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Metallica backstage part 2!

Severed

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I've been following the first few dates of the hardwired tour, specifically looking for phone video/audio from people out front on the floor to hear how it sounds FoH, and I've been extremely impressed. They've done a fantastic job of capturing the "Metallica" sound with the Axe-Fx direct FoH. Haven't been a huge fan of the post release mix/master's on youtube though, mostly because those are not really a true indication of how it sounds like, IMHO.
 

∞Fractals

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Thank you for the 411 GJ!

Enjoy these stories and facts about how artists run their AXEFXs ... simple presets, love it! toans in the digits!
 

mr.beatdoctor

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Severed, I agree completely. I have been doing the same for more than a year now and I am very impressed by the audience captured videos of the FOH sound from Big Mick. The engineer that does the board recordings for the band's videos is clearly skilled and capable but I agree that the mix isn't very flattering and doesn't capture the band's vibe correctly. A number of comments in the videos also seem to show that video viewers think that the board recordings represent the FOH sound. It could be argued that those official videos are doing the band's reputation a disservice.
 

Pwrmac7600

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Gotta tell you Jon, I am hella jealous! I feel silly saying it being a grown man in my early 40's, but Jaymz has been one of my guitar idols since I was in junior high school. Just the fact that you had one of the famous esp explorers is your hands makes me hate you deep down inside.;):p
 

LoPaN

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Hey Jon, does James have the raw necks on his guitars? pretty sure ive seen one of his guitars with the paint sanded off the neck. Oh and when are you going to make some new presets based on what you witnessed? :) Cheers for all the info bro, I'd love to have been able to crank a few riffs through James's rig and playing one of his guitars too, lucky devil you :D
 

Guitarjon

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Severed, I agree completely. I have been doing the same for more than a year now and I am very impressed by the audience captured videos of the FOH sound from Big Mick. The engineer that does the board recordings for the band's videos is clearly skilled and capable but I agree that the mix isn't very flattering and doesn't capture the band's vibe correctly. A number of comments in the videos also seem to show that video viewers think that the board recordings represent the FOH sound. It could be argued that those official videos are doing the band's reputation a disservice.
Well, I think those videos sound good for what they are.
It must also be pretty hectic for the person mixing those files as well as the LiveMet stuff.
Having said that I'd give one of my kidneys to have the chance to mix Metallica's live recordings! :)

Hey Jon, does James have the raw necks on his guitars? pretty sure ive seen one of his guitars with the paint sanded off the neck. Oh and when are you going to make some new presets based on what you witnessed? :) Cheers for all the info bro, I'd love to have been able to crank a few riffs through James's rig and playing one of his guitars too, lucky devil you :D
Yeah, a few of the necks were sanded down.
I didn't check them all but at least the White Iron Cross and the Explorer were sanded.
 

ETOLKIEN

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The presets looked suprisingly basic.
No compressors for the clean tones and just simple amp > cab set-ups for the distorted tones.
Cool info yeeeeah! We are very close, if we only could grab some of these IRs...and a pair of James arms haha...thanks man!
 

Guitarjon

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I just heard that James is well again and they're going to play the show tonight!
That's great news!
Can't wait to see what songs they play...
 

Guitarjon

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any spoiler about the settings .....? he blends VH4 with the boogie for one tone ?
Well, like I said in the OP he uses those 2 together for his rhyhm tones.
Before they were using the Axe FX they were also running a VH4 and Triaxis simultaneously to get that huge crunch.
 

Zaemo

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James and Kirk used to have some 4x12 cabs on stage for feedback and stuff but now instead of that they had a couple of 2x12 wedges on the stage for the band to get that speaker 'feel' for feedback when needed.
We use 4X12's on the large video screen 180 degree stage setup and anywhere else we can. There is no room onstage in the round at the moment. The Meyer MJF-12's are THE best sounding stage monitors I've ever heard. When we first started with the Axe-Fx, we plugged into a pair of these powered wedges. I also dialed the TSO stuff for Wachen on these. The advantage is that they handle LOUD with ease and still sound good while doing it. We would listen to our beginning presets at normal levels but if you crank them up for a different perspective, they will show you right away where your sound needs help. One dB of 5k really makes a difference at very loud levels. Keeping your mid-range consistent (and not howling) with the lows and highs creates an even sound that you can enjoy at your inner ear for 2.5 hours. When you turn them up above a normal listening level and the low end doesn't fall apart is when guitar players start to smile.

Likewise, a 10 band allows me to cheat a little on the aux send to the stage cabinets. I can leave the AMP and CAB blocks sounding their best for the audio guys and make the stage cabinets jump without causing the guitar to become too resonant in any one area. This is a great gift to us because the stage cab levels are no longer tethered to the AMP master volume. Not one single person wants to hear the guitars squealing all night.

If I recall correctly, they are currently running one of the Quantum firmwares.
Yes, we're actually on the latest and greatest.

The presets looked surprisingly basic.
Well, they might look basic as far as routing and things are concerned. We don't have any 'VooDoo' blocks that no one else can get but we didn't arrive at our current sounds by accident. : ) Over-complicating things doesn't get us any closer to the sound we need. I am very careful about gain structure and EQ. I like to treat my presets as if they were analog. I choose the same amp tubes we have in our real amps, for example. I was explaining to Jon that the EQ capabilities really allow me to dial in final sounds with a scalpel rather than a large sword type thing. Minor adjustments in the amp block parameters seem to work better in the overall picture. Cliff has gone to great lengths to make these authentic. I'm not trying to twist shit up to 10 just to feel special.

Another note on this concept: I think it's important for us to step back for a moment. For those of us who used to have to use analog solutions as guitar rig building blocks, this Fractal thing is an absolute god send. The Axe-Fx as a digital signal path router is worth the price of the hardware itself. As a tech, when your artist asks you to patch in another pedal that does "xxxxxxx" it no longer requires more cables and boxes and buttons and batteries and hum eliminators and switches and Y cables power supplies etc etc.

Seamlessly adding effects with no signal loss or audible clicking makes me love operating this machine daily. I used to have to hide punches in "small" places to be discreet. Remember that we record EVERYTHING. If James is sustaining a note and I need to add a delay or pull an effect out, I can just do it without hearing a "clunk." The low low noise floor helps immensely when everyone is wearing in ears as well.

Hope this helps a little.
Z
 

Gonwild

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This is really cool, to read about how the pros use the axe-fx and ampsims, and that they find it good enough to replace previous touring setups.
 

Guitarjon

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I still can't get over how good the new record is.
What are your favorite tracks guys?
I can't choose but a couple of my favorites are:

Dream No More
Am I Savage
Spit Out The Bone
Now That We're Dead

I really enjoy the other songs too and I hope we'll get to hear them all live at one point.
 

Smittefar

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When I first heard Moth into ... I was hooked on the new metallica album. It is still one of my favorites.
 
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