Timestamps for the video: 0:35 – EMPTY Cab Block; 4:41 – Modifiers; 8:59 – Low Level in a block
The Axe-Fx II allows users to export and share presets they’ve made with other Axe-Fx II users. You can download and search for presets on the Axe-Change, or you might download a preset from the FAS forum.
Sometimes a preset you install onto your Axe-Fx II loads ok, but there is no sound. Here are the 3 most common reasons:
Cab Block has an Empty User Cab selected
The Axe-Fx II has a bunch of Factory Cab simulations available in the Cab block, and it also offers many User Cab slots for us to install our own IRs and Cab sims. When we save a preset that uses a User Cab slot, that User Cab number is saved with the preset, but the actual Cab Sim/IR is not. (This would allow the sharing of purchased IRs by simply sharing a preset.)
If someone saves their preset with User Cab slot 076 selected in the Cab block, when you load the preset on your Axe-Fx II, it will also pull up User Cab slot 076. If you have no User Cab installed there, the preset will not make any sound.
To check this, select the Cab block and make sure the Cab selected does not say “EMPTY.” If it does, simply select another Cab that you know works. I suggest using a Factory Cab since those always work, but if you have a User Cab you are familiar with, you can of course choose that as well.
Similarly, loading a preset with a User Cab selected might make sound initially, but it may not sound right. Let’s say you had an Acoustic Guitar IR loaded in User Cab slot 076, but the preset was a high gain electric guitar sound. You would then be running your High Gain amp through an Acoustic Guitar sound, which probably isn’t the sound you want. Again, simply change the Cab to something more appropriate.
Modifier is Changing a Parameter
Another common reason a preset may not make sound is that the creator of the preset has attached a Modifier to a parameter that is turning down the volume. This is typically the Volume parameter in a Volume block. Many use an expression pedal to control the volume in their presets and therefore attach an External Controller to the Volume parameter.
To check this, edit the Volume block and look for the “Modifier Attached” symbol. It looks like a pair of brackets with a line through them.
To fix this, you can either replace the Volume block with a Shunt, which basically “deletes” the volume block, or you can remove the Modifier. To do this, on the Front Panel move the cursor to the parameter with the Modifier, in this case the Volume parameter and press the Enter button. This brings up the Modifier screen. Change the Source to None.
In Axe-Edit, you right-click on the Modifier symbol to bring up the Modifier screen, then change the Source to None.
The Volume parameter in a Volume block is a common place for a Modifier to reside. However, any other parameter in any other block could have Modifier attached, which may be turning down the level, so it’s a bit of a hunt sometimes to find the right one.
Level Parameter is Turned Down
Every block in the Axe-Fx II has a Level parameter. Most of these blocks are set to 0.0 dB, which is a “normal” volume level. The Amp block, however is capable of producing a lot of level depending on how the Drive, Gain, Trim, and Master Volume, among other parameters, are set. It is typical to see Amp Block levels set from 0.0 dB all the way down to -25 or even -30 dB.
However, if you aren’t getting any sound, check the Level parameters in all blocks to make sure none are turned all the way down to -80 dB or similar. -80 dB is the lowest setting and is basically “no sound.” If you find one like that, turn it up slowly until you start to hear sound, then set it appropriately.
Remember to check all blocks for a low level like -80 dB if you aren’t getting sound.
The 3 things mentioned above are some of the most common reasons a preset may not make sound, but there could be other reasons as well. Remember to read any notes that accompany the preset download – perhaps the creator mentions using an Expression pedal in the Volume block. If you still can’t get sound after checking these things, you may want to contact the creator of the preset.