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Where Do You Start


When starting a new preset with whatever amp you selected, where you start. There are just so many options. For some reason a lot of things start out muddy so i'll usually start with lowering bass, maybe increasing presence. Xformer match also seems to make a huge difference. Do you guys mess with these types of things or do you immediately start switching out cabs? There are so many options it seems overwhelming.



Power User
Do it like a real amp. I'm low to medium gain generally. I pick an amp, find a cabinet that makes sense, add some verb and adjust the gain structure just like I would an amp. Listening through CLR speakers, I then try not to get sucked up in the awesomeness too long.

There are lots of people who will have tips, particularly as the gain goes up, but start with some combination you know. It's likely going to sound better turned up, just like amps do. In headphones it sounds better than anything else I know of, but it's still better loud and moving room air.


When you say Gain Stage, are you talking about the input drive or master volume, or something else?


First thing I do is shape the low and high cut in the Cab block. After that it's figuring out gain (pre- and power amp)
Same here with adjusting lo and hi cut in cab. I usually turn bass down as well and switch on the Cut. One takeaway I have from reading the experienced users is too avoid low end muddiness. There's that tendency when you are playing by yourself too add bass to make it sound big but that won't work at all when you add a bass player.

For gain I tinker with combinations of input gain, input trim, boost switch, and saturation. You never know what combo of those will work for what you want (although sometimes what I want is just to see what interesting sound will result). I also mix up having the Bright switch on and off and different bright settings.

Like many I often put in a looper and audition different cabs.

The results can be surprising. My current default rhythm patch is a Brit 800 with the gain at 9, the bright switch off, and cab 42 Hi Power. My default lead is basically the same but with the input trim at 5. Those aren't combinations that are completely out there but they aren't on any list of classic settings either. The result reminds me of my 2205 head that I called the patch that.


To me it's always best to start simple. Pick a amp, find a cab that you think sounds good or at least decent. And then dial in like you would a real amp. Once I have that basic tone, I'll cut the low and highs in the cab block most of the time 80 and 9k is good enough sometimes you need to play with those depending on the amp of choice. After that I try to fine tune a little more. Once I have that I'll add verb and then watch the hours drift away as I tend to get lost for a couple after I find a new amp I like lol


I have a patch setup like a pedalboard chain. I copy that over, pick an amp, tweak a bit, then play with cab. I start with a cab I'm familiar with.


Fractal Fanatic
+1 to the folks saying treat it like a huge collection of real gear. Pick an amp that is likely to be in the area, pick an appropriate cab, adjust that combination for base tone. Add FX. Keep reiterating until the tone converges on the sound in your head.


Power User
In my view if you choose an amp and have to start tweaking like crazy, you probably have the wrong amp or the wrong cab.


Fractal Fanatic
I have a base preset that has my basic clean, crunch and lead sounds distributed over different scenes. I adapt those as I see fit, adding new or deleting unneeded effects as required. I only use one cab model and only a few amp models, all as global blocks, to keep things simple, as I tend to go overboard with effects. Plus I like consistency in my overall sound between presets. I got the Axe mainly because I hate tapdancing on pedals, I want the simplicity I get from just changing everything with a single preset change. Using dozens of different amp models, I guess I could do that, but personally any time spent having to tweak those is time taken away from writing good songs, which I would rather do.


Fractal Fanatic
I try to keep it simple. Thankfully, I have been playing for many years, (long before there was FAS) so I have owned many, many tube amps (never cared for solid state). I have owned Fenders, Voxes, Marshalls, Ampegs, Peaveys, Gibson, etc. (even Pignose). I guess I have the advantage of having played through the real deal so I usually start with dialing in the amp to familiar settings. I use Yek's guide to help in selecting a cabinet (I always try a few different suggestions) but settle on the one I think sounds best. Once I get the amp and cab dialed in, then I add effects to taste.


Lots of good advice from everyone above and to the OP, even though it's been said before, I'll also say that in my opinion the cab is the key factor.


Fractal Fanatic
finding the right IR is easily 80% of your tone. if you don't believe me, run the same type amps through the same cab...you'll be hard pressed to hear a huge difference. now run the same amp through 10 different cabs....DRASTIC difference. I think of cabs as my first eq. i find one that lets me almost not touch the tone controls. if I'm having to tweak too much, i have the wrong IR.


I always go to the cab block, switch to -12db and cut the low end to at least 100hz. Then I tweak the gain, master and tone controls in the amp block. With FW6.1, I find no reason to mess with any advanced parameters in the amp block. I find that I can switch between IR's and a real guitar cab, using the same preset, by simply disabling the cab block.
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