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I've been starving my Axe!

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I would say it the other way around: It sounds bad below 10%. All values above 10% sound the same, by design. Down below 10%, the compensation is incomplete, presumably to avoid potential problems that could arise from crazy high compensation gain levels. This is a pretty confusing topic, so I wouldn't feel bad about missing something in the manual.
Yes, except it's below 5% that the gain compensation stops increasing.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
Yeah, i still stand by the opinion that "Tickle the reds to know your input is right" design is inferior.
Red should be clipping.
If you clip with your loudest signal/guitar, reduce your input level till you don't clip anymore (red light doesn't come up) and you're done.
I don't think the dude would have had this problem if it worked that way.
 

JWDubois

Inspired
Just out of curiosity, what sorts of music are you playing?

That's a good question, but I mostly aim for an EJ-lead-meets-brown-sound sort of tone to do it with. That's about as high gain as I get.

So far I'm getting really good results with several of the Marshall and Trainwreck type amps, but I'm still culling IRs and working out the best cab block combos.

I'm using the parallel wired humbuckers because I wasn't having any luck with the noiseless SCs I was trying in my Strats, so I thought I'd try something different. I find parallel wired humbuckers have a lot of clarity, while still being noiseless and fairly ballsy. The drawback is that you lose probably half the output power. Since I'm using fairly low output humbuckers anyway (59s and Pearly Gates), my Axe input levels are probably vintage SC level. When I switch them back to series mode I can hit the red occasionally, but my input level setting is still just about maxed out.
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Yeah, i still stand by the opinion that "Tickle the reds to know your input is right" design is inferior.
Red should be clipping.
If you clip with your loudest signal/guitar, reduce your input level till you don't clip anymore (red light doesn't come up) and you're done.
I don't think the dude would have had this problem if it worked that way.

It's a carry over from the analog world where red just means a hot signal. The color choice for the LEDs is largely arbitrary. You always have to know how any VU meter is calibrated for it to make any sense.

The front panel input meter is showing the analog input signal level. Look at the virtual meters on the display to see the digital signal level at that input.
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
I play my Gibson Sg standard almost 100% of the time and it tickles the red - sound is fine/as expected with most amps at default input trim levels and no additional level changes needed before the amp block due to what I might feel is a too weak or too strong guitar signal - all good.

Now enter my decent quality strat with vintagy single coils which I do not play that often other than for those quacky 2/4 selector position clean tones - other than that - I HATE THIS AND ALL STRAT GUITARS😖 - the guitar signal is so weak it cannot tickle the red so I feel like input level needs to be changed to 100% for this guitar (though, given comments here maybe leaving it at 50% with no red tickling is fine along with an output knob boost at the input 1 block). Also (and I know this is probably a getting to know how to dial in a strat tone thing), distorted sounds from single coils just always sound gross to me: thin, harsh, the opposite of warm/smooth which I like. 5 minutes is usually all it takes for it to go back onto it's hanger - I know I need to spend more time with it to find those singing SC distorted tones I know are possible from listening to others, but the level setting effort alone usually sends me back to my Sg despite the Sg's scratchy pots and questionable tuning stability.
 
I play my Gibson Sg standard almost 100% of the time and it tickles the red - sound is fine/as expected with most amps at default input trim levels and no additional level changes needed before the amp block due to what I might feel is a too weak or too strong guitar signal - all good.

Now enter my decent quality strat with vintagy single coils which I do not play that often other than for those quacky 2/4 selector position clean tones - other than that - I HATE THIS AND ALL STRAT GUITARS😖 - the guitar signal is so weak it cannot tickle the red so I feel like input level needs to be changed to 100% for this guitar (though, given comments here maybe leaving it at 50% with no red tickling is fine along with an output knob boost at the input 1 block). Also (and I know this is probably a getting to know how to dial in a strat tone thing), distorted sounds from single coils just always sound gross to me: thin, harsh, the opposite of warm/smooth which I like. 5 minutes is usually all it takes for it to go back onto it's hanger - I know I need to spend more time with it to find those singing SC distorted tones I know are possible from listening to others, but the level setting effort alone usually sends me back to my Sg despite the Sg's scratchy pots and questionable tuning stability.

I use to feel that way. Then I got the Edge Stratocaster and loving every pickup position on it. Im also really loving how it sounds gained up. Great sounding classic and heavy rock gain tones. You just need to set up the right amp and cab combo for a the bridge pickup. I have found this works really well. I can roll down the volume knob and every pickup position still works.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
It's a carry over from the analog world where red just means a hot signal.
There is no reason to carry that over.
In the analog world, clipping may be cool. In digital - it's always bad.
In my case, I had the opposite situation, where I was clipping for a while on my axe FX 2 and I had no idea till I've recorded some DI's, because the front panel LED's didn't inform me of that and I didn't know how much red was too much red...
 

RoketRdr

Inspired
There is no reason to carry that over.
In the analog world, clipping may be cool. In digital - it's always bad.
In my case, I had the opposite situation, where I was clipping for a while on my axe FX 2 and I had no idea till I've recorded some DI's, because the front panel LED's didn't inform me of that and I didn't know how much red was too much red...

Completely wrong.
 

IronSean

Experienced
I play my Gibson Sg standard almost 100% of the time and it tickles the red - sound is fine/as expected with most amps at default input trim levels and no additional level changes needed before the amp block due to what I might feel is a too weak or too strong guitar signal - all good.

Now enter my decent quality strat with vintagy single coils which I do not play that often other than for those quacky 2/4 selector position clean tones - other than that - I HATE THIS AND ALL STRAT GUITARS😖 - the guitar signal is so weak it cannot tickle the red so I feel like input level needs to be changed to 100% for this guitar (though, given comments here maybe leaving it at 50% with no red tickling is fine along with an output knob boost at the input 1 block). Also (and I know this is probably a getting to know how to dial in a strat tone thing), distorted sounds from single coils just always sound gross to me: thin, harsh, the opposite of warm/smooth which I like. 5 minutes is usually all it takes for it to go back onto it's hanger - I know I need to spend more time with it to find those singing SC distorted tones I know are possible from listening to others, but the level setting effort alone usually sends me back to my Sg despite the Sg's scratchy pots and questionable tuning stability.

I don't know if you're clear on how the input level and the Output Knob on the IN 1 work together. The latter will just boost the volume of your guitar. Similar to a clean boost at the start of your chain. The former, the global input sensitivity/level, is just about signal to noise on the Analog to Digital converter on the input. The ADC converts your guitar signal to digital. You want it to have a strong signal so you keep all the information about your playing as it feeds into the Axe. If your signal is very low on the input meters then it's squished into a small range of the digital signal. Think about it like recording a guitar di that's very low with the input gain on your interface low. You can boost the volume but it'll still be a weaker sound. Have the gain up high and you have a nice strong signal to work with or turn down if needed.

There is no reason to carry that over.
In the analog world, clipping may be cool. In digital - it's always bad.
In my case, I had the opposite situation, where I was clipping for a while on my axe FX 2 and I had no idea till I've recorded some DI's, because the front panel LED's didn't inform me of that and I didn't know how much red was too much red...

I also agree that 3 LEDs showing signal range and 1 for clipping would be more useful than 4 showing range but nothing to tell you you've clipped the input on the way in.
 

sprint

Fractal Fanatic
I don't know if you're clear on how the input level and the Output Knob on the IN 1 work together. The latter will just boost the volume of your guitar. Similar to a clean boost at the start of your chain. The former, the global input sensitivity/level, is just about signal to noise on the Analog to Digital converter on the input. The ADC converts your guitar signal to digital. You want it to have a strong signal so you keep all the information about your playing as it feeds into the Axe. If your signal is very low on the input meters then it's squished into a small range of the digital signal. Think about it like recording a guitar di that's very low with the input gain on your interface low. You can boost the volume but it'll still be a weaker sound. Have the gain up high and you have a nice strong signal to work with or turn down if needed.
I think I understand the difference, however, my strat's output is so low that even adjusting input level to 100% it will not tickle the red. So what does one do with a guitar like this?
 

IronSean

Experienced
I think I understand the difference, however, my strat's output is so low that even adjusting input level to 100% it will not tickle the red. So what does one do with a guitar like this?

Turn it to 100% then, you're getting the clearest signal you can that way. You don't need to adjust the output volume because at 0 it's still at the same volume as your guitar really is. If you want to boost it from there you can if you'd like.
 
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