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What is it about the Drive sims?


Fractal Fanatic
I use 3 different drives in my live presets. It wasn't hard to get something really useful.

I did notice that the TS and BB Pre had a mix of 100%, while the real life ones have some clean signal in the mix. Easy to edit that.
Also, the TS defaults to SI diode, instead of 4558/SI.

The defaults sound good, too, just not like the real thing (?)
are you sure the BB has clean signal blended in?


Power User
I miss Don peterson, he was somebody that made it his life mission to create representations of every fuzz drive out there. It would be great to find another such soul.
Another +1 a great loss to the community.

But generally it is only the really odd dirt pedal I struggle with (feedback loops) , the standards are easy to dial in.


The drives are fantastic. If they don't give you want you are looking for, then you have more than enough parameters to adjust to get there. I was thinking about modeling every pedal out there as a mini hobby/business (compared to the actual pedals if people would send them to me) but the problem is everyone has a different guitar and/or pups so the preset would not sound the same and would have to be adjusted anyway for the guitar to be used. I've had a ton of success getting every drive tone I need just spending time with the cuts and the clip types.


Fractal Fanatic
The only drive model I can't get to sound "right" to me is the Pi model. Everything else is excellent and I use them all the time. But I can't get the Pi model to sound like my exact triangle muff clone I built. That isn't to say it doesn't sound like a Big Muff; it just doesn't sound like my Big Muff.
Turn LowCut above 560Hz (to taste) and kick back in the lows with the Bass-Knob (for example 3-4dB)


I find that various settings of the MIX can make huge variations
on the Axe that most pedals cannot touch. I am dropping down to 27%-50% and getting very pleasing results and then using the same pedal at much higher mixes and they seem like entirely different pedals. I cannot do that with my "real" analog pedals. These drives are very cool if you take some time to experiment with them. The axe has way more depth to what a drive can do just because all of the parameters that can be dialed in.


People don't like the drives? That's news. If rather use the amp block though most drives I lived in real life were trying to emulate real amps in front of clean amps. The tube screamers and Xotic clones are great though


I can't replicate my Barker Assmaster (Brassmaster clone) on the axe no matter how hard I try. It seems to have some kind of gating/octaving thing going on. Doesn't help that the mix isn't true bypass either. This is mainly a bass pedal though so no one probably cares :)

I like what's there though, but tend to gravitate to amp distortion, possibly using a light drive for tone shaping. I never liked most 'real' pedals I tried either.

I also own a Way Huge Fat Sandwich which I could never nail in the Axe either (though I can get closer with the new LED clipping). Rarely use that though, prefer the amp distortion in the Axe.


Fractal Fanatic
nothing wrong with the Axe's Drives. I don't use them to recreate my real Drive pedals though, but (with the given tweakability) to create new variations.
only gripe I have with the Drives is the Mix control. Cliff changed the way it behaves along the lines (apparently it was incorrect before) and I just preferred how it was before...


Any suggestions for the treble booster?
I can get that germanum treble booster thing going.
I cant dial in fuzz/compression and bite

Admin M@

Fractal Audio Systems
I think the reason you find that some people complain is that this is simply what some people do.

Have some fun instead. Cooper just showed me some video of Adrian Belew and me. We sat for hours making drive tones and never once even referred to an existing pedal. (OK, except one imaginary one with a dead battery). We had a blast, and he taught me a great deal about how the right attitude makes inventive tones completely playable. Invent your own drive pedal like a designer would. Put a peaky PEQ in front. Or try changing hi/lo/diode settings. Or use two drive pedals in series. Or in parallel! Try a compressor AFTER your drive pedal instead of before. Play with extreme bias settings. Try to create an amp tone with no amp block using EQ/Drive/EQ/Drive/EQ (remembering that there is an EQ built into the drive pedal.) Add dynamics to your drive with modifiers.




Nope...4558/SI is correct for a TS. 4558 refers to the old 4558 type Dual OP-Amp ;)
Yeah, that was my point. Just to clarify, I noticed the TS models default to SI. I have changed them to 4558/SI.
Unless we're just misunderstanding each other.

And actually, the default to SI and 100% mix sounds really good it a different way.
Just doesn't behave like I'm used to.
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are you sure the BB has clean signal blended in?
Mine does.

Quite a few drives do. Easiest to hear into a clean amp.
Barber Burn Unit
Fulldrive II
BB Preamp
Rockett Holdsworth
Fuchs Plush Valve Job
Wampler Paisley Drive

Some don't. At least not nearly as much. Easiest to hear when comparing with any of the above.
Bogner Blue
Wampler Tweed
Catalinbread DLS

And the higher gain ones really don't
Suhr Riot
Wampler Sovereign
Ibanez SM-7

All based on what I hear, nothing else.
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I love my drives! I sometimes employ a dual-drive before a clean amp. One of my favorite combo's is; 3-knob>BB Pre>USA Clean1


I think sometimes the chronic complaints on different topics make simple threads like this seem more complaint oriented than they are.

This is just discussing the drives in the box and what everyone thinks and tips etc. I don't see this thread as some chronic complaint.

The Big Muff and other drive / fuzz boxes are as iconic as vintage Marshall and Fender amps. I see no sour grapes in just discussing the ins n' outs of the drives.

The drives in the AxeFx II are more than usable, they give stellar tones, and have been since the start. The all digital signal path really lets you avoid all the tone sucking real pedals cause and is killer sonically.

Fabio KTG

Fractal Fanatic
I rarely use drives now. I find that the distortion in my presets sounds a little more.... natural? Some drives seem to compress my tone and I don't think that I prefer it over the saturation of the amp's drive.



I rarely use drives now. I find that the distortion in my presets sounds a little more.... natural? Some drives seem to compress my tone and I don't think that I prefer it over the saturation of the amp's drive.

With moderate SPL levels I'm with you 100%. Driving the input trim sounds more organic.

But when I really crank using IR's and FRFR (two CLR wedges), I really have to do something to tighten the low end. I tend to use drive pedals for that. At high volume the low end starts to loose it. Just like real amps and big box cabinets do.


Power User

I think this is at the heart of a lot of the modeling gear debate in general. Different strokes for different folks, if you will.

A lot of guitar players (the majority?) want more of a plug and play experience. They want to "create" using the guitar, not the gear. And there's so much gear available that it's relatively easy to just keep trading out gear looking for the boxes you like, so we've gotten used to that paradigm.

There's another group of players that wants to find unique tones of their own and they like to "create" by modifying and tweaking the gear they have - be it analog or digital gear.

There's obviously no right or wrong answer here because it's about how people like to be creative, but I think the Axe is unmatched when it comes to offering people the ability to customize & create tones. At the same time, I also think it can be frustrating to people who want more of a plug and play experience.


I find the drives in the axe not that great when comparing with real pedals. The way i tested them was I created a patch with only drives then out of the axe into my fender amp. I put my real pedals in front of the axe and A/B them. You can get some decent sounds but they do not sound or react like the real pedal to me.

Perhaps there is a better way to compare them?


the problem with the drives is that there aren't more of them in the axe fx II to choose from. everybody likes to have lots of different amp models right? well, why not have about the same amount of modeled drive blocks?
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