I'm farting around and using the Roadster as a power amp - so the 1/4" output of the AFX just goes into the effects return on the Mesa, and that's it. The XLRs, I send to my MOTU and into my DAW. I have amp models and PA sims turned on, and am just flipping through the stock presets arranging stuff, adding the violin back in, etc.
The sound coming out of my cabinet is fucking terrific. It sounds like it should.
The sound coming through my monitors and making it into my DAW, on the other hand - not so much. I don't have a bunch of dual path patches setup - I'm just copying Output 1 -> Output 2. I realize that the Roadster path will obviously sound a bit different (since it's a cab and all) but it's night and day.
The sound getting to my monitors SUCKS. It's brittle, way too bright, and though none of the levels are even close to clipping, that's just what it sounds like - if I hit a chord, you'd immediately reach for the level control.
What the hell am I missing? I had this working on my last AFX, and I'm sure it's just a setting somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it.
So you have no cab sims on the path going through your monitors? That seems like the obvious culprit. You'll probably either want to do some creative routing in the Axe-FX, or load up an impulse VST in your DAW.