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My Axe-Ultra makes me want to shoot myself.

deathbyguitar

Member
Messages
202
Luckily, I don't own a gun! :p

Anyway, my Axe-FX Ultra is starting to drive me up a damn wall with the ammount of tweaking it takes to get anything usuable for recordings. Back in November I stumbled upon what felt was the perfect distorted tone (for me, anyway). And of course the very next day, I lost whatever magic combinaton it was and have been spending the last 3 months trying to get it close and I'm getting nowhere. I bypass the cabs and use Recabinet in my DAW, so it's really just the amp block and parametric EQ that I'm tweaking.

I'm really close to just selling the damn thing and buying some amp modeling software like Studio Devil or something. All I really need is a good Recto sound and a few effects. Is anyone else having this much trouble just trying to get a usable sound with recordings?


TLDR: This thing takes a lifetime to try and find the sweet spot. Am I insane or should I sell the damn thing?
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
Go back to pedals...you know you want to, and if you dont like one you get rid of it, and get a different one, not to mention turn a few knobs adjust a couple parameters and your there with a useable tone...screw all that scrolling, configuring, global setting, line level amp level blah blah blah...you coulda already played guitar for 3 hours.
 

LqdSndDist

Member
Messages
1,336
Go back to pedals...you know you want to, and if you dont like one you get rid of it, and get a different one, not to mention turn a few knobs adjust a couple parameters and your there with a useable tone...screw all that scrolling, configuring, global setting, line level amp level blah blah blah...you coulda already played guitar for 3 hours.
Til your fuzz pedal sounds different because the temp dropped, or your 3 year old thinks all those knobs are fun toys and changes all your setting, or you have a patch cable cutting out somewhere on the board etc etc. Not to mention all the time your going to have to spend buying and selling stuff on the web...

Life with pedals is different, and fun, but not really any easier
 

deathbyguitar

Member
Messages
202
I gave up pedals 8 years ago. Multi-FX have always been good to me, but amp modeling is hit and miss. I may save for an Axe 2, or maybe just get the Rectifier Recording Pre. Damn, being picky is expensive :p
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
Til your fuzz pedal sounds different because the temp dropped, or your 3 year old thinks all those knobs are fun toys and changes all your setting, or you have a patch cable cutting out somewhere on the board etc etc. Not to mention all the time your going to have to spend buying and selling stuff on the web...

Life with pedals is different, and fun, but not really any easier
Well said, very hard to disagree with the voice of reason...lol

For the record theres apart of me just dying to own the latest Axe FX...but damn the cost.
 

nicolasrivera

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,779
Luckily, I don't own a gun! :p

Anyway, my Axe-FX Ultra is starting to drive me up a damn wall with the ammount of tweaking it takes to get anything usuable for recordings.
For me the ULTRA was and still is perfect right out of the box! Some day i will own it back, its different then the Axe FX II and i like it just as much!.


The problem in not the ULTRA but the user in the end, he/she is responsable for the outcome.
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
For me the ULTRA was and still is perfect right out of the box! Some day i will own it back, its different then the Axe FX II and i like it just as much!.


The problem in not the ULTRA but the user in the end, he/she is responsable for the outcome.
Thats the unfortunate thing about modelers, if a guy dosnt have the ear for it or experience in tweaking he or she can virtually tweak themselves to death.

This was the case with the simple BOSS GT multi effects, they were only honed in close to usable tones so for the most part, only a few guys could actually get anything decently usable out of them to make the whole mega parameter multi choice effect even worth while, as for the masses there are page upon page of tweaker threads all spending countless hours trying to discern the problems or parameter details in hopes of one day cracking the code.

I know the AXE FX system is light years ahead of those days but realistically speaking if a guys ears or experience with said effects or parameter adjustments isnt up to speed enough to succesfully adjust and tweak the mega choices the AXE FX offers, well heck that guy would be better off with an acoustic guitar than he would trying to sift through countless manuals and tutorials...

just saying....to that guy ....pedals really do rock....and guitar playing and music actually happen....I can honestly say BOSS and Digitech ruined the whole multi effects deal for me,after a GNX4, a GT8, and a GT10, I gave up...I wont even look at any Multi FX including the AXE FX (after all each model is claimed to be awesome, yet they keep having to reinvent it every year, and there are plenty of guys that diss the previous model as being crap ...just like they did with the BOSS multi effects...) no thanks for me. but to each his own.

.....and its complaints just like this that freak me out into thinking its for good reason, I cant say how many nights I spent going through parameters for hours upon hours, forums and questions and tutorials and blah, blah, blah.....always just wanting to play music with a decent tone.....Im getting sick just thinking about all those wasted hours of lost creativity...
 
Last edited:

JackJordan

Member
Messages
1,357
It has been my experience that guitar players with no pedal experience, or at the very least, experience with several amps, have a hard time using modelers. And by no way am I implying anyone here, just making a general observation.

I started with a modeler, a line 6 pod, and was lost from day one... I didn't really understand what many of the effects actually did, had no concept of signal chain, and frankly wasn't familiar with the amps that it was trying to model. All this made it very hard to learn.

Sold it, bought pedals and amps galore (I've owned nearly a hundred pedals... yes, I'm a flipper :cool:), and now am in love with modeling all over again.

amp/effect modeling models how a physical amp/effect works in it's classic enclosure. In order to use a modeler to its full advantage you have to have some understanding of what it models and how they were used. I often wonder If that is why many users get such bad results (again not pointing fingers to at anyone here).

I have a friend that recently bought a pod HD500 and really gave it a shot, but couldn't make it work for him. I spent 30 minutes tweaking it and he sounded awesome afterwards. He just didn't understand effects chains and their parameters...

He does work at Guitar Center, so that may explain it... :p (Sorry GC guys...)
 

deathbyguitar

Member
Messages
202
Thats the unfortunate thing about modelers, if a guy dosnt have the ear for it or experience in tweaking he or she can virtually tweak themselves to death.

This was the case with the simple BOSS GT multi effects, they were only honed in close to usable tones so for the most part, only a few guys could actually get anything decently usable out of them to make the whole mega parameter multi choice effect even worth while, as for the masses there are page upon page of tweaker threads all spending countless hours trying to discern the problems or parameter details in hopes of one day cracking the code.

I know the AXE FX system is light years ahead of those days but realistically speaking if a guys ears or experience with said effects or parameter adjustments isnt up to speed enough to succesfully adjust and tweak the mega choices the AXE FX offers, well heck that guy would be better off with an acoustic guitar than he would trying to sift through countless manuals and tutorials...

just saying....to that guy ....pedals really do rock....and guitar playing and music actually happen....you can honestly say BOSS and Digitech ruined the whole multi effects deal for me,after a GNX4, a GT8, and a GT10, I gave up...I wont even look at any Multi FX including the AXE FX (after all each model is claimed to be awesome, yet they keep having to reinvent it every year, and there are planty of guys that diss the previous model as being crap ...just like they did with the BOSS multi effects...) no thanks for me. but to each his own.

.....and its complaints just like this that freak me out into thinking its for good reason, I cant say how many nights I spent going through parameters for hours upon hours, forums and questions and tutorials and blah, blah, blah.....always just wanting to play music with a decent tone.....Im getting sick just thinking about all those wasted hours of lost creativity...

Pretty much. I'm not really sure it's worth it at this point. I figured that for the ammount of cash I blew on this thing that it would get me something lightyears ahead of the tone I had with my free plugins and Recabinet, that. So far, not the case. Not even close. It's looking more and more like I'm probably going to sell the thing, buy a PRS with the cash, and go back to software amps for the time being. I'm just recording at home, not planning on gigging any time soon.
 

Steve Dallas

Member
Messages
8,316
Luckily, I don't own a gun! :p

Anyway, my Axe-FX Ultra is starting to drive me up a damn wall with the ammount of tweaking it takes to get anything usuable for recordings. Back in November I stumbled upon what felt was the perfect distorted tone (for me, anyway). And of course the very next day, I lost whatever magic combinaton it was and have been spending the last 3 months trying to get it close and I'm getting nowhere. I bypass the cabs and use Recabinet in my DAW, so it's really just the amp block and parametric EQ that I'm tweaking.

I'm really close to just selling the damn thing and buying some amp modeling software like Studio Devil or something. All I really need is a good Recto sound and a few effects. Is anyone else having this much trouble just trying to get a usable sound with recordings?


TLDR: This thing takes a lifetime to try and find the sweet spot. Am I insane or should I sell the damn thing?
I dunno. I had an Ultra for a few years and had a love-hate relationship with it. It sounded awesome once dialed in, but I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked and never made music with it. Then I discovered the 11R and found my heaven. I almost never tweak anymore. I just play. They are all just tools, and some work better than others for different people. I am not even slightly tempted by the II.
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
Pretty much. I'm not really sure it's worth it at this point. I figured that for the ammount of cash I blew on this thing that it would get me something lightyears ahead of the tone I had with my free plugins and Recabinet, that. So far, not the case. Not even close. It's looking more and more like I'm probably going to sell the thing, buy a PRS with the cash, and go back to software amps for the time being. I'm just recording at home, not planning on gigging any time soon.
I understand man, and the previous poster is also right the more practical experience with pedals amps cabs the easier to understand the chain.

Also once you start the whole DI computer recording thing it starts to get hella in depth not to mention a Pro Tools situation etc. etc.

Dont beat yourself up though, sometimes it just needs taking a step back and coming at it fresh after a day or two....then hit it hard after some coffee, start early in the morning when your spry and your attention is undivided and start at the very beginning, including making sure all the switches are set to coincide with your setup...line level blah blah blah....

Go through each step with the manual and actually stop and play with each adjustment, this will give you a point of reference to know what needs tweaking at that stage etc...

sometimes with all the setting up and adjusting we forget to just stop and play the guitar for awhile...that can lead to boredom and frustration real fast....if Im not playing Im not happy....so take time to stop tweaking and play, even if the tone isn't perfect...you might find that tweaking this way helps you hear and learn the parameters and settings faster and easier, at the very least your getting in creative play time as your learning your gear which can only lead to a better understanding of it and soon enough you'll be all set.

food for thought, I wish you the best.
 
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Squeakys

Senior Member
Messages
316
TLDR: This thing takes a lifetime to try and find the sweet spot. Am I insane or should I sell the damn thing?
The workflow of an advanced unit like the Axe isn't for everyone - no shame/harm/foul in admitting that if it is you. It is what it is and is not a reflection on you or the unit.
 

trabant

Member
Messages
106
I find that sometimes limits help my creative process. Meaning when there are endless options, I lose focus and end up spinning my wheels. Before I know it 4 hours have past and I have done nothing but switch out between six different guitars, configured 12 different signal chains and tweaked every parameter available...yet have not accomplished one damn thing creatively.

Sometimes it's refreshing to just sit down in front of a single amp with a few pedals and figure out how to make it sound good and take it where you never have before.

I go back and forth on this all the time. Sometimes I love the convenience and options of modeling, other days I hate it. I think I need to build two separate rigs.
 

lightningblues427

Senior Member
Messages
133
I find that sometimes limits help my creative process. Meaning when there are endless options, I lose focus and end up spinning my wheels. Before I know it 4 hours have past and I have done nothing but switch out between six different guitars, configured 12 different signal chains and tweaked every parameter available...yet have not accomplished one damn thing creatively.

Sometimes it's refreshing to just sit down in front of a single amp with a few pedals and figure out how to make it sound good and take it where you never have before.

I go back and forth on this all the time. Sometimes I love the convenience and options of modeling, other days I hate it. I think I need to build two separate rigs.
This is the solution I would need...to build both and go by the weather...for now Im very happy actually playing guitar and with somewhat simple effects, though there are plenty of parameters and options with the pedals these days that seem to give a guy the best of both worlds..I can honestly say that I DONT miss tweaking a multi effects rig...nada
 

effectsman

Member
Messages
3,630
Yeah I say sell it man. If you know you only want a few great tones and that you can get them from the platform you intend to switch too without much tweaking and hassle then go for it.

These are tools that are supposed to help un-lock our creative expression. Not frustrate us.

This coming from an Ultra owner.
 






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