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How to configure a live sytem


New Member
Hello, I recently purchased a Axe FX II XL + and have been having a great time playing with it.

I have figured out how I would like to use it in live situations which is the following:

1) 2 FRFR speakers in monitor position (pointing at the front of me) running in stereo - a left and a right.
2) A different signal from the Axe FX II sent to the FOH speakers (stereo PA) by lining out from the Axe FX II into a snake on the stage

I want to have separate signals sent to the my stage monitors and to the FOH to allow me the flexibility with EQing, effects, amp selection, sound man not liking the signal i am sending him but i like my stage sound :) I believe that this can be achieved by using Output 1 and Output 2 on my Axe FX II for separate outputs.

My FRFR monitor speakers are XLR input as is are the inputs on our snake which go into a mixing board. The problem I am trying to solve is that Output 2 on the Axe FX II does NOT have XLR outputs (just 1/4 "). There are probably numerous solutions (e.g. 1/4" TRS to XLR) but i would like someone who understands the electrical outputs of the Axe FX II to suggest the best solution to accommodate an XLR input and ultimately produce the best sound.

My other question is whether or not there is an advantage to using Output 1 for my stage monitors or Output 2 for my stage monitors (and the other Output send to FOH). Or doesn't it matter?

I couldn't find this configuration in the manual and I know others must have encountered this and that's why I am asking for your help. Thanks in advance!


Fractal Fanatic
I would send the output 1 to foh with the xlr, xlr helps with noise on long runs. use output 2 for your monitors the xlr is not needed for short runs. I myself just monitor thru the house monitors if they are available, it makes carry in a lot easier.


+1 on paranoid's post use OP 2 for the stage and run TS to XLR's keep the run under 50' and your good to go!


New Member
I appreciate the feedback guys. But... due to numerous reasons I can't use the house monitors and will be using my pair of FRFR monitors that have XLR inputs. So Sixstring do you mean use a 1/4" to XLR cable with just 2 conductors the whole length of wire (tip and sleeve)? I thought the Axe FX II has some kind of special 1/4" output where tip sleeve and ring are used?

Thanks, Ken


I remember reading like a month or so ago a post of someone commenting on how he would recommend people set their presets at home and the how to do changes for them live, it was like a 6 step guide, does someone remember that post and can post a link to it? It will help this thread and I also want to save that on my computer.


Power User
My personal path was Axe direct to FOH from Out 1/Out 2 to to tube power amp with a 4x12 on stage - Axe to FOH/Matrix GT1000 with a 4x12 on stage - now it's just Axe to FOH/IEM and house monitor with just guitar in the mix for feedback.

IMO, it's just not worth the hassle to carry all that stuff.


Power User
I thought the Axe FX II has some kind of special 1/4" output where tip sleeve and ring are used?

It's called Humbuster cable, you can find the wiring diagram easily here or by Googling.

It isn't as good as a balanced cable, but supposedly helps avoid some ground loop noise. It's better to use the same power outlet for both your Axe and monitor to be safe, however, as it doesn't always help.


Just curious, what monitors are you using? If your monitors have XLR link outs, you could feed those to the snake. If your monitors have combo XLR/.25" inputs, you could feed the unbalanced output 1 or 2 from the Axe, and keep the cable length down to what is minimally necessary.

Alternately, you could go from output 2 to a DI box, then feed it to the snake.
(They also make a 1-channel DI if you ultimately decide to go mono)
A DI box probably isn't completely necessary if you turn the output 2 level way down, but sound guys are less likely to make a fuss if they know you have a DI box between their desk and some mysterious AxeFX gizmo.

The special TRS outputs you mention take advantage of Humbuster cables. They are for fixing ground loops. If you're not experiencing ground loops to begin with, you won't notice any benefit. Humbusters are similar internally to XLR cables, but one end is TRS (the end that goes in the Axe), and the other end (TS) goes to the amp. The ring and sleeve are soldered together internally at the TS end.


Fractal Fanatic
It would be a short cable run to your FRFR monitors - so I think just use TS to XLR from Output 2 for them - standard shielded instrument cable should do (Tip on TS goes to terminal 2 in XLR and sleeve goes to terminal 1 usually). Just ensure that your (powered I assume?) FRFRs are powered from the same source as all your other gear.

Then you've the balanced Output 1 to use for the stage box ..... no need for DI boxes just standard mic cables. If the sound person can't handle line level feeds then their mixer is crap! (You can still turn the level way down using the Output 1 Global EQ level and/or Output 1 level knob on the front of the AxeFX if needs be).


New Member
Thanks maxdown - this is what I was looking for. It gives me the flexibility of two independent outputs to adjust effects differently, tone differently, etc.. And this cabling (TS to XLR) is very quiet as I have tried it out.

Thanks again
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