Fractal Axe Fx 3

  • It's true you can edit deeply in the Kemper, no doubt. But with it's interface and huge library, I am more prone to putting time into finding a suitable profile for my chosen guitar, then use the Kemper as an Amp. Just messing with Volume and EQ. Often not EQ, just perhaps changing a few pedals around. Sometimes not even in the Kemper. So in that way, it FEELS like an amp to me, since I treat it simplistically.


    But as said, it's the individual that brings this compulsion to the table, I agree.


    And like they say about food, if you don't keep it in the kitchen, you can't eat it!

    Well put.


    This is where I sit as well. The Kemper gets me great tone with little effort. The rest of the time I spend playing guitar ;)

  • Firstly, Tone Matching is basically EQ matching, and EQ matching isn't a gimmick. It's actually an extremely powerful tool. I'm assuming you've never used it, because if you had, and if you'd used it effectively, you'd know just how powerful it is.

    Tone Matching has been a rather one-sided debate since I've been on the forum. For one, Tone Matching does NOT equal Profiling in terms of sound. It gets you to an approximate ballpark, not an exact replica. So it's a great idea, but not a complete one.


    I haven't any proof, but I highly suspect a lot of Slate plugins are really well-done EQ matching of the gear they "clone" rather than, like Fractal, component modeleing, but they don't sound anywhere near as real as the actual gear like UAD plugins do (which aren't perfect, but really close, especially for their own UA hardware) So I suspect that UAD plugins are actual programed models of hardware and Slate plugins are clever EQ's that approximate hardware, especially since they are so good at EQ's (i.e. Eiosis) Just my hunch, don't sue me. It's why I find their hardware emulations 2nd tier compared to other companies in terms of hardware clones (ie Brainworx, UA)


    But there's no way you can Tone Match an amp and have it sound authentic like Profiling an amp is. It just can't be done.
    The process of Tone Matching doesn't probe real-time dynamics of the gear, just aligns to it's average frequency curve. That leaves enough realism on the table to notice.


    Anyways, thats the consensus of years of talk on the subject, which had made it a closed casket debate on this forum.

  • Tone Matching has been a rather one-sided debate since I've been on the forum. For one, Tone Matching does NOT equal Profiling in terms of sound. It gets you to an approximate ballpark, not an exact replica. So it's a great idea, but not a complete one.


    EQ matching doesn't capture non-linear functions, so no, it's not a substitute for profiling and no one who's conversant with EQ matching and profiling would confuse the two. EQ matching simply compares the frequency spectrum of one sample against another and attempts to compensate for the differences between them. It can be extremely effective when applied properly. I honestly can't stress that enough. It can completely transform tone.


    But there's no way you can Tone Match an amp and have it sound authentic like Profiling an amp is. It just can't be done.


    Well, it depends on what level of transformation you're talking about. Like I said, it doesn't capture non-linear functions, so it can't transform cleans into distortion. However, it can most assuredly clone or copy the sound one high gain tone to another one that sounds completely different. I've done it numerous times. Here's an example:





    Anyways, thats the consensus of years of talk on the subject, which had made it a closed casket debate on this forum.


    I've been using EQ matching software for well over a decade now, so this is one area I have extensive experience in and understand the potential and limitations of. Anyone who tells you EQ matching is a gimmick and doesn't have the potential to be completely transformative doesn't know what they're talking about. The proof is in the pudding.

  • I've been using EQ matching software for well over a decade now, so this is one area I have extensive experience in and understand the potential and limitations. Anyone who tells you EQ matching is a gimmick and doesn't have the potential to completely transform tone doesn't know what they're talking about. The proof is in the pudding.

    I totally agree that it's not a gimmick. It really does transform an original tone to one closely approximating what you're trying to match.


    I am making the point that it's not profiling. Profiling is not tone matching. They are entirely different, and tone matching falls short of profiling.
    No one has been able to tone match an amp and equal a profile of an amp in "realness".


    But that doesn't mean on the other hand it's a gimmick or sucks or anything like that. It's quite useful, a lot quicker, and frankly takes way less talent than profiling, so it's a GOTO technique for many applications.


    There have been profiles here of tone matched guitar tones to famous recordings. They get you into the ballpark. Would do the job live; an audience wouldn't complain.
    But if you did an A/B compared to the profiled amp, the difference is the Tone Match is noticeably less credible.


    I think you are saying the same thing, just defending the charge in another post that it's a gimmick. And to that extent, I understand that post's intent. If Fractal is trying to advertise Tone Matching as an equal alternative to Profiling, it is a gimmick. But that doesn't mean it, as a procedure, isn't a powerful and useful feature of the unit. Which is your point I think.

  • I am making the point that it's not profiling. Profiling is not tone matching.


    I agree, but my question is who claimed they're the same or confused the two?


    No one has been able to tone match an amp and equal a profile of an amp in "realness".


    It depends. If the differences between a reference amp and target tone in terms of 'realness' as you put it are EQ oriented then sure, it's completely possible to match the sound of the reference amp in terms of realness. In fact, if you peruse some of the threads that devolved into debates about deficiencies in the profiling process and discrepancies between some reference amps and their profiles, I showed that in a lot of cases those differences can be corrected with EQ matching to the point that no one was able to truly differentiate between the two in a blind test. Yes, EQ matching can definitely compensate for differences in 'realness' when the discrepancies are EQ related.


    But that doesn't mean on the other hand it's a gimmick or sucks or anything like that. It's quite useful, a lot quicker, and frankly takes way less talent than profiling, so it's a GOTO technique for many applications.


    This isn't necessarily true. Effective EQ matching isn't as simple as loading two random samples and hitting a button. I've heard numerous samples of EQ matches that didn't sound very similar and certainly weren't indistinguishable from one another.


    There has been profiles here of tone matched guitar tones to famous recordings. They get you into the ballpark. Would do the job live, an audience wouldn't complain.
    But if you did an A/B compared to the profiled amp, the difference is the Tone Match is noticeably less credible.


    That's a perfect example of what I was talking about(above). If EQ matching is done properly, you shouldn't be able to tell the difference when listening critically in a blind A/B.


    If Fractal is trying to advertise Tone Matching as an equal alternative to Profiling, it is a gimmick.


    They're not and never have. Cliff certainly knows the difference.

  • Firstly, Tone Matching is basically EQ matching, and EQ matching isn't a gimmick. It's actually an extremely powerful tool. I'm assuming you've never used it, because if you had, and if you'd used it effectively, you'd know just how powerful it is.

    You're assuming not me and you know what happens when people assume. I've used it well over 10-15 years ago and didn't think much of it even for mixing or anyt other purpose. I was very well aware of how many software plugin companies had released their revisions of it Many years before Fractal even considered using it. From my experience Dynamic Spectral mapper is the best match EQ with dynamic matching, ozone, FabFilter and the list goes on and on.


    I know why I say a gimmick because I was watching the riots on the Fractal Forum when Kemper was released and few days or weeks Fractal released Tone Match :D . Up to this day, you can't even point me to at best less than a handful of AMP matches done by the AXE FX, so yes it's a gimmick to silence unsuspecting consumers who have no clue what an EQ match is verses what the kemper does . I thought it was hilarious that I actually laughed my ass off when AXE users where claiming it's similar to what the Kemper does, but I'm sure you're aware of the saying "ignorance is bliss"


    Tone matching in practice destroys a Mix and I doubt anyone with EQ skills will resort to matching the EQ curve of comfortably numb or songs in the dark side of the moon expecting to get anywhere near that without destroying the harmonic content of their mix. Even from software companies it's a gimmick because matching the EQ of a song will never substitute for proper EQ. and mixing techniques


    Yes you heard it from me, for the most part EQ match is for the most part a gimmick. .Who wants to use tone matching on a mix? Do you trust your mix to some who will use EQ matching. Isn't obvious that's intended for those who have no EQ skills to sell them on the idea that if they use EQ matching they will sound like the big producers and famous mix engineer. Why would someone who knows how to use EQ resort to using EQ matching?

  • Almost 200 posts and no one, NO ONE, here has played the Axe FX III so far..... So very much bla bla bla bla bla this, bla bla bla bla that. Djeezzzz, where do you guys get the time for this nonsense? It's like the whiners did not overcome the "No-Kemper-News-at-NAMM" and keep on whining in this thread.
    You all should be ashamed.
    And play your guitar more often :D

    I started the thread to discuss the specs and flexibility. Tone and comparability to other products are subjective and lies mostly in the opinion realm. Everybody's ears are different, everybody's skill is different. Usefulness and application is where the real discussion lies.

  • I know why I say a gimmick because I was watching the riots on the Fractal Forum when Kemper was released and few days or weeks Fractal released Tone Match :D . Up to this day, you can't even point me to at best less than a handful of AMP matches done by the AXE FX, so yes it's a gimmick to silence unsuspecting consumers who have no clue what an EQ match is verses what the kemper does.


    FAS never touted Tone Matching as an equivalent to profiling. They marketed it as a tool that provides the capability to replicate the tone of a live amp(or a recording). Can it do that? Yes, it can. That's precisely what I've been saying with respect to EQ matching. It can't capture non-linear functions, but you don't need to do that in order to clone the tone of an amp, assuming the differences in the source and target are EQ related. In that regard, it's absolutely not a gimmick.


    I thought it was hilarious that I actually laughed my ass off when AXE users where claiming it's similar to what the Kemper does, but I'm sure you're aware of the saying "ignorance is bliss"


    The Kemper does use frequency spectrum matching, but that's only a portion of what the profiling process consists of. To be honest though, I couldn't care less what users were saying 5+ years ago on FAS's forum. It has nothing to do with whether EQ matching is effective.


    Tone matching in practice destroys a Mix and I doubt anyone with EQ skills will resort to matching the EQ curve of comfortably numb or songs in the dark side of the moon expecting to get anywhere near that without destroying the harmonic content of their mix. Even from software companies it's a gimmick because matching the EQ of a song will never substitute for proper EQ. and mixing techniques


    Who was talking about EQ matching an entire song?


    Who wants to use tone matching on a mix? Do you trust your mix to some who will use EQ matching. Isn't obvious that's intended for those who have no EQ skills to sell them on the idea that if they use EQ matching they will sound like the big producers and famous mix engineer. Why would someone who knows how to use EQ resort to using EQ matching?


    Andy Sneap has used EQ matching on some guitar tracks to replicate tones he recorded on earlier projects. He even created profiles of the EQ matched tones. He noted that he thought EQ matching would be an extremely useful feature if Christoph would implement it in the KPA.

  • I’m just finding it odd that guitar amp sim pedals continue to go up in price so much, while VSTs which are only getting better and better and have narrowed the gap for recording to virtually nothing stay at the same around $100 price.


    I’m glad I got a Kemper when it first came out. But it’s getting harder to justify these sorts of prices for the convenience of hardware.

    By and large? Yes indeed.


    As the population of more and more of computers chosen for music production gain in power and speed the leading edge VST makers will offer more and more capable VSTs.


    Oversampling VST's can and do add quality and the hit to computer performance is not a severe as it once was.


    I'm glad for folks who are excited about the new AXE FXIII. I find it interesting as news and some of my friends use Fractal gear.


    I am still a lover of the better tube amps out there.


    Kemper makes using those great amps still fit my workflow and ear.


    A new very well done profile gives me a new usability and reason to know I have made the best choice for me. Continuing opportunities for inspiration. I have new amps on a rolling basis.


    I have been more than satisfied by the continuing FW updates. Not every one of the updates has been vital for my situation but there have been some gems that I am glad were offered. Particularly for no cost.


    Much is made of a need for having an editor app for the KPA. I can see where it would be important for some folks, but it isn't something I find troublesome.


    An app that would allow quick assignment or reassignment of midi switching numbers would be something I would find helpful.


    Most of my work is recording and the switching thing is a moot point.



    If I'm asked to do live work it would be easier to quickly set a rig switching scheme for the gig. Other change are quite easy on the fly for me.

  • I will tell you another thing that sucks about Fractal, yeah I was never able to get that "tone match" to actually do much of anything either. And, even worse, with Fractal you have the Axe Exchange where someone can tweak a patch or preset and you can download it and use it as your own, but the Firmware of Fractal changes so often that in very short time any presets you have gotten from someone become useless and out of date.


    Fractal is just a bad idea all the way around. It's a bad foundation. Cliffs approach is to program 1s and 0s until you can tweak something to sound like a Amp. Christop basically just created a Copying machine like Xerox or something, mic a amp and record it, and wa-la it's a profile. Made from the actual source.


    All the people on the Fractal forum constantly drink the Fractal kool-aid.... everytime a new FW update comes out they create 100 page threads raving about the improvements.... you know there's actually videos on youtube showing every "improved" FW version of Fractals history in sequence, I have watched those and have heard very little improvement from the start of the Fractal standard to the end of Axe FX 2XL. Very, very little.


    But with each FW update the Fractal forum goes crazy thinking its the best thing ever. You could give them the placebo effect of no actual real update, just say there was, and I bet tghey'd still think it was better and improved.


    Same thing with coming out with a Axe 3... they just think its a improvement.


    There won't be a Kemper 2, and if there is, it won't be be because the tone could be improved upon, because it can't, it already sounds like a real amp as long as you buy good profiles. A kemper 2 may have other features, but you can't get better than already sounds same as a real recorded amp in a blind test.


    It's good owning a Kemper, I sleep real good KNOWING I have the absolute best already.


    Screw spending $2,500 for a Axe 3, I will take $2,500 and start another custom Suhr guitar build haha

  • I’m just finding it odd that guitar amp sim pedals continue to go up in price so much, while VSTs which are only getting better and better and have narrowed the gap for recording to virtually nothing stay at the same around $100 price.


    I’m glad I got a Kemper when it first came out. But it’s getting harder to justify these sorts of prices for the convenience of hardware.

    Watch out for Mooer , a Chinese company that's doing ecactly what you're talking about and the micro premaps sound pretty good, Notice the color leads similar to the Kemper


    GO to 4:09 and watch out for the AMP Capture a new feature similar to Tone Match to connect to a real world amp and capture it in the form of advanced EQ then you can share presets of that amp withe other users (Advanced EQ is the proper name for the same thing called tone match by fractal)


    All of this for a suggested retail of 300 US dollars and you know it will be a little less than that, it also has an Editor. No need to spend 2500 on an AXe FX III for amp modleing. So in regards to tone, this is as good as .



    For sound clips of all actual Preamps that will be included in one pedal with brilliant simple controller that I would take as back up over an AXE FX III or Helix for simplicity any day of the week.

  • I will tell you another thing that sucks about Fractal, yeah I was never able to get that "tone match" to actually do much of anything either.


    The only conclusion I can come to is that you didn't know how to use it.


    Fractal is just a bad idea all the way around. It's a bad foundation. Cliffs approach is to program 1s and 0s until you can tweak something to sound like a Amp.


    Yes, just like every modeler and computer program. Do you think the Kemper was programmed without binary at some level?


    But with each FW update the Fractal forum goes crazy thinking its the best thing ever. You could give them the placebo effect of no actual real update, just say there was, and I bet tghey'd still think it was better and improved.


    True for some. I can hear differences between early firmware releases and the current version. There's something to be said for good monitoring.


    There won't be a Kemper 2, and if there is, it won't be be because the tone could be improved upon, because it can't, it already sounds like a real amp as long as you buy good profiles. A kemper 2 may have other features, but you can't get better than already sounds same as a real recorded amp in a blind test.


    There are a few discrepancies in the current version of the profiling process. Many times the differences aren't significant, but there are definitely a number of examples showcasing significant audible differences between some profiles and reference amps.

  • GO to 4:09 and watch out for the AMP Capture a new feature similar to Tone Match to connect to a real world amp and capture it in the form of advanced EQ then you can share presets of that amp withe other users (Advanced EQ is the proper name for the same thing called tone match by fractal)


    All of this for a suggested retail of 300 US dollars and you know it will be a little less than that, it also has an Editor. No need to spend 2500 on an AXe FX III for amp modleing. So in regards to tone, this is as good as .


    I've looked and can't find any external hardware that has EQ matching aside from the Axe FX, so if the EQ matching feature works well and allows you to save captures as IR's then that's pretty awesome and worth the money just for that feature alone, in my opinion.

  • I have to say the Mooer Preamp Live sounds like @ss, according to the video.
    The single preamps sound great though, so I assume the Preamp Live can sound like any of the single preamps you load in.
    I didn’t find any information about the Live on their website, too.

  • I've looked and can't find any external hardware that has EQ matching aside from the Axe FX, so if the EQ matching feature works well and allows you to save captures as IR's then that's pretty awesome and worth the money just for that feature alone, in my opinion.

    The Bias Head has sound matching (match eq is the industry standard term for this), but this is obviously done in software on a computer via the bias VST then uploaded to the head, I suspect the same with the Mooer.

  • The Bias Head has sound matching (match eq is the industry standard term for this), but this is obviously done in software on a computer via the bias VST then uploaded to the head, I suspect the same with the Mooer.

    Tone Capture appears to be possible using the hardware itself. Note the text under "B" on the unit:


    Tone Capture
    (Hold 1&4)


    Once you've created a capture, you can upload it to a computer via USB using the software.

  • I have to say the Mooer Preamp Live sounds like @ss, according to the video.

    Well I hope that the real sound is better than with this I-net video via my home stereo system.
    Kemper spoiled ears may well hope with me. :)
    The features themselves seem to be very practical and Mooer is not known to be expensive.
    Somehow I see this young troop as innovative and clever.

  • True for some. I can hear differences between early firmware releases and the current version.


    As much as I respect Fractal products for their quality but I can understand competely that there are many guys who just cant get along with their policies.


    It is definitly "weird" how they handle their "updates"..it is something..well..you cant say it is just "unusual" because it affects everything.In many hours crafted and tweaked presets to use for your live-gigs,studio work..every Fractal customer has to live in Cliffs rythm..this is not much different than a guru and his "disciples"..and has nothing to do with "serious behaviour".I dont have any issue with weird people (being myself everything else than an "easy person") and if all the Fractal customers are happy depending soundwise on the moods of a talented but obviousoy unsteady and hyperactive developer..so be it..good for them.Have fun.What we call "music industry" (better said whatever is left of this) was always and will be always nothing else than comedy..in the best case.Some say "monkey buisness" I call it "circus" and all talk about "industry standards" and even "professionalism" in this job cant be taken really serious..anyway..


    In the end this whole issue depends on the personality of each and single customer who decides to go for a certain product.Do you like to create "from the scratch" and tweak for hours or are you the "fire & forget" & "plug and play" type of guy comming directly and after decades from the tube rig world..choose your product.I actually like this.Good times to have GAS..maybe the best ever.


    After reading some threads about the AF3 in their forums it becomes more clear that even Cliff does not even want to hide that the ampmodels will sound more or less the same as in the AF2xl whatever and only the "specs" side of things will be increased with a lots of room for "future updates"..so everything will stay the same.Cliff will continue to realease every two weeks barrages of "more real sounding updates" which will devastate a lots of work have being done by their customers at home/rehearsal room/studio while the core of their cutomers will continue to rave about it..perfectly fine for me.I am very happy for these guys.As long as both adults (or as many as involved adults) agree on what to do with eachother and really,really like it I will not say a word.. :D:D


    But personally I am a different type of guy... ;)

  • I talk based on my experience reading and researching the internet about amp modeling that also included reading the gear page about 5 years ago, I no longer read or visit these websites.


    Problem with Fractal is regardless of the quality and modeling is that they have alienated a segment of the market . Their customer base is just like any musical instrument composed of open minded customers who like to play guitar and music and we see these guys on this forum like coldfrixion and others.


    But in their hardcore fan base there's a group that was encouraged by owners of Fractal to basically attack anyone who ever had a negative experience with the AXE FX. I've seen and confirmed that the geapage banned many users for no other reasons but posting less than favorable experience with the AXE. I know this for a fact because I know some of these people personally..


    I'm not sure if their idea was to make a brand name whose products are above criticism and I didn't like when Fractal in the early days o f Kemper started making up lies and rumors about their competition,


    I personally can't bond with a company like Fractal because of their elitist, stop at nothing to lie about competition, approach and have friends who own the largest modeling forum (the gear page) ban anyone with any less than favorable experience with their product.


    I still respect line 6 and all other guitar companies because for the most part, even though they're in it for the profit, they still retain respectable humans' qualities creating and marketing products that are about the music and fair classy competitive spirit that embodies values of most musicians I know, but not world domination and insisting that their products are above criticism.


    With that in mind, the AXE FX III promises to be much of the same all, including the kitchen sink, do it all convoluted product that can be more suited for an electrical engineer more than a guitar player.