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One more time: frfr vs amp old thing, sorry...

I know this is have been asked many times, so I won't ask the same again. Or should I...?

Seriously, I've been using Axe constantly for the last two years for recording and results have been great. I bought a couple of months ago a RCF ART 310a, and I can't say it sounds bad. It sounds very good, BUT... (and this is an important BUT) I can't get the same grade of satisfaction as I get with Axe through my Koch Studiotone amp (either input or return loop mode).

I don't feel lack of dynamics, Axe + RCF has dynamics to spare. I don't feel lack of quality sounds, it sounds great, better than almost any rig I've had over the years. But I lack something that I don't with my tube amp. Call it whatever you want, three-dimensionsal, excuses, tube snob, or ignorance on how the Axe works, but although I feel good playing with the Axe + RCF combo, I know there's something I'm missing.

I've read million of threads asking exactly the same question, and I thought I had it solved, but now I know I don't. I'm not looking for some miracle advice, just trying to know what I'm doing wrong.

By the way, I've tried a parametric eq after the amp and cab cutting highs and lows, tried the oval cab trick, know the Fletcher-Munson theory, know the amp in the room versus amp microphoned thing, tried it at high and low volume levels, tried farfield and nearfield irs, redwirez irs, Axe through input combo, through return combo, through frfrf, through studio monitors, through headphones, and still missing something.

I don't want my Axe to sound like a good amp (by the way, I have one of the greatest), I want to FEEL like I'm playing through one. I'm now 70 or 80 % there, but I'm sure if I'm not 95 % there it's my fault, and no Axe's fault.

Thanks in davance for any input about this old and boring thing...
 

LMO

Fractal Fanatic
Try setting the global GEQ for your ART 310a as follows:
125 Hz -2
500 Hz +1
2KHz +4
4KHz +2
8KHz -2

If you have a 1/3 octave GEQ available, it sounds even better if you set that up according to the frequency response curve in the ART 310a User Guide, instead of the global GEQ.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
Well, just my 2 cents...

The Axe-Fx can never be all things to everyone, or a panacea for providing the means for exact emulation of the sound OR user experience for every amp/cabinet out there. Since the Koch Studiotone is a single 12" combo, and you appear to really be in love with its sound, why not just use it with the Axe-Fx in the effects loop to add other processing (or with the 4 cable method to get the best of all worlds).

Yes, there could be something in the Axe-Fx that is not being tweaked (it's a shame that you feel that you are at fault), but it is so incredibly difficult for others to comment more specifically without hearing or fully understanding first-hand what it is that is missing. Maybe it is the Koch cabinet itself that holds the key. Or perhaps you could really take a plunge into IR creation and try to make your own custom IR of the Koch combo amp, and use it in the Axe-Fx...???

Some very well produced accurate sound clips that display the differences in sound would be a starting point to share with the forum. Otherwise, it seems that the most definitive option would be for you to somehow set up a physical one-on-one session with someone who is an audio expert that understands why your Koch sounds the way it does, and knows how to translate this within the Axe-Fx. Short of that....???
 

666was999

Power User
To me it was a large step ahead when I started to use 2 active cabs.
One is a 15" wedge behind me (LD Systems stinger) and the art rcf 310a in front of me.
The thing is to add sound from behind, that's what we are used to hear and feel.
Now with the two monitors I'm bathing in the sound and that's just awesome.
This is no stereo thing and it would be all different (and unnatural) if I'd just put two cabs in front of me.

I turn the cab in the back louder and the one in front lower, and I guess that makes the cab's impact on the guitar and every kind of feedbacks more realistic and lowers the risk of unwanted feedbacks.
Shure, all that goodness comes at stagelevels, nothing happens at bedroom levels.
Give it a try!
Bernd
 

666was999

Power User
Yes! Same feed for both monitors and the foh console. Stereo makes no sense for live situations, since the majority of people in the audience is not in the middle of the room. It's better to have a good mono signal that works everywhere in the audience, than winnig in the middle and loosing on the sides, I guess.
Bernd
 

ninja9

Inspired
I have found that the RCF stuff is fine, but not inspiring. I never found them particularly suited for guitar - they lack detail and complexity, at least in the mid freqs that are relevant to guitar sounds. I've been recording an album in a studio lately and have put the axe fx up against boutique tube amps, and it holds its own without a doubt. I would say that the RCF could be the issue. It was an issue for me. Sorry I can't help with any workaround solutions, though looking at LMO's suggested EQ I can agree that the RCF could benefit from this.
 

666was999

Power User
Not inspiring, yes, I agree. It's neutral. Like a studio monitor for stagevolumes.
Question is if colouring from monitors is an advantage or disadvantage. Is it steeling versatility or is it a must to get a good feeling?
 

Jay Mitchell

Fractal Fanatic
Question is if colouring from monitors is an advantage or disadvantage.
If you ever hear one that introduces no coloration, you will no longer consider it an open question.

Is it steeling versatility or is it a must to get a good feeling?
The "good feeling" is all there in the Axe-Fx. No assistance needed from the amplification.
 

666was999

Power User
Hmm...I thougt that the coloration of the RCF Art 310a is almost no coloration.
Is there any known cab with less?
The 312a colours more, hole in the lower mids, the 322a has the same mids but smoother highs.
That's why I bought the the 310.

How are the FBT verve12mas?
 

Jay Mitchell

Fractal Fanatic
Hmm...I thougt that the coloration of the RCF Art 310a is almost no coloration.
That attribute is impossible to approach in any speaker with that layout. RCF's own data shows a substantial amount of coloration.

Is there any known cab with less?
Yes, but the odds of finding one for that kind of price are close to zero.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
I think that zeroing in on just the RCF Art 310A as the cluprit may not be addressing the problem that the OP is wrestling with:

I've tried a parametric eq after the amp and cab cutting highs and lows, tried the oval cab trick, know the Fletcher-Munson theory, know the amp in the room versus amp microphoned thing, tried it at high and low volume levels, tried farfield and nearfield irs, redwirez irs, Axe through input combo, through return combo, through frfrf, through studio monitors, through headphones, and still missing something.
If the OP feels that something still doesn't "feel" right when listening through headphones, then that would seem to indicate a problem that needs to be approached first within the Axe-Fx preset being used. We are all well aware of the challenges of using FRFR speaker systems - the topic which is discussed daily and at great length - but if the OP still senses something different in "feel" through headphones, then this is a different animal than the FRFR speaker system, no?

Again, in order to give forum members something to sink their teeth into on this topic, I'd suggest that the OP make 2 recordings:

- Koch Studiotone -->mic ---> audio I/O ---> DAW, of course disclosing specifically what mic/I/O are being used (hopefully not "garbage in garbage out", which would solve not much)
- Axe-Fx direct with amp/cab sims ON, disclosing all of the Blocks and parameters being used (and/or by sharing the preset .syx file)

Then, some of the ears on this forum can weigh in with concrete suggestions. Until then, this seems to be an exercise in blind guesswork.
 

VITCHPAT1

Member
I own a Studiotone XL since several years but did not use it much since I have received my Ultra. I have of course tried the Axe with the Koch but still prefer the sound out of my FBT Verve (my presets have indeed been made at loud volume with lots of tips found on this forum).

I did not tried to replicate the Studiotone sound as I was looking for something else.

The Studiotone is certainly a great amp but mine is for sale now.
Best
Pat
 
Long and beaten to death post (again)...

I understand, like jimfist says, that giving advice without hearing the RCF and the Koch side by side is an exercise in blind guesswork.

The global EQ from LMO (wasn't this one used also by Enzo Sutera?) makes clean patches sound a little better, but crunch and distorted tones are worse. 666was999 suggestion is not something I can do now: I have only one RCF ART 310a, and I would only buy another one if I'm convinced of how it sounds one alone.

Jimfist, you're right again when you say the best way to use Axe for me would be straight to loop return or as a virtual pedalboard to the input of the Koch. Both ways works great, specially as a pedalboard in front (stellar effects and overdrives), but I'm trying the FRFR approach to be able to use both electric and acoustic in the same rig, that's a very important plus for me. My acoustic guitars sound astonishing with the Axe + RCF combo, and that's something I've been trying hard to achieve since the old days of the Digitech 2120 and VG88 (obviously, it never happened with those modellers, but with the Axe I'm sure it can be done).

Maybe I didn't explain myself too well (sorry, english is not my language) when I said there's something I'm still missing. I meant that I'm missing the "tube feeling", and, as I said before, for recording this is the greatest thing out there. When played through frfr, studio monitors or headphones, Axe sounds incredible, but it sounds as a miced amp, which is how it's supposed to sound. When played through frfr I want it to sound like an amp. I know it can be done, and that many people have sold their amps because they have achieved it.

What I should like is make it sound like a real amp, that's why the title of the topic is "frfr vs amp old thing". Sure I'd like to find the solution with an audio expert, but there's no one I know. I know lots of sound guys, and I usually work with them, but they're no experts, that's for sure...

Maybe is RCF's fault? I've read lots of people liking this powered speakers, even some of them prefer it to the QSC. Enzo Sutera clips sound great, and for me it also sounds very good, but still...

One thing that I usually do with other modellers (I've had almost them all: all PODs, GTs, Tonelab, VG88, Digitechs, etc) is add a very subtle compression to emulate valve compression. I've tried with the Axe, but it sounds like, well, you guessed it... compressed! Even with lower settings. Anyone have tried compression in a different way to emulate valves?

VITHCPAT1, which FBT Verve are you using? If you prefer it to the Axe + Studiotone combination, that says something for me. Neither I'm trying to replicate exactly the sound of the Koch, just trying to get its "valve feeling", or however you want to call it.

Thank you for the suggestions!
 

LMO

Fractal Fanatic
Despite a bit of hand-wringing, you might want to read through this thread: Jay Mitchell and the power of flat response

How are the FBT verve12mas?
I've had a pair of 310a's in my PA system for four years and a 12Ma since Monday; I think the 12Ma is a rather large step up from the 310a. There is a recent thread expressing some concern about the frequency response. As far as I can tell, the frequency response is good on-axis--I posted some curves in that thread.

The global EQ from LMO (wasn't this one used also by Enzo Sutera?)…
That's correct. Enzo worked that out after I had good results using a 1/3 band GEQ.
 
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zslane

Inspired
...I said there's something I'm still missing. I meant that I'm missing the "tube feeling"...
Two questions for you:

  1. What exactly is this "valve feeling" you refer to? Do you have the vocabulary to describe it in concrete terms that can be used to measure success? I mean, I'm not so sure you even know what it is (hint: try to define it without using subjective terms like "feeling", "vibe", "meatiness", "hair", "snarl", etc.; instead try to use audio processing terms that can be measured, like frequency, level, dynamic range, etc.)
  2. Do you know how tube amps produce this feeling you're missing? If you don't know the technical mechanisms by which physical amps deliver this feeling you like, I'm not sure how you'll ever get the Axe-FX to reproduce it for you outside of sheer blind luck.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
Two questions for you:

  1. What exactly is this "valve feeling" you refer to? Do you have the vocabulary to describe it in concrete terms that can be used to measure success? I mean, I'm not so sure you even know what it is (hint: try to define it without using subjective terms like "feeling", "vibe", "meatiness", "hair", "snarl", etc.; instead try to use audio processing terms that can be measured, like frequency, level, dynamic range, etc.)
  2. Do you know how tube amps produce this feeling you're missing? If you don't know the technical mechanisms by which physical amps deliver this feeling you like, I'm not sure how you'll ever get the Axe-FX to reproduce it for you outside of sheer blind luck.
Or at the very least a break down of a speech impediment the best describes what your hearing :lol
 

daveg621

New Member
I think I can relate somewhat to what the OP is trying to say . I also have just bought a pair of RCF Art 312-a's and although they sound very good, there's just something about running the axe-fx through my mesa mark III's loop that seems to have the edge or at least sounds different in a good way to my ears.
I also have a set of DAS-12A speakers that I was using before the RCF's got here. If I run the RCF's along with the DAS speakers the sound is just huge! Awesome in every way, so I'm definately not complaining about this set-up.
Then after a few days I will hook up the axe-fx through the mesa and there it is! It's just the sound of the mesa's power section along with the open back combo and closed back mesa theile cab combination that I have grown to love over the last two decades. So I think in my case it's just a sound I have in my head that I've always liked and can't produce and probably never will with the axe-fx and a frfr set-up.
Honestly I could live with either set-up I have right now, full range or 4-cable with my mesa.
I'm honestly thinking about duplicating my mesa rig just so i can run the axe-fx in stereo with this set-up. That would probably be the ultimate rig!
 
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