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Axe-Fx III Tutorial - Mixing IR's within the unit

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor

So I got a request from @bvaughn0402 that I explain how you can mix IR's within the unit with the Axe-Fx III. As you may have guessed already by looking at the IR options "it almost seems like I knew that there would be 4 IR slots in the Cab Block" and that's correct. You will find samples from over a dozen cabs that ML Sound Lab has produced and there are four mic options to choose from so you can create essentially what I have going on in this video with each of these cabinets. The video goes into detail more on how to mix and what to do and essentially it's more of a personal preference type thing but my advice is not to go overboard with mixing too many IR's. Don't believe Yngwie... less can be more. I didn't dive in to the more advanced functions as I find they're not necessary if you have good IR's.

I've also received some questions about ML Sound Lab's plans and why I would include so many IR's "for free" within the unit. There are many reasons of which #1 is that now everyone can try out ML Sound Lab IR's and see that it's not just hype. Even the very first Cab Pack that I ever shot four years ago (USA Trad) that's within the unit is one of the best Mesa IR collections out there and also although you have IR's from four different Mesa Cab Packs in the Axe-Fx III by ML Sound Lab they are not the same product in a new box. They're all clearly a very different sound and definitely what I recommend everyone to use if you're not interested in fine tuning your sound with user cabs. A professional sound is guaranteed.

#2 is that if you haven't noticed yet, we still haven't changed our Cab Pack offers from last Black Friday. Honestly we want people to get more bang for buck of the highest quality product on the market and there's a reason why ML Sound Lab is exclusive to Fractal Audio. With the stock IR's and using them for some while you can find your favorite cabinets and that's when we recommend you take a look at the Cab Pack offers. Just like this video tutorial quickly shows you, EQing your guitar sound with different IR's will give you so much more natural versatility. Now imagine having all four speakers from that cabinet with different mic and mic position options. There's so much more you can do with each Cab Pack. Also if you're not looking to update to the Axe-Fx III, all these IR's can be found in these packs and as I showed in previous videos, if you're using the same IR's the sound between the Axe-Fx III vs Axe-Fx II is not that big at the moment.

#3 is the future. There is something huge in the works that will change the game and this is the reason there haven't been any packs as of late. I can't discuss it at this point since I don't think there's a single idea I've had that hasn't been blatantly copied by other IR producers. :D I try to avoid the drama these days as it's unnecessary waste of energy but I know I'll always have the upper hand because like the saying goes "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Stay tuned for what's to come as this is something no one else can offer. :)
 

bdrepko

Fractal Fanatic

So I got a request from @bvaughn0402 that I explain how you can mix IR's within the unit with the Axe-Fx III. As you may have guessed already by looking at the IR options "it almost seems like I knew that there would be 4 IR slots in the Cab Block" and that's correct. You will find samples from over a dozen cabs that ML Sound Lab has produced and there are four mic options to choose from so you can create essentially what I have going on in this video with each of these cabinets. The video goes into detail more on how to mix and what to do and essentially it's more of a personal preference type thing but my advice is not to go overboard with mixing too many IR's. Don't believe Yngwie... less can be more. I didn't dive in to the more advanced functions as I find they're not necessary if you have good IR's.

I've also received some questions about ML Sound Lab's plans and why I would include so many IR's "for free" within the unit. There are many reasons of which #1 is that now everyone can try out ML Sound Lab IR's and see that it's not just hype. Even the very first Cab Pack that I ever shot four years ago (USA Trad) that's within the unit is one of the best Mesa IR collections out there and also although you have IR's from four different Mesa Cab Packs in the Axe-Fx III by ML Sound Lab they are not the same product in a new box. They're all clearly a very different sound and definitely what I recommend everyone to use if you're not interested in fine tuning your sound with user cabs. A professional sound is guaranteed.

#2 is that if you haven't noticed yet, we still haven't changed our Cab Pack offers from last Black Friday. Honestly we want people to get more bang for buck of the highest quality product on the market and there's a reason why ML Sound Lab is exclusive to Fractal Audio. With the stock IR's and using them for some while you can find your favorite cabinets and that's when we recommend you take a look at the Cab Pack offers. Just like this video tutorial quickly shows you, EQing your guitar sound with different IR's will give you so much more natural versatility. Now imagine having all four speakers from that cabinet with different mic and mic position options. There's so much more you can do with each Cab Pack. Also if you're not looking to update to the Axe-Fx III, all these IR's can be found in these packs and as I showed in previous videos, if you're using the same IR's the sound between the Axe-Fx III vs Axe-Fx II is not that big at the moment.

#3 is the future. There is something huge in the works that will change the game and this is the reason there haven't been any packs as of late. I can't discuss it at this point since I don't think there's a single idea I've had that hasn't been blatantly copied by other IR producers. :D I try to avoid the drama these days as it's unnecessary waste of energy but I know I'll always have the upper hand because like the saying goes "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Stay tuned for what's to come as this is something no one else can offer. :)
Thanks for doing this.
 

bvaughn0402

Inspired
Thank you SO MUCH!

A couple of follow-up questions:

1) Would you usually prefer an IR that is already a mix of mics? Or prefer individual mic IR's that you mix this way?

2) Are the Pan and Mic Distance part of the advanced functions that you don't feel are as needed with a good IR?

Thanks!
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
Thank you SO MUCH!

A couple of follow-up questions:

1) Would you usually prefer an IR that is already a mix of mics? Or prefer individual mic IR's that you mix this way?

2) Are the Pan and Mic Distance part of the advanced functions that you don't feel are as needed with a good IR?

Thanks!
1) Yes. All ML Sound Lab packs come with real life IR mixes with varying distances called ALLOY. A two mic setup is very different to a single mic setup. You can't get those sounds the "lazy and easy way" by doing it in post. It's a craft that takes most of my time when shooting IR's. You can mimic this with the new amp block BUT... you can't change mic positions to something that blends nicely.

2) I run my Axe in mono so pan does nothing for me personally. A good IR needs no smoothing, limiting or post processing. My IR's are 100% natural and raw. Especially with modelers it's IMO best to keep things as raw as possible if you want to sound "real".
 

trancegodz

Power User
Thanks for the video! I'll watch it tonight.

I created a Vox AC 30 preset last night and it sounds good, but it took forever auditioning all the Vox Ac30 cabs in the cab block.
Do you have any suggestions on the most efficient way to audition cabs in the Axe FXIII?

The Axe-Fx III has:
Two Factory banks with 1,024 Ultra-Res IRs each.
Plus a "Legacy" bank that contains all 189 stocks cabs from the Axe-Fx II.
Axe FXIII: Number of user cab slots: 2048.

http://wiki.fractalaudio.com/axefx2/index.php?title=Cabinet_models_list

I bought a whole lot of the cab packs and haven't loaded any of them into the Axe FXIII yet. Can that be done easily with Fractal Bot, or should I wait until Axe Edit for the Axe FXIII comes out?

The cab packs only have selections for AxeFXII and Axe FXIIXL, but not for Axe FXIII. Can all the cab packs still be used with the Axe FXIII?
 
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bvaughn0402

Inspired
1) Yes. All ML Sound Lab packs come with real life IR mixes with varying distances called ALLOY. A two mic setup is very different to a single mic setup. You can't get those sounds the "lazy and easy way" by doing it in post. It's a craft that takes most of my time when shooting IR's. You can mimic this with the new amp block BUT... you can't change mic positions to something that blends nicely.

2) I run my Axe in mono so pan does nothing for me personally. A good IR needs no smoothing, limiting or post processing. My IR's are 100% natural and raw. Especially with modelers it's IMO best to keep things as raw as possible if you want to sound "real".

Thanks that helps!

So in general you feel that a combined IR (like Alloy) outweighs single ones combined because more work was initially done to blend them? If so, it makes a lot of sense.
 

Pwrmac7600

Power User
1) Yes. All ML Sound Lab packs come with real life IR mixes with varying distances called ALLOY. A two mic setup is very different to a single mic setup. You can't get those sounds the "lazy and easy way" by doing it in post. It's a craft that takes most of my time when shooting IR's. You can mimic this with the new amp block BUT... you can't change mic positions to something that blends nicely.

In your opinion, would you say pre mixed IR's that were mixed live in the studio contain more natural phase information than mixing them in post? I have noticed that pre mixed IR's "seem" to contain more real world phase information then when I try and blend single mic IR's together. which IMO can result in punchier low end, and smoother high end. Opinion?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
Do you have any suggestions on the most efficient way to audition cabs in the Axe FXIII?
Well... if you stick to the IR's with ML in the name you shouldn't have too many to choose from. :D That's a little bit tongue in cheek but I believe the Axe-Fx III Edit will have a function where you can set the Cab Block to only show you f.ex. ML IR's and then it's going to be a faster auditioning process. Don't quote me on that but there's been some talk about this kind of a function.

I bought a whole lot of the cab packs and haven't loaded any of them into the Axe FXIII yet. Can that be done easily with Fractal Bot, or should I wait until Axe Edit for the Axe FXIII comes out?

The cab packs only have selections for AxeFXII and Axe FXIIXL, but not for Axe FXIII. Can all the cab packs still be used with the Axe FXIII?
The .syx format that's in the Cab Packs these days should work on all Fractal units. I bet this becomes a lot easier once we get the Axe-Fx III Edit.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
Thanks that helps!

So in general you feel that a combined IR (like Alloy) outweighs single ones combined because more work was initially done to blend them? If so, it makes a lot of sense.
In your opinion, would you say pre mixed IR's that were mixed live in the studio contain more natural phase information than mixing them in post? I have noticed that pre mixed IR's "seem" to contain more real world phase information then when I try and blend single mic IR's together. which IMO can result in punchier low end, and smoother high end. Opinion?
It's actually got many levels to it.

1) Finding two good sounding mic positions doesn't mean that they're a good mix together. What you want to do is choose a "main mic" that's usually the SM57 and then use another mic to fill out that sound. Where you'll place that other mic will usually be a bit "weird" and maybe even unusable on it's own. Definitely a mic position that you will not include as a single IR in a Cab Pack. It's simply not available in the IR options.

2) Phase and mic distance opens another interesting world when blending mics. A millimeter in distance both changes the sound of the mic and the phase between the two mics. I have a cool system (very secret :p ) for finding that perfect phase with two mics. Finding those distances and mic positions is not really possible unless you shoot every possible mic angle, mic distance and position and I bet a pack like that would be unusable.

3) Cab Block phase and mic distance vs reality. Right now there's an emulation for mic distance and latency. You can use those functions to emulate a dual mic up but... even then it's not going to be 100% realistic. It's most likely going to sound realistic so don't worry about it but it might be a sound that you wouldn't get out of a guitar cabinet with two mics in real life but it's "something else". Not sure if this bothers anyone else but me though. :D
 
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