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Life Changing Stuff

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

  1. Bmk5140

    Bmk5140
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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.
     
    Mohi, secondwindow, Robboman and 25 others like this.
  2. BBN

    BBN
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    I do love the versatility of the Axe in that it allows you to dial any guitar to make it sound killer.
     
  3. Rick

    Rick
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    Exciting to see inspiration take hold. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. pauly

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    Hi Bmk5140
    Isn't it great! I find this unit pulls me in all sorts of different directions that I anticipated. The hardest thing is sticking with the plan because I come up with some amp or effect that ends up taking the next 4 hours from me while I enjoy it.
    Thanks
    Pauly
     
  5. Bmk5140

    Bmk5140
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    It really does... I feel like I now have the sonic flexibility to fully explore all of my guitar's voices.

    The inspiration is real; I'm taking a couple of projects in completely different directions (in a really good way) because of the capability I now have in front of me.

    I have lost some efficiency for sure - and enjoyed every wasted minute, mind you, but more than anything else I find that while I'm looking for a particular sound, I often find two or three other great sounds that I save for later use/other projects, so I think it's really all a net gain in the end.
     
  6. reck1ess

    reck1ess
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    I had a similar experience plugging a Cole Clark Culprit III into the Axe III... completely turned around my opinion on that guitar and I am having a lot of fun playing it again, while I just couldn't vibe with it through my tube amp.
     
    improb_driver likes this.
  7. Douganator

    Douganator
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    The Axe FX lll has helped me "hear" what I am playing more clearly. Sloppiness has no place to hide. It is definitely making me a better player...! Not that my tube gear is lacking at all but the proximity effect is in play for sure. In ears, or a good set of headphones let you hear everything... good and bad.
     
  8. Bmk5140

    Bmk5140
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    I had to look that one up... cool looking guitar; it seems they are no longer made?

    Yeah, when I want to sound "better" I unplug my IEMs and turn the monitors up really loud... Seriously though, I do often play at night through IEMs or headphones and you're right, the sound is not forgiving of sloppy playing (my playing is more sloppy than not, but I have enough moments of clarity to hear the difference). But there's some magic there in the III that isn't present on other modelers through the same IEMs or headphones - the Axe FX III responds in a very analog way to its inputs and provides a touch responsiveness that the others haven't got in their code yet. When I worked with the Helix I only liked it played back loud through monitors or PA speakers - never quite sounded right through my IEMs because I felt like it lacked details. Those details are upfront in the output of the III.
     
  9. ∞Fractals

    ∞Fractals
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    :)
     
  10. favance

    favance
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    Welcome to the party! Fractal Audio is a class act and has by far been the best musical instrument purchase I have made in 45+ years of playing/performing.
     
    ∞Fractals and Hoosierdaddy like this.
  11. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe
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    Ooof. It's amazing how forgiving some amps can be...nothing hides from the Axe. It's made me realize how much I suck, but those times when I do better, I know that I've grown as a player. It can be too reviling at times though.
     
    ∞Fractals likes this.
  12. pauly

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    HI BMK,

    I was chatting with the CEO at Cole Clark recently and he explained that they stopped making electric guitars as the market seems saturated, and they wanted to concentrate on making the best acoustics they could. Having said that, he then showed me a pretty cool looking (electric) bass they were making in partnership with another guy with carbon fiber truss rods etc.
    Thanks
    Pauly

     
  13. Bmk5140

    Bmk5140
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    They do make some pretty great looking acoustic guitars, I’ve added one of their Angel 3 series to my short list. I’d also like to know more about their lap steel guitars (as if I need to get wrapped around the axle learning that...).
     
  14. Hoosierdaddy

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    Inspired

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    So,Do do find yourself wandering ,,,what happened to my spare time? ?
    What happened to my spare time
    LOL
     
  15. Bmk5140

    Bmk5140
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    Sadly I didn’t have any spare time to start with, so for me it’s more of a challenge to find time to play - but when I do not much else gets done, that’s for certain. And it isn’t just me - I had a guy at the house to do some voiceover work recently and he’s a pretty active guitar player with his church. We must’ve wasted 2 hours replicating his guitar rig in the III and his mind was blown - he’ll be replacing his traditional rig with the III as soon as he can afford it.

    I’ve also been spending a bunch of time setting up my new Mastermind GT (couldn’t wait for my FC invite any longer although I’ll be getting an FC-12 as well) - not as a live performance tool but as a studio tool for quickly making changes to sounds I’m dialing in. That’s a killer piece of gear also so it’ll be cool to compare it with the FC when the time comes.

    I’m nearly six months into this thing and the “shiny” has yet to wear off. It’s pretty rare I get this excited about a piece of equipment. I’m actually at a point where my other amps and processors are probably going to get converted into a couple of my dream guitars.
     
    ∞Fractals likes this.
  16. Rex

    Rex
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    Legend!

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    Nine years later, and the "shiny" still hasn't worn off for me .
     
    ∞Fractals likes this.
  17. Hoosierdaddy

    Hoosierdaddy
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    Inspired

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    Enjoy On !
     
    ∞Fractals likes this.

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