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Default output level of the Axe-Fx III is lower than the Axe-Fx II

The default Output Level for Output 1 and 2 is -10 dBv. This was done to reduce the number of support cases due to people overloading the inputs on consumer-grade interfaces, mixers, etc. (IOW cheap stuff). Most professional gear runs at +4 dBu so if using a pro-grade interface, mixer, etc. you may want to go into the Global menu and change the level to +4 dBu.
I read somewhere that with the AX8 running output 1 to a desk the output level knob should be on full, but on the AXE FXII it should be at 12 o'clock.
Ive been running this method live with my AX8 and FXII for a while and it seems the levels are pretty stable doing this, and very similar.
Ive just got rid of my AX8 and last week got my FXIII, any suggestions about output knob 1 to the desk compared to the others? always found it handy to just know the AX8 was up full to the desk, same signal every time, but had to guess the FXII.
Wont be gigging it until the FC controllers are available so time to get it right.
Hope that makes sense? :)
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
The advice to set the output level knob at a certain position applies mainly to running the processor into a DAW.

When connecting the processor to an amplifier or mixer, you can the output to any position, as long as it doesn’t clip the input of the downstream device.
 
That's great, as we use a digital mixer my input trim is saved, so knowing I can set the FXIII to full on output 1 knob, set the trim and then its consistent for every gig is great news.
The other guitarist uses a Helix which has a set output, so we will always be totally in sync, well at least volume wise :)
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
I read somewhere that with the AX8 running output 1 to a desk the output level knob should be on full, but on the AXE FXII it should be at 12 o'clock.
Ive been running this method live with my AX8 and FXII for a while and it seems the levels are pretty stable doing this, and very similar.
Ive just got rid of my AX8 and last week got my FXIII, any suggestions about output knob 1 to the desk compared to the others? always found it handy to just know the AX8 was up full to the desk, same signal every time, but had to guess the FXII.
Wont be gigging it until the FC controllers are available so time to get it right.
Hope that makes sense? :)
I find that the Output1 knob of the Axe-III matches the digital signal output internally coming into a console when set to 3:00. I leave mine there and that’s how I dial in the Naked Amps presets for the Axe-III.

Also agree with what Yek said above.
 
I find that the Output1 knob of the Axe-III matches the digital signal output internally coming into a console when set to 3:00. I leave mine there and that’s how I dial in the Naked Amps presets for the Axe-III.

Also agree with what Yek said above.
I don't do any recording whatsoever so its purely live use for me, am I safe running knob 1 full to my desk like the AX8?

Austin - just bought your amp pack the other day for the FXIII, had your FXII pack previously and found them a great starting block for my live set-up, just starting to put my presets together on the FXIII, nice work :)
 
I was just checking lol, in fact now I think about it, it may have been one of Austin's guides that suggested the AXE FXII should be at 12 o'clock to a desk (not sure if this was meant for recording use or live) while the AX8 should be full, so assuming there must be some reason for this.
It seems to work for me live whatever the technical reason is behind it.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
I was just checking lol, in fact now I think about it, it may have been one of Austin's guides that suggested the AXE FXII should be at 12 o'clock to a desk (not sure if this was meant for recording use or live) while the AX8 should be full, so assuming there must be some reason for this.
It seems to work for me live whatever the technical reason is behind it.
All of Buddy's recommendations I recall reading are purely about levels when recording and using a digital system.

Not for live and not for analog recording.

And another point is, the front panel knobs mean nothing if preset level itself is not correct.

The recommendations are for the front panel knobs ONLY when the presets have been leveled a specific way.

I can make presets that are very quiet or very loud. That makes the position on the knob very dependent.
 
I must have got lucky then, been using Austin's presets as a benchmark for my presets and just tweaking slightly to level them all out.

I'll just wait til I get my FC controllers and get it all up and running, i'll set the outputs to the desk then.

Thanks for all the helpful info.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
All of Buddy's recommendations I recall reading are purely about levels when recording and using a digital system.

Not for live and not for analog recording.

And another point is, the front panel knobs mean nothing if preset level itself is not correct.

The recommendations are for the front panel knobs ONLY when the presets have been leveled a specific way.

I can make presets that are very quiet or very loud. That makes the position on the knob very dependent.
Unix makes great points.

So everyone knows my own philosophy here:

1) Actually most pros level to -18dbfs. I level my presets to -12db and so are the Factory Presets.

2) When I level, I set it using the digital S/PDIF level. I want that true digital signal strength to be on the meter to set the level of the preset leaving the Axe-Fx/Axe-III/Ax8 unit from the XLRs or other "playback" outputs too.

3) It used to be (in the past) on some unit types, under various firmwares, the S/PDIF signal was fixed - it was not affected by the Output 1 settings.

So I would put both the XLR and S/PDIF signal into a console side by side, and I would set the Output 1 knob level to be equal to the S/PDIF signal. Thats's really how I determined the "optimal" Output1 knob setting for an Axe-Fx XL, Mark II, Ax8, or Axe-Fx III.

Also, I use the +4db Audio output setting (not -10db), as I am using pro-grade equipment.

NOTE: There are some XLR In pre-amps on the market (noticeably the Scarlett Focusrite) that will add pre-amp gain automatically to your signal (and it will distort at my preset and Factory set -12db preset levels) - read your pre-amp device's manual for those, and the solution is using the 1/4" inputs bypass that automatic preamp gain.

Firmwares have changed over time. Right now, this is how I have my Output levels set on my FAS devices (so the XLR signal matches the digital signal out)

AX8 - is at +4db, and Out1 Max, on firmware 10.01. I think about it as fixed output preamp on the floor and all the volume comes elsewhere.

Axe-Fx XL - +4db, and Out1 at maximum (used to be Noon! It's changed!), on ARES 1.03.

Axe-Fx III -- +4db, and Out1 at 3:00, on ARES 5.08

4) Most importantly, and per unix, the Out1 knob does NOT affect the tone -- but your ears may think it does as it increases or decrease sin volume!.

You can set it where you need to for your system. But try to think of your Axe-FX unit as a preamp and the above as optimal output settings, and then get your volume changes from the device you are sending to.

Maybe I'll do an updated video on this later... getting this leveling/gain-staging right is important to get the best and most realistic sound IMHO.
 
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horror

New Member
Anybody happen to know if the QSC K10.2 expect -10 or +4? Can’t seem to find a definitive answer. Apologies if this answer is already spelled out in another thread. Did a lot of searching but no luck yet.
 

Rex

Legend!
Anybody happen to know if the QSC K10.2 expect -10 or +4? Can’t seem to find a definitive answer. Apologies if this answer is already spelled out in another thread. Did a lot of searching but no luck yet.
Don't sweat it. Turn down your QSC, and give +4 a try. Slowly turn up the volume, and see if you have a useful range. If not, change to -10.
 
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austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Just to clarify, -12 is where it touches the red in the output block meter?
In the hardware, that VU meter line that is two-thirds to the right is actually equivalent to -12db digital meter scale....(it would be equivalent 0 db on an analog board with the needle).
 
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