Building Fractal Rig: 4 Cable Method


Axe-Fx Master Class


Lesson Info

Building Fractal Rig: 4 Cable Method

The four cable method as I mentioned before is essentially using the expects both as a pedal board that you put in front of the amp and iraq of effects that you put in the effects loop open and what effects very appropriate to put in each spot the the technical answer is you put whatever you want wherever you want if it sounds good there no rules this is music uh this is the expect so you could just drag it wherever you want you're not gonna blow anything up the worst you're gonna do is cause a feedback loop maybe and kill you're hearing but that's only if you get really crazy so compressors wah pedals dr pedals sometimes phasers sometimes landers sometimes courses depending on what you're trying to do will go in front trying to get a vintage sound you might put the lay in front but if you have an effects lupin able damp you're probably going to put any kind of time based or modulation effects in the loop so for example we're talking delays re verbs flanders choruses phasers enhancers ...

um pitch blocks I would probably put before too depending what you're trying to do with it um so yeah let's ah head over here and rewire all of this stuff basically what we want to do is keep that slide on the screen for a little bit so people can just kind of figure out what's going on there and kellen is sort of a good time for you to pad your inputs because I'm about to start ripping things apart all right? I don't need that anymore I'm also moving this might come of course is our audio guy on this one yes, not some random guys so as you can see, I've got three cables here one, two, three and uh I've got one cable here just my guitar cable ah, and essentially what I'm gonna d'oh is pull all of our full range gear out because, uh we're not going to be using it we got a blank back here and if you look at the grid, the diagram rather it's pretty easy to trace what's going on so we're going into the expects on the guitar like usual uh and then we're coming out about put two and going into the front of the amp so basically what we're doing there, this line is carrying all of our pre effects so the drives, compressors and all of it himself uh we're coming out of the expects into the return and then through the send into the end of the expects so we're putting like, on cleaving our post fix rather you can also we don't have another one I guess we could technically run into that as well, but it sound different um you could do stereo throughout put one in this case for listeria delays and whatnot the started linus for a hypothetical second amplifier so we're already going into the front expects um we've got all of this wonderfully labeled we'll start from left to right so we're going to follow the signal chain as it goes this is going into the front of the amp and it is coming out of output too left so on this being out but two means we're going to send this through the effects loop block the effects lou block again here standing in not so much for the effects loop but for the output to sort of call the up to block kind of all right so from here you've got put two left and this is going to be receiving signal hello this is uh, something you don't run into when you go direct with the ex this cables all right? And we're going into the sendai say going into only cause I hook that up in reverse because I was closer to the expects when I was talking really it's coming out of the effects end and into the expects um and now I'll do this in the correct order here yet again tangled cables um this's output one and we're going into the six return so we're sending signal back into damp now I have done this on lee s o we don't have to move the expects but in a real world situation you would probably have you know your head in iraq and he expects in iraq right next to it you'd make these very short cable runs you would also use hum busting cables in an ideal world which are tiaras someone and t s on the other it's going to severely lower severely was a weird word but significantly is a better one lower the amount of noise he expects is already industry leading quiet as faras noise goes using home busting cables is going to completely eliminate ground loops and all that kind of stuff but at this point we're set a ce faras the routing goes and we got a blank grid I turn on the sample fire I want you to keep in mind at this point that we've completely removed any full range stuff from this system at this point the expects is an effects unit for a physical and fire and cabinet unit we're not doing any we're not using any cab blocks and blocks we're just this is all effects now at this point there a lot of guys using it like that a lot of programs use it like that who have for example, signature amps that they want to take out on the road so let's start checking out kind of how this works it's a super super powerful solution again we don't need any petals on the floor on dh that we're old just going to access the full power of the expects through ah through all its effects blocks so you know I forgot to take it off standby because well frankly it's been years since I've turned on a too bad because I've had the expect so all right so right now and that's uh probably gonna be pretty loud yeah ask me free love let's uh maybe turned that down hold it turned down in general I could also turn it down on the expects but I wantto so you've got a blank greater moment if we go to the editor and first thing I want to do is add its effects the pure basically what that's doing is creating a gap between pre and post effects so let's add dr phil we're just gonna build you know, a little petal board so to speak hopefully uh got some reason you need to double check these cables I think in a second kellen remember I said I was not going to do that but I think I just did it actually turn the volume down a little bit here you got that pre we've got uh well, we kind of did phase or last time but do phaser again let's uh let's throw a pre chorus I know I said we're gonna put a modulation fix in the loop but I kind of like we owe all right hello there need to be down there um and we can add let's say so again these are just things that you would put on a pedal board if you were doing this in the physical world we're going to do it here so we can uh go ahead and check out and I turned that on with my foot switch enough the camera caught that but that's why the block didn't actually looked like it was coming on so now we're gonna add some post effects and again with that we're talking time based stuff delays um re verbs like this right? And then also modulation based effects that we're going to have a different a more transparent sound because they're not being affected by the pre empt if we put them in the loop so all right, so basically now you've got this full rig so that is kind of a full rig that's utilizing just the amp we've got a full bevy of effects going on in the front so for example in your terms dr pedal here way we're gonna want a little more driving that so ana let's go with the medal all right? I like that river tell me and then you come here you could add like a um see like a super super cavernous reverb here well, I had one of the church rivers yeah that's how yeah all right so this is our standard for cable method preset we've got pre effects we've got the effects loop and we've got our post effects as well all right so next kind of trick and this is a kind of a secret I don't say secret post effects set up but this is something that eyes maybe counterintuitive to the whole idea behind the four cable methods so the four cable method is designed to use the expects of effects without its ants and in the post effects so really a tw no point are you using any of the ant simulations the cabinet simulations but weaken dio is save this preset uh to a new slot save it here I might call it uh seventeen and we're gonna call this for cable uh for cable plus all right, now we've got these effects and we're happy with how they sound when I'm gonna dio is uh going here and tap off right before uh before we hit that effects lou I'm gonna come back in before we hit that what I'm gonna dio is add an amplifier block this might get really loud for sick but what I want todo is uh at a super clean and so yeah let's go with that all right put this on mute mute as well so what we've now done effectively is bypassed the effects lou so sending through from the pre to the post we've added in our own amplifier that's going on lee into the power section of the ample far way now have this channel of the amp which is the actual head way have this which is our simulated and going into the power section alone the benefit of that is if we cranked the driveway up on the sam we have a dirty and then we have a clean or we can have two completely separate sounds and we're doing essentially what we did in the rigs here about that slide um so all of these with like an agreeable effects return is what we're talking about in this situation so essentially we're sending an amp into the effects return er and making an independent amplifier channel that we can make to whatever we want uh you know say we uh wantto make a hard core like super shred e sound wearing that way down um again remember going into the power of this one so waken match the levels here by just by passing these kind of listening and then all right now you know I just flip those doesn't matter really flipping back because it keeps me sane so we're gonna dio isn't seen one we're going to use the physical amplifier with uh let's just do it dry seem to you know use the amp simulated and uh with the delay and this huge river scene three we use the physical lamp with us of course is from dr so now we've got different scenes that way don't want both of those they will have different sounds happening so in this one you've got just you know regular old amped our simulated scene three we had the physical and with song I can't play all of and then for we'll do the simulated amp with our short reverb and a little flandreau on it there we go all right so I must say that as for cable pulis and but I want to say quickly ah, a little trick that a lot of people don't we talked a lot about the effects loop being used is output to that sort of thing here is probably the best kept secret of the expects and the single most useful trick for anybody who's recording in a professional studio so a lot of people use the expects the way I do which is that when you're at home you can run the usb direct in as a sound card you don't need tio convert from d back today out the back uh so you're going directly through usb into your dog recordings you've got to channel the stereo to stereo channels you got one two and you got a third channel that's a d I if you're in a professional recording studio has like a pro tools hd system or something that does not play nicely with the expects his usb driver you're going out of the back analog s e you want to get a direct signal to say you don't have a direct box, what you can do and if we can zoom in on a turn these volumes down here but zoom in on this screen here and if you go the io menu you go down, you will see this selection called output to echo output to echo used to be called a copy I want to you can scroll through here, you can select up put one in put one of those were two options you can either mirror the exact same thing that's coming out about put one toe help too or say in put one out of two so this all these uses that we've done for opportunities that cabinet power have for cable, all that, uh this is my favorite one, which is that if you said this to input one and come out of the back of up to, you know, have a one hundred percent unaltered analog die single you can use for revamping. Um, a lot of people don't know that I actually didn't know that until matt from fractal told me that's a godsend if you don't have a radio box or something on you want to die and you're not tracking over u s b it's not something that ever occurred to me because I used the usb all the time and a lot of people do but there you go quick trick file that one away maybe I'll post that one on the forum so it's there in black and white for you guys too? Are there questions got a few that we want to hit you guys could get ready as well you've got me uh this first one a couple from people voted for it when using a fire far for live use is there any settings you use as a high pass lopez filter as a start point in presets to bring down unwanted frequencies at high levels? If so, where do you do this amp cab filter huge. Okay, so I'm gonna go back to prison inmate that's safe I'm gonna go back to our far if our one of our far far presets let's say uh it doesn't really matter. Okay? Uh my answer that question is I try never to get myself in that situation because I always dial at a high level high volume um fletcher months and curves or evil loudness is evil a cz we all know his guitarists we all don't always have the luxury of dialing at big volume I find that the axe effects does incredibly well and translates very well from a a bedroom set up like a home set up to a live set up if you have it at all loud I'm not talking ear splitting loud I'm talking like if you're dialing at three p m on a friday your neighbors khun totally deal with it that kind of level the whole idea behind dialing loud is that obviously the fletcher months anchors become less important it's diminishing returns so like the difference between pretty loud and p a loud is not as big as the difference between like pretty quiet and pretty loud in your bedroom there's a lot more going on here than there is going on here, so if you start here ending up here is much less of a difference I've never really had an issue with that that said I'll show you how you could take care of that. Obviously if we look at the, uh, effects here, there are so many different ways to get the graphic e here you got the parametric you you've got the accused in the and block itself, which manifest here there are a lot of them you also don't forget um have the global in queue and that would be my recommendation as where to start dialing if you run into a situation where you find that you've got too much going on in the lows or too much going on the highs or, uh, your tone sounding a little anemic usually the problem I've run into is a lot of times I find that my tones air too bright for the p a is that I have encountering and honestly I recommend if we've got this camera angle I recommend the globally q because that's not based on presents you know you might have five presets you show up to a venue you find out you're spiking like too much a k or like you've got way too much in the low end you have to go through five presets at api huge all those change all of them what you could do is make a global block peak you so and put that in all five your presets so that you can globally change one it will change all of them that's a really global box or a super powerful feature my recommendation though would be to just go into the globally hugh because uh not only do you have incredible control over the bands you also have this gains you can adjust the output and they're independent for output one and output to so the real power of globally hugh is that if you have for example a setup like this that we did before where you're going full range and you're going with a cab and you find out that the rooms just a little too bright you can adjust both of them without putting anything in any of your presets so if you have five presets that both that all have both cab and fro far that's tenney cues pretty much that you're going to have to deal with this is to, you know, so apple one apple to done eso answer your question, I would go global always in a big situation like that, but the best recommendation is just tweak loud, I will say one more thing I tweak loud so that I get a good feedback in response to my guitar and interaction between the guitar and the the speakers, but I also can't hear that I wear my ten ears when I'm tweaking and it get it to where it sounds really good in my in years, and then, frankly, I don't care what happens that's up to the sound guy to make it sound good out there? Uh, my reasons for that are twofold. One uh, my and your sound better than anything I've ever heard. So I'm pretty confident that that sound is going to be generally what is going to be translated out? Uh, number two it's what I'm hearing, and if I think it sounds good, we all know, like if you're comfortable, you play way better or way more confident. If your tone sucks, you're going to suck it just kind of you're fighting your total night within years and going direct with the axe effects there's no room interaction, it doesn't matter if you're playing in a stadium or a bar if you've got the expects it's going direct and you've got in ears, you're hearing the exact same thing everywhere, which is awesome that's why guys like periphery go direct in on in years because they play well, maybe play small clubs here and they go to europe to play bigger places or whatever. You know, guys like animals, leaders who are touring russia one week and then touring, you know, the u s and the south the next week, we're talking crazy venue changes, but if you've dialed on your in years, you're going to the same thing every night, which is fantastic. So I highly recommend doing that if you're on here's, everything you can do is tweak on a monitor and then bring that monitor to the gate, you know? I mean, don't be afraid to just tell the guy I want to switch out the monitor. It's totally valid. So, uh, let's say, next question, do you want to put a filter on the fx loop out to your real cabs? Most guitar speakers are only efficient from seventy to five thousand hertz could you speak to whether this would be useful to use the low and high cut, uh, that's again that's like is it useful? Is it to you would be useful to me no, I don't use a cab on stage you know would be useful to some guy who wells the sound his cab yes, but you're talking about the effective spectrum of a guitar cabinet you just mentioned you know, several thousand levels of stuff you could filter there you know? I mean the range of a guitar cabinet is not as big as this but is there still plenty to filter? I mean I could stick a you know this carve the giant swath out of the middle and make all the tone of that thing almost disappear so I mean is that useful? Maybe is the answer to that should time based effects within the axe effects for high gain amps be treated the same as traditional amps and put in the fx lip I would ok, so generally speaking you're putting time bass effects in the ex effects loop regardless that said guys who want a more vintage sound or putting it in front because for a very long time there were no effects loops effects loops are relatively recent invention so nobody was putting time based effects in the effects lou because there weren't effects loops uh as a general rule the higher game the amp the more you're going to want to put stuff in the effects loop that's, time based modulation based you know, I could get it on and like a fender twin or a dumbbell, or although doubles came out with the w later so they could have effects. Lupin, you got things like a fender twin guys, we're putting delays into that for a long time, so when you hear a fender twin and something kicks on a delay, you're expecting to hear it as it would sound through both the pre on the power and section. So, you know, you've got guys like joe bonner masa who are running really fairly high gain stuff on dh he will send some, he has some post, but also he'll send some stuff into the front because it's a more vintage sound, but as a rule, I would say the higher the game, the more necessary it is to use the effects loop just cause it gets a little ugly, but again, it's like totally up to you, I mean it really especially less with time, time based, I would say, as a rule, just stick it in effect because there's really no reason not to modulation effects with one where there's a little wig over of a chorus will sound very, very different before that it'll sound ineffectual, it says that he's going to do a completely different thing it's a lot. You can think of it a lot. The same is putting a wall in front of a drive or behind a drive, it's going very different affect one's going to be much more aggressive that's. Kind of how you can think of the effects, lou, because the pre amp is where you're getting most of your distortion or all of it with a high gain, and you're getting almost all of it for the pre m. So you can think of that like a dr pedal what's going to sound like if you put a while before dr weir after dr what's going to sound like if you put a chorus before or after the pre empt it's kind of not a one to one thing, but it's a good analogy to think about it when you're doing it, but again, it's the expects convert everyone, drop it there, see if it sounds good. It sounds like crab put it back, controls he'd done.

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.


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