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Suggestions on what you've done to enjoy 18.03

JT2

Inspired
Just to chime in for info purposes really, I had similar issues when I updated to the first 18 beta. All the body in my favourite presets was lost and they sounded empty and boxy with no sustain. It felt like I had accidentally turned down the volume on my guitar or bypassed the amp block. I just reverted back to 17 and waited for the official release of 18. I updated again when this was released but encountered the same issue so I figured it was just a case of starting from scratch and I managed to get some of the meat back into my tones but tbh it still didn't feel quite right, at least not as nice to play as 17 was. Even the new factory presets sounded kind of average. After reading through this thread I installed 18.04 and did a system reset at the same time and bang there it was back to full meaty goodness and sounding fabulous again which was a hell of a relief because I was starting to think I was either going mad, or simply didn't appreciate the new 'reality'.

I have an XL (and before that a std and MKII) and religiously follow the correct update process using fractal bot. I've never experienced this before so it must be some kind of very random glitch that occurs occasionally?
Glad it worked for you. It's comforting to know that others have the same issue. But only because it justifies a real, yet obscure ghost in the machine. Could be NJ electricity. Tues I'm attacking like it Danny did.
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Some ideas from my personal presets.


  • PEQ block. Using a simple PEQ setting (low shelf) before the amp block. Using -6db at about 300hz.
  • Amp Block - I am using the "Long Plate" Preamp tube setting for all amps that I run the master volume wide open on (Marshall SLP, Vox AC-30).
  • Cab Block - these are custom mixes I did from Fractal's Cab Pack 10. I am doing a mix of R121 (0db), SM57 (-9db), Condenser (various mics available, just choose one) (-12db) and one from the back of the speaker (various mics available, just choose 1) at (-15db). One key thing I am doing with the Cab block is using the (Mic) Preamp page there in High Quality mode with a Tape 50us setting; Drive at +3.00, Saturation at +2.00; EQ: +1db Bass, +2db MId, +2db Treb. To me, that's a *huge* part of the whole 'fit in the mix'
  • Delay Block - Mono Tape delay mixed to taste; you'll have to really listen to hear it
  • Reverb Block - High Quality "Rec Studio C" setting
  • ***On both the Delay and Reverb blocks I duck the effect in each -6db at -20db Threshold and Release at 60ms
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
By the above I'm assuming you got 18.04 sounding good for you !!! super if that's the case. I have no idea what might've gone wrong I have always just updated FW never bothered with reset system params any of that.
Yeah, it's sounding good enough to where it's workable and completely "acceptable" now. Not that it wasn't acceptable before, but when I tell you it sounded like everything just tanked and crapped the bed, I'm not kidding you.

Glad your back on track Dan. That boxy low mid sound is exactly what I've got. I'll try again tonight.
Me too...looking forward to diving into this. Had a client cancel on me tonight so I'm going to be working things out. I do have a tip for you, JT. I'm not sure you will need this...but I am noticing a few things I *may* have to do if I wan to stick with my old sound. I'm kinda digging what the new sound is doing a bit more...it has more body in a good way. But to revert totally back to my sound....this is what I had to do.

On amp settings:

Basic tab, input trim-1.200. This is where I lost some of my gain...if you find you do also, increase here a bit. Default is 1.000. It used to be 1.200 which is where I've always kept mine. The "presence seems a bit different. My old default was 4.00. It's now reverting to 2.47. I like this as it is not as abrasive.

Dynamics tab: supply sag 2.0, CF Comp 10.0. These really tighten up the tone for me in a good way. But again, leaving them at the new defaults after s system reset is a good thing...it just sounds different.

Other tab: Set modern to vintage. However, I'm liking modern now and getting used to it.

Setting the above options got me to the point where I'm happy with the old tone. Leaving everything alone and just messing with adding a little more gain makes the new sound workable for me. A few little tweaks and it will be perfect. I say 25 minutes tops and I'll be as happy or happier than I was with version 17.04

That's good news! Did you try the Brit800 and Brit800 mod?
Yeah, I'm using them right now. Everything I mentioned above was in regards to Brit800 mod. I know the settings I gave are probably exclusive to that amp, but I wanted to at least mention what I did in case it helps anyone else. :)

That's good to hear but at the same time puzzling. It is starting to look like the key is doing the System Reset.
Yeah I thought the same, Cliff. Then again, I've never done a reset like this before....so maybe it cleared some stuff out that didn't need to be there. While I have you here, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me? That "crunch" option we have....it's brilliant how much that emulates tubes in this FW version for me. My question is....is there a way to allow that to be used excessively while NOT allowing it to add the high end it adds to our tones? Let me try to explain better...

That option in my opinion, is a key part of the tone stack as far as tubes go. But when we use a lot of it we get two artifacts:

1. The tone dies out

2. The tone gets bright

Can we make it so it saturates like it does, yet we stop it from dieing out and have the ability to control the amount of brightness we get from excessive use of crunch? The dieing out part....I get it...it sort of simulates that starved plate thing...so maybe that can't be changed. But, the brightness that comes out....if we could control or stop that from happening, I seriously don't think I could tell I wasn't using 12AX7's. We're so close now I barely can tell.

The tube rigs I have here all seem to sound warmer at that break-up point. While your emulation breaks up perfectly, it seems to add some brightness that in certain cases, can be abrasive. Am I explaining this right to where you understand what I mean? All my saturated 12AX7 pre's seem to get warmer as they saturate...which to me makes the tube sound more apparent. Our "Crunch" doesn't warm up as it saturates, it gets a little grainy/high endy. Would it be possible having it take the brittleness away as it saturated instead of the increased high end?

Good to hear Danny! :D
Whew yeah...I'm really glad it changed for the better. Thanks!
 

smcrosby

Power User
To be frank ... I think your post will help a lot of users who will benefit from the update feature. So I think we should be thanking you Danny!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

papadotas

New Member
I have the same symptoms as the OP. Glad he got his worked out. I think I started around FW 7 or 8 and have enjoyed every update since. This one just sounds wrong to me. I have tried the following:

*Re-loaded FW 18.04
*Re-loaded new presets
*Reset system parameters
*Updated amp defaults

Still sounds the same to me. Cleans are kind of shrill and quiet, high gain amps sound shrill and flabby. When I first tried it out I kept checking my volume pots and volume pedal to make sure nothing was turned down. Have tried several different guitars (all passive) with the same result. I'd appreciate any ideas. I was relieved to find out other people were describing exactly what I'm experiencing, but am kind of at a loss for what to try next.
 

swass

Power User
Ok, anyone having the problems I mentioned in this thread.....update to new firmware, utility/reset tab, reset system params....I can't believe how drastic the sound difference is. It's either a fixed FW 18.04 or the reset. I'm back to sounding like me and it even sounds a little tighter in my opinion in some instances. This is by far more workable for me...wow....I can't believe the difference. I didn't even lose any gain, which the last time I did the update, I lost gain and picked up this boxy low mid sound. Not the case now. Thank you all once again for everything!
I knew you had the parts to figure this one out Danny. :lol Glad things are back on track with you. When I first updated things were fine for me but I thought, just for shits and giggles I'll do a system reset as well to see if there was a difference. Yup, and I'm glad I did it. :)
 

Rex

Legend!
That's good to hear but at the same time puzzling. It is starting to look like the key is doing the System Reset.
It's a rare but recurring phenomenon, and not just in this firmware. Sometimes a firmware update will just "go wrong." The result is tonal weirdness, and the fix is usually either reload, redownload and reload, or reset system parameters.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
When i first tied 18.03 the recto gave me a 'under water' sound, or a 'bubbling lava' sort of 'wa wa half way' 'flubbery' tone, harder to describe than i thought, like the top end had been sheared off, and a big bulge in the low mid, almost like synth, but all seems OK now.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The tube rigs I have here all seem to sound warmer at that break-up point. While your emulation breaks up perfectly, it seems to add some brightness that in certain cases, can be abrasive. Am I explaining this right to where you understand what I mean? All my saturated 12AX7 pre's seem to get warmer as they saturate...which to me makes the tube sound more apparent. Our "Crunch" doesn't warm up as it saturates, it gets a little grainy/high endy. Would it be possible having it take the brittleness away as it saturated instead of the increased high end?
Crunch isn't really what you want to play with to adjust the saturation characteristics. The primary controls to adjust the saturation behavior are Preamp Tube Type, Preamp Hardness and Preamp Bias. The Vintage and Long Plate types have warmer saturation characteristics. Preamp Hardness allows you to adjust how soft the saturation is. Preamp Bias adjusts the bias point of the last triode stage which will control the ratio of even/odd harmonics. Values around zero will produce mostly odd harmonics. As you deviate from zero you'll produce less odd and more even.

The default tube type is Modern and is brighter and more aggressive as that is what our primary customer base desires.
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Crunch isn't really what you want to play with to adjust the saturation characteristics. The primary controls to adjust the saturation behavior are Preamp Tube Type, Preamp Hardness and Preamp Bias. The Vintage and Long Plate types have warmer saturation characteristics. Preamp Hardness allows you to adjust how soft the saturation is. Preamp Bias adjusts the bias point of the last triode stage which will control the ratio of even/odd harmonics. Values around zero will produce mostly odd harmonics. As you deviate from zero you'll produce less odd and more even.

The default tube type is Modern and is brighter and more aggressive as that is what our primary customer base desires.
Thank you for the above, Cliff. Will experiment with the above. I mentioned the crunch thing because when I take it to say 40% or so, the break up is really cool, it just seems a little bright. Nothing else I experimented with was as blatantly heard when going for a more tube saturated sound. So I had assumed the crunch thing was what I was looking for. Thanks again for setting me straight and for the compressor level modifier....which rocks big time! :)
 

ps43203

Experienced
Glad your happy Dan, I can't to hear some clips of fw18.04. I'm am getting more interested in playing with the different preamp characteristics.
My dream really, to be able to build a custom preamp without ever buying a thing from mouser. Whoohoo! I'm still trying to get one. Arghhh.
 

Kensington

Inspired
Hello,
i reset my Axe FX after update and used the v18 Presets and it sounds awesome!
Than i tried every new Preset and keep that i loved.... replaced the other with my own Presets from v17...
Finally i change my own presets...
Resetting the Axe is the Magic Key...
Here is how too.... thanks to Yek for the great Wiki.... the best place when you want to know something about the AXE !!!!!
Axe-Fx II: resetting - Axe-Fx II Wiki
Cool. I think I have to try this.
But I found that wiki-link somewhat confusing.
There's like 6 resettings there :p

Are we talking about "resetting system parameters"? :)
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Danny Danzi! What's up bro? I remember you from the old headcase days. Awesome to see you here.
Hey what's up?! Hahaha....Headcase....a really fun time in my life...yet a bit stressful! I did have a blast working on that plug, that's for sure. What was your screen name back then?

To be frank ... I think your post will help a lot of users who will benefit from the update feature. So I think we should be thanking you Danny!
You're too kind, thanks! I hope it helps a few people. I'm not sure what the heck the deal was. I went from mid range boxy and less gain to barely telling a difference. What's REALLY weird is....I decided to pry deeper into this in case I could share anything helpful with Cliff or the rest of you. I reloaded my old sounds from my last back up before FW 18.03. I even reloaded my system file putting everything back to the way it was before I did any FW updates or resets. Would you believe my old system settings didn't make a difference and the FW just worked as it was? Stuff like this drove me nuts when I was working on plugins. Those weird anomalies that would keep me up all night just to find out what was going on were the death of me. I take everything way too seriously. The companies I beta test for right now love me because I'm so anal with tracking down bugs etc. It's both a blessing and a curse though. LOL!

What gets me in this scenario....there doesn't appear to be anything that loads via reset system params that would increase gain or remove frequencies.....unless of course Cliff made changes to what the defaults were on trims or gains/eq's via global since I bought the thing two years ago? I've never reset anything EVER. I just have loaded up my sounds when I've erased them or tried out new presets etc. Whatever the case, something changed and it's drastic. I recorded the 17.04 FW sound and then the 18.03...quite a difference before reset params. Did the same thing last night with reset params....now I can't tell a difference. So that's a good thing. I do notice a little something different in my studio tones, but they are at about 95% where I want them and I usually tweak them for the song per instance. My live tones are what concerned me...but they sound as good as they ever did now. Strange, I know!

I knew you had the parts to figure this one out Danny. :lol Glad things are back on track with you. When I first updated things were fine for me but I thought, just for shits and giggles I'll do a system reset as well to see if there was a difference. Yup, and I'm glad I did it. :)
Me too man! This was driving me crazy. I'm still blown away at the outcome of this thread. I really feel blessed to have all this support from the community as well as Cliff himself chiming in. Yeah from here on out, reset params for me too! :)

Glad your happy Dan, I can't to hear some clips of fw18.04. I'm am getting more interested in playing with the different preamp characteristics.
My dream really, to be able to build a custom preamp without ever buying a thing from mouser. Whoohoo! I'm still trying to get one. Arghhh.
Yeah I'm definitely happy now. And I can use the compressor level modifiers Cliff gave us! That is huge for me. Quick tip...anyone using their compressor like I do for extra sustain, if you have any modifiers controlling gain or trim to lower a gain stage, try doing it using the compressor level. It's amazing how it keeps your tone exactly the same while just removing gain. The other methods I tried literally *appear* to alter the tone to me when the gain is reduced. I want my tone to stay the same, I just want the gain to drop. Controlling the compressor level does this perfectly. :)

You really want to build your own custom pre man? God bless you. LOL! I can't fathom doing it. I don't mind paying people that really know this stuff....as long as what they put out works! It's sort of like my thoughts on building computers. I have built all my own recording pc's for years. One day, after promising a friend of mine who I've known for about 25 years that I'd buy a system from him some day, I hit him up and bought one. The dude is one of the most sought after DAW builders in the country....and the pc he built me is the best pc I have ever owned hands down.

Ok, it cost me about $600 more than it would have if I built it, but it took away all the headaches of drivers, conflicts, stuff not behaving right, writing down all my steps while removing services, living at blackviper.com trying all his awesome Windows tweaks etc. Time = money and time I don't have much of...especially dealing with a new pc build with a new OS. Know what I mean? So I leave that stuff to guys that do it better and faster than I would. Sort of the same with pre-amps and amps. Although, if you are gifted and can put something great together, by all means go for it brother. :)
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Global Amp Gain can do that.
Yep, good call there Rex. In your beta experience, do you know if this value has ever been altered? Meaning, though it now defaults to 0.00 dB, did it ever have a different internal value while reading 0.00 dB? Like, has Cliff ever reset this value to have more/less gain? If so, that's what fixed my gain problem.

As for the boxy problem I was having, I don't know how that got fixed but I know what a few guys having this issue can try.

It seems you can really tighten up the tone while messing with supply sag and Cf comp. I noticed some weirdness in my studio tones being a little loose. The settings I used to use were changed...probably due to FW, but adjusting these two options made a difference for me in tightening up the tone and removing some of the boxy mids. For me using the 800 mod amp, resetting the sag to 2.0 and reducing CF comp to a lower value (10.0 for me as opposed to 70) is what tightened me up. It's pretty drastic too...so this is my go to option right now for getting my tones a little tighter. I don't know for sure what it's doing, but it's definitely tighter sounding and that low mid that was sort of creeping in is now gone. That said, as I mentioned before, the reset params fixed my issues....but the little I've had to edit, it's been those two options and making up my mind to use modern or vintage.
 

Rex

Legend!
Yep, good call there Rex. In your beta experience, do you know if this value has ever been altered? Meaning, though it now defaults to 0.00 dB, did it ever have a different internal value while reading 0.00 dB? Like, has Cliff ever reset this value to have more/less gain? If so, that's what fixed my gain problem.
I don't know of any firmware that has intentionally modified Global Amp Gain (or accidentally either, for that matter). But as you found, updating the firmware can occasionally cause weirdness that's fixable with a system parameter reset. I don't know whether the exact mechanism for that has ever been tracked down.


It seems you can really tighten up the tone while messing with supply sag and Cf comp.
Try XFRMR MATCH, too. That can really change amp responsiveness.
 
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