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Preset/Scenes Tutorial - Things I've Learned from the Forum


Power User
I've been around the forum for awhile and been using Fractal gear since version 5 of the Ultra. I've learned a lot of cool tricks from various people on the forum and I decided it's time to share some of the things that I apply to making my own presets.

I did a little tutorial that tears apart one of my high-gain patches (probably my heaviest patch) and discusses what goes into the basic layout of the scenes. I kind of keep it simple, but it does get into detail about switching scenes for the core tones I use for rhythm and lead, and has a nice little trick I use for the expression pedal and Rotary block. Other than that I don't cover a lot of crazy effects, just the basics of how I plan out and implement my scenes, switching between amps and using a few X/Y settings, as well as a few of my own observations and experiences.

I thought it might be useful info for people who know the basic interface, but are just starting to come to grips with how to use scenes within a preset. It's not a "click here to do this" kind of thing, more of a screen shots and "this is why I do this" type of tutorial.

Axe-FX II Preset and Scenes Tutorial

I hope someone enjoys the article and gets something out of it.


Nicely done - thank you very much for your tutorial!!

Even with other tutorials already available (great stuff from Scott, Clarky's thread, Bernd Kiltz' G66 Videos, Paco Casanovas great tech inside and many more), I find additional approaches and tutorials always highly valuable and educational in my struggle to arrive at good tone in a methodical!, deliberate! fashion rather than to stumble across something good by happy accident.

I have to admit that even after some time now, the learning curve is still steep for me as the Axe offers so much choice - which also assures it never gets boring! :) Having said that I must also mention that with FW 11.01 most amps (for me especially the Rectos) sound killer already with the defaults and factory patches!

What would be also great in general, would be some form of tutorial how the advanced amp parameters work and interact (beyond what it is already the manual and the wiki). So far, I snapped up little bits and pieces from individual Cliff statements and explanations from amp experts like Paco Casanova. I realize that in order to learn and understand about this subject, one has to also read up on external material on tube amps, which I am trying.

But I am straying here - just wanted to tell you Genghis that I am appreciating you taking the time!

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Nicely done Bob.

The strength of this forum and the user base is that we can all learn from each other as a group and find ways to utilize the tools at hand to best fit how we work individually. This is exactly an example of that. Very cool.


Power User
Thanks guys. Just waking up to my morning coffee and it's good to know that you are enjoying the article.

As an afterthought I just added a little note to the zip file in the preset about the cabinets I used. One of them is a stock cab (one of the new mix cabs) and the other is an Ownhammer, which I obviously couldn't include. I left it that way and note which cabinet it is in the notes. Those of you who don't have this cab will have to audition cabs to find something that works well. Also YMMV etc. on the patch itself. I use Tom Anderson pickups and tweaked this preset mostly through a Matrix GT800FX into a pair of XiTone cabs, and I wasn't cranking it at gig levels, so you'll probably need to adapt for your monitoring system as well. (And this is one of my more metal sounding patches as well.)

Reading through some of the comments here is really cool. I hope to come up with some other topics to write about. If anyone has ideas relating to Axe-FX or anything musical I enjoy writing and am always open to ideas. dabert mentioned advanced amp parameters, and I didn't really go there because, as he noted, you don't really need to mess with them as much any more, so I rarely touch them.


Thanks for the insight. One thing I noticed was the gate in between the amp and cab. Is there any significance to this location for you or does it not matter where it is located in the chain?


Fractal Fanatic
I'd actually like to do an "in your studio" tutorial where you play your rig and we both listen to the output.

I could change advanced parameters in the context of dialing very specific tones as you play your rig. Parameters like input trim, damping, comp, dynamics, hardness, transformer match, cab drive, motor drive etc. They all have very specific effects on feel, tone & dynamics that are more easily felt and explained when a user doesn't dial the knobs and plays without stopping

I did this recently with a friend's axe-fx rig using the Lemur axe-fx editor and it opened up a new world of tone and possibility for him.

Being new to this thing, and feeling overwhelmed at times, (especially without having the free time to read for hours on end to figure things out) videos like you did REALLY help me out. I a more of a visual learner on things like this, so fi you show me how to do each step, it makes it easy.

Thanks so much. I am going to check this out in detail when I get home.



Nicely done. Thanks.

I take a similar approach to my main patch. Like a zillion other players, I go with four basic tones;

* Clean
* A little dirty
* Crunch
* High Gain

Since I frequently need to switch between these tones during the same song, I put them all into one preset and use scenes to change. I use two amp blocks and two cab blocks.

Amp 1 "X" & Cab 1 "X" = "Clean"
Amp 1 "Y" & Cab 1 "Y" = "Dirty"
Amp 2 "X" & Cab 2 "X" = "Crunch"
Amp 2 "Y" & Cab 2 "Y" = "High Gain"

This eats up a pretty good amount of CPU, but I don't use a ton of effects for this "meat and potatoes" patch. I have a filter block after the cab that I turn on and off to boost whichever voice is active for solos. Simple and effective.

More specialized voices (i.e. ambient pads or unique amp voices like a Bluddo) are in different presets.



Power User
Nice approach Karma. That definitely looks like a CPU killer. I was going to try to do everything in one patch like that, but it's easier for me to switch between presets for drastic changes, like clean vs heavy sounds. I really don't often use the effects I have in that patch, so I may try something trimmed down a bit that uses your approach and see how it turns out.

I have quite a few patches, but really only use the first two banks for 90% of my recording and jamming. I occasionally change which of my main patches are in the main two banks, like when the TripTik modern was added. It immediately replaced something else I had in bank 1 for my somewhat Marshall-like gain sound.


Power User
Hey Karma, I was thinking more about your patch layout today and did some experimentation. I had kind of given up on the Amp X/Y switching because in older firmware revisions there was a slight lag in switching between X and Y, only on amps. None of the other blocks seemed to have it.

I spent a little time with it tonight and it seems like Cliff has worked it out so that the lag is gone, or at least not great enough to be noticeable. I redid one of my favorite presets so that it does something similar to what you have. The main difference is that I'm only using one cab so that I have some CPU left for other effects. Haven't even set up the Y side of the cab yet and it's already sounding good and could probably cover most things I would do in a live setting. I'll be tweaking it more when I have time tomorrow. Almost considering updating the tutorial. :lol
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