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

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
So I was playing with the new factory presets on my Axe FX III with my guitar and was really liking the "Heavy" scene from the new Hevy Devy preset. This scene uses the Herbie CH3 model. I was liking the character of the distortion in it and thought, "I wonder how this would sound with my bass?"

The answer is, it sounded pretty cool. Very thin so I thought I would check it out with some bass cabs. I used the following Dr. Bonkers IR's in the user slots being pointed to. Cab1 : 2x15_TRAY_U97_U97_PZM_DBS from his Volume 17: TRAY 2X15 Bass Cab IR pack and CAB2 : 4x12_AGI_U97_U97_PZM_DBS from his Volume 18: AGI 4X12 Bass Cab IR pack. Now we were cooking gas as the piercing top end was removed.

Next step, it still needed some girth added to the bottom. Well, I know an easy was to do that. I threw in a clean SVT and ran it through the same cabs. So much punch using middle P pickup, with tons on the bottom from the SVT. Anyway, I'll share the preset for anyone that has these cab packs in case they want to try. If you want to sub in built in cabs, try F2:194 and F2:214. It won't sound near as good, but it will work at least. I think the magic is coming from that Tray IR.

Scene 1 : Clean (SVT) only
Scene 2 : Filthy
Scene 3 : Clean with ping pong delay and reverb
Scene 4 : Filthy with ping pong delay and reverb
Scene 5 : Clean with light dimension chorus

http://www.hellbatskitchen.com/sounds/heavy_bass.syx (you may night to right click and "save as" depending on your browser.

The sound I was going for is contained in scene 2 and what I was trying to achieve was "Pissed off Lemmy after the speed kicks in". The SVT by itself in scene 1 sounds pretty nice. The ping pong delay and reverb were lifted directly from the HEVY DEVY preset and dumped in here just for goofing off. The first delay is also taken from that preset and I added some ducking to make it sit more in the background while you're actively playing.

Note : this is a stereo preset, it might sound bad collapsed to mono, I haven't tried.
Note 2 : This uses user cabs. You will need to either load the same cabs into the same locations or choose different factory or user cabs.
 
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jasmeece

Member
Hey just wanted to jump in here. After reading this I tried a copy of other amps on my FM3. The CAE with any speaker sounds amazing with my Pbass. I think it will be my new go to set up.
 

Pagzy

Member
So I was playing with the new factory presets on my Axe FX III with my guitar and was really liking the "Heavy" scene from the new Hevy Devy preset. This scene uses the Herbie CH3 model. I was liking the character of the distortion in it and thought, "I wonder how this would sound with my bass?"

The answer is, it sounded pretty cool. Very thin so I thought I would check it out with some bass cabs. I used the following Dr. Bonkers IR's in the user slots being pointed to. Cab1 : 2x15_TRAY_U97_U97_PZM_DBS from his Volume 17: TRAY 2X15 Bass Cab IR pack and CAB2 : 4x12_AGI_U97_U97_PZM_DBS from his Volume 18: AGI 4X12 Bass Cab IR pack. Now we were cooking gas as the piercing top end was removed.

Next step, it still needed some girth added to the bottom. Well, I know an easy was to do that. I threw in a clean SVT and ran it through the same cabs. So much punch using middle P pickup, with tons on the bottom from the SVT. Anyway, I'll share the preset for anyone that has these cab packs in case they want to try. If you want to sub in built in cabs, try F2:194 and F2:214. It won't sound near as good, but it will work at least. I think the magic is coming from that Tray IR.

Scene 1 : Clean (SVT) only
Scene 2 : Filthy
Scene 3 : Clean with ping pong delay and reverb
Scene 4 : Filthy with ping pong delay and reverb
Scene 5 : Clean with light dimension chorus

http://www.hellbatskitchen.com/sounds/heavy_bass.syx (you may night to right click and "save as" depending on your browser.

The sound I was going for is contained in scene 2 and what I was trying to achieve was "Pissed off Lemmy after the speed kicks in". The SVT by itself in scene 1 sounds pretty nice. The ping pong delay and reverb were lifted directly from the HEVY DEVY preset and dumped in here just for goofing off. The first delay is also taken from that preset and I added some ducking to make it sit more in the background while you're actively playing.

Note : this is a stereo preset, it might sound bad collapsed to mono, I haven't tried.
Note 2 : This uses user cabs. You will need to either load the same cabs into the same locations or choose different factory or user cabs.
Hey @Hellbat
Do you still have your preset to share? The link is broken for me...
Cheers
Pagz
 

JoeW-NC

Member
Please see this part of my original post:
Thanks for looking outside the stock "bass amps." I recently played a gig where the only tone I used was a slightly modified version of your "Rush-Lee Rickenbacker" preset, which is based on the JM45 amp. Scene 1 is great for me, since the only adjustment I need to make is the volume output on my bass. The tone goes from a gritty and snappy "prog" type tone at 3/4 volume, to a very warm tone with sustain for weeks at full volume, without affecting the overall output level.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Thanks for looking outside the stock "bass amps." I recently played a gig where the only tone I used was a slightly modified version of your "Rush-Lee Rickenbacker" preset, which is based on the JM45 amp. Scene 1 is great for me, since the only adjustment I need to make is the volume output on my bass. The tone goes from a gritty and snappy "prog" type tone at 3/4 volume, to a very warm tone with sustain for weeks at full volume, without affecting the overall output level.
Thanks for the feedback!
 

RamboMadCow

Inspired
I'm here from the Axe 3 forum @dr bonkers lol. I don't see a lot of information in how to great a ground bass sound if you decide to try a DI method. I'm trying to get a crushing bass sound with the Blackglass + Pi Fuzz for a Metallica tribute band. My bass player likes the SV1 + a combo of 4x10 + 1x15.

Right now my proposed method is to have the setup he likes, and use a multiplexer after the drives but before the amp/cab and go back and forth until we get a sound that's the same or close enough.

If you've ever done something like this and have a good idea of why kind of EQ I should start with that would be most welcome advice.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
I'm here from the Axe 3 forum @dr bonkers lol. I don't see a lot of information in how to great a ground bass sound if you decide to try a DI method. I'm trying to get a crushing bass sound with the Blackglass + Pi Fuzz for a Metallica tribute band. My bass player likes the SV1 + a combo of 4x10 + 1x15.

Right now my proposed method is to have the setup he likes, and use a multiplexer after the drives but before the amp/cab and go back and forth until we get a sound that's the same or close enough.

If you've ever done something like this and have a good idea of why kind of EQ I should start with that would be most welcome advice.
Metallica uses an SVT with an 8x10 cab. Before the SVT, they used a Superbass if I'm not mistaken for the bass.

If that's your target sound, why struggle with the Darkglass, Pi Fuzz, and eq to try to approximate the same thing?

The DI or Darkglass direct thing is good for those djenty, treble heavy bass tones. Except for AJFA, Mwtallica always had a mic cab and DI mix sound.

The preset that I posted in that thread will give you some routing ideas for that paradigm.
 

RamboMadCow

Inspired
There's a decent bit of distortion on the bass tracks for Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and Justice. My bass player has been learning the songs from the youtube channel The Bass Channel, and he found this Shortest Straw cover and loved the sound:

He uses the Blackglass for that sound, and I know Cliff used the Big Muff Pi and a Tube Screamer for a lot of his dirty sounds. I was wanting to create a rig with both so that depending on the song and what the bass player wanted to do he could flip between the 2 drives or used them both with a wah for some of the crazy bass wailing things they do.

The goal is to allow the guitars to run the classic II C++ and a Diezel for their modern sound they have going, but that leaves me without the amp for the bass.

I'll pull your preset and go through it and see if I can find some stuff that sounds good or close!
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Ok, so the bass is going to run in the same unit as two guitars.

Interesting. That really limits the bass player's tonal options significantly.
 

RamboMadCow

Inspired
Ok, so the bass is going to run in the same unit as two guitars.

Interesting. That really limits the bass player's tonal options significantly.

Close but not entirely. I have 2 Axe FX 3's for my group. One is for me to run dual amps into 1 cab block for the dirty sound, and then I run my vocals through my unit for on demand delay/reverb effects to simulate what their sound guy does for certain songs vocally.

The 2nd unit is for the lead guitarist and the bass player. Ideally I was hoping to find a solution for the bass player that allowed myself and the lead to run the same dual amp setup with slightly refined EQ settings to sit uniquely in the mix.

In the end, it's about the sound of the band as a whole mixed together. If I can't find a solution without an amp block for the bass player (I can add a cab block for him though) and his tone sacrifices a lot more than sacrificing the dual amp setup for the lead, then I'll give him an amp/cab.
 

MackieFX

Inspired
How much low cut do people usually use for bass? I find I need to cut everything under 120Hz for it to be cohesive in my un-treated environment. Which seems overkill. Using SVT and Mesa 8x10IR
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
How much low cut do people usually use for bass? I find I need to cut everything under 120Hz for it to be cohesive in my un-treated environment. Which seems overkill. Using SVT and Mesa 8x10IR
It really depends on the curve of your monitoring, output of your pickups, and treatment of your room along with how much low end is dialed into your kick drum and floor toms.

If you have room eq/treatment and those other instruments dialed in well, then you shouldn't need a ton of roll off.
 

MackieFX

Inspired
It really depends on the curve of your monitoring, output of your pickups, and treatment of your room along with how much low end is dialed into your kick drum and floor toms.

If you have room eq/treatment and those other instruments dialed in well, then you shouldn't need a ton of roll off.
Im just an at home player so its an untreated room with some A7Xs

Dingwall NG3 pickups are pretty hot.
 
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