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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of getting an Axe-FX within the next month, but there are two things I've been wondering about. The first is: how does the Axe-FX sound through headphones? I read that you would need powered headphones, since the Axe-FX alone doesn't have the power for the volume in the headphones. The reason I ask is: I don't own an amp and I have no intention of ever buying an amp (as long as I live in an apartment -- I actually used to own an amp in Japan, but even at 1, it was way too loud). The apartment I live in right now is 4 floors with a lot of families with children, so loud amps are completely out of the question. I was hoping to get something like the Atomic amps, but maybe 1/5th to 1/10th the volume. But I'm guessing headphones would just be the most logical choice.

Which connects to the second question. When you record direct (which I've heard is the number one way people record with the Axe-FX), do the monitor headphones go into the Axe-FX or into the computer? How does that all work?

Sorry for all the questions, but the headphone thing is the main thing I've been wondering about.
 

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Although the Axe-Fx doesn't have a headphone out, the line outs are plenty strong to drive pretty much any headphones (I believe Cliff Chase, the creator of the Axe-Fx, said so on the official forum). You will need an adapter with two mono plugs on one end and whatever is appropriate for your headphones on the other. As for the sound through headphones, for my taste headphones always sound too direct and in your face compared to speakers. Of course you can use the fantastic reverb in the Axe to rectify this. I assume you have a set of speakers at your apartment? You could try it through those as well. The Axe sounds great through good speakers, even at low volumes.

When recording direct you should monitor through your sound card, since you'll only hear the Axe if you plug your headphones into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Although the Axe-Fx doesn't have a headphone out, the line outs are plenty strong to drive pretty much any headphones (I believe Cliff Chase, the creator of the Axe-Fx, said so on the official forum). You will need an adapter with two mono plugs on one end and whatever is appropriate for your headphones on the other. As for the sound through headphones, for my taste headphones always sound too direct and in your face compared to speakers. Of course you can use the fantastic reverb in the Axe to rectify this. I assume you have a set of speakers at your apartment? You could try it through those as well. The Axe sounds great through good speakers, even at low volumes.
Yes, I have some pretty good speakers in my apartment, mainly which I use for my GNX3000 (with a size adapter).

That's good to hear. I also think that headphones sound too direct and in-your-face and I definitely prefer amps and speakers, but I amps are completely out of the question and I hadn't considered speakers for some reason.

That's good to hear.

When recording direct you should monitor through your sound card, since you'll only hear the Axe if you plug your headphones into it.
How does that work? I only have experience recording with my GNX3000 where I plug the headphones into the GNX with the GNX hooked up to the PC and the PC returns all the sound (drums, bass, vocals, guitars, etc.) along with what I'm playing into the headphones.

It seems like the Axe-FX has multiply options on how to do that.
 

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El Kabong
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You'll probably need to get a recording interface to record with. Said interface should have a good headphone out on it.
 

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Yeah, what Tom said, you'll need a separate recording interface, which you'd plug the Axe-FX into, and the headphones into as well (essentially an outboard soundcard more directly designed for recording). The GNX3000 has a recording interface built in, which is why it can do this job on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, what Tom said, you'll need a separate recording interface, which you'd plug the Axe-FX into, and the headphones into as well (essentially an outboard soundcard more directly designed for recording). The GNX3000 has a recording interface built in, which is why it can do this job on its own.
Tell me more about these "recording interface" thingies. I was not aware that they would be needed.
 

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NSLALP
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There's a lot of general disappointment with plugging headphones into the direct outs, but people love to play them through their home hi-fi systems. I plan on doing that and then trying to grab the headphone out from my stereo pre-amp. It has a pretty nice headphone amplifier built in.

EDIT: One problem you run into is trying to create patches on headphones. It generally won't sound the same as an amp/SR combo FRFR system. And of course nothing like if you're trying to use guitar cabs and guitar amps etc. So for practice purposes headphones are a great idea, but probably not the best for tweaking patches.
 

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Tell me more about these "recording interface" thingies. I was not aware that they would be needed.
Well, basically you'll want a soundcard that's as powerful (or hopefully more so) than the GNX, since it's going to be used by your DAW to route all the plug-ins and audio in and out of it at low latency.

The Axe-FX would be going into and coming out of it, and any audio or VSTis in your DAW would be coming out of it. So you'd want the headphones plugged into its output to hear everything. If you plugged into the Axe-FX's output, you wouldn't hear the other stuff.

Something simple like the Audiophile series will do the job. I use an M-Audio Delta 44. It has four inputs (more than I need, since I never record live drums) and four outputs. You could easily get something for $60 or less.

It is worth mentioning that if you don't buy one with a specific headphone out (the Delta 44, for example, doesn't have a headphone out), you'll need something to boost the signal before the headphones. You could plug the output of the soundcard into your home stereo amplifier and then headphones into that.

Also, it might be possible to use the Axe-FX as your soundcard in the same way you can with your GNX or with a Pod. But not owning one and never having even seen one, I wouldn't know. If you can, then you won't need a soundcard. The Axe could do it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, basically you'll want a soundcard that's as powerful (or hopefully more so) than the GNX, since it's going to be used by your DAW to route all the plug-ins and audio in and out of it at low latency.

The Axe-FX would be going into and coming out of it, and any audio or VSTis in your DAW would be coming out of it. So you'd want the headphones plugged into its output to hear everything. If you plugged into the Axe-FX's output, you wouldn't hear the other stuff.

Something simple like the Audiophile series will do the job. I use an M-Audio Delta 44. It has four inputs (more than I need, since I never record live drums) and four outputs. You could easily get something for $60 or less.

It is worth mentioning that if you don't buy one with a specific headphone out (the Delta 44, for example, doesn't have a headphone out), you'll need something to boost the signal before the headphones. You could plug the output of the soundcard into your home stereo amplifier and then headphones into that.

Also, it might be possible to use the Axe-FX as your soundcard in the same way you can with your GNX or with a Pod. But not owning one and never having even seen one, I wouldn't know. If you can, then you won't need a soundcard. The Axe could do it all.
Thanks for all the info and advice. Very useful stuff. :yesway:

The GNX3000 can record guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, and I've been using it as an audio interface for recording, but I think it might be overkill to try recording the Axe-FX through it.

I checked out M-Audio and it seemed that the options were: USB-based audio interfaces (such as the Fast Track and the MobilePre USB), PCI Audio interfaces (such as the Audiophile 192 and the Delta series stuff), and there were the MIDI interfaces.

Which of those would you guys recommend? USB-based or PCI Audio? (My PC doesn't have Firewire and I doubt I could use the MIDI interfaces for everything).

I already reserved an Axe-FX Ultra at a store near where I work. :cool: And I think I'll be using some Bose speakers that don't color the sound with unwanted EQ. :yesway:

Thanks for all the advice, guys. (I tried to rep you, Cassidy, but it seems I need to keep spreading the rep around before I can rep you again).
 

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Naren said:
Well, basically you'll want a soundcard that's as powerful (or hopefully more so) than the GNX, since it's going to be used by your DAW to route all the plug-ins and audio in and out of it at low latency.

The Axe-FX would be going into and coming out of it, and any audio or VSTis in your DAW would be coming out of it. So you'd want the headphones plugged into its output to hear everything. If you plugged into the Axe-FX's output, you wouldn't hear the other stuff.

Something simple like the Audiophile series will do the job. I use an M-Audio Delta 44. It has four inputs (more than I need, since I never record live drums) and four outputs. You could easily get something for $60 or less.

It is worth mentioning that if you don't buy one with a specific headphone out (the Delta 44, for example, doesn't have a headphone out), you'll need something to boost the signal before the headphones. You could plug the output of the soundcard into your home stereo amplifier and then headphones into that.

Also, it might be possible to use the Axe-FX as your soundcard in the same way you can with your GNX or with a Pod. But not owning one and never having even seen one, I wouldn't know. If you can, then you won't need a soundcard. The Axe could do it all.
Thanks for all the info and advice. Very useful stuff. :yesway:

The GNX3000 can record guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards, and I've been using it as an audio interface for recording, but I think it might be overkill to try recording the Axe-FX through it.

I checked out M-Audio and it seemed that the options were: USB-based audio interfaces (such as the Fast Track and the MobilePre USB), PCI Audio interfaces (such as the Audiophile 192 and the Delta series stuff), and there were the MIDI interfaces.

Which of those would you guys recommend? USB-based or PCI Audio? (My PC doesn't have Firewire and I doubt I could use the MIDI interfaces for everything).

I already reserved an Axe-FX Ultra at a store near where I work. :cool: And I think I'll be using some Bose speakers that don't color the sound with unwanted EQ. :yesway:

Thanks for all the advice, guys. (I tried to rep you, Cassidy, but it seems I need to keep spreading the rep around before I can rep you again).
I would personally go for a USB 2.0 interface like the FastTrack Ultra (I think it's called). That unit has two headphone jacks and plenty of in's and out's. You can also unplug it and use it with a netbook to record remotely (I'm assuming you have a desktop right now). You can't do that with PCI.
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackUltra.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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I would personally go for a USB 2.0 interface like the FastTrack Ultra (I think it's called). That unit has two headphone jacks and plenty of in's and out's. You can also unplug it and use it with a netbook to record remotely (I'm assuming you have a desktop right now). You can't do that with PCI.
M-AUDIO - Fast Track Ultra - High-speed 8 x 8 USB 2.0 Interface with MX Core DSP Technology
I had been looking at the Fast Track and the Fast Track Pro, but I hadn't seen the Fast Track Ultra (it wasn't on the USB page on the M-Audio site).

The Ultra looks great, but its price in Japan is around $475-525 (checking a website that compares prices from a ton of websites in Japan).
In comparison, the Fast Track Pro is around $190-240 (with Japan's amazon.co.jp being the cheapest).
And the Fast Track (normal one) is around $75-120.

Is the Ultra that much better than the Pro?
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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I have a little m-audio fast track and it works just fine. nice and simple, headphone jack, and like 60 bucks new. USB like the Ultra too, but dont try to get it to work with vista :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a little m-audio fast track and it works just fine. nice and simple, headphone jack, and like 60 bucks new. USB like the Ultra too, but dont try to get it to work with vista :lol:
For all the Fast Tracks or just that one?

Cuz my PC runs in Vista.
 

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I'd go with an external interface for the convenience. Also, they won't pick up noise from inside your PC. The Fast Track Pro is probably enough for you. I assume you'll only record vocals and guitars, neither of which needs more than two inputs, and The Fast Track Ultra probably has the same basic components as the Pro, so there won't be a difference in sound quality. The Pro also has MIDI I/O which you can use to update the firmware on your Axe-Fx, edit patches on your PC and back up presets.
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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For all the Fast Tracks or just that one?

Cuz my PC runs in Vista.
Well, is supposed to work via usb, and its powered by usb. But i cant(and apperently its a problem after i googled it) get it to work with vista. So i had to use a line out from the back or the headphone jack in the front and run it into my mic input on my computer. But still have it usb'ed for power.

It only does this with vista from what i'v read. So i would assume any usb fastrack will have the same beef.

I figured, for just an audio interface, i didnt want to pay a whole lot for a bunch of stuff i dont need. So thats why i ended up still going this way because i dont want to pay double or tripple that the others cost
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd go with an external interface for the convenience. Also, they won't pick up noise from inside your PC. The Fast Track Pro is probably enough for you. I assume you'll only record vocals and guitars, neither of which needs more than two inputs, and The Fast Track Ultra probably has the same basic components as the Pro, so there won't be a difference in sound quality. The Pro also has MIDI I/O which you can use to update the firmware on your Axe-Fx, edit patches on your PC and back up presets.
The Fast Track Pro is the best looking one out of all the ones I've seen so far, so I'll probably go with that one.

Although I'm gonna probably want to look into this Vista problem SSoH is talking about. I've been able to get other programs and hardware to work in Vista that other people had problems with... Eh...
 
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