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Never get a good sound with Axe FX II

link182

Member
Hi,

it's a long time i wanted to post a message this like this, but never the time to do it.
I'm not a very good guitar player at all, and bought an Axe FX II 2 years ago.

I heard lot of sound of Axe FX on soundclound & Youtube, but i never get the same sound.
I know my playing is not very good, but I think there is also something not well setup somewhere.

Here 2 recording to give you any idea of my "sound" (Gun's N roses and Killswitch Engage) :



I use Logic Pro X and 1 track (pan 50/50), that's all. I play on a LesPaul Studio.

Maybe someone can help me to improve the Axe Fx sound. Some setup to do ?

Thanks for you help & comments
 

rsf1977_again

Power User
are you on firmware 19.00?

for the killswitch sound there is very little bass in their guitars. I would run a 5150 or 5153 with a tube screamer in front mix at 100%, level at 10, gain at zero, tone at noon. then dial up the amp gain from zero until it saturates enough. You should be close. Also make sure your pups aren't too close to your strings, because my tone sounds like yours when I raise my pups too high. Try backing them off as much as you can stand
 

ibanezfreak4

Power User
Maybe someone can help me to improve the Axe Fx sound. Some setup to do ?
IME - there can be a large difference between what you hear from your monitoring source and your recorded source.

First question: What are you monitoring your Axe-FX through? Follow-Up ?: Do the presets you made sound okay from your monitor reference (studio monitors, FRFR, Amp+Cab)?
This would be the first thing I would check out. If you're plugging in to an interface and it's sounding not the greatest, remove that variable from the equation. Plug the AFX directly into the studio monitors to create the ideal preset to your ears.

Second question: Can you post the presets that you have built for us to evaluate. If it's an AFX II Mark I, I can take a look later tonight and give some feedback (not guitar feedback) on some modifications that might make your presets a bit richer.

Let us know, cheers.
 

ps43203

Experienced
The second track just needs some more presence and/or treble, other than that, not too bad.
Work on technique too, play your desired licks really slow with a metronome, until it is too easy,
then speed up gradually, this will help your tone immensely, trust me. I just started using a metronome,
or a click track, maybe 7 years ago, and it really does work.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
Are you using the neck pickup on 'Sweet Child"? I have tried that same preset using a LTD EC1000 with EMG actives on neck pickup and it sounds much closer to the original.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
That sweet child patch is okay soundwise. The rest should be in your fingers for that. The IR in that KsE clip must be wrong.. almost sounds like there's no IR at all.
 

Finaldo

Inspired
I didn't think the Sweet Child patch sounded bad. The KSE clip sounded like the EQ was set up for a pretty narrow band, like it was recorded from a phone speaker. What IR are you using?
 

rnjscooter

Experienced
Has anyone asked what audio interface you are using? That can have a dramatic affect on everything. Pickups, strings, the mix down procedure, what kind of file you save it as, etc, etc........
 

chris

Legend!
Has anyone asked what audio interface you are using?
yup:

I have no audio interface, juste the Axe FX II. I use Produce Ribbon 8 as monitor, and sometimes a AKG headphone when needed.
i agree that the sweet child tone sounded ok. my guess is on the guitar and pickups. perhaps i'm wrong, but that's usually what a $499 guitar sounds like plugged into a VH4 or rectifier, etc.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Whenever I don't think my Axe sounds good, I just plug into some other modelers like Guitar Rig (I got it included in the Komplete bundle) or even a buddies tube amp (at evening volumes as they've got kids and stuff, so no turning it up) and I'm suddenly amazed at the tones the Axe produces.

Feel, dynamics, cranked amp tone, at any volume.

Its easy to get spoiled by just how amazing the Axe sounds, and forget what a real amp sounds like (in less than ideal conditions)
 

Cagey

Experienced
The second track just needs some more presence and/or treble, other than that, not too bad.
Work on technique too, play your desired licks really slow with a metronome, until it is too easy,
then speed up gradually, this will help your tone immensely, trust me. I just started using a metronome,
or a click track, maybe 7 years ago, and it really does work.
I had a very good teacher about a 100 years ago who left me with 3 invaluable lessons.

1. Slow down if you want to learn to play fast
2. Always play with a metronome, and
3. Dare to suck

Priceless advice.
 
I'm no expert but I might be able to suggest some things to try / check on. Here's an example of one of my Axe-Fx metal sounds for a KSE cover I made in Logic X:

https://soundcloud.com/instrumentalcase/ma-curse

The parts aren't perfect as I was dealing with a lot of latency in my DAW. I only recently figured out how to use my audio interface's low latency mixer.


Anyway, here's some suggestions if you're interested:

Click on the I/O button and then adjust the INSTRU IN level so that the yellow LEDS next to the display light up when you aggressively palm mute on your guitar, but don't bring the level control so high that it turns red.

Beneath those lights you should look for the LED that's labeled OUT 1 CLIP. Make sure that one isn't lighting up red when you play at any level of aggressiveness. If it does light up, go into the preset's amp block and reduce the MIXER Level control until the red light stops coming on when you play hard.

Make sure the volume and tone knobs on your guitar are on 10.

Make sure you are using a fully functioning guitar cable, that isn't losing your signal.

Make sure your guitar's pickups are not set too low or ridiculously close to the strings.

If you have active pickups, make sure you have a fresh battery in your guitar.

Use the bridge pickup when recording metal rhythm guitar parts.

Plug your guitar straight into the Axe-Fx, to avoid any pedals sucking your tone.

Go into your favorite metal presets, click on INPUT + GATE, and turn the Threshold control down if the gate is sucking your tone too much. Start at "OFF dB" and then raise the gate to eliminate static noise, but not so much that you eat away at your own signal / tone.

For your metal tone, try an amp model like the FAS 6160 with the bright switch on, paired with a 4x12 (I use a Tv Mix #1 a lot). Before the amp, set up a drive pedal (such as the TS808 mod), with the drive knob down and the tone knob at noon, to give you more articulation and tightness (a "clean boosted" rhythm sound).

When recording in Logic, make sure that the track is free of effects / EQ (I think Logic will sometimes enable some things by default when you add a track to your project).

When adding a new track in Logic, just click "new audio track," so you don't accidentally use a Logic amp model or something.

Pan the logic track hard left or hard right for recording metal rhythm guitar.

Record the guitar part once on the track panned hard right, and then record it again for the track panned hard left. Play both parts as identically as possible. This is known as "double tracking" your guitar part, and it will give you a bigger and more modern recorded guitar sound.

Always keep your guitar in tune and your strings fresh.

Try a heavy pointed pick like a Jazz III. Play with strong pick strokes and solid string muting.

When palm muting, make sure your hand makes contact with the strings very close to where the strings meet the bridge. Hover too close to the neck and your nice palm muting can turn to mush.

Use heavy gauge strings if you like to play in low tunings. A lot of KSE is in Drop C, for which you'll want heavy gauge strings (so you can have tight feeling strings even when you tune low).

Once you have your left and right channel recorded rhythm guitar tracks (which need to be separate takes, not one recording copied and pasted), use one of Logic's mastering presets to increase the volume and punch of your recording session. Additionally, try EQing the guitar tracks with Logic's guitar EQ presets, so they sit better with the bass, drums, vocals, etc.


... Hope that helps!
 

link182

Member
Thanks a lot to all, I didn't though to have lot of answers.

I go to the guitar shop and to change the string (gauge 9-42) and to have a check up of the pick.

I make a new recording of Sweet Child O Mine (same preset) with 2 track (80% left and 80% right)


What do you think... ? sound better but seem to have some echo (tracks seem to not be really synchronize).
 
The tone sounds better to me! A lot of times "lead" parts are just a single take though, whereas rhythm parts are more typically double-tracked for modern rock and metal music.

As you said, the playing isn't perfectly synchronized, but that's something you get better at with practice. Sometimes however it's an issue of latency. My Mac always has some latency when I attempt to monitor my playing / recording through Logic X. So it's extremely hard to synchronize your playing to the previous take when that's going on. To get around that now I've learned how to use my Duet audio interface as a low latency mixer, so my signal doesn't have any delay. That kind of latency can be subtle but still really throw off your timing and feel.
 

link182

Member
The tone sounds better to me! A lot of times "lead" parts are just a single take though, whereas rhythm parts are more typically double-tracked for modern rock and metal music.

As you said, the playing isn't perfectly synchronized, but that's something you get better at with practice. Sometimes however it's an issue of latency. My Mac always has some latency when I attempt to monitor my playing / recording through Logic X. So it's extremely hard to synchronize your playing to the previous take when that's going on. To get around that now I've learned how to use my Duet audio interface as a low latency mixer, so my signal doesn't have any delay. That kind of latency can be subtle but still really throw off your timing and feel.
How I can check if there is some latency ? I have no Audio Interface between the Axe Fx and PC/Mac (Hackintosh :) ).
'cause according to me, I'm pretty sure to play the 2nd track synchronized to the first track...
 

d2dark

Inspired
sound legit to me. try recording to a clic track. always monitor strait form the Axe with headphone for tight result.
and keep tweaking
 
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