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Just got an Axe-Fx II, first post

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Reviews' started by Toowoombaus, Feb 5, 2019.

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  1. #1 Toowoombaus, Feb 5, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Hi Guys,

    new guy here. O.K. so after a five year boutique guitar amp odyssey fueled by lots of time on The Gear Page I got an Axe FX ii.

    20 years ago I bought a POD 1 and used it a lot. I took it to Ireland to produce a band and record their album on Pro Tools in a Barn and the engineer bought it from me when we were finished because they weren't available over there yet.
    I used it live plugged into the FX returns of my Rivera TBR-2 stereo tube head and I liked it.

    Well time passed and I realized I had a lot to learn about tone. I'm an audio engineer and I study and try to stay current so I notice a lot of people talking about the Fractal and I would read posts about it.
    (On TGP they keep modeling and amp guys separated)
    After spending a month trying to decide the next amp to buy I stumbled across the Axe FX again...

    So I found a smoking deal on a ii and it was all jacked up, half the presets made no sound there was delay on all of them, it was a mess. So in one day I downloaded everything, the bot, new factory banks, the Ares beta firmware and it is working like a champ.

    I'm running it into two KRK V8 studio monitors. I really appreciate the level of detail they’ve built into it.
    I’ve already read the manual front to back and that's helpful but I can't believe the things you can dial in.

    Things like preamp and power tube type, bias, compression, mics, the power supply section too much stuff to list! The graphic is really powerful probably the most responsive of any digital EQ I have ever used.

    What I didn't expect was the sag and feel, it feels like a tube amp. I was expecting it to sound good and feel like the POD... glad I was wrong.

    The quality of the effects is pretty high much higher than the plugins I've gotten used to in Pro Tools and Logic.
    Coming from owning a rack system back in the 90's I look forward to exploring the effects, the pitch section is intriguing.

    Sometimes I think I hear a little phasing on some models, does anybody else? I don't know if it's the reverb, a stereo thing... not sure.

    So I wanted to dip my toe in and after two days I can see this is the future.

    I guess I need to go buy those IR packs and check those out. Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. unix-guy

    unix-guy
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    Axe-Master

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    Even though you didn't end up buying mine, I hope our Reverb chat helped push your decision?

    I don't think you'll regret it!

    Welcome to the club :)

    For cab packs, my current favorite is the ML Sound Labs Legends... But I'm partial to G12H30 speakers ;)
     
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  3. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    It sure did! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. You seemed like you knew what you were talking about just from your Reverb ad.

    Thanks for the ML Sound Labs Legends recommendation I'll check them out.
     
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  4. TravisG406

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    Seems like others have heard a phrase thing in the beta firmware, but I'm sure the final will solve that
     
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  5. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Really? That’s interesting I’m glad I’m not The only one hearing that.
    Since I don’t really understand how this whole technology works is there a possibility that there could be phasing issues from IR creation?

    I’m sure there could be from mic placement. I’m glad it’s possible to make it sound bad just like the real world.

    Btw are there any threads here that talk about the approach to creation of the tech?

    For example discussions on all of the different editable parameters for amps and cabinets included in the Axe Edit software?

    Not sure how to search for that.
     
  6. gzakis

    gzakis
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    Try manual first. Then move to wiki and then the forums. I find these 3 sources are the most helpful in developing a relationship with your axe. Welcome !
     
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  7. TravisG406

    TravisG406
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    The phase thing is only in some amps from what I've read, so it'll be a firmware thing not related to IR's. Wiki and manual are awesome for the parameters
     
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  8. #8 Toowoombaus, Feb 6, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Thanks guys! I read the manual before I bought it and now reading it through again.

    Is there a Fractal Wiki?

    OK... I found it! Ah that’s great!
     
  9. scottp

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    Welcome aboard!
    Great piece of gear!
    Enjoy!!
     
  10. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Thank you!

    I haven’t been this impressed with new gear since I got Pro Tools 20 years ago.
    What a total game changer!

    I’m going in deep and there is so much to explore.
     
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  11. Rick

    Rick
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    Welcome to the FAS family, the II is an amazing piece of gear! It’ll keep you busy for quite some time, there is so much to find. Yet, it’s very easy to get good tones going fast. I’m glad you’re enjoying the ride.
     
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  12. Moke

    Moke
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    As deep as it sounds like you want to go.... I have a feeling that you will end up with an Axe-Fx III at some point.;)
     
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  13. unix-guy

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    I almost posted the same thing ;)
     
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  14. Toowoombaus

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    One reason I love the Axe Fx is, before I got one I would spend a lot of time trying different things like:

    buying and trading many boutique and vintage amps, rolling ANOS tubes, getting many different speaker cabinets with great speakers, experimenting with mic placement, running the line out of one tube amp into the FX return of others to hear what different power tubes and transformers did, using a two amps ABY, tube preamps, running pedals into the FX return of my tube amps, running parametric EQ's in my FX Loops, buying old gear, compressors, mic pre's, mics, and doing a lot of processing in non traditional ways in Pro Tools with many plugins, running Synth Bass thru a lot of the same gear and on and on...

    Now a lot of those things are at my fingertips, it's like a laboratory. I don't know how accurate the preamp tube modeling is yet but just to try things like switching up the incredible plethora of options in Axe Edit is just perfect for my sense of experimentation.
    It's fascinating. Luckily I have a studio and original music: EDM-Hard Rock-Psychedelic-Power Pop to try these tones out on.

    I have so many questions on how to even approach the whole thing in a focused way. I have to resist the option anxiety that starts to creep up on me.
    Just finding the right IR seems super crucial. I haven't bought any yet, but I did download the Wellspring and Mad Oak cab packs to start with.
    I just didn't realize the amount of detail included in the software before getting it. I'm sure a III will be something I'll invest in in the next year.

    I'm glad this forum exists, I'm spending more time here than The Gear Page.

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement and insight!
     
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  15. scottp

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    Your story above sounds a lot like mine!
    End result... I have more $$ for guitars now and I don't visit UPS/FedEx every week!
    I honestly don't even look at amps any more. It would be taking a step backwards.
    Really I need more time with my Fractal gear to understand it better.
    I'm loving the journey!
     
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  16. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Yes Guitars are fun and they won't become obsolete like the Axe FX II. ;)

    But I still love amps, that's why I appreciate the Axe FX so much

    You don't even look at amps anymore? you said: "It would be taking a step backwards" I think I know what you mean, but would you care to elaborate?

    Is that like a graphic artist in the late 1980's saying "I don't draw in my sketchbooks with pencil anymore because I really need to spend that time in Photoshop and Illustrator and get my digital chops together"?

    I think Fractal has a ways to go before they become to amplifiers, what Pro Tools has become to recording studios.

    But it won't be too long before they are ubiquitous.
     
  17. Whistler

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    Just seen this thread and I noticed you’ve posted 19 times and received 18 likes. THAT is a good ratio. I think you’ll settle in just fine around here:)
     
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  18. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Oh, thanks for noticing. How kind you are...;)
     
  19. Brian Decker

    Brian Decker
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  20. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus
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    Thank you Brian!

    It’s strange but after researching IR’s ML is the one I’m going to buy.

    Sweet I’ll get it.
     
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