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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any suggestions for building up patches from the ground? For example, I think, "I'd like to build a Powerball model and a Rectifier Orange model and try them out at my band's next rehearsal." I'm not going to have time to dick with the tone much when I'm at rehearsal, so I want to walk in with two solid tones, but I've never owned either of these amplifiers. Hell, I've never even played a Powerball.

What's the logical progression to optimizing these different amps when there are 100 fucking parameters on top of the basic "gain, bass, mid, treb, presence, master" controls? :mad:

Is there a sort of "neutral" mic and cab I should use for auditioning and tweaking amp tones and then add the cabs later? Or since different amps will likely sound better with different amps/cabs, do I have to just tackle it all?
 

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Premium Member
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Chain: Drive -> Amp -> Cabinet

Drive:
T808 OD with the drive at 0, tone set to your personal taste, and level at 10.

Amp:
Whichever amp you want with the EQ EQed however you want. I can't really give any recommendations for drive or whatever since each amp is completely different.

Cab:
A 4x12 amp that goes good with the amp you picked with the R121 COND mic (my favorite cab is the 4x12 CALI, but there are a ton of good ones such as the GERMAN and the RECTOs). I think I have the R121 COND mic on every single preset I have ever made.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lots of helpful info.
I definitely started with the 808 drive as my basis, although I only had output at like 7. I also liked the Si Diode clipping better than the 4558 chip clipping, which of course makes it an oddly modified Tube Screamer, but fuck that's why this thing rocks.

I liked Recto Orange, Red, and New, I just couldn't tell which to settle with. Powerball is interesting and will require some tweaking.

The amps/cabs are what really threw me. I guess I need to start with a cab that sounds somewhat flat, maybe a 2x12 instead of a 4x12, and work on the patches from there. I defaulted to an SM57 since that's the "standard", but then I liked the e609 too (these are the two dynamics I own), and then I liked some condensers but I didn't know which one to use and they had lots of bass... which I figured I'd have to dial back... you see where I'm going with this.

Just seems like I need to develop a "test bed" and then fill in the cabs and mics later.

Also how do you like to tune the "air" and "air freq" in the cabs? Seemed to brighten up the sound a bit.
 

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El Kabong
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5,037 Posts
My suggestion if you don't want to mess with a hundred amp parameters is... not to. You can get by just fine using only the controls that would be at the front of the amp. Everything else defaults to what could be considered "stock" settings for the amp, so it's not like you really need to go into the advanced parameters to get a good sound out of a given amp model.

By the way, silicon diode clipping is what I use on my 808 model, too. That's actually what it used to default to before Cliff reluctantly added in the 4558 mode.

Is there a 4x12 in there that comes close to what you were using before? I'd pop an SM57 in front of that to start with. 1" from the speaker edge seems to be what most people consider a good starting point, but I don't remember whether the Axe-FX gives you much choice as far as positioning.
 

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Mutes the Meat
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10,236 Posts
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Honestly dude, just completely forget that the sounds are modeled amps. Find a model you like and tweak it like a normal amp.
 

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Mutes the Meat
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FWIW the SPEC OD2 model was my favorite.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My suggestion if you don't want to mess with a hundred amp parameters is... not to. You can get by just fine using only the controls that would be at the front of the amp. Everything else defaults to what could be considered "stock" settings for the amp, so it's not like you really need to go into the advanced parameters to get a good sound out of a given amp model.
True, with the exception of sag and depth and such? I am definitely keeping it simple for now. My tweaking impulses will come out sooner than later.

By the way, silicon diode clipping is what I use on my 808 model, too. That's actually what it used to default to before Cliff reluctantly added in the 4558 mode.
:yesway:

Is there a 4x12 in there that comes close to what you were using before? I'd pop an SM57 in front of that to start with. 1" from the speaker edge seems to be what most people consider a good starting point, but I don't remember whether the Axe-FX gives you much choice as far as positioning.
I have pretty much been rocking my XXX 2x12, which is half-open with 100W "XXX" Sheffields. For a brief period I had a 2x12 V30 Recto cab, which was neat but didn't thrill me. I like my Mark IV combo's EVM-12L a lot, but it's open-back so kind of hard to compare (the 1x12" "E12L" cab is this, right?).

I have very little cab and microphone experience, which is really the source of my conundrum. This is why it's not recommended to dig into an Axe-Fx if you don't have any clue how to dial amps and effects to suit your needs.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Honestly dude, just completely forget that the sounds are modeled amps. Find a model you like and tweak it like a normal amp.
:yesway: Basically my thought process, but it's fun to try out all the amps I ever wanted and learn their differences. :D

My ultimate goal here is to separate my tone from my other guitarist's. We were both playing XXX's, him with a XXX 4x12, and we got a good sound by me keeping my mids up/gain down and running a TS9DX in front, while he left his at a more classic 80's shred tone with slightly rolled off mids and extra bass and gain.

Now that I've got a huge amp store at my fingertips, I figure I can either run a 5150 model and tweak to taste to simulate what we used to have (possibly another good starting point), or start fresh and find an amp that gels well with a XXX.
 

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Premium Member
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I liked Recto Orange, Red, and New, I just couldn't tell which to settle with. Powerball is interesting and will require some tweaking.
All of the Rectos are great, but my favorite amp model in the entire Axe-FX is the Recto New.

The amps/cabs are what really threw me. I guess I need to start with a cab that sounds somewhat flat, maybe a 2x12 instead of a 4x12, and work on the patches from there. I defaulted to an SM57 since that's the "standard", but then I liked the e609 too (these are the two dynamics I own), and then I liked some condensers but I didn't know which one to use and they had lots of bass... which I figured I'd have to dial back... you see where I'm going with this.
All of the mics are decent. I even have one or two presets with the SM57, but I think that the R121 COND is, by far, the best mic.

Also how do you like to tune the "air" and "air freq" in the cabs? Seemed to brighten up the sound a bit.
I leave the air and air freq stock most of the time. It depends on the amp model and cab model, but I usually don't see any need to change them.
 

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El Kabong
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5,037 Posts
True, with the exception of sag and depth and such? I am definitely keeping it simple for now. My tweaking impulses will come out sooner than later.
Presence, depth, and master, sure, but the dampening, sag, and everything else on that screen is stuff you'd have more trouble adjusting on a real amp. By all means, mess with them if you feel inclined to, as they're easy to get a feel for, but if you're just trying to use what would be on the front of the amp, skip most of that.
 

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I've owned my Axe-FX for several years and only gone into the "advanced" amp parameters maybe once. Now that could be just because I'm a simpleton, but frankly you get more "bang for the buck" in terms of time by just sticking with the basic parameters. I echo most of the recommendations above. Personally, I use the modded 808 drive sim, any of several amp sims, and either the "V30" cab or the older "30w" 4x12 (basically Cliff's original attempt at modeling a V30 cab). One thing I've been experimenting with lately is blending the V30 and Greenback cabs in various combos, since their sonic characteristics are almost completely opposite each other.

I would start without any mic setting at all, which is really just the default mic that Cliff used to model the cab. In fact, dialing up the best cab/mic settings is probably the most difficult part of programming the Axe-FX, simply because there are so many combinations to choose from, they obviously sound different with each amp, and you can use multiple cab sim blocks (in addition to two separate cabs within each block).

I find that I use the Advanced parameters a lot with the effects, however.
 

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Pallin' around
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9,532 Posts
\

My ultimate goal here is to separate my tone from my other guitarist's. We were both playing XXX's, him with a XXX 4x12, and we got a good sound by me keeping my mids up/gain down and running a TS9DX in front, while he left his at a more classic 80's shred tone with slightly rolled off mids and extra bass and gain.

Now that I've got a huge amp store at my fingertips, I figure I can either run a 5150 model and tweak to taste to simulate what we used to have (possibly another good starting point), or start fresh and find an amp that gels well with a XXX.
I know that I am not an Axe Fx owner :)mad:), but it seems to me that the best way for you to develop your tweaking skill set is to try to match tones that you are already familiar with. I.E. try to match the recorded tones in your songs, especially if you know what gear was used. I know you want something different, but in my opinion, with models, the best way to learn how they react is to try to emulate other tones first, and then with that knowledge you can try to create your own tones.

Then work on your djent tones :rolleyes:
:hsquid::hsquid:
 

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Super Moderator
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I know that I am not an Axe Fx owner :)mad:), but it seems to me that the best way for you to develop your tweaking skill set is to try to match tones that you are already familiar with. I.E. try to match the recorded tones in your songs, especially if you know what gear was used. I know you want something different, but in my opinion, with models, the best way to learn how they react is to try to emulate other tones first, and then with that knowledge you can try to create your own tones.
That's definitely the best way to do it.

However, I favor the "drunk dialing" method. Basically, just turning enough of the "virtual controls" until a pleasing sound happens.

The beauty of that is that you get sounds you'd never in a million years plan for. The downside is that you have no idea how you did it. :lol:
 

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Quickly becoming slower
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354 Posts
A good tip is just to find a cab you like and go with it. Just find one that suits your fancy and have that as your go to cab for a while, until you figure out what you are doing as far as tweaking amp models. All the options you have for different tones can easily become daunting if you don't watch it. I find that my favorite cab is a stereo cab with 4x12 25w and 4x12 v30, both with out any mics selected.

The Recto New sounds really good to me. Lower the bass and treb, boost the mids and presence a little and keep the master around noon and it should sound pretty good. Throw a boost up front, and it should sound even better. I tend to stick to ts808 or a filter block set to null with a +6db boost.

Also, the Reverb block is cool. You can "extend" the sound of your cab IR with some clever tweaking. Short version is: Add a reverb block after your cab block, select small room, turn the early reflections up to 0db and mix to taste, which for me is around 7-10%. Long version: That's covered in the AxeFx wiki, under Radley's reverb tips.
 

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NSLALP
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I'll be working on this and hopefully at least trying out the rig at practice Saturday to see how loud I can get and to learn a lesson or two about how to fit into the band. I'll have my XXX with me since I'm not confident it will work right off the bat.
 

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Premium Member
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The Recto New sounds really good to me. Lower the bass and treb, boost the mids and presence a little and keep the master around noon and it should sound pretty good. Throw a boost up front, and it should sound even better. I tend to stick to ts808 or a filter block set to null with a +6db boost.
It's funny how completely different tastes people have. I do almost the exact opposite of how you do it. I do it with the Recto New with the bass up really really high around 9, the treble around 5.5 or so, and the mids somewhat low around 4. I also turn the presence up quite a bit (around 6 or 7) and leave the master a little low (around 4).

I guess that just shows how drastically different everyone's personal taste is. :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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I've owned my Axe-FX for several years and only gone into the "advanced" amp parameters maybe once.
You'd have to be missing out on so much. Naren disagrees with me a little, but I feel the advanced parameters are where the magic is. The thump, warmth, and tube bias especially can make any amp sound really different. Also if you want more flexibile tone but more of a solid-state sound, you can go to active tonestacks, but being a tube guy first and foremost, I'm always using the passive tonestacks. I just think they sound more real and less processed.

You know what's really cool though? I had trouble dialing in the powerball amp model for a long time, but had no problem with the triaxis or recto models. So in the tonestack setting, I set the powerball amp model to use the tonestack from the Recto New amp model, and set the amp like I would a recto. Viola, awesome tone :agreed:

I love that kind of just awesome flexibility.
 
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