Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

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Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby playingdead » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:19 am

Guitar (backup Strat) -> AxeFX -> straight to the board, no cabinet, power amp, pedals, effects, outboard reverb, EQ, etc., it's all AxeFX, plug and play.

http://www.archive.org/details/pd2009-0 ... iariverrun
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby jdsmodulus » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:56 am

Thanks for this another great show!! Keep it up!
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby Pete B. » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:00 am

Hey that unit really nails it on the open position low note stuff esspecially.
I'd like to hear the fiddle patch on Halfstep ala Vasser, and a Pedal Steel patch for Pride-o.
Not sure if you are going for year/version specific patches for specific songs, but the patch on Mr.Charlie doesn't capture the E72 Jerry-quack to my ear.
I thought Truckin' and UJB sounded real Jerry-ish. Is that the same patch as on Miss Half?... I didn't think Miss Half had the same Jerry-crisp tone as Truckin and UJB.
Distortion sounded pretty good too.
Great recording and great playing. I listened to the whole show.
Cool,
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby playingdead » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:18 am

Same patch, whole show ... all the effects are on that one preset (except for violin and the backwards envelope filter for Dancin' in the Streets), I switch them in and out with the Ground Control Pro and the effects loop. I like how the wah sounds on Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, even if it was a pretty sloppy ham-fisted version (it's new to the repertoire).

Brad gave me some good tips to make the basic sound more "real" which I haven't had a chance to try yet, but damned if it's not pretty close already and perfectly repeatable every show, which is the nice part about it.

The lack-of-quack is probably the DiMarzio's simulating the in-between position for that tune. It gets a little thin with that bridge pickup split.

I was still fumbling with that damn fiddle patch ... I wasn't really prepared to do that tune!

I would love to see a bunch of Heads with this unit, because it's so easy to share patches and presets. They just did a major firmware upgrade which rewrote all the drive block models and added a 3-band EQ to them, with a sweepable mid frequency. That's in addition to being able to change the kind of diodes, slew rates, biases, on each one, etc. I was playing around with the new Tube Screamer blocks and it was pretty impressive. Throw a compressor on and it's Trey in a box.
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby jdsmodulus » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:52 am

I just got my Jerry rack done the other day. Finally, but I think I also would like one of these units to have on the fly, my thought is to save money and get the cheaper version would it be worth it or just wait and get the ultra?
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby jkstraw » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:08 pm

Hey,

Been lurkin' around this thread to see how you've been making out with the AxeFx. I am seriously considering it. I currently have the Roland VG-99 and dial in some decent tones but from what I have heard in your shows this thing takes things to the next level....not too mention I could beg for your patches ;-)

Out of curiosity - what is your chain when playing through your 2x12 HT cab w/ E-210's? I am just assuming you have tested this out (before and after your purchase of the QSC's).

I am at the cross roads of building my new rig. I am pretty techno heavy right now with the VG-99 and a GR-20 - going through a fairy flat response Traynor K4. So I am on the fence about bringing the AxeFX Ultra in to the fold. I keep thinking I should balance things out with an analog rig.

I'd appreciate your thoughts/opinions. Do the E-120's color things too much?

Cheers,

jk
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:42 pm

Damn Vic, would ya stop already... ;)

Everyone knows digital modeling isn't supposed to sound that real.



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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby jkstraw » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:12 pm

Hehe - Brad too funny you rang in.

I have a spreadsheet with all the pieces I want to get together for my rig. I have the F2B crossed out and the SMS Classic in as the preferred choice! Tough choices for those of us that don't gig regularly though - low volume sweet tone is hard to come by.

Kudos to you for your work BTW - just an amazing piece of gear!
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby Crazy 9.5 Fingers » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:29 pm

Vic, went right to the Hey Pockey Way and I really liked the drive tone you went with for the solo. It has Jerry flavor tone-wise, but also was definitely a bit different and I really liked it. I guess you had the tone rolled down just right, got a little "woman" tone goin', but had a singing Boogie-esque quality I really dig, especially as you took up it to the upper register. You grabbed a little but of pinch harmonic at one point and I was hoping to hear you dig in on it a bit more but you went another direction. I'll have to find a Loser you do to hear some of that. I think it's a really nice drive tone all in all. Clear, sustain, and cuts through without being the slightest bit abrasive. Kudos my man.
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby playingdead » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:24 pm

Thanks, man ... no tone roll off on anything, just the straight overdrive. Gotta practice those pinch harmonics, though. We played Loser the last gig and the second time around I went up an octave instead of using the harmonics, and forgot that my backup Strat has just 22 frets. Clammed it bad. LOL

Scary to say, but the creator of the AxeFX just totally re-did the drive blocks and they are all way better now ... it sounded even better on the overdrives. Can't wait to get my Tiger guitar back, it's getting put back together now by Gary Brawer.

The fact that we can multitrack record now has taught me a lot about how Jerry's tone fits in with the band. The two biggest things I've learned ... the tone is a lot more midrangey and less bright than you'd think it should be when you are listening to it without the band. When it sounds good and crispy to my ears alone, it's too bright and thin in the context of the band. Secondly, you need to use a lot more reverb than you think you need to hear it in the mix, although my guitar sounds somewhat dry on the recordings, through the monitors, it's pretty well drenched in reverb. All that extra reverb gets lost in the mix.

JK, my old analog rig was this:

Egnater M4 -> Acoustic Image Focus 2R power amp -> 2 E-120s in a Hard Truckers cabinet. I used to run a Real Tube Reverb in parallel using the second channel of the power amp. Effects were through a GCX, and were the standard things -- QTron, Octave, Phase 100, wah, OD-2r, delay.

The E-120s sound a little harsh when you hear them on their own, but in the context of the band, they cut through much better than the sweeter sounding K-110s, which sound much better on their own.

I've said this before, but when you get close, everything else is a small incremental improvement. The Focus 2R power amp (solid state) has a slightly warmer sound to it, which works really well compared to the Crown power amp I used before, which was more sterile. I'm sure a McIntosh would have been another improvement, but too heavy for me to carry.

At the end, I set up the AxeFX with two outputs ... one got sent with no cabinet simulation to the Focus 2R amp and the E-120s, which I miked in my studio. The other went straight to the board with the AxeFX cabinet simulation using the impulse response file I made off those same E-120s. I played and recorded both channels simultaneously. When I played it back, I was switching back and forth between the miked cabinet and the simulated cabinet. I could not hear the difference. That was when I knew I really had it knocked.

Now I plug the guitar straight into the AxeFX and everything is in those two rack spaces. No pedals, no reverbs, no power amp, no speakers. Straight to the board off the right channel and straight to my powered wedges off the left channel. It's consistent and it sounds good to me.

If you can put together the ultimate Jerry rig with all the analog pieces and you have it set up in the same place so you can dial it in, that's a great way to go. Brad's preamp and a couple of E120s and a nice, warm solid state amp will give you terrific Jerry tone in spades.

If you are gigging with it, I think the digital route has certain advantages ... it's more consistent because the acoustics onstage don't matter and the FOH guy gets the signal you want to send him every time, and you will hear yourself way better with a powered wedge in front of you than with those E120s behind you.
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby jkstraw » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:44 pm

Thanks for the response man - out of curiosity what did you mic your 2x12 cab with (and modeled mic in the axefx) when you did the comparison?

Thanks again....time to crunch some numbers and sell some gear :-)
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby NashvilleMike » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 pm

Speaking from the ranks of the non-professional guitar player the axe-fx ultra is about the coolest #$%!@ing thing I have ever seen. I want for nothing now. I am not ANYWHERE near Vic's ear and desires but I have built great presets in mine for Jerry, Gilmour (DSOTM), Duane among others. I have never had better tone/control.

playingdead wrote:I would love to see a bunch of Heads with this unit, because it's so easy to share patches and presets.


This is the only thing I have not been able to do you yet. They do say though that "building your own" is half the fun and I must agree. It has been fun learning about what goes in to a sound and how to carve it just right.


Stop wasting your money on amps and pedals guys, a new day is here.
It all rolls into one and nothing comes for free
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby NashvilleMike » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:21 pm

Speaking from the ranks of the non-professional guitar player the axe-fx ultra is about the coolest #$%!@ing thing I have ever seen. I want for nothing now. I am not ANYWHERE near Vic's ear and desires but I have built great presets in mine for Jerry, Gilmour (DSOTM), Duane among others. I have never had better tone/control.

playingdead wrote:I would love to see a bunch of Heads with this unit, because it's so easy to share patches and presets.


This is the only thing I have not been able to do you yet. They do say though that "building your own" is half the fun and I must agree. It has been fun learning about what goes in to a sound and how to carve it just right.


Stop wasting your money on amps and pedals guys, a new day is here.
It all rolls into one and nothing comes for free
There's nothing you can hold for very long
And when you hear that song come crying like the wind
It seems like all this life was just a dream
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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby playingdead » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:57 am

jkstraw wrote:Thanks for the response man - out of curiosity what did you mic your 2x12 cab with (and modeled mic in the axefx) when you did the comparison?


I close-miked the cab with a new Shure SM-57 for the comparison. I don't use a mic model in the AxeFX when I play, I like the impulse response of the E-120 without the mic simulation on there, even though there is a Sennheiser 421 model, as well as a bunch of others. I like the Neumann U87 mic model for other things, though.

At the same time I made the comparison files, I was testing recording the E-120 at various volumes using the power amp. I recorded everything from moderate "bedroom" level to loud to "stupid loud" where the cones were really rocking back and forth like Garcia's used to (my power amp is 800 watts). I did that to see if really pushing the JBLs hard would magically add more Jerry to the tone; to my ears, it didn't. Not only that, but the E-120s really do not add any distortion no matter how hard you push them, because other than having to adjust the recording levels, there wasn't any discernible difference in the recorded tone (there was a difference in the tinnitus it gave me, even with earplugs in).

Mike makes a good point; the real strength of the AxeFX is not that it can do a convincing Garcia tone, it's that it can do that, plus a whole lot more ... I'm really convinced that there is not an amp or effect that this box can't model if you just put the time into it. You can do the simplest Angus Young crunch to the most complicated The Edge stereo 10-tap delay heavy effects craziness, all with no pedals, extra amps and rack gear. That's worth the price of admission.

I'll include a quote from Dweezil Zappa, who is currently touring with his "Zappa Does Zappa" show. This is not long after he bought the AxeFX and took it into Frank's "Utility Muffin Research Kitchen" studio to start modeling tones.

"I currently have a very large and involved "Analog" guitar rack which has a collection of rare gear of my Dad's and some very sophisticated routing possibilities via 2 Switchblades. The flow chart of that rig is enough to make your head spin. It is also extremely heavy and cost prohibitive to ship over seas for touring. I needed to find a solution. I found it in 2 rack spaces... just like all of you. I can recreate the vast majority of all of my "Analog" rig tones with the Ultra. Cliff is an evil genius!"

This "was" Dweezil's touring rig.

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Re: Yet more AxeFX does Jerry Garcia ...

Postby NashvilleMike » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:23 am

playingdead wrote:This "was" Dweezil's touring rig.


Amazing...the axe-fx probably put 2 people out of work just keeping that rig running.
It all rolls into one and nothing comes for free
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And when you hear that song come crying like the wind
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