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Am I setting my Axe-Fx up wrong, or is something wrong?

Tommy Tempest

Power User
Here's the one thing I came away with. Your guitar input could be weak, causing the tone to sound weak. Picture a guitar with a turned down volume knob. This is what I am hearing, in your recordings. As I mentioned before, make sure your input gain in the settings is set higher. I have to set my input gain almost all the way up, on my 2 PRS Custom 22 guitars with Dragon II pickups.
Does it sound the same with headphones plugged into the front of the AXE?
Have you tried a full factory reset/wipe of your AXE, then re-load the firmware and the new version 11 presets? Of course if you have created any special presets along the way, save them to your computer. It was mentioned it is not necessary, but in the processor world it is sometimes necessary to perform a factory preset to get rid of any ghosts that may be causing possible corruption. In my technology world I have seen almost every possible situation, that can cause an anomaly, from locking up, to no/bad sound or video.
 
Except for the purpose of displaying what monitors they use, why else don’t they just use the interface for direct daw recording? Like why mic an axe fx through monitors? Or even a Xitone can ?
 
Here's the one thing I came away with. Your guitar input could be weak, causing the tone to sound weak. Picture a guitar with a turned down volume knob. This is what I am hearing, in your recordings. As I mentioned before, make sure your input gain in the settings is set higher. I have to set my input gain almost all the way up, on my 2 PRS Custom 22 guitars with Dragon II pickups.
Does it sound the same with headphones plugged into the front of the AXE?
Have you tried a full factory reset/wipe of your AXE, then re-load the firmware and the new version 11 presets? Of course if you have created any special presets along the way, save them to your computer. It was mentioned it is not necessary, but in the processor world it is sometimes necessary to perform a factory preset to get rid of any ghosts that may be causing possible corruption. In my technology world I have seen almost every possible situation, that can cause an anomaly, from locking up, to no/bad sound or video.
That’s true (and Always remember to check your 9v If it’s active )
 

sixtystring

Inspired
Hey man, I had very similar problems to you. I bought a preset pack that is extremely popular around these parts and found that pretty much every option was completely unusable with my setup. I checked thru sennhesier hd 280s, Mackie monitors, Adam monitors, Krk monitors, sennhesier iems, powered speakers, and a bunch of other stuff.

that being said, I’d recommend finding an amp sim with tonality you like at defaults and then dialing it in to get the sound you want. This can be difficult because of option overload with cab selection. (I ended up loving a cab from the ML Sound Lab Halloween pack). Regardless, once you get a amp/cab combo that sounds good, start tweaking input gain and then master volume. Mv is more subtle but there is usually an obvious sweet spot. Then adjust lows/mids/his to get you the rest of the way.

I say all of this because it is usually better to develop YOUR sound than try to fit someone else’s to your guitars and playing style.
 
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verstamp

Member
Thanks for posting the video! Love your PRS, absolute stunner. Do you get the tones you want and expect when playing a regular amp and cab? Have you ever gotten a recorded tone you love outside of using the AxeFX? Sorry if I missed you answering this already in the comments.

It's very clear that your chops are super solid, but I'm curious about your palm muting technique. To my ears the unmuted tones sound correct, but the palm mutes sound like your too close to the saddles which is causing more of a "purr" sound than a chug or djent. Could you try recording an audio clip where you vary how hard you pick, the distance of your palm from the saddles, and the overall pressure your palm is putting on the strings? Maybe just a track of steady 8th note downpicked power chords while you vary those different things.

If they all sound bad on a known "good" patch or setting then I would think you can rule out it being a user error, especially with such nice gear.

I only ask this because I dealt with something similar; I was trying Leon's patches with my Custom 24 and was getting nowhere close to the sound in his videos. I realized it was because my old recording gear pre-AF3 reacted differently to my palm muting than the Axe did, which led to me naturally choking up on the strings with my palm too much. After a bit of chug woodshedding everything started sounding way better within a few days.
 

chucma

Fractal Fanatic
Here are the links:

Link to video of me playing:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugixno85yqsnqye/IMG_2618.MOV?dl=0

Link to DI, recorded during recording the video:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s23dewc708v3rnc/AxeFx3_test_Recto2orangestock_DI.mp3?dl=0

Link to recto 2 orange modern, recorded simultaneously as the video/DI:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v3kuorakuxa8cdr/AxeFx3_test_Recto2orangestock.mp3?dl=0


Again - Thank you SO much for taking your time to helping me out! Means a lot to a VERY frustrated me :cool: :)

I have to say, your PRS sounds very similar to my Gibson CC02 Les Paul which is loaded with PAFs. I am comparing it with the same patch and scenes. That said, I do suspect strongly that maybe none of the 4 guitars you have are loaded with the same/similar spec pickups to what Ola has.
 

backstone

Member
Hi Carlswe

I do not (yet) own a III, but when I listen to your vid, I hear the strings of your guitar way louder then the sound of your Axe III.
So that would mean Fletcher-Munson... the highs stand out the louder you play. Plus, the scratch of the pick on the strings is covering up most of the highs of the sound. because it's standing out so much.
If I listen to Ola's sound, I suppose he's got excellent monitors and runs them quite loud. (You really can't hear his pick, can you?)
If you would play a recto dialed in right like the patch you used for the vid, it would S C R E E E E A M, and how it would.
In your situation, this could mean: when your family is in the house, use a decent pair of headphones. Should you be home alone, turn that darn volume up, and your Axe would sound like you expect it.

Rock on, D.
 
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Pwrmac7600

Power User
I took a listen to the clip you posted in your original post. That sounds the same as my stock preset. It sounds like you pick alot lighter than Ola, as well you need to remember he is tuned down to drop C which will make a huge difference.
I will record my stock recto preset and post for you to hear. I Use a Solar guitar pretty much like the one he is using in the vid, and it is tuned to drop c.
Will report back once I record it.

Ok, Converted Ola's Vid to Mp3 from youtube. Brought it into protools and just went to the section with the recto 2 model. Clipped it and then recorded my recto 2 model with similar noodling. Yes they sound slightly different tone wise, but I think that i going to boil down to ola's hands and picking style, as well as anything that may be going on in his video mastering, and what happened to the sound when converted for youtube, as well as his recording chain differing from mine. I am being here had some eq going on overall in his video mastering that is cutting some lows.
My Axe Is hooked up via spdif to my BLA modded digi003 interface.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4e1vkurveq9ww9/Will It Chug.aif?dl=0

Hope this contributed and helped a little.
 
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Pwrmac7600

Power User
Hi Carlswe

I do not (yet) own a III, but when I listen to your vid, I hear the strings of your guitar way louder then the sound of your Axe III.
So that would mean Fletcher-Munson... the highs stand out the louder you play. Plus, the scratch of the pick on the strings is covering up most of the highs of the sound. because it's standing out so much.
If I listen to Ola's sound, I suppose he's got excellent monitors and runs them quite loud. (You really can't hear his pick, can you?)
If you would play a recto dialed in right like the patch you used for the vid, it would S C R E E E E A M, and how it would.
In your situation, this could mean: when your family is in the house, use a decent pair of headphones. Should you be home alone, turn that darn volume up, and your Axe would sound like you expect it.

Rock on, D.
Ola's Axe Is going direct into his recording interface, not a room mic, so you wouldn't hear any string noise. So his volume should really have nothing to do with the situation. The video of him playing where you hear all the string noise is because someone asked him to see his picking tech.
The original post has a direct recording of the patch in question.
 
Last edited:

Llewzaher

Inspired
To me in the video it sounds like you have 2 paths coming in ... one which is the preset , and one a monitored dry guitar sound at the same time ... I have heard that before , when going into a computer on an interface and having a button pressed in which gave you that signal....

I can hear a lot of clean in there ..

I haven't read the whole thread, but .. have you tried with just headphones ? eliminate everything outside of the axe ... Do you know anyone else that has one so you can compare ...

Have you tried someone else's guitar ?
 

Llewzaher

Inspired
To me in the video it sounds like you have 2 paths coming in ... one which is the preset , and one a monitored dry guitar sound at the same time ... I have heard that before , when going into a computer on an interface and having a button pressed in which gave you that signal....

I can hear a lot of clean in there ..

I haven't read the whole thread, but .. have you tried with just headphones ? eliminate everything outside of the axe ... Do you know anyone else that has one so you can compare ...

Have you tried someone else's guitar ?

Ah I just read the post above ... sorry nothing to see here...
 

Carlswe

Member
This forum is awesome! Thank you guys!
:)

Just to be sure try Input 2. The front and rear Input 1 share common circuitry. Perhaps there is something wrong in that input path. So take your preset and change the Input 1 block to an Input 2 block. Plug your guitar into Input 2 Left and set Input 2 to Left Only in Setup->Audio.

Oh, and make sure you have the latest firmware and presets.

Done, with the same result. So I am thinking it's working as intended. The problem lies somewhere else. Probably user error :)

Here's the one thing I came away with. Your guitar input could be weak, causing the tone to sound weak. Picture a guitar with a turned down volume knob. This is what I am hearing, in your recordings. As I mentioned before, make sure your input gain in the settings is set higher. I have to set my input gain almost all the way up, on my 2 PRS Custom 22 guitars with Dragon II pickups.
Does it sound the same with headphones plugged into the front of the AXE?
Have you tried a full factory reset/wipe of your AXE, then re-load the firmware and the new version 11 presets? Of course if you have created any special presets along the way, save them to your computer. It was mentioned it is not necessary, but in the processor world it is sometimes necessary to perform a factory preset to get rid of any ghosts that may be causing possible corruption. In my technology world I have seen almost every possible situation, that can cause an anomaly, from locking up, to no/bad sound or video.

Yes, this is pretty much what I am hearing aswell. Adjusting the input 1/intrument under the I/O settings makes no difference, but when i turn my input trim up in around the 2.0-3.0 area things start to happen with my PRS. My Aristides doesn't need such a high push, but still some more than 1.0. Considering some hotter pickups in my PRS, and more modern anyway. Might just have to pull the trigger on those ;)

Headphones does sound better, hmm, might have to start checking my room. That is also a next step.

I have not tried a full reset. It's not that complicated, so might aswell try it. And with the latest firmware and banks just released things will be a breeze (thx again Cliff) :)
I am constantly making new presets, so it might actually be nice with a totally new canvas.

Hey man, I had very similar problems to you. I bought a preset pack that is extremely popular around these parts and found that pretty much every option was completely unusable with my setup. I checked thru sennhesier hd 280s, Mackie monitors, Adam monitors, Krk monitors, sennhesier iems, powered speakers, and a bunch of other stuff.

that being said, I’d recommend finding an amp sim with tonality you like at defaults and then dialing it in to get the sound you want. This can be difficult because of option overload with cab selection. (I ended up loving a cab from the ML Sound Lab Halloween pack). Regardless, once you get a amp/cab combo that sounds good, start tweaking input gain and then master volume. Mv is more subtle but there is usually an obvious sweet spot. Then adjust lows/mids/his to get you the rest of the way.

I say all of this because it is usually better to develop YOUR sound than try to fit someone else’s to your guitars and playing style.

Thanks man! What you say is very true! I have a few favourite amps and IRs.

have you ruled out your speakers as the cause?

No, I am gonna try to isolate my room a bit better aswell.

Thanks for posting the video! Love your PRS, absolute stunner. Do you get the tones you want and expect when playing a regular amp and cab? Have you ever gotten a recorded tone you love outside of using the AxeFX? Sorry if I missed you answering this already in the comments.

It's very clear that your chops are super solid, but I'm curious about your palm muting technique. To my ears the unmuted tones sound correct, but the palm mutes sound like your too close to the saddles which is causing more of a "purr" sound than a chug or djent. Could you try recording an audio clip where you vary how hard you pick, the distance of your palm from the saddles, and the overall pressure your palm is putting on the strings? Maybe just a track of steady 8th note downpicked power chords while you vary those different things.

If they all sound bad on a known "good" patch or setting then I would think you can rule out it being a user error, especially with such nice gear.

I only ask this because I dealt with something similar; I was trying Leon's patches with my Custom 24 and was getting nowhere close to the sound in his videos. I realized it was because my old recording gear pre-AF3 reacted differently to my palm muting than the Axe did, which led to me naturally choking up on the strings with my palm too much. After a bit of chug woodshedding everything started sounding way better within a few days.

Thx dude! It's the only guitar that has stayed with me for about 10 years now. Yeah, I did, BUT that was with another pair of PAF inspired pickups.

About my palm muting, you are onto something here. I can absolutely mute harder and a bit more away from the saddles. I will also record and analyze the different chuggings :p Thx!


I took a listen to the clip you posted in your original post. That sounds the same as my stock preset. It sounds like you pick alot lighter than Ola, as well you need to remember he is tuned down to drop C which will make a huge difference.
I will record my stock recto preset and post for you to hear. I Use a Solar guitar pretty much like the one he is using in the vid, and it is tuned to drop c.
Will report back once I record it.

Ok, Converted Ola's Vid to Mp3 from youtube. Brought it into protools and just went to the section with the recto 2 model. Clipped it and then recorded my recto 2 model with similar noodling. Yes they sound slightly different tone wise, but I think that i going to boil down to ola's hands and picking style, as well as anything that may be going on in his video mastering, and what happened to the sound when converted for youtube, as well as his recording chain differing from mine. I am being here had some eq going on overall in his video mastering that is cutting some lows.
My Axe Is hooked up via spdif to my BLA modded digi003 interface.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4e1vkurveq9ww9/Will It Chug.aif?dl=0

Hope this contributed and helped a little.

I did't for a second stop to think about video audio processing and youtube conversion. Thank you for testing and checking things out!

Ola's Axe Is going direct into his recording interface, not a room mic, so you wouldn't hear any string noise. So his volume should really have nothing to do with the situation. The video of him playing where you hear all the string noise is because someone asked him to see his picking tech.
The original post has a direct recording of the patch in question.

:)

Again - You guys are great, thank you all!
 

l4mpi

Inspired
One thing that seems rather obvious to me (but maybe I'm missing something?) is that we're probably not hearing the Axe directly, at least not exclusively.

Ola seems to use a clip mic for his voice. As he doesn't wear headphones but uses some kind of monitors (at one point in the vid he gets up to increase the monitor volume), it would make sense that what we hear is at least partially the monitor signal bleeding back via that mic. Of course we can't know how much of a difference that makes, but given that at 1:00 in the vid you can clearly hear him flip the power switch of the Axe it seems that there is a considerable amount of "room" signal. On some occasions he's also talking over the guitar without any discernible difference in sound (e.g. at 3:20), which would mean the vid isn't edited to mute the mic every time he plays.
 

Perdikament

Power User
I believe two things are going on here: the first most major issue is the drop tuning Ola is using.. that alone will make a huge difference and make anything sound much heavier and chuggier. Try adding a Pitch Block in the beginning of the chain and drop your tuning a few steps & see if that makes a marked difference. Albeit it won’t be as good as tuning down for real, but it’s a quick way to give you a good idea what thing’s would sound like.
Secondly, sounds to me like perhaps your pickups are not as hot. Try either boosting up the Input Trim or the new Gain Enhancer in the power amp section to give your guitar a bit of a boost. Make sure you’re using the latest firmware & presets.. but also keep in mind that any presets, (factory or otherwise) that aren’t created by you on your rig will always be subject to having some issues.. they’re never ever going to sound the same, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they get ya in the ballpark, a lot of the time, for the most part they’re unusable aside from the effects.
 

yoitsmegabe

Inspired
It's probably your pickups on all your guitars, plus the tuning differences. When my friend comes over with his PRS the pickups sound very nice but to play heavier stuff I have to add either boost in the amp block or gain enhancer in the amp block. Once I do that things sound great.

Don't feel bad that Ola got a great sound on a stock preset and you didn't. People share presets here that sound killer on YouTube or in clips but not when I download them and use them. I have yet to use a stock distorted preset that I like for my playing style.
 
does drop “X” mean whatever key in standard 5ths tuning except the lowEst string is dropped a whole step so power chords are barre chords? Is that basically what “drop” tuning means ?
So drop A on a 7 string means instead of standard tuning in B, I drop the lowest to A bit leave the rest in standard tuning ???
 

yoitsmegabe

Inspired
does drop “X” mean whatever key in standard 5ths tuning except the lowEst string is dropped a whole step so power chords are barre chords? Is that basically what “drop” tuning means ?
So drop A on a 7 string means instead of standard tuning in B, I drop the lowest to A bit leave the rest in standard tuning ???
Yeah. Typically drop tunings tune the lowest string one step below it's standard tuning. I only go as low as drop D. So, for me the low E is dropped to D and the rest remain standard.
 

hose

New Member
Hi,
yesterday I wanted to build my presets from scratch with the new firmaware and presets. And again i ran into this same problem.

Somehow this topic is not new. Even with different units.
I have had it with the Axe 2 MK1 and now it seems with the 3.

Workaround:
Since the Axe 2 days I made it a habit to apply a blocking filter at 550hz (+/- 150hz).

Search for these title (I´m not allowed to post links):

Strange Low End Issue - Don't Give Up On Me Folks!
HELP - can't get a decent HIGH GAIN tone
axe fx sounds muddy
Can't get a good amp/cab sound out of my AX8...
Why does everything I play sound muddy?
Anyone doing this? (low cut HBs?)
HELP - can't get a decent HIGH GAIN tone
6 sounds good to me


I also remember a video, where Misha Mansoor quickly dialed in a nice high gain sound based an a 5153 50w. I can´t find the corresponding thread. Many had good results in replicating it but many also experienced disappointing results. I find these results were not explainable with wrong hands, wrong pickups...

It is hard to pinpoint the exact issue, because over time I renewed every peace of gear. I even tried using the HiZ of my interface feeding the axe via SPDIF.

Bottom line:
Low cut the DI 550hz (+/- 150hz) before anything else (maybe even before noise gate) in high gain presets.
 
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