Ultimate Fractal Audio Axe-FX Users Coming Out of the Closet Thread

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by relaxo, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    River,
    none. Never even seen one.
    This statement of yours:

    I believe it's much more that which makes them unsuitable for many folks than inadequacies of the hard/software systems themselves

    is the truth for me.

    When times of high concentration on music (such as for example, these past days with the 11R, where I have been playing and listening for hours) happen to me (and it happens from time to time) I always re-dig out the truth: it's beyond the gear.

    It hits me again and again, like a sort of "illumination" (derived from the Italian concept, hope it means something equivalent in English) strikes me.
    I was listening to myself and my timing nuances, struggling to get the feel as I was doing takes over takes of soloing and rhythm parts with those two-three tracks I proposed and again it struck me as it's not the tone - intended as the technical sonic peculiarities of the amplifier and the instrument - that matter.
    It's the mind and consequently the body (hands, arms and the whole body approach) that make a performance worthwhile.
    Funnily, IF the performance is good, the perceived tone can become interesting.
    Weird paradox, don't you think?
    If one tries - as an exercise - to listen to Free's performance on "All Right Now" in its first release (back in 1970) one will hear as the guitar (amps) sound... well... crappish. Even for the solo.
    It was nothing special. We're not even sure the song was played with one of marvelous Kossoff's vintage Les Paul Standards.
    Rumor has it that it could be a strat.
    I can't say.
    Still, that guitar sounded violin-like.
    It was his timing and intention. Vibrato. Touch.
    The quality of the recording lets much to be desired as well.
    So much that - in order to sound similarly on the rhythm guitars, I had to "degrade" the "quality" of the rhythm guitars I had recorded via equalizer.

    It's a complex, yet amazingly fascinating never-ending journey.
    It completely catches my mind and whole essence. My wife was watching me these past days, I was so much into it that anything happening around me barely touched me (including changing my two years old son's diapers).

    It's the player.

    There is a but(t).
    The "but" (however) is, that inspirational gear can help the player do better at giving his best.
    Guitars, amps, microphones, rooms and farts. It only serves as an additional inspirational element.

    There, I said it (sighs).
     
  2. relaxo

    relaxo Senior Member

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    YES! Now we're talking the same language finally. And the Axe FX gives even more of this kind of a boost than 11R to the player.

    DIGITAL PC AMP SIMS (robotic...do exactly as their told, predictable, stiff, no compression (sag) 20mm steel plate, give no or little sonic or information feedback.)
    vs
    REAL AMPS, CRANKED (alive, reactive, responsive, organic, unpredictable at times, adding those vital "surprise" elements that artists feed on.)

    Fil, that's what we both noticed about Eleven...one reason it's different. Eleven Rack "handles" by far the closest to a real amp out of the entire lot of PC amp sims. (except THE GREAT ONE, Axe FX) I've been testing many world class tube amps recently and now clearly know the sound of every tube type even:) 5881, 84, 88, 77, 66 etc. Eleven is the only one that "moves" like a tube amp...not nearly as good as a real amp of course, but ALL the others are TOTALLY stiff, even if they're not too digitally and decent sounding...they're stiff.

    (Tip: To combat this stiffness, put a spongy compressor, maybe even totally maxed out, in front to your amp sims...that will help make the sound "move" the way a low headroom rectifier tube "sags" in guitarist speak, "compresses" in engineers language.)

    I know we're talking amp feel and feedback here, but Eleven has another step up on the others. Sound quality wise, Eleven Rack has the least "distortion digitalness" out of the all the non-Axe FX amp sims. That sickly digital fizz is what I'm referring to.

    The great amps have:

    FEEL FEEDBACK-sonic information given back to the player
    and
    SONIC FEEDBACK -that beautiful singing squeal that Hendrix was the master of.

    When you move to Eleven Rack you get a boost up in these two categories from the rest of the digital amp sims. When you move to Axe FX, you're in "great amp" territory and even better. (No real amp can even feedback sing at lower volumes than Axe FX.)
     
  3. BrianGT

    BrianGT Senior Member

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    With genuine respect to what you are saying Relaxo.....it's obvious that the Axe FX has had a positive effect on you....and that's all good!

    I'm not trying to turn this in to a debate about Eleven versus Axe Fx.......I have recorded 3 albums with a Pod and 3 with my amp and a speaker simulator. I am totally happy with the sound on all of them regardless how it was recorded....the playing on some is another matter!!

    I just want to move "upwards" from the Pod and that's why I am interested in this debate.
    Over here the Axe Ultra is serious money....the Eleven is much more affordable, in fact it's very good value from what I am hearing.

    Listening to Solo's tracks it's very obvious that the Eleven has inspired him to really, really dig in to what "tone" is made up of.....instrument, amp/modeller and the player....when they all come together it's a joy to play and when they don't it's hard work!!
    I have stood in a studio hearing a great sound come out of my amp and when it was recorded it sounded nothing like the glorious noise I was hearing!
    For me the modelling amp takes away the guess work once you have found your sound....it's there to recall whenever you need that sound and the environment doesn't effect it going on to hard disk.

    After hearing Solo's clips I don't need anything better than that......they are to me......perfection!
    He has had very little time with it and is getting fabulous sounds to tape already......what will it sound like when he really masters the Eleven?

    I wish I could try them both together but it is not an option.....not even remotely....so I have to go on what I hear on the Net and who I trust on the Net.....trust from the perspective of being on the same wave length as me.....and go with it.
    For my needs the Eleven will do the job very well. I don't need multiple amp choices and I have studio quality effects already on hand.

    If you are "on" in that moment....you can make almost anything sound great because your fingers and feel overcome the failings of the equipment..you squeeze what your heart needs to hear out of it and it just happens!

    For me, I need all the help I can get!! :D
     
  4. jwinger

    jwinger Senior Member

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    :thumb: Like you read my mind!
     
  5. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    What a great thread this has turned into.
    I'm pleased.
     
  6. Kemper59

    Kemper59 Senior Member

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    Read what he says, the Axe is going direct into his recording software, there's no cam mic involved, that's an Axe-Fx "DI" recording, exactly what the Axe is designed to do.
     
  7. relaxo

    relaxo Senior Member

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    The Axe FX is doing exactly what it's NOT designed to do...be severely degraded by the DI equivalent of a camera mic, the MacBook line in AD converter!!!! That is one of the lowest form of DI possible. You're panning a product that you no experience with on a clip recorded by an amateur, a first time amateur at that, on the junkiest AD converter. CrazyD, the Macbook line in will mask, blur, smear, compress etc etc. That clip sounds nothing like other peoples Axe FX clips.

    Shocking results!!!

    From George Martin's Youtube page that we are judging here:
    "My first attempt at recording with the Axe Fx. This is straight into garage band with a tiny bit of EQ to add more bass and that's it. No mics, sound rooms, boards, preamps, or blaring amp at 11, blah blah - just my Explorer straight into the Axe Fx Ultra and straight into Garage Band with an 1/4" to 1/8"... in my living room!"

    Most guys record DI through the likes of Pro Tools, M-Audio, Motu etc etc $300 converters...all semi pro which allows you to HEAR what the Axe FX sounds like. Pro studios use signal chains $2,000-$10,000 to record the Axe FX. The MacBook $.18 converters reveal absolutely nothing truthful about the Axe FX.

    Sorry for the lecture, but I want to teach people how to analyze accurately.
     
  8. River

    River Senior Member

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    Cool new website, Solo! :applause:

    I agree with relaxo - that's not a fair demo, and I don't feel it even claims to be. I do believe some MLPers have much better offerings up on SoundClick.
     
  9. relaxo

    relaxo Senior Member

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    River,

    (God willing) I will start my own album recording in September now. If that happens, I will be recording clips O'plenty with the Axe FX and post them on the net for you guys. It is going to be a 100% Axe FX guitar album I imagine at this point. I'm still in UK and just insanely missing my 60's 345 that I just got before I left . It's so much bigger sounding than my historics. One month later the sound of that 345 is still bouncing around the inside of my skull all day every day.
     
  10. relaxo

    relaxo Senior Member

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  11. carydad

    carydad Senior Member

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    A few months into Axe-dom myself. Still loving it. Lots of my pedals and amps currently are on consignment at a local store. Sits well in the mix, records to the ADAT well, and I havent had the urge to drop another 3G on yet another tube amp that gives me one or two tones. At the moment-weddington-wah-AXE-fx.

    Whatever makes you play more...go after it. The only right answer, is the one that is right for you!
     
  12. 3rdstone

    3rdstone Senior Member

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    A friendly bumpity, and hope no one minds :)

    I'd really like to discuss more about this unit.

    Cheerios(Multi grain please) ,Steve :D
     
  13. Benguitar

    Benguitar Senior Member

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    I'm downsizing my rig selling Boogie, Gibson, BOSS, Palmer, Voodoo Lab and etc, To get an Ultra, I can't wait to get my hands on one of these things!

    I'm also gonna get a Rocktron Power Amp and an Avatar 2x12
     

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