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I need help. Going nuts. Share your ideas.

Cem

Experienced
Hello all,

I've some problems going on and I can't seem to figure out. Maybe some ideas from you can help me, so I'm writing all. It might be a little long, I appreciate the ones who read.

The music style that I'm talking about is mostly funk, and funk-rock. Kinda jamiroquai style. Just for information I use Ownhammer IRs modern and vintage sets, and I definetely know how to use a real amp.

I'm an Axe Fx-2 user, ( that was an Ultra for mostly at home for 2years) for nearly a year. The reason I wanted Axe was for live gigs. I'm a live guitarist. Not spending that much time on recordings. I actually were gigging with a Mark V combo and a pedalboard. And that was hell of a job to carry, and after flight gigs started I wasn't able to carry it. So I wanted to upgrade my Ultra to Axe 2, set it use it and be happy.

But it didn't turn out to that. First of all, I was so happy when Axe 2 arrived. Now I see that it was the improvement from Ultra to 2. I spent a lot of tweaking, toning, listening about Axe 2. And kind of solved the 'tone' problem with axe. And I invested a lot in it, Missions pedals, I already had MFC etc.

And I started to gig with it. The FoH, was ok. I needed more than 10 mins soundcheck for just Global Eq'ing the FoH but it was ok, It was doable. But the in-stage was impossible. And I wasn't playing at low-quality venues at all. They really had decent sound systems. ( I played at the worst and nearly the best also ) I wasn't able to get the 'feel' of Hell yea that's my tone at all. I gave it time, I thought maybe I can't global Eq it well enough in-stage. I gigged, gigged gigged. Thought that It got improved gig by gig, But it didn't!

And than after some months, I played with my Mark V combo for one gig, I had to do it for some reason. I was blown away. I just thought that, I was torturing myself while EQ'in in-stage, and not getting a good result at all. ( while everybody is complimenting on my guitar sound, outside. But what does it help when I don't have the 'tone' inside? It doesn't even please me, while everyone is having orgasms outside. )


That's some important part here.

Today, an idea came out that, after seing Mark V rocking the world. I thought that maybe If I listen the Axe through Mark V's power amp and cabinet it might be good. And I did it, I bypassed cabinet and poweramp from Axe and plugged into Fx Return of Mark v. And it was incredible. I really gained the trust back to Axe. Really I was blown. The only thing activated at Axe was just amp simulation. And it was better than perfect. Really no other words. My Mark V turned into a TopBoost and than a JCM800 and than a rectifier. With same poweramp and speaker, and really noone could hear a difference. ( It's a must try! )

But than I wanted to try the Mackie studio monitors in our studio, ( I had experience with them as Stereo, far away from me, as a usual studio monitoring style ) as in-stage monitor, I've put them close to me, stood near it, and tweaked via Axe Edit. The sound was horrible after listening to it from Mark V's cabinet. Even the OH Irs were so digital sounding, so narrow. Sorry but it sounded so Crap. And I just realized that, It was what I were hearing at stage. I spent 3 hours. To get a good, loveable clean sound. I wasn't able to do it. I couldn't do it.

Now I'm coming to a conclusion. What am I doing wrong? Or am I doing something wrong?

If I'm gonna carry a poweramp and a cabinet to the gigs with my axe fx. There is no advantages for me to use it. I really would prefer my Mark V. It sounds the same everywhere. But I'm not able to carry it even to meet up the roadie ( the carrier guy? ) on halfway. It's so heavy. The reason I chose axe was portability. But I can't get it out of it. And I can get much better than it with a blues junior Mic'd. It provides the clean tones that I'm looking for better than axe + in-stage monitors.

I really don't want to sell my Axe. But I don't see any other options at this moment.

Any ideas?
 

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
what you are experiencing is being so married to the feel/vibe of the amp in the room/amp on stage experience. it's not about sound or tone....because i will almost guarantee you that your axe will sound far better foh and to your audience than the amp or axe + amp will. it's all about accepting and embracing that you are hearing what everyone else hears, and that is what is important. if you're waiting to vibe with it on stage like a cranked amp, it will never happen like that, it's not the same....
 

rodzimguitar68

Fractal Fanatic
what you are experiencing is being so married to the feel/vibe of the amp in the room/amp on stage experience. it's not about sound or tone....because i will almost guarantee you that your axe will sound far better foh and to your audience than the amp or axe + amp will. it's all about accepting and embracing that you are hearing what everyone else hears, and that is what is important. if you're waiting to vibe with it on stage like a cranked amp, it will never happen like that, it's not the same....
Right. The Axe sounds like the finished product. It sounds the way a guitar in a song on the radio or a CD sounds.

However, that comes at the cost of that familiar feel that you can have when a guitar is resonating sympathetically with an amp cabinet in close proximity. I think you would feel the same perceived disappointment if you mic'd your Mark V in another room beyond your hearing range, and asked for the Mark V to only come through your monitor mix - you would perceive it as a sterilized version of the real thing.

Maybe you should invest in some really high quality in-ear monitors, like triple, quad, or six driver. Then you can block out stage volume and only hear the band monitor mix, mixed along with your axe fx.

Your experience with using floor wedges, is each instrument is live on stage - acoustic drums, vocals through the monitors, but your guitar is only through the monitors when you use the axe fx. I bet if the drums were electronic and you could only hear them through the floor wedges mixed with your axe fx, it would even the score and you wouldn't feel as disadvantaged.

Since you can't make the drums electronic, do the next best thing that you CAN control - isolate your ears from ambient stage volume and use in-ears. Block out stage volume - mix everything through the in-ears and even the playing field. It will give you a more realistic perception of how your guitar sounds compared to the rest of the band. It will sterilize the drums into a CD/radio format, as well, and level your perception of how the Axe II really sounds.
 

Gamedojo

Power User
The quality of the frfr monitor system is incredibly important. If you have spent less then $1k on your floor monitor, it won't stack up next to a guitar amp.

Secondly, I personally add a healthy midrange boost at the back end of all my live patches. It helps to simulate that live loud real amp midrange push real amps have.

I have recently switched to $1200 ultimate ear in-ears and love the sound.

Good luck, I do remember a similar frustration early on in my axefx gigging.
 

GM Arts

Power User
I find I need to use a massive amount of low mid and bass boost along with usually a gentler high end cut to get amp-like tones from high quality FRFR. I'm using firmware ver 12 and generally do this with the amp block's GEQ. This is with clean, on-the-edge of overdrive, through to medium-overdriven patches. Maybe it's my tone preference or the guitars I use and my usual lowish settings on the bass tone control, I'm not sure, but this gives me the low-end muscle with the high end clarity that I know and love in a real amp.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The sound of an amp in the "far field" is quite different than what you get with close mic'ing. IR's are made using close-mic'ing and therefore sound nothing like listening to a guitar cab at distance from the cone.

Your audience does not hear the far field tone, they hear the close mic'd tone as that's what is put through the FOH.

It can be quite an adjustment coming from far field amp tone to close mic'd tone. Some people just never adjust.

Fortunately the Axe-Fx was designed to give you the best of both worlds. You can use the FX Loop and Output 2 to a power amp and conventional guitar cab while routing the fully processed tone with IR to the FOH. See the manual for full details. Rather than using your Mark V you can use a lightweight solid-state power amp and any of the new, lightweight guitar cabs that use Neodymium speakers. This gives you the classic far field amp tone for yourself in a lightweight package and the polished sound for the FOH direct from Output 1.
 

Cem

Experienced
Thanks for answers. Actually yes, I'm not planning to use Axe with mark V. That's not even logical.

So it's being said, I need to learn to hear what audience hear while I'm playing, through monitors. Okay that is very understandable and makes sense. And I really am stuck with the monitors that venues have. Cause I don't want my gig to get un-portable again. But than there is another problem, I can't tweak my Axe effective enough than. Cause as I said, after trying to tweak it with the Mackie actives ( and i've had some of them on stage as well ) I couldn't even get them sound musical! It was horrible. How will I balance that? Or the right question is, will I ever be able to balance that?

@home with my Yamaha Hs-50ms also it's not that different.


Is there any, lightweight, SS power amp and cabinet solution really? As Cliff mentioned above?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Is there any, lightweight, SS power amp and cabinet solution really? As Cliff mentioned above?
Yes: Matrix GT1000FX or GT800FX (I have one - about 6 pounds, 1 rack space). For cabs, the Matrix NL12 is supposedly very light, and getting tons of good press on these forums.
 
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Cem

Experienced
The things I know for now, I'm not getting a FRFR or a CLR. Since I won't be able to carry them on plane etc. I need a stable sounding rig. And it should also be on plane-gigs.

In-ears are an option. But I don't know. Since I can not try that. It's a huge invesment and it's blind.

Don't know what to do.
 

Sted

Inspired
I sympathise with you mate, its exactly the scenario I find myself in. I don't play very good stages, likely they wont have any kind of decent PA and I certainly don't have to fly anywhere. I got the matrix and then a CLR but I've never really dug the live sound from either, I possibly should of stuck with the Matrix a little while longer and tried dialling that in a bit more to my taste but the enthusiasm for the CLR was such that I jumped on one as they became readily available in the EU.
I've got a gig on Friday and I'm actually really nervous about taking the Axe instead of my amp, I love the recorded sounds, the versatility, even the sound I get at home through my average monitors but live I just don't get that full rich tube depth that my amp provides, at least not yet!
I'm persevering though, this many people cant be wrong!
 

Cem

Experienced
I sympathise with you mate, its exactly the scenario I find myself in. I don't play very good stages, likely they wont have any kind of decent PA and I certainly don't have to fly anywhere. I got the matrix and then a CLR but I've never really dug the live sound from either, I possibly should of stuck with the Matrix a little while longer and tried dialling that in a bit more to my taste but the enthusiasm for the CLR was such that I jumped on one as they became readily available in the EU.
I've got a gig on Friday and I'm actually really nervous about taking the Axe instead of my amp, I love the recorded sounds, the versatility, even the sound I get at home through my average monitors but live I just don't get that full rich tube depth that my amp provides, at least not yet!
I'm persevering though, this many people cant be wrong!
I also kept thinking that way. What if they are ? That's scary. :)

So what we gonna do?

Carrying matrix and a CLR and an Axe fx and MFC and Missions. No thanks, I carry my Mark V :)
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
How about getting together with an Axe-Fx veteran who lives close to you, and can help with your issues?
 

Cem

Experienced
How about getting together with an Axe-Fx veteran who lives close to you, and can help with your issues?
The thing is, Are my problems solveable ? In stage satiation? I'm starting to think that they aren't. Cause there is nothing that I don't know of axe fx literally. And I guess I'm the most veteran Axe user in my country :)

And I really wonder, how pro axe users are Creating patches from zero for live use. On which Listening devices. Let's start with you Yek? :)

I'm asking this cause I also am having another problem but it isn't that Unsolvable. I actually were gigging with my PRS Swampash special with 3 minihumbuckers before. And the FoH sound is really good with it. There wasn't a single gig I wasn't getting compliments of. But with my suhr modern, which is hell of a guitar really, I can't get satisfied at all, while creating patches @home. Or @studio with those fukin' Mackies. I talked about it a lot. It's this one

http://www.esperanceciviccentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/450.jpg
 

Kriig

Fractal Fanatic
Mackie`s are not ideal IMHO. Mackie`s sounds like what i remember digital and direct was 15 years ago. Not enough mids, wrong freq in the treble etc...

Boost the mids. Try turning AIR to 5892hz 20-100% in the cab block. Works for a lot of amps.

The main problem is that you don`t use the same speakers from night to night. Different speakers=different sound.
Your Mark V combo uses the same speaker every night. Try running your Mark V trough a cheapo cabinet and see if it sounds as good.

Back off on the presence and treble with your Suhr. If you have stainless steel frets, those adds a lot of high-high end. I know. I`ve got 2 of them.

EDIT: You got the Mackie 450? Those i would not use with anything...
 
Last edited:

Sted

Inspired
I also kept thinking that way. What if they are ? That's scary. :)

So what we gonna do?

Carrying matrix and a CLR and an Axe fx and MFC and Missions. No thanks, I carry my Mark V :)
Yeah, I had a MV combo for a while and it sounded great but was extremely heavy and I found it difficult to dial in, mine also broke down a few times so I got rid of it. I've been thinking about going back to a small head/cab and using the Axe/MFC using a 4CM, hardly seems a good use of the rig though.

I dunno, I would sincerely love this to work but I'm just not sure.
 

Cem

Experienced
Mackie`s are not ideal IMHO. Mackie`s sounds like what i remember digital and direct was 15 years ago. Not enough mids, wrong freq in the treble etc...

Boost the mids. Try turning AIR to 5892hz 20-100% in the cab block. Works for a lot of amps.

The main problem is that you don`t use the same speakers from night to night. Different speakers=different sound.
Your Mark V combo uses the same speaker every night. Try running your Mark V trough a cheapo cabinet and see if it sounds as good.

Back off on the presence and treble with your Suhr. If you have stainless steel frets, those adds a lot of high-high end. I know. I`ve got 2 of them.

EDIT: You got the Mackie 450? Those i would not use with anything...

Nope I don't own them. They are loaded in the studio that we can access and freely and infinitely.

But a lot of good tips are coming from you guys. I appreciate. Go on please :)

So how much it should be spent on an in-ear to be as happy as people with their CLR wedges?
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I use both kind of rigs :
A. FR: CLR
B. Real cab + power amp (Matrix)

I use a single set of presets for A and B, where B bypasses the Cab block.
So power amp simulation is always on. The Amp block is the same, for A and B.

At loud volume the A rig (with Cab simulation) has too much treble/bass.
This could be solved by adjusting the Amp block, but in my case that doesn't work because I want to maintain the tone through B.
So I apply high cut and low cut for A only. I switched from doing that in Cab to a separate PEQ. I cut lows at around 120 and highs at 5.5. (And I also apply a mid boost around 770)

Works well and even tames my Suhr, which is a very bright guitar.
 

Cem

Experienced
I use both kind of rigs :
A. FR: CLR
B. Real cab + power amp (Matrix)

I use a single set of presets for A and B, where B bypasses the Cab block.
So power amp simulation is always on. The Amp block is the same, for A and B.

At loud volume the A rig (with Cab simulation) has too much treble/bass.
This could be solved by adjusting the Amp block, but in my case that doesn't work because I want to maintain the tone through B.
So I apply high cut and low cut for A only. I switched from doing that in Cab to a separate PEQ. I cut lows at around 120 and highs at 5.5. (And I also apply a mid boost around 770)

Works well and even tames my Suhr, which is a very bright guitar.
So you mic the cab in B setup?

And if you now for example, get a new guitar and you need to create new presets. ( For example, my suhr doesn't work at all with my PRS patches, not even close. ) Which setup do you hear them? Create them?

What happens if you don't bring your CLR to gig? Have you tried it lately?
 
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