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AX8 / Axe-Fx II input levels

Hi all,
I own an Axe FX II (mk ii) and an AX8. When I bought the AX8 a couple of years ago, I started gigging with it and moved the Axe FX II to the studio. Lately, I’ve pulled the II back into my live rig for its processing power.

I have a couple of go-to presets on my AX8 that I converted with Fractool. Both devices are on the latest firmware. I’m trying to get the amp on the II to sound just like the AX8. It’s the same amp block and cab block, but the II doesn’t quite have the same “bite”. I’m figuring that it must be either an input level setting or one of the additional amp/cab parameters on the II that doesn’t exist on the AX8.

AX8 input pad is at -12.
Axe FX II instrument level is at 100 (still feels like it needs more to match the AX8)

I can boost the input gain on the amp about 1db and it sounds pretty close, but not identical. I also tried changing the input impedance on the II from “auto” to “1 megaohm” to match the AX8. It’s just not quite the same. I may be splitting hairs, and I’m sure I could get it to where I want it with some tweaking, but am just trying to learn the differences between the units’ inputs, hopefully to save time when moving all of my other AX8 presets to the II. I’d rather not have to adjust all of them, and I’m interested in being able to swap presets between the two units on a regular basis without having do do a lot of editing.

What else am I missing? Thanks in advance.
 
I figured it out: I had to change Input 1 Mode from "Stereo" to "Left Only" on the Axe FX II. That makes sense, since the AX8's input 1 is only one channel.
 

Matt_B_77

Forum Addict
Glad you resolved it.

I have both units as well and while I couldn't say that they sounded different (running the exact same presets) I didn't know why.
 

chris

Legend!
The Instrument Input Level in I/O sets a signal to noise ratio and is not a source of gain/signal to drive the amps/grid harder. Set it as recommended in the Owners Manual.
 

paulasbell

Inspired
Don't want to hijack this, but I have a similar question to OP.
I've been using my AxeFx2 w/ the Input Mode set to "Stereo", since I sometimes need both Input 1 and Input 2 for my dual-sourced acoustic gtr patches. So, I've just been keeping the AF2 in "Stereo" mode in all the time... even when only using Input 1. All my AF2 patches have been designed and tweaked with that in mind, using a Volume block as 1st block.
Here's what the Wiki says, re the AF2... "When connecting a guitar to the front instrument input, set this parameter to Left Only (default). Using Sum L+R can introduce noise (from the disconnected right Input 1) and attenuates the signal level (6 dB). You'd only use Sum L+R or Stereo when connecting a stereo instrument to Input 1 (rear)"
Based on that quote, can I assume that setting the Input Mode to "Stereo" DOESN'T attenuate the signal level, relative to "Left Only"?
And, therefore, I shouldn't have to change gain structure for my AF2 patches, when moving them over to AX8?
 

chris

Legend!
Don't want to hijack this, but I have a similar question to OP.
I've been using my AxeFx2 w/ the Input Mode set to "Stereo", since I sometimes need both Input 1 and Input 2 for my dual-sourced acoustic gtr patches. So, I've just been keeping the AF2 in "Stereo" mode in all the time... even when only using Input 1. All my AF2 patches have been designed and tweaked with that in mind, using a Volume block as 1st block.
Here's what the Wiki says, re the AF2... "When connecting a guitar to the front instrument input, set this parameter to Left Only (default). Using Sum L+R can introduce noise (from the disconnected right Input 1) and attenuates the signal level (6 dB). You'd only use Sum L+R or Stereo when connecting a stereo instrument to Input 1 (rear)"
Based on that quote, can I assume that setting the Input Mode to "Stereo" DOESN'T attenuate the signal level, relative to "Left Only"?
And, therefore, I shouldn't have to change gain structure for my AF2 patches, when moving them over to AX8?
i think there is a level difference between Stereo and Left only.

first though, you said "Input 1 and Input 2" - did you just mean Input 1 Left and Right? i think you did. if you actually meant Input 1 and Input 2, then this is a different thing i think.

but yes, i do think that Stereo and Left only has a difference - Stereo has less signal per side vs Left Only if i remember correctly. haven't used an Axe2 for a while. the AX8 and Axe3 use separate inputs completely.
 

paulasbell

Inspired
you said "Input 1 and Input 2" - did you just mean Input 1 Left and Right? i think you did. if you actually meant Input 1 and Input 2, then this is a different thing i think.
No, Chris, I meant Input 1 and Input 2. I'm plugging the 2 outputs from my acoustic gtr dual-source system into In1 L, and In 2 R (or vice-versa... not 100% sure). Then, a Volume block pans the 2 inputs, and then I process each separately, before merging them.I've been doing this for quite a while, and it works well.

Does that somehow change the level issue regarding my question of "Stereo" vs "Left Only"?
 

chris

Legend!
No, Chris, I meant Input 1 and Input 2. I'm plugging the 2 outputs from my acoustic gtr dual-source system into In1 L, and In 2 R (or vice-versa... not 100% sure). Then, a Volume block pans the 2 inputs, and then I process each separately, before merging them.I've been doing this for quite a while, and it works well.

Does that somehow change the level issue regarding my question of "Stereo" vs "Left Only"?
it depends on exactly what you meant by this statement:

I've been using my AxeFx2 w/ the Input Mode set to "Stereo", since I sometimes need both Input 1 and Input 2 for my dual-sourced acoustic gtr patches.
if you're using Input 1 and Input 2 - two completely separate inputs - then the reason to keep it set to Stereo on Input 1 doesn't really make sense. a "Stereo" setting for Input 1 has nothing to do with Input 2 at all.

the Front Input is Input 1 Left. there is also a Rear Input 1 that has both Left and Right. if you Volume blocks to separate those inputs, then you probably are indeed using Input 1 Left and Right.

to use Input 2, you'd need an FX Loop block in your preset. if you are not using an FX Loop block at all, you are definitely using Input 1 Left and Right, and Input 2 is not involved at all.

look at where your guitar cables are plugged in, then above them, look at the text on the Axe to see what Input you're using.

Axe-Fx_XL_Plus_rear.png
 

paulasbell

Inspired
First off, Chris... I'm a bit embarrassed to realize how much I've forgotten about how I set these patches up in the first place!!!
I now see that you're correct... I'm using the FX Loop to bring in one component of my acoustic gtr feed, which is input thru Input 2L. The other component comes into Input 1R, and from there into the Vol Block. The pan of the Vol block is set to "Right Only".
Again... the various acoustic patches I've built using that system work well for me.
What I'm wondering about is when I'm NOT using those specific patches, but rather standard electric guitar into the Front In. As I mentioned, I've always kept my Input Mode setting in "Stereo". Like the acoustic patches, I've built Vol blocks into all those electric patches... but with pan set to "Left Only".
My recollection is that I've NOT experienced a different gain structure for these electric patches, when switching Input Mode between "Stereo" and "Left Only". But perhaps the presence of the Vol Blocks– with different pans– changes the normal behavior of that Input Mode setting?
 

chris

Legend!
First off, Chris... I'm a bit embarrassed to realize how much I've forgotten about how I set these patches up in the first place!!!
I now see that you're correct... I'm using the FX Loop to bring in one component of my acoustic gtr feed, which is input thru Input 2L. The other component comes into Input 1R, and from there into the Vol Block. The pan of the Vol block is set to "Right Only".
Again... the various acoustic patches I've built using that system work well for me.
What I'm wondering about is when I'm NOT using those specific patches, but rather standard electric guitar into the Front In. As I mentioned, I've always kept my Input Mode setting in "Stereo". Like the acoustic patches, I've built Vol blocks into all those electric patches... but with pan set to "Left Only".
My recollection is that I've NOT experienced a different gain structure for these electric patches, when switching Input Mode between "Stereo" and "Left Only". But perhaps the presence of the Vol Blocks– with different pans– changes the normal behavior of that Input Mode setting?
could be the Volume blocks changing it. i haven't used that setup in a while, so i'm not sure. if anything, just compare the relative gain you feel/hear. it shouldn't be drastic. when i changed from Axe2 to AX8 with my dual output guitar, it wasn't really an issue, as i ended up adjusting the AX8 presets naturally, even after matching parameters.
 
The Instrument Input Level in I/O sets a signal to noise ratio and is not a source of gain/signal to drive the amps/grid harder. Set it as recommended in the Owners Manual.
Thanks! I had no idea. I had an ultra before the II, so I just assumed I should do it the same way - and have been ever since. I’ll have to check into what the manual says.

but yes, i do think that Stereo and Left only has a difference - Stereo has less signal per side vs Left Only if i remember correctly. haven't used an Axe2 for a while. the AX8 and Axe3 use separate inputs completely.
This is correct. When I figured out that i needed to switch to “left only”, I tried all 3 options. Left Only was definitely hotter than both of the other two options (stereo and L+R sum)

Thanks for all the input, guys! Pun... intended?
 
The Instrument Input Level in I/O sets a signal to noise ratio and is not a source of gain/signal to drive the amps/grid harder. Set it as recommended in the Owners Manual.
I checked it out. Very interesting. You do set the input level with the instrument/input1/input2 knobs, but because the input gain is compensated at the converter, it doesn't affect how hard you are driving your amp (or your first effect block). Good to know.
 

paulasbell

Inspired
could be the Volume blocks changing it. i haven't used that setup in a while, so i'm not sure. if anything, just compare the relative gain you feel/hear. it shouldn't be drastic.
Chris, I was finally at a gig w/ my AxeFx2, and was able to do the I/O switching test. In my admittedly unusual setup, where I have a Vol block at the beginning of each preset, as described above, there is no difference in gain between the standard "Left Only" setting, and the "Stereo" setting which I always use. The "L+R Sum" setting, however, is definitely lower gain... presumably, the 6db that is generally mentioned.
I'm assuming my use of the Vol block is causing that somewhat unintuitive result for me. And, I also imagine that my use is fairly unusual... though I DID learn of the idea from some folks here on the Forum.
Anyway... I've definitely answered my own question, regarding input gain structure differences between my AxeFx2 patches, and my AX8 ones. In short... there IS none. Thanks for your patient help, and hope my conclusions might help somebody else w/ a similar question.
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
The volume block input select parameter and Input 1 mode accomplish the same thing with "left only" as opposed to "stereo". The left input signal is output as both L & R to the next column.

Sum L+R affects levels in a strange way when front instr. input is used as the left channel. The instr. and In 1 level settings send a different L/R blend and level to the grid as L & R unless they're set to a specific ratio. Don't worry about that one too much.
 
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