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New user - how do you use your AX8 live?

vkinetic

Inspired
Just taken delivery of my AX8 (and EV-1).

Might be laughable to some but stepped up to the AX8 from a Boss MS-3, which was the core of my pedal board (along with my favorite drive and mod pedals) going into a Fender Super Reverb (now for sale!).

The MS-3 revolutionalised my set up in that I was finally able to fine tune my sound for the song the band was doing, since it had programable presets. My band does what we call 'pub rock' - anything from the Stones, Steppenwolf, ACDC, The Angels through to Powderfinger, Nirvana, Foo Fighters etc etc. So basically I had a preset for each song, and I would arrange the preset order for the song order in the sets. That was all fine and good unless the order for one reason or another would change (which it did often) , or if we got a request - I would have to scroll through the presets to find the preset for that song, which took precious time.

But I always thought that when I got my AX8 I would abandon the idea of having a separate preset for each song and just go with a few presets (along with their scenes) to suit the basic genre (eg, a basic preset based on Fender amps, another for Marshall etc.) That was until I discovered Moke's fantastic presets, many of which are song based. So I'm just trying to figure out the best and most efficient way to use my AX8 live.

So I would love to know how you use your AX8 live - especially those who have been using them live for some time.

Thanks!
 

Sonofiam

Forum Addict
I run an XLR to a breakout box or the cable provided for a cab mic. All presets are leveled first by using the VU Meter then fine tuning by ear. I've found that even if they the same on the VU Meter, the levels may still sound different.

As far as presets go, I use one per song as well but have a 'generic' preset in case we go in a different direction. It will usually include an edge of breakup amp on scenes 1-4 with one cab and a heavier crunch on 5-8 with the other. The footswitches are setup to turn the most necessary effects on and off. Since the AX8 is so responsive and interacts well with the guitar I just roll off the volume for a clean tone.

I've always subscribed to the philosophy 'prepare for the best but plan for the worst' any time I play out. Hope to keep Mr. Murphy at bay. Good luck with your new 'toy' and have fun!
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
I have one preset per song, and then I have scenes for each section of the song. I use setlist maker on an ipad with a bluetooth/midi interface to build setlists and change presets.

I have found that if I try to use just a few generic presets with effects on IA switches, I run out of switches too quickly.

I run two XLRs directly to FOH and I monitor with in-ears.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Thanks for the responses so far :)

Smittefar, that sounds like an elegant solution - which Bluetooth/midi interface do you use with setlist maker?
 

Davus PG

Inspired
Played my first gig with the AX8 last night. Just as when I had my FX8, I used a preset per song and arranged them in order before the gig so switching between songs took seconds.

Like @Smittefar I have scenes within each preset for certain parts of songs. I also have a few pedal options on the top row of footswitches in case I want to add or remove distortion, boost, or delay from my current sound.

To be honest a lot of the presets are very similar and could be used for multiple songs. I'm using 1 amp model for nearly everything and the same IR throughout. I'd like to explore some other options so may pick up Austin Buddy's Naked Amp pack.

I dial in presets using the VU and then tweak at rehearsal in context of a band mix. I switched to stereo a couple of days ago so I was expecting some levels to be off, but it was pretty good. I'm not sure I'll stick with stereo for live use as I think a lot of the effect is lost once you add drums, bass, vocals etc.

Defo still need to tweak as listening back I've fallen into the trap of using too much gain, but it still sounded superb - much thicker and more dynamic than my bandmate's Helix.

Can't wait for the next one now.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Thanks Davus PG. Sounds like you're getting on top of things with the AX8 and having fun doing it. Hardly anyone on this forum (or on the many YouTube AX8 videos) say anything about the hardware amp controls on the AX8 (Drive, EQ, Presence etc). I presume people would use these to fine tune presets 'on the fly' at gigs etc. I agree that Austin Buddy's Naked Amp Pack would be a good investment and it is on the list for future purchases, but I would be interested to know what amp model you are using. Also, if you are going stereo, what are you using for monitoring, or are you just going straight to FOH and relying on the PA monitoring? I am tending to want to go stereo too, but at the moment, and just to get me started, I have purchased just one Yamaha DXR10.

I really like Smittefar's solution for automatically changing presets with Setlist Maker, so I'm looking at doing the same thing, although we can't get the Quicco midi/Bluetooth device here in Australia, but Yamaha makes a similar device that I am hoping will work (https://www.storedj.com.au/yamaha-md-bt01-bluetooth-wireless-midi-adaptor).

A whole new world has opened now that I have my AX8!
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Great, thanks Smittefer and thanks for sharing how you manage your presets live. I did eventually find another thread on this forum where you dealt with the same thing - I'm sorry to inconvenience you with this subject all over again.

cheers

keith
 

Dancing Frog

Inspired
Currently, I am doing a sci-fi musical with 50's and 60's rock classics as the score. After listening to a couple of cast recordings which were all filled with meatheads demonstrating their neoclassical chops in the solo breaks, I decided that I would design all my tones around the models of equipment in the eras that preceded the 80's. Eventhough it takes seconds, I couldn't really afford the time to switch between patches with one patch per song, so I compressed all my tones into two patches. In each patch, the most used configurations are in the scenes assigned to the bottom 4 buttons, and individual effects that figure prominently in cues are on the top row of buttons. At the back of each signal chain, I also have a PEQ that shelves out the high highs and the low lows, so I don't irritate the drummer and the bass player when I turn up.

The first patch is my Fender-Marshall patch. I have it split so that X side is 50's, and Y side is 60's. On the X side, I have Keith Urban's Narrow Panel Twin and its cab running through a mono tape delay that's set for slapback(i.e. echoplex equivalent). On the Y side, I do the Jimi Hendrix set up, a Fuzzface into a jumpered Marshall 1959SLP through a 4x12 with pre-Rola Greenbacks into a mono tape delay set for 450ms. For other effects cues, I have added in an optical compressor, a Script 90 phaser, a Cry-Baby wahwah, a gate, and a reverb--the gate and the reverb are used to simulate a pedal steel in the opening of Mr. Spaceman. Then, for solo boost, I put a flat GEQ with a 3dB boost at the end of the chain. For the finale, I have it designed so I can switch it into scene mode and go through all specific cues in addition to the basic four which would be more than one button press to set up.

The second patch is just a Vox AC30 Top Boost for the Beatles and early Who type tones. The cab is some studio mixed IR of an AC30 cab that I liked better than stock IR's. I have got that into a tape delay as well with different selectible delay rates. For the freeze at the end of the 1st act, I bowed a little to the god of modern effects and put in a multi-delay which allows the guitar to trail off eerily into silence.

So far, it seems to be working really well. In our case, the theater is small enough that the band doesn't go through the sound board, so I have the AX8 going into my Atomic CLR which is aimed at my head. Since we set the levels at final rehearsal a couple of weeks ago, no one has asked me to turn it up or down. And, I have been out to the back of the house on wireless, and I can hear every note.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Man that's mind blowing Dancing Frog. I so appreciate you going to the trouble of explaining in detail what you do. Gives me more ideas for my approach. Alas I couldn't afford an Atomic CLR....one day maybe.

Thanks so much
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
I set up one bank with 8 presets. Going left to right on my AX8 I set up the clean amps Lonestar and Super Reverb on switches 1 and 5. Next I have 2 "edge of breakup" Carr and VOX AC 30tb on switches 2 and 6. Next I have two rhythm amps Plexi 100w and Plexi 50w on switches 3 and 7. Then my leads Tucana and Dweezil's BMan on switches 4 and 8. Within each preset I have 2 scenes (normal and lead) and then various effects assigned. I can use it as a flexible preset, or use it in sticky mode and have all 8 amps at my disposal. I can cover anything from an intimate balls to a paint-peeling rocker, and everything in between.
 

fractalz

Veteran
Currently, I am doing a sci-fi musical with 50's and 60's rock classics as the score. ... Eventhough it takes seconds, I couldn't really afford the time to switch between patches with one patch per song, so I compressed all my tones into two patches.
Same here, for musical theater gigs I typically have one or two patches. I use scene controllers to take the amps from clean to lead. My second patch would be for acoustic / piezo if that calls for enough variation that one patch gets too full.

Just played "Rock of Ages" with one patch on the AX8 switching from electric to acoustic during the set. 5 scenes (acoustic, clean, clean+chorus, rhythm, lead) and a few switches for particular effects (phaser, drive/boost, delay).
 

Smilzo

Forum Addict
I use one preset. I use one main nearly crunchy amp (it depends on the project). Then I use drive X to add some grind/crunch, drive Y for a juicy distortion (but I like to clean up a bit with volume). I set a compressor (or volume, or eq, depends on project) to boost the volume. So I have 3 scenes base, 3 boosted. I use the last 2 scenes to add some effect. I use scene layout, but I switch to block layout if I need to engage disengage some pedal (delay or reverb, or tremolo).
 

vkinetic

Inspired
Thanks stratavarious - at first I misunderstood your post and wondered whether for some reason you hadn't been able to see the responses. But I had a hunch and did a search for AxeLive. Looks great and I will give it a try, I had never heard of it before.. I wish I had known about it sooner - have already gone down the route of Setlist Maker installed on a tablet and sending preset changes via a Yamaha midi/Bluetooth interface. But since I usually have a laptop running on stage AxeLive could prove to be very useful.

Thanks for the heads up!
 

vkinetic

Inspired
The Yamaha one works as well
Unfortunately mine doesn't. Bought Setlist Maker and the Midi upgrade and installed on a Lenovo touchpad (TB-X103F). Got all the songs into a database. Connected the Lenovo to the Yamaha MD-BT01 midi/Bluetooth and they paired fine. Got to Setlist Maker and start midi, it sees the Yamaha but midi stops when I try to connect to it. Sent a service request tp the developers who suggested I update to the latest version of Setlist Maker, which I did and now Setlist Maker doesn't even see the Yamaha midi/Bluetooth and the developers say that that means 'my device doesn't support Bluetooth midi' ????:veryconfused::cry::mad:

So a big thumbs down to Setlist Maker from me, and looks like my only option is AxeLive running on my laptop :( AxeLive is (and is becoming) a much more capable app, It's just that I hate wasting money (SetList Maker, Mdid Upgrade, Lenovo and Yamaha Bluetooth/Midi adapter). Oh well live and learn I guess but thanks Smittefar for trying to help me and I have enjoyed your contributions to this forum a lot :)
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
That's really strange - Did you try all the options in SetListMaker - There are three different options for connecting to a midi/bluetooth/USB device.
 

vkinetic

Inspired
That's really strange - Did you try all the options in SetListMaker - There are three different options for connecting to a midi/bluetooth/USB device.
Thanks - where are those options? I just selected the midi icon and it says midi started and lists the in and out ports of the Lenovo - the Yamaha isn't listed, even though the Lenovo has found the Yamaha and is paired to it. The original version of SetList Maker I installed (2.2 .12) could see the Yamaha but Midi stopped when I tried to connect to it. The developer suggested I download the latest version (3.3 I think) and 'if my device supports Bluetooth Midi I should see the Bluetooth device listed' after clicking the midi icon. But no Bluetooth device is listed.

I can't find the settings you refer to.
 
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