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Why Do I Always Struggle With Cabs?

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by Birdy, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Birdy

    Birdy
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    I can't seem to get good sounds (at least for my ears) from the factory cabs.
    99% of the factory cabs (I've tried all of them many times) just give me a very boomy and phasey tone.
    Not clear, not tight, not punchy, it barely even sounds like a starting point.
    I feel like I should note that I'm really looking for (distorted) mix-ready sounds, those that you hear on records.
    But still it doesn't make sense to me (maybe it's just me) that I always have to resort to tone matching and get started from there.

    Any insights on that? Maybe I just have to find 3rd party IR's that are more of my style?

    Cheers!
     
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  2. Jason Scott

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    A vast majority of the factory cabs didn't work for me, either. I'd recommend trying some Ownhammer IR's, though I'd also recommend playing with the Low Cut parameter in the Cab block. For example, try setting it to 100.0 Hz to start with and incrementally move it up until the low end doesn't sound boomy anymore. You can also use a Drive block (eg. TS808) to tighten up the bottom end, and a Filter block with a Lowshelf set to around 350 Hz at -1.5 dB of Gain will help reduce a flabby bottom.
     
  3. Birdy

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    Yeah I know about low cutting, tried that as well.
    It might clean the sound a bit but it's still the same sound that I dislike.
    A drive block might affect the amp (which is not something I want because the gain structure is great on its own), but it still doesn't really change the sound of the cab.
    I was thinking about buying IR's but the thing is I don't want to go through another list of 100 cabs only to figure out I barely like 2 of them.
    And there's not much demo/trial as in this field as far as I know.
     
  4. #4 Jason Scott, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
    Jason Scott

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    Can you post a DI sample and preset? I'm just giving some basic tips, but a DI sample and preset would definitely help in identifying the problem and narrow down potential solutions by allowing us to re-amp your guitar through our units, tweak the settings and try different third party IR's.
     
  5. AlGrenadine

    AlGrenadine
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    I often feel the same . Try the dephase/smooth parameter and also mix cabs it will remove the phasey feeling we get
     
  6. don_joe

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    I've bougt a few cab packs to end up with 3-4 IRs I can actually use. I had luck with Ownhammer and a Celestion one.

    But I must be honest and say that it was a matter of skills how to make a good preset too. For a good recording you would use 2 complementary but completely different sounds/presets/IRs to pan L/R, not 2 ones you necessary like for jamming. And then you do a lot of EQ-ing on top. It sounds rarely the same afterwards. You need IRs that cut through. I was looking for brighter ones (which I found in the mentioned Celestion).
     
  7. chris

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    describe your full setup including speakers and their position relative to your ears.
     
  8. ML SOUND LAB

    ML SOUND LAB
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    Yeah I'd love to get more information and maybe a sound clip. Honestly if all the stock IR's sound really bad then the problem is most likely not the IR's. What preset are you using to test this out? Start with a fresh and empty preset with an amp that pretty good straight out of the box like Friedman HBE f.ex.
     
    80sMetalDude and dpeterson like this.
  9. BrickGlass

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    If you are using the low cut feature and things are still boomy sounding something is wrong. There are plenty of ways to dial out boominess with the low cut, GEQ, the cut parameter underneath your bass knob, etc.
     
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  10. ChainOfThought

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    Also keep in mind that even though it's frfr/it's/axefx, it's still not going to sound like the guitars you hear on an album while you're playing live.

    Pick a cab that sounds the most right to you, then record a few riffs or a song, double track it and add in drums and bass... Then see if you have the same problems. "Mix ready" and "in the mix" are two extraordinarily different sounds sometimes.
     
  11. Birdy

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    Thank you guys for all the responses!
    There are some things that are obvious which I'll try to make a bit more clear.

    I could, but I know I don't have any issues with my setup because 1) I got some preset packs and they sounded exactly like their demos. 2) I've got some DI's from other people and it's the same thing

    Yeah I usually find myself having to really dial it high, also the Air function.
    But it doesn't seem right to me.

    You are right, but the point is that the tone I "like for jamming" is that mixed tone that you hear on records.
    I've made many presets like that with tone matching.

    Studio monitors in a fully treated room, sitting in the sweetspot.
    No issues with my setup, I'm working here for a living.

    Tried presets, tried straight out amps, all give the same results.

    It can cut off the boomy sound but it still doesn't sound actually good to me.

    The first part isn't really true, because I have presets that does sound like that.
    And yeah I make a lot of recordings with drums and bass so I know what's going on :)
     
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  12. don_joe

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    Another idea: gain staging. I know I had this wrong for a while. The sound got really congested at louder levels. This comes into my mind too when you talk about "boomyness". The punch and attack are wrong then. I solved this with less signal from the Axe FX and more from the amplification. Just in case, if it's boomy and phasey all over, cause that is strange.

    What about letting some other Fractal owner try it with your setup, is that possible? Or taking your guitar to try it with someone else's Axe FX?
     
  13. #13 Jason Scott, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    Jason Scott

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    I wasn't suggesting a DI to rule out a problem with your unit. A DI and preset will serve to provide others with access to what you're hearing and afford them the ability to twist knobs, try different IR's and manipulate your tone directly, which is a lot more convenient / efficient than going back and forth for days or weeks with parameter and IR suggestions.
     
  14. Perdikament

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    I’m having a hard time understanding your apprehension regarding buying a 3rd party IR pack. You do this for a living so you are well aware of how critical mic placement is & how it can drastically effect the overall tone of the sound you are hearing, let alone different mics or speakers in the same cab. With the Factory Cabs you are only relegated to being able to choose one single instance of the shoot. That’s it, one. No other mic choices, or mic combos, or moving the mic in on the cap, etc.. so while you may get 247 IR’s you may never ever use in the cab pack, you’re gunna get the 5 ya need. And for $29.00 on average your freaking basically stealing it. Imo.
    Otherwise, it’s really gunna have to be one of those things I suppose, “if no one can do it right, you’re just gunna have to do it yourself.” And continue on with the ToneMatching. Which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach either. Whatever reaches the end goal the best way with the best results. But I would definitely give a cab pack or two a try.
     
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  15. antony71p

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    post your preset to check it
     
  16. Birdy

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    How do you calibrate your level?
    I set my Axe to send out around 0db on the VU meter, out1 level is on 50%, hits my interface just right from what I can tell.
    I don't know any other guy that has an Axe though.

    I see, I can upload a DI, though I don't have any preset to upload because like I said, my issue is kind of "global", rather than affecting a certain amp/preset.

    Of course it's important!
    What I meant is that I don't want to buy 200 cabs, and start filtering them out.
    I don't want a 57 IR and a 421 IR and a 121 IR and all of those endless possibilities, I'm looking for an IR that just sounds good and full, don't even tell me what speaker and mic it has.
    It's as if I'm looking for an IR that has a specific tone rather than a specific realistic mic/speaker combination.
    Hopefully this makes sense outside of my head.

    I've been doing the "DIY" thing for years and I'm getting tired of it.
    Also sometimes you want a tone that is not possible to tone match.


    Like I said, it's not a single preset.
     
  17. don_joe

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    I thought only if you have a sort of amplification in your studio, which can misslead you if set wrong.

    Anyhow, I get your point with the IRs. It's not easy at all to find a right one. But with a bit of patience it's possible. You can't avoid buying a few packs and going through hundreds of IRs until one sits. I would recommend Celestion pack for all purposes and if you have any favourite amps, look for IRs of those cabs which are made for these. And then, out of a whole pack, you should be able to select 2 or 3 of them to your taste.
     
  18. Jason Scott

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    A DI would be great.
     
  19. chris

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    Please post a preset even if it’s all presets. If you can, also post a recording of you playing that preset.

    This helps us help you. It makes things more “tangible” because so far all we know that something sounds bad. When we can play through the same preset and compare the audio, it can help us determine what may be going wrong.
     
    antony71p likes this.
  20. unix-guy

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    I am pretty sure @austinbuddy posted a video all about gain staging for digital recording...
     

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