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Vendor AustinBuddy's new Axe-Fx III 1400+ Naked Amps TonePack available now for firmware 12.x

Dave Merrill

Inspired
Hey @Dave Merrill -- to help or explain, I have a few questions.

Are you switching to a single coil from a humbucker to play your cleans? If so, then you MUST turn on the filter boost "Kicker Coil." at 5db to make that single coil pickup hit the amp as hard as the humbucker does, if you want the volume to be the same when you switch pickups. This is originally a 1000+ Dream Rigs TonePack feature now included in the 1400+ Naked Amps.

Are you using Vintage style pickups (low output) or modern ones?

Are you playing the neck or the bridge?

Is neck louder than bridge (it should be on cleans due to bass content, but that is also pickup dependent).

Do you play live with cleans that are as loud as your leads?

Usually the Naked Amp cleans will be fine and in line with volume of low and medium gain, but the lead sounds a little louder. That's because oyu have to set lead levels in upper registers to hit -12db+, not chords down the neck like you would for other sounds. The higher up you play, the lower the signal strength (skinnier strings) - the lead presets try to take that into account and are a somewhat hotter.

I'll also add that Fletcher Munson effect can be tricky on judging loudness of sounds with different tonal content. I have had people swear a hi-gain amp is much louder than a clean and I showed them side-by-side meter readings being virtually equal using a looper for same chords, and they could not believe it. All that mids and chewy harmonic content and 4X12 cab can make you think something is louder than scooped Fender sound in a 1x12 open back, but 'taint always so, at least my experience has taught me.

The good news is, you have the tools to make these presets as loud or soft as you like -- that "last mile" to customize to you is always in your hands!

Last, (and this is important) the transients in many cleans are far more likely to spike the output, especially on higher output pickups. Many clean amp models have a very wide dynamic range.

For example, try the Shiva Clean with humbuckers then single coils. Whack it good and soft and watch it on a meter -- it is a WIDE range, transients spike stuff.

So - some of these cleans are dialed a little back to make sure the headroom is ample and enough before signal hitting 0 db, because if you hit that clean hard with your guitar/pickups, or add the provided control for Amp Boost to an existing preset then it could have clipped/digitally distorted, unlike the dirtier amp channels where that is less and issue.

If I turn the preset level back so it doesn't do that, then it's quieter -- but I do have to build in headroom so everyone avoids clipping when they fiddle with the switches or drive blocks (at least, where I can...).

Hope that helps put some context in it? You can always turn up the LEVEL control on a clean amp 1 db or 2db and see if that's better to your ears -- but remember you need to leave headroom to avoid transient spikes when you whack that guitar.
Thanks for replying @austinbuddy, much appreciated.

What I want is to adjust things so I'm hearing your presets as they were intended, as clean and as dirty as you meant them. I'm aware of the dynamic range difference between cleans and overdriven tones, Fletcher-Munson, and all that -- I've been playing well over 50 years.

To answer your questions...
I'm playing an EJ strat with the stock pickups pretty exclusively, no humbuckers. Those are pretty vintage-ish relatively low output units I think, but this is the first strat I've had since high school, so I don't really have anything to personally compare with. I have another guitar with 3 old DiMarzio PAFs, but I haven't tried it with the III yet.

I use all 5 pickup switch positions. I typically roll tone down for bridge pickup by itself, for some more fullness and tonal balance with the other positions. That's pretty common for me, any guitar, any pickups. Bridge pickup is probably closer to the strings to even out volume. I may swap it out, maybe for an HS-2, looking for that fullness. I lowered the middle pickup recently, didn't care for its tone by itself, lower is better. I think

I want to be able to play clean solos as well as driven ones, but I know how to adjust output volume, by preset, scene, or an ad hoc footswitch, that's not the issue. My questions are about getting the amount of drive you intended for each patch, which means having roughly the "standard" input signal level coming in.

Sounds like my original thought was right: If drive tones are significantly louder than cleans, that's not how they are for you, or others who have this pack, so my guitar needs to be louder, but without causing cleans to break up unattractively. Will investigate. :)

Hope this all makes sense, and thanks again for jumping in.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Thanks for replying @austinbuddy, much appreciated.

What I want is to adjust things so I'm hearing your presets as they were intended, as clean and as dirty as you meant them. I'm aware of the dynamic range difference between cleans and overdriven tones, Fletcher-Munson, and all that -- I've been playing well over 50 years.

To answer your questions...
I'm playing an EJ strat with the stock pickups pretty exclusively, no humbuckers. Those are pretty vintage-ish relatively low output units I think, but this is the first strat I've had since high school, so I don't really have anything to personally compare with. I have another guitar with 3 old DiMarzio PAFs, but I haven't tried it with the III yet.

I use all 5 pickup switch positions. I typically roll tone down for bridge pickup by itself, for some more fullness and tonal balance with the other positions. That's pretty common for me, any guitar, any pickups. Bridge pickup is probably closer to the strings to even out volume. I may swap it out, maybe for an HS-2, looking for that fullness. I lowered the middle pickup recently, didn't care for its tone by itself, lower is better. I think

I want to be able to play clean solos as well as driven ones, but I know how to adjust output volume, by preset, scene, or an ad hoc footswitch, that's not the issue. My questions are about getting the amount of drive you intended for each patch, which means having roughly the "standard" input signal level coming in.

Sounds like my original thought was right: If drive tones are significantly louder than cleans, that's not how they are for you, or others who have this pack, so my guitar needs to be louder, but without causing cleans to break up unattractively. Will investigate. :)

Hope this all makes sense, and thanks again for jumping in.
More later, but the MicroBoost in the Drive2 block set between 2.0 and 3.3 is your friend here - give that try. It will lift and fatten up your Strat nicely without adding a bunch of gain-distortion.
 

greiswig

Power User
@austinbuddy I'd love it if you could tell us a bit more about your setup when making these presets. I know you said you use neo CLR's, but I'm wondering how? What's your advice for how best to ensure the most generalizability from the setup you have to PA's?

For one thing, there's placement of the actual monitor. On the floor, on a stand, near a wall, etc. Obviously has a huge impact on sound.

Next, there's the switch on the CLR itself. FF, Tilt and BL. The BackLine mode never sounds right to me, but I suppose if I used the CLR as my main speaker with a bassist it would work. The Tilt mode sounds pretty good to me, but I don't know what frequencies are being emphasized or de-emphasized. IOW, I don't know if it is really intended to provide a totally flat response when placed on the floor. Which brings me to Free Field mode: presumably the flattest overall response of the three provided that the monitor is actually in a free field. But how many of us have a free field large enough in our studios or bedrooms to make that work?

Lastly, there's the dB reading. I've heard two seemingly contradictory opinions here. One is that you should target setting tones at the center of the F-M curve, about 85dB. Not sure my dB meter is calibrated. Second opinion is that it "ought to be done at gig volume." Boy, that sounds variable! And even then, gig volume from 4' away, or with the speaker 20' away on a pole?

In my little studio, one of the first things I notice when comparing the CLR to my JBL LSR28p's is how the mids hit you so much harder with the CLR. I'm not sure whether it is EQ or transient response. It gives me the sense that I'm not sure which set of speakers to trust.

Anyway, I'd appreciate some input here from an expert.
 
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merlin17

Power User
Free field mode on the CLR is not really meant to be used (only) in a free field but anytime you raise the speaker from the ground (like on a stand or on a case).
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
@austinbuddy I'd love it if you could tell us a bit more about your setup when making these presets. I know you said you use neo CLR's, but I'm wondering how? What's your advice for how best to ensure the most generalizability from the setup you have to PA's?

For one thing, there's placement of the actual monitor. On the floor, on a stand, near a wall, etc. Obviously has a huge impact on sound.

Next, there's the switch on the CLR itself. FF, Tilt and BL. The BackLine mode never sounds right to me, but I suppose if I used the CLR as my main speaker with a bassist it would work. The Tilt mode sounds pretty good to me, but I don't know what frequencies are being emphasized or de-emphasized. IOW, I don't know if it is really intended to provide a totally flat response when placed on the floor. Which brings me to Free Field mode: presumably the flattest overall response of the three provided that the monitor is actually in a free field. But how many of us have a free field large enough in our studios or bedrooms to make that work?

Lastly, there's the dB reading. I've heard two seemingly contradictory opinions here. One is that you should target setting tones at the center of the F-M curve, about 85dB. Not sure my dB meter is calibrated. Second opinion is that it "ought to be done at gig volume." Boy, that sounds variable! And even then, gig volume from 4' away, or with the speaker 20' away on a pole?

In my little studio, one of the first things I notice when comparing the CLR to my JBL LSR28p's is how the mids hit you so much harder with the CLR. I'm not sure whether it is EQ or transient response. It gives me the sense that I'm not sure which set of speakers to trust.

Anyway, I'd appreciate some input here from an expert.
I use Atomic NEO CLRs, mounted on tripods, and in FF mode. Input at noon and Master at 10:30 ish. Signal is through Apollo Quad with no added processing. I use both XLR and S/PDIF into the UAudio console. My Axe FX III is set to +4db and the Out1 knob is at 3:00.

The Uaudio Monitor (output) knob into monitors is set to -12db (max is 0) but that is sheer coincidence. I use a loudness meter and this setting produces volumes that loudness crack just over the 92 db mark to be considered “loud” and thus mitigate Fletcher Munson effect.

It is worth noting that the CLRs have a cut off low at 70Hz. I am in a big room of 25 by 23 will 11 foot ceilings and the speakers are positioned 1/3rd of the way in the room. So there is the requisite 16 feet needed for good bass waves to form although I don’t always hear perfectly sitting in the equilateral triangle sweet spot. The CLRs are roughly 46 inches apart... I have a few optional monitors (JBLs) I will sometimes A/B (A/B/C?) off the CLRs just to hear what may sound like on other systems....

74763DAE-C4F0-4CE9-B939-4A60983F4993.jpeg


And... I also have a few different FRFRs on the floor (like at a gig) set about 8 feet away,,, that I did all the Dream Rigs presets on (the CLR), in mono. Here's a shot of that...although I move that Mission Gemini 2 off-axis when I dial sounds in for it (and I have to use a Global Out2 EQ curve that cuts highs and lows and slightly boosts mids...the CLR is always flat).

IMG_1258.jpg


Adding my CLR "studio" monitor settings for you (CLR mounted on tri-pod) setting....I control the loudness from my UAudio Apollo console, set around -12db but it can vary.

2020-01-13 06.47.04-1.jpg
 
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austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
@austinbuddy I'd love it if you could tell us a bit more about your setup when making these presets. I know you said you use neo CLR's, but I'm wondering how? What's your advice for how best to ensure the most generalizability from the setup you have to PA's?

For one thing, there's placement of the actual monitor. On the floor, on a stand, near a wall, etc. Obviously has a huge impact on sound.

Next, there's the switch on the CLR itself. FF, Tilt and BL. The BackLine mode never sounds right to me, but I suppose if I used the CLR as my main speaker with a bassist it would work. The Tilt mode sounds pretty good to me, but I don't know what frequencies are being emphasized or de-emphasized. IOW, I don't know if it is really intended to provide a totally flat response when placed on the floor. Which brings me to Free Field mode: presumably the flattest overall response of the three provided that the monitor is actually in a free field. But how many of us have a free field large enough in our studios or bedrooms to make that work?

Lastly, there's the dB reading. I've heard two seemingly contradictory opinions here. One is that you should target setting tones at the center of the F-M curve, about 85dB. Not sure my dB meter is calibrated. Second opinion is that it "ought to be done at gig volume." Boy, that sounds variable! And even then, gig volume from 4' away, or with the speaker 20' away on a pole?

In my little studio, one of the first things I notice when comparing the CLR to my JBL LSR28p's is how the mids hit you so much harder with the CLR. I'm not sure whether it is EQ or transient response. It gives me the sense that I'm not sure which set of speakers to trust.

Anyway, I'd appreciate some input here from an expert.
I will add that I am not sure if the CLRs somehow hype the mids, BUT they have the best and most detailed mids I have heard in an FRFR to date, and guitar IS all about mids in the end...
 

Rex

Legend!
I use Atomic NEO CLRs mounted on tripods and in FF mode. Input at non and Master at 10:30 ish. Signal is through Apollo Quad with no added processing. I use both XLR and S/PDIF into the UAudio console. My Axe FX III is set to +4db and the Out1 knob is at 3:00. The Uaudio output knob into monitors is set to -12db (max is 0) but that is sheer coincidence. I use a loudness meter and this produces volumes that crack over the 92 db mark to be considered “loud” and thus mitigate Fletcher Munson effect.
It is worth noting that the CLRs have a cut off low at 70Hz. I am in a big room of 25 by 23 will 11 foot ceilings and the speakers are positioned 1/3rd of the way in the room. So there is the requisite 16 feet needed for good bass waves to form although I don’t always hear perfectly sitting in the equilateral triangle sweet spot. The CLRs are roughly 46 inches apart... i have a few optional monitors (JBLs) and I also have FRFRs on the floor like at a gig 8-10 feet away that I did Dream Rigs on in mono.

View attachment 62121
Lap 'o luxury, right there. :cool:
 

Dave Merrill

Inspired
More later, but the MicroBoost in the Drive2 block set between 2.0 and 3.3 is your friend here - give that try. It will lift and fatten up your Strat nicely without adding a bunch of gain-distortion.
Let me just make sure I understand something basic here. There's no overall input level setting that affects how hot my guitar hits the amps (or really, the gate), right? The input screen affects only the gain going into the converters, which is compensated for internally, so the level coming out of the initial A-D conversion isn't affected.

Right? So my concerns about making sure I'm hearing your presets as designed is nonsense? Your guitars may be different from mine, so they'll hit the amps and pedals differently, in tone as well as volume, just like in the real world, but there's nothing I need to do in global settings to compensate for that?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Let me just make sure I understand something basic here. There's no overall input level setting that affects how hot my guitar hits the amps (or really, the gate), right? The input screen affects only the gain going into the converters, which is compensated for internally, so the level coming out of the initial A-D conversion isn't affected.

Right? So my concerns about making sure I'm hearing your presets as designed is nonsense? Your guitars may be different from mine, so they'll hit the amps and pedals differently, in tone as well as volume, just like in the real world, but there's nothing I need to do in global settings to compensate for that?
Correct.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Hey -- for all you newcomers to Fractal software and products, or have questions about loading Naked Amps presets and banks, updating firmware, loading user Cab IRs, and loading layouts, I am putting up a "Getting Started" Axe-Fx III tutorial series on YouTube.

I just posted five of them and there are more to come (filmed but in the editing stage). Probably the rest in two weeks, as I go to NAMM this week...

These are "down and dirty" videos -- so forgive the fast, rough edits -- but I wanted to get these out to answer some the frequently-asked questions I get regularly from newbies who buy the 1400+ Naked Amps TonePack.

These first five videos cover these topics:

  • Finding the software you need on the Fractal website -- where to go, downloading it, and installing it - including Fractal Bot and Axe-Edit III
  • Where to find the latest Fractal Factory preset banks
  • How to update firmwares
  • Where to find the latest Fractal Factory preset banks
  • How to easily load User Cab IRs for the Naked Amps TonePack (and in general)
  • How to back up your banks (save them to your computer's hard drive), and how to load the Naked Amps as a bank
  • How to manage and arrange presets using Axe-Ediit III
  • How to audition presets using Axe-Manage Presets before you load them to a bank

I've got others coming about hardware set up and importing/exporting FC-12/FC-6 layouts, etc.

Here's a link to the first one to start...again, these are for newbies/beginners. if you email me for these topics I'm likely to send you to the video, so watch these first! First page of each video says what it covers.



If you don't see the video above yet, all five where set to go live at 11am and I intended it to be CST Austin Texas time, but YouTube may be on PCT Google California time, so just wait a few hours....they will show up.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
@austinbuddy - Preset 100 in Bank B - MatchlessDC30-EF86 v11 - is using Wrecker Liverpool Bright amp instead of DC30.
Hey @Gizmo - checked, but I'm not seeing this here on my end.

All four amp channels ABCD in both Amp1 & Amp2 Blocks are pointing to the correct D-30 EF86 amp model here?

Which scene are you seeing this in?

Can anyone else can verify this?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Hey @Gizmo - checked, but I'm not seeing this here on my end.

All four amp channels ABCD in both Amp1 & Amp2 Blocks are pointing to the correct D-30 EF86 amp model here?

Which scene are you seeing this in?

Can anyone else can verify this?
Maybe needs a Refresh After FW Update in Axe-Edit?
 

Gizmo

Inspired
Hey @Gizmo - checked, but I'm not seeing this here on my end.

All four amp channels ABCD in both Amp1 & Amp2 Blocks are pointing to the correct D-30 EF86 amp model here?

Which scene are you seeing this in?

Can anyone else can verify this?
Okay, figured it out. I'm still on 11.00 firmware. With all the back and forth with 11.02 beta, I guess I never actually installed 11.01! Sorry for the confusion! All the other presets sound awesome (and I'm sure this one will too once I update)!
 

mikeyg

Inspired
So Buddy, it certainly appears you have some prior recording experience, no?

I’ve always been a guitar straight into amp guy, so the fractal has been an ongoing education. When I read about all the effort you’re putting in to make sure your patches work for everyone it seems this must be mostly a full time job? A hobby? Interested in hearing...
 
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