Bass Advice with AX8

Discussion in 'Bass & Other Instruments' started by d-flat, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. d-flat

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    Oct 12, 2017
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    Bought the Helix LT about 30 days ago and the AX8 about 13 days ago. After trying out both, I returned the L6 yesterday and think I am going to keep the ax8. The main use case will be playing guitar, but I play bass too, so I am going to try my best to squeeze double duty from it.

    Yesterday I started experimenting with using the ax8 to try and get a bass tone like in the song Forty Six & Two by Tool. I've read up a bit at TB and other interwebs about how this tone was achieved, and advice on how to get close to it. I know I am not going to nail it, but I want to get as close to the ballpark as I can. (I know a lot of people say "don't try to copy someone else, do your own thing", but I haven't really found yet what my own thing is, and am approaching this as a learning experiment, not to get into a tool cover band.)

    That said, I'm looking for some advice if anyone may have any. I don't want to download a preset (I saw there is at least one, though for axefx), I want to work through it and understand what I am doing and why. I was surprised to learn (if this is correct) that the song was recorded with a stingray hh, which happens to be the bass I own. It's got a 9V powered active preamp, which leads me to my first question. I read that cranking all 4 knobs on the guitar is advised, but I am worried about clipping. With each of the tone knobs flat and the volume cranked, I found I needed to set the ax8 instrument pad to -12dB to keep it out of the red. Wondering if possibly that advice was only for going through analog equipment, and if I should keep the preamp neutral in order to stay at a lower input pad?

    I was kicking around a preset to stab at this yesterday, and thought I might have come close a couple of times, but I was never really happy with it and am sure I will hate it when I get back to listen to it again tonight. I read that there are at least two, possibly three signals being combined to get this tone the way it is on the album recording -- one clean through amp A, another dirty through a 7 band geq-rat-amb B, both of which have different cabs (one a 4x12, the other an 8x10). The 3rd signal I think is just a DI from the bass, which if I am not mistaken could be modeled as all shunts to one of the 4 output mixer channels -- still not sure whether to have the DI path be pure instrument or bypass everything after compression?

    Obviously there are ax8 limitations preventing the modeling of this signal chain, I can only work with one amp and one cab, the bass amps used are not modeled, etc etc... which is what led me here. I am hoping there are some tricks & workarounds for doing parallel signal paths with the ax8 in general, and any tips for bass specifically. For example I'm wondering if I could use a drive block instead of an amp for one of the signal paths (probably clean)? If so, should I combine the paths into the cab, or have only one of them go through the cab? When I merge signals from parallel paths into a block, are they mixed at 50/50? I remember the helix had a "merge block" that gave you more control over this, but can't seem to find it in ax8-edit (if it exists).

    Any other tips or advice is welcome, thanks in advance.
  2. 2112

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    Jun 9, 2009
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    Perth, Western Australia
    That's correct about linking two parallel blocks. If you'd like to control the mix, attach a volume block to one of the parallel chains and use this to control the relative levels.
  3. Rex

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Is this what you're looking for?

    If so, @SeeD has you covered. Flip through the scenes, and you'll find something to get you started.

    You'll have to use @AlGrenadine 's FracTool to convert it to AX8, and you'll have to massage it to use only one Amp block, but the basics of the tone is there.

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