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MIC'd Cab or DI from Axe-Fx

ChainOfThought

Experienced
I think I'd be more concerned about what sounds better through the PA/FOH by itself, not what sounds better mixed with the stage sound. I don't have a ton of experience with it gigging, but I think any place thats going to be mic'ing your cabs and running guitars through a PA is going to also be aiming to get as little stage volume as they can pushing into the audience.

In other words, I bet it does sound better in your house like that, and it makes sense why it would. But if an IR tone will give you a more consistent and possibly better tone to the FOH then I would go with that rather than try and recreate that perfect blend since you likely won't have that level of control at a venue. So I would be trying to isolate the mic'ed cab tone through the PA (Without hearing your cabs in the room) versus the IR tone through the PA (again without hearing your cabs in the room) and make the assessment based on THAT comparison, rather than comparing it all as one big mix.

Just my opinion & admittedly not worth much...I haven't gigged with anything but a tube amp and I haven't yet had my hands on a decent FRFR system/PA for the ax8/axefx. So take it for what its worth because its all theoretical from me based on reading way too much.
 
You make some good points and I understand and agree. I just like testing the waters to see what truly works the best. My band just booked a kickass venue here in town to rent out for a live rehearsal/Live sound test so I will try ALL of these techniques out and let u guys know the verdict.
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
Mics have a voice of their own, and impart some of their personality on the sound. That can be a good or bad thing. Personally, I go direct. But I would say micing the cab is fine if that's what sounds the way you want it to sound. That's really the goal.

Just to make this an Axe FX III conversation, I will say I intend to keep running direct using the Axe FX III, just like I did on the XL+!
 

ChainOfThought

Experienced
You make some good points and I understand and agree. I just like testing the waters to see what truly works the best. My band just booked a kickass venue here in town to rent out for a live rehearsal/Live sound test so I will try ALL of these techniques out and let u guys know the verdict.
Nice, definitely interested in hearing about that.
 

Randall d

Inspired
Try this: take that cab out of the room (outdoors or closed up in a room at the other end of the building you are in) where you can't hear it in the room you are doing the comparison in. Then mic up the cab and run the mic cable to the mixer. Then compare. You have done an apples and oranges comparison. You can't compare the two sounds if that cab itself is within hearing distance of where you are listening and comparing.
 
Try this: take that cab out of the room (outdoors or closed up in a room at the other end of the building you are in) where you can't hear it in the room you are doing the comparison in. Then mic up the cab and run the mic cable to the mixer. Then compare. You have done an apples and oranges comparison. You can't compare the two sounds if that cab itself is within hearing distance of where you are listening and comparing.
I intentionally did it this way to see how each sounded in UNISON with the CABS/backline, not an A/B of which was more "accurate." In a typical live setting (local music venue, bar etc.) you are going to always hear the backline...and I wanted to use that as part of the mix vs. fighting the stage sound. I get it,sound guys don't want to hear stage sound...but for our band I may start asking sound guys to use it as part of our mix. It was just punchier and more cohesive, probably bc the mic was not only picking up the cab but also the subtle reflections of the room and other instruments etc.
 

Rex

Legend!
I get it,sound guys don't want to hear stage sound...but for our band I may start asking sound guys to use it as part of our mix. It was just punchier and more cohesive...
Do you want the sound guy to use your back line to optimize the mix for the people standing front-and-center in your amp’s zone of death, and screw the people standing off-axis or further back... or do you want him to optimize the sound for the people standing off axis in front of the bassist, and screw the people standing in front of your amp... or have him optimize the sound for the crowd in back, slicing the ears of the people in front... or...? :)

I think the best you’ll accomplish is optimizing the sound for the guitarist.
 
Do you want the sound guy to use your back line to optimize the mix for the people standing front-and-center in your amp’s zone of death, and screw the people standing off-axis or further back... or do you want him to optimize the sound for the people standing off axis in front of the bassist, and screw the people standing in front of your amp... or have him optimize the sound for the crowd in back, slicing the ears of the people in front... or...? :)

I think the best you’ll accomplish is optimizing the sound for the guitarist.
Yes...I've considered ALL of these problems...o_O
I understand, my idea is unconventional, but, if it works and sounds good then why not?

I recently had the opportunity, to test my theories out, so i'm not just BS'ing my way through this. We were on tour 3weeks ago and one of the venues dropped our show, so we had to make our own to fill in the date. The booking agency helped find us a venue, which turned out to be a pretty kickass music venue (The Toad Tavern in Denver, CO. if anyone is interested in looking it up). I ran the sound for my band, and the two other bands that were on tour with us. My band was completely DI and uses IEM and zero stage monitoring, just bass and guitar backlines and of course the live drums vs. the other two bands that were completely mic'd up and used monitors. Instead of fighting the stage sound, I embraced it and used it as part of my mix to fill the room a bit more, I actually had the other bands turn up a bit more than usual. The results were nothing short of successful...the other two bands IMO as well as other people listening thought they sounded waaaaay more full and cohesive...not a single person complained at any position of the stage...believe me I was watching AND out walking about to listen at different points in the venue. This got me thinking about the MIC'd cabs (mic'd everything) vs. the DI bc to ME that is where the secret was...

My band is renting a venue w/house sound guy in the coming week so we can better test our sound. DI vs. mic'd cab; backline as part of the mix or not...etc.
 
We use IEM, so no we don't HAVE to, but the original idea for the CABS on stage were for the obvious and traditional reasons. They were for the people up front, and so we could feel our sound on stage AND hear em when we/if we want by taking one ear out or whatever
 

unix-guy

Legend!
We use IEM, so no we don't HAVE to, but the original idea for the CABS on stage were for the obvious and traditional reasons. They were for the people up front, and so we could feel our sound on stage AND hear em when we/if we want by taking one ear out or whatever
Fair enough... We are 100% direct with IEMs these days, so the only stage volume is the singer and drum sticks whacking plastic :)

FYI... Try to avoid that 1 ear IEM thing. You can damage your hearing if you turn up the one ear to compensate.
 
Ok guys, last night was the big test. We rented out a reputable venue for rehearsal and tested several live mixing techniques, for a about 4hours.

-DI guitars in mono - both guitars panned hard L & R with cabs as backline
-Mic'd Cabs both panned L & R and mic'd bass cab w/beta 52
- DI with NO backline
- Stereo vs. Mono Backing Tracks (Stereo won that one)
- We were going to test Stereo Guitars but there was not way it was going to translate well so we didn't even attempt it.

While the mic'd guitars (and bass cab too) sounded warm, round and unified...the DI won...it was just waaay cleaner, I could hear everything in its own place. We also figured out that our Bassist's stage sound has been TOO loud pretty much every show hahaha mostly bc he was stacking 2Cabs so we had him split the cabs L and R on stage, which helped a lot, but we also found (and was even suggested by the sound guy) that our guitar stage sound needed to come waaaay up, we were just getting over powered by the drums, mostly the cymbals and the bass high end from being stacked. So my theory that using the stage sound as part of the house mix is definitely appropriate if not imperative.

Alll in all it was a great test and figured out a lot of things about our live sound.
 

Tommy Tempest

Power User
Thats exactly what im doing now for all our gigs, DI to FOH and CAB as a backline. But we A/B'd these two setups the other day and the mic on cab sounded better IMO.
I was having the same problem with my setup until I followed how to use the loop to send 2 feeds (1 to amp and cab and other to FOH). I was then able to set an EQ block on the feed to FOH and model the mic tone. Now I never mic the cab and always go direct.
 
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