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Fractal Audio AMP models: Big Hair

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *


Big Hair: a Fractal Audio custom amp model

Fractal Audio has added a considerable number of custom amp models to the collection. These virtual amps have no real-life equivalents. They solely exist within Axe-Fx II and AX8, surpassing the electronical limitations of traditional amps.

The Big Hair model dates back to the first Axe-Fx generation when there were far less models.

According to the manual, it delivers "mids without mud, and revives the 80s metal scene (Spandex not included)".

Cliff: "It was a total guess. I just tuned it by ear. It's just my idea of what 80’s hair metal might sound like."​

With this description and judging by its sound, the Big Hair model should probably be comparable to a JCM 800. And it is. Just compare the Big Hair to the Brit 800 Mod amp model with a low-gain T808 OD in front of it.

About the amp controls: an advantage of the custom models is that most sound already great at default settings.

For more '80s revival, try a Pitch block set to Detune after the CAB block, and add a circular delay.

Logical cab choices: a 4x12 Marshall cab with a G12M, V30 or G12-75 speaker.

The Big Hair model is not a real amp, so there aren’t any videos to show here.
 
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barhrecords

Axe-Master
I wish it nailed the tone to Lay It Down, I just can't find anything that gets that top end bite/crunchy-ness.
It's all about the IR. To get that Rat / Poison knarly top end, find IR's that have mic positions that accentuate that comb filtering effect. I find the SM57 mic off axis does it.

Most of the Marshalls in the Fractal can get enough amp gain / grind for that sound.

Also put a PEQ block in front of the Marshall and hit 1000hz at 5-7 db.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
To get that Rat / Poison knarly top end......
Ironically enough, Ratt with Poison was the first concert I ever went to.

That being said....(i'm not trying to be argumentative at all), but I think the tone of those two bands is very different.

CC (Poison) always sounds like he's playing through a crate amp with the gain maxed.
Warren (Ratt) I believe is playing a cranked Soldano (so I would suggest trying that amp model)....and his tone was really something special.

80's hair metal is my guilty pleasure.....
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Ironically enough, Ratt with Poison was the first concert I ever went to.

That being said....(i'm not trying to be argumentative at all), but I think the tone of those two bands is very different.

CC (Poison) always sounds like he's playing through a crate amp with the gain maxed.
Warren (Ratt) I believe is playing a cranked Soldano (so I would suggest trying that amp model)....and his tone was really something special.

80's hair metal is my guilty pleasure.....
Those are good points. Ratt and Poison are at two different ends of the phasey cab spectrum. CC loved that phasey sound more than most hair guitar players (or the producer did).
 

stm113

Experienced
I think the guitar tone on the song Lay It Down doesn't get the credit it deserves. I don't hear a lot of comb filtering on it like say Round And Round does. To me it's the most pleasant attempt of the brown sound that anyone from the 80's got.
 

warlockII

Experienced
I've been working on the Ratt tune. I think the SLO lead get's you in the right territory. For Poison, the Mark Day HBE is awefully damn close.
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
I wish it nailed the tone to Lay It Down, I just can't find anything that gets that top end bite/crunchy-ness.
I actually have something close. Just tone match it. It's funny....when I heard that tone, I thought it was so bad ass....and it is/was...but now that I'm more into this stuff, it's so small sounding and trebly, it does nothing for me anymore. When I tone matched it and compared mine to Warren's....it was close enough to give me goosebumps...but then when I compared it to my own sounds, well...I like mine better...even if I don't have any notoriety or platinum sales. LOL! :)
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
@Danny Danzi it is funny how our perception of tone changes overtime. Sometimes I feel like I was better off not knowing much about the gear.

I feel like I enjoyed the music more... now my brain starts picking the tone apart before the first chorus :)
You are so right, brother....so right! It's kinda like theory for me. The more stuff I learned, the more I sort of felt it stifled my creativity a bit. I know that sounds stupid....but man, it's so true. I have stuff I wrote when I didn't know much....it's amazing how you come up with cool stuff while trying to find your way. Learn some theory....it helps you write and create faster, but sometimes can also back you into a corner if you look at whatever you're playing too "theoretically". LOL! I like flying by the seat of my pants....with tones too....the less I know, the more I twist knobs and just try to be creative. ;)
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Speaking of Warren....I'm actually good friends with Beau Hill, who produced them, Winger, Europe, some other cool 80's bands etc. I actually did an interview with the guy because I felt hey....what a killer chance to interview a friend of mine who also has over 90 million sales under his belt over the years.

He said there was never any secret sauce for guys like Warren, Reb Beach, or Kee Marcelo. They just played the instrument and had massive tone in their fingers. I actually still have that interview around here somewhere. Beau had never done one online before....can you believe that? He was just getting into pro-tools and the whole digital world when he and I met. To think he actually picked my brain on a few plugs. LOL! Those guys that come from tape and analog consoles have a pretty steep learning curve with this stuff once they dive in. But once they get it, and keep a few analog pieces in the chain, they can't believe they've ever lived without it. He's a cool dude...real genuine. I can still remember seeing his name on the caller ID for the first time...lol....I felt like a little school kid meeting a hero. Hahaha! Fun times!
 

stm113

Experienced
You are so right, brother....so right! It's kinda like theory for me. The more stuff I learned, the more I sort of felt it stifled my creativity a bit. I know that sounds stupid....but man, it's so true. I have stuff I wrote when I didn't know much....it's amazing how you come up with cool stuff while trying to find your way. Learn some theory....it helps you write and create faster, but sometimes can also back you into a corner if you look at whatever you're playing too "theoretically". LOL! I like flying by the seat of my pants....with tones too....the less I know, the more I twist knobs and just try to be creative. ;)
I was just thinking about that, I've noticed the licks especially the melodic ones I've been writting over the last couple years tend to play it more safe as far as sticking with in the key or harmonic to the chord I'm playing against. I've been trying to get myself out of that but it's hard once you get there.
 

nccarg

Inspired
You are so right, brother....so right! It's kinda like theory for me. The more stuff I learned, the more I sort of felt it stifled my creativity a bit. I know that sounds stupid....but man, it's so true. I have stuff I wrote when I didn't know much....it's amazing how you come up with cool stuff while trying to find your way. Learn some theory....it helps you write and create faster, but sometimes can also back you into a corner if you look at whatever you're playing too "theoretically". LOL! I like flying by the seat of my pants....with tones too....the less I know, the more I twist knobs and just try to be creative. ;)
Music theory screwed you up too? I was a music major for a while in college. When I tell people about my experience in that major it pretty much matches your description word-for-word. I'm glad that I gained some formal knowledge about music but I had to change my major to business so I could have fun playing guitar again. :)
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Good point about your attitude towards tone over the years. I remember loving these tones, but listening to it now, most of the time I go 'Yick'.

They still hold a 'comfort food' feel about it for me tho, and occasionally I dial this in to feed the hunger.
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Not to be troll-like, but in what sense is that ironic? Coincidental, maybe, but it only seems to be ironic in an Alanis Morissette way.
Ha....yeah that doesn't make sense (but did in my head at the time). Maybe 'interestingly enough'.
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Haha glad to know you guys are all hacks like me! :) Yeah theory is good to an extent, but look at guys like Eddie VH...he's said for years that he really didn't know much theory...and look how he innovated a few generations. :)

That said, though I'm no theory guy, I know enough to know where I am and know what I'm doing. I think that part is a necessity really, but when you start writing math problems on a board that become your songs, well....though I'd never down that sort of thing, let's just say it's not for me. :)
 
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