Axe-Fx Master Class

Lesson 4 of 10

Building Fractal Rig

 

Axe-Fx Master Class

Lesson 4 of 10

Building Fractal Rig

 

Lesson Info

Building Fractal Rig

After modifiers thie number one most requested thing after my first class was talk about how to integrate a power and cab set up with a full range set up so the axe effects is uniquely positioned with its numerous outputs and inputs on all the different ways you can round it to utilize both the full range flat response speaker or the you know standard guitar I'm sorry p a monitor or speaker or headphones or studio monitors like these you're getting full range which means you're getting all of the frequency spectrum much more akin to what you would hear out of a p a or recorded on the cd versus the guitar cabinet which is a much more limited frequency spectrum uh and arguably something to tourists are more used to hearing s o a lot of guys want to know how can I go direct into the p a s the sound guy can have that but then use a cab on stage so that I could get the feeling of you know, a cab kicking in the back while you're chugging along because you know you might not be used to how a ...

monitor in front of you is or how it sounds in your in years without feeling the cab on stage so we're going to talk about the various ways that you can utilize both at the same time so we go to the slide there basically for four ways that I see that you can use the expect there. Obviously there are variations of this and that's what we're going to get into. You go direct, full range. What response? When I play, I don't use a cab on stage. I don't use wedges on stage I go directed to the p a I take a mix in my in years, we're going to find a lot of guys like periphery. They don't use any cabs on stage, they go directly get in the years. There's no guitar sound on stage. This is going to give you the full tonal experience the expects is capable of going into the flattest possible fullest possible speaker. You're going to get everything the expects is doing. The second option is to use the expects simply as a pre amp you use thie amplifier simulations, you get a flat, a solid state power and use the tube simulations in the expects his aunt blocks you defeat the cabinet or you don't even put one in your pre set and then you go direct out into a power anthony cabin. You act just like you've got the world's most powerful and head because you do. The third option is to do both at the same time got the f r fr and power and cab, and we're going to show a couple different ways to set that up a minute here and in the fourth main way, is thief or cme or four cable method where you're basically using your expects as a pre ah pre effects pedal board and then an effects loop integrated post effect rack units. So for example, you're running your drives, your compressors, your wah pedals, sometimes maybe your courses or your flanders, depending on how pronounced you want them to be in front, then you're going out of the expects into the pre of the of the amplifier you're coming out of that going back in the expects to do all of your post effects, and then you go back to the power and coming out of the cabinet. So you have. You have to have an effects loop in your to do the four cable method, and we're going to show that later on in the class. For now, we're going to talk about using a far afar and power and cabs together on his seal. The slide, the secret dominating both the far afar and classic guitar caps fears is the fx el or the effects loop block, basically the effects lou block is named that because the expects has its own internal uh, effects luke just like an amp head would you can actually get your own pedals, put them in the effects loop, turn them on and off if you so desire I've never done that because they're enough petals in here for me and I've copied some of my petals into their then sold them uh, which is the beauty of the expects the main use that I find and I think most people find for the effects loop is as it's other name, which is output to s so you can actually use it as a separate output. So what we're going to dio is walk through these four situations and this looks way more complicated than it is. As you can see, the right column is concerned mainly with repeating the same thing over and over. The difference in these setups comes down mainly tio if you have as matt become and I were joking about the other day, a agreeable effects return on your amplifier or an opinionated power and or effects return essentially what I'm saying there is that you can use a flat, solid state power and to go into a cab or you can do what I've done a lot of shows like south by southwest, where you're going into different venues I want to use the expect because I have all my settings, but I don't want to go direct because they don't have ah line drop maybe or it's a small club where going direct would mean you're in the a and nobody up front could here you so what I do, I don't want to mess with the mikes they've already got is I just get the expects I go out of the effects loop and I go into the return of an amplifier, so I bypassed the entire pre section I'm just using the power and so for example, we've got a j c m eight hundred over here and that's what a super common if you find it a lot of venues and what I've done is just gone straight to the back of that, uh and use the power and and I find the jaycee five hundred to be a pretty agreeable effects return it doesn't have a super pronounced, opinionated curve. I don't find that it changes my tone too much, eh? So what I do is I just turn off the cab. I had a little bit of base back in and I use the jason's power section as a power, and in the case of something where you do have a very opinionated effects return, for example, mason boogies tend to be a little more opinionated, they tend to accentuate the highs and lows a lot what you're going to want to do is defeat the sag on your amplifier and we'll talk about that later so that you're not getting the expects his tube simulation, you're just using the tubes, thie actual physical tubes so let's talk about situation number one that is the wrong slide. Let's talk about situation number one, which is full effects fr if our situation with a dry cab so the first thing we want to do is go over here and you see, we've got a standard mesa recto for twelve and this qsc power and and what we've got is going into the input of this power if we get this cable and we got this lovely labeled thing, this is going tio go to output to left, which is again the effects sin is doubling his output to going to that turn on the power up, and we've got a preset toe, a nice volume, but it's going toe gonna rock a little bit because that's, what it's all about? Uh, and essentially, what I'm going to do is build this preset that we're going to be able to output throughout, put one which is currently going into these speakers on a full range, and we're going to add all of our effects, and we're going to this cab that's affected by the pre effects like dr or phaser or whatever else but the post effects are going to run through it we're going to have like a dr wet dry situation where what's going to the house you're hearing your cab on stage and a lot of guys like to do that because they don't want all of the effects kind of messing with their head or maybe they want to be able to mix in the dry on dh their ears, the mix the wet but here the dry on stage that kind of situation so first off of course we're going teo you need an amplifier were going at it and block and then we're going to add the effects loop and remember the effects loop block here is just outputting to output to we're not actually gonna put any effects in it. So think of the effects loop les is an effects the block and mohr is an output to block going to call the output to send for all intensive purposes that's what it's doing so we're going to just pick a uh good sound and I am pierre I'm gonna go with, uh let's make like a it's like a gainey gandhi preset so all right, so right now um I'm gonna go ahead and add it's just kind of make sure you get the date going a little bit some of that noise all right so essentially we can just add whatever effects we want I'm gonna add a dr pedal here and um you can hear the noise gate trying to trump down on that new dr pedal um actually let's see it's got the full overdrive so if we turn that off the way I just got it in the speaker's pretty uh pretty angry signal um for this down here sorry that ok so let's put just for we have more than one effect going on put a phaser wait this cab them you and we're gonna have here bypass this we can't hear the full range and we're gonna turn on this that's coming out of the cab and we want our simulated cab teo and I would want it to be something similar just because it would drive me crazy to hear two very very different tones uh I'm going tio go with this petrucci v thirty which is basically what we've got right there all right so what and kelly I don't know if my movie yeah thank you very much mike that up a little better so you guys been here a little better but essentially telling if you just want to switch of a play and you khun switch and let the all the guys listening here the difference between the cabin the full range basically it's sounding pretty similar right now I'm gonna add some post effects in a second but all right, so that is giving us essentially the same sound out of both right now um laptops really having a field day here with this game so now I'm gonna start adding some post effects and remember these air only going to go out of the output one at this point cause we've tapped off and taken this signal out into the cab notice that the real point here is that we want to bypass the cabinet walk because we don't want to send the cabinet into a cabinet because then you're going to like this enormous walking bass and you just would never do that in the physical world, so we've tapped off before it hits the cabinet. What that means though, is that we're also getting a dry signal because we're not going to hear any of this stuff through the cab all right? So we've got a reverb and, uh I'll let down that without a little more on that. All right um all this up so we turned off our cabinet for a minute this year we've got way and I'm a huge fan of the stereo digital cirio delay but this on six hundred and I'm going to set the ratio to fifty so we get a nice first three notes of one of my favorite songs uh we're going to turn this up a little higher, so now what we've got is a pre set that we can use scenes to make this dry rhythm that comes out of both and then an unseen to will create a lead and you're still going to have a dry cabron and uh it was interesting, okay? And then and seen three let's make a lead with a little phaser on it it isn't about fifteen different keys, but you get the idea so I will save that and that's an example of something you can send to the house full rage and you're going to get the full experience of all of the cabinet and the amplifier block and all of your effects in gorgeous full range stereo and then you're also going to strike cabin stage that you can crank up and rock out to and feel shaking the stage and everything else. So you're really getting the, uh the best of both worlds in that situation. What going to do now is I'm going to save this preset um to a new number here and I'm sure I want to replace it. I'm going tio rename this thirteen rigs fr fr and cab so we're going to do here is a question where maybe maybe we'll have a cab who knows will there be a cab? Nobody knows all right stay tuned so in this situation we're going to dio is going to put all of our effects before the cabinet block and then tap out on the effects look what we've got in this case is we've got the identical sound until we basically switch cabinets so in essence what we're doing is you can think about this as a separate cabinet block so if we just added another cabinet block to a preset the difference is we're adding a physical cabinet that's powered by a flat solid state power so in this case you've got the exact same sound as faras what effects you're hearing on stage as you have off going into the house the only difference is going to be the difference in tones imparted by the cabinets were using in this case we're using and I are of a mason bookie v thirty loaded slant cab which is exactly what we've got on the floor there so in essence these air the exact same thing so if we go ahead and now when I turn on the different scenes we're going to hear the effects in the cabinet as well and I can just defeat the digital cabinet here so there we go we've got identical tone for all intensive purposes in both the benefit of this is you could use the cabinet on stage on mike for your own purposes or if you'd like you could mike that one as well and have two different sounds so let's say we switch this cab this simulated cab to something completely different I'm not going to do it right now because I want to say this pre set like this, but you could make it whatever you wanted, just keep in mind that at this point we're using the same amplifier into both. So you're going to getting the same kind of response and everything so that's ah that's not present on a pop up, and I'm going to do the same thing and save this to a new number. We're gonna create number fourteen and again, if you show the slide, we're just going through these different situation, so the first one was a dry cab, the next one was affected cab and again, remember that we need a flat power and for these things because we're still using the tube simulation in the amplifier block. In this third situation, we're going to create two completely separate chains for each one, so I have, uh, gone in call this one, oddly enough, fourteen um we're called this let's say, uh, for a far plus cab, different effects. So for this by different effects, um, I don't actually mean completely different effects. One of the benefits to this setup is, uh, maybe one to have the same effects in the rig, but you want to have a different mix or, for example, you want to hear both sides so say you've got a stereo delay in the full range system, so you've got six hundred milliseconds on one side three hundred on the other when you take the motto feed out of out to left and put it into the cab, you're getting only one side of that, so you're going to hear a six hundred well second away maybe you want to hear both so let's make a three hundred milliseconds mano delay to send in the cabinet so the routing on that is pretty much the same we're going to do is just switch these back over here and now we've got a bunch of leeway to put effects and here's what we'll dio is just tap off before the before the cab comes around and one of the first things I'm going to do here is put a super powerful bloc parametric e hugh and this is a really popular block too add or take out tone from a cab to kind of finesse how you hear it on stage so because we don't have any control totally over what's coming out of the cab without messing with the amplifier, which is going to change what's coming out of the full range system, we want to put some way to adjust e q uh, on the line with this effect slips to say you want a little bump around two hundred hertz or wherever you know say you want a little mid boost in your cab uh and in a normal situation he would just go on above the mids up in your amplifier but you like the way the ap sounds through the full range so we're not going to mess with that we're just gonna put a piece you there and I don't actually know if this is going to sound good at the moment because we haven't heard it but uh maybe it will maybe we won't the next thing we're going to do is just mimic the effects I'm gonna copy paste the delay and I'm gonna copy paste the reverb and draw these shuts out here so let's meet this cab and see what we've got going through the through the physical cab I can already tell you that for one it's a little squishier so I'm going tio I don't see I'm going to go in here and do that just take out a little bit of that well and all right and then we can do as we did before with scenes and I'm gonna actually turn this off again so we can hear let's compare what we've got going on in the cab, the physical all right? So we've got a nice amount of delay I actually think that sounds like too much reverb in the cabs so let's defeat the physical cab and listen to the afar of our so I think that's actually really nice ambience in the full range set up but it sounds a little washi in the cab so let's flip back to the cab and I'm just going to dallas reverb taste like the volume on that a tiny tiny little bit on the left channel just like the tiniest little yes that one no one yet there you go that's probably enough so I'm gonna bring the uh I think the mixes find what I'm gonna do is take down this room time we may actually let's just go because we can with a completely separate river one of the new river types in the latest firm where is this london plate I really like I'm gonna turn off the delays we can hear just the reverse it's got this really? If we solo just this sound for a second coming out of the cab I will ah bruce this level up on the effects loop and uh maybe here the tale of this delay or this river brother it's really nice it's kind of like a big room and play a song that goes up instead of down that's all I can play that uh but I think that's a really nice rear of it's a little more subtle it's bigger but it's not his washing so I'm feeling much better much better about the amount of reverb in our cab let's turn that to lay back on a lot of delay. I'm also probably gonna bring the delay. Makes down a little bit in our cab. Someone bring the mix down, but I'm gonna pop the feedback actually up a little bit. So I hear it for a little bit longer, but it's not as pronounced cool. So now let's, turn the full range back on, lower the volume on that cab back down so we can kind of hear both that way. All right, so what we got there is to completely independent post effects chains, so you can do whatever you want to either one without changing them. And we've got this independent p q, which allows us cq this chain going into the cabinet without affecting the tone that we have going to the direct and vice versa. You could put another issue in here, and you could change it the same way. Obviously, you can't go about changing the amp tone because that's going to change what's going into this chain there but let's just for fun, but a p q. We'll bypass it. You guys confess with it when you get the presets. I should mention, however, that there is any incredibly powerful graphic you in the am block could play with all of these, uh, rendering this someone unnecessary on this line it's still very much something we want to have here just to kind of dial in how you want fiscal cabinet to sound so that is our full range and cab both with post and pre effects but with a different setting for the effects on the cab so we go back to the slide this this setup is for this last one is for somebody who has a really opinionated power have meaning mainly meeting a two power amp and with a two power amp you know you're going tohave tube simulation in the real world you're not simulating it's just happening eso if you've got like a mesa uh what is there to ninety or cold but one of those two fifteen maybe you already have the tubes working for you when you're hitting them so we can go into the amplifier block and turn off the tubes the power to simulation on that you obviously still want the pre tube simulation because there's no pre empt still so let's go ahead and save this to a new number and we're going toe think of a name for this one think we'll start with fifteen good uh I'm gonna call this one and for fr and uh no sag cab sag is um all right so for this let's go ahead and uh you know what actually might check something real quick on this last preset because I am suspecting that yes in these scenes we have acquired a peak here we don't want yes there we go yeah all right on dh er one it's fine all right it's a little little preset maintenance there okay I should mention in the last one whenever you have uh effects like reverb or delay going into the cabinet those air going to some tomato unless you put a stereo cab so you should always in that last preset uh set of stereo cab um so you don't collapse anything so um let us talk about how this is different basically what we want to do is have the same pre effects but then we're going to need to separate amplifiers so turn this into a shunt and we want to erase this we need to tap off here we don't want any of this amplifier with its tubes simulation coming to the cap uh I should mention that this power is fairly flat so we don't really need to be doing this but if you have a two parent or if say we were going into the effects loop of that marshal we might want to defeat the power of simulation that said basically what we're going to get his two different sounds so if you're going into for example the effects return of that j c m you can do it with the power of simulation on any one of those three process that we just made you can use I've used it like that a lot I think it sounds great when you turn off the power and simulation you're going to get a vastly different sound out of that amplifier block it's going to take a lot of adjustment to get back to where you were uh, not a bad thing, but my point is that they're both equally they could both be made this sound good really depends on what power and you're using what effect sleep you're going into on the back for nam to utilize its power section as a power am but they're both going to take tweaking, so when you turn off the power amp simulation, don't expect the empty sound the same is that sound completely different? So we're going to have to work from this sound that we have in our full range monitors when we copy this am and by the way, you could also put a completely different and if you felt like it, but I'm gonna use the same one we're going to need to match these fairly closely once I turn this off. So if we go back to that slide, basically what you're seeing is that these air relying solely on the power and we're not actually using any of the uh it was the way the world works we're not using any of the tone shaping of the power and it's relying solely on what what it can do to push sound out and about what it can do to change the tone in this fourth thing, I just want to make it clear you're using a power and that has too much of its own e q or is a to power and so that you can't just send a signal through it unaffected if you use a power like a matrix, we gotta qsc here or any of the other flat solves a power hymns you really don't have to worry about changing the tone that much with two power it's going completely affect not only how it sounds but also the way that you're going to be playing because you're going to be simulating tubes and sending it into real tubes it's it's kind of a lot of the same way as you don't want to send a cabinet in the fake not fake but the digital domain into a physical cab it's the same kind of mentality you don't want to double up on things they're simulated right? Okay, so with this first stamp again, we've got everything the same going direct outs will hear that one more time sorry, I need to turn that off all right and then here we've got this and again I'm going into a pretty neutral power and sets sound a lot same right? All right, so what I'm going to do now is turn that down so the power ramp is now off um e would have to bring this way down, you know, it actually sounds pretty decent already. Ah, a little base here. You definitely want to take some of that base? Um, I'm trying and right now that's going to make some adjustments to bring it back to where it was before we turn that off, you guys might have noticed that I'm just playing trump. Trump, trump, trump, trump really boring stuff. This is not an exercise and ego it all the best way to dial in something is to chunk and play big cords shredding up a lead doesn't really give you a sense of the of what's going on in the and especially in the low end, which, when you're going from full range to a cab is definitely something you want to be concerned about the low and it's going to be the thing that's going to be most accentuated or d accentuated depending on what settings you're changing just because the cab tends to essentially lower mids more than a full range cab would so let's, just check out the difference between these two now that I've made some differences different settings this is the cab theme and, uh this is our four range system, all right, so we also in this set up have, um, independent effects so just like we did last time and we can go into our scenes here and let's turn a lease on and we don't need that peak you anymore because we've got two independents so say we got us faras leads g o that's both going let's listen to the cab that's actually sounding a little anemic to me I'm actually gonna have a little bit of that base back and I'm gonna bump this middle all right that's cool enough but let's uh try this I had a completely separate tribes I'm looking for something a little more thickness so we've got full tone in full of the on that let's go the eternal love and I'm going to bring this tone down a little bit that up that down see what we got on the cabinet way have you without sounding and yeah so cool now it's firing both up I'm gonna turn this cab up a little bit cool let's make another scene where we've got dryness all around and, uh well let's keep the river when it will turn this flander online oh yeah uh uh all right, so there we go and you've got some scenes in here to mess with and you guys get down on the presets unnecessary seen flander they're unnecessary flander there and unnecessary dr doing a little scene cleanup uh huh let's. See if we have the cpu here, let's, find out. I'm plugged into the editor, so it's using a little what's. The view that's. Not something you would want to play any specific, very detailed stuff through, but it's. Very cool for all right, pretty happy with that one.

Class Description

The Axe-Fx Master Class is your advanced training on utilizing the most important capabilities on your Fractal Audio Axe-Fx. You’ll learn about setting up the Axe-Fx to get the sound you want in the studio and on stage. Cooper Carter will discuss:

  • Live rigs: How to set up rigs that use both direct and a cab on stage and the important differences
  • Cabinets: Installation of 3rd party impulse responses (IRs) and making IRs from your own cabinets.
  • Effects blocks: Tips to unlock the full potential of chorus, compressor, and delay effects.
  • System configuration: How to switch up firmware, patches, and more.

You’ll also learn about the most untapped, underutilized part of the Axe-Fx: modifiers. Cooper will show you how to use modifiers like ADSR, LFO, sequencer, and pitch. You’ll also learn how to use external pedals and switches to get unprecedented control over values and scenes in a live setting.

Watch the Axe-Fx Master Class taught by master guitarist and music instructor Cooper Carter and learn how to get more out of your Axe-Fx.

Reviews

Razvan Cirligeanu
 

Hello there, This is the next step if you are serious about the AxeFX. It helped me to use features, great features, that I wouldn't EVER have the patience to explore by myself. Yeah, I am lazy... Coop makes it easy, I got more than I expected from this class. One demand: Please, Coop, upgrade the info, there are so many great updates since you recorded this class. Thanks, Razvan