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Using Axe FX II Live

phredi_5

New Member
Looking to using Axe FX II live for an upcoming gig. I presently use the Axe along with a Tech21 Power Engine and it sounds good. However with an upcoming gig on the horizon I tried going straight to the board and found the sound to be very brittle and harsh, even the clean sounds have this really nasty edge to them. I realize I could stick a 57 in front of my amp however that would sort of defeat the purpose. Can someone shed some light on this for me.

Thanks

Here are a few details.

- global setting cab and power amp on.
- global EQ flat.
- P.A. is a mackie board w/ 12" speakers
 

cander328

Inspired
I am going to be trying mine live for the first time tomorrow going FOH with my in-ears. Should be interesting!
 

muudrock

Experienced
I've used mine gigging for over a year. My live sound is fat, punchy and clear with no harshness. You will have to make some adjustments for direct to FOH use, especially if you're dialing your presets on the PE60. I generally dial in on my FOH monitor(s) or my studio monitors. I have a bank of live patches and a bank of recording patches. The live patches are generally warmer. First thing I would do is adjust the global eq to roll off frequencies above 10K and below 100k. Some guys boost the mids a little too. See how it sounds and adjust from there. Very important to dial stuff in at gig volume as fletcher-munson will skew your results if you don't. Tweak with your ears, not with your eyes.
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
Tones dialed in through a power amp and cab pretty much never sound direct to FOH. You have to create patches for that purpose. I have been going direct to FOH for over three years now and would not go back to start by using the can blk low cut to 120 and hi cut to 6/7000. It will not have the sane feel of a can blowing air your way so think how music sounds on a cd when tweaking
 

musicman77

Inspired
I used my Axe II live last night for the first time (been gigging with my Ultra for some time) and felt fully comfortable with the II to begin using live. I set up all my patches using my RCF NX 12-SMA in my studio. Plugging live, sending Out 1 XLR to FOH sounded exactly as expected; full, warm, and exactly as was coming out my stage monitor (RCF via Out 2). Ultra will now be my backup, and no looking back. I received nothing but compliments on my tone including from the sound engineer who had never worked with an Axe FX before. I can't wait to play out again!

Get your tones dialed in as muudrock suggests above.
 

boltrecords

Fractal Fanatic
I dial in my patches with an rcf nx12sma monitor as well. It translates very well to foh. Ill never go back.
 

NyteOwl

New Member
I used my FX II live for the first time yesterday, for an hour long set at a charity event. I haven't had it all that long, but I started with some stock presets and tweaked them to my liking, first using an RCF NX12SMA, and then with a pair of Yamaha DS60-120s, the Yamaha version of the Tech 21 Power Engine. Went direct to the board and everyone said the FOH sounded great.
 

MarkShrader

Inspired
I have a bank of live patches and a bank of recording patches. The live patches are generally warmer. First thing I would do is adjust the global eq to roll off frequencies above 10K and below 100k. Some guys boost the mids a little too.
Muudrock, Can you elaborate on the biggest differences between live patches and recording patches? Anyone else have input on this philosophy? I just picked up my Axe-Fx II and plan on using it live immediately. Have not purchased powered FRFR yet but am completely open to suggestions on that as well.

Wow, love this unit! Great job Fractal Audio!!
 

muudrock

Experienced
Muudrock, Can you elaborate on the biggest differences between live patches and recording patches? Anyone else have input on this philosophy? I just picked up my Axe-Fx II and plan on using it live immediately. Have not purchased powered FRFR yet but am completely open to suggestions on that as well.

Wow, love this unit! Great job Fractal Audio!!
Generally my live presets have heavy roll off above 10K and below 90k via a PEQ block. These are just starting points and vary by patch. The roll of on the highs begins at around 6-7k and gets sharper at 10. Same for the lows, starts at 250-is and gets sharper the lower you go. You can use the Global output eq as well to a certain extent. I've found that with the myriad of in house systems out there, this gives me the best results. Some systems are very bright, others are bass heavy so rolling off the top an bottom leaves the midrange which is where the guitar should sit in the mix. My live presets are very warm sounding on there own, but in a live mix at volume, they sit very well. A good balance of clarity and punch without being too sizzly or to woofy.
My recording patches OTOH are generally fuller range eq wise. I find it's easier to get the sound I want to disk this way and then adjust the eq in the DAW to fit the mix as needed. I prefer to subtract with eq rather than add. It can be difficult to brighten up a recorded sound effectively as opposed to warming it up by subtractive EQ. In the DAW I still typically roll off around the same frequency ranges but it depends on the mix and what I'm going for.
 
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karmakarmakarma

Experienced
Looking to using Axe FX II live for an upcoming gig. I presently use the Axe along with a Tech21 Power Engine and it sounds good. However with an upcoming gig on the horizon I tried going straight to the board and found the sound to be very brittle and harsh, even the clean sounds have this really nasty edge to them. I realize I could stick a 57 in front of my amp however that would sort of defeat the purpose. Can someone shed some light on this for me.

Thanks

Here are a few details.

- global setting cab and power amp on.
- global EQ flat.
- P.A. is a mackie board w/ 12" speakers
I used a Tech21 Power Engine for years as an on-stage monitor. If you used it to dial in your tones, the signal going to the front of house will be much brighter. The Power Engine has a wide frequency range compared to a normal guitar cabinet, but it's nowhere close to being truly full range like a decent PA will be. You need to adjust your tones using one of the Mackies you mention of something similar.

Karma
 

MikeyB59

Power User
Looking to using Axe FX II live for an upcoming gig. I presently use the Axe along with a Tech21 Power Engine and it sounds good. However with an upcoming gig on the horizon I tried going straight to the board and found the sound to be very brittle and harsh, even the clean sounds have this really nasty edge to them. I realize I could stick a 57 in front of my amp however that would sort of defeat the purpose. Can someone shed some light on this for me.

Thanks

Here are a few details.

- global setting cab and power amp on.
- global EQ flat.
- P.A. is a mackie board w/ 12" speakers
I used to use a PE 60. I kind of did the opposite of you though. I dialed patches with studio monitors, then when playing live I had to jack the highs almost to 9 o'clock on the PE60 to get closer to what the house was getting. You can get decent sounds from PE60. They're not FRFR, but at $200 used, they're a very functional piece of gear.

Using RCF NX10s now and don't do anything different between RCF and FOH and my sound puts a huge smile on my face from both sources.
 

ari

Inspired
I just want to add to this thread as cliff said previously, If you're looking for an AMP sound you gotta use a Guitar cab, as room reflections and directionality of the speaker play a huge role. I never got past the PE 60 sounding "OK" with the Axe, as my best settings were all for studio and direct use. If I had more time and I tweaked at live volumes i could probably make it work, but the direct sounds that everyone gets from this beautiful piece of gear are really not geared towards an amp feel. try a power amp and guitar cab.
 

Doug_TX_AX

New Member
FOH and Tech21 PE

I just want to add to this thread as cliff said previously, If you're looking for an AMP sound you gotta use a Guitar cab, as room reflections and directionality of the speaker play a huge role. I never got past the PE 60 sounding "OK" with the Axe, as my best settings were all for studio and direct use. If I had more time and I tweaked at live volumes i could probably make it work, but the direct sounds that everyone gets from this beautiful piece of gear are really not geared towards an amp feel. try a power amp and guitar cab.
The way to solve this is to set up a separate backline chain for the Tech21. This way you can get the FOH sounding great (test via your own PA before playing out), and then set up a 2nd AMP block (and any drives, delays, etc) for the Tech 21. You can EQ that amp (drive, etc) so that sounds great for on stage. Make final adjustments as needed when on stage.
 
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