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Checklist for creating amps/presets

Adam Lowe

New Member
Hello,

I am a recovering amp user and have been using an XL+ since last fall. I really love it. I have read the wiki, random posts, yek's guides, other's guides...but I still feel a bit behind as far as creating from scratch, especially when it comes to more advanced controls and control sections of the amp block. I am wondering if someone can point me in the right direction as far as how to chronologically develop a preset. which settings to set first, things to go back and double check after you tweak something else. i have learned a bit about many of the controls individually, but am less confident about how everything fits together.

i should add my go-to sounds are usually warm tubey saturated leads, lush cleans. i hesitate to say vintage. I like big big tones. im hitting the different fender amps a lot, CAE, Tucana, etc.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
The Axe Fx is only as complex as you need it to be.

Treat it like a virtual rig. How would you setup and adjust a tube amp?

Start with an Amp block into a Cab block.

Choose an IR that is recommended for that amp as a starting point. See Yek's amp guides.

Adjust Input Drive and Master Volume to get the relative level of gain (distortion/drive) that you want.

One "virtual world advantage" you have is the Amp block Output Level control. Use this to get the desired volume.

It allows you to do things that might be hard in the tube amp world, like pegging the MV and Input Drive while not ripping your face off due to the volume :)

Next adjust Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence (or Hi Cut) to your taste.

This is all that should be needed to get a workable sound.

You can explore advanced settings, but in a real tube amp, you really have no ability to do that (unless your amp has extra controls/switches OR you have it modified)... Many of us rarely touch the advanced settings unless there is something specific we want to alter.

From there, start adding your effects. Again, use a similar process to what you would do with "real" equipment.

Hopefully this helps?
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
Welcome Adam! The simple answer is... approach it just like you would do a "regular" amp setup. You really don't need any of the advanced parameters. Some people will use them, others never touch them (I'm more in the 2nd category). You can just start with an Amp and Cab, and maybe a touch of reverb just so it doesn't sound too dry, and tweak the "basic" settings the same as you would one of your amps - B/M/T, presence, drive, etc are really all you need to get great tone.

Remember that the cab will have a lot of influence on your sound as well - in the analog world, you can't generally select between lots of cabs - you get what comes w/ it. So for starters, don't go down that rabbit hole, just pick one that fits - i.e. for a Fender pick one of the 1x12 or 2x12 - the wiki and Yek's guide can help with this - and go from there.

Once you have a base tone, then move on to pick a drive or two, just like you would on your pedalboard, same for any other fx you might want. And later, as you become more familiar with the nuances of the different amps etc, then if there's something not quite spot on you can try some of the advanced params and see if they make the difference you want. If you think about a physical amp, you don't have access to any of those tweaks - unless you have a soldering iron and know how different components can affect your sound. Some I've never been able to hear a difference, some clearly do. But save that for later.

And last, have fun!!
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Welcome Adam! The simple answer is... approach it just like you would do a "regular" amp setup. You really don't need any of the advanced parameters. Some people will use them, others never touch them (I'm more in the 2nd category). You can just start with an Amp and Cab, and maybe a touch of reverb just so it doesn't sound too dry, and tweak the "basic" settings the same as you would one of your amps - B/M/T, presence, drive, etc are really all you need to get great tone.

Remember that the cab will have a lot of influence on your sound as well - in the analog world, you can't generally select between lots of cabs - you get what comes w/ it. So for starters, don't go down that rabbit hole, just pick one that fits - i.e. for a Fender pick one of the 1x12 or 2x12 - the wiki and Yek's guide can help with this - and go from there.

Once you have a base tone, then move on to pick a drive or two, just like you would on your pedalboard, same for any other fx you might want. And later, as you become more familiar with the nuances of the different amps etc, then if there's something not quite spot on you can try some of the advanced params and see if they make the difference you want. If you think about a physical amp, you don't have access to any of those tweaks - unless you have a soldering iron and know how different components can affect your sound. Some I've never been able to hear a difference, some clearly do. But save that for later.

And last, have fun!!
We basically gave the same answer at the same time! ;)
 

Adam Lowe

New Member
Ok thanks everyone, this helps. I was definitely under the impression that it was more common to edit the more advanced parameters.
 

Ron_R

Power User
I can add that there are loads of great YouTube tutorials for this very thing.

I'm a HUGE fan of the Mesa based Axe Fx II amps and Leon Todd on YouTube has really great, simple tutorials to use. He has other amps he teaches for as well, but the Mesa ones are my personal favorite.
 

guitarfreak365

Inspired
Ok thanks everyone, this helps. I was definitely under the impression that it was more common to edit the more advanced parameters.
I just got turned onto Leon Todd videos on youtube. I would highly recommend watching them. I posted two bellow that really took my tone up a few notches.


 

Muad'zin

Power User
Don't forget that if you found an amp and cab block combo that you like to save them as global amp and cab blocks. That way its easier to create new presets, just load the global blocks, bam! You're good to go on fleshing out your new preset with the fun stuff like FX. For which global blocks are also a life saver. Just remember that any change you make to a global block will be added to all the other presets that have them.
 

boyedav

Member
Like others have suggested, keep mostly to the more common controls you'd see on any amp or effects. I'd would get my tones 95% of where I wanted with those, and then dig into the Advanced parameters for the last 5%.
 

Muad'zin

Power User
The way I see it, this is not an amp or a simple pedal. So any advertizing who told you it would be simple was wrong. But truth and advertizing never mix. There is a learning curve with this thing and some tweaking is just inescapable. The good news is that there are a lot of people willing to help, tutorials a-plenty and if you persist things do get easier. No need to dive into the deeper parameters. No it will never be as simple as a simple guitar into pedals into amp setup. Because this thing can do so much more. It retired my mega pedal board, and that thing had more pedals then most bands playing a major festival together. But you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want.

And +1 for getting that preset pack if you want it to be as simple as possible. And learn a little as to how good presets are made.
 
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