• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

What type of users will get most out of Axe-Fx Ultra?

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
It is obvious that Axe-Fx Ultra is THE digital tone machine for getting an array of tailored and custom tones that other modellers cannot touch. Plus, it definitely suits those who are really into investing serious hours tweaking and, even, technically not challenged.

I'm thinking it's really suited for:
Professional musicians, especially those that do a lot of covers;
Studio musicians, especially those who create for the television and film industry; and
Serious hobbyists with some $$$ to spend.

For those Axe-Fx users which category do you fall in to, and how much of the Axe-Fx Ultra's capability potential are you using or tapping into regularly?

And, how does the "old" saying that the tone comes from "your fingers" apply in a digital paradigm?
 

Brick_top

Member
Messages
772
I guess the axe can be used in pratically every situation where you need guitar gear, and in my opinion does that extremelly well.

Unfortunately I'm still not using the biggest part of the axe's potential. I have found my basic tones using just the Amp and Cab sections, and only using the "basic" controls. I have only went to the advanced parameters in the amp section to just turn the Warmth and Thump to 0, since that has been a "recomendation" since firmware 9.0

I don't really understand what you mean by tone in the fingers regarding digital.

I guess both have to do with it, How much one or the other contributes to the final tone is very difficult for me to calculate
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
In the world of tube amps, many do say the "tone" is in the fingers; meaning, 2 players with similar skill sets using the same equipment may bring out different tonal subtleties that are unique enough to be noticeable. I'm asking would this apply in the digital realm where everything is "processed."
 

Brick_top

Member
Messages
772
I have never had anyone play with my axe. But I notice the axe is very "sensitive" to all the nuances in your playing. It responds quite well to everything I do. At least that is how I perceive it
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
Brick_Top, that's a very important response. I've heard from others about how "sensitive" Axe-Fx is to one's playing "touch."
 
M

Member 1762

I find the people that really appreciate the Axe-FX are ones who have been through a lot of gear already and know what they want. This ranges from bedroom players to touring monsters and every position in between.

Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
 

Ben R

Member
Messages
1,950
I find the people that really appreciate the Axe-FX are ones who have been through a lot of gear already and know what they want. This ranges from bedroom players to touring monsters and every position in between.

Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
:agree

Jarrett, agreed. But, I'll add 1 more thing to that...

Those "old school" types people who either don't understand or have never used processors tend to not want or need things like this. Many of these guys tend to be bitter and skeptical of the Axe FX. They want to cling to the arguments made against Line6 stuff and the like, based on the reasons why those other products didn't "work". Anyway, some of these types of guys only need 1 amp sound, a couple of knobs to turn, and a cable. For these types of guys, they probably don't need an AXE FX. Others only think that they only need a simple amp and a couple of knobs. This is their mental image of the mountaintop and won't be convinced otherwise.
 

Brick_top

Member
Messages
772
I have been experiencing something I find strange for me since I have been playing with the axe-fx.

Maybe someone else has experienced something like what I'm going to say.

I seem to find myself listening to "tones" I once at imediate listening thought were very good, and thinking they are not soo good anymore, and they feel kind of"low fidelity" something like "low resolution" :dunno.. It's hard to explain.

The first time I experienced this was with that guitar at the start of Tonefactor's pedal demos in youtube.

I also feel this when listening to some stuff I recorded with guitar rig 3.0.

I have had that feeling quite a lot lately

Here is a cheap shot at trying to define this..

The tones I once thought were good prior to playing the axe
Could be represented by this:

...................................

And this is what I experience with the axe

(there was supposed to be a continuous line in here)

Hope I could explain myself.

For those that do understand what I tried to say, I'm being 100% honest here.
 

solo-act

Member
Messages
989
I fall into the category of professional doing lots of covers. Between acoustic and electric, I cover 90 different artists. I'm using about half of what the unit can do. I'm not exploring extremely complex routing or digging deep into high-tech effects.

Tone coming from fingers is a partial myth and a bizarre distortion of the meaning of tone. Expression, dynamics, and SOME of the tone comes from the fingers. The other 90% of the tone comes from the actual gear. So in the digital realm, I can get 90% of a tone with the axe-fx. The other 10% of the tone and ALL of the expression/dynamics depends on the hands.

If I'm butchering the expression/dynamics of the original artist with my hands, it doesn't matter if I have 100% of the tone of the original artist, it's going to sound wrong because the dynamics/expression (what many here define as "tone") isn't there.
 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,949
I find the people that really appreciate the Axe-FX are ones who have been through a lot of gear already and know what they want. This ranges from bedroom players to touring monsters and every position in between.

Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
Exactly. Perfectly stated.

I'm a hybrid of those categories: ex-professional and current semi-pro doing lots of covers and occasional session work. The Axe-FX works for me because I've tried a bunch of gear and figured out what I like, and the Axe-FX nails that perfectly, with 100% consistency and reliability, every time. Plus I'm tired of schlepping a big rig around. I'm seriously digging this "one trip to the car" thing.
 

buddaman71

Student of Life
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,924
Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
Great post Jarrett. I am an OG Cork Sniffer and have owned a great deal of the boutique gear, going all the way back to the original Matchless DC30 and early PRS guitars and early Robert Keeley mods he did in his garage. Thankfully, I have come through that journey to the other side a few years back and my gear life is SO much easier.

As I have progressed as a player and become more confident in my abilities, I have come to care less about all that crap. For better or worse, I play like me and tend to sound like me on just about anything because of my phrasing and note choices and the way I hear melodies in my head. (Please no tone vs. style minutiae...I could not care less about that either...)

I want to sound good, but I am not going to obsess to the point of collapse to find the last 2% of tone I "hear in my head". Life's too short, and I have $hit to do. If I hear, "sure, it's a $ 5,000 custom tube amp with hand wound transformers that uses a paste made from unicorn horn dust and leprechaun tears to seal the tone in, resulting in magical, harmonically rich mids" one more time, I am gonna develop a facial tic!

Hell, I think cheaper guitars that emphasize the fundamental tones and DON'T have all those overtones swirling around cut through a band better and just have more mojo than the uber meticulous handcrafted copies. (don't get me wrong, I still love my Tom Andersons, but I'm just as happy with my parts casters) I kind dig it when guys come up and ask what kind of magical guitar and rig I'm using to get my live tone and I hand them my $150 pawnshop tele copy and point at my under $1000 amp rig that can be purchased at any GC.

Anyway, I guess I finally understand what Zappa meant when he said, "Shut up and play yer guitar!!"
:rockin

PS: sorry, rant over
PPS: yes the Axe is awesome for some and not for others...
PPPS: i really didn't mean to hijack!!
PPPS: rock on!
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,744
I find the people that really appreciate the Axe-FX are ones who have been through a lot of gear already and know what they want. This ranges from bedroom players to touring monsters and every position in between.

Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
Jarrett really said this well.

The only thing I'd add is from another thread I started, but I think it is on toic here. There is a learning curve about crafting tones, just as there is with an analog rig... except here the entire rig is at your disposal in one place from your guitar cable to the output.

Any guitarist honest enough to admit it will note that they craft a rig one piece at a time, by trial and error, by buying gear and trying it; then selling it and buying something else till they end up with a mix of gear that they call their rig. With the Axe-FX, you are in charge of crafting each element (effect blocks, gain staging, amp block, cab block, routing) yourself. With options and flexibility/power come choices you never had before and that can be paralyzing to some guys.

Most guys keep it simple to work around that (routing wise; building off of existing presets, learning from other owners) but some cannot handle it. No slight to them; but this is NOT a 'amp in the can, plug in and sound like your guitar heroes instantly... just add water!!' box.

The problem set up by the early modeling companies and the marketing of them is one of the major issues approaching the Axe-FX concerning the amp/cab blocks; the prism of the 'presets of the stars!' promise that you plug in and *viola* sound like your guitar hero instantly. That didn't work so well then; and it's never been a part of the equation with the Axe-FX at any juncture.

So if you are a guy that wants presets and doesn't want to learn how to craft each aspect of your entire rig piece by piece within the Axe-FX - at whatever depth you are going to use the box for - it's probably not going to be your gear solution.
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
I really appreciate the diverse responses and even editorials :) Solo-act's response is really on-point with my initial set of questions.

So, for those of you who have used Axe-Fx extensively, I ask again, how much of what Axe-Fx has to offer have you used, mastered?

Better yet. What functionalities have you yet to really explore, or care not to use much of for your needs at this time?
 
Last edited:

AndrewSimon

Member
Messages
2,384
I have been experiencing something I find strange for me since I have been playing with the axe-fx.

Maybe someone else has experienced something like what I'm going to say.

I seem to find myself listening to "tones" I once at imediate listening thought were very good, and thinking they are not soo good anymore, and they feel kind of"low fidelity" something like "low resolution" :dunno.. It's hard to explain.

The first time I experienced this was with that guitar at the start of Tonefactor's pedal demos in youtube.

I also feel this when listening to some stuff I recorded with guitar rig 3.0.

I have had that feeling quite a lot lately

Here is a cheap shot at trying to define this..

The tones I once thought were good prior to playing the axe
Could be represented by this:

...................................

And this is what I experience with the axe

(there was supposed to be a continuous line in here)

Hope I could explain myself.

For those that do understand what I tried to say, I'm being 100% honest here.
This is true... and not just with the AXE-FX.
You always think you are on top of the mountain untill you discover the next step.
When looking back 2-3 steps.... you are amazed how blind you were to think that was the pinnacle.

:bong
 
M

Member 1762

I haven't gone deep into it at all. Really most of what I do is either based on reading Scott's stuff. From the basic amp setups to rolling my own Redwirez. Other than that I've found stock presets I've liked and tweaked them to my needs. I think I built all of my bass presets from scratch though, can't remember for sure at this point. I also downloaded a preset from a Axe-FX forum member, MKEditor (I think is his name) to use as a cello simulation. The only reason I have the Ultra is that a couple of my more elaborate presets exceeded CPU in the Standard, so I upgraded.

I don't use the Axe-Edit program other than to upload firmware and back up my presets. I also have not delved into real time parameter controls mostly because I have a simple MIDI controller. I've been waiting a long time hoping to find a foot controller that will handle phantom power in stock form and have a built in expression pedal or two. At this point, I'm starting to think its not coming and about ready to break down and get a better foot controller with some outboard expression pedals so I can dive a little deeper into it.

So going forward I'm hoping to:

-Make more use of the Axe-Edit program now that's its really starting to come into its own
-Upgrade my MIDI controller so that I can start playing with some real time parameter controls like the pitch shifter, looper, etc.
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
So, is there a sophisticated foot controller out there that can optimize the Axe-Fx experience on stage? Or, is there a true need for this?
 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,949
So, for those of you who have used Axe-Fx extensively, I ask again, how much of what Axe-Fx has to offer have you used, mastered?
I have gotten very comfortable with a small number of the amps (Blackface, Plexi, JCM800, AC30, Bogner) and really only touched on the rest of the amps.

I have built about 40 of my own presets from scratch.

I do quite a bit with real-time control of parameters via expression pedal, including wah, volume, rate and depth for mod effects, etc. I also do quite a bit with tap tempo. Most recently I've set up my Liquid Foot to set the tempos automatically for each song. No more tapping...cool!

I use Axe-Edit extensively for everything - editing presets, loading firmware, etc.

I am currently trying to wrap my head around the whole Red Wirez thing. Wow. Big potential, but big challenge as well.

What I have NOT gotten into yet are some of the more exotic effects - multiband compressor, enhancer, ring mod, vocoder, formant filter, mega-tap delay, quad chorus, multi-voice pitch shifting, etc.
 

Stef_herbuel

Member
Messages
795
I find the people that really appreciate the Axe-FX are ones who have been through a lot of gear already and know what they want. This ranges from bedroom players to touring monsters and every position in between.

Part of buying gear is that there is this fun thought that there might be some amp/guitar/pedal/cab out there that is the holy grail. The one. But for those who have played through most of what the gear world has to offer, they find out that there is no one. It's just different shades of gray for amplifying your playing ability.

It seems that once people reach that level of understanding, they start looking at gear in a different way. They start thinking of it in logical terms. What's the most effective tool I can find to get the job done. Whether the job is to practice quietly at night, or record direct to computer, or get the best live sound, etc.; that becomes the goal.

For those people, the Axe-FX is like a Godsend. It does everything better than most anything. You don't need multiple tools for multiple jobs anymore. It does them all, within reason. It's a single tool that can do many jobs really, really well. That's why you see some that just love the thing.

The folks who probably won't really dig the Axe-FX are the ones that are still in the middle of that mythical Holy Grail journey. They are still buying amps/pedals/guitars/cabs in the hopes that one day they will open that UPS box and plug into something magical that makes them sound like a guitar legend and ends the gear-go-round.
well i don't agree.
i know what i want, exactly what i want , my "dream" sound is between van halen 1 , mike landau, and this kind of tone , jeff beck :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYqN-3JEe1Y

i am absolutly FOR digital gear , i have the axe fx ultra, the line 6 m9 , and the VG99 roland , and they are all plugged in my gear.
BUT while axe fx is far beyond vg99 or line6 gear , i found that every digital dist miss something .i don't know why but it's what i hear.and believe me that's a bad thing for me i would LOVE to axe fx work for the sound i'm after, with tube gear i have to deal with tube, noise , cables etc etc.
actually i'm in a dry/wet config with the jmp1 in my marshall vintage modern , and use axe fx in another cab for effect.
mehhhh it sound like the jeff beck kind of sound, it's heaven.
i tried to reach that with axe fx alone, tried live in so many different config , but it's not close.
it's perfect for using with monitors but even with IEM , i prefer my miked amp.
fuller, richer, more interactive sound.whatever i tweak.
it's my experience, and it's IMHO.
but explain me why with just a jmp1+amp i find my dream tone in 5 minutes and after one year of tweaking the axe fx i don't
anyone has a sound like the jeff beck youtube video ?

not agressive post, but i had to answer , no people who don't dig the axe fx for EVERY situation are not especially people who are against digital or don't know what they want.
my 2 cent

happy new year to all :)
 
Last edited:

Brick_top

Member
Messages
772
Uau.. that clip was great, don't know why I had never heard jeff beck playing. Thanks a lot now I have one more player to listen to.

Regarding your experience with the axe, I hope you can someday get your sound with it. There are probably a lot of variables into how people experience this things and I don't know how I could help you since you have said you have tried many things, I was about to ask if you have tried using "real world" cabs, but you probably have..

Anyway, good look, I'm fortunate enough to have found the sounds I need in the axe, or maybe I'm just not picky enough
 

enigma

Member
Messages
3,429
Stephane,

Very interesting post. BTW, I love your style of playing, the music and TONE. What are you using there on the first segment (amp/effects wise on YouTube) ???
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom