Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Jarick, Jul 25, 2019.
Word! Have fun... I know I am having a blast with mine.
Check out the Austin Buddy naked amp pack...that's exactly what he's done. Profiles for every amp in the unit with just a little reverb. The nice thing is he's got the experience with real amps and a studio to do the work in, and the presets tend to be almost universally loved.
I had his presets for the AX8 and really enjoyed them...will very much consider the Axe 3 ones when I get some money.
Hooked up the footswitches last night to play around with them.
Like all Fractal products, they seem extremely rugged and bulletproof. The LED's are very bright, as are the screens (hard to photograph). My daughter was really excited by the colors as we made them pink and purple.
Lots of cool things you can do with them. It was easy to set up scenes, effect toggles, and all the usual stuff. There's the ability to do things at a global level as well as patch specific, which is cool.
So far I'm thinking of three scenes at the bottom with alternate scenes as holds, a control switch for leads up top (toggles a boost and a lead delay), a preset specific button (typically for some mod effect), and the tap tempo/tuner.
FC12 for the win, imo.
FC12 is definitely cool, but for a guy who doesn't gig it doesn't make sense. They are surprisingly big foot switches too.
The one downside I see on these is the tuner doesn't get the detail/resolution as the strobe on the device (which is really a good tuner), but I don't know if that will have a real-world impact.
That makes sense. I gig so I would love to have the 12. I'd probably engage the tuner via footswitch but use the display on the III itself.
I saw those early on... and was thinking I might snag them... but decided against it as this is a good way to learn things. I did the sm thing for every modeler I've owned... and in the process you not only learn the device, but you learn what models "light your fire", and you even learn some things about the real amps that were modeled. If I was a working musician and needed stuff fast it'd be a dif story, but I'm having a ton of fun! All that said... I think $100 is a bargain considering how much actual work it is!
since monday I have been playing only thru my studio monitors and headphones. last night I hooked up my tube amp... and created a preset for going out/in to it after the amp but before the cabinet... it sounded amazing. I didn't even turn off the power amp saturation in the amp model. Didn't even tweak anything... just huge. that was el84s... tonight will be 6L6 adventures!
The thing I keep finding myself thinking is 12 is too much, but 6 isn’t quite enough...
Seems like 9 would be perfect.
I’m more and more sensing another piece of gear in my near future
I have been gigging with the FC-6 and it has been great! It would be nice to have everything on one page but, a simple arrow over and I get more. No worries on my part. I like the smaller board that I use with mine.
Oh hey, there's a King of Tone in the III! I didn't know they added that one. It sounds great!
I'm setting up two main patches for myself...one is my "Kitchen Sink" for my humbucker guitars, and another is the same for single coils.
I saw Gin Blossoms a few days ago so I'm hung up on learning their tunes and those chimey single coil tones. FWIW, both guitarists were running Deluxe Reverbs and the lead guitarist also had some boutique amp next to it (looked kind of like a Bluesbreaker). Couldn't see what the other guy was running, if anything else.
So right now my single coil patch I'm running a Deluxe Reverb Vibrato which I'm liking for cleans through edge of breakup. I may either use scene controllers, the amp boost switch, or a KoT in front to hit it a little harder when I want that sound.
On the dirty side, I think I'm going with the Friedman HBE 2018 model, with some tweaks to push the mids and pull back the highs a bit. It's a little over the top but fun.
Compared to my time with the AX8, I'm still tweaking but I'm spending a lot more time playing and less time tweaking thus far. The cab block I think has been a big difference for me. I've barely loaded any aftermarket cabs because usually I can find a couple factory cabs (ribbon and 57 typically) and blend a tiny bit and I'm done.
Also, I traded my PRS Mira for a Gibson LP Junior yesterday so I played that for about two hours last night. What a neat guitar! Gibson's QC is really good nowadays. My 2018 Tribute LP was excellent with the exception of a bit of sharp edges on the fretboard which I had to knock down. This 2019 model was smooth out of the box. Just a fresh set of strings, a little nut sauce, tweak the action/truss rod a tiny bit (the truss rod is VERY responsive which is nice), and off we go.
I've been saying this for a while now. I definitely need to learn more about how to get the most out of it but the presets on the III sound so good that they really require minimal tone adjustments to work very well. Endless tweaking is really not necessary anymore.
Last night I set up the FC12 and was thinking "well maybe I should keep this instead of the FC6", then it sold while I was sleeping. So I'll be sticking with the FC6 then!
I have Focusrite gear on my main recording computer that’s a Mac. But built a new Windows machine to do my freelance work on and decided to try the Helix as the interface on it and it work really well. While I’m waiting for something to render I can mess around with riff ideas, jam along to backing tracks on YouTube, no level issues, and don’t have to be switching back and forth between the two systems. Works well for me. YMMV.
Surprises me the Fractals aren’t working out that well as audio interfaces.
The kicker for me is having some kind of volume control on a physical knob. Otherwise it’s a real pain to manage volume levels.
I like to have three knobs at least:
- Monitor (output) volume
- Headphone volume
- Input volume/mix
On my Mackie, I’ve got monitor and headphone volume plus a direct monitor mix which I use for my modeler. Works great!
On others, I’ve seen a direct monitor/output mix knob which could blend between full direct monitor (no computer sound) and vice Versa. This would also be helpful.
On the Axe 3, there are four output level knobs and that’s it. If I plug in headphones, it spits out sound to both the studio monitors and the headphones on the same knob. I could mirror the output 1 to output 2 (which was my original plan, but I needed more XLR cables). Still, there’s no input volume, so I can’t ever control the level of the computer sound compared to the Axe output.
I also kicked around the idea of the Mackie big knob passive monitor control. This would let me fine tune the monitor volume and fix any popping noises while powering up/down the Axe (I leave my monitors on all the time), but there’s no headphone out and I still wouldn’t have control over the computer levels.
The other thing that bugs me with interfaces is that almost all of them have inputs on the front of the unit. I don’t want cables strung across my desk unnecessarily and having two 1/4” or XLR cables sticking out the front adds another 3”+ of wasted space. The Mackie that I have has all inputs/outputs (except headphones) on the back, so I just decided to stick with that.
I think at some point I’ll try and mount some kind of rack/shelf to the underside of my desk and keep the Axe there. I’ve got an IKEA desk and those seem easy enough to mod. Just a matter of finding the right brackets and getting some screws.
Lastly, running the numbers I overextended myself a bit on the Axe purchase, so I’m doing a gear purge to cover the cost. I’ve sold a couple smaller items so far and will have to clear out my pickup stash I think. It actually kind of feels good to do that.
Like I said earlier, I traded guitars on Friday. I’ve been fighting this PRS Mira since I got it because it’s so bassy sounding. Ended up trading for a Gibson LP Tribute with a single P90 in the bridge. I “lost” the trade value (although he threw some cash in the deal), but at the end of the day I got something new and fun that I’m not going to spend more time and money trying to make work for me.
So at the end of the day, I’ll have downsized from two modelers (Helix/AX8) plus a big combo amp I never use (Katana 100), and clear out my bin of parts.
I’d like to find the cash to upgrade my monitors at some point too. Would like some 7” monitors like Yamahas or Adams. Someday...
Ugh, I hated Helix LT as audio interface. If I needed to balance the monitor volume vs. Helix volume I had to dive into global menus; if I had Helix on the floor my monitor volume was on the floor; if I had Helix on desk for easier access to interface controls then...my Helix was on my desk.
Interesting. To balance things I just turn up the main volume knob on the Helix to where I want the guitar sound to be then use the volume control on the computer app that I’m using to bring it up to where I need it to be for balance. No diving into menus on my end.
Yeah I have the Helix on a desktop so yeah it’s easier to reach the knob but that said I’ve several times at church used my foot to up or down the volume of the unit when they asked me to. When I upgrade the new software it’ll go in the floor so I can use it to control app functions.
Anyway back in topic to respect the OP congrats on the new rig.
Guitar volume from AFXIII & backing track volume from VLC player on iMac.....
My first "studio" photo:
While digging stuff up for sale from the basement, I found this pair of 10" floor monitors. They are super cheap and don't sound great, but I decided to hook them up anyway and see what that's like. Kind of poor man's Headrush 8"-ers...
This is true of relatively low-cost interfaces; however, there are some units in the $350 - $400 range designed with most (if not all) of the inputs/outputs on the back of the unit. For example, the MOTU Audio Express and Scarlette i8i20
There is a 2nd tap function for each button as well, if needed. Here is how I have the bottom row set up.
1: tap = clean/2nd tap = lead/Hold = Tuner
2: tap = dirt/2nd tap = lead/no hold
3: tap = heavy/2nd tap = lead/Hold = Preset dec