When it doesn't fit anywhere else
 #161866  by tcsned
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:12 am
Hey people! I thought I would see what your thoughts are. I am beginning to have some signs of hearing loss and tinnitus from the last 35 years of loud rock-n-roll. It has got me considering some sort of direct to mixer device for at least some of our live shows. The Axe-FX and Kemper seem to be the leaders though different approaches to getting a direct guitar sound that doesn't suck. We did go a couple of years using the direct to mixer set-up, I have a Lexicon MPX-G2 that worked ok but that was 10+ years ago and technology has come a long way.

Has anyone out there used both and have an opinion? Or have really fallen in love with one or the other?

Thanks!!
 #161867  by strumminsix
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:43 am
One is a modelling device with FX, the other is profiles amps. 2 very different approaches and applications.

You're leaving off the Helix which is probably the simplest device to get great tone. Only thing it lacks is world class reverb.
 #161868  by tcsned
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:55 am
strumminsix wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:43 am
One is a modelling device with FX, the other is profiles amps. 2 very different approaches and applications.

You're leaving off the Helix which is probably the simplest device to get great tone. Only thing it lacks is world class reverb.
Yeah, I'm leading towards the Kemper but haven't played through either, nor have I had any experience with the Helix. I get the differences and modeling amps seems more where I would go but still not sure.
 #161869  by playingdead
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:56 am
I've been really happy with my Fractal AX8 floor unit for a couple years now. It's reasonably priced -- $1099 although occasionally they put it on sale I think. You need a good full-range monitor with it -- I use an Atomic NEO CLR which is terrific but I've also used QSC K12s and it's plenty loud enough. If the venue has K12s or better I will sometimes not even bring my speaker in. The rack unit AxeFX is a lot more powerful, but I'm able to get my Jerry setup running no problem, and the JBL E-120 impulse response files I made off my old 2X12 back in 2008 eliminate the need for a cabinet. The only thing I can't do with the AX8 that I used to do with the rack unit was have more than one identical effects block on the same patch -- i.e., the AX8 will only let you use one Wah block at a time, so it's either the Mutron, the backwards Mutron or the Colorsound wah, you can't have all three on the same preset. I just use three presets to switch if I need to.

I use the expression pedal for the Colorsound, and also to set delay level, phaser rate, etc. I used to put a K12 behind me where the cabinet used to be for front fill but now I don't even bother with that, I just have our soundguy crank it up through the mains. The front monitor is plenty loud for the people up front anyway.

The tone is not as awesome and spot-on as what you can do with Waldo's head Twin mods plus a Mac, but you don't have to haul that stuff around, and I think it sounds fine in the mix. You can also play very quietly without affecting the tone. Not having to carry anything, wrestle the 100-pound 2x12 cabinet, worry about any cabling other than the guitar cord, and knowing that my sound is the same every night through the system regardless of the room, stage, etc., is worth the tradeoff to me.

I got the rhythm guitar player to start using it as well. We are both using it on the soundcloud clips.

Bird Song jam from a gig (using some different effects) ... https://soundcloud.com/vicderobertis/bird-song-excerpt

Terrapin direct from rehearsal ... https://soundcloud.com/vicderobertis/terrapin-rehearsal

Image

Shakedown (first gig with it), Mutron works well enough.

 #161870  by tcsned
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:59 am
Vic, your tones are the best argument to go with the Axe-FX. You are getting a great sound and it looks super convenient. My kingdom for a good music store to try this stuff out. The curse of living in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
 #161871  by tcsned
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:21 am
Is anyone using a Kemper out there? Or a Helix?
 #161872  by strumminsix
 Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:11 pm
IMO:
Kemper is a fantastic tool if you have very specific rigs you want to profile at home and will do so. Or want their stock profiles which are great to combine with your own pedals or rack.

Helix is a fantastic tool if you want great modelling with very good effects, easy editor, and very little time editing. The only downside is their reverb is only so so. But you can audition at GC, buy and return if you don't like.

AX8 is the superior full modelling tool. Amp+Cab/IR vs Helix I find them to be the same. Kemper catches some more feel but sounds the same. Now FX is where the AX8 really outshines the competition and the deep editing is amazing. Fractal doesn't offer returns for enjoyment (last I checked) so maybe look for used?

That was too much for me so I went with a Helix. But listen to Vic. Speaks for itself.

More than anything you need to think of mindset and application (you have this experience but reminding other folks who hopefully search and read):
1) it's gonna sound like an amp mic'd off stage and won't be like an amp blasting your ass
2) you'll focus more on the mix and the orchestra of the band

Good luck.
 #161928  by tcsned
 Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am
playingdead wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:56 am
I've been really happy with my Fractal AX8 floor unit for a couple years now. It's reasonably priced -- $1099 although occasionally they put it on sale I think. You need a good full-range monitor with it -- I use an Atomic NEO CLR which is terrific but I've also used QSC K12s and it's plenty loud enough. If the venue has K12s or better I will sometimes not even bring my speaker in. The rack unit AxeFX is a lot more powerful, but I'm able to get my Jerry setup running no problem, and the JBL E-120 impulse response files I made off my old 2X12 back in 2008 eliminate the need for a cabinet. The only thing I can't do with the AX8 that I used to do with the rack unit was have more than one identical effects block on the same patch -- i.e., the AX8 will only let you use one Wah block at a time, so it's either the Mutron, the backwards Mutron or the Colorsound wah, you can't have all three on the same preset. I just use three presets to switch if I need to.

I use the expression pedal for the Colorsound, and also to set delay level, phaser rate, etc. I used to put a K12 behind me where the cabinet used to be for front fill but now I don't even bother with that, I just have our soundguy crank it up through the mains. The front monitor is plenty loud for the people up front anyway.

The tone is not as awesome and spot-on as what you can do with Waldo's head Twin mods plus a Mac, but you don't have to haul that stuff around, and I think it sounds fine in the mix. You can also play very quietly without affecting the tone. Not having to carry anything, wrestle the 100-pound 2x12 cabinet, worry about any cabling other than the guitar cord, and knowing that my sound is the same every night through the system regardless of the room, stage, etc., is worth the tradeoff to me.
Would you share your IR files? I'm starting to lean heavily towards the AX8, it's about half of what the Kemper costs and you're getting a pretty darn good result with it.
 #161932  by tcsned
 Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:31 am
playingdead wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:53 am
Sure, shoot me a PM, I'll send you a link.
You rock!! :cool: :cool: :cool:
 #162044  by tcsned
 Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:17 am
I decided to pull the trigger on the Kemper. I’ve got a buddy with an AxeFX that I’ll do some comparisons. The Kemper seemed more my thing. I will find out soon . . .

OUT FOR DELIVERY!!
strumminsix, FrettyBoy liked this
 #162047  by tcsned
 Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:31 pm
I had a bit of time to mess with it today. I have to say, so far I'm really impressed. flyingheelhook's JGarcia profiles are great, as are the buhzillion of others. I've been loving the Dumbles especially. When I get my shit together on this thing I'll post some clips.
FrettyBoy liked this
 #162080  by tcsned
 Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:52 am
I played my first gig with the Kemper last night. It really did well in a less than ideal setting. Packed, loud, drunken crowd in a smallish bar, my bandmates decided to play loud as fuck, and I made some changes to our mixer that our friend running sound wasn’t prepared for. Flyingheelhook’s profiles are great! I also got to use a Marshall on a couple of tunes as well as a Dumble ODS. It played nice with my stompboxes. I give it two thumbs up! :cool: :cool:

I streamed it on Facebook, I’ll see if there’s a worthy clip to post here.
strumminsix, ac4468 liked this
 #162123  by tcsned
 Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:05 am
I got a couple of gigs in and it's one badass little box! I'm getting some cool Fender Tweed tones dialed in as well as some screamin' Marshalls :cool: :cool: :cool:

My iPhone camera was pointed in a less than ideal direction but it captured this tune alright:


I made this video last night:
 #162125  by strumminsix
 Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:11 pm
tcsned wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:05 am
I got a couple of gigs in and it's one badass little box! I'm getting some cool Fender Tweed tones dialed in as well as some screamin' Marshalls :cool: :cool: :cool:

My iPhone camera was pointed in a less than ideal direction but it captured this tune alright:


I made this video last night:
Sounds great man!