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New Axe owner 4th day of the Axe-Fx III - a little remorse in my journey

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx III Reviews' started by Conley Shepherd, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    first, I have to say that the AF3 is an awesome unit and I love almost everything about it. The only thing that is causing me to be unhappy is the foot controller options while waiting for the readily available status of the FC12. Not having the FC12 is really a burden on me on the 4th day of ownership.

    I researched the Kemper, Helix and the AF3. Not ashamed I invested in the AF3 for the stand alone unit on it's features, unit modification ability for patches, I/O and such. The AF3 is a monster. I have had a lot of good advice and read quite a few posts in the forum by this great community. All of that help has been MUCH appreciated!

    My remorse begins with the missing ability to plug and play a controller that will allow me the full functionality of the AF3.

    I started off with a GCP and GCX hoping I could get done what I wanted to. I wasn't able to send command to the AF3 from the GCP that got me patch switching and specific scene selection. I get really irritated when proven that things I want to do can't be done. I get really AR/OCD about things I am trying to get accomplished. At this point I started looking for a MFC and found one locally. I thought it was a Godsend. Been struggling with it trying to figure what it can do and how as well as trying to use it with the most benefit for my desired use. I don't think this was asking too much. I dropped a good bundle on that device and expected almost a miracle.

    My initial goal for the MFC was the following

    1. Select patches - using single patch selection with the bank buttons - accomplished goal!
    2. Select specific scenes - acomplished goal using buttons 1-5
    3. Turn devices on and off in the scenes selected - they were setup pretty easy with the AF3 learn mode. I was pleasantly surprised! Accomplished!

    All of these accomplishments were really good feelings around 0030 this am.

    I was hoping to play out with the AF3 and MFC last night and this wasn't working and I left the whole rack and MFC home. I played my night with the stock Mesa Mark V, a tuner, looper and GTX-500 with the boost channel. I really had a great time and thought to myself that the mesa sounded good and that I was really frustrated with the AF3 and MFC not working well together yet. That was when the remorse set in. Got home and worked on the combo for about 3 hours. and finally got basic functionality mentioned above.

    I admit that my frustration is with the learning curve of the AF3 setup with a good FC combo. It would have been nice to have a better backward compatibility with the MFC and faslink. This MFC and AF3 setup is quite a chore not knowing the Axe products on day 4 of ownership.

    I am moving forward with trying looper assignments and hopefully will figure that out in tandem with the way I have my MFC configured now.

    Knowing what I know now(new owner and no prior FAS product experience on day 4) and what I have tried, I would have waited on my purchase of the AF3 until the FC12 was openly available. I presumed too much.

    -- My journey with FAS
     
  2. 1poorplayer

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    I would suggest using your “former” rig to play gigs , until you get the new FC , and use this time getting to know the unit better.
    The Master Class with Cooper Carter ; of which you’ll find a thread on the 2nd or 3rd page of the III section , is a great way to learn the MACHINE.

    There’s a lot going on with the beast. I was discouraged at first , because I felt some of the functionality was a tad unintuitive. Once I learned some of the navigation , things were much easier.
    Good luck. The new FCs should be out SOON !
     
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  3. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    Good option, but I hate spending a whole lot of money and not being able to use something as I intended it. I was thinking about putting the old rig back, but I have to sell it to make up some of the money I spent for the AF3 and the MFC. I have a looper in my pedal rig that I like to use while warming up and when I practice. I am not in dire need of that just yet with the AF3. Thanks for the feedback and suggestion!
     
  4. lqdsnddist

    lqdsnddist
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    Doesn’t look like it should be that much longer for the FC’s, month or two if not less seems to be the estimate for folks not on a wait list.

    Given the III is an item you’d likely use and enjoy for years to come, seems silly to sell it just for a short gap in having a controller

    I’ve had mine since March so long time without a FC and I still love my III. Does so much that the one issue of controller didn’t outweigh all the cool stuff it does
     
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  5. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    I don't plan on selling it, I would have just waited know what I know now. I am taking pictures of my old gear and getting ready for Craigslist.

    How do you use the unit playing out then? I know a computer with a sequencer would certainly do what I need.My drummer DOES need a click track :)...
     
  6. MSS

    MSS
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    I think there is plenty of inventory. My invite said I could buy 2 controllers. I imagine they will get through the wait list pretty quick and then offer them up to the public.
     
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  7. unix-guy

    unix-guy
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    Do you need more than your already accomplished goals to play live?

    There are some limits when using the MFC with the Axe Fx III. You have to work within those.

    Personally, I would have recommended a different interim solution for you... But you've already got quite a lot of functionality listed.
     
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  8. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    I am on the list, but just got on the other day.
     
  9. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    the only thing lacking right now is my looping. I use it while jamming with the group and practice. Mostly practice though. I was playing it last night and the drummer and bass player didn't even notice until i started playing a lead on it. :) The people we were playing for were cracking up.

    What would you have suggested? I am all ears!
     
  10. unix-guy

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    I have not messed with the Looper controls on the MFC with the Axe Fx III. The looper functions differently between II and III, so some functions from the MFC might not work as expected.

    I would recommend the Voes Controllers or the "cheaper" RJM, both of which have support for the Axe Fx III midi spec.

    However, by the time you get one, you'll likely already have an FC.
     
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  11. lqdsnddist

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    I used a Nektar for a while, worked well enough for basic stuff and was cheap. Presently aren’t doing any projects that require playing out so for my home stuff I just turn the scene knob on front panel or use Axe-edit

    FC should be close enough that for you it would probably seem silly to buy soemthing just for a month or two, unless you have a lot of gigs, in Which case, buy and sell it and just consider it like a $100 or less rental fee for a stop gap controller
     
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  12. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    I am pretty sure I can take back the MFC to guitar center within 30 days. I am thinking I should. It is a good chunk of change.
    :wq
     
  13. bshaw92

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    Use the 500x. You will not look back. Controls everything and best point is - you have one. Been using one for months. Used the M9 for a bit to get by and the Randal RF8. If you have an HX Effects this also works great. Enjoy the AF3 now with no wait......
     
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  14. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    outside of the HD500X, how would the M13 do? Looks like it has a scenes and loopers specific setup. Would that control the AF3?

    Would the HD500X still be better? Trying to make a decision before I take back the MFC.
     
  15. #15 bshaw92, Jan 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
    bshaw92

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    The problem with the M9 and M13 is that they will send a message on each switch however the switches only light up on a one row basis (latching versus momentary). The HD500x works with the looper on the AXE 3. I've used it live and with 5 minutes of time = winner. Set up the 500x = easy. Get your money back on the MFC. Go out to eat and feel happy.
     
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  16. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    Will do!! thanks once again!
     
  17. unix-guy

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    I probably would do that.
     
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  18. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    packing that puppy up right now
     
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  19. chris

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    when i first got the Axe-Fx Ultra over 10 years ago, i plugged it into a small pair of speakers, and played the first preset - Studio Lead - for 2 hours straight. i THOUGHT i spent 20 minutes only, but i looked at the clock, and i was late for a gig haha.

    i knew that the Axe was exactly what i was looking for, and wanted to replace my Roadster+2x12+Eon15+G-System electric+acoustic rig. but i also knew that it would take some time for me to learn how to use it, how to program what i wanted, and how to adjust it for live sound. so i worked on the rig at home until i felt i knew how to use it well enough at the gig. took about 2 months or so, just on and off working with it - not like every waking minute or anything.

    and that's ok. the Axe-Fx replaces your ENTIRE rig. no new guitarist goes to a guitar store and buys drives, choruses, delays, amps, cabs, and mics, then take it all to the gig and immediately know what to do. we buy an amp/cab and play with it. make mistakes over weeks or months, finally figure out how to use it. THEN we add a drive, or delay, then a chorus, then a wah, etc.

    i see too many people very excited for the Axe - rightfully so - but get discouraged that they can't immediately use it. again, it's everything in one unit. of course it's going to take time to learn it, where things are, what buttons to press, and everything else.

    it's easy to forget that our previous rigs were pieced together over time. treat the Axe the same way and you'll learn it much faster. the Factory Presets do a good job of showing potential, but when you're ready to use it, make a new preset - Amp and Cab only. stick with that for a week. honestly. get your base tone good first. THEN add a delay. tweak that. learn how to turn it on and off. then add chorus, and so on. once you learn the fundamentals, you'll be flying in no time.

    it's like giving someone a manual transmission race car when they've never driven before, and the new driver getting discouraged they aren't going 200mph right at the start. take your time.
     
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  20. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    thanks for the reply Chris, I can certainly appreciate the analogy of rig replacement.

    I was able to get my entire rig,used before the Axe, fully integrated and operational in a weekend. I had a GMajor/2, GCP, GCX Mark V, and 5 other peddles with a power brick. I was able to identify, order and edit patches, turn on/off all components in the GMajor/2, use 2 controllers and switch the Mark V by specific patch assignments. I am not a new guitarist. Been playing for a long time and have had a lot gear. I am also a programmer. I think I made a lot of progress over the few days I had the AF3 with the GCP and MFC trials and appreciated the community's support. It is an amazing community.

    Granted, the AF3 is a noble beast and I am going to keep it. The gist of my post was that If I knew more before I bought the Axe, I would have waited for the FC12 before making a purchase and that I was disappointed that I was not able to make progress with the matching of the controllers with the AF3 to play out after a couple days. I know why I wasn't able to, but still was disappointed. I am very glad they have made progress on that FC12 inventory and looking forward to getting mine. I did see a light in the darkness when I was playing the rig last night without any rack fx. It was nice sound appreciated by all. Only had to touch 4 buttons the whole night! :)

    Looking forward to getting the FC12 and the temp fix with the HD500X. Gonna set that up tomorrow.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write that reply. I can fully understand and appreciate your thoughts on the matter. you are not incorrect!

    peace!
     

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