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Older guy having trouble with terminology and newer tech in Axe-Fx III


New Member
So I'm watching Cooper Carter's tutorial on the Axe FX III and while it is very thorough, it also goes very quickly, and as a guy in his mid fifties who last used a DAW in the 90s, I'm having a lot of trouble keeping up. I need a much slower explanation of each of the technological elements of the Axe FX III, a piece by piece breakdown of it. Can anyone recommend a video course or book aimed at people like me who need a primer on today's audio and DSP tech?


what's an example of an element you think is going by fast or you're not understanding? i haven't watched Cooper's course, but just need an example to see what you're wanting to see.


if you need to go slower, then go slower. stop the video when you get to something you don't understand and go away and do some research on that thing until you get it. then go back to the video. rinse and repeat. you can always ask questions here. the more specific the better. also don't forget about the manual. its very good.


Fractal Fanatic
As with most things, don’t approach it as a whole, it’s overwhelming. Break it down into small steps or pages and learn one at a time. If you try to move through it quickly you’ll get overwhelmed. Great advice above! Go through the video one thing at a time till you understand, time is your friend. As is the wiki.


Fractal Fanatic
For me (old guy going on 60), my best understanding comes from experimentation with the unit and software itself. Use the tutorial resources of course, but, at the same time, set up tests to show yourself how a given feature works. You can't hurt anything - worst case, reset or scrap the patch and start over.


Simeon and RDH hit it on the head!

Take a break..... watch a couple of videos from Chris and Leon etc. Then jump back into Coopers stuff.
It takes time to digest all that's going on. Leon can roll through his screen clicks really fast as well and you have to watch a few reruns.

I beat myself up with per preset switches.... then one day it clicked.

It's overwhelming when coming from an amp and a couple pedals .....
..but it's truly amazing all the possible scenario's you can set up with this one machine!

PS . . I'm 60 :oops:
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My experience has been similar to yours Mordred. Lot's of good advice in this thread. If I may add: Expect to forget some of the stuff you learn if you don't use it. Also, you may consider not trying to learn "everything" and instead build a rig that suits you and learn how to do the things that you'll actually use. Then, go from there.

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
^^^ This. Build what you need, expand your knowledge over time, if you want. Don't beat yourself up if some stuff doesn't stick, and you decide to go back and re-read or re-watch. There's a lot to take in.

Rest assured, there are a fair number of over-50s here, and a bunch over 60, myself included :)


When I first got the equipment, I tried to understand everything and it was just too much. I'd look for something you want to do, figure out how to do it slowly and then repeat it until you're familiar with it. There are a ton of feature that exist when you may never need. Depending on how you'll use it, you may not need to dig into everything. This forum is fantastic about providing guidance, so you can always wait and ask later :) I have a ton of fun and enjoyment just twirling the dial and playing with the sounds. I don't gig, so my needs are pretty modest.


Like others have said, tinker around with it. You really can't break it by messing with the parameters. Worst case scenario, you create a crappy sound...best case scenario, you learn from the mistakes you make. That being said, I should be pretty good at it by now but, I'm still learning. I have a few presets I created just to mess around with and try things I think of, or what others on here have posted just to understand how it works. If I like it, I save it.


I've been using the Axe II and now the Axe III for about 6 years and I'm still learning new stuff all the time. With the options and capabilities at hand, that rabbit hole goes as deep as you want to dig. That said, the basics don't take too long to pick up. Don't hesitate to post questions here. Plenty of folks here that are happy to help figure it all out. Fractal employees, including Cliff himself, are on the forum all the time and will chime in regularly. Fractal's support is unmatched.


Over 65 guy here – and as a lifelong keyboard player pretty new to guitars, I don’t have the slightest experience with amps, cabs or drive modules.

But I’m an expert with synths and FX, which comes in handy.

I’ll just echo the advice of others … experiment. Take it slow. Don’t try to grok everything at once; take just one feature, and explore that for the day or week. Be patient.

There are a slew of great presets; copy one to a new slot, and explore it. Modify it. Have fun – that’s what it’s all about. Good luck!
In addition to the manual, go to the Wiki as well. It's very good and often goes into more explanation than the manual. Well, its not letting me paste the wiki URL here, but it is: wiki "dot" fractalaudio "dot" com


I'm 38 and have a strong technical background and years of experience with FAS (II and III)... I still have to stop and go look into things while watching CC's videos. Take it slow and start with the basics. Pause and figure out things that are confusing or just flew over your head. Then move on to the next topic. I don't think there's many people outside of FAS that know 'everything' about the III so I don't think you're expected to learn it all quickly if at all.

Edit: I also recommend starting with reading the owners manual and then jumping into CC's course.


It is a learning curve but like others have said. Focus on the beginning basic videos and pause the video and rewatch the parts that aren't clear. Good luck. Also one thing I have to remind myself. Don't get caught up in the paralysis of analysis. The stock presets are really good.


Fractal Fanatic
It’s hard to beat a preset the is basically just an amp and a cab.

no need to over complicate things. Start there and tinker. Can can experience selection paralysis with this box. Pick an amp you’ve used in real life and a cab that would typically be paired to that style amp. Play and enjoy.
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