Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #129424  by playingdead
 Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:35 am
The IRs from my Hard Truckers cabinets are here:

E-120 is a 2X12 loaded with E-120s; the K-110 is a 2X10 with K-110s ... guess that's obvious.

If your controller is able to change patches, that's also being done with a CC message, so you might look further into programming the buttons on it. Or remapping the AxeFX to use whatever messages it is sending by default.

On the reverb, I have the reverb block set to 100 percent wet, and use very little of it in the final output, so the reverb itself is crispier but it makes very little difference to the sound of the guitar as shaped by the JBL IR files. The only part of the sound getting around the IR is the reverb itself.

The K12s have served me well; another option is EV's new ZLX powered monitors, they look good and half the price of the QSC. I have a pair here but haven't tried them out yet.

Having set up my old analog rig side by side in my studio with the AxeFX and K12s to dial it in, I would be very surprised if you can get them to sound as "in the room" as you want them to. When you turn it up through the powered monitors, the sound is bouncing all over the place just as it does with a real amp. Very little difference to my ears.

The key to getting it dialed in realistically is not to let it be too crispy sounding. Pay attention to the response curve of the actual JBLs. One of the first things I did was put a low pass filter on the amp block to cut down high frequencies above 7 kHz or so. That being said, Garcia's guitar is quite bright when you hear it isolated. It's just not a lot of brightness above 7kHz in the real world because the speakers didn't pass it. It's my belief that the reason the 94-95 tone is so bright and acoustic sounding is because he was not using a speaker simulator and just passing all that information into the PA -- it probably cut well over the in-ear monitors and his high-frequency hearing was probably shot at that point anyway.

Pay attention to how your guitar sounds in the overall mix of the band, not how it sounds alone in your room ... that is the most important thing.
 #129471  by James-T
 Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:31 pm
Hey Vic,

Thanks for the help! I've got the k110's up and running and sound a lot like my d120's on my real cab.

I concur that Garcia sounded a lot different in the last few years of touring and believe you are probally correct about straight to the board giving him that acoustic sound. I only saw him once after 92 but listening to the you tube stuff he had a cool acoustic sound.

The one thing that becomes apparent quickly with the AXE FX is some amps just love strats and sound groove on the Dimarzio middle pups and often the love is not reciprocal. I was really impressed with the Gilmore patches when I first plugged in and was using a strat. They just don't sound very Pink Floyd like with my PRS.

That is the power of the modeler and I like to rotate through my 6 guitars playing different axes at different gigs and the AXE FX will make that just that much more fun.

Question for you, what sort of eq if any do you use right in your patches, and do you ever use compression. I like the sustain I am getting with compression but miss the airiness of not having it. Getting the perfect clean patch is the biggest challenge, just as it has been for me with my analogue rig.

Thanks again!


 #129480  by playingdead
 Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:31 am
I don't use any compression, per se, on the Garcia patch because it doesn't sound right to me ... however, after some grief from our sound guy about the transient peaks coming off the guitar direct (peaks which probably would be naturally softened a bit by playing through a real cabinet), I did recently put a soft limiter at the end of the chain. It is only active for very loud transients, and it has made him happier. I can't hear much difference at all.

I did some careful EQ curve shaping on that preset, mostly with the high mids and trebles. However, as you are finding, it's very sensitive to which guitar you are using, as it sounds perfect with my Walker Special and the Tiger, but it does not sound good with a PRS or a stock Strat.


From an older post on this thread, using Garcia's isolated tone as a reference:

Here's Jerry's solo from Touch of Grey isolated (circa 1986).

And here's my Tiger direct through the Ultra and E-120 IR file.


The K-110 IR is definitely sweeter sounding; however, the E-120 IR is the one I use live and it cuts through the band better despite its comparative harshness to the naked ear, just as the real E-120s do.

Actually, the AxeFX II has factory IRs of D-120 JBLs, if I'm not mistaken.
 #129676  by barefootdave
 Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:43 am
Yes, the FX-2 has the D-120s in it, but I tend to use Vic's cabs for the Jerry stuff; they provide a crisp punch that always satisfies.

James, it appears you are making great progress with your unit, which is great to hear. I will be interested to hear what you decide about your monitors.

For times when I don't want to be Jerry (gasp!) I can sound like Gilmour, Page, Carlton, etc. This puppy has already provided many hours of fun deconstructing and reconstructing tones from the ground up. I have enjoyed learning about aspects of amps, cabs, effects, etc. that I never wanted to spend time with before.
 #129747  by James-T
 Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:59 pm
Hey Dave

Thanks for the post. Glad to hear Vic's IRs are as nice as the D120 sims being an Ultra owner and all.

I've got a K12 on a 30 day trial and do far I like it. I think I need 2 to keep up with the band. We tend to get loud.

I'll test it put this evening at an outdoor music fest gig on the beach in Whiterock BC.

We are doing a eyes and in all of a fewonutes I dialed in Jerry's tone from winter 78. Mesa mark IIc with vics k110s and a bit of tone shaping with the settings.

For anyone on the sidelines the AXE FC is a virtual rabbit hole of tone.

I A/B'd my twin with the k12 and got to within spitting distance with a tone match. The dynics are a bit different but the tone is so much easier to dial in.

Thanks go out to Vic again for his generosity of spirit in keeping the music alive.


 #129753  by playingdead
 Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:42 pm
I wish I could remember the specifics and I'm not set up to edit that preset on the Mac since I bought the AxeFX II. But it's a limited with a very high threshold so it triggers only on the highest transients. Makes very little difference to the overall tone, just on the really hard peaks.
 #129768  by jester536
 Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:01 am
I seem to get some highs that get pretty loud...only seems to be on the first string...up high...and digging in pretty hard. I'll play with it. Assuming you're just using a filter block.
 #134045  by seniorpesca
 Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:55 am
dude on facebook was gonna sell his ultra ii with a poweramp cant remember which cause he ended up flaking and deleting post..but for 1700!!!! I was ready to jump in my car and buy the sucker today..he said his dad decided to pay his tuition :cool:
 #134216  by James-T
 Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:17 am
Patience is a virtue. One that escapes me from time to time. I can't recall what I paid, I think it was 1400 with an OK contoller - great toggling between 146 patches but unable to toggle individual effects - and a midi interface so I can program on my Mac book. Right after this purchase another Ultra came up on CL for 1100 asking , an a FX 2 plus the fractal control unit for about 2500.

If you are in a big enough city and it's relatively affluent I think they do popo up on CL from time to time.


 #134239  by James-T
 Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:18 pm
Gear - when you lust over it price sometimes seems irrelevant - when you don't want it anymore sometimes you can't give it away. The price of being a consumer - I guess they call us that for a reason!

Go for it with a low ball offer. :-)


 #134520  by Eyesoftheworld
 Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:41 pm
Hey guys,

I have read through this topic and I am very interested in getting the Axe FX 2. I was wondering if you guys can help on what other equipment to get to finsh out the Garcia tone. Expensive and inexpensive ideas are welcome, thank you in advance.
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