One thing that continues to impress me about the Axe-Fx is how truly simple it can be to get a tone that you want.
An evening not too long ago, I decided to get out my trusty Spector Euro 5 LX bass. Ever since I’ve gotten my Dingwall, it’s been neglected. I got it out for a very specific reason though – I was listening to Queensryche’s Empire album, and decided I would see just how quickly I could get in the ballpark of that amazing NS-2 tone. Bass strapped on and plugged in, I set out to see what I could do.
I actually began with my Dingwall preset (posted earlier). I’m very happy with the overall gain structure of that particular preset, and felt it would at least be a decent starting point for this. I was mostly correct with that. It gave me good tone, though nothing I would be happy with at practice or a gig. I queue up Jet City Woman and start playing / listening closely.
I let the intro finish – right to where the drums come in. I now had the “source tone” rolling around in my head. I played the intro, and had my “current tone” in my head. Realizing there is a rather large divide between the two, I set out to close the gap. Much to my own surprise, swapping the Drive pedal for a Fat Rat (instead of a TS808) got me most of the way there.
As a lot of us know, there’s an 80/20 rule about this. Getting 80% of the way towards a tone will take X amount of time. Getting another 10% of the way takes at least X*2 time. Getting to 100% is unlikely, and to even approach it would take at least X^X time. Well, I was about 5 minutes total in this experiment and firmly at 80% – why not shoot for at least 90%?
The next several minutes were spent tweaking things to help with that percussive pick attack, and getting that drive block set just right. I actually ended up spending probably 10 more minutes at this stage, bringing me to about 15 minutes. I went back and forth between the recording and my current tone several times. At this stage, I was undoubtedly at 90%. Not wanting, or even feeling the need to, spend a ton more time closing the gap to 100%, I said “OK, that’s close enough”. And here it is – Selta_SpectorEuro5LX_JetCityWoman.
One quick note – the PEQ block is hard panned Left – you’ll want to center it. If I get a chance to, I will correct this and update the post.