Dialing in a Rock Tone


Using the Axe-Fx


Lesson Info

Dialing in a Rock Tone

This is the hindenburg exploding. There wasn't a picture of jimmy page dresses a jet eye rolling stone did a great photo sequence where it was famous guitarists and rock musicians in scenes from star wars and being a huge star wars fan I had to put it was a superimposed jimmy page face on luke skywalker in jabba's palace uh, it was pretty great, but it ran afoul, so we have this hanbury explosion and said, I'm sorry to the people if you're offended by that, I have to get over it, all right? So the whole basis behind rock tones always has been and until the kind of introduction of the kind of rectifier amps, it was all about power to distortion, so obviously, you know, with the first amplifiers, you couldn't really get a lot of distortion out of the prion you couldn't get any distortion at all because the prevailing wisdom about guitar was making as clean as possible and then get it as loud as possible without affecting that clean sounds that you had amplifiers like the fender basement ...

that was actually a basic and guys were trying to get the guitar louder than the horn sections and big bands you know, for swing and that kind of thing, but then you have guys coming along on dh, you know, they're obviously were some earlier pioneers, but when I think of guys who are really trying to abuse their amplifiers it was jimi hendrix and pete townsend and they were trying to get them is distorted as possible so they would crank the power tubes all the way up and try and get distortion but the way that the ants were designed they just weren't designed to do that really so I think a lot of people in the expected like how can I get that big rock sound without getting too high? Gainey on the solution is use the master volume and um and not the dr knob to get where you want to be so I've added a block here and I'm going to go on we've got so many this I think is really where they expect skinned alive there are so many amazing rock amplifiers and here uh I like the record type am a lot it's based on a train wreck which is a boutique and a fire it's kind of a marshal clones sort of but the record is a little um a little more high gain maybe than what some people would want to use it it gets a little angry especially to get into like the second record and the record liverpool caesar like riel rial hard rock and amps I'll just throw a a default cab block here will go with thea just lets see go to the ultra rez cabs and uh pick this one right here and you can hear so that's kind of ah maybe a little more distorted than some people would go for right off the bat because so many people love the kind of marshal type plexi sound I think we should start with a plexi am so let's go we'll go into this hundred white plexi uh well maybe you start with the jump one which is just a little they're up on the chain on the normal one ous faras the drive goes um but the let's see yeah so let's check something real quick. Okay, cool all right yeah. So let's start here and again in the real world the samp doesn't have a master volume um I think in which case so that would be wise on ten so this is going to kind of be where you're getting all of that distortion so if you crank it down cleaner here if we get that all the way up will actually take up this second driving I was well, a little bit get a real fluffy bottom in and ugly not good for chugging along, you know? So we want to dial this back well, dallas back you don't get as much of a defined sound when you start dining these things and really driving the amplifier heart so wait, you've got that nice kind of squishiness too for lead so up here really kind of holds onto the notes. Well, the problem is you got to meet somewhere in the middle because when you get down here lose that clarity so I'm going to start taking the trouble and the mids up a little bit here and you guys uh following along at home you are welcome to do whatever you would like to get the sound where you want it I'm just kind of doing what I would do the first thing I'm gonna do is hit this uh actually turn that back up a little bit. I'm gonna hit this cut switch and basically what that's doing the base cut it's before the distortion any amplifier and so it's simulating essentially what putting a tube screamer in front with the drive on zero is going to do is just gonna tighten up to sound a little bit someone had chug along here for a second I actually thought that things up they're gonna hear without it cut I'm more clarity in the bottom and I'll do that one more times you guys gonna hear it? Jamie if you just want to mute me and just have the tone here for a second on ah to find so yes, sir interrupting one of the questions from the chat room was when do you use a mite and kind and what we're going to get in the cab block is that something you do here? Yeah. Okay, so we're gonna get to that later right now I'm using this eye are here and this has a microphone burned into a these ultra rez I ours and so I again I'm gonna get into this later but I don't like to use the mikes with the ultra rez cabs because they were made with a very specific mike and a pre amp and the mic position and everything that was chosen by the producer of the cabinet pack uh, you can throw a mike in there and I'll just do it you can see, but basically the mike is just gonna act like a really powerful q in this case and start shaping the tone away from what it was in this ira so, like, the are one twenty one here just gonna really boost certain frequencies. So like obviously that introduced a lot of kind of low in and then like the fifty seven classic more many kind of a little more great on the top, clicking three and kind of hear the tones changing as they go again with the I r is it's kind of getting away from you know what was intended by the producer? And I would be mohr apt mohr I guess inclined rather to start changing the I r if I didn't like the sound of the cab out of the box so we got to kind of pick it up a little bit here because I want to do a couple things to this to kind of make it a little tighter esso I did that base cut right off the bat which is a good start on a business level a little bit all right, so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to go in and I'm gonna have to drive here and as you can hear it just got a lot louder. This is the rat distortion uh I am going to go in here and add a little bit of fuzz and because I'm a led zeppelin fan I'm going to use the bender fuzz is that what jimmy page would have been using? Um so well just play what this sounds like it's going pretty nasty with the level of the time drive with really frothy sounds like somebody just like carbonated the amplifier you know, it's a school for like a lead sound but it's super fuzzy is the is the term for it very, very fuzzy I want to just add a little bit of sizzle to it so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take the drive way down from where it is so so here it is without it ah pretty tight tone on that's you know it's pretty chunky it's about start sounding like a song so herself like that a cheap trick fans out there you're about to see where I was going to run afoul of copyright but s oh it's a it's a tight kind of nice chugging along so I want a little bit more of a I'm seeing this tone mohr is kind of like an anthemic rock tone, you know big of course cooper didn't cause the tightness isn't is important I think sort of interrupted for a clarification of some people are wondering what firm where are you using currently this's from where? Fifteen um okay, so I'm seeing where that question is coming from, I think probably it's going from concerns that people are having the same settings that I'm using, they're not getting the same kind of response in the drive if you're not on fifteen, the power amps section and fifteen has been completely reworked, and since this tone is relying a lot on power am fritz feel and it's dr, you're probably gonna get a very different response of these settings ifyou're on fourteen uh, highly recommend upgrading to fifteen for a lot of other reasons, not the least of which being that you're going to be getting closer to what I'm doing here if you upgrade fifteen, you can use fractal but to do that available on fractal audio dot com um and upgraded fifteen it will change some of your preset sounds but, uh, my opinion is it'll changing for the better, and you're going to get the benefit of a really intense reworking of the power and programming by cliff chase, the genius inventor of the expects who every couple weeks gives us a new firm where with amazing stuff in it so real quick, just before we kind of seal the deal on this tone, I want to kind of illustrate a little clearer the difference here between having this fuzz on and having it off so see you guys I can hear, I already kind of did the kind of chunky thing, but one of the ways I liked to tell what a tone is going to do is just kind of let the guitar said and don't play anything, we just kind of let the noise and the hum start going and then kick the thing on and off and it's really useful for, like, modulation effects like flander if you want to see how deep this sweep is going, so I'm just gonna turn on you can kind of hear what that's gonna do to my toe the other way to do it, it's his hold out a note. Ah, all right, so it's also going to make it a little bit brighter, so there's, because of how this pedal is theo, I'm turning it on put some high end in there, so if you don't like that, you can dial off this tone now right here down, you know, three and that's starting to sound pretty much exactly where I want to be in this territory. So let's, uh, go in here and start having some fun with the good stuff reverb is going to be remembered. We're going for a big rock rhythm tone here, so I'm going to go with ah, hall reverb and this is gonna be huge right off the bat, theo ah, a lot of reverb tail there, so I'm gonna dial this time down? I like the space that it since I'm not going to mess with the size and I'm actually gonna take them mix up a little bit so I want to dial down the time so it's not his present a ce faras when I'm done playing accord but while I'm playing it's gonna be a little more there so I'm liking how that's sounding and obviously we're just touching on the basic stuff here there's a lot of stuff you can go into in this river block there's way more in the am plock this is just kind of the introduction to how to go again from like a blank preset to atone that's really usable and I hope what you guys are seeing eyes that this is not taking very long at all and I'm not really changing a lot of stuff you know, I up the drive and I up this other drive to and when they're two drives on an amplifier, by the way on an amp locked the one that's on the left is going to be the one that's closer to the input on your amplifier I believe that's how it's structured so if you guys are looking at the real world amplifier and you're wondering which is which that's what that is so I want to show one thing on the amp like actually, which is a good point, which is that right now we've got this dr like acting is kind of a part of the rhythm tone, so it's a it's an integral part of what we're using for a rhythm if you wanted to kick it into overdrive for the solo um you could use another dr block you could use I don't know what it says on why, actually, but okay, I'm interesting uh, but what you could do is you can do this boost, which basically just increases the amount of dr you're getting the amplifier and I really, really, really like the boost control in the amp you don't really want to use it for rhythms because it's going to make them kind of fluffy uh you're going to die let out but for solos it's really sweet of just super saturated kind of sense it into hyper drive so I kind of play what it sounds like you do a little lead without it so that's a good I mean I would use that as a lead tone or rhythm tone which is kind of a lot of what guys in the seventies late sixties and early seventies were doing is they were using the same tone for dr and rhythm and just using the volume knob to kind of play with that because of how limited affect boxes were at that point on dh then people kind of later on got into switching as part of their live shows but really most of the guys that we know and love from like classic rock we're using the same tone for for rhythm and lead and they were just riding the volume knob but let's turn on the booths and see how kind of saturated and full the amplifier gifts a lot more thickness I'll do it I'll do on and off kind of thing my volume knobs a little loud here sorry dirt in it riel thick it's kind of like injecting a bunch of I don't know sauce into it or something eso that's an option and you can attach a modifier for those of you who are up on modifiers and we'll get to that later but you can attach a modifier to that boost and kick it on with expression pedal or something if you want to go that route for solo on this tone, I want to start throwing in some effects and because this is a rock tone you can start kind of getting into the the weird fun ones um again you can sort of make the real world so like if you would put um you know, flander phaser or anything like that in front of the amp you could do that or if you would put it in the effects loop you could put it after obviously the effects of is going between the pre and the power and you're not doing that in the ex fix that you can't split the amplifier but you can put it after the cab which is basically going toe give you sort of the same sound you can also put it into the cab, which is, you know, just is wherever you want to put it is really both sonically and for your peace of mind you know, a lot of guys like putting in certain places because that's what they've always done totally valid I'm gonna throw this flander here after the cab and by default we're gonna get this out and that's a really, really intense flanders sound um I'm gonna go into the jet flanders which kind as this sounds and we all know who that sounds like kind of especially when you play that kind of riff drop the weight d there is going to start getting into a territory that sounds a lot like somebody in particular mainly eddie van halen um but I'm gonna actually take this depth out so I think the effect is a little pronounced ah, still a little too pronounce him to do that also gonna bring the feedback down and basically that's goingto I'll share what the feedback does well, just crank this down in the negatives and sad and you crank it all the way out and you get a much more more angular kind of sound to the sweep it's much more like in your face so I'm gonna bring this down about there ah I'm really liking how that is so that's going to be our kind of effect for this preset um the other one that you khun dio I did it before was the tremolo and a big rock rhythms I like putting a super pronounced tremolo so we're going to put the death way up change this from triangle the square so it's a lot more angular obviously like a very pronounced effect not something that is like you could use in the course of a normal rhythm you know you could crank it down and then actually might take that off square that's a little angular maybe try sign so we're gonna put on sign and crank the deaf back up. So that's, a cool effect I have on that, and you can turn it off and have your basic rhythm tone and then kick that on on the m f c um, when you get there so that's, kind of our rock tone, I'm feeling pretty good about that and this again, just real quick. Here it is. We'll turn off the river, but you can hear it completely dry. Way you want last drive, you can turn off the drive, and then with the river, we've got this and there's our rock tones kind of got a big arena rock sound. I would use that, you know, plan, huge chords, like kind of led zeppelin journey type stuff. So, yeah.

Class Description

The Fractal Audio Axe Fx gives guitar players an incredible range of capabilities, but the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. In the this course Cooper Carter will share his road-tested tips for getting the most out of the Axe Fx preamp/effects processor.

Cooper has experience using the Axe Fx on tour and in the studio. In this course he will show you the tricks he has mastered while working with the Axe Fx in countless sessions and on stages across the country. The Axe Fx gives you access to hundreds of different tones through its inventory of vintage and modern guitar amps, speaker cabinets, guitar stompbox and studio effects. Cooper will simplify those options and give you a roadmap for working efficiently. You will learn how to create and tweak amp profiles and go deep on working with cab simulations and how to use effects.

This course will unlock the advantages of the Axe Fx and open you up to a whole new range of exciting possibilities. If you want to learn how to get the most of this complex tool, join Cooper and CreativeLive for this essential Axe Fx training course.