Modifiers: Physical Pedals


Axe-Fx Master Class


Lesson Info

Modifiers: Physical Pedals

Hello to you all uh start off with this slide here last class we talked a lot about the basics of the expect, so we're basically talking about, you know, how to get a good tone approached it really from a standpoint of let's use this in the way that we showed his guitarists, which is like, you know, to get a great sound, to be able to play well on, get something, it really fits you're playing, so we went through a lot of stuff. We went through amps, we went through calves, we went through effects, we got into the more advanced stuff, but overwhelmingly the biggest request for the second class was to get into the modifiers any expects? So that's first thing we're going to do, we'll talk about external and internal forms of control, so physical petals and then also the internal controllers in the expects I hesitate to say that it's, the most powerful part of the expects given how much in the expects is so insanely powerful, but the power of modifiers this pretty extreme, so we're gonna s...

tart pretty basic on dh then we're going to get by the end of it pretty complicated we're going to do some stuff now, and they're going to some stuff in the last segment that gets more into some of the crazier different types of controllers ex sequencers that kind of stuff so we're going to jump right in right here modifying the expects who were going about physical pedals seen controllers envelope modifiers and pitch modifiers those were kind of in my mind the most useful of the controllers in the axe effects those last three being actual controllers the first one being a form of external control so first off you do physical petals on go to the pedal board here uh you'll see I've got to mission engineering petals on the left of that slide you'll see fractals forthcoming expression pedal there a lot of expression petals out there he's the mission engineering ones so I'm going to show you guys basically I've got this pedal here set to the external controller one in the expects if you guys don't know how to set a pedal to do that I've got it youtube video through g sixty six fractals european distributor on how to set up that pedal basically you just need to program the nfc to read the cc number for external control one which I believe I thought my head is sixteen on then you'll be able to assign this pedal to do pretty much whatever we want so let's get started go to the editor and start showing how we can make it do whatever we want I'm just going to start off by building a little simple preset here I'm going to do on amp and the cabinet and uh I'm gonna set this tow something fun let's just go with a doesn't really matter but I'm gonna make it that if you go with this basket weave a v um actually going with the tv we've got the brits over here so real simple sounds like I'm a little out of tune all right? So basically, the thing that keep in mind about modifiers is that there are a ton of parameters in the expects that can be modified anything with this little symbol right here this little square kind of rectangle thing with line on it you can right click on and modify and you can pick a source for the modifier on you all these different things lf owes a dsr sequencer envelope pitch all the external controllers and in this case we're gonna be talking about external one, which is our pedal you've got the manual button or manual knobs rather which are the four manual knobs on the front of the expects and then our two seen controllers, which we're gonna talk about in a couple minutes. So the most simple form of doing this and I think the most common thing people wonder about is how do you get the pedal to control a walk little so what I'm going to do is go in here, put a wall block and right here we've got to control so if I play a cord and start messing with this control? Not manually, you'll hear what it does basically making a while with my mouse and it does not some very good. So what we want to do is right. Click on there and pick a source as external one. And what that's done is set my pedal on the msc to control this watch. Now what we want to dio you have several different options of how to control this while you've got auto engage which is going to make it turn on when you move the pedal and then also I have this mission pedal with a switch on it that's going to actually turn the bypass state of the law on or off when I step on the pedal so and there are several different things you can do in here to make it a little more natural. Eso what essentially the most important bremer I would talk about is damping. What that's going to do is basically just make the response time a little bit slower so that every tiny little move of my foot is not going to send a c c control message. Just because you know what? Little being an analog thing is a little less precise. Then this digital controlled pedal s o I'm actually just going toe turn the stamping upto not much but like fifteen maybe and she's going to give it a little more of like a slow throw some guys may want that a little lower I like it there so let's check out how that sounds as you can see it's basically we've just set a modifier on this control to make that happen very straightforward so another great example of when you might want to use this is on a volume pedal, so for the sake of simplicity I'm going to use the same controller we're going put a volume block in and we're going to do the exact same thing so on this we're going right click we're gonna go to external won and now we have all this said I'm gonna leave it how it is and the pedal is going to control the output volume since we put it after the amp and what I'm going to do is just show you how you know we can do this right? So we're essentially controlling the amount of level in real time so for example, if we put something like a multi delay after that we can turn off the signal going into the multi delay in real time obviously you could also put this a tw the beginning some guys like their volume pedals there I've put it here so that really is the simplest form of modifiers I'm a save that we've got that pre set here. Um, um I also encourage you to follow along on the axe editor and please do update your firm where on the expects first and get the latest version of novak said it and also fractal bought and cab lab if you don't have it, we're going to doing all of those, but you should follow along and build these process with me, it's going to be a lot more useful to you a spark construction goes, I've always found it's easier for me to remember things, but doing it along with but up to you guys. Like I said, if you buy the class, you are also going to get the presets so here's another one of the most common requests for external control. So we've got this pedal set on. I hope you all understand how we've got about setting that up kind of glossed over the actual of setting of the pedal itself and actually going to go with jeff isthe oh, yeah, and into that high game, all right, we're gonna create a whammy pedal here, real simple it's gonna get a pitch block and we're going to set this teo let's see, yeah, we'll do classic clammy. All right, the difference between the classic claiming the advanced with me, by the way, is the difference in the amount of activists I believe uh if I'm incorrect about that somebody correct me on there but I think that's s o basically just like with law and just like with the volume we're gonna modify one parameter this control uh with external one but one difference we wantto wonderful between what we've done with the other ones but we're going to hear is that we actually want to put this mix two, one hundred you'll see why so if I do this now, um signaling it sounds bizarre so a riel physical, real world winning pedal eyes not going any of the driving's and there's a in that getting tom morello world or marooned by pink floyd was my personal favorite lammy track I'm actually going up this noise get a little bit because that noise is driving me crazy uh that's my laptop home through a high gain amplifier. So um that's just a super basic waning paddle we've created using an external control now to make a little more fun let's actually add another pitch black in here and I'm going to show you how we can go about modifying the curves on a modifier so we're modifying the modern record on this one as you can see we look at this graph we go as we increase on the x axis on the y axis we've got a one to one relationship we're going from zero a to bottom left to one hundred percent in this minimum and maximum with the middle point being fifty it's all just you know super super linear that's what we're going to do on here is we've got the same settings so we don't now we have the same setting and we're going to go in here and adjust this control to be external one but we're gonna flip I'm sorry we're not going to flip that we're gonna flip uh start value and that's gonna type that because I'm tired of using my house so it's going to be going the opposite way so when we put the pedal up it's going to be a way down settle down it's going all the way up so it's inverted so we're going to get and I could just bypass ah so you can hear it um that I was down when our toes up and this one is uh and if we don't make that a little more pronounced, why don't we just said this one for so it's it's kind of a weird combo sound this is basically that's not really sound I would actually use but it's basically to illustrate that weaken flip these things on dh you could get some really wacky stuff by going in here and like adjusting how quickly he's responding in some of the later modifiers we're actually going to get uh into some pretty complicated curves for now I'm going to move on and we'll talk about my personal other than the uaw favorite most applicable way of using this which is setting a pedal to control the rate of your modulation effects so again I'm just gonna make a riel simple preset we're just gonna anthem cab and uh on this one I'm actually going to slight the much cleaner ample fire and then leave I've been playing with so far we go with the uh double verb here all right and let's just see what we got I am gonna play this game quickly you're all invited tio get some coffee or something well I'm playing the most common guitar song all right there you go okay, so we've talked about how we can just one to one control the control of something as you've noticed the knobs that we've been modifying or all called control because these air things that are commonly controlled in the real world by a pedal eso we've essentially tied these blocks that are separate from a pedal to a real pedal now what we're going to do though is talk about how we can use thes to effect to change some of the parameters of effects that are less commonly controlled by a foot pedal they may be controlled by a switch in often cases they're controlled by in the case of a rotary by an external switch so what I'm gonna do is first we talk about this tremolo block and we have this rate parameter here so just right off the bat default settings really nice tremolo sounds a lot like the internal trim you'd find on a fender type ample fire that has an internal tremolo but we want to take it one step further so what I'm going to do is go to this rape parameter here and as you can see when I select external one unlike with the percentage values of our control pedals before we've got in our minimum and maximum these hurts values so the modifier is adjusting to reflect the values that we're modifying here which is the rate of this trip alone so as it is right now if the petals all the way down thank god this super super super slow trump oil on a federal level up we've got this like you know play the rest of the song because it's copyrighted but we've got this super fast tremolo so I would never want to trim a load that low so I'm gonna put the minimum at let's see how that sounds about one actually a little slow even I will bring it to the max it like you can see that with the default settings that I've got when it's down it's slow when it's up it's fast but when I move my foot on by the way, obviously anywhere in between it'll do a different value as well have been going zero to one hundred, but if it's in the middle, it'll be somewhere between two point one eight point three so say five a zay move my foot there's a one to one direct relationship between where I am and what's happening, so I want to make something kind of neat here and I'll show you in the rotary block that there's a ramp up speed there isn't usually a ramp up speed in a tremolo in an amplifier usually it's a switch and it goes from fast, too slow if there is a switch at all aa lot of times it's just one rate you can either turn it on and you can turn it off, but what I'm going to do is adjust this damping parameter tio like five hundred milliseconds and what that's going to do is basically just create this lag in the er in the modifier curve and just so it's super extreme I'll put it way up to a full second and you can see it takes an entire second to go from zero to one hundred so if I play it's going to slowly ramp up a lot the same way that a rotary speaker is going to slowly ramp up, which I think is a really a really cool way of doing that? I mean, I'm gonna lower it because entire second is kind of ridiculous, but so weii modified the way that this modifier is acting um so that's our ray parameter on our tremolo now I have a life pre set that I use for a lot of gigs where I've got external won this pedal right here as my watch hell as my tremolo rate and is my rotary rate and the way that I can have it do all three is because I never have an instance hello where I'm having tremolo rotary and walk on at the same time they're all kind of mutually exclusive attn leased in my playing maybe there's some guys they're going put a while in a rotary affected sound I can't imagine doing it so with the rotary we have essentially that damping parameter already in this block this high time, constant and low time constant actually the ramp up speeds of the horn and the drum respectively in this rotary. So if we go ahead and set external one here on, we set the minimum to say one in the maximum to ten we already have a little bit of ramp up speed from this right here and we can adjust it with this knob so we don't actually have to do any damping on this modifier itself, so if we play this so there we go we've just created a preset that uses the same pedal to change the rate of both, and if we use the power of scenes we can have for example, this dry kind of fender twin ish sound based on eight hundred twenty on this one, we can have the tremolo actually up that a little bit because seems a little low to me on then in this third scene, we could go ahead and have the rotary, so now we have three scenes and in these two the same pedal controlling two different things we could even go ahead on and put this wall pedal in and have it doing, uh, the same thing on the external pedal so that basically you've got the pedal controlling three different things on and neither one of them none of them is going to be on at any given time with another, so the pedal is completely independent in each scene, someone go ahead and save that a tw this point, we're gonna we've talked about kind of the way that physical pedals can do common things let's talk about my favorite part of modifiers, which is using them for things that most guys would probably not, uh not think about modifying in the real world mainly because you can't and the beauty of the expects is that you could do a lot of stuff that is not really possible in the physical world of amplifiers on is really the beauty of modifiers is that there's so many parameters you can change in real time with them so what I'm gonna do is go ahead and create another simple precept here and I'm gonna go with that uh source or a cab ultras again okay so here what I'm gonna dio is on this amp gain here the input drive I'm actually turn this master of all of it I'm gonna go ahead and attach a modifier to this amplifier drive here external one still using this pedal and as you can see the modifiers changed to reflect the scale of the parameter we're modifying again so we're with the control and then with the rate and hurts and now we have this input drive from zero to ten so the minimum obviously I don't want a minimum amount of dr b zero because the amp isn't going to be on so I'm gonna put it at about two point five which I feel like it's a good amount of nice amount of gain I'm gonna actually turn this level down in the and it's a little loud um back in the modifier here and then the maximum I want is somewhere around eight um which is kind of a theme you see as I move the pedal up increasing amount of drive I will make this a little more extreme district and so that the dr prender actually does a little bit mohr we're going up this master volume so the difference between the low driving high drives little or start this is I raised the pedal it becomes supersaturated so more in the territory of what you'd want for a lead so if you played rhythm with little weight if you play with little doubt it's much more much more tight is the drive is lower puts pedal up a much better lead tone uh so we're changing the amount of driving the amplifier with a pedal cool enough already but what happens if we go ahead and put in a river? Uh I'm actually put that there and uh then put in a delay there are a lot of parameters in here as you can see with this little symbol so we can modify a lot of these parameters so let's go ahead and put the delay on the same controller and for the minimum I don't want uh let's see actually I'm sorry I'm not going that was the wrong wrong we're not going to do the time the time we're going toe set it like my standard delay time, which is three hundred thirty three all right, we're actually going to do this we're going to know the mix because I clicked on the wrong button and we're gonna have a minimum zero percent mix and then max is going to be crazy that's gonna sound like this where there's no dry signal so we're gonna put thirty percent, which is a pretty, uh, aggressive amount of river. I'm sorry delay, but it's a good amount of the way for a lead so let's so I'm actually bring it down a little bit that's a lot of the way and then on the reverb, I'm gonna go in here and we're going to do the exact same thing I'm gonna first off increase this time a little bit on not that much. I put it there, we're gonna modify this mix that again we're using the same pedal for all of these and you'll see why in a second. So on this reverb, I want the minimum to be fifteen and the maximum to be somewhere around thirty s o if we bypass this delay, we can hear the difference between this, who is a lot tighter mix and you can see this. The number isn't changing. You can't actually see when I point the number isn't changing here, but you can see that this is changing and then also same deal going on here and then if we turn this the lay back on, you've got the same thing happening here, okay, so as it is right now, at the bottom of the pedal top bottom we have a little bit of dr no delay and a little bit of river and at the top we've got a hell of a lot of drive a lot of the way and a huge river, which I would not play chords with our play your way? All right, pretty cool we've got an instant kind of solo solo pedal where we can be at the bottom with a rhythm on the and gain up and lay up everything for a solo so you take a lead break just by adjusting the pedal let's make this a little bit more usable, though what I'm gonna do is go in to the amplifier here and in this modifier I'm gonna start messing with this curve so we don't want it to be completely linear I'm going to take this scale and put it all the way it tends we've got this really aggressive kind of hard edged uh, curve I'm also going to bring this mid down a little bit so that when we moved the pedal, we more quickly get into this kind of lead territory so that you've got this amount of time that you're on your rhythm patch and then this kind of ramp up time but then you've got mohr of this pedal for lead so that what that's going what's going to happen that you hit your lead amount of gain sooner so that you can then have some more time to decide how much reverb and delay you want while you're still at the same game volume so say you've got kind of a fast passage you use a little bit of reverb and a little bit of delay, so the notes are clear, you've got more of a soaring passage, you hit it all the way up and you've got a lot of reverb in a lot of delay, but you're still on the same amount of game for the entire time. So what that's doing is making a much larger area of usable solo game. All right, so we're gonna go into the delay block actually was going to report personally to see what this does is one of the mix er I'm going to do the same thing, I'm gonna just the curve a little bit um see up this midpoint and basically event well, that's going to do is sort of the same thing I just want to be able to bring in it's gonna mess with this here for a second, I won't be able to bring in a little more reverb while I'm still because remember, the amps stays in rhythm territory until about here, so I want to bring a little bit more reverb into my rhythm tone but then have it kind of even out on the river as we go into our lead territory, so then again with the delay, we're goingto do kind of the same thing, and I'm gonna bring this mid down, way, way down so that as you move the pedal to get a rhythm tone with more river, but you still don't have a rhythm tone with any delay because you don't really want delay on a rhythm telling at least I don't. So this whole territory, we've got no delay, and then as you move firmly out of the rhythm curve on the amplifier, uh, you've now gained yourself, eh? So by the time we get here, we're starting to get out of rhythm territory and into solo territory. We've started to create some delay for ourselves, so, uh, I hope everybody's following along with that, and we can check it out. We've got a rhythm here at the booth, our rhythm with morgaine that's still know the way, way up for the top brought in some delay got a lot of sustained because we've got a lot of games, and then we go all the way up into that territory where everything's right at the top. Theo, wait, we've attached all of those to the same pedal, so we've got this really nice, very usable. Sweep so that we can go from a rhythm to a rhythm with more reverb to lead with a little bit of delay to lead with a ton of delay and it's all a one pedal that you can adjust in real time. That is like the ultimate power of modifiers like this on a pedal it's it's, a super powerful feature. I really invite you guys to go into all of your favorite blocks, chorus plans or what have you and check out just how many parameters have have a little button next to him. And in the latest firmware, the last two farmers actually, you'll notice that the river gets this wonderful little hold button. I highly encourage you to check out what happens when you attach controller to the reverb hold and then kick it on. After playing accord, you get this amazing, lush, endless reverb kind of center patch things so that's ah, that's it for the physical petals section of the modifiers.

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