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Building presets - Best way to get uniform output levels?

CyberFerret

Power User
Ok, so I am building all my favourite presets from scratch in V10 to see how I go. I mainly have about 6 or 7 'go to' presets. Most are for my Strat & Tele, one for a humbucker and one for acoustic guitar.

The problem in the past is that because of the different amps etc., the output levels of each preset have been quite different, so if I switch guitars and presets, I usually have to tweak with the output volumes to get parity with the previous one.

I am hoping to make that 'in between' tweaking a thing of the past by getting the output levels on all my patches to be fairly uniform - especially amongst my single coil guitars.

What is the 'best practice' method of setting output level equivalency for each preset? Tweaking the 'Level' parameter on the amp block? The 'Level' parameter on the cab block? Setting a vol/pan block and tweaking the level on that? Any other suggestions?
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I haven't done this yet, but I've got some ideas if you are interested.

First it is in my personal opinion that once a preset is dialed in correctly that I do not want to mess with any levels from within the patch that could affect the gain structure or tone. I stay away from adjusting my patch's volume from within blocks. That's just my methodology.

One of the most underappreciated features of the AxeFX is the increment/decrement parameter. Basically if you have a foot switch or MIDI controller you can set it up to raise/lower the patch's output volume (from the output section of the layout). This is great because it also saves the settings automatically. So you can go from patch to patch and just mash on these two buttons to set the level between them while you are playing. I haven't found a faster way to do it.

Now the thing that I haven't tried yet is to use a sound meter like Scott uses for his levels. I wasn't really interested in buying one, but if you've got a smartphone or tablet there are free sound level apps out there. Set your monitor's volume so that you get a decent level on the meter and then use that as the reference to match to.
 

CyberFerret

Power User
I haven't done this yet, but I've got some ideas if you are interested.

First it is in my personal opinion that once a preset is dialed in correctly that I do not want to mess with any levels from within the patch that could affect the gain structure or tone. I stay away from adjusting my patch's volume from within blocks. That's just my methodology.

One of the most underappreciated features of the AxeFX is the increment/decrement parameter. Basically if you have a foot switch or MIDI controller you can set it up to raise/lower the patch's output volume (from the output section of the layout). This is great because it also saves the settings automatically. So you can go from patch to patch and just mash on these two buttons to set the level between them while you are playing. I haven't found a faster way to do it.

Now the thing that I haven't tried yet is to use a sound meter like Scott uses for his levels. I wasn't really interested in buying one, but if you've got a smartphone or tablet there are free sound level apps out there. Set your monitor's volume so that you get a decent level on the meter and then use that as the reference to match to.
Thanks shasha - See I learned something today. I always thought the Output section of the preset was an overall 'Global' setting. I didn't realise it was saved with the preset. Sounds like your suggestion would be the best spot to set the levels.

I probably wouldn't go as far as getting a sound meter either. I just want to make sure that they *appear* the same volume by comparing using my studio monitors at home. I assume that will translate to a perceived equal volume at gig levels?!?
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I think that having a good reference is always a good baseline, but at the end of the day you should adjust for what sounds right to you. I never used a sound meter myself. If it sounded too loud I'd turn it down and if it wasn't loud enough it got turned up.

But you did ask for "best practice." ;)
 

webe123

Inspired
I haven't done this yet, but I've got some ideas if you are interested.

First it is in my personal opinion that once a preset is dialed in correctly that I do not want to mess with any levels from within the patch that could affect the gain structure or tone. I stay away from adjusting my patch's volume from within blocks. That's just my methodology.

One of the most underappreciated features of the AxeFX is the increment/decrement parameter. Basically if you have a foot switch or MIDI controller you can set it up to raise/lower the patch's output volume (from the output section of the layout). This is great because it also saves the settings automatically. So you can go from patch to patch and just mash on these two buttons to set the level between them while you are playing. I haven't found a faster way to do it.

Now the thing that I haven't tried yet is to use a sound meter like Scott uses for his levels. I wasn't really interested in buying one, but if you've got a smartphone or tablet there are free sound level apps out there. Set your monitor's volume so that you get a decent level on the meter and then use that as the reference to match to.

Yeah, but what if you do not have a foot controller to do that with? I think scott hit it right on the head with using the I/O button and using that one volume knob per preset.
 
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kkolb71

Inspired
Regarding the sound level meter, I watched Scott's video and bought an inexpensive one from guitar center for around $70.00. It was a great investment and quickly helps to level all my presets. The reason I bring this up is I learned something during this process. Gain presets that I perceived to be loud were actually less dB than some clean presets that sounded quieter to my ears. I think this is why some gain patches get lost in the mix sometimes. It made a huge difference in hearing all my parts back on the recordings of live shows. For what it is worth to you. Thanks
 

Cainer

Experienced
One of the most underappreciated features of the AxeFX is the increment/decrement parameter. Basically if you have a foot switch or MIDI controller you can set it up to raise/lower the patch's output volume (from the output section of the layout). This is great because it also saves the settings automatically. So you can go from patch to patch and just mash on these two buttons to set the level between them while you are playing. I haven't found a faster way to do it.
how do you do this? This would solve one of my biggest problems!
 

byce_pryah

Inspired
how do you do this? This would solve one of my biggest problems!
This is what I've been trying to find out too. I have a dual footswitch (Boss FS-6) that I can plug into my MFC. I just need to find out how to go about setting up the devices to do the vol dec/inc thing. I know the explanation exists somewhere as I have read it. Foolishly, I didn't bookmark it.

P.S. Chris, this is what I was asking you in that other thread in which I did eventually answer your question. :)
 

chris

Legend!
P.S. Chris, this is what I was asking you in that other thread in which I did eventually answer your question. :)
hah OH ok.

you'll have to set a General Use IA switch, in other words not an Axe FX Function.

i'll type up some instructions later unless someone else can point you in the right direction. gotta go to work.
 

Loopback777

Inspired
Preset level - Axe-Fx II Wiki

Basically set up two pedals, one with MIDI CC 28 and the other with 29. You can also do it with a footswitch, but we've only got the one foot switch input on the back of the AxeFXII so it's kind of useless for that. With the Ultra it worked great.
I read your post. I followed the link. I had to use my hand to lift my chin which had fallen to the floor. This is a HUGE deal to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So I can set up these switches, be playing live, adjust main output levels (I wonder what the increments are - I guess I'll find out) and then change presets and it saves how I left it? I'm curious how this automatic saving happens?

Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing. Now if I can just get my presets to stop sounding mono in V10 all will be right with the world.

Edit: It works like a charm! Now all that's left to do is Photoshop a couple of new labels on some magnetic paper. Thanks again for bringing this to my attention, Shasha. I'll pass on a thanks from my band as well. I'm sure they'd want me to. They dread my "updates". They love the tones I get, but hate dealing with out-of-whack level changes. If you have a footswitch with many custom presets, this is a dream come true.
 
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Warrior

Power User
In my studio I set the "Level" of the amp to read -12dB on my DAW meter. This is going direct. Not sure if this translates equally to the XLR outputs.
 

Loopback777

Inspired
About 1 dB per stomp.



It saves the preset every time you stomp the switch. The downside is that if you've made any other temporary tweeks or bypassed/unbypassed something, it'll save that, too.
Thanks, Rex. Good to know. If I'm playing live, I don't tweak on the front panel, so if I change output volume with the switches, I'll make certain that I do so with all other switches in their "starting" position. Also caught the dB change when testing it. You know, I can't figure what the LEDs on the MFC are doing with using Vol up an down. They seem to have a mind of their own (not that it matters). Whatever, this is such a great feature. I've been using the Axe since Ultra. I wonder how many other gems are in there that I'm not aware of. I guess I could read the manual/wiki. :0 Who am I kidding, that would be too easy.

Also, as an unrelated side, my presets sound fantastic now that I reset params and stopped using AE beta (only saying because I mentioned mono sounding presets with V10). They are rocking now.
 

Rex

Legend!
You know, I can't figure what the LEDs on the MFC are doing with using Vol up an down. They seem to have a mind of their own (not that it matters).
No idea (I don't have an MFC-101). The good news is that it doesn't matter what the LEDs say...you know exactly what one stomp will do on either switch. :)


I wonder how many other gems are in there that I'm not aware of. I guess I could read the manual/wiki. :0 Who am I kidding, that would be too easy.
It's totally worthwhile to read the manual front to back over the course of a week or three. You'll experience a whole lot of "a-hah!"



Also, as an unrelated side, my presets sound fantastic now that I reset params and stopped using AE beta...
Yeah, I'm keeping my Axe-Edit usage to a minimum. It's great that it supports the new firmware features, but it's less stable than earlier versions, and I still don't trust it to be kind to my patches (I haven't documented enough to say exactly why, but I still have too many "What the heck just happened?" moments).
 
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PALYGAP

Experienced
Preset level - Axe-Fx II Wiki

Basically set up two pedals, one with MIDI CC 28 and the other with 29. You can also do it with a footswitch, but we've only got the one foot switch input on the back of the AxeFXII so it's kind of useless for that. With the Ultra it worked great.
Useful feature that the volume inc/dec is saved. Cool it's in the WiKi but don't think it's in the Manual.

I'll go dig in the WIKI some more to find some more info like this.
 
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