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5 Minute Tones

2112

Fractal Fanatic
UPDATE - I've updated this post to include a playlist to all the videos in the series, which I will keep updated as new videos are added.


I've seen more comments along the lines of "But I don't want to spend hours tweaking, I just want to play" pop up on my videos recently, so I decided to start a little series which is more focussed on dialling tones quickly and easily. Here's the first which deals with the USA C++, an all time favourite.

If you've got suggestions for amps or effects you'd like to see given this treatment let me know!
 
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Toowoombaus

Member
Leon,
Great Video! Short and sweet!

I posted a shorter comment on YouTube but I wanted to elaborate.

You asked what kind of 5 Minute Tone topics we would like to see...

Being new to the Axe FX I never envisioned the amount of tweaking involved, and tweaking things I knew nothing about like IR's.

I think it would be nice to do a 5 Minute Tones: Impulse Responses, What are they? Which ones to start with, and How to dial one in quickly.

There is a learning curve that that when explained isn't hard to grasp but when you encounter it as a newbie it can be confusing and a barrier to embracing the technology.

I had no one tell me "look if you want to run the Axe Fx through power amps and cabs that is one discipline with it's own learning curve".

"But if you want to use the whole package with virtual cabinets and mics there is a learning curve that is different than what you are used to, so be patient put your thinking cap on and I will explain a few things": Quick overview, which IR's to start with, how to dial one in and get on with it.

I went through so many IR's with a modded Marshall type sound and it went like this, play, "nope" set pick down or worse hold pick and click on mouse, go to the next IR, play, "nope" hundreds of times to finally realize maybe 10%-15% of these work and the rest don't. I'm learning a few tricks to tweak them into something usable but I'm patient...

I can see some people saying "nope this isn't for me".
Out of frustration I plugged the Axe Fx into the FX return of my TopHat Emplexador, bypassed the proper globals and guess what? 90% of the models sounded great!
I'm thinking to myself "why does this have to be this difficult"?!

I think a video like that would help people understand that they are going to have to learn something "they don't know that they don't know" and it may take a little time but be patient, it's something new and here is a quick way to get results.

Maybe even partner with a company that makes IR's that are really good.

That's a video I would have liked to have seen about a week ago.

You do good work, and influenced my decision to take the leap.

Cheers!
 
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TG3K

Power User
Many thanks, Leon. I've been running my AFX II for a few years now and had gotten pretty comfortable with dialing in the limited number of amps I use for gigging. (Lighter classic rock cover band...I use a lot of Fender models with a few gainier ones thrown in where appropriate.) I plugged in my AFX III for the first time last night and realized I have a LOT of new stuff to learn. I'm one of those people who learns best with hand-on experience, so despite having watched a ton of videos over the past year, I feel like a total newb again. Having little bite-sized vids like this one will really help smooth out my learning curve. Thanks again!
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
One thing I still struggle with when making tones is IRs. How the hell do people decide which one to use? As soon as I open the cab picker it's like instant analysis paralysis for me. Even if I filter down to eg: 2x12 V30 there's like a hundred options. Browsing through them, they all sound different, but which ones sound better? Even worse, after picking one, it will sound totally different to my ears after a few minutes of playing through it. Then there's the fact you can load up to 4 in the cab block and blend them, I haven't even got into that at one point (except with a few IRs which are left and right speaker of cab, then I will load both and pan them)
 

Toowoombaus

Member
How the hell do people decide which one to use? As soon as I open the cab picker it's like instant analysis paralysis for me.
I hear ya! Depending on the type of amplifier I’m using I’ve narrowed it down to about four or five cabs that work pretty well.
And I know what you’re saying after your ears acclimate to one when you switch to another one that you like it sounds kind of weird. But that is totally normal because if you switched to a different guitar cabinet in the real world that same thing would happen.

The guy from ML says that his IR’s will work with most of the amplifiers, and he said that in one of his videos which would be nice. I’m guessing that if it’s done right that would be true because as I mentioned when I used a real speaker cabinet almost all of the models sounded great through it.
There were some other things that I had to tweak but overall it was a much more workable and familiar workflow.

This has been the biggest challenge for me as a newbie and one that was unforeseen going into the whole world of modeling.
 

Wojtek12as

Inspired
How do you guys do tru stereo delay sounds ? Usually when Leon do any sound with delay or reverb it sounds so wide and spacy, but when I do something similar I have impression that this is not it :( Any tips ?
 

ETOLKIEN

Experienced
I would suggest you to rest your ears from time to time when you focus on trying IRs.
For me learning about IRs has been like learning about MIDI, there's a learning process but in the long term it makes your life easier...
The gigantic factory cab banks inside the III can be kinda intimidating for anyone, new or experienced, but a lot of them are variations of the same cone with different mics and/or positions...a good starting point is the legacy bank that contains all 189 stock cabs from the Axe2.
First go one by one, when you got some favourites try to mix 2 variations of the same cone (for example, if you like greenbacks try a 57 and a 121 shots together), experiment with the level of each IR until it sounds good to you.
The rabbit hole is deep, but you will realize soon that you don't need to use all the avaliable options to sound like you. I have a top 5 and I'm happy. At the same time some days I wake up with a explorer vibe and I say "let's try some new flavours", is great to have the tools at hand.
Hope this helps!
 
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bdrepko

Fractal Fanatic
Leon,
Great Video! Short and sweet!

I posted a shorter comment on YouTube but I wanted to elaborate.

You asked what kind of 5 Minute Tone topics we would like to see...

Being new to the Axe FX I never envisioned the amount of tweaking involved, and tweaking things I knew nothing about like IR's.

I think it would be nice to do a 5 Minute Tones: Impulse Responses, What are they? Which ones to start with, and How to dial one in quickly.

There is a learning curve that that when explained isn't hard to grasp but when you encounter it as a newbie it can be confusing and a barrier to embracing the technology.

I had no one tell me "look if you want to run the Axe Fx through power amps and cabs that is one discipline with it's own learning curve".

"But if you want to use the whole package with virtual cabinets and mics there is a learning curve that is different than what you are used to, so be patient put your thinking cap on and I will explain a few things": Quick overview, which IR's to start with, how to dial one in and get on with it.

I went through so many IR's with a modded Marshall type sound and it went like this, play, "nope" set pick down or worse hold pick and click on mouse, go to the next IR, play, "nope" hundreds of times to finally realize maybe 10%-15% of these work and the rest don't. I'm learning a few tricks to tweak them into something usable but I'm patient...

I can see some people saying "nope this isn't for me".
Out of frustration I plugged the Axe Fx into the FX return of my TopHat Emplexador, bypassed the proper globals and guess what? 90% of the models sounded great!
I'm thinking to myself "why does this have to be this difficult"?!

I think a video like that would help people understand that they are going to have to learn something "they don't know that they don't know" and it may take a little time but be patient, it's something new and here is a quick way to get results.

Maybe even partner with a company that makes IR's that are really good.

That's a video I would have liked to have seen about a week ago.

You do good work, and influenced my decision to take the leap.

Cheers!
As far as IR's go, the easiest approach is to use the IR or the speakers that are commonly paired with the amp. You can use Yek's amp guide as a good starting point. He explains the amp models and what speakers are used with them. You can then use the search function to search the cab models for the right IR. Hope this helps. Here is the link. http://archive.axefx.fr/AxeFX II/Docs & Manuals/Yeks_Guide_to_the_Fractal_Audio_Amp_Models.pdf
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
I went through so many IR's with a modded Marshall type sound and it went like this, play, "nope" set pick down or worse hold pick and click on mouse, go to the next IR, play, "nope" hundreds of times to finally realize maybe 10%-15% of these work and the rest don't. I'm learning a few tricks to tweak them into something usable but I'm patient...

The easiest way to sort through IR's without constantly having to choose an IR, play guitar, choose another IR, play some more, etc., etc. is to add the Looper block to the grid, record something, put the guitar down and just play the loop back while auditioning different IR's. This works for tweaking parameters, too.
 

Toowoombaus

Member
As far as IR's go, the easiest approach is to use the IR or the speakers that are commonly paired with the amp.
Thank you! What a great resource, I'll actually read this. :)
The easiest way to sort through IR's without constantly having to choose an IR, play guitar, choose another IR, play some more, etc., etc. is to add the Looper block to the grid, record something, put the guitar down and just play the loop back while auditioning different IR's.
Thanks Jason great Idea! Never tried the looper.

Do you guys think some of the atypical technical aspects of the Axe Fx is a deal breaker to a certain percentage of new users?
I see so many used units for sale where people say they "played it a few hours, or they never use it or they prefer tube amps..."

I just wonder.

Fractal needs a virtual mentor to guide new users through the unfamiliar odyssey that awaits them as they begin their journey into a new world that on the surface looks familiar, but requires a slightly expanded skillset to navigate.
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
Do you guys think some of the atypical technical aspects of the Axe Fx is a deal breaker to a certain percentage of new users?

Sure. Some people see all those parameters and their eyes glaze over.

I see so many used units for sale where people say they "played it a few hours, or they never use it or they prefer tube amps..."

If that's coming from people who're selling the unit, I wouldn't be surprised if they're using it as a selling point to suggest that the unit hasn't seen much mileage.

Fractal needs a virtual mentor to guide new users through the unfamiliar odyssey that awaits them as they begin their journey into a new world that on the surface looks familiar, but requires a slightly expanded skillset to navigate.

In my opinion, forums like this and The Gear Page are a great resource for users to interact with others and ask questions.
 

Toowoombaus

Member
In my opinion, forums like this and The Gear Page are a great resource for users to interact with others and ask questions.
I think what Leon is doing is a great pro quality service to the users and potential new users of Fractal. I'm encouraged by his vision to have short videos with useful content that allows people to get quick results from their Fractal and get on with making music and not bogged down with option anxiety.

Remember Homers Odyssey? He talks with the goddess Circe and she warns him about the Sirens song? That no man can hear it and live, but if he wants to hear it he can have his men put wax in their ears, tie him to the mast and row past their island?

We need something like that, someone to warn people that if they want to hear the Fractal song be forewarned that many have come this way before and not survived. The song can be heard and even sung but precautions should be taken when nearing its shores.

You get the idea...

You and I have sought out the wisdom from the power users here and learned how to wield the powerful sword while others have been discouraged and given up because they didn't realize what they were getting themselves into.

On the surface it looks familiar: guitar plugged into amp and the music comes out.

While the end result is the same or better, the journey is different and not obvious to the newcomer.
 
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Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
I think what Leon is doing is a great pro quality service to the users and potential new users of Fractal. I'm encouraged by his vision to have short videos with useful content that allows people to get quick results from their Fractal and get on with making music and not bogged down with option anxiety.

Remember Homers Odyssey? He talks with the goddess Circe and she warns him about the Sirens song? That no man can hear it and live, but if he wants to hear it he can have his men put wax in their ears, tie him to the mast and row past their island?

We need something like that, someone to warn people that if they want to hear the Fractal song be forewarned that many have come this way before and not survived. The song can be heard and even sung but precautions should be taken when nearing its shores.

What do you feel is creating the most option anxiety for you?
 

Toowoombaus

Member
What do you feel is creating the most option anxiety for you?
I'm not feeling much option anxiety myself.
From what I've read here it sounds like some people struggle with: too many choices, wanting to use everything because they can etc. Ever notice guys on the Fractal videos playing with waaay too many effects?

I'm having more of frustration with so many unusable stock IR's. I didn't foresee getting great tone hinged on dialing in an IR, which requires a "stop and shift". o_O

Everything else has been like finding the Cave of Wonders. So much to do and explore. :)
 
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