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Life Changing Stuff

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx III Reviews' started by Bmk5140, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Bmk5140

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    Mar 14, 2018
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    I'm about a month into my Axe-Fx III journey. I've had no grief whatsoever in getting things set up and I'm happy to report no "bad" results or glitches yet (aside from some beta FW snags which are to be expected when installing beta FW). I'm not much of a guitar player - I spend most of my time on the other side of the glass, and I bought this thing as a studio tool for re-amping some old stuff I have been working on. Had been using a Helix on a different project back in 2016 and got some great results from that box (it takes a lot of work (and EQ), but it's possible), but nothing that has creatively inspired me as much as the Fractal box has.

    The III has become the centerpiece of my guitar workflow - and by centerpiece I mean that nothing else I am used to using is hooked up anymore. It's that good, and it really is a complete solution for processing guitar. I'm not even doing any post processing on guitar tracks in the DAW - everything I need is inside the III already. I'm even having a lot of fun using it as outboard FX for some synth stuff.

    It's also taken me off in a direction that I didn't expect - I'm actually sitting down, for hours at a time, and playing guitar. As I said before I'm not much of a player, although I did play pretty seriously up until about 15-20 years ago and then I got busy with life and effectively quit playing other than once in a great while. Let me tell you, it ain't like riding a bike! I feel like such a novice, but the great thing about the Axe-Fx unit for me is that, like Apple used to say, "it just works." For me, it stays out of my way so I can focus on re-learning my playing technique without having to fuss about with my old amps trying to find a great, consistent, usable "practice tone."

    An additional unintended consequence of Axe-Fx ownership: it turned my least favorite guitar into my favorite. I was given an Eric Clapton strat a couple years ago as a gift as I am a huge EC fan. Love the construction of the guitar, but it sounded like hell plugged in to my old Fender amps, and even worse plugged in to the Helix. I plugged it into the III and all of the sudden I can't put it down - it sounds amazing and responds to me like a good instrument should. I thought it was in my head, that perhaps it sounded better since I was finally playing and practicing, but nope - plugged it back in to the Helix and the Fenders and nope - sounds like mud. Of course I could tweak and tweak and dial it in to get something usable and musical, but why do it other than to prove it can be done? I have a box that sounds great without having to jack around with it - on the flip side of that coin, of course I can make it sound like crap, but "crap" is not the default setting like it seems to be on some of the other choices I have in front of me. I can play, I can create, and I can enjoy with no gear-related frustrations. The Axe stays out of the way but it still has unimaginable potential for "tweakability" and creation of sounds when you want to go there (the proverbial "rabbit hole" that is an absolute joy to go down) that it really is the ultimate piece of tech for a guitar player.

    Anyway, that's one hell of a speech, but I really love my Axe-Fx III. Thanks to Cliff and everyone that creates this stuff - it's one of those special tools that really transcends it's purpose of being a technological tool and becomes a source of inspiration - without even being asked to do so.

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