AFIII I made a record with an Axe Fx 3 and want to geek out about the sounds


Hey Everyone!

I'm posting a novel here so TLDR: I used an Axe FX III for the first time to make a record and it sounds way sick and want to geek out about sounds and gear with you all. I'd love to hear any feedback positive or negative on these tones! Here's the YouTube playlist:

For the past few years I've been putting together a record and ended up using an Axe FX 3 for almost all of the tones on it. This is just an independent release to a crowd of none that I'm doing for kicks--I don't have a marketing bone in my body lol-- and I wanted to see how happy I could end up with using an Axe 3 (with the exception of a single clean solo part that ended up being a Kemper profile, booooo!). A lot of these tones are more rock/alt rock oriented--lots of grainy clean sounds, heavily effected parts, and sometimes a bit of sub octave chunkiness mixed in for good measure when the part calls for it.

As a big fan of Thrice I did some digging on the internet machine and found some info about the New Vintage amp that was made for Dustin Kensrue and went in to the deeper amp parameter settings and created it within the fractal (essentially an AC30 with a Bassman topology and EL34's). Most of the tones are using that as a starting point. For any preset I used, @York Audio IR's were there to keep everything consistent matching up the cabs as if I was using the combo of the amp in the real world. After a few years of using Justin's cabs now they're really the only IR's out there that my ears agree with.

On the first track, I ended up testing out the re-amping function (actually used the fractal as the interface for the entire recording process) and automated certain effects parameters in real time so the main guitar track gets more and more effect-y as it goes on. The tremolo depth was really fun to crank in the ladder half and I didn't bother to tempo align it so there's even more rub. It gets pretty nasty by the end

I also tried to keep as much of the processing done within the patches themselves--no EQ on the tracks in the DAW and I only threw on soothe as a catch all for some of the super high-end-y stuff before they summed into the mix bus with everything else.

I recorded bass for it, but ended up replacing the entire record with Submission Audio's GroveBass Kontakt instrument. I play bass like a guitar player so this was a way better option for consistency's sake. I sent the DI signal from that into a straight rip of Ken Andrew's bass preset he walks through on his YouTube channel, increasing the boost for chorus/decreasing the input for quieter sections, etc. I only put a limiter on the track in the DAW to keep everything as level as possible and then automated the track volume from there.

Drums are all MixWave Gojira and I'm probably going to go with Superior Drummer for future releases. These sound KILLER, but for what I'm doing the 150% power thing is overkill and I'd like a bit more flexibility in the kit sounds overall. Totally happy with putting these on a full out release though--really, really high quality sounds and midi implementation. I also ran a few tracks through the Axe 3 for some extra saturation or reverb layers and just printed them in like a re-amp. Very, very cool what you can do when using the Fractal as the main interface and just using the USB send for things that aren't guitar or bass!

The only thing I'm not super happy with are some of the acoustic sounds. I ran a Great River preamp into the second input on the Fractal and it worked a charm, but I've come a long way since these tracks when it comes to miking up an acoustic in a room and combining that with an LR Baggs pickup. Most of these acoustic tracks are just me almost arbitrarily placing a mic in front of the guitar in my bedroom and not caring too much about the sound--moreso after the texture of the parts. If you're planning on recording any acoustic do yourself a favor and get some flat top strings while you're at it so you don't end up with as much string squeak as I did on these songs!

Overall, I really can't believe how great these sounds came out in my crappy 2nd bedroom home studio. For my past releases I've recorded DI's and ended up re-amping at a local studio with real amps and cabs, but those days are gone now with what we've got access to here. I'll always be hunting around for different sounds and changing up the workflow, but man oh man Fractal is going to be so hard to beat for whatever comes next!!

If you've made it to the end of this, I appreciate you taking the time to read and hopefully check out a track or two. I'll be continuing to post up whatever I work on with the Fractal and hope I can get my songwriting chops up to par with the sounds this thing is capable of. I'd love to hear any feedback positive or negative on what works or totally takes you out of the song with these sounds and at some point I'll upload some raw stems to Soundcloud to really peel back the layers

Cheers Fractal Forum!

Thought I'd have a quick listen since you mentioned Thrice and DK, since I'm also a fan. Definitely hear the influence, I'm still listening and really liking what I hear. Great job on the tones and tunes!
Thought I'd have a quick listen since you mentioned Thrice and DK, since I'm also a fan. Definitely hear the influence, I'm still listening and really liking what I hear. Great job on the tones and tunes!
Hey thanks so much for checking it out! It’s funny—I had never actually heard Thrice until about halfway through writing these songs and they instantly shot to the top of my list and I could hear the similarities loud and clear. This is my first bonafide release on my own so I’m still finding my songwriting identity and hoping to sound less and less like a Thrice cover band in some cases as time goes on. I’m sure if I could sing at all I’d probably sound even closer to what they’re doing lol
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