Getting More Out of Amps and Cabs


Using the Axe-Fx


Lesson Info

Getting More Out of Amps and Cabs

So we've touched a lot of things so far I think really the the last part that I want to talk about I've alluded to some things like modifiers and we've done actually already a good bit of pretty invents routing at this point but I think we touch I thought we would touch on a couple uh different things just kind of extra features quickly and we kind of already got to this well we're talking about a amplifiers and using an amp with the acoustic guitar but there are so many amps in the axe effects I just want to mention quickly a lot of people probably wanting why have we not gone down into these pages namely dynamics power and tone these toothy advanced parameters of the amplifier block this is where stuff gets really crazy on this is more the kind of stuff that you would get into on a reliable fire riel meaning physical amplifier if you had a sot oring hired or uh you know ah lot of knowledge about grounding yourself well while opening up something that has power tubes in it but the ben...

efit of the expects is that we can actually mess with all of these um there are a lot of controls in here and really the effects of most of these are pretty darn subtle um a lot of them there you're really gonna feel in your playing especially things like supply sag um and you're not going to hear them as much at the values that they should be adjusted within an extreme values we're going to start feeling things a little and I'm sorry hearing things a little more markedly but these advanced pages are kind of outside of the scope of this class I show you them too I tell you that the best way to get acquainted with these pages is to go to this wiki page wicky dot fractal audio dot com our wonderful beta team member alex has otherwise known as yet has made this incredibly detailed wikipedia page and not on ly includes all of the manual information in it but also information cold from numerous interviews with cliff chase, the inventor of the ax effects here and it's really just chock full of invaluable information uh I mentioned this particularly because these advanced parameters are incredibly confusing and so getting into them khun b frustrating if you don't kind of have a groundwork for what you're getting into so reading this can really help figure out exactly what all of these controls are doing uh the other way to do it is to just go in and start turning knobs until you kind of figure out something you like but I kind of like to know what the science behind it in the engineering is s o this wiki page is a really, uh really useful resource for that but just quickly I want to show you one of my favorite things with amplifiers then we talked about before but they got a big jimmy page fan and he kind of introduced the world to the notion of running amps at the same time and blending them and that's something that I think of the expects is particularly adept at so what I'm going to do now is just kind of show you my philosophy about mixing amplifiers obviously the whole point to make sam fires is to get to very different sonic uh, sonic characteristics working together or maybe not even two that are very different but to that brings something different to the table they don't have to be wholly divergent tones you know we're not talking about ah jangly clean at a high gain lead although there's certainly a place for that and in fact I was going to start off um bye kind of showing what the effect of doing that is so let's pick a really ah high gain and like the f a s modern here mute this one here um ah a little more appropriate cab here. Um what's through this callie lied eighties thanks. Um and all right, so it's a really high gain and let's meet that one and, uh let's pick a really clean one like um let's go with the u s a clean staying there kind of kind of mode so well doll whoops did I just do that? All right? We're going to bring the level pretty high up there to match that big old game machine gun that had some sparkle to this I'm just gonna punch the trouble upfront presence up there on the right switch uh drive up a little bit all right now let's put them each into a little uh reverb here to kind of sit them in the same sonic space um but I'm going to do is actually two completely separate river bs and I'm going to make them slightly different ones gonna be this medium room we're going to put the actually the clean one in a medium room on this high gaining up I'm gonna change to be in a small room and the effect of that really is your tio you're kind of creating their own space uh for example fire but it's the same kind of tonal space so the characteristics were kind of the same but there's this little edge to it where the high gain amp isn't is washed in river because you wanted to be a little clearer because by virtue of its being a high gain is a little more compressed you don't hear the transience is much it's not as snappy um I'm actually going to go ahead right now put a little compressor in front of here to really pop this sucker up um uh let's do this actually bring that up bring that up all right uh bring the level of on that and let's see, we want to bring that clean amp down basically what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna take these cabs and I'm gonna hardpan them and this is the point in the show here, folks where if you're listening on headphones this is really going to improve your experience um so listen on headphones to what's going on here theo you sam the high gain on the left at this low gain is kind of a funny word for totally clean it's out the level's a little bit on here all right? We'll turn those both on you're listening on headphones in some really weird because I've got one on one side and one on the other side um and what we want to do though is kind of meet somewhere in the middle so let's say minus fifty on that one and uh fifty on this one obviously what that's doing? This is a cool little trick for making apart stand out live so let's say you're going along playing dirty rhythm and you get two apart maybe let's say the bridge and you want to add a little something you don't want to lose your extra tone but you want to kind of open up the space a little bit so one thing I would recommend doing is using a clean and if you have the space in the cpu and kind of bring it in and obviously this level control is your most important thing right here because it's mixing a little bit to taste but you're gonna ringing in the cleans until you hear a little bit of definition in the course a little bit of jenga with in there and obviously this is very um you know uh subjective as to what sounds good to you I like to use this kind of thing on a coil top position what you've got is you've got the transience and the ringing and the nice pop from the clean and with the compressor but you've also got is this furious kind of low and wash of gains that you've got a really uh articulates home you've also got a real punch so that's um I kind of got inspired to make that tone from uh the bridge teo dreams here keeps coming up here on a huge dream future fan in case nobody noticed but uh the bridge to their song ah erotomania has this really cool part and I can't play it obviously because it has this there's this really nice wash distortion sound and it's also got this really present clean and I think the way that was probably recorded was within you know, an acoustic guitar a clean tone and then dubbed over ah big electric guitar and obviously you can't play two guitars at once so this is a nice way to kind of get that same tone the other way to do it is with a mid gain amplifier and a really nice coil tap which may very well be how that was recorded um but this is just one of the areas to explore I really encourage you to set up two amps and start monkeying with panning uh started playing around with balancing the ass the different sides you know, even run this run them both into one river um put it up there and just kind of mess around with the different amplifiers you know, I think a lot of people go teo you know, one amp that they know they really like like oh, you know, I used to have a whatever so now that I have the expects I'm going to go in and just use that model but I want to pull this up and just show you guys again how many amplifiers are in here and they're also unique these amplifiers air in here because somebody made them a famous amplifier by using them for something that was a signature sound so don't underestimate the value of just going through um and trying all the different amplifiers and seeing what each one offers you know I mean look for example how many acey twenties are right here you got three different kinds of twenties and they're in here because each one has its own character each one is a little bit different and once you've done that, start mixing them and you've opened up this huge library of sonic possibilities so that's uh kind of what I wanted to say about amps and again for those guys were watching who are kind of more in the intermediate too advanced area and are interested in hearing more about this advanced parameters page um maybe I can, uh, do another class in the future that gets more into some seriously detail things but just based off of the responses I got on the forum and what I felt like the class needed to say, I am not going to get to this advanced stuff on I am sorry to the guys who were watching there are more advanced guys, but I highly encourage you to check out the waking and start doing some exploring of your own so let's go up and switch the slide real quick I wanna talk about cabs cabs are obviously the axe effects is incredibly powerful is faras aunt modeling and that's really what you know god made its name, but uh don't underestimate the power of cabinets power the cabinets are incredibly useful and each one is so so different both in the way they sound and also in the way they respond because so much of a cabinet uh is about what frequencies are being accentuated and what that can bring to the voice of your guitar on what your you know what you're trying to get through in a part can really be dependent on the cabinet because you have to remember the cabinet is the final part uh the final part of the chain and it really is shaping everything else that comes before it so with that said uh that the slightest still up I wanted to show this graph for those of you who haven't seen it and are wondering what ultra rez uh cabs are all about ultras technology uh is a brand new um technology that is proprietary to fractal audio systems and you see three lines on this graph basically the green light I'm sorry the turk always kind of blue really turquoise we'll call that greyish blue call it something uh that's an actual speaker that is the frequency response of an actual speaker across a spectrum uh and this graphs actually I should mention has been why shifted so the y axis is pretty wide so that there's actually a separation between them so you can see them those line's particularly the red ultra rez line and the blue speaker line should be much, much closer together, but then you wouldn't be able to see them but that speaks mainly to the accuracy of ultra rest so if you see the blue line is the response of an actual speaker on low and it's pretty, you know, pretty smooth general over there, you know, as a as a mean and as it gets into the middle and the high and it's very, very jagged. If you look at the green line that's a standard ira that's, the I r that you're going to find in in other processors and it's, the I r, that you're going to find pretty much in previous versions of eye ours from the expects. Now you'll notice that with the ultras I r uh it is much, much closer uh, to the green I'm sorry to the blue line. Uh, and as I mentioned, this is why shifted they would actually be so close you couldn't tell the difference between them, but the main benefit of the ultras are over a standard ira's you'll notice that in the upper mids and the highs on this graph, the standard I are actually adheres fairly well to the response of the actual speaker it's still much smoother, it's not capturing all the intricacies, but as a trend, it adheres more closely to the curve, and low end thie ultra rez is shockingly similar where the standard I are basically loses all of the detail it gets this wide parabolic kind of hump bell curve in it but it doesn't grab any of those frequencies in there so when you turn on an ultra rays are what you're going to do is not only you're going to hear the accuracy in the low end, but I think this is kind of quelling a lot of what people some people had said about processors in general up until now, which was that you know, I don't feel the low end exactly the same as I feel it coming out of a big for twelve on a lot of that obviously is volume turn it up and you're going toe feel it a lot more I think a lot of people expected here great tone and low volumes and you can get great tone it low volumes but it's more fun when it's loud and you're going to feel it obviously more uh but with the ultras are that's capturing not only the sound of the low end much more accurately but that low in is where you're going to say ok, I feel this tone in my body and so I highly recommend you guys checking out the ultra reservoirs asai mentioned if we go back to the editor, I'll show you but um, as I mentioned, there are a lot of altera czars in the firm where by default um most of the older I ours have actually been replaced all these have been replaced with ultras I ours tio take advantage of the new technology and again I'll plug because they're totally worth purchasing and also because I helped produce one of them the fractal I our packs that are available for purchase have hundreds of I ours and we had you know, ten calves and five mikes and spent hours positioning the mikes and making all these I ours it's a lot of fun to go through and check him out so I got a question earlier about microphones uh and I mentioned quickly that I ours and I just want to touch on it one more time I ours are made with a microphone there are they are ah frequencies sign tone swept through a cabinet captured by microphone into a pre amp on then into the expects so when you see, for example, this double verb mix um where is the double permit right here this double overmix that implies that several different microphones have been stuck on this double the cab and each one was captured and then an engineer sat in a studio and mixed the different microphones to a point where he thought it was the ideal double verb tone and so this has microphones burned into it. The need for this simulated microphone therefore becomes a little null actually would be the opportune word right there null and void so this is really up to you, which is why I put on the slide mike's question mark a lot of guys are used to hearing a certain type of mike I for one when I'm using physical cabs or when I did use physical cabs because I don't really ever anymore uh I was a big fan of the four twenty one and the one twenty one one in the front one in the back so it's really up to you if you want to use mike's, obviously you can scroll through them, they're going to affect the sound a lot, but what these ultra reservoirs in particular there's been a lot of time spent on making them, uh, just about as good as an I r can get certainly three top standard at this point, so I don't personally see the need for microphones, there's some guys who studies lem, but that answers that question that I got earlier. I want to talk about some routing with calves because the acts effects is just ridiculous in its availability of options I mentioned before when we were making the scenes preset that you can use four cabinets one time um, x y one into so for example, let's throw a double ver mix on this x and then on the why we'll put, uh, callie for twelve on this one let's put a um put the division thirteen and then on the why will put will stay with one by six oval really doesn't matter because what I'm gonna do is show you something pretty need you're not going to be able to hear it but I want to show you how to set it up because we don't have the second outputs going but what I can do here is instead of having these on x and y what I'm gonna do is I wanna set these two stereo set both of these cab blocks hysteria and I'm going to run this cab block into the effects loop now I'm gonna go in and I'ma pick this double verb cab and for the sake of a differentiation in tone let's actually use a mic so let's say for twenty one and on this we gotta turn off link so it stops copy everything I'm doing but on this one I must say one twenty one okay so on this cat we've got fortunate one and one twenty one mike double room altera's cab I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna hardpan this left cab I'm gonna hardpan the right one then I'm gonna go in here and we'll pick two cabs turnoff link sorry uh and I'm going to pick a different one for this so let's say the blues fifteen and uh I'm gonna hard panties as well now basically what I've done here is cind four separate cabs out of the ax effects on discrete channels so on the left and right uh and you have to confirm actually that in the input output paige uh you got everything set up right so that its outputting in stereo you also want to make sure output to, uh is is not echoing output one because then you're going to just hear the same thing, but this effects loop is standing in for basically an output out of output to because when you're not using it isn't effects loop you can use it to output signal to a second channel. So um so what we're doing here is we're sending the double ver about on the left of one I'm sorry we're sending the double verb with the one twenty one out on the right side we're sending the blues fifteen out on the left of this and we're sending the division thirteen out on the right of this. So what were doing, in essence is giving an engineer at a sound board for example, four different cabs to choose from and then he can choose whatever when he wants to make sent it out. So you're not burning that into your tone so that's how powerful the routing is in the expects so you say in any of one am and you now have four separate cabinets coming out of the back of the expects

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.