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Part III: Smilefan Patch Thread

smilefan

Experienced
Smilefan’s Patch Thread, Part III

EDIT: Effective 01/27/2012 all patches updated to 5.0 Firmware!

If you just joined us Parts I & II are here:
Pt. I: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-fx-ii-preset-exchange/39713-smilefans-axe-ii-patches-thread.html
Pt. II: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-f...72-part-ii-smilefans-axe-ii-patch-thread.html

Both are packed with information, and details on how to use the patches contained.
Comprehensive Zip file with all Pt. I & II patches (and 2 IR’s necessary for “Axe Cello”
& “Gibson FlatTop”) is here:

Patches Zip: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42749093/Smilefan 5.zip

A great Word document with all relevant patch text (by Forum member LMO):
Text: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42749093/Smilefans_Patch_Comments.doc

I intend that Part III be more about me helping you make great patches than
my own patches (I can’t resist posting a few, though). This is an interactive,
reader-driven thread. If there is a subject you want to hear about, from Axe II
programming techniques, to signature artist tones, speak up!
 
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vAmp

Fractal Fanatic
We already have that from Enzo Sutera / MK Editor, but maybe not shared / converted to II yet?
http://forum.fractalaudio.com/ultra-std-wish-list/23466-tri-chorus-sound-axe-fx.html (a.o.)

?
What is really happening here on that singing b note (solo) in the beginning and what are necessary factors to obtain it?
Does it require volume/feedback?
Can you do it with all pick-ups?
Is it true that some notes do it more naturally (b is jumping out), or is that purely user control? Etc. Thanks! :)
I think the tone is so nice that no one dared to ask for the preset :D
http://forum.fractalaudio.com/ultra-std-recordings/33689-sweet-carol-ann.html

Some wild guesses...: neck PU? tone rolled off? slight drive in front of...? maybe a thick warm sounding pick?
 
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smilefan

Experienced


TUTORIAL:
FORBIDDEN SECRETS OF THE DRIVE BLOCKS!

I’ve harped on various details of Drive block use for most of this thread, but I think
it bears repetition, now that many have their Axe II’s. So here is my lecture on
real world patch-making with the drive blocks.

Why use drives at all, instead all our incredible hi gain amp models?
Because drive pedals hitting the input stage of an amp sounds different from a hi gain
preamp, sounds different from an overdriven, clipping power section!
Three distinctly different sounds and playing feels.
What you hear in 80-90% of classic 60’s/70’s/80’s rock recordings is a combo
of drive pedals into an amp’s input stage and power section clipping.
Everybody from Keith Richards to Kurt Cobain used pedals into vintage tube amps.
So, if you want to make those type sounds, we need to learn to use the drive blocks.

Drive Blocks Pg. 1:
Drive: When going for subtle drive flavors, consider starting at a ‘0’ setting.
Many times I have achieved great vintage sounds from the TS808 and Fuzz Face
models with zero drive.
Tone: Sweep this by ear! Your settings will vary drastically according
to the results you are seeking. Generally, I never set it higher than ‘6’.
When creating smooth vintage lead tones set Tone well below ‘5’ (especially when
using a bright Drive, like the Treble Booster model). You can dial clarity and brightness
back in at the amp’s EQ.
Level: Generally set between 4-10, depending on how percussive you want
your drive attack to sound. Light overdrives and boosts should be set high,
fuzzes much lower.
Mix: Does not have to be/should not always be set to ‘10’. Great drive effects
can be achieved by setting your drive level high, then setting the Mix low to
create a ‘flavor’ rather than an overwhelming wash of distortion.

Pg2:
Low Cut/ High Cut: Possibly the most important Drive settings.
They will make the difference between a ripping, shrill sound and
a smooth, vintage-approved sound. Sweep these both by ear!
Look at my settings. You’ll see how often I set the Lo around 600Hz,
and the Hi around 700Hz. I keep my Drive bandwidth narrow so my patches
stay defined, with a clear high end. (Take a look at my “Duane Allman @ Fillmore”
patch for an illustration of this technique)
Clip Types: Take a good listen to the options. Don’t just use the stock settings -
LV Tube – This will give the mildest, clearest drive
Hard – This will give the hardest string attack
Soft – This will give the softest, smoothest string attack
GE Diode – This will give a bright, sweet attack
FW Rect – Octave up overtones
HV Tube – This will give a rich, full-range EQ drive
Si Diode – Boxy, mid-rangey drive
4558/Diode – Highest drive level available, most gain.
Slew – Turning up will give the impression of increased drive thickness.
Bias – Settings of 0.0-3.0 will seem to increase the gain, giving your pedal
a punchier sound. Settings below 0.0 will sound progressively weaker,
smoother, and sweeter (great for vintage fuzz flavors).

Pg. 3
My advice with the 4 control EQ is simple. Sweep all four controls and LISTEN!
The midrange is the most critical. Generally the MID FREQ is set 600-700Hz
for Fender type tones, and 800-850Hz for Marshall type tones. The more vintage
you want to sound, drop the Bass and Treble below 0.0. Vintage pedals generally
cut lows and highs.

Getting creative with the Drive Blocks:
Two Drives in Parallel – Sometimes what you want doesn’t exist so you have to make it yourself.
Example, in my fuzz patch, “Orange Kay - Elevation”, I used a Fuzz Face and Octavia in parallel
to get the fat, bassy fundamental tones of that pedal, concurrent with the pedal’s ‘octave up’
overtones when played above the 12th fret. I used the Block’s ‘Mix’ controls to determine how
much of each flavor sounded right, and dialed the Hi & Lo Cuts of each so their frequencies would not
overlap excessively, and maintain the integrity of each fuzz in the sonic picture.

Two Drives in Series – Stacking drive pedals to get unique sounds and textures has long been a
secret of pro guitarists and studio wizards. Billy Gibbon’s signature ‘rubber crunch’ tone is achieved
this way. If you look at my fuzz patch, “Who’s That Lady?”, you’ll see I’m feeding a Fuzz Face into
an Octavia. This makes possible the very dense, intense fuzz tone featured in that song, which is not
in the range of any single fuzz model. If you look at my “The Naughty Wah” patch, you’ll see
I fed one Bender Fuzz into another. Because I set the ‘Mix’ very low on both, it gives me a nice
chewy midrange texture, reminiscent of 70’s Funk/R&B recordings, rather than an unintelligible
wall of fuzz.

These are just general guidelines. I have broken these rules many times
and gotten cool sounds. The ear is the final judge. OK, class dismissed.
 
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vAmp

Fractal Fanatic
There is a dedicated Triangle Chorus emulation in the Axe II chorus block presets.
The Tri is probably referring to the use of 3 choruses in the one unit and not all are using the triangular wave, I believe. Or do you mean the II has a dedicated Tri-Chorus mode now? :)
 
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smilefan

Experienced
The Tri is probably referring to the use of 3 choruses in the one unit and not all are using the triangular wave, I believe. Or do you mean the II has a dedicated Tri-Chorus mode now? :)
Dedicated Tri-Chorus mode. Our current Axe II chorus voice options are:

Digital Mono
Digital Stereo
Analog Mono
Analog Stereo
Japan CE-2 (Boss pedal)
Warm Stereo
80's Style (super clean)
Triangle Chorus
8-Voice Stereo
 

T.B.B.

Inspired
thanks professor smilefan ;)..this lesson was really helpful..really thank you for all your efforts
 

VegasGuitar

Experienced
Ok Smilefan, if you are up to the challenge I got the first of a few for you. :p :mrgreen

- Snuffy Walden, 1973(?) on Chevrolet


or Crazy


both by Stray Dog

And yes, the same Snuffy Walden that did soundtracks for Wonder Years, West Wing, Friday Night Lights, etc., etc.!!
 

smilefan

Experienced
Ok Smilefan, if you are up to the challenge I got the first of a few for you. :p :mrgreen

- Snuffy Walden, 1973(?) on Chevrolet


or Crazy


both by Stray Dog

And yes, the same Snuffy Walden that did soundtracks for Wonder Years, West Wing, Friday Night Lights, etc., etc.!!
That's all English equipment he's using from when he played with Free (he took Paul Kossoff's place). A Plexi or early Metal
Panel 100W, and probably a Colorsound overdrive and a Vox wah from the sound of it, with a Les Paul. There are alot of patches
out there similar to this that could be tweaked to get very close.

If you take my "Early Journey" patch and replaced the Hiwatt with a Plexi Normal model, change the Tape Dist to a Tube Driver,
Drive-50%, Level-75%, you'll be very close if you tweak the Drive Hi & Lo Cut. That 'pinched' EQ effect is from putting the Wah after the drive pedal and just leaving it on in an engaged position (a 'cocked' wah).

I hesitate to post a bunch more patches as each Forum member has an 'attachment' allowance of 1MB, and I'm up over 800KB already!
Plus I want this to be more about helping others with their patches.
 
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Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
HI Smilefan!
So I had me a fun time downloading your updated zip file and took the time to go through each preset you made. Fun fun fun!!!
But ... All of the patches sounded dark on my system. I had to significantly change my global EQ to get some highs out of my rig using your patches.
So a question: I see the rig that you're using in your signature. What happens when you play music through this rig? Meaning, if you've got it connected to your computer and play a song through it via USB, how does it affect the tone? How much of a flat response does your rig have?
I'm asking so I can evaluate what I should be doing to get the same tone you're getting.

I would also appreciate if you could post a couple of samples of some of your presets played and recorded through your system so we can hear what you are hearing and then then make intelligent judgement about how accurate these sounds are when played through our rigs.

Thanks.
 

smilefan

Experienced
HI Smilefan!
So I had me a fun time downloading your updated zip file and took the time to go through each preset you made. Fun fun fun!!!
But ... All of the patches sounded dark on my system. I had to significantly change my global EQ to get some highs out of my rig using your patches.
So a question: I see the rig that you're using in your signature. What happens when you play music through this rig? Meaning, if you've got it connected to your computer and play a song through it via USB, how does it affect the tone? How much of a flat response does your rig have?
I'm asking so I can evaluate what I should be doing to get the same tone you're getting.

I would also appreciate if you could post a couple of samples of some of your presets played and recorded through your system so we can hear what you are hearing and then then make intelligent judgement about how accurate these sounds are when played through our rigs.

Thanks.
If ALL the patches sounded dark, you can be sure its the differences in our systems. You didn't say what system you played
back them back thru, so hard for me to guess what the difference is. My rig is on the warm side, compared to razor crisp FRFR systems. Plus my patches are mixed with vintage style single coil PU's, so I dial in alot of mids to get note thickness. If you play my patches with hot humbuckers, they will tend to sound overly fat.

My GT800 thru EVM's system is intended to be a compromise between the warmth and punch of traditional tube amps, and FRFR clarity.
The live, 'in the room' sound I get thru my 4 EVM's is magnificent. I'm so happy with it.

I don't have any live recording equip at home to be able to mic up my speakers (I'll see if I can borrow some).
I have a Soundcloud clip of my "Technoid Delays" patch direct into the Soundcloud recording software.
What you hear is close to the EQ I hear in the room (minus everything below 400Hz if you are listening thru computer speakers)
Does that sound excessively dark? --->

[Soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/smilefan/technoid-delays#share[/Soundcloud]
 
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vAmp

Fractal Fanatic
Smilefan, did you notice my questions in the 3rd post too...? :razz
I thought this was more in the spirit of this third thread, or do I first need to post a patch where I accomplish nothing at all? :mrgreen
Not asking for a patch, but any hint welcomed w regard to these juicy singing sounds. (sorry if you were working on it, I have time)
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Just from my experience of downloading patches from the forum,

I program most of my patches whilst listening on vintage Yamaha NS10m speakers fed from a vintage Yamaha SS power amp + powered HSU sub. My room is treated too.

I find in general, patches from folks using amp + guitar cab rigs sound a little flat on my system. They tend to lack some snap or presence. I attribute that to the rig differences.

Richard
 

Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
I play through a PA speaker, essentially. It's a Meyer Sound UP Junior. Small speaker, very powerful, pretty flat response. I can play music through it and it sounds pretty close to a studio monitor with maybe a tiny bit less low end. Quite sparkly but not hyped.
I played your sample through this and no, it didn't sound overly dark. I get a similar tone with my guitar when I split the coils.
I think the main difference is I tried everything in Humbucker mode. I'll run the presets again with Single coils and notch up the highs a bit.
Thanks for the data!
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I would like some help nailing the Fender 59' Tweed Deluxe 5E3 circuit tone.

My holy grail would be Neil Young's tone from Live Rust:

Neil Young - Cortez The Killer - YouTube

Or a modern 5E3 clone like the Tungsten Cortez:

TUNGSTEN Amplification - Clips

I messed around chasing this tone on the Ultra and never got to the "aha" moment. I haven't picked up the chase on the AxeII yet.

Should I start with the Deluxe Verb or the 59 Bassman model and a 12" speaker IR?

Thanks for any push in the right direction,
Richard
 

smilefan

Experienced
Smilefan, did you notice my questions in the 3rd post too...? :razz
I thought this was more in the spirit of this third thread, or do I first need to post a patch where I accomplish nothing at all? :mrgreen
Not asking for a patch, but any hint welcomed w regard to these juicy singing sounds. (sorry if you were working on it, I have time)
That tone you want that Xavi gets in the song you mentioned is the sound of a hi gain amp model with a ton of mids
(the Carol Ann model) played with a one piece maple-necked Strat-style on the 4th position (Neck & middle - out of phase-y 'notch' sound). That's the combo of elements that makes the sweet, bite-y, sing-y sound.
 
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VegasGuitar

Experienced
Yeah, Neil loves that Tweed .... Course we will then need a Magnatone, a Whizzer .... etc.

Maybe Neil could loan out one of his hundreds of Deluxes to be sampled ......
 
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