1. We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.
    Dismiss Notice

Axe-Fx III coloring sound? I assume I goofed up somewhere...

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx III Discussion' started by Bryanman37, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hi All - I'm hoping for a little insight. I just got the Ax III on Friday and have run into an issue and am wondering if I'm going about doing something the best way. For background - I had an Ax8, currently have the Fx8 which I use with my JP2C which runs through a 2 Notes Live. I also have a Kemper so I have some experience in the modeling world. I'm using Ares 1.13 and the beta version of Ax Edit III. I monitor through 2 CLRs in stereo and am using 10 ft balanced 1/4" cables from the output of either the Fx8 or the AxIII to connect the monitors. While I have XLRs for the AxIII I'm trying to use as much of the same signal path and equipment so I have as much of an apples to apples comparison I can have and here's why:

    I want to use the AxIII as more than just a modeler. I would also like to replace the Fx8 for effects and maybe even replace the 2 Notes at least for IR use with the JP2C ( I have an attenuator for the JP that has a 1/4" line out). Long story short - After bypassing all effects in the AxIII and using the bypass preset in the Fx8, I ran from the line out of the 2 notes to input 2 of the AxIII, set the input level so I was just tickling the red and noticed immediately the tone was not the same as running from the Fx8 (I used the same 1/4" cable). I then did the same thing using input 3 and output 3 and had the same result. There seems to be some change to the hi end, the low mids and maybe in the area of 2khz (give or take). I had thought that this would be the most transparent way of doing this. Given so many touring artists use the Ax in their rig for effects I assume I'm doing something wrong. Am I missing something in the input and output block? (I did back the noise gate way down) Should I be running the JP/2notes in with an FX loop block? That's the only other idea I had. Outside of that, I'm not sure if I have something set incorrectly or if there is a "trick" to the in/out setup menu? The Ax8 and Fx8 just have an input Pad vs setting an actual level. Also, I do not have any global EQ's enabled or adjusted in the AxIII - as a rule of thumb I don't like anything global - it's just easier for me to remember things.

    As a 2nd experiment, I loaded the same IR I used in the 2 Notes to the AxIII and set up a new cab block in my preset with that IR. I disabled the IR In the 2 Notes and outside of the immediate volume jump and subsequent input level adjustment I noticed an even greater change in sound. I'm a bit stumped here...I would think that using the same IR in the AxIII would yield the same results to my monitors. I think the change doing this was even greater than in the above example.

    As a note - I am not using the on-board EQ on the 2 Notes, and double checked to make sure the power amp sim was off, the room effect is off, etc. It's literally the amp signal coming in, hitting the IR and heading out to the AxIII.

    As always, I appreciate the help of the people on this forum!
     
  2. chris

    chris
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    22,486
    Likes Received:
    14,135
    Try your guitar into the Axe3 directly. Does that sound right?

    Also, the 1/4” outputs are unbalanced on all the gear. I don’t think a balanced 1/4” is doing anything bad, but something to consider for trouble shooting.
     
  3. Zedhed

    Zedhed
    Expand Collapse
    Inspired

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2018
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    It's a bit hard understanding what you've got going on there, but I suspect too much.

    Have you tried just plugging the guitar straight into the AxeIII with monitors connected, and leave everything else out of the signal chain?....at least to begin with.
     
  4. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
     
  5. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks for such a fast response!

    Good point about the cables- like you, I wouldn’t think that would matter but I’ve been proven wrong on miniscule details before!

    For this exercise- I’m playing my JP2C and using the AxIII for effect only or effects and IR only- maybe I’m not understanding your question regarding how my guitar sounds straight to the Ax? when I use the instrument input for modeling it seems to be ok.
     
  6. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    And yes- I have set my levels for the guitar when using the ax as a modeler. That’s on input one and all seems OK there- but like I said- maybe I’m missing something in the migration from Ax8/Fx8 to ax3?
     
  7. chris

    chris
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    22,486
    Likes Received:
    14,135
    so the previous setup was

    guitar - jp2c - load box - 2 notes - fx8 - CLR

    and now it's

    guitar - jp2c - load box - 2 notes - axe3 - CLR ?
     
  8. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Bingo- but to be technical, the loadbox is the 2notes. In the end, I want the modeling end but I also want to run like Satch, Vai and Petrucci- except I’ll run post cab vs in the amp fx loop.
     
  9. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    One thing I did note is the output in the Ax3 was at -10 and the Fx8 was at +4... I’m trying this now but due to time of night can’t get to loud.
     
  10. chris

    chris
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    22,486
    Likes Received:
    14,135
    what's the attenuator you mentioned then?
     
  11. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    I mentioned the attenuator as I am also hoping to use the Ax3 for IR use with the JP2c ( I would sell the 2notes as I won’t need the IR capabilities). So I have 2 issues with sound being different when I use the 2notes to the monitors vs inserting the Ax3 in the chain and then to the monitors. The Ax3 allows me to run more IRs at once, have separate mix levels, etc. vs the 2notes allows just 1 IR. Sorry, I know it’s a bit convoluted.
     
  12. peteri

    peteri
    Expand Collapse
    Inspired

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    73
    ok, to add and restate a few things - I've run some convoluted setups myself in the past.

    Firstly - as others have said, start simple and then add stuff - so for example:

    Guitar - Axe III - CLR

    then

    Guitar - JP2c - load box - Axe III - CLR

    etc.

    But I would say, you're basically making life hard for yourself - sure you can do it, but why just use the III for effects? That doesn't make much sense, I know some 'pros' do it - but lots of pros also have some funny ideas, and have many more resources to make things work. Also remember Def Lep for example have gone all the way to the III - why not tone match the JP2c and then just use the III? Or maybe go:

    Guitar - Axe III - JP2c return - guitar cab

    With your current setup you've just got so many points of failure.

    If you are really certain you want to do this - you have three things which could go wrong, these are nothing to do with the III - but they are a 'feature' of using setups like this:

    1. Earth loops - introducing extra noise and even ear shattering feedback because of multiple routes to ground
    2. Level mismatches - you've already had that one, you need to very carefully match levels
    3. Impedance mis-matches, what have you got the III input impedance set to, is this what the output of the previous device is expecting etc?

    Point 3. will cause all sorts of frequency changes like you describe - for example I had a Gigrig G2 switcher which presented a really high input impedance - this emphasised the treble, which made most guitars sound 'better' and 'clearer' but my old Tele sound absolutely unusable.

    Also - how good is your loadbox? You can get cheap ones which are basically a few big resistors and a heatsink, but I wouldn't trust them and a good solution is not cheap.

    Last point - think about what you're looking to achieve, and is it worth it? In your setup - you're basically driving the amp hard and then taking that energy and throwing it away as heat (that's what the load box does), now if you're running an old amp which you just can't reproduce on the Axe, ok - but is that true?

    How much of the sound on the JP2C is power amp distortion? If the answer is not much - but you love the sound of the preamp, and just don't want to reproduce this in the III, it's much easier to do:

    Guitar - Axe III - JP2c Input - JP2C Send - Axe III - CLR

    This will allow you to use the JP2c pre-amp, Axe III effects before and after and then amplify FRFR. You will need a loadbox plugged into the amp, but this will just be keeping the transformers safe and you should also watch out for earth loops but it will work.

    Hope this helps - as I said, I would go back to the drawing board and think about what the end goal is - and also understand that if this is what JP does, there are lots of connecting gizmos and tricks which are never discussed but needed to provide consistent, safe operation
     
    sskkmm likes this.
  13. #13 Bryanman37, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
    Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Thanks- all good points especially about the impedence for the input of the Ax3 and the output of the Fx8- I will definately read up on this in the Ax3 manual as I’m not familiar with where to check that.

    The loadbox I’m using for all of this is my 2notes Live as it’s in the rack with my JP. The point of this whole idea was just to lessen the amount of gear I have. I have not yet tried the tone matching feature in the Ax3 and plan on doing so- I’m just hoping to find a solution where I can use the Ax3 with the JP as well. In the end, it may just be a simple difference in design between the two units based on their relatively different purposes and uses. For what it’s worth, I don’t notice nearly as much coloring on the Ax3 as I remember from the Ax8.
     
  14. Patzag

    Patzag
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,170
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Location:
    Caribbean
    I would check what input you are using on the AXE. Are you going into the Instrument input? If so you will be coloring the sound. You need to go in through input 3 or 4 as you are feeding a line level signal to the Axe. Not instrument signal that would want to go through "Secret Sauce" at the wrong impedance.
     
  15. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Currently using either input 2 or 3 as the output section in the setup menu has slightly different options. I think running the output from the 2notes to the instrument input would probably damage something.
     
  16. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9

    I took a look at the manuals for both the Ax3 and Fx8- impedances appear to match for ins/outs- slight input max db variance in the Fx8 but the rest seems to line up.
     
  17. FractalAudio

    FractalAudio
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Fractal Audio Systems Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    11,923
    Likes Received:
    74,776
    The only product more transparent than the FX-8 is the Axe-Fx III.
     
  18. peteri

    peteri
    Expand Collapse
    Inspired

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    73
    Oh, one other thing to add - which I've learnt more times than I would admit to.

    Try different cables, a bad/intermittent cable has caused me more hassles that you'd believe
     
  19. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    This I believe which is why I’m perplexed. I think I narrowed this down a bit more. It seems that I’m getting a little gain reduction coming into the Ax3 from the 2 notes. I also am detecting a little more in the low mids and mids- the 1st-3rd strings seem to pop more than when I run the 2 notes through the Fx8. This brings me back to the I/O menu- I can’t think of anyhing else it could be. If I’m running too much in the red I assume that could cause this issue? It seems I really have to turn down the input level in order to only hit red every so often. I could turn the output of the 2 notes down to help a bit but I was going for unity gain... I think this is where I need to experiment a bit....
     
  20. Bryanman37

    Bryanman37
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    9
    Agreed- been there more than I’d like to admit as well. I have a cable checker and stay on top of this.
     

Share This Page