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My setup needs validation please !!!!


New here
Hi all, been a long time off of writing but as an axe owner ( axe fx 2 XL) for 5 years i ping in here once a while.

As an home studio user, i'm the most qualificated person to judge my tone cause nobody ears it, and i put my qualifications seriously in doubt, so please drop in...

Here is the setup with AXE FX2 XL, Mackie 1642 VLZ4 mixing board, Focusrite 18i20 soundcard, Presonus Eris 8 monitors plugged in mixing board not soundcard: ( i suppose pretty decent gears...)

prior, I have to say that the mackie is the central core of my setup cause Guitar, Bass, Roland drum,keyboard , microphone, radio, turntable, CD player, TV, DVD player are suppose to be plugged in when everything will be installed.

I would like my setup to allow guitar, bass, drum, keyboard playing, TV, singing without the pc and the focusrite to be turned ON and a recording ability when computer and soundcard are ON

So here it is:

the axe fx signal===> mackie mixing board ==>eris monitors when i play guitar only.

But when i play on a pc runned backing track the guitar signal goes :
Axe fx==> Mackie==> Focusrite==> Mackie===> Eris Monitors

- Axe fx left output to ===> Mackie 1st channel left-panned 100%=====> focusrite 1st channel

- Axe fx right output to ===> Mackie 2nd channel right-panned 100%=====> focusrite 2nd channel

The focusrite itself is plugged back on the Mackie ( 12th channel) in order to Mackie control the computer output to the Eris( when playing games for instance...)

As you may imagine the tone i get is pretty different when i play guitar only than when i play on a backing track ( because of the double showered signal into the mackie i guess...)

Can someone help me to improve the setup in order to get everything right please?
Many Thanks
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Forum Addict
Use the aux send to record the guitar and then mute the guitar track in your DAW while recording.

So you have guitar -> mixer. From the guitar channel strip(s), you have the fader(s) available to control the monitoring/listening volume of your guitar and be able to send the signal to your sound card via the Aux send(s).
If you play in mono, Aux1 will suffice. If you play in stereo send one of your channels to Aux1 and the other to Aux2.

It is important to configure your Aux send to be pre fader.

You can even have the AxeFx output 1 to a pair of channels and output 2 to another pair and use all 4 Aux. This way you can record the dry guitar on a track pair and a the effects on another. Or record a DI... Your imagination is the limit :)


This way works for me, provides some flexibility and may give you some ideas. My older 1602 (does not have the stereo channels) would be like this:

Setup: 1602 -> M-Audio Delta 1010 (8 Analog In & OUt) -> 1602 -> Monitors

1602 Channel Assignments:
Chan 1-2: Mic/XLR ins
Chan 3-4: Guitar/Line ins
Chan 5-6/7-8/9-10/11-12/13-14: Various Synth Stereo ins
Chan 15-16 are the Monitoring returns (1-2) from the soundcard assigned to the Main Mix.

Chan 1-2 are Direct Out into the soundcard 1-2
Chan 3-4 are Direct Out into soundcard 3-4
Subgroup Outs 1-2 are into soundcard 5-6
Subgroup Outs 3-4 are into soundcard 7-8

All Aux Sends are Post Fader, go to several FX units and are returned via the Aux Returns.

I have no input echoing/monitoring enabled in my soundcard or DAW. The Control Room outs are connected to the monitors. The Control Room has the Main Mix assigned to it.

For recording through channels 1-4, set the gain staging for the DAW at the trim(s) and channel fader(s) for a good level into your DAW. Do not assign the channel to the mains, but to one or two subs. Use the subs for setting your monitoring level and assign only to the Control Room.

Channels 5-16 are captured by gain staging, assigning to Subgroups 1-4, recording Subs 1-2 with no assignments and using Subs 3-4 for monitoring level assigned to the Control Room or Main Mix (Sub 3 assigned to L and Sub 4 assigmed to R).

On the AxeFX, for recording both Amp and Dry tones in mono, make your patch have a split prior to the Amp sim and pan each side hard L and R in the output section. Record mixer channel 3 for the Amp track and Channel 4 for the Dry track for reamping later. If you want to record your Axe with its FX in all its stereo glory, don't split and recored the stereo pair as a stereo track in your DAW.

To be fair, I actually use my 1602 as an Input only mixer set up as above, but with channels 15-16 hosting another synth stereo pair. I also have an old Mackie 1402 mixer that I use for monitoring: All 8 soundcard outs are connected to the Stereo channels as 4 pair, the AxeFX II is using 2 channels and 2 channels are connected to the Main outs of the 1602. The AxeFX is now recorded via SPDIF in and monitored via the Analog outs.

I hope this is helpful and not too convoluted or hard to understand. o_O


New here
Hi GiRa thanks for your time!

To sum up your thought :

GUITAR====> AXE FX ============> MACKIE ==================> SoundCard
-------------------- Output 1 LEFT ===> Strip 1 panned Left | Aux send 1 ====> input 1
--------------------- Output 1 RIGHT ===> Strip 2 panned Right | Aux send 2 ====> input 2
------------------ Output 2 LEFT ===> Strip 3 panned Left | Aux send 3 ====> input 3
------------------ Output 2 RIGHT ===> Strip 4 panned Right | Aux Send 4 ====> input 4

with output 1 processed and output 2 dry or DI. Right?

If so, considering the fact that the outputs are paired, what would be the use of individualising the left and right of each output ?
Wouldn't it be hard balancing both sides by the channel strip fader, the aux knobs and the soundcard knobs ?

Sorry CrunchyBob, was writing when you posted!
Thanks for joining in.
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Forum Addict
ChrunchBob's method works too, I prefer the Aux because this way I can route other stuff from/to the soundcard. For example, I can even route some outputs of the soundcard back to it (after some processing with external HW). That's another story.

To reply to cadeb, having left and right separated allows you to listen in stereo and to send to the soundcard separated left/right signals so you can record stereo tracks.
If you don't need that you can mix and match depending on how you see fit. For example, you can pan center when listening, but still have a full stereo recording (the auxes are mono so the panning should not play any role, check with your mixer manual).

Another thing is changing what you are using for what purpose: Strip 1 AxeFX AMP block output, Strip 2 AxeFX DI, Strip 3+4 AxeFX Delays and Reverbs.

That is just an idea, I do suggest you find what works for you best and then stick to it.

For example, I tend to use Strip 1+2 for the distorted/clean tone and then Strip 3+4 for the Reverbs and Delays, BUT I record just Strip1 and 3+4 as strip 2 is identical to strip 1 (the AMP block is mono).
Still I have the possibility to listen in stereo when jamming (when I have everything going out of just Output1) or record stereo things, for example a stereo tremolo+pan or whatever.


New here
i'll have to settle down and think about what are the differences between direct outs, aux send and subgroup outs.

I don't sound the same if the guitar stripes direct outs are to the monitors than when the direct outs go to the card prior to the monitors ( "double showered" concept in my first post)

Would be a pity not to take the best out of the Axe...


Forum Addict
The quality of the mixer and the gain staging are crucial if you are doing something like that.

Make sure that your gain staging is correct and test the mixer by recording something from the computer, using the Axe as a playback device and then recording with your Focusrite. If everything sounds the same, you are good to go.
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