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5 Minute Tones

unix-guy

Legend!
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. :)
And keep in mind you're on the Axe Fx II... You only have about 187 factory IRs. Those of is with the Axe Fx III have all of those legacy IRs plus 2048 more ;)

I tend to stick to just a few IRs and those are what I use, but I will occasionally try others.

Being familiar with the Cab block high and low cut is good...

Watch some of the ML Sound Labs videos where Mikko compares IRs to real mic'd cabs. Done right they are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.

I'd also recommend the Austin Buddy Naked Amps preset pack. Buddy did a great job of dialing up every model in the Axe Fx with an appropriate IR and settings for "real world" use.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
I actually have no problem with choice apart from IRs. I otherwise live in the world of modular synths, where the possibilities of patching things are up are basically endless, so the Axe-FX grid with all its effects is not a big deal to my mind. I think what really gets me about IRs is that there's very little to go by as far as predicting what kind of sound you will get from a particular one, and further, how switching to another one will affect the sound. Sometimes going between an A and B IR which is otherwise the same will change the character of the sound fairly significantly. I guess part of the issue is that I've never spent any time doing recordings of real amps and cabs with microphones, so I actually have no idea what kind of character to expect from different microphones either. I also don't have any favourite real world cabs or speakers to go by..

It would be interesting if cab IRs could be characterized by frequency response somehow and presented in a map where you could move towards a certain character dimension instead of just being presented in a linear list. I know some people have taken this approach towards drum samples or FM synth patches by clustering them using a neural network and then flattening it into a 2D space.
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
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".

When I had the Axe-Fx II, I eventually gave up on using the stock IR's because they were too dark and boxy for my tastes. At the time, I was using a Kemper in the loop of the Axe-Fx and really liked the way many of the KPA's cabs sounded, so I ended up capturing a number of them with the Axe's built-in IR capture utility. I'm currently using the Axe-Fx III and find many of the stock IR's extremely usable, and given there are over 2000 of them, there's no lack of variety.

That said, if you want, you're welcome to try some of the newer Kemper cabs I've captured.
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
It would be interesting if cab IRs could be characterized by frequency response somehow and presented in a map where you could move towards a certain character dimension instead of just being presented in a linear list. I know some people have taken this approach towards drum samples or FM synth patches by clustering them using a neural network and then flattening it into a 2D space.

What complicates things is that IR's can sound dark when paired with a particular guitar using specific pickups through an amp at certain settings, meanwhile the same IR can sound balanced or even bright if paired with a different guitar sporting different pickups through an amp with alternate settings.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
Sure, but presumably the darkening or brighting of the sound would be consistent across different IRs paired with the same pickups. It is a convolution after all...
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
Sure, but presumably the darkening or brighting of the sound would be consistent across different IRs paired with the same pickups. It is a convolution after all...

The frequency curve of IR's can vary wildly from one to the next, thus there's no predictable consistency when trying different IR's using the same pickups, and the amp model plays a role in determining the end result, as well.
 

Toowoombaus

Member
Watch some of the ML Sound Labs videos where Mikko compares IRs to real mic'd cabs. Done right they are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.
I have watched some of those, yes very interesting! I’ll be getting some of those cab packs.

I can see I’ll get a small group of I.R.’s that I’ll use a lot. I’ll start there. ;)
 

OldSnail

Inspired
I think that the problem behind the amount of ir’s is when someone doesn’t know what kind of sound he whished.
If you know what you’re looking for, you don’t have to guess in thousands of Ir’s.

Personnally, I like ML ir’s and I use his mixes. Sometimes I blend 2 ir’s.
But I try to select combinations in mix context. For ex. his « infamous » and « almighty » for rythm guitars panned L and H. I recently blended a touched of « zilla balanced » to them. For lead tone, I use ML Bulb plus a touch of Legend All Mix.

Sure enough, having a lot of ir’s is an open door to experimentation.
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
I think that the problem behind the amount of ir’s is when someone doesn’t know what kind of sound he whished.
If you know what you’re looking for, you don’t have to guess in thousands of Ir’s.

Part of the challenge is in the naming conventions. For example, it's fine to know which cab and speaker you're using, but it's equally helpful to know which mic and mic position were used, as well. So, it can be important to look at the documentation that often comes with a pack of IRs to understand their naming conventions. That said, if you're not familiar with the attributes of a given speaker, the character of a given mic or what that mic sounds like on / off axis, choosing an IR can be a crapshoot.
 
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Davus PG

Inspired
Hey Leon

Loved the video - some great insight with regards to how the Mesas behave and how to approach the gain and EQ settings.

Having come from the AX8 something I'm keen to explore are the options of a dual amp setup in the III so maybe a 5 Minute Tone video on dual amps?

Would be great to cover blending, but also if there are any special routing considerations/tips/tricks for running a clean model and dirty model for instant switching when required?
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
Same as a real cab.

That's true, though with a real cab it can potentially be easier to find a tone you're happy with as you can personally move the mic around and actually see where it's positioned. That's one reason some people really like Two Notes Torpedo Remote / Wall Of Sound III.
 

teddis

Fractal Fanatic
This was REALLY great Leon.
I have never owned a Mesa Mark Iic...or any of the CABS...to reference....but by following your steps....even on my AX-8, I am really close to your sound.
Close enough for a novice like me any way.
Happy Friday to you !
 

PRSfreak4

Power User
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.

My 2c's on the matter is depending on what amp model you are using, see what the 'factory' sends for the cabs or recommended cabs are for the head unit.

When the Captain Hook 34A/B was launched in one of the awesome FW updates, this became a huge priority to myself because it really would make or break the tone depending on the IR. I found a random combo that was duplicated kind of from a YouTube video as part of this discussion:

https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/fractal-audio-amp-models-capt-hook-hook-captain-34.119935/

If I'm not mistaken, I think it's the 2x12 'Rumble' CAB IR that made all the difference. Sometimes you have to watch for what some of your favorite artists are playing the head units through to start dialing in the effectiveness of the representation of impulse response from a digital model.

I hope that was valuable and not too confusing. LSS - sometimes it's luck, sometimes it's research. Cheers.

@2112 killer vid Leon, great as always and love the concept/idea!

EDIT: This was the video where I started to narrow to 2X12 cabs:

 
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axedude

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!


Well said ! the FAS Axe FX 3 is an awesome tool when used and learned properly. I could not agree more FAS needs much better tutorials, do's and dont's especially about the various set ups and how they will need to be tweaked accordingly. I'm not they won't likely offer these anytime soon, which is too bad.

I think you nailed it when you said "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 also think they would sell way more of these by making it easier to get up and running more quickly.
 
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