, I may upgrade!

    You had a LOT of "Black Sabbath" "Led Zepplin" and other rock groups classic 70's rock guitar sounds in those samples. Great Job as I LOVE to hear those 70's bands.
     
  4. Stressfest

    Stressfest Supporting Member

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    That's the best tones I've heard modelled so far..

    Which Wah is that Scott? Sounds throaty as hell..
     
  5. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    It's the "Crybabe" setting - just stock.
     
  6. kyolic

    kyolic Member

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    Dirrrrrrty but beatiful! I love it. :JAM
     
  7. jazzfromhell

    jazzfromhell Member

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  8. Stressfest

    Stressfest Supporting Member

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    Kemper Axe Kemper Axe... somebody throw me a coin over here.
     
  9. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Are you posting your patches on the user site... if so, what is your user name/

    Also, a question... I just got mine yesterday and I'm loving it. I have it plugged into a mixer for jamming, but when I want to record, I plug my 1/4 inch cables into a USB device (connected to my computer via USB). Is there a simple way to explain how my DAW (Sonar by Cakewalk) would recognize my Axe Fx II plugged directly via USB? I never looked into it, but if it's simple enough, any info appreciated. Thanks.
     
  10. barhrecords

    barhrecords Member

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    Scott, great!! And thanks for sharing your insights!

    If you are using your wah block in parallel, any tips for that?
     
  11. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Holy Schitt's Creek Batman!
    Those sounds sound like they were recorded using the actual tube amps you copied sounds from! Outstandingly impressive. They are the best modelled sounds I have ever heard!
     
  12. Sean C

    Sean C Member

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    I've been an Axe-FX II owner since the get-go, and haven't yet done a "Version xx is amazeballs" type of post. But version 18.03 is pretty amazeballs for all the reasons you can hear in Scott's post - the dynamics, harmonics and complexity. For now, the Kemper is back in the closet - Axe 18 works better for me (clean to medium gain tones) than Kemper 3.0. Also, again MHO, the newest (free) iterations of the Dumble/Ford profiles on AxeExchange stand toe-to-toe with the MBritt Kemper ones - which hasn't been the case ever before.
     
  13. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Version 18.04 is now out... I just downloaded it yesterday.
     
  14. cliffc8488

    cliffc8488 Member

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    You need to download and install the driver: http://www.fractalaudio.com/support.php
    http://www.fractalaudio.com/downloa...Audio_Systems_USB_Driver_Setup_2014.06.06.zip

    Then your Axe-Fx will show up as an audio device which you should be able to select in Sonar.
     
  15. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    Sounds just like a Les Paul. Oh no you didn't! ;) Sounds great Scott!
     
  16. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Thanks Cliff! I have the driver installed (and I'm using the editing library... great stuff), and so I should be good to go!
     
  17. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    My actual presets will be of no use - I utilize 4 expression pedals in my rig and they are vital to how I set up my own presets. In other words, unless you have 4 expression pedals and set up your rig the way I set mine up, my actual presets are of no use. The AFXII is a blank slate essentially that you can customize how you want to and I surely do. The AFXII is a toolbox and I just use the tools in it to get what I want the way I want them.

    However, I can and will do an updated 'how-to' on setting up amp tones this way. Getting these tones out of it is better taught than copied; that way you can dial up whatever it is *you* want rather than what I do. The method is the important takeaway. Teach a man to fish... ;)

    I'll do a full on "how-to" though on it very soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  18. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Here's a little pictorial tutorial; I'll edit the title of the thread and the OP to point to this post. I'm using the first preset I played - if you want the settings for the other amps, just let me know.

    Here's the magic PEQ block. This will differ for each preset or guitar; depends on many variables; but this will get you started.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the Amp block. First up the basic settings:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the only 'Advanced' setting I used. My rule of thumb (based on what I learned about this from Cliff and the beta team and then confirmed with my own ears) is that this Long Plate Preamp Tube setting works in a subtle way but I like it best with amps where I crank the Master Volume:
    [​IMG]

    Ok - Cab Block. I did this IR using Cab Lab 3.0; I used the Friedman GB and you can see the IR's and the settings in the following screen grab:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the preamp settings from the Cab Block. The AFXII is the *only* modeler on the planet offering this immensely useful tool. I love it! These are my go-to settings for most everything:
    [​IMG]

    Delay Block - mono tape preset setting. Everything stock except how I mix in the level via an expression pedal and the ducker settings.
    [​IMG]

    Reverb Block - Studio C preset setting. Everything stock except again the ingain level setting for me to mix in the wet on the fly and the ducker settings as shown:
    [​IMG]

    That's it. Find your own tones and have fun!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    Great thread Scott. Thanks of all of the help you've given us over the years! :aok
     
  20. mouzer

    mouzer Member

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    The Preamp parameters in the Cab Block are a very, very cool feature.
     

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