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Brian May Sound

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Tone Match' started by Agent Cooper 91, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Agent Cooper 91

    Agent Cooper 91
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    I'm new to this. I just purchased an Ax FX and my first attempt at Tone Matching was a very impressive success. I used the acoustic intro to Wonderwall for my reference and played my Les Paul clean for my local, matched it and wow, my Les Paul sounds exactly like an acoustic guitar! Very impressive.

    However, my second attempt, not so much. I tried to capture Brian May's sound from We Will Rock You using this off of youtube:

    And I can not get even close. I mean it really sounds like crap.

    Now, I realize that youtube is a lower quality than a wav file, but I used youtube to get my acoustic sound and am very happy with it. I set my starting point when I recorded my local sound for one of the AC-20s that are already in there. He uses an AC-30 with some custom modifications. I'm going USB. My levels all seem to be fine. My playing isn't horrible. And I mean it sounds just awful.

    So I'm 1 for 2. What could I be doing wrong? I seem to have the basics down because I got it to work the first time.

    Thanks!
     
  2. simeon

    simeon
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    sounds like a stereo recording. try matching only one side. if it sounds bad, try the other side
     
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  3. Singtall

    Singtall
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    here is my 15 min preset to try. i hear what sounds like two phasers going on. crank the clip up and listen to it and you will see what i mean. if you are using a humbucker equipped guitar this preset should get you into the neighborhood. use the treble boost only if needed. if changes the thickness of the notes.
     

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  4. Keybi

    Keybi
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    Unfortunately, emulating a TREBLE BOOSTER into a VOX kind of amp is not the strong suit of the AXE FX. In other words, it sounds really poor. This falls within the domain of passiv guitar, guitar cable, an a good analog amp.
    I tried it so often on the AXE with no good results.

    Not only a secret weapon to Brian May but also Richie Blackmore and Rory Gallagher.


    I have an BSM RPA Treble Booster . This beast delivers 8 Volt at output when full blown. Only a good amp can handle this on the input.
    So from Hi Gain to clean only with your guitars volume knob. So amazing.

    Hope this can be emulated one day with the AXE.
     
  5. JWatkins

    JWatkins
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    [QUOTE="Keybi,

    Hope this can be emulated one day with the AXE.[/QUOTE]

    I have had great success emulating with the axe fx ii xl
    I am very pleased with it.
    So i took this video and just found amps and cabs that were already close to this sound
    and was able to get real close to this sound.
    Thanks for posting it. It opens up possibilties

    I was over whelmed when i first got the unit.
    I learned to barely change eq each time as it changes dynamics quick
    expecially when having drums or music looping in background.
    I have a triple rectifier mesa that i emulated and called it my mesa .

    So i believe its possible IMO
    keep trying
     
  6. Keybi

    Keybi
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    I have had great success emulating with the axe fx ii xl
    I am very pleased with it.
    So i took this video and just found amps and cabs that were already close to this sound
    and was able to get real close to this sound.
    Thanks for posting it. It opens up possibilties

    I was over whelmed when i first got the unit.
    I learned to barely change eq each time as it changes dynamics quick
    expecially when having drums or music looping in background.
    I have a triple rectifier mesa that i emulated and called it my mesa .

    So i believe its possible IMO
    keep trying[/QUOTE]

    Don't get me wrong J ;-) ,

    i love my AXE . And i have a bunch of fantastic sounds. But - imho - it can't deliver that special sound i was talking about.
    A Treble Booster is some sort of quantum physics. It delivers fantastic results but no one knows why ;-) (Just kidding).

    You need an single coil guitar ( with good single coils) a guitar cable (wireless won't work) and a good tube amp ( or good analog amp with an input stage that fits).
    If i use my VAN DAMME SILVER SERIES cord, the sound has to much high end. So my old coiled cord ist just right.


    Believe me, i tried the Treble Booster in the AXE and also the FX8 model into a VOX. It doesn't work. The sound is harsh and thin. When I try to clean it up with my volume pot, the sound gets more worse. ;-)

    But hey, That's okay. Axe is fantastic. For those other scenarios, there are other tools.
     
  7. guitarnerdswe

    guitarnerdswe
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    One thing about trying that struck me about trying to tone match that Queen clip, is that phase shifters create notches in the frequency response, which might not make the best basis for a tone match.
     
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  8. Singtall

    Singtall
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    on my guitar, the preset i made got me real close without tonematch. anyone tried it yet?
     
  9. Admin M@

    Admin M@
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    Fractal Audio Systems Moderator

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  10. yek

    yek
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  11. BadMelonFarmer

    BadMelonFarmer
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    Yeah, but what would the drummer know about guitar tone?

    :D
     
  12. Burgs

    Burgs
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    I had a crack at it a few firmwares back. Just the guitar and some model tweaking, though - no Tone Matching. Seemed to do the trick. AC20 and Treble Booster, BM Guitar. Preset's in the descriptor if you want to give it a shot.
     
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  13. Keybi

    Keybi
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    Yes really Mike. Did he use the Treble Booster drive model.?
    I also came close to that sound. But you can't !!! beat the real deal. From Hi Gain to Clean without loosing punch only using your Volume pot. I'm sorry. Close but no cigar.

    If it was that easy, why are there so many requests for the preset!.

    Don't get me wrong, Mike. I am on the list for the III. ;-) . But when a treble booster comes in, I leave the Axe at home.
    But who knows, maybe i am too stupid to dial it in ;-) . And maybe I succeed with the III.
     
  14. simviz

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    Have you watched the Brian May Star Licks video? I haven't tried myself, but it might be an alternative/better source for Tone Matching. It certainly gives lots of interesting insight into how Brian builds up the sound if you haven't seen it before.

    I understand what you are saying about emulating the feel of the range master/vox combination (@Burgs sounds great though!), but just to be clear, in that video of Rory on the 1979/1980 Top Priority Tour he is using a Marshall 2104 JMP MKII combo amp and by this time some foot pedals - including possibly a Boss OD-1. Check out the video of the Swiss show 'Karussell' from the same period for better shots of the amps and occasional pedal shot. Maybe his secret weapon was his fingers and a healthy dose of sweat?? :)
     
  15. Keybi

    Keybi
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    Well, i don't search for the "May" sound. I was talking about treble booster in general. It was never my intention to copy a sound. For me the TB in combination with a good tube amp is way better than the AXE. Period.
    But hey thats okay. I love my Marshall, Soldano presets. Everything okay here.

    And Rory used a lot of amps. But he made Brian May to use TB/Vox. Blackmoore preferred VOX too. The story says that he asked Jim Marshall to make his Marshalls sound like a VOX.
    But a TB into a JTM 45 is also fantastic. And yes, it is more about the feel.

    When i met Rory backstage in 1984 , i guess he played a Mesa Mark 1 copy from a local company here. But I am not sure about. Long ago ;-)
     
  16. Jeries

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    90% of Brian May recordings are a solid state amp- not vox
     
  17. Keybi

    Keybi
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    Guess what ;-) Here too. I prefer to play an TB into a Bluguitar AMP1. Of course you can use a (good) solid sate amp. It is the whole chain.
    Guitar (single coil) - guitar cord - cable.

    Look here.

    At 2:20

    Brian's tech said that they put the TB anywhere in the signal path. But the best is right after the guitar. And there is a reason for it. The TB needs a high impedance signal to sound good.
    An active PU , or the low impedance signal after an wireless system won't work. And that doesn't mean that it is not allowed. ;-). If somebody is happy with the results, well okay.

    Before the era of belt packed TBs, he always used a cordial cable.


    Again. I was not referring about the "May" sound in general. Personally, I don't like that nasal sound that much ;-) . Especially not the recorded sound. I prefer his live tone ;-)

    What I like about the combination is, that you can go from Clean to HiGain only with your guitar volume knob. No need to hit a pedal or changing channels.

    For that reason i don't succeed with the AXE model of the TB.
     
  18. Teej

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    I'll throw my Brian May at Wembley attempt I recorded a couple months ago since we're on the subject. Close as I can get with a Strat. I'm not a big enough Brian fan to justify getting a red special. The Treble Booster worked just how I expected it would.

     
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  19. John Hamulak

    John Hamulak
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    That's pretty solid. Thanks for posting a recording... it sounds a LOT like his tone on the Live @ Wembley vid... really good stuff! Preset? :)
     

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