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Setup suggestions for live gigs with Axe fx II :)

Hi everyone,
Noob here. I was wondering what would you suggest for live performances with the Axe-fx. I currently use a solid state amp and do it directly from the output 1 of axe fx. But i will not be carrying the amp everywhere so need a setup that would not change the tone from Axe fx xl+ much when I play with cabs in the venue. Currently looking towards matrix power amps. Is it possible to go direct to the cabs without the power amps somehow? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Gilly

Member
Generally a guitar 'amp head' refers to a pre-amp and a power amp together. Which sounds like what you are saying you currently use (solid state amp)?

In this case the Axe-fx is the pre-amp, so if you want to then use a traditional passive guitar cabinet (unpowered) then you will need to use a power amp as well.
 
@Gilly Thanks for taking the time to reply. I see you use Matrix GT1000FX but do you have a cabinet or connect it to FRFR? I was thinking of getting a GT1000FX too so I can use it for either passive FRFR or Cabs
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
Welcome Jackson. I now use the AX8 for live gigs, but when I was using the Axe, I sent output 1 to FOH by using XLR cables, and sent output 2 to a stage amp. I used a Line 6 Flextone II XL (100w 2x12 Celestions). I used the effects return on the Flextone so as to bypass the preamp stage, so I was basically using it as a power amp. As Gilly noted, the Axe was the preamp. I just used the stage amp as a monitor, and only used it in larger venues. Again, welcome. I hope this helps you.
 
@Geezerjohn Thank you, that did help :) I am more of a traditional setup guy with amp heads and cabs. But now looking to go FRFR just cause it does not change the tone of Axe fx that much. Thinking of buying a Matrix GT1000FX to use it with passive FRFRs.
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
Give some thought to how you will be using your rig Jackson. While there is a compelling argument to be made for the Maxtrix and passive FRFRs, likewise there is a compelling argument to be made for using powered FRFRs such as CLRs or the XiTones.

I was a traditional amp and cab guy long before there even was such a thing as FAS. Started using FAS in 2010. Sold all of my other gear and went over to the dark side. Now, in my golden years, economy of schlepping gear is very important to me. My rig is portable, and plenty loud for me. I am thinking of going with a pair of XiTones, just for versatility and ease of use.
 
Give some thought to how you will be using your rig Jackson. While there is a compelling argument to be made for the Maxtrix and passive FRFRs, likewise there is a compelling argument to be made for using powered FRFRs such as CLRs or the XiTones.

I was a traditional amp and cab guy long before there even was such a thing as FAS. Started using FAS in 2010. Sold all of my other gear and went over to the dark side. Now, in my golden years, economy of schlepping gear is very important to me. My rig is portable, and plenty loud for me. I am thinking of going with a pair of XiTones, just for versatility and ease of use.

The only reason I am not going active FRFR is it is difficult to move it around. Hence, if I get the matrix I can use cab and passive FRFR.
The thing is I want a light setup and don't want to carry cabs or FRFR speakers with me.
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
The only reason I am not going active FRFR is it is difficult to move it around. Hence, if I get the matrix I can use cab and passive FRFR.
The thing is I want a light setup and don't want to carry cabs or FRFR speakers with me.
Sounds like you have thought it through pretty well. I was just concerned you might have buyer's remorse. I hope you enjoy your FAS gear as much as I enjoy mine.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Where are you going to find the passive FRFR ? I can see certain venue's have a backline cab you could plug into, but then of course you have the issues of not knowing what type of speakers its loaded with etc, so your patches could sound somewhat different than how you dialed them in.

I would think that any place that has a backline cab provided, or that has a FRFR passive system (again seems less likely) would surely also have a power amp or head to use. Hauling around the Axe and the a Matrix, just so you can use existing cabs or passive FRFR seems a little silly to me.

I'd either take just the Axe on its own, and run whatever sound reinforcement the venue provides, which is what a lot of guys do, or get an active FRFR with a Neo magnet, making it fairly light. Then you'd at least have a consistent monitor and/or backline that will sound the same night after night.

However, its also likely that most venue's would have wedges of some degree of quality, so you can just plug into the board and let FOH handle playback, with a mix to the stage wedge for monitoring. Don't always know what your going to get, but its certainly the least gear to carry.

I'd maybe spend a few bucks on something like an EHX 44mag guitar pedal sized power amp, just in case you need it and they only give you a guitar cab, but I wouldn't expect to need it too often. Its minimal expense and weight though so won't hurt to throw it a guitar case or soemthing
 
Sounds like you have thought it through pretty well. I was just concerned you might have buyer's remorse. I hope you enjoy your FAS gear as much as I enjoy mine.
Yeah, i know what you mean. I will wait a bit before going for it. Read up more on it and also get feedback from someone who has the same setup.
 
Where are you going to find the passive FRFR ? I can see certain venue's have a backline cab you could plug into, but then of course you have the issues of not knowing what type of speakers its loaded with etc, so your patches could sound somewhat different than how you dialed them in.

I would think that any place that has a backline cab provided, or that has a FRFR passive system (again seems less likely) would surely also have a power amp or head to use. Hauling around the Axe and the a Matrix, just so you can use existing cabs or passive FRFR seems a little silly to me.

I'd either take just the Axe on its own, and run whatever sound reinforcement the venue provides, which is what a lot of guys do, or get an active FRFR with a Neo magnet, making it fairly light. Then you'd at least have a consistent monitor and/or backline that will sound the same night after night.

However, its also likely that most venue's would have wedges of some degree of quality, so you can just plug into the board and let FOH handle playback, with a mix to the stage wedge for monitoring. Don't always know what your going to get, but its certainly the least gear to carry.

I'd maybe spend a few bucks on something like an EHX 44mag guitar pedal sized power amp, just in case you need it and they only give you a guitar cab, but I wouldn't expect to need it too often. Its minimal expense and weight though so won't hurt to throw it a guitar case or soemthing
Thanks for the suggestion. Is it possible to use active FRFR as an input to other cabs or other speakers (sorry if this is a stupid question but noob here). My main worry is I do not want to fiddle with patches on stage. Also, isn't it better to use the matrix power amp than another amp head as the amp head might color the tone coming from Axe -fx in the cabs?
 

maxdown

Fractal Fanatic
I have the Matrix GT1000FX and both FRFR and conventional cabs (2 1x12 cabs loaded with EVM12s).

My thinking was along the same lines as yours - the SS power amp being separate means you have the options of using whatever style (passive) cabs you want.

I approach it by having separate preset templates made for each different stage cabs type setup.

Each template follows the same approach in that there's an FXL block set in on a separate grid row - so the signal at that point is sent to Output 2 outs and from there to the Matrix.

The FRFR setup is just all blocks including the Cab block are in a single grid row and the FXL block on separate row is linked in at the end. So Output 1 balanced outs get sent to FOH and Output 2 outs go to the Matrix and then FRFR cabs - both sets of outs have the cab block in the signal path.

For conventional cabs setup I switch it around a bit - the Cab block must be the last block in the chain before it hits the Output and immediately before it I branch out to the FXL block - so that feeds a 'no cab block' signal to Output 2 outs and then to Matrix and conventional cabs and FOH gets the Output 1 outs (which have the cab block included).

I then have independent control over stage volume no matter what cab setup I use by using Output 2 Level knob on front of the AxeFX .... Output 1 Level is set for FOH and left alone after that.
 

Moke

Axe-Master
Vendor
I'll chime in here with a different point of view.

I (usually) don't use any personal amplification at live shows. At our own local shows, I use one of our cheap ('Kustom') powered wedges. At bigger shows with supplied sound, I just monitor through whatever wedges that are available. If a separate monitor mix is not available, I have them route the FOH mix to my wedge. If that isn't possible, then I use one of our cheap ('Kustom') powered wedges (that I always bring to new situations) plugged into 'Output #2'. I've only had to do this once, five monitors on stage, but only one monitor mix?

As long as I can hear myself and I get some interaction between my guitar and my monitor, I'm good
 
I'll chime in here with a different point of view.

I (usually) don't use any personal amplification at live shows. At our own local shows, I use one of our cheap ('Kustom') powered wedges. At bigger shows with supplied sound, I just monitor through whatever wedges that are available. If a separate monitor mix is not available, I have them route the FOH mix to my wedge. If that isn't possible, then I use one of our cheap ('Kustom') powered wedges (that I always bring to new situations) plugged into 'Output #2'. I've only had to do this once, five monitors on stage, but only one monitor mix?

As long as I can hear myself and I get some interaction between my guitar and my monitor, I'm good
I also don't want to use any personal amplification. Don't have the budget rn. Is there any way to create presets without actually having the cabs or active FRFR with me? I know there are cabs in the presets but will I get the same sound from an actual cab that I get from the AXE FX.

For example if I have to use cabinet X and that X cab is present in the AXE. If I create a patch of that cab X on the axefx , will I get the same sound (with that setting) when I actually use that cab X physically? I hope that made sense and not too confusing. Thanks
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
For example if I have to use cabinet X and that X cab is present in the AXE. If I create a patch of that cab X on the axefx , will I get the same sound (with that setting) when I actually use that cab X physically? I hope that made sense and not too confusing. Thanks

No, you'll hear cabinet X captured with a particular microphone (and mic position). The big adjustment with FRFR for most people is getting used to hearing the sound of your guitar cab mic'd up (much like in a recording situation) as opposed to the sound of your amp in a room. Mic choice and positioning play a massive role in the resulting tone.

A good starting point would be to try some of the user presets on the forum and see how people tackle this.

The wiki is full of great information on the FRFR vs traditional cab experience.

I'm with @Moke on this one, I generally get venue specs for every place I play and try to take as little as possible. If I can hear the drums, vocals and a bit of guitar I can get on with the job.
 
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