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Fractal Users & Ideas / Favorites

Brandon Lamparelli

Music Theory Bragger
Nov 11, 2019
Hey all! Not sure if this is currently being done under another thread, but I know we all have a significant appreciation for our tone. I have noticed a good deal of Syn fans on Youtube, IG, etc. using Fractal Audio products that have created some killer tones. I myself have an ax8 and like to think I am pretty creative in building tones similar to Syn's (off what my own ear perceives) but I would love to have some open dialogue and maybe share some tips/tricks amongst this awesome community to help us all achieve better tones. I'm assuming most of us have purchased the cab packs on the website and they are INCREDIBLE. Where I think a unique opportunity lies is that most of us probably have similar setups (invader pickups or Syn's signature) which would be beneficial in trying to achieve specific tones. I would love to share some ideas and metrics that have worked for me as well as hear what works for you guys. For example, in Axe-Edit (what amp are you modeling? I use the 5153Red for most of my lead tones with a compressor before it with some high attack. Hopefully this gets the ball rolling and I look forward to sharing ideas with everyone :)

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Marana, AZ USA
    I'm not one who tries to emulate specific tones, preferring to find my own happy place, but I use the 5153 red for rhythm as well, which is, to the best of my knowledge, what Syn's techs used to emulate his Hellwin tone. I think my lead channel is based around the Freidman 2018 model, but I haven't looked at it in sometime.

    (I have the AxeFX IIXL+, the one from right before the 3 was announced)

    Syn has released IR models of his personal cabinets, which can be purchased here. I bought the Big Pack when it was first released, not because I wanted to sound like Syn, but because all of the packs I'd tried had some weird artifacts that would come through in my rather unorthodox playing style. I'd tried a number of Ownhammer and ML packs, including large bundles from Misha Mansoor and many others. Syn's pack was the only one that I didn't hear my weird artifacting in, so they are my cabs of choice.

    For the heavy tones, I use the Hellwin 4x12 cab with a pair of ribbon mics, (121/421) because I find the industry standard SM57s too "fizzy" for my taste.

    I have two expression pedals, and for all my presets one is a dedicated volume pedal and the other is a wah. I'm still tweaking the wah. I like Mark Tremonti's physical wah, but I can't find the specs for it to emulate, and I'm not good at doing that shit myself.

    Setting and tweaking the Gate/Exp after the amp and before the cab, I find, to be great for keeping noise under control. I have mine tuned to kick in only when the guitar's volume pot is totally off, and I use delay and reverb in an isolated loop at the very end before the output because that's where I like it. Seems more like post-processing in my head, I think.