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2x guitarists in your band.. one uses 100w head+4x12, and you’re using a PA… which one is more..

Georgy

Inspired
Ok, let me rephrase this a little by setting the scene.. I’ve re-read this a few times and I hope it makes sense.. if it doesn’t.. sorry!!! And for the record, there's no right or wrong - this is based on first hand experience..

Curious to hear honest thoughts and feedback from anyone in this situation OR who has been in this situation..

You play in a 5 piece rock band.. there’s 2x guitarists (you, and one other). He is playing a BE100 + matching quad, and you are using your Fractal modeller (Axe FX or AX8 etc). But you are using a PA system (say for example, 2x powered monitors.. like maybe 2x Yamaha DXR10’s or 12’s.. or 2x Mackie HD1221’s or 2x HD1531 etc etc, you get the idea).


Now, whether you are one of the guitarists in this band or whether you are a person in the crowd, other than the fact that you are getting two different sounds coming at you (or you could say there’s 2 different sounds being dispersed towards the crowd), what else would you be hearing and experiencing? (NOTE, the other guitarist isn’t getting mic’d up; it’s just his BE-setup and you with your Fractal + 2x PA speakers.)


Will the crowd get more ‘feel’ and authenticity from the BE100 half stack as opposed to the PA?

Is one clearly more powerful or louder than the other, if so, (sorry for the stupid question), which one is louder, or delivers more sound?
(ideally, they shouldn't be competing with one another, let's assume the overall volume is the same if possible.. otherwise if one is louder than the other, I guess it makes this whole thread pointless?!)


More volume isn’t necessarily better; I’d rather have clarity than volume but I guess that might come at the price of ‘being heard’ maybe?


I’m asking for people’s honest feedback and experience on this, and any pro’s or con’s.


Apologies if this has been asked as many times as ‘which FRFR setup do you use?’. 🤦‍♂️🤷‍♂️
 

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GtarLover

Experienced
Let's assume comparable volume at the back of the room.
So, an individual standing at the back of the room would hear both guitars equally.

Now, what really matters is the position of the PA speakers...meaning if the Fractal player is using 2 PA speakers as his backline, in a similar position to the 4X12, then there really should be no difference in what the crowd will hear.

If however the 4X12 is behind the Friedman player, while the Fractal player is direct to the FOH PA speakers that are out in front of the band, then there will be a difference.
A bigger difference as an audience member is closer to the stage.

The PA will "throw" the sound from the front of the stage, where the 4X12 will be throwing from farther back. That probably means the Friedman will need to be a bit louder to achieve the same volume at a greater distance and therefore means the 4X12 will also give people closer to the stage a punch (from the "louder" cab) AND they will not really be getting any backline sound from the Fractal player.
Those same people will be too close to hear the full PA sound as well.

Anyway, I have personally run ALL possible set-ups over the years playing Fractal Units "live" in a variety of situations.
Bottom line, if another guitar player will be running a 4X12 on-stage, I always needed to have some sort of cab on-stage also to give myself, the crowd, and the rest of the band MY sound on-stage as well.

YMMV, best of luck!!
 

Georgy

Inspired
V
Let's assume comparable volume at the back of the room.
So, an individual standing at the back of the room would hear both guitars equally.

Now, what really matters is the position of the PA speakers...meaning if the Fractal player is using 2 PA speakers as his backline, in a similar position to the 4X12, then there really should be no difference in what the crowd will hear.

If however the 4X12 is behind the Friedman player, while the Fractal player is direct to the FOH PA speakers that are out in front of the band, then there will be a difference.
A bigger difference as an audience member is closer to the stage.

The PA will "throw" the sound from the front of the stage, where the 4X12 will be throwing from farther back. That probably means the Friedman will need to be a bit louder to achieve the same volume at a greater distance and therefore means the 4X12 will also give people closer to the stage a punch (from the "louder" cab) AND they will not really be getting any backline sound from the Fractal player.
Those same people will be too close to hear the full PA sound as well.

Anyway, I have personally run ALL possible set-ups over the years playing Fractal Units "live" in a variety of situations.
Bottom line, if another guitar player will be running a 4X12 on-stage, I always needed to have some sort of cab on-stage also to give myself, the crowd, and the rest of the band MY sound on-stage as well.

YMMV, best of luck!!



Valid points all round, and common sense as well.

I still ponder though, in a perfect world assuming the overall volume and volume projection is equal between the BE-rig and the Fractal rig, I'm curious to know what the differences are tonally speaking.. does that make sense? Sorry, should've been more specific in that regard.

Thanks for the input!
 

Tom Morris

Power User
Ive been dealing with just this situation for a couple years. I love the sound and feel of the fractal I can pretty much nail any cover we do to the CD. However real amp guy and his 1980s Peavey 4x12 (don't know what speakers are in that cabinet) always seems to win out even more so at farther distances from the stage. And I will add that this is with several different amps we have used for him over that time. For whatever reason the real cab has a midrange cut that I can't project from two FRFR speakers. Not saying the real amp sounds better just that it projects. I could boost mids but then it's not what sounds good to me. On stage I can completely make him disappear with volume and low end but across the room I just dissolve into the mix as if my speakers are set up as side fills. It's gotten so frustrating that I'm now running an WDW rig using a mesa boogie JP-2C with 2x12 recrto upright cab as the dry so I'm not buried. In all honesty just an average joe small bar band that runs sound from stage. Everyone runs in ears aside from him and me and I run a turbo sound column speaker for a monitor on my side. Before people start to tell me what I am doing wrong let me assure you I have tried the gamut of designed for modeler speakers and have tried almost every EQ tactic the AFXIII has to offer. OP asked for opinions that's mine. Please ignore my post if if you feel the need to advise me.
 

GtarLover

Experienced
The difference can be large or minimal depending on the Fractal choices In the Fractal.
You can use a Friedman amp/cab in the Axe and get a “very” close tone OR choose a different amp/cab and bring a different flavor. Often different tones, one with more highs and the other with some deeper tones, are useful and work well together.
Again, each player will benefit from having a similar stage volume.

If your question is about “will FRFR give you the same sounds as an amp/cab?” The answer is not exactly AND there are a multitude of threads speaking to this, look for some of the tips and tricks for amp in the room sounds.
The Fractal, with amp/cab modeling, reproduces a mic’d amp/cab experience...SO, if the Friedman is NOT mic’d it will have a different feel and possibly tone as well. Cab’s are traditionally “beamy” (read directional).
It really apples to oranges.

My experience with Fractal is it can reproduce, with GREAT accuracy, the mic’d amp/cab combo. The newest firmware of the Axe III can get some truly amazing tones. I am happy with it in every way.
I have used an AX8, as well as other Fractal units, and the Axe III is a real upgrade IMO.

Tom’s post reveals there are many ways to run a rig. Nothing is wrong or out of bounds.
Make the choices that work for YOU!!
 

Tom Morris

Power User
Ideally both guys with a fractal = AWESOME! You could also run it through a real guitar cab with a solid state or tube amp that would get you closer.
 

Georgy

Inspired
Ive been dealing with just this situation for a couple years. I love the sound and feel of the fractal I can pretty much nail any cover we do to the CD. However real amp guy and his 1980s Peavey 4x12 (don't know what speakers are in that cabinet) always seems to win out even more so at farther distances from the stage. And I will add that this is with several different amps we have used for him over that time. For whatever reason the real cab has a midrange cut that I can't project from two FRFR speakers. Not saying the real amp sounds better just that it projects. I could boost mids but then it's not what sounds good to me. On stage I can completely make him disappear with volume and low end but across the room I just dissolve into the mix as if my speakers are set up as side fills. It's gotten so frustrating that I'm now running an WDW rig using a mesa boogie JP-2C with 2x12 recrto upright cab as the dry so I'm not buried. In all honesty just an average joe small bar band that runs sound from stage. Everyone runs in ears aside from him and me and I run a turbo sound column speaker for a monitor on my side. Before people start to tell me what I am doing wrong let me assure you I have tried the gamut of designed for modeler speakers and have tried almost every EQ tactic the AFXIII has to offer. OP asked for opinions that's mine. Please ignore my post if if you feel the need to advise me.


Thanks for sharing and taking the time to articulate your experience mate - this makes so much sense.

I've been down the modeller path many times over the last 5 years, and there's no right or wrong; it's what works for you and/or your band.

I have too have tried to EQ the bejeezus out my setups over the journey (particularly when doing direct and so forth) and it's not easy when your other guitarist is doing the 100w-stack thing. I totally get it.
 

Tahoebrian5

Fractal Fanatic
I believe the main difference is the dispersement angle. An frfr cab is going to be fairly wide compared to a traditional guitar cab. so if you set your relative volumes to sound good on stage, it should be fairly equal I would think EXCEPT for those listeners directly In front of the guitar rig. I’ve always wondered if it would even out of you put a barrier of some sort in front of the guitar cab to help disperse
 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
Your band needs to dial in everything to sound like a band, first and foremost. Or else its 2+ guys playing the same song. Balance levels and frequencies so that it sounds cohesive across the most coverage as feasible.
 

PBGas

Inspired
Well...as Budda put it above it needs to be dialled in.

I love having an amp behind me and have done this forever but I don't want to carry a lot of weight anymore to gigs as my back isn't what it used to be.

My singer uses a pedalboard and amp but his amp (tonemaster deluxe) has a cab emulated direct out. What we do is have his amp run the direct out to the board. He can hear his tone behind him if he wants or in the monitor.
I have my Axe III and a custom Friedman ASC-10 monitor pointed up at me. I have my Axe III going to the monitor and to FOH.

Out front, we simply balance the levels of both inputs and all is good! Bass player is also running direct but we like to hear his amp as well to fill in the low frequencies. Drums are mic'd lightly with the Yamaha EAD10 and fill very nicely with everything else.

That being said, there have been no gigs since March when it was the last time we ran the setup live, so we run this in our rehearsal space and it works great!
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
Imho the best were you have a CLR in backline position and then both players through PA which means you'd have to mic his cab. If not just a CLR in backline should do the job with it's 500W horsepower even if it's solid state amplification.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Put 2 CLRs/RCFs/XiTones at chest height (tripod), and you can easily complete with a 4x12.
From that point forward, it's in the hands of the pilot.
 

FullThrottle64

Inspired
Ive been dealing with just this situation for a couple years. I love the sound and feel of the fractal I can pretty much nail any cover we do to the CD. However real amp guy and his 1980s Peavey 4x12 (don't know what speakers are in that cabinet) always seems to win out even more so at farther distances from the stage. And I will add that this is with several different amps we have used for him over that time. For whatever reason the real cab has a midrange cut that I can't project from two FRFR speakers. Not saying the real amp sounds better just that it projects. I could boost mids but then it's not what sounds good to me.
Bolded is what matters here.

The type of speaker cabinet the sound is coming from is for all practical purposes irrelevant. The audience will never hear the difference, and the only real difference should be in the dispersion angles and coverage area.

In my observation, one of the biggest problems with modellers of all types is not the equipment and not the "FRFR" approach. It is the setup. You have to dial in your patches for live use, and not for recording or low-volume practice.

When you dial in a sound that is perfect in a bedroom/basement/bonus room, it will not be right when you get on stage. The guy using a "real" amp deals with the fact that his amp is "too loud" to play in his bedroom. What this REALLY means, though, is that it has the mids, presence, and dynamics to cut through in a performing situation, and as a result it sounds obnoxious in a bedroom. In contrast, the modeller player loves his sound in practice, then wonders why he can't be heard onstage.

The Axe-FX absolutely WILL get that sound and cut through a live mix, but you have to set it up to sound that way.

Here's an experiment to try: Set up a few patches with just the amp and IR - no FX, no reverb, no compression. Use these at your soundcheck, and compare your sound to the other guy's rig. Set your levels and EQ so that both are equally "present" in the mix, preferably in slightly different ranges. Now go to your regular patches with all the FX, EQ, and time delay stuff you normally use. 9 times out of 10, you will find that your guitar just disappeared into the mix. This is a very solvable problem.

BTW, I often still use a "boutique" tube head with an inductive load and IR. I have that IR dialed in to the point that I promise that you will not hear the difference between a live Marshall 1960A and the IR into my DXR12s. The problem ain't the speaker type.
 
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