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I have a few questions about the Axe FX (std or ultra)

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
I am kinda toying around with the idea of getting an axe-fx standard or ultra and have a few questions. i know there are a ton of threads on these things, but there's so much stuff that its hard to wade through and i'm hoping somebody can answer these questions pretty easily if I put them all in one place.

First of all, are the drives/boosts good? are they as good as normal pedals? better than HD500/M13 drives?

Is there a decent, cost effective solution for a controller? That Fractal one is out of the question for me. I don't need anything too crazy, I only need pedalboard style control of effects and expression pedals. I liked the Behringer 1010FCB with my eleven rack - is there anything like that or can you use that with the right Eureka Prom?

does it have a good compressor for chicken picking? good subtle delays for gilmour kinda stuff? how are the wahs? is there a good auto wah/q-tron kinda thing for Jerry stuff?

Live, I'll be using it with tube amps, so I'll want to bypass the modeling completely - including the cab sims. I'll want to use that stuff for recording and would be using my apogee duet as an interface. Does it make sense for me to get one of these things if those are my intentions?

I hesitate to ask this for fear of instigating an 11rack vs axe debate, but -- For people who have owned both the Axe and the 11rack, I really like the Eleven rack's amp sims. I'm never going to use anything high gain, so I don't care at all about high gain stuff. For everything else, will there be a noticeable decline in the realistic feel of the amp models?

Whats the biggest difference between the standard and the ultra?

Thanks everybody - sorry for all the questions that are, I'm sure, things that have already been asked.
 
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Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,472
I am kinda toying around with the idea of getting an axe-fx standard or ultra and have a few questions. i know there are a ton of threads on these things, but there's so much stuff that its hard to wade through and i'm hoping somebody can answer these questions pretty easily in I put them all in one place.

First of all, are the drives/boosts good? are they as good as normal pedals? better than HD500/M13 drives? - personally I thought the drives were VERY good. I'm not a huge pedal guy, but the BB Preamp, the RAT (and FAT RAT), some of the FUZZ options, etc... are well done. I can't imagine not having enough in terms of quality or quantity regarding the drives (or any FX for that matter). To compare, I didn't like ANY drives in the 11R - at least when using the 11R for amp / cab modeling.

Is there a decent, cost effective solution for a controller? That Fractal one is out of the question for me. I don't need anything too crazy, I only need pedalboard style control of effects and expression pedals. I liked the Behringer 1010FCB with my eleven rack - is there anything like that or can you use that with the right Eureka Prom? - I'm quite certain the 1010FCB should work fine, there might even be a YouTube tutorial on how to configure it with the AxeFX. I know everyone talks about an EPROM update, I guess that is recommended? Rocktron Midimate is useable as well.

does it have a good compressor for chicken picking? It has both a stereo compressor and a pedal compressor, the pedal should be good for chicken picken.
Good subtle delays for gilmour kinda stuff? the delays are amazing, tons of options to tweak, well beyond what the 11R offers (although I did like some of the delays and verb in the 11R also, not nearly as defined nor tweakable)
How are the wahs? is there a good auto wah/q-tron kinda thing for Jerry stuff? I'm not really a wah guy, I think they are supposed to be good. There is a track wah patch that is really neat, but that is all I used.

Live, I'll be using it with tube amps, so I'll want to bypass the modeling completely - including the cab sims. I'll want to use that stuff for recording and would be using my apogee duet as an interface. Does it make sense for me to get one of these things if those are my intentions? - Sure. Works amazingly well in the studio and of course the FX (and routing options) are great for what you want to do.

I hesitate to ask this for fear of instigating an 11rack vs axe debate, but -- For people who have owned both the Axe and the 11rack, I really like the Eleven rack's amp sims. I'm never going to use anything high gain, so I don't care at all about high gain stuff. For everything else, will there be a noticeable decline in the realistic feel of the amp models? - Personally I can't imagine you seeing a decline in the feel or tone of the amp sims. I'll go out on a limb and say you might see the opposite.

Whats the biggest difference between the standard and the ultra? Ultra has more firepower and more types of FX available. So if you are into dual amp configurations and/or using a lot of FX in combination or absolutely need an arppegiator and stuff, the ultra is best. But the core amps, cabs and FX are the same.

Thanks everybody - sorry for all the questions that are, I'm sure, things that have already been asked.
 

djd100

Member
Messages
3,076
+1

I'll add that the pedals aren't as phat as their analog counterparts, but are much more flexible and much quieter. If you are a pedal into a clean amp person then you might notice a minor difference, though if you're a pedal into an edge of breakup or breaking up amp person then you'll love the drives IMO.

The Axe's routing is second to none, and it's FX are all excellent.

I have both the 11R and the Ultra at the studio, and both sound great, with the Axe having a big edge with FX, and most clean amp models, and equal or better for mid-gain stuff (I don't do high-gain so no experience there?). As for the "feel" it's very good on both.

If I had to choose one I'd choose the Axe, and I'd choose the Ultra over the Standard. I'll add that I use my Ultra 4CM with tube gear most often and it works well.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
i am a pedal into amp on the verge of breakup person, for the most part. i really just use drive pedals as a boost to get my amps to give up the goods

:)
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,417
Is there a decent, cost effective solution for a controller?
I checked recently and the Rocktron All Access is going for around $350 used these days...that's quite a bargain and will give you a lot of options with 18 switches.


 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,490
weshunter, that was every question I've been wanting answered in one spot. I will say that I haven't heard a wah on the Axe that really can touch my old Vox but that may just be ignorance (since I don't own one). Does anyone have a good wah patch that really has that old liquid organic sound?
 

mikeyen

Member
Messages
79
From an Ultra owner:

Is there a decent, cost effective solution for a controller? That Fractal one is out of the question for me.

The Behringer should do nicely.

Live, I'll be using it with tube amps, so I'll want to bypass the modeling completely - including the cab sims. I'll want to use that stuff for recording and would be using my apogee duet as an interface. Does it make sense for me to get one of these things if those are my intentions?

That's a question we can't answer for you, since we don't know how often you play live vs. recording, and what your preferences are. But, the Axe can be used as an effects only unit without any problems, and is a ton of fun in the studio. So, if you ask me, yes.

For people who have owned both the Axe and the 11rack, I really like the Eleven rack's amp sims. I'm never going to use anything high gain, so I don't care at all about high gain stuff. For everything else, will there be a noticeable decline in the realistic feel of the amp models?

I had an 11rack at one point, and the biggest strength of the 11R that I see, is that it's a plug-and-play unit. Everything sounds decent, effects are good, and it's very easy to use. That said, the downside is that you don't have nearly as many ways to shape your sound as the Axe, so if you can't find a stock tone that's at least in the ballpark of what you're looking for, you're basically out of lock. The lack of a user-imported IR is also a biggie - they were supposed to eventually support it, but last I heard it was still up in the air.

Whats the biggest difference between the standard and the ultra?

Processing power, mainly. Ultra can run more effects at once, and a few of the fancier effects are only available on Ultra. That said, I would imagine most people (myself included) would be perfectly happy with a Standard.
 
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StratJacket

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20
From another Ultra owner,
To add to the question about going from the studio to the stage, the axe is great for that. There is a global button on the front panel where you can quickly disable the power amp sims and cabinet sims for all your patches at once. So you don't have to go into them individually and edit each one. Also you can setup your patch with an effects loop that has one output on the axe without power amp or cab sims and the other output with it. This allows you to have a monitor in front of you or feed the PA and the other output can hit your amp. It can all be setup in the axe edit software too which makes it easy.
 

djd100

Member
Messages
3,076
The Axe's drives work very well for this, actually better than analog pedals in a number of ways...

a) Way quieter.
b) They all feature their own 3 band EQ so they're very flexible (hi/lo shelving and sweep mids).
c) They all can be run in parallel with the straight sound like the Sparkle Drive.
d) Multiple drives can easily be run in series or parallel.

I haven't used my analog pedals in a long time (I use them to push amps as well).

As to the Wah it's sufficient for live IMO, but nothing like my 60's Vox.


i am a pedal into amp on the verge of breakup person, for the most part. i really just use drive pedals as a boost to get my amps to give up the goods

:)
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
i'm about to pull the trigger on a Standard -- these things seem to do so much, it just seems like it would be a very useful tool for recording and live. I hadn't even considered that I could use the amp sims in the PA and send a cabless and power ampless signal to the effects loop in on my amps, that's really the best of both worlds there.

one amp i'll be using like this is my tweaker that I use at church. it has 3 different tone stacks like a fender, vox, and marshall -- it will be interesting to see how the axe models compare with the tweaker's tone stacks.
 

Reincaster

Member
Messages
746
Midi Raider is coming out soon, if not out already. I use a simple Midimate with my standard. It's fairly limited, but I have auto engage for my wahs and pitch shifter, and I've narrowed it down to 4 patches (clean, crunch, heavy rhythm, and a mark IV lead), so the 5 CC buttons are for OD1, Delay 1, Chorus1, tap tempo, and the boost switch. I recently have gone from 11R to Axe FX (still have both units) so you can aske me anything about them, and I'll do my best. I actually use the 11R as a headphone amp and midi interface. I'm planning on an all access or even a used ground control (4 presets, 8 CC's)

You get 2 of each effects (some effects get more in the ultra), and while there is a dsp limit (using the big effects means you actually have less simultaneous effects than the 11r) they all sound better than the 11R's effects, mostly because of SPILLOVER! Okay, not really, but the huge flexibility with each effect is very nice. User IR's are my favorite feature.

If you like the idea of sending a cab-less signal to your amp, check this out: I borrowed a sweet Mark V for a few shows and use the effects with it in 4CM. BUT! I have a shunt to a cab sim and send that to the board. Not a mic stand in sight.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
Thanks rein. One thing I didn't like about the 11R is how you could only have 1 delay per preset. So, when I put the controller into stompbox mode, my only delay options were on and off. I'm hoping to be able to set up at least 2 delays on this - one subtle for texture, and another for rhythmic stuff and ambient stuff. Can I do that? I'll be using the 1010fcb w/either the Uno chip or the Eureka Prom depending on which is simpler.

I'm pretty fired up about the ambient sounds I'm going to be able to get out of this thing. Will reverb and delay trails spillover through a preset change? They don't on the M13 and that may just be impossible on anything, but it would be cool if they did.
 

Reincaster

Member
Messages
746
Thanks rein. One thing I didn't like about the 11R is how you could only have 1 delay per preset. So, when I put the controller into stompbox mode, my only delay options were on and off. I'm hoping to be able to set up at least 2 delays on this - one subtle for texture, and another for rhythmic stuff and ambient stuff. Can I do that? I'll be using the 1010fcb w/either the Uno chip or the Eureka Prom depending on which is simpler.

I'm pretty fired up about the ambient sounds I'm going to be able to get out of this thing. Will reverb and delay trails spillover through a preset change? They don't on the M13 and that may just be impossible on anything, but it would be cool if they did.
Yes. You get two of each effect, therefore, two delays are possible. However, those eat up processor power though. My four preset buttons can potentially be 8 if I set up two amps and switch between the two.

However, there is one effect that's perfect for you, the multi delay. You get up to 4 delays in one block. I also did mention that you get spillover. You can globally set spillover between patch changes. Also, patches changes are practically instant. The 11R had a small delay which I could work around, but the axe's lack of delay is sweet!
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
My four preset buttons can potentially be 8 if I set up two amps and switch between the two.
Can you explain that a little further?

And I'm glad to know about that spillover between different presets. That should make me able to get some pretty smooth transitions between songs.

I was just reading up on the multi delay on the wiki, seems like that's the deal for the ambient sounds. I don't know anything about making good ambient sounds, but I'm looking forward to learning.
 

Reincaster

Member
Messages
746
Can you explain that a little further?

And I'm glad to know about that spillover between different presets. That should make me able to get some pretty smooth transitions between songs.

I was just reading up on the multi delay on the wiki, seems like that's the deal for the ambient sounds. I don't know anything about making good ambient sounds, but I'm looking forward to learning.
My favorite thing about the AxeFX midi is that you go into the menu and select which parameter you want to control, hit enter, and hit the button, and it "learns" what command you are sending and sets it to that. This way, I can still go back to my 11R.

Now, I can set it up so that I can either use the buttons on my midimate, or my 2 button footswitch to turn on and off amps individually in my patches. Say I have the twin reverb and an ENGL in one patch. I can go from one to the other by hitting the switches at the same time, or, using the CC switches to send two CC's: one to turn on the other amp, and one to silence the first one. Haven't done this yet, but I'm sure it's possible, because the midimate can send multiple cc's with one button.

The spillover is also available for delay.
 

paulmapp8306

Member
Messages
621
Actually you could have 4 delays with the standard and 6 with the ultra. There are "2 instances" of each block available, with the standard offering "delay" and "multi tap" delays while the Ultra also offers the "mege tap" delay.

Of course processing power is the limiting factor but for live, if your not using the sims (both amp and cab) but running only for FX - either would work fine.

I just sold my Standard (having got my 2) a couple of weeks ago to an 11r owner and only today got a pm from him saying its taken him minutes to get sounds tha p**s all over the 11r hes spent 18 months fine tuning. Only one persons opinion but it goes give an idea of whats possible.

the Wah is fully programable. You "could" - if you knew the specs - set up a replica of the Vox. with frequency (max and min) along with the Q value and the sweep all editable its really onoly a matter of putting the time in to get very close. By default its not bad, but like everything in the AFX - spend time fine tuning and you can get much better.

The amp sims and cab sims on the standard and Ultra are identical. The Ultra offers some FX types - multi band compressor, mega tap delay, vocoder, synth (and maybe a couple more) the standard doesnt - and also offers 20% more CPU space for the chains. it really depends how "intensive" you want to get when using it in the studio (where youll be using amp/cab sims) as to which is better for you. If all you want is a single amp, with a drive or too, a couple of delays and a touch of reverb or phaser the standard is fine.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
Alright -- my Axe Standard is on the way!! :banana

i know it's all Axe II season and everything on here and I'm behind the times, but I am pretty fired up about it. Also, I've been listening to clips people posted, particularly some of the Dumble ones, and holy crap that stuff sounds good. I might end up using the modeling sometimes too.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
now it looks like i've got a recording project that will require the axe and i need to do it this weekend (axe comes on saturday) -- i hope i can find or dial up a good meters-style funk tone on my tele pretty quick-like, cause i won't have lots of time to tweak before i get up an running.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,346
Got the axe yesterday - spent most of the time I had to mess with it trying to get my midi interface to work (m audio UNO). I finally did, but didn't have much chance to play with it after that. I pretty much have to get some good new Orleans funk tones out of it today for a recording project, so we'll see how that goes. If anybody has some good presets for that kind of stuff they could share, that would be really great.

Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
 






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