November 5, 2012

Nguyen Le: KAOSS part II

Dear Jan,

Thanks for your warm words about my work. It is actually an AxeFX Ultra that I was using with Gergo Borlai in Budapest. I have a Kaoss Pad III which I plug directly after the AxeFX & before the amps (two since I go stereo) I usually ask for 2 Fender Twins in the backline rider. To control the AxeFX I have a Softstep midi foot controller to send program changes & CCs for Boost & Tap Tempo, plus two pedals, one for volume & the other to change FX parameters, depending on the preset. Can be reverb length & mix, or delay feedback & mix, or LFO speed, or whawha... The SoftStep is incredibly light, but was a pain in the neck to program.
Korg Kaoss pad III

I spend a lot of time to craft my AxeFX presets, every parameter is finely tuned & it's still a work in progress. I use mainly 2 gtrs made by French Luthier Julien Gendre, The "Tao" with active EMG pickups & ebony fingerboard, & the more recent "Tiger's Tail" with passive noiseless Kinman pickups & sycomore fingerboard. I made 3 banks of 8 presets for each guitar, the 1rst ten being the most used "normal" guitar sounds, & the next 14 being heavily effected programs (electronic noises, crazy soundscapes, etc...) 

I use the Kaosspad to add a layer of effects at the output of the AxeFX, mainly very special effects, noisy & electronic. By example I will play a pad sound with the AxeFX, with lots of layered delays, detuners & chorus; while the pad sustains I will dial a filter on the Kaoss. With one finger I will change the filter cutoff frequency. Or I will take a tremolo & change its speed at the touch of the finger. Or add digital distorsion with lots of noisy artifacts. Or sample & loop myself, while changing the length of the loop with the finger. The Kaoss is a great piece of gear because it's so fun, intuitive & organic to play with. Just the opposite of the AxeFX which ask for long sessions of precise programming.

 Unlike what's recommended in the user's manual, for stage work I prefer to run the AxeFX into the instruments input of guitar amps. I need the organic color & the warm meat of gtr amps ! I like the Twin Reverb for delivering this clean but warm power without being too much colored like a Marshall. When recording I go direct & the AxeFX works really great for that, but I always correct & perfect the sound with more compressors (VintageWarmer PSP plugin or Fatso hardware), eq (UAD Pultec) & speaker simulators (MOTU Live Room). Today I'm using an AxeFX II & I'm very happy with it.

Hope this helps,


Here is PART ONE

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