• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Dr Bonkers' Guide to Using Fractal Axe-FX 3 for Bass

RevDrucifer

Power User
You should post a clip.

I would get a big kick out of it.
This is the little clip I recorded so I wouldn't forget it. This is about 15 bpm slower than I want to play it at. I'm tuned to CGCG and am tapping both C strings and then both G strings every time I hit the strings. It's just the first riff that ends up repeating in the end, the other crap not synced with the drums was just me screwing off until the drums repeated the first section.

 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
Hey @dr bonkers do you ever mess with power amp settings when coming up with bass tones? I ask as I just did some for-fun tweaks in a guitar preset and I'm wondering how xformer match, negative feedback and bias affect things like the SVT or Mesa Bass amps as far as tones go. I'm nowhere near a bass tone expert, so I don't know if the mid shifts would be a good thing.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Hey @dr bonkers do you ever mess with power amp settings when coming up with bass tones? I ask as I just did some for-fun tweaks in a guitar preset and I'm wondering how xformer match, negative feedback and bias affect things like the SVT or Mesa Bass amps as far as tones go. I'm nowhere near a bass tone expert, so I don't know if the mid shifts would be a good thing.
The only things I do in the power amp section is make note of the current bias settings, switch to the KT 66 or KT 88, and set the bias to the original settings. It tends to open the sound a little.

Other than that, I really don't alter transformer match, mid shift, and negative feedback.

I may increase definition, crunch, or harmonics parameters by ear, but it's rare.

I increase input dynamics until I can hear the noise floor decrease. If you look at my posted preset, you will see how I set the compressor with a modifier. My goal is set the compressor so that it reduces 3-6 dB on the attack if I lay into the strings and let the level rise up with the decay of the note. It simulates the whomp you feel when playing a rig at gig volume.
 
Last edited:

jasmeece

Member
Hey can Dr B’s patch be converted to a FM3 patch? I am really interested to see some of these blocks including the envelope follower on the drive. I have seen some filters set up with envelope followers and they were great.
 

chrisjnyc

Power User
Hi All,

Thanks for letting me be a part of your community for so many years.

This thread will share some of the knowledge I've gained through my years in as a recording engineer and as a tinkerer with both the Axe-FX II and the Axe-FX III in order to get the most out of the unit for bass playing.

Here's a Google spreadsheet that I'm sharing as I'm updating bass presets to Cygnus to help dispel the widespread opinion that there are only 6 bass amps in the unit. If you make a little bit of an effort, you will find that you can find a world of bass tones and effects in this unit if you use your ears and alter some setting, just like you did on your real bass rig (no one just hooks into the amp without making some parameter tweaks to an amp).



Some caveats:

Just as all guitar amp sims do not play well with all guitar cab IR files, the same holds true for adapting amp models to bass.

The tonality of a particular amp model working for you depends upon a variety of factors:
Type of instrument
Type of pickups
Type of strings
Finger or Pick technique
String type and gauge
Playing style
Musical genre
Amount of gain used
Types of effects used
Instrumentation accompaniment
Musical arrangement
Speakers loaded in Cab captured as IR files
Mics used in IR capture (the EQ curves between mics make a huge difference to whether a cab is workable or not for the amp model)
Position of mic used in IR capture (some speakers really get dull at the edge position, some can floss your teeth in the cap position)
Design of the Cab
Monitoring volume
Type of monitoring used
Acoustical properties of your monitoring environment

I'm not including the bass amps in this list as most Fractal bass players have probably thoroughly explored those models already.
If you need to clean up some frequencies that bug you, use the 5 band Passive EQ in the amp block post power amp and BMT (don't be afraid to get aggressive with the controls).
All evaluations are based upon Cygnus FW16.00 and later.
As I go through updating presets to Cygnus, I will be updating the list.
Feedback is always appreciated as long as you are civil.

Thanks for this! I love the sound of a bass into a cranked Marshall amp (similar to Lemmy's tones), but wouldn't you lose a lot of the low end with the amps mentioned? I would run a bass amp and a guitar amp in parallel to retain some of the low end, but sounds like you have figured out a way to do it with one amp. Would love to try this on the amps you mentioned. Can you post a few presets or pics on how you tweak them for bass?
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Thanks for this! I love the sound of a bass into a cranked Marshall amp (similar to Lemmy's tones), but wouldn't you lose a lot of the low end with the amps mentioned? I would run a bass amp and a guitar amp in parallel to retain some of the low end, but sounds like you have figured out a way to do it with one amp. Would love to try this on the amps you mentioned. Can you post a few presets or pics on how you tweak them for bass?
Coming soon

You can always substitute your favorite Marshall for the hi frequency amps in the preset I posted.

The amps I posted though are good on their own. No low end loss.
 
Last edited:

warlockII

Power User
After watching Leon's tone matching video yet again it got me wondering if I could use that technique with the xlr out on the back of the GK instead of a load box? Since the GK straight to the board sounds great, I'm thinking that would be a good way.
What do you guys and gals think?
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic
What do you find a good guitar amp for cleanish fusion or funk bass tones? And what are stock cabs that go as good bass cabs?

I mostly use tube pre without any cab for my bass recordings now. Almost all bass cabs in the Axe fx make it too muddy for me.
 

Andreas01

Member
Almost all bass cabs in the Axe fx make it too muddy for me.
I agree with this. I have to say that I'm quite new to fractal. But as far I experianced the amps and cabs, they are soundwise rather in rock departement. I love to play with the citrone 200 amp. It has some crispy and sparkling in the sound. I paired it with an cab from Pulse 12 from celestion. In the package are several IR's. The warm finger style paired with one mike that sits at the horn, gives me a satisfying result.
I also will give a try the agular cabs from Dr. Bonkers and all the amps he sugested. But slowly. There is also time needed for practicing
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Hey can Dr B’s patch be converted to a FM3 patch? I am really interested to see some of these blocks including the envelope follower on the drive. I have seen some filters set up with envelope followers and they were great.
You can use Fractool to convert a 3 preset to FM3 preset. Then you can save the drive blocks to your block library and use them in any preset you want.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
What do you find a good guitar amp for cleanish fusion or funk bass tones? And what are stock cabs that go as good bass cabs?

I mostly use tube pre without any cab for my bass recordings now. Almost all bass cabs in the Axe fx make it too muddy for me.
Try the cabs in the preset that I posted.

As far as cleanish fusion amps, the CAE clean, USA pre clean, Jazz 120, and the Band Commander are all good places to start.

Don't be afraid to use the 5 band passive EQ and BMT aggressively to shape your sound. Also dialing back the preamp gain and MV can help sounds not get too muddy.
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
@Budda & @RevDrucifer Here's some preset I threw together that gives you 8 scenes of variations with the crossover block, drives, and even a DI that is engaged in some scenes.

I put a volume block before the multiple paths. In case your pickups are way hotter than mine, you reduce the gain to everything so that you can get something other than blazing distortion.
Thank you so much for this. As a bass newbie I don't have much in the way of bass amp dialing in skills yet, other than what transfers from guitar. Every scene was a fully usable and inspiring tone with my new bass. Honestly I don't see myself needing anything other than this preset for my core bass tones.
Have you considered offering preset/IR bundles?

Edit : I just bought some cab packs and see there are presets included. :)
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom