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Fighting my CLR

brianv4

Fractal Fanatic
i find if you're not used to FRFR, standing directly in front of it can sound a bit harsh. set the switch on the CLR to backline and stand the CLR like a cab (not a monitor wedge) so you're not listening directly on axis
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
The lesser reverb doesn't sound lesser and if you were using you traditional amp you would not have stereo fx.

There are things we learn to live with. Two topics beaten to death 10x over around here is the audio gap and Axe/Ax tone via FRFR or direct to FOH vs amp in the room sound. Some guys just can't deal with it. It is mostly a mental block since clearly so many guys get killer tones going direct and often ppl who say they don't like direct like the sound of other peoples stuff going FRFR. These things Re just part of what comes with the FAS package and in the need for some folks they just end up. It wanting the FAS package and it is understandable
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
i find if you're not used to FRFR, standing directly in front of it can sound a bit harsh. set the switch on the CLR to backline and stand the CLR like a cab (not a monitor wedge) so you're not listening directly on axis
That's how I run it...I've actually tried all 3 ways. It sounds the same each way to me. It sounds good but something is missing and the feel is definitely not there.
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
The lesser reverb doesn't sound lesser and if you were using you traditional amp you would not have stereo fx.

There are things we learn to live with. Two topics beaten to death 10x over around here is the audio gap and Axe/Ax tone via FRFR or direct to FOH vs amp in the room sound. Some guys just can't deal with it. It is mostly a mental block since clearly so many guys get killer tones going direct and often ppl who say they don't like direct like the sound of other peoples stuff going FRFR. These things Re just part of what comes with the FAS package and in the need for some folks they just end up. It wanting the FAS package and it is understandable

You're right but it doesn't work for everyone. My FOH direct tone is fine...but it's fine with a real amp too. Hitting CPU limits is bothersome for me though. I'm still trying to find a way around that where I don't need 20-30 presets for a show. Running stereo out direct, I do prefer to have stereo FX but I've been living without it.
 

bcblyth

New Member
Lately, I've haven't been having good luck with getting any kind of tone from the AX8 I'm happy with. I'm running it into my CLR but I think I'm coming to the conclusion that the CLR is what I'm not liking. Every amp model/cab combination sounds "synthetic" to me coming from the CLR. This happened with my Amplifire also. By synthetic, I mean not natural sounding to my ears. It doesn't sound like an amp/cab mic'd up to me.

Today, I went back to my 5153 head and cab by itself. It sounded SO good. Nothing at all like what I hear from the AX8/CLR using the same amp/cab combo. It has life, it breathes and more.

Then I ran the AX8 in 4CM (like I did when I got the AX8) and it was still good just using the FX, although I can hear some tone sucking (I know the FX8 is made for this type of thing...not complaining).

I then tried the AX8's amps using my cab and 5153 for power. Sounded MUCH better than what I hear from the CLR. It sounds like an amp to me. I've been also fighting the tone in my In ears...direct from the AX8 to the board and then to me, it sounds nothing like it does out front. Very uninspiring. I've had this issue with other direct amps though so I know it's not the AX8.

I think I'm pinpointing that I just don't like FRFR...no matter the speaker. I've also tried the alto212 and a Friedman. Same issue with both...it doesn't sound or feel like it does when I play through my amp. Through good studio monitors, it does improve but the amp/cab still sounds better to me.

I've bought a handful of IR packs from ownhammer lately, hoping this would help. While these IRs do sound good through my small computer monitors, through the CLR, it's still not what I like to hear. It's getting pretty frustrating because I'm back to tweaking too much and not playing as much. When I had my Kemper, I hardly tweaked but I also didn't use a CLR.

Not sure what I'm going to do. I have this weekend off as my next gig isn't until the 15th. I think what I'm finding is that I don't prefer tone that is pressed against my ear drums (via IEM, which I mostly have to use) or doesn't have that cab "space" behind me. I'm also having trouble finding amp options that do what I need without either hitting the CPU limits or having to X/Y amps and have that gap. I do hear it when using IEMs and it can throw you off...the whole band uses them sometimes and everyone hears it. I've always used different amps or channels for my rig in the past.

Anyone else fighting this type of thing with your AX8/Axe-Fx/whatever modeler?
The CLR was the best solution for me until I got the Friedman ASM 12. I read the reviews on the Friedman "Not being true FRFR" and "artificially bass heavy" and was put off for awhile...then I decided to give it a try. Put it side by side and blasted both. THE ASM was the clear better option for me. IT JUST SOUNDS RIGHT..like the real vintage Marshalls, Fenders, and Voxes etc. that I have had. That's my sound-vintage, not high gain. LOVE IT. So glad I gave it a try. The CLR sounded really boxy to me in comparison. Just my opinion.
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
You're right but it doesn't work for everyone. My FOH direct tone is fine...but it's fine with a real amp too. Hitting CPU limits is bothersome for me though. I'm still trying to find a way around that where I don't need 20-30 presets for a show. Running stereo out direct, I do prefer to have stereo FX but I've been living without it.
I use either a CLR or iems exclusively and love both solutions. Some guys having CPU issues have chosen to run a reverb pedal into their Ax and that gives lots of CPU back
 

maxdown

Fractal Fanatic
FRFR backline coming from close behind you doesn't always sound right until you go out front and hear it in more context with the rest of the band .... so it's your own ears that you need to re-educate for short throw stage work .... and that doesn't happen after a few songs ..... more like a few gigs and rehearsals.

For a small room gig where backline is 95% of what the audience hear it's less stress to just use conventional cabs and fit in with the rest of the band vibe in my opinion ... that's why I chose to use a separate power amp (Matrix GT1000FX) and have passive FRFR/Conventional cabs ... allows me both FRFR and conventional cab setups easily ...... all that changes is what pair of cabs I bring to the gig.

It's all personal enjoyment in any case - for the most part the average bar gig audience don't give a damn after a few beers and the girls get up to dance. :)
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
FRFR backline coming from close behind you doesn't always sound right until you go out front and hear it in more context with the rest of the band .... so it's your own ears that you need to re-educate for short throw stage work .... and that doesn't happen after a few songs ..... more like a few gigs and rehearsals.

For a small room gig where backline is 95% of what the audience hear it's less stress to just use conventional cabs and fit in with the rest of the band vibe in my opinion ... that's why I chose to use a separate power amp (Matrix GT1000FX) and have passive FRFR/Conventional cabs ... allows me both FRFR and conventional cab setups easily ...... all that changes is what pair of cabs I bring to the gig.

It's all personal enjoyment in any case - for the most part the average bar gig audience don't give a damn after a few beers and the girls get up to dance. :)
Problem is I've been trying this for well over 6 months now...first with the amplifire and now the AX8. In both cases, the CLR sounds weird to me. It's not a matter of how far back it is or close...it's just different from the traditional setup that I like and am used to. I've been using modelers for 8-10 years now but usually through a real cab. I think I'm finding I prefer that sound.
 
I was fighting my CLR too when playing live until I bought a 44mag pedal (which you have anyways) and started bringing a 2x12 for a backline. Now I have the CLR up front and the 2x12 behind me. I have total control over my stage mix and it's been awesome. I'd give that a try
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
I was fighting my CLR too when playing live until I bought a 44mag pedal (which you have anyways) and started bringing a 2x12 for a backline. Now I have the CLR up front and the 2x12 behind me. I have total control over my stage mix and it's been awesome. I'd give that a try
Funny you say that because I spent a couple of hours tonight using the 44 into my 412...it sounded pretty good! I then switched back to the CLR and it's no contest. It sounds fake/synthetic to my ears. I tried a bunch of different IRs...close mic'd, far field, in between, blends, etc...nothing sounded natural to me. Looks like I'll be using a cab for gigs. I'm tempted to just use the 44, it's loud enough, but I don't know the reliability of it yet.
 

muudrock

Experienced
I realized a long time ago that FRFR is never gonna sound the same as a live cabinet. I usually run a live cab behind me in addition to a CLR on my left. I do love the sound space it creates on the stage--sounds big... but more gear. At this point, I don't care. If it sounds good, it's worth it. I've done a lot of gigs with just the CLR or a monitor and while not my favorite sound, it works well.
What helped me a lot was adjusting the global EQ. I cut lows and highs which does help FRFR sound more "real". This helps with IEMs too. I also always run the room parameter in the cab block around 35% which helps with in ears.
 

wcfieldskx

Power User
The CLR was the best solution for me until I got the Friedman ASM 12. I read the reviews on the Friedman "Not being true FRFR" and "artificially bass heavy" and was put off for awhile...then I decided to give it a try. Put it side by side and blasted both. THE ASM was the clear better option for me. IT JUST SOUNDS RIGHT..like the real vintage Marshalls, Fenders, and Voxes etc. that I have had. That's my sound-vintage, not high gain. LOVE IT. So glad I gave it a try. The CLR sounded really boxy to me in comparison. Just my opinion.
My experience also. The ASM 12 sounded better to me too...
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
I've tried both of their presets. While they sound good, they have that same feel/sound through the CLR. I really think it's the FRFR part that I'm not liking.
Yeah my preset was NOT created for live. The sound I use live through my 25 watt 4x12 greenback cab is way different. For what it's worth, I HATE FRFR! In my opinion, one of the things that keeps my tone feeling and sounding like an amp live, is me going through my cab. There's just something about it that I like so much better. But in the studio, I have my own little system that works for me and really like the tones I'm getting without mic'ing a thing.

One of my friends has a music store and has a few of those FRFR's. I just didn't like them at all. As a matter of fact, I'm even picky about what power amp I use. Clean power amps NOT made for strictly guitar are going to make you more stale sounding.

I like the Rocktron Velocity 300, 1 space amp as my first weapon of choice. The Carvin 100 watt tube power amp is my second, and my Mesa 90:90 is my third. I really don't like tube power amps to be honest because of how much power we have in our Axe units. There's really no need for a power amp with a tube section for me, BUT....I do like them over other amps that I've tried. You have to be so loud to get power amp tube saturation anyway....and I'm a little tired of being so loud, my breakfast is coming up on me at dinner.

One thing is for sure, always ALWAYS use a power amp made for guitar frequencies unless you have a specific reason NOT to do so. I've tried PA power amps, those fake mosvalve things.....tube emulated, weird company names that sell you 1200 watts for $300.....new companies that are trying to make you believe they have the greatest, cleanest power amp on the market.....it's all hype to my ears and doesn't ever sound very good.

You're better off slaving off of a Marshall or even (as much as I hate to admit this) a Line 6 Flex or some other amp with a decent power section geared for guitar and the harmonic values guitars put out. I absolutely love my Rocktron and have used them since the old 300 watt double space power amps came out. I still have two of those, two 250's and now the single space 300's. Best, most reliable power amp I've ever used. I've been all over the world with the darned things and only had one outage in the early versions years ago.

Now, I need to say this also....though I am using my Axe Fx through the power amp and a Marshall 25 watt Greenback Celestion rig, I am STILL also using power amp emulation, cab modeling from my Axe as well as my own IR cab that I made. This stops any of that fizzy stuff from happening. I've gotten more compliments from this rig than any other I've ever owned. It sounds exactly the same every night, and I don't know what I'd be playing if I didn't have it.

I got a guy from this forum coming to my studio this weekend to create patches for him on his FRFR system. I'll probably have a better idea on what to tell you after our session together. I've messed with FRFR's but not to the extent of what I'll be doing this weekend. I'll let you know what I find out as well as what you may want to try once I see for myself what is going on.

Wish I could be more helpful...but just like that special girl, that guitar you love that may be a clunker, or the pick-ups you chose because of that special something.....you're going to have to go through a few things finding what works for you. FRFR may not be for you. After this weekend, they may be FOR me.....we shall see. I'll be in touch.

-Danny
 

bshaw92

Inspired
Have you tried the Tech 21 112 or 212 Power Engine? If you are already going to carry something else that might be something that gets what you want?
 

DLC86

Fractal Fanatic
Funny you say that because I spent a couple of hours tonight using the 44 into my 412...it sounded pretty good! I then switched back to the CLR and it's no contest. It sounds fake/synthetic to my ears. I tried a bunch of different IRs...close mic'd, far field, in between, blends, etc...nothing sounded natural to me. Looks like I'll be using a cab for gigs. I'm tempted to just use the 44, it's loud enough, but I don't know the reliability of it yet.
I just recently discovered a "recipe" to a pretty good amp in the room emulation with my clr: take a room or far field IR (or in alternative one that has a balanced response across the spectrum) of your preferred cab, load it in cab lab (if you have it) and turn up smoothing parameter (I usually set it between 7 and 10). This for me often works wonders but not always, it depends on the cab, in my experience it's great with ownhammer and taf IRs, not so great with redwirez.
Then, after loading it on the ax8, tweak the speaker drive (and also motor drive for those who have an axe fx) in the amp block to your liking.
Start with no Hi and lo cut in the cab, if it's too trebly/fizzy turn down the Hi-cut even down to 6000 Hz, if it lacks low end place your Clr on the ground BUT leave the switch on FF.
Try it if you want and let me know what you think ;-)

Ps: if you don't have cab lab eventually tell me which cab you use and I'll send you the smoothed version to try it out, if it's legal XD
 
I haven't read the whole thread so maybe this was already mentioned. I use a Matrix GM50 plate amp that I mounted in my guitar cab to convert it into an active cab. It works great, it added very little weight to the cab and it saves me from needing to haul a power amp. Then I simply turn the cab sim off on the signal going to my guitar cab and I send the whole signal (with the cab sim) to the mains. This is really easy to do with the AX8 and it sounds fantastic, using the guitar cab makes it sound and feel just like playing the actual amp on stage, and you don't need to mess with mic'ing your guitar cab so you get consistent tone going to the mains every time.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I haven't read the whole thread so maybe this was already mentioned. I use a Matrix GM50 plate amp that I mounted in my guitar cab to convert it into an active cab. It works great, it added very little weight to the cab and it saves me from needing to haul a power amp. Then I simply turn the cab sim off on the signal going to my guitar cab and I send the whole signal (with the cab sim) to the mains. This is really easy to do with the AX8 and it sounds fantastic, using the guitar cab makes it sound and feel just like playing the actual amp on stage, and you don't need to mess with mic'ing your guitar cab so you get consistent tone going to the mains every time.
Now that's a clever idea. Seems to me some enterprising soul could make a product out of an idea like that, hint, hint...
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
Many great points here...thank you! At this point, I'm going to try the amp/cab for on stage but also send the direct signal from the AX8 to FOH so the audience gets the consistent tone. The next issue is creating presets on the AX8 that don't hit the CPU limit...it's been a battle with that. I could create presets for songs but we sometimes go from song to song with no stop. Switching to the next song while holding the end chord of the previous song definitely has the audio gap that the audience WILL hear. Also, getting the FOH sound to sound good in my IEMs is another battle. Sounds great out front but terrible in the ears...that's a topic for another day.
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
Many great points here...thank you! At this point, I'm going to try the amp/cab for on stage but also send the direct signal from the AX8 to FOH so the audience gets the consistent tone. The next issue is creating presets on the AX8 that don't hit the CPU limit...it's been a battle with that. I could create presets for songs but we sometimes go from song to song with no stop. Switching to the next song while holding the end chord of the previous song definitely has the audio gap that the audience WILL hear. Also, getting the FOH sound to sound good in my IEMs is another battle. Sounds great out front but terrible in the ears...that's a topic for another day.
Quality IEM makes all the difference to me. Also depends on the headphone amp being used. For example I have used an Aviom and a P16 and with the same pair of IEM I prefer the sound of the P16. It is brighter sounding than my tone sounds through FOH but I can live with it
 
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