AX8 Owner`s Manual - Fractal Audio Systems

AX8 Owner`s Manual - Fractal Audio Systems
AMP MODELER + MULTI FX
OWNER’S
MANUAL
Manual Version 6.0.1
Inside Front Cover
Declaration of Conformity
Manufacturer’s Name: Fractal Audio Systems, LLC
Manufacturer’s Address: 4 Wilder Drive, Plaistow, NH 03865 USA
Declares that the product:
Product name: AX-8 Product option: None
Conforms to the following Product Specifications:
Safety: EN60065:2014
EMC: EN55013:2013
EN55020:2007+A11:2011
EN55024:2010
EN61000-3-2:2014
EN61000-3-3:2013
Supplementary Information:
The product herewith complies with the requirements of
the Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC
and the EMC Directive 2004/108/EC.
Clifford Chase
President / CEO
November 16, 2015
EMC/EMI
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B Digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against
harmful interference in residential installations. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio
frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. There is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a
particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to
correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
i
Legal Notices
Fractal Audio Systems AX8 Owner’s Manual. Contents Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of
Fractal Audio Systems.
Fractal Audio, AX8, Humbuster, UltraRes, G3 Modeling Technology (“G3”), Multipoint Iterative Matching
and Impedance Correction (“MIMIC”), Virtual Vacuum Tube (“VVT”), Quantum Amp Modeling, are trademarks of Fractal Audio Systems. Manufacturer names and product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated with or affiliated with Fractal Audio. The names are used only to illustrate sonic and performance characteristics.
Important Safety Instructions
WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this
appliance to rain or moisture.
CAUTION: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not remove screws.
There are no user serviceable parts inside. Refer servicing to qualified service
personnel.
1. Obey all warnings on the AX8 chassis and in this User Guide.
2. Keep away from sources of heat such as ducts, registers or appliances that produce heat.
3. Connect only to a standard grounded AC outlet of 100–240V, 47–63 Hz.
4. Keep the power cord in good condition. Do not kink, bend, or pinch.
5. If the cord becomes damaged, discard and replace it.
6. If not using your AX8 for extended periods of time, disconnect from AC power.
7. Protect the unit from rain and excessive moisture.
8. Refer servicing to qualified personnel only.
9. Stop operation of the unit and obtain service if:
- Liquids or excessive moisture enter the unit.
- The unit operates incorrectly or performance is inconsistent or erratic.
- The unit has been dropped and/or the enclosure damaged.
10. Prolonged exposure to high volume levels can cause hearing damage and/or loss. The
use of hearing protection in high volume situations is recommended.
ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
6 SCENES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Selecting Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Setting Up Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Scene Revert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Default Scene. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
7 BLOCKS GUIDE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
The Amp Block. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
The Cab Block. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
The Looper Block. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
The FX Loop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
The Noise Gate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
The Output Mixer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Mix Page Common Parameters . . . . . . . . . 66
8 MODIFIERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Creating a Modifier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Modifier Example: Wah Pedal. . . . . . . . . . . 68
Modifier Sources Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Modifier Tips And Tricks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Advanced Modifier Parameters . . . . . . . . . 70
Internal Controllers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
External Controllers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Control Switches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
9 TEMPO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Preset Tempo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Auto Delay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
The Metronome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
10 THE TUNER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Advanced Tuner Functions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
11 SETUP MENUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
The Global Menu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
The I/O Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
The Utility Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
12 ADDITIONAL TOPICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Global Volume Pedal Setup. . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Spillover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Up- vs. Down-Stroke Fx Switching. . . . . . 91
Frequently Asked Questions. . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Transferring Blocks Between Products. . . 95
Main Menu Soft Knobs Guide. . . . . . . . . . . 96
Hidden Edit Button Functions. . . . . . . . . . . 96
13 SPECIFICATIONS & DEFAULTS. . . . . . . 97
MIDI Implementation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Factory Default MIDI CC Settings. . . . . . . . 99
MIDI Program Change Numbers . . . . . . . 100
WARRANTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
EULA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
1 INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Welcome to the AX8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Quick Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
If you own an Axe-Fx.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
If you own an FX8.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Quick Connect Guide. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Checking and Setting Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Humbuster Cables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Footswitches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Changing Presets and Scenes. . . . . . . . . . . . 6
The Footswitch Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The Grid Concept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
AX8-Edit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Fractal-Bot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2 HARDWARE OVERVIEW. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Top Panel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The Rear Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3 SETUP GUIDE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Full-Range/Direct Setup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Setup: Power Amp & Guitar Speakers. . . . 16
Setup: Direct + Real Amp & Cabs. . . . . . . . 17
Setup: FX Processor Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Checking and Setting Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Connecting Pedals & Switches. . . . . . . . . . 20
Connecting a Computer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4 FUNCTION SWITCHES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
F-Switches Overview. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Customizing F-Switches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Sample F-Switch Layouts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5 CREATING PRESETS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
What Is a Preset? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
The Layout Grid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Working with Blocks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Shunts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Connector Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Moving Blocks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Block Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Example Preset Grids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Editing Effect Blocks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Saving Changes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Setting Up Footswitches 1-8. . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Global and Momentary Switches. . . . . . . . 36
Control Switches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
X/Y Switching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Preset CPU Limits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Preset and Scene Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
iii
THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING THE AX8
Thank you for choosing the AX8, an all-in-one guitar processor designed for the stage and studio, and
featuring Fractal Audio Systems’ legendary amp modeling and effects processing.
Since the original Axe-Fx turned the modeling world upside-down, users have clamored for an all-in-one
version. The AX8 brings the vaunted tone of the Axe-Fx II to a conveniently light and small “floor unit” without
sacrificing the all-important sound quality required for professional performance or recording situations.
The AX8 was purpose-designed for the rigors of the road and features a sturdy steel chassis with aircraft
aluminum side panels. An integrated power supply eliminates the clumsy and failure-prone “wall warts”
commonly used in other products. Our exclusive, proprietary “Silent Switching Technology” uses no
mechanical contacts to fail in the heat of battle. As with all Fractal Audio products only the best components
are used in the critical signal path, featuring audiophile-grade converters and linear components.
If you are an experienced Axe-Fx user you will be right at home with the AX8. We’ve packed all of our
revolutionary technologies into this little box: Quantum amp modeling, UltraRes™ speaker cabinet sims,
Humbuster™ I/O, and more, along with our renowned effects and usability features.
As with all our products, updates and a world-class software editor are free. The convenient (and also free)
“Fractal-Bot” utility is also compatible with the AX8 for updates and backing up all your custom settings.
Most importantly, the AX8 continues our tradition of not cutting corners. Our unique company structure and
“direct-to-musician” sales model means we can offer higher quality at a lower price. We don’t answer to shareholders and corporate bean-counters, so we don’t cut corners on the quality of the components going into
our products. This, along with our obsession with being the best leads to stellar reliability, performance and,
most importantly, the legendary Fractal Audio sound.
So grab your guitar and get ready for a journey into incredible tone with the AX8!
Fractal Audio Systems
November 2015
iv
1 Introduction
1 INTRODUCTION
WELCOME TO THE AX8
The AX8 is an advanced amp modeler and multi-effects pedalboard processor, perfect for guitar, bass,
and other instruments. The unit is “built like a tank” with a steel chassis and aircraft aluminum end panels,
featuring eleven quiet, durable, solid-state footswitches with no mechanical contacts to fail, 27 LEDs in
three colors, a brilliant LCD display, six buttons including SHIFT for extra functions, five soft knobs, and eight
dedicated LED-indicator knobs for essential amp functions. It has an instrument input, XLR, Humbuster
and S/PDIF main outputs, a stereo effects loop (which also doubles as a auxiliary input/output for special
applications) and four jacks for external switches or expression pedals.
Like every Fractal Audio Systems product, the AX8 puts sound quality first. It uses high quality D/A and A/D
converters for a pristine signal path and ultra-low noise levels. The on-board dual processors run the same
high-quality effect algorithms made famous in the Axe-Fx II.
We hope you find the unit easy to use and this manual easy to read. The most important sections are
those which introduce the basics of how the unit works. If nothing else, be sure to review this section, plus
“Hardware Overview” and “Setup Guide” on p. 15.
QUICK OVERVIEW
ƒƒ The AX8 contains 512 different presets
arranged in 64 numbered banks.
ƒƒ Each preset is like an entire rig, with its
own amp, speaker cab, and effects.
ƒƒ The AX8 features over 222 “Quantum”
amp models utilizing the same
technology as our flagship Axe-Fx II.
ƒƒ Ultra-Res™ Speaker Cab simulation provides
a level of accuracy that only Fractal Audio
Systems can offer. AX8 is also compatible
with our entire library of Cab-Packs.
ƒƒ Presets are extremely flexible with the
familiar “Layout Grid” from the Axe-Fx II.
ƒƒ Most blocks offer X/Y switching for twice as
many sounds from the same number of blocks.
ƒƒ Each preset contains eight scenes. Think
of a Scene as a preset within a preset.
Scenes eliminate “tap dancing” by turning
multiple effects on or off with a single
tap, switching X/Y states, and more.
ƒƒ Every preset can have its own custom
footswitch 1-8 assignments.
ƒƒ There are over 16 different useful
“Footswitch Blocks” such as “Scene 1/2
Toggle” or “Looper Control Mode”.
ƒƒ Footswitches can also be designated as
“GLOBAL”, which gives them the same
assignment across ALL presets in the AX8.
ƒƒ 3 assignable Function Footswitches offer over
a dozen options so you can create the perfect
layout of “modes” for your musical performances.
ƒƒ On-board jacks for four external footswitches
or expression pedals make it easy to
remote-control sound functions.
ƒƒ MIDI and USB also provide powerful
options for control, editing, and more.
ƒƒ AX8-Edit, a free software editor, makes
it possible to edit presets, effects, and
more when connected to a Mac or PC.
ƒƒ And much more! Please take the time to
familiarize yourself with this manual.
ƒƒ Should you need any assistance with the AX8,
please visit http://www.fractalaudio.com
1
1 Introduction
IF YOU OWN AN AXE-FX...
The AX8 is a dream come true for many Axe-Fx owners. Whether it is your backup rig or your new main
unit, we hope you will be pleased with what many are already calling the “Axe-Fx Junior on the Floor.” This
convenient grab-and-go unit contains the very best features of the Axe-Fx II, including the latest Quantum
Amp models, Ultra-Res™ Cabs, loads of effects, the 4x12 grid, and more.
Here are some quick tips that you as an Axe-Fx owner may find helpful as you get to know the AX8.
1. ALL of the amps are here! ALL of the factory cabs are here! All of your existing Axe-Fx II Cab-Packs and
user cab files are 100% compatible. All of the effects are basically the same as their counterparts in the
Axe-Fx, but the inventory is different. Review “Block Inventory” on p. 31
2. The AX8 has an impressive amount of CPU power—but not as much as the flagship Axe-Fx II. In
comparison to the Axe-Fx, it also disables blocks automatically if CPU usage gets too high.
See “Preset CPU Limits” on p. 39 to learn more.
3. Instead of a RECALL screen, the AX8 boots to the Footswitch Page—the first page of its main menu.
Think of this like the MFC-101 (our MIDI foot controller): as you edit it, the Footswitch Page doesn’t ever
change what you hear, just what the footswitches do.
Review “Setting Up Footswitches 1-8” on p. 35 and “Function Switches” on p. 23
4. Instead of a LAYOUT button, the Grid is accessed as the second page of the main menu.
Press PAGE> from the Footswitch Page to access it. Press EXIT to return to the Footswitch Page.
5. Instead of four NAV buttons, you will primarily use the E/NAV knob to get around menu pages.
One noteworthy exception is that when you want to assign a modifier to a knob, you will need to select
it using the NAV left and right buttons accessed as SHIFT + ENTER and SHIFT + EXIT.
6. There is no main “VALUE” knob; instead you’ll use A,B,C,D, and E knobs as indicated in the display.
DON’T FORGET about the eight dedicated LED-ring amp controls!
7. Instead of dedicated X and Y buttons, you’ll typically press and hold a footswitch to toggle X/Y for an
effect, or if no footswitch is assigned, select or edit the effect and double-tap EDIT.
8. When used to create an Auxiliary Output, the FX Loop Block must be placed in parallel rather than
series. (Unlike the Axe-Fx, the AX8 does not detect when a plug has been inserted into INPUT 2.)
9. In comparison to the MFC-101, BYPASS/ENGAGE footswitches execute on the switch up-stroke instead
of the down-stroke. Learn more, (including how to change this if you wish) in
“Up- vs. Down-Stroke Fx Switching” on p. 91.
10. AX8-Edit is so similar to Axe-Edit that using it overcomes the above front panel differences with ease.
11. The Axe-Fx II and AX8 cannot share presets, but you CAN transfer individual block settings from one
product to another using our editor software applications, Axe-Edit and AX8-Edit.
See ”Transferring Blocks Between Products” on p. 95.
12. The AX8 has FOUR jacks for external switches or pedals, not one or two.
13. All of the 1/4” outputs use Humbuster™ Technology, compatible with all existing Humbuster cables.
14. Fractal-Bot is fully supported. Use it for firmware updates, backup/restore operations, and more.
2
1 Introduction
IF YOU OWN AN FX8...
The AX8 looks very similar to the FX8, but there are some important differences. The FX8 is intended for use
with a tube amp, while the AX8 is primarily intended for going “direct.” Later you’ll learn how it can also be
used with real amps and guitar speakers, but at first you’ll surely want to connect the unit to some studio
monitors, full-range guitar speakers, or a high-quality PA system.
Here are some quick tips that you as an FX8 owner may find helpful as you get to know the AX8.
1. Instead of STOMPBOX MODE, the AX8 boots to the Footswitch Page—the first page of its main
menu. The Footswitch page is very different from Stompbox Mode in that it only changes footswitch
assignments. It does NOT determine which effects are in the preset, or what order they are in. Think
of the Footswitch Page almost like a separate foot controller. The three right F-Switches are also fully
programmable, allowing you to decide what you want each one to do by choosing from a menu.
Review “Setting Up Footswitches 1-8” on p. 35 and “Function Switches” on p. 23
2. Again, the Footswitch Page has no effect on what you hear. Instead, effect blocks are placed and must
be connected using the Layout Grid on the second page of the main menu. To display the grid,
press PAGE> from the Footswitch Page. Press EXIT to return to the footswitch screen.
Review “The Layout Grid” on p. 27
3. The AX8 uses a flexible architecture that does NOT designate separate “Pre” and “Post” chains.
It is still possible to use a four-cable method hookup, but this needs to be set up manually in each
preset using the FX Loop block (p. 61) to insert your preamp.
4. In addition to using Press-and-Hold footswitches to toggle X/Y, you can also select or edit an effect and
double-tap EDIT. (This is good to know because some blocks may not have footswitches assigned.)
5. Unlike the FX8, the AX8 is NOT specifically designed for unity gain, but when you’re using it “direct” this
really should not be a concern.
6. The effects of the AX8 are mostly the same as those in the current FX8 firmware, but there are a few
changes. Review “Block Inventory” on p. 31
7. There are no RELAYS. Instead, the AX8 has four jacks for external switches or pedals.
8. The AX8 Looper is not “global,” meaning it needs to be inserted as a block on the grid for every preset
where you want to use the Looper. Review “The Looper Block” on p. 58
9. Once you understand the Grid, AX8-Edit is remarkably similar to FX8-Edit.
10. The FX8 and AX8 cannot share presets, but you CAN transfer individual block settings from one product
to another using our editor software applications, FX8-Edit and AX8-Edit.
See ”Transferring Blocks Between Products” on p. 95.
11. All of the 1/4” outputs use Humbuster™ Technology. All existing Humbuster™ cables are compatible.
12. Fractal-Bot is fully supported. Use it for firmware updates, backup/restore operations, and more.
3
1 Introduction
QUICK CONNECT GUIDE
The best and most flexible way to enjoy your AX8 is through a full range system. In comparison to
traditional guitar speakers, the extended range of such a system is able to reproduce the very broad
spectrum of frequencies produced by all of the different amp models, speaker sims, and effects. Think
of it this way: a 1x12” open-back guitar speaker is never going to sound like a 4x12 stack, but full range
monitors or PA speakers are designed to reproduce the sound of anything you throw at them—right
down to an entire band.
If you do NOT plan on “going direct” with a full range system, please see “Setup Guide” on p. 15 for
instructions about how to use the AX8 in other configurations (but do also make a point of looking into
the many options available for full range guitar systems).
q
Begin with all level knobs turned down.
Connect your guitar to IN1 [INSTRUMENT].
The AX8 is also perfect for bass
and other instruments.
w
Connect OUT 1 [MAIN] to a mixer,
studio monitors, audio interface, PA system,
full-range speakers, amp inputs, etc.
•
For a mono rig, use the LEFT output only.
•
Use XLR Outs to feed balanced Inputs.
You can find high quality XLR and other
cables at http://btpa.com/fractal-audio
•
Use the 1/4" Outs when connecting
to unbalanced Inputs.
•
Use Humbuster™ cables with
1/4” outs to reduce hum from
ground loops. (See next page.)
e
Turn up the OUT 1 [MAIN] LEVEL knob
and adjust the level on your monitors as desired.
Out 2 is not used in this setup.
Find additional setup diagrams in Section 3: Setup Guide, on p. 15.
4
1 Introduction
CHECKING AND SETTING LEVELS
Setting proper levels is critical. Two meters (one mono and one stereo) plus two
front panel LEDs inform you about levels on the AX8. Setting levels is easy.
INPUT 1 [INSTRUMENT] LEVELS
The AX8 comes ready-to-use for the typical guitar with passive pickups. Connect a
guitar to INPUT 1. Choose your loudest pickup setting and set all the guitar controls
to “wide open.” Play loud, open chords to push the levels as you watch the IN 1
[INSTRUMENT] meter LEDs. It’s OK to tickle the red LED once in a while, but if you
push too hard, the input will clip and you’ll need to pad the input as follows:
Press SETUP followed by footswitch 2 for the “I/O” menu. It should open to the “LEVELS“ page.
Turn E/NAV to select INSTRUMENT INPUT PAD. Turn the “A” knob to Increase this setting beyond
6dB, 12dB or 18dB. Be aware that as you increase this PAD setting you also increase the noise floor,
so set it as low as possible. Conversely, if you can set this to 0dB for a guitar with quiet output,
you’ll get even better signal-to-noise performance.
OUT 1 LEVELS
OUT 1 [MAIN] XLR and 1/4" Humbuster™ jacks are ready to be connected to professional line-level
+4dBu inputs. If you are connecting to consumer-grade equipment operating at -10 dbV, please set
the nominal output level as follows:
Press SETUP; Press footswitch 2 for the I/O menu; Turn to the LEVELS page.
Turn E/NAV to select MAIN OUT NOMINAL LEVEL and change this setting to “-10 dBV”.
FRONT PANEL “CLIP” LEDS
If the MAIN OUT CLIP or FX SEND CLIP LEDs light, see “Checking and Setting Levels” on p. 19
for more information about the various controls and settings used to solve clipping problems.
HUMBUSTER CABLES
Standard 1/4” guitar cables are fine for all audio connections to and from the AX8, but there is a better
option for connecting its outputs to your amp, modeler or other device. Humbuster™ technology on all
AX8 outputs can significantly reduce unwanted noise due to the common problem of a ground loop. For
this to work, you need to use a special Humbuster™ cable you can buy or make yourself.
A Humbuster™ cable has one TRS end (like a balanced cable) and one TS end (like a guitar cable). The TRS
end connects to the AX8. The TS end connects to your amp.
Humbuster™ cables are available from http:/www.fractalaudio.com/cables or you can make your own by
following the diagram below. Be sure to use high-quality connectors and shielded cable.
5
1 Introduction
THE FOOTSWITCHES
Once you have set up your AX8 with speakers/amps/monitors, you can begin to audition the factory preset
sounds. The AX8 has eleven footswitches divided into two groups: “F-Switches” and numbered footswitches.
Their default functions—detailed here—are perfect for how most players will use the AX8.
THE F-SWITCHES
Tap
for Preset Select Mode
F2 and F3 work as Bank Up/Down.
Select a preset with footswitches 1–8.
Press and hold F1 to enter “Sticky”
Preset Mode which remains active until
you tap F1 again to exit.
Learn about Presets in Section 5.
Tap
for Scene Select Mode then
Select a Scene with footswitches 1–8.
FOOTSWITCHES 1-8
Press and hold F2 to enter “Sticky”
Scene Mode which remains active until
you tap F2 again to exit.
Learn about Scenes in Section 6
Footswitches 1–8 perform the functions shown on
the eight boxes in the Footswitch Page of the green
display. In other modes, these same footswitches are
used for functions like selecting Presets and Scenes,
or operating the Looper.
Tap
to set the Tempo. Some effects
use times or rates controlled by Tempo.
Learn more in Section 9
Press and hold F3 to display the Tuner.
Learn about the Tuner in Section 10
CHANGING PRESETS AND SCENES
The AX8 contains 512 presets arranged in 64 banks. Think of a preset as a complete rig with its own amp,
speaker cab, plus any effects placed anywhere in the signal chain. Each preset also includes a Noise Gate, a
simple output mixer, and more. You can learn more about presets in Section 5: Creating Presets, on p.
27, but for now let’s learn to change the current preset so you can audition sounds on the AX8.
A Scene is a set of stored values within a preset that can be used to change multiple sound settings at once.
Scenes turn effects on or off, set levels, and more. Learn more in Section 6: Scenes, on p. 41.
6
1 Introduction
TO CHANGE THE PRESET OR SCENE USING THE KNOBS...
From the main Footswitch Page, you can fast-scroll through presets or scenes:
The “B” knob fast-scrolls through PRESETS.
The “C” knob fast-scrolls through SCENES. (Say it to remember it: “C... Scenes.”)
When a new preset loads, its name is shown in LARGE TYPE for 2 seconds. You can increase or decrease this
time using the option, “Display Large Preset” in the SETTINGS page of the GLOBAL menu (see p. p. 79)
The LARGE TYPE preset name display.
TO CHANGE PRESETS USING THE FOOTSWITCHES...
Tap the F1 Switch to enter Preset Select Mode.
If you press and hold F1 the AX8 enters “Sticky” Preset Mode until you tap F1 again to exit.
Press F2 for BANK UP or F3 for BANK DOWN. The Display will show a menu of the eight presets
contained in the current bank.
Select from switches 1–8 to load a preset within the bank shown, or press F1 to cancel.
The PRESET SELECT menu for BANK 06.
TO CHANGE SCENES USING THE FOOTSWITCHES...
Tap the F2 Switch to enter Scene Select Mode.
If you press and hold F2 the AX8 enters “Sticky” Scene Mode until you tap F2 again to exit.
Select from switches 1–8 to load a Scene in the current preset, or press F2 to cancel.
7
1 Introduction
THE FOOTSWITCH PAGE
When you power on the AX8, it defaults to the Footswitch Page of the main menu (as indicated by “FS” in the
menu tab). The current functions of footswitches 1-8 are displayed here. The diagram below provides a basic
understanding of what you’re seeing on the Footswitch Page.
The upper right shows the
pages of the main menu.
The upper left area shows the
current BANK, PRESET and SCENE.
The NAME of the
current preset
The SELECTED switch
is shown in inverse.
A DOTTED outline
indicates that this
switch is OFF.
A SOLID outline
indicates that this
switch is ON.
A GRAYED footswitch indicates An EMPTY space
an effect not found in the
indicates a footswitch
current preset.
with nothing assigned.
A >BLINKING< footswitch indicates an effect disabled for CPU reasons. See p. 39 for more on this.
FOOTSWITCH 1–8 ASSIGNMENT QUICKSTART GUIDE
Footswitches 1–8 can be assigned to any effect in the current preset. To change a footswitch in a preset:
Select the footswitch you want to change. (Stomp it or turn the E/NAV knob to select it in the display.)
Turn the A knob to cycle through the list of blocks.
When you find what you’re looking for, press ENTER to confirm, or press EXIT to cancel.
Save your changes by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
You will also notice various “Footswitch Blocks” in the list of blocks. These perform a variety of functions like
selecting presets in the current bank, changing scenes in the current preset, displaying the Looper, and more.
Learn more about this in “Setting Up Footswitches 1-8” on p. 35
IMPORTANT! Footswitch assignments do not change which effects are (or are NOT) in your preset.
If you think of the AX8 as a separate guitar processor and foot controller, this would be the foot
controller portion. The Layout Grid (see next page) determines which effects are in the signal path.
8
1 Introduction
THE GRID CONCEPT
Behind the scenes of every AX8 preset is the Layout grid. Learn it. Love it. Live it. Here’s the concept.
In the world of traditional gear, most of us have very limited options, and building a rig requires making
hard choices and commitments. With the AX8, these limitations are removed and you have a vast, evergrowing “inventory” of virtual amps, cabs, effects, and more. Virtual gear is selected from the inventory and
placed as “blocks” into the slots of a 12×4 “layout grid.” As you might expect, blocks must be wired up using
cable-like “connectors”—again, virtual ones in this case—and you can create splits or merges as needed.
Passive “shunts” are be used to carry signal through otherwise empty spaces on the grid.
The following illustration shows various pieces of gear from an inventory, all interconnected on the grid.
Signal flow begins at the INPUT on the left. Signal is routed through a SHUNT to feed a Wah block. The
shunt has no effect on the sound and is shown only to introduce the concept of its use. The Wah block is
connected to an Amp block (we might set its type to “Plexi 100W High”), which in turn feeds a Cab—one
of the many “4x12” options, perhaps. This is connected to a reverb (“REV”) and then to the OUTPUT. Many
grid spaces are empty. The size of a preset is limited only by the grid structure, block inventory, and total
processing power or “CPU”. The AX8 has enough CPU power to create countless incredible virtual rigs.
GRID AND BLOCK EDITS QUICKSTART GUIDE
You’ll learn all about the grid in Section 5: Creating Presets, on p. 27, but here’s a quick primer:
From the main Footswitch page, press PAGE RIGHT to show the grid (“Layout” tab).
Turn the D or E knobs to navigate the grid.
Turn the A knob to cycle through blocks at the current grid location.
Press ENTER to insert or change the effect. Press EDIT to access its parameters.
Use all five knobs to edit on-screen parameters. Use E/NAV to navigate menu pages.
To save changes, press STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
Press EXIT to switch from the Layout Grid to the Footswitch Page.
9
1 Introduction
AX8-EDIT
If you are comfortable with audio software or plug-ins, you will probably enjoy using AX8-Edit to
program and manage the AX8. While every function of the AX8 can be operated from the front
panel of the unit, AX8 Edit brings an entirely new level of convenience and performance, including
some power user features that aren’t possible on the unit itself (like Block Library and Scene Swap).
AX8-Edit also provides great tools for managing presets and banks, installing Cab Packs, and more.
You can download this free editor for Mac or Windows at http://www.fractalaudio.com
Open banks and presets
from the AX8 in
just a few clicks.
Use scene features
like COPY/PASTE
and SWAP.
Edit names with
your computer
keyboard.
Save presets to
the AX8 or to
your computer.
Easily edit the grid.
Drag & drop swap,
Copy/Paste,
and more...
Block Library
stores and recalls
effect settings.
Dedicated area
for block MIX
and LEVEL
parameters.
View and edit dozens of
parameters on a single screen.
FRACTAL-BOT
Fractal-Bot is an ultra-light (and free!) program that’s used
to update your AX8 when we release new firmware. It also
includes tools to back up or restore your presets and other
custom settings, and though not as powerful as AX8-Edit
(above) it can be used to install presets or cabs that you’ve
downloaded.
10
2 Hardware Overview
2 HARDWARE OVERVIEW
THE TOP PANEL
 The AX8 is housed in a powder-coated steel chassis with an aircraft aluminum bezel and end-caps.
The 160 × 80 pixel LCD is where all menu screens are displayed.
METER and STATUS LEDs communicate important information:
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
IN 1 [INSTR] and IN 2 [FX RTN] meters show input levels. Signal can “tickle the red” before clipping.
EDITED – This LED is lit when the current preset has been altered but not stored.
MIDI IN – This LED is lit while MIDI messages are being received at the MIDI IN port.
MAIN OUT CLIP – This LED is lit when signal overloads OUT 1 (MAIN) and causes clipping.
FX SEND CLIP – This LED is lit when signal overloads OUT 2 (FX SEND) and causes clipping.
AMP CONTROL KNOBS adjust DRIVE, BASS, MID, TREBLE, PRESENCE, DEPTH, MASTER and LEVEL
Eight
for the current preset. LED rings show values as they change, updating automatically when you select a
new amp TYPE, change presets, or toggle between X and Y (see “X/Y Switching” on p. 38).
11
2 Hardware Overview

Six Buttons provide access to the various functions and menus of the AX8.
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
STORE – Stores the current preset to memory so it can be recalled in the future.
EDIT – Opens the Edit Menu for the currently selected effect block.
PAGE4 – Steps to the right through menu pages, shown as “tabs.”
ENTER – Executes commands, commits changes, accesses sub-menus, and more.
EXIT – Works as cancel, escape, and more.
SHIFT – The SHIFT key gives every button a second function. Press and hold for SHIFT LOCK.
ƒƒ SETUP (Shift+Store) – opens the SETUP menus (which you select from using footswitches).
ƒƒ FX BYP (Shift+Edit) – bypasses the selected effect without using a footswitch.
ƒƒ 3PAGE (Shift+Page>) – steps to the left through menu pages, shown as “tabs.”
ƒƒ 3NAV (Shift+Enter) – moves the on-screen cursor or focus to the left.
ƒƒ NAV4 (Shift+Exit) – moves the on-screen cursor or focus to the right.
and E SOFT KNOBS (aka “Multifunction Endless Rotary Encoders” for you slide-rule types...)
A,B,C,D,
These perform different functions depending on which screen is shown in the display. Most screens
show five (or fewer) knobs for easy 1:1 operation. Knob E is also used for NAV, which navigates onscreen menus.
The HANDLE also serves as a GUARD to protect the knobs of the AX8 from being kicked and broken.
 There are eight main FOOTSWITCHES corresponding to the eight
effect slots. Each has three LEDs.
a. FOOTSWITCH – Step on it! Footswitches are used to select presets and
scenes, toggle effects, as “Control Switches,” and more. The AX8 utilizes our
fast, quiet Solid State Switches (SSS™) with no mechanical contacts to fail.
b. BYPASS LED – The green LED above the footswitch shows whether the
effect assigned to this footswitch is ON or OFF.
c. Y LED – Many effects on the AX8 offer X/Y switching for two different
sound settings from a single block. By default you press and hold the
footswitch to toggle the X/Y state of the corresponding effect, though
certain settings change the way you toggle X/Y. The amber LED indicates
that an effect has been switched to its Y setting.
d. SCENE LED – Eight red LEDs labeled S1, S2, etc. indicate which Scene is loaded within the current
preset. (See Section 6 for more on Scenes.)
Two OUTPUT LEVEL CONTROL KNOBS adjust the levels at the MAIN OUT (12) and FX SEND (13) jacks.
three FUNCTION FOOTSWITCHES, also known as “F-Switches” are used to change modes and
aThe
access various features of the AX8. Each of them has a primary function activated when you tap the
footswitch, and a secondary function activated when you Press and hold
Learn more in Section 4 Function Switches.
12
it.
2 Hardware Overview
THE REAR PANEL
1 [INSTRUMENT] – (Mono, unbalanced 1/4" Jack)
 IN
Connect your guitar, bass, or any instrument-level source here using a regular guitar cable.
You can also connect the output of other guitar pedals or effects.
1 [MAIN] L+R – (Two XLR-M and Two 1/4" Humbuster™ Jacks)
 OUT
The main output of the AX8 appears at these jacks. Use the XLR jacks to connect to a mixer, studio
monitors, PA, or other device with balanced inputs. Use the ground lift switch if necessary to reduce
hum from ground loops. Use the 1/4" unbalanced Humbuster™ jacks to connect to unbalanced inputs
such as those on power amps. Both the XLR and the 1/4" jacks always output exactly the same signal
and may be used simultaneously. The OUT 1 MAIN level knob (9) controls both at the same time.
2 [FX SEND] L+R – (Two 1/4" Humbuster™ Jacks)
 OUT
Connect to the input(s) of outboard equipment when using the FX Loop block (p. 61). This
block can also be used to turn OUT 2 into a utility output so you can send signal with and without
cabinet simulation at the same time. See “Setup: Power Amp & Guitar Speakers” on p. 16 for more
information on this type of setup.
If the FX Block is not used, a special system parameter called OUT 2 (FX SEND) ECHO can be used to
specify the source for OUT 2. Applications include recording raw, dry, direct guitar for re-amping or
using the OUT 1 and OUT 2 level knobs for independent front-of-house and onstage monitor levels.
See OUT 2 FX SEND ECHO under “I/O: Audio Page” on p. 84.
2 [FX RTN] L+R – (Two Balanced 1/4" Tip-Ring-Sleeve Jacks)
g IN
These jacks feed the FX Loop block (p. 61), wherever it is placed in your presets. Aside from the
obvious use of inserting outboard equipment, the FX Loop block can also be used to turn IN 2 into
a utility input to feed a given preset a second input signal such as that from the piezo output of a
dual-output guitar.
Humbuster™ Technology on all OUT 1 [MAIN] and OUT 2 [FX SEND] 1/4" jacks can
significantly reduce hum from ground loops when used with special Humbuster Cables
available at http://shop.fractalaudio.com. See also “Humbuster Cables” on p. 5.
13
2 Hardware Overview
1–4 – (1/4” Tip-Ring-Sleeve Jacks)
hPEDAL
These jacks are used to connect up to four external expression pedals or switches to control various
functions of the AX8. Use the PEDAL page in the I/O menu under SETUP to calibrate each connected
pedal, and the CTRL page of the I/O menu under SETUP to assign pedals to various functions or
modifier sources. For more on using these jacks, see “Connecting Pedals & Switches” on p. 20.
j S/PDIF OUT – This outputs a digital copy of the Main Output. The S/PDIF clock is fixed at 48kHz.
– This provides the AX8 with two-way MIDI-over-USB capabilities when connected to a
k USB
compatible Mac or PC. No driver is required. The AX8 does not have USB audio capabilities.
MIDI IN port of the AX8 allows you to control various MIDI functions including preset and Scene
lThe
selection, effect bypass, X/Y changes, parameter changes, and more.
The MIDI page of the I/O menu under SETUP is used to configure MIDI Channel and other options.
See “I/O: Midi Page” on p. 85.
The MIDI OUT jack transmits MIDI data to connected devices.
MIDI data can be programmed to be sent automatically when you select a Scene.
To learn about Scenes, see Section 6.
Power Input and switch – Insert the supplied power cable and connect the other end to a
;Main
grounded AC power receptacle. The AX8 has a universal power supply, which means it can be used
around the world by simply changing the cable. The main power switch is built in to the receptacle. We
recommend switching the AX8 off when it will not be in use for an extended period of time.
14
3 Setup Guide
3 SETUP GUIDE
FULL-RANGE/DIRECT SETUP
The “Quick Connect Guide” on p. 4 covers using the AX8 “direct” with full-range studio monitors, FRFR
Guitar Speakers, or a PA System.
This type of setup takes full advantage of the ability of the AX8 to simulate not only different amps,
but power amps, speakers, microphones, and extended-frequency-range effects as well. It is the most
versatile and popular setup.
The pages which follow are provided for those who want to use the AX8 in a different type of setup.
15
3 Setup Guide
SETUP: POWER AMP & GUITAR SPEAKERS
A full-range system is the most flexible and versatile, but it is not for everyone. Another great way to use the
AX8 is through a power amp connected to traditional guitar speakers.
IMPORTANT: For this setup, please disable CAB MODELING under GLOBAL SETTINGS.
•
•
•
•
Open the GLOBAL menu (press SETUP followed by Footswitch 1) and find the SETTINGS page.
NAV to CABINET MODELING and then use VALUE to select “OFF”.
Depending on your amp, you may also wish to set POWER AMP MODELING to “OFF”. Let your ears
decide.
Press EXIT twice to return to the Footswitch Page.
NOTE: Instead of disabling cab modeling, you could also bypass or remove the CAB block in every preset.
q
Begin with all level knobs turned down.
Connect your guitar to IN1 [INSTRUMENT].
w
Connect your power amp to your
speakers. Connect OUT 1 [MAIN]
to the input of your power amp.
•
Use the XLR Outs if your amp has
balanced Inputs. You can find high
quality XLR and other cables at
http://btpa.com/fractal-audio
•
Use the 1/4" Outs when connecting
to unbalanced Inputs.
•
For a mono rig, use the LEFT output only.
•
Use Humbuster™ cables (p. 5) with
1/4" outs to reduce the hum from
ground loops.
•
Adjust levels by turning up the Out1
Level knob and your amp.
SPKR
OUT
POWER
AMP
SPKR
IN
GUITAR
SPEAKER
CABINET
WHAT KIND OF POWER AMP? There are two categories to consider.
A sonically neutral or “flat” power amp designed for a PA or made specially for full-range
guitar is generally considered the best choice. These amps (almost always solid-state) allow the power amp
simulation in the AX8 to vary the tone and dynamics appropriately as you select from different virtual amp
types. The second category contains tube amps specifically made for guitar. This type can also be used, but
you’ll be “stuck” with one “flavor” of power amp all the time— one tonal color, one feel, though this can be
great if its what’s you like. There are no wrong answers in any case. Use your ears!
16
3 Setup Guide
SETUP: DIRECT + REAL AMP & CABS
In this setup, custom presets simultaneously send two
different signals—one WITH and one WITHOUT speaker
sims—to front-of-house and backline.
The MAIN outs connect to a full-range system—typically
the house PA—sending a complete virtual rig tone,
including simulated speakers. This provides all the
benefits of going direct: versatile, consistent tone without
“bleed” at very controllable volume levels for a better
overall mix. (Ask a live mix engineer how much they love a
really loud guitar amp on stage. I dare you.)
OUT 2 sends a separate signal, almost identical to the first,
but without speaker sims. This connects to a power amp
and real guitar speakers on stage for a familiar “backline”
experience that players enjoy, enhancing natural sustain,
“moving air,” filling the soundspace in a traditional way,
and even providing “front fill” for venues where the PA is
at a distance from center stage.
How is this possible? Enter the FX Loop block. This powerful utility block is normally used for inserting
outboard gear in the signal path of the AX8, but can also be used to turn OUT 2 into a “utility out”,
allowing us to tap signal at any point in the chain to feed our onstage amps.
You’ll learn more about blocks and presets in Section 5 Creating Presets. For now, just recognize that
the FX Loop block will be needed in every preset you want to use for this type of setup, and that the order
and placement of blocks is critical. The FX Loop needs to output a signal that is tapped BEFORE it hits the
Cab block or the Main Output at the right of the grid. An example preset is shown below.
Learn more in “The FX Loop” on p. 61.
Begin with all level knobs turned down. Connect your guitar to IN1 [INSTRUMENT].
Connect OUT 1 [MAIN] to your mixer or PA. Connect OUT 2 [FX SEND] to your power
amp. Adjust levels independently by turning up the Out1 and Out2 Level knobs.
Use the 1/4" outs with Humbuster™ cables (p. 5) to reduce the ground hum in this setup.
Signal which enters the FX Loop block is
transmitted directly to OUT 2 [FX SEND]
Signal from the output of the Grid is
transmitted as usual to OUT 1 [MAIN]
17
3 Setup Guide
SETUP: FX PROCESSOR ONLY
While its sister product the FX8 Multi-FX Pedalboard is designed specifically for use as an effects processor
for use with (tube) amps or third-party modelers, the AX8 can also be used as an effects processor only.
In comparison to the AX8, the FX8 offers no amp or cab modeling, but is designed for unity gain, with
dedicated “PRE” and “POST” paths for four-cable-method hookups, plus true bypass, relays for amplifier
control, a global looper, and more.
IMPORTANT: For all “FX Processor Only” setups, please use presets with NO AMP or CAB block.
See Section 5 for more on creating and modifying presets. Using Humbuster™ cables (p. 5) is highly
recommended when using the AX8 as an effects processor only.
You may also need to adjust OUTPUT 1 MAIN NOMINAL LEVEL for these setups. See “I/O: Levels Page” on p. 82
IN FRONT OF A GUITAR AMP
You can use the AX8 in front of an amplifier by connecting your guitar to the Instrument input of the AX8
and Out 1 Main L of the AX8 to the amp’s input. For stereo, connect Out 1 Main R to a second amp. Set the
AX8 OUT 1 level knob as high as possible to lower the noise floor.
IN THE LOOP OF A GUITAR AMP
Some may wonder whether the AX8 can also work in the effects loop of a tube amp. The AX8 instrument
input can be padded up to 18dB, which should work to accommodate the Effect Send level of most
amplifiers. Watch for clipping, however, and lower the FX Send level of your amp if required. Set the AX8
OUT 1 level knob as high as possible to lower the noise floor.
THE FOUR-CABLE METHOD
The AX8 FX Loop (p. 61) can also be used to create a four-cable-method (“4CM”) rig. This highly integrated
setup places the AX8 both “in front of” your amplifier’s preamp section (where it replaces traditional
stompboxes) and in its effects loop, where “post” effects can be used.
To use the four-cable-method, you will need to create special presets where AMP and CAB blocks are
replaced by the FX LOOP block. With your guitar connected to IN1 INSTRUMENT, signal hits the AX8 first
and passes through any effects that you want in front of the amp—compressor, drive, wah, and the like.
Then, the FX LOOP block is used to “insert” the preamp of the actual amplifier on the grid. After a round
trip out and back, the preamp signal is then processed by your “Post” effects on the grid—typically chorus,
delay, reverb, etc.—before finally appearing at the OUT 1 MAIN /L of the AX8 which is connected to the
FX Return (Power Amp Input) of your amp. To extend this configuration for optional stereo, connect OUT1
MAIN /R of the AX8 to the RETURN of a second amp, or use a separate stereo power amp for both left and
right signals.
For best signal-to-noise performance, set the AX8 OUT 1 and Out 2 level knobs as high as possible , and
adjust the OUT 2 (FX SEND) BOOST PAD (p. 82) as high as possible without clipping out 2.
18
3 Setup Guide
CHECKING AND SETTING LEVELS
Setting proper levels is critical. Two meters (one mono and one stereo) plus two
front panel LEDs inform you about levels on the AX8. Setting levels is easy.
INPUT 1 [INSTRUMENT] LEVELS
The AX8 comes ready-to-use for the typical passive pickups guitar. Connect your guitar to INPUT 1.
Choose your loudest pickup and set all the guitar controls to wide open. Play loud open chords
to push the levels as you watch the IN 1 [INSTRUMENT] meter LEDs. It’s OK to “tickle” the red LED
once in awhile—it actually has five levels of brightness with only the brightest indicating actual
clipping—but pushed too hard, the input will clip and you’ll need to pad the input as follows:
Press SETUP; Press footswitch 2 for the I/O menu; Turn to the LEVELS page.
Turn E/NAV to select INSTRUMENT INPUT PAD. Change this setting to 0dB, 6dB, 12dB or 18dB
based on the output level of your guitar. Be aware that as you increase this PAD setting you also
increase the noise floor, so set it as low as possible.
OUT 1 LEVELS
OUT 1 [MAIN] XLR and 1/4" Humbuster™ jacks are ready to be connected to professional line-level
+4dBu inputs.
If and ONLY if you are connecting to consumer-grade equipment operating at -10 dbV, please set the
nominal output level as follows:
Press SETUP; Press footswitch 2 for the I/O menu; Turn to the LEVELS page.
Turn E/NAV to select MAIN OUT NOMINAL LEVEL and change this setting to “-10 dBV”.
Learn more about these controls in “I/O: Levels Page” on p. 82.
FRONT PANEL “CLIP” LEDS
If the MAIN OUT CLIP LED lights, the problem is almost certainly that your preset itself is too loud.
The easy way to correct this is to turn down the Amp block using the dedicated Level knob on the top
panel of the AX8. If you’re not using an amp block, the level of any other block in your chain can be
lowered instead. (Note that blocks in front of a compressor or drive have an indirect effect on levels.)
The Output Mixer (p. 65) on the grid is another option. Its four LEVEL controls correspond to the four
ROWS of the grid and can be used to lower preset levels. Its MAIN fader also works to adjust levels, but
needs to be set for every Scene.
The Global EQ (p. 81) can also be a “quick fix” until you can adjust blocks or scenes as described
above. Adjust the main GAIN fader downward to reduce levels to OUT 1.
If the FX SEND CLIP LED lights, the problem is the levels going in to the FX Loop block (p. 61) or the
settings of the FX Loop block itself. Its four LEVEL controls correspond to the four rows of the grid and
can be used to adjust preset levels. Its MAIN fader controls the overall send level, and like that of the
Output Mixer it needs to be set for every Scene. Learn more about “Scenes” on p. 41.
19
3 Setup Guide
CONNECTING PEDALS & SWITCHES
Each of the four on-board PEDAL jacks of the AX8 allows you to connect one expression pedal or one
external footswitch. You can use a connected pedal or switch to change effect parameters or to operate any
of a long list of global functions, and many factory presets are ready for one or even two pedals.
Learn to assign pedals and switches to sound parameters in Section 8 Modifiers.
Learn to assign pedals and switches to global functions under “I/O: Controllers Page” on p. 86.
The Fractal Audio Systems EV-1 Expression/Volume Pedal (sold separately) is ideal for the AX8.
TO CONNECT & CALIBRATE AN EXPRESSION PEDAL...
The best expression pedals for the AX8 have a linear resistance taper and a max resistance of 10kΩ to
100kΩ. Expression pedals must be used with Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS) cables. (If you are not familiar with TRS
cables, see the FAQ on the next page.) Connect your expression pedal to the desired PEDAL jack (1–4) with a
TRS cable, then follow these instructions to calibrate:
Press the SETUP button, followed by the #2 footswitch to select the I/O menu.
Press the PAGE button until you reach the PEDAL page.
Ensure that the pedal TYPE is set to “CONTINUOUS”.
Navigate to the PEDAL # CAL function and press the ENTER button.
Follow the on-screen instructions to perform calibration.
During calibration, you should see the “slider”
move on-screen as you move the pedal. It does
not need to reach “MAX”, but a good quality pedal
should demonstrate a wide range of motion.
20
3 Setup Guide
TO CONNECT AND SET UP AN EXTERNAL FOOTSWITCH...
Footswitches are less versatile, but sometimes all you need is an on-off stomp. Any type of external switch
may be used—momentary or latching—as long as its contacts make and break the connection between tip
and sleeve on a regular 1/4" guitar cable. You do not need a TRS cable for a footswitch.
Calibration is not necessary, but you do need to set the TYPE:
Press the SETUP button, followed by the #2 footswitch to select the I/O menu.
Press the PAGE button until you reach the PEDAL page.
Set the PEDAL TYPE for your selected pedal (1–4):
ƒƒ When a latching (aka toggle) switch is connected, set TYPE to “LATCHING”.
ƒƒ When a momentary switch (such as a sustain pedal) is connected, you have two options:
ŠŠ Set TYPE to “MOMENTARY” and the AX8 will recognize alternate stomps
as ON and OFF, creating a “virtual” latching footswitch.
ŠŠ Set TYPE to “CONTINUOUS” if you want the switch to turn on
when you press, and off when you release it.
WHAT IS TRS? “TRS” stands for TIP-RING-SLEEVE and describes the
configuration of a 1/4" end plug or jack with three connectors. Normal guitar
cables are TS (Tip-Sleeve) since they lack the ring required for a third contact.
Expression pedals require TRS cables because full control voltage is transmitted
to them on one contact (the tip), while less than full voltage is returned to
on another (the ring) so the host device is able to sense and utilize the pedal
position. The third contact (sleeve) is connected to ground.
21
3 Setup Guide
CONNECTING A COMPUTER
Connecting the AX8 to a computer via USB is optional, but it does provide some great benefits. Our free
utilities are a great way to take your experience to the next level. A USB connection is also required to install
firmware updates and make or restore backups.
The first step is to connect your AX8 to the computer with a USB cable (not provided).
No driver is required. The AX8 is plug and play.
Install Fractal-Bot™ for firmware updates or to send and receive Presets, Banks, User Cabs and System files.
Install AX8-Edit™ for a graphical way to work with AX8 presets and settings.
Find both programs at http://www.fractalaudio.com
Mac or PC
minimum
requirements
AX8
USB Cable
(Not Included)
Mac Minimum Requirements:
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
Computer
Windows Minimum Requirements:
OS X 10.6.8 or newer
CPU: Intel Processor
Memory: 512MB minimum
USB 2.0 Support required
ƒƒ OS: WinXP (SP3), Vista (SP2), Win7 (SP1) Win8
ƒƒ x86 or x64 versions supported
ƒƒ CPU: Intel Core 2 @1.6 GHz or better,
or AMD equivalent
ƒƒ Memory: 1GB minimum
ƒƒ USB 2.0 support required
AX8-Edit
FRACTAL-BOT
22
4 Function Switches
4 FUNCTION SWITCHES
F-SWITCHES OVERVIEW
The AX8 features three assignable Function Footswitches, also known as “F-Switches” because they are
labeled F1, F2 and F3. Each F-Switch can be assigned TWO functions: one for when you TAP the switch and
the other for when you press and hold it. Default settings are detailed below:
F1 TAP
F1 PRESS & HOLD
SINGLE PRESET/BANK SELECT
STICKY PRESET/BANK SELECT
ƒƒ Use F2 and F3 to select Banks
ƒƒ Same as Single Preset/Bank Select
(described at left) except that you
need to TAP the footswitch again
to exit Preset/Bank Select Mode.
ƒƒ Use 1–8 to select a Preset
ƒƒ After selecting a Preset, the
AX8 Returns to the Footswitch
Page for your current Preset.
ƒƒ The LED blinks while engaged.
F2 TAP
F2 PRESS & HOLD
SINGLE SCENE SELECT
STICKY SCENE SELECT
ƒƒ Use 1–8 to select a Scene
ƒƒ Same as Single Scene Select
(described at left) except that
you need to TAP the footswitch
again to exit Scene Select Mode.
ƒƒ After selecting a Scene, the
AX8 returns to the Footswitch
Page for your current preset.
ƒƒ The LED blinks while engaged.
F3 TAP
F3 PRESS & HOLD
TAP TEMPO
TUNER MODE
ƒƒ Used to set the AX8 Tempo.
ƒƒ Shows the AX8 Tuner.
ƒƒ Displays the Tempo menu, where
you can change various settings.
ƒƒ Tap this switch again to
exit Tuner Mode.
ƒƒ This menu exits automatically.
ƒƒ The LED blinks while engaged.
ƒƒ The LED blinks the tempo.
23
4 Function Switches
CUSTOMIZING F-SWITCHES
Over a dozen custom functions are available for the F-Switches. They’re easy to change so you can put the
perfect set of switchable modes at your feet. If you never use Tap Tempo, get rid of it! If you’ve got boots so
big you keep accidentally pressing when you only meant to tap, disable HOLD functions. Flexibility is power.
ASSIGNING FUNCTIONS...
You can assign two functions to each F-Switch: one for when you TAP the switch and one for when you
press and HOLD it down.
Press SETUP, select the Global Menu by pressing footswitch 1, and turn to the FUNCTIONS page.
Select one of the available F-Switches using the E/NAV knob. Assign a function using the A knob.
Press EXIT two times when you’re done.
AVAILABLE FUNCTIONS...
NONE – This disables the selected TAP or HOLD function for the selected F-switch.
SINGLE PRST/BANK
àà
àà
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Single Preset/Bank Select Mode.
The F-switch LED remains lit until you select a preset.
The F2 and F3 switches step UP and DOWN through BANKS.
Footswitches 1 through 8 select a PRESET in the currently selected bank.
To exit this mode, select a preset or tap the F1 switch.
Because this mode also requires F2 and F3, it can ONLY be assigned to the F1 switch.
STICKY PRST/BANK
àà
àà
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Sticky Preset/Bank Select Mode.
The F-switch LED blinks as you select any number of presets.
The F2 and F3 switches step UP and DOWN through BANKS.
Footswitches 1 through 8 select a PRESET in the currently selected bank.
To exit this mode, tap the F1 switch.
Because this mode also requires F2 and F3, it can ONLY be assigned to the F1 switch.
STICKY PRST +/àà
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Sticky Preset “Plus/Minus” Mode.
The F-switch LED remains lit while you step up or down (in order) through presets.
F2 becomes “Next Preset” and F3 becomes “Previous Preset.”
To exit this mode, tap the F1 switch.
Because this mode also requires F2 and F3, it can ONLY be assigned to the F1 switch.
PRESET UP, PRESET DN
àà Actually two different functions, these can be used to create one or two dedicated
F-Switches to step up or down through your presets. In use, these are similar
to the up/down switches from Sticky Preset +/- , except that they are always
active without needing the F1 switch to turn this mode ON or OFF.
BANK UP, BANK DN
àà Actually two different functions, these can be used to step UP or DOWN through banks.
àà The currently selected preset number within the bank will be maintained when the bank changes.
24
4 Function Switches
SINGLE SCENE
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Single Scene Select Mode.
The F-switch LED remains lit until you select a Scene.
Footswitches 1 through 8 select a SCENE within the current preset.
To exit this mode, select a Scene or tap the F1 switch.
STICKY SCENE
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Sticky Scene Select Mode.
The F-switch LED blinks as you select any number of scenes in the current preset.
Footswitches 1 through 8 select a SCENE within the current preset.
To exit this mode, stomp the F1 switch again.
SCENE 1/2 TOGGLE
àà Switches between Scene 1 and Scene 2.
àà The F-switch LED is off for Scene 1 and on for Scene 2.
TEMPO TAP
àà Allows you to tap a tempo into the AX8. (See Section 9 Tempo.)
àà Also briefly displays the Tempo Menu where you can set various options.
àà This function cannot be assigned to HOLD.
TUNER - Activates the Tuner (p. 77). The F-Switch LED blinks. To exit the tuner, tap the assigned
F-Switch. You can also open the tuner through the CONFIG page of the main menu.
LOOPER CONTROL - Activates Looper Control Mode (“The Looper Block” on p. 58).
SINGLE XY
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Single X/Y Select Mode.
The F-switch LED remains lit until you toggle one X/Y setting.
Footswitches 1 through 8 toggle X/Y for the assigned blocks of the current preset.
To exit this mode, toggle any X/Y setting or tap the assigned F-switch.
STICKY XY
àà
àà
àà
àà
Activates Sticky X/Y Select Mode.
The F-switch LED blinks as you toggle any number of block X/Y settings.
Footswitches 1 through 8 toggle X/Y for the assigned blocks of the current preset.
To exit this mode, tap the assigned F-switch.
EXIT
àà This allows you to assign the EXIT button to a footswitch. Activating the footswitch
causes the AX8 to respond exactly as if you had pressed the Front Panel EXIT button.
IMPORTANT: If you assign an X/Y mode to any F-Switch, footswitches 1–8 will
no longer use Press & Hold to toggle X/Y. However, their main Engage/Bypass
function is then able to happen on the footswitch DOWN-STROKE instead of the UP.
Learn more about “X/Y Switching” on p. 38.
If you set the “HOLD” function of any F-Switch to “NONE”, its TAP function switch will
execute on the switch down-stroke instead of the up.
This is useful for switches assigned to PRESET UP and PRESET DN because you’ll often
want to make this kind of change right on the downbeat.
25
4 Function Switches
SAMPLE F-SWITCH LAYOUTS
Rather than leave this page blank, we thought it might be interesting to include a few different example
layouts for the F-Switches based on what the AX8 development team members set up for themselves.
TAPHOLD
Single Preset
NONE
Single Scene
NONE
No “Sticky Modes”
TempoTuner
TAPHOLD
Single Preset
Sticky Scene
Single XY
NONE
TempoTuner
Here we’re using an XY F-Switch. This
disables X/Y press and hold, and all
effects fire on the “down-stroke”
TAPHOLD
Single XY
Single Preset
Single Scene
Sticky Scene
Looper Control
Tuner
Looper Control Mode & NO Tap Tempo.
Tempo can be programmed per-preset
so you don’t technically NEED it on the floor.
TAPHOLD
Single XY
Tuner
Bare bones for a performance “on the rails.”
Preset +1
NONE
Scene 1/2 Toggle was globally set to switch 4.
Preset -1
NONE
TAPHOLD
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
TAPHOLD
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
26
Record your favorite setups here.
5 Creating Presets
5 CREATING PRESETS
WHAT IS A PRESET?
The AX8 contains 512 PRESETS arranged in 64 numbered BANKS of eight presets each. Every preset is a fully
independent rig with its own amp, cab, effects, settings, controllers, and more. You create and store presets
using the AX8 front panel or the optional AX8-Edit software. Every preset is a “USER” preset which can be
edited or overwritten. Every preset has its own name that you can change any time you store it. Some players
will use a lot of presets—perhaps several per song. Others may use fewer, perhaps leveraging Scenes to
extend their use (see Section 6). However you use presets, understanding them really unlocks the creative
potential of the AX8.
To change presets, turn the "B" knob on the Footswitch Screen, or press F1 to enter Preset/Bank Select Mode.
Select BANKS using F2 or F3, and select a PRESET within the bank shown by pressing footswitches 1 through 8.
Here, a sample bank of eight presets is shown as BANK : PRESET NUMBER : PRESET NAME.
01:1
Double Verb
01:5
Plexi Treble
01:2
Deluxe Verb
01:6
Wrecked Express
01:3
Top Boost
01:7
Friedman HBE
01:8
5153 Red
01:4JTM45
Presets can also be loaded using MIDI program change commands from external devices.
See “MIDI Program Change Numbers” on p. 100.
THE LAYOUT GRID
The grid is the structure that presets are built on a 12 × 4 framework where “blocks” are inserted and
connected to determine signal path. Each grid space is stereo. You don't need separate left and right paths!
To open the grid when you are in the main Footswitch Page, press the PAGE RIGHT button.
At any moment, the AX8 display can show only a 5 × 4 section of the 12 × 4 grid. Navigate to off-screen areas
using the D or E knobs, or the NAV buttons (SHIFT + ENTER, SHIFT + EXIT). A bottom scrollbar indicates
where you are in the overall left-to-right layout.
In this image of an empty grid, off-screen areas are grayed.
27
5 Creating Presets
WORKING WITH BLOCKS
As explained in “The Grid Concept” on p. 9, the AX8 grid must be populated with blocks—components
pulled from a large inventory of amps, cabs, stompboxes, studio effects, mixers, and more. To interact
with the grid you must move its cursor, a solid rectangle controlled by the D or E/NAV knobs, or the NAV
buttons. For simplicity, we'll refer simply to these controls as "NAV" going forward.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU SEE…
Like blocks on the main Footswitch page, grid
blocks have several states, illustrated at right:
ƒƒ Dashed Outline = Bypassed
ƒƒ Solid Outline = Engaged
ƒƒ Inverted = Selected
Every grid block has a 3-letter code.
You'll learn more about these later.
"Shunt"
Empty
O
U
T
P
U
T
I
N
P
U
T
TO NAVIGATE THE GRID…
The E/NAV knob selects grid spaces.
Use D for quick left-right moves.
Bypassed
TO INSERT A BLOCK
Selected
Engaged
NAV to the desired grid location.
Turn A to step through the list of blocks, including options for SHUNT (see below) and NONE.
Press ENTER to confirm or EXIT to cancel changes.
As you insert blocks, they are removed from the list, but every preset has its own complete inventory.
The total number of blocks is limited by CPU usage, which must not exceed 90%. Each block has a CPU
“cost,” and when you tip the limit, a warning message prevents you from adding additional blocks.
See “Preset CPU Limits” on p. 39 for more information.
TO CHANGE THE TYPE OF AN EXISTING BLOCK…
Use NAV buttons to select the block.
Turn A to display change it to the desired type.
To REMOVE a block, change its type to "NONE".
Press ENTER to confirm or EXIT to cancel changes.
WHY AM I GETTING A CPU LOAD WARNING? The AX8 has a
lot of CPU power to run its high-quality amp models and effects. As you add blocks
or increase their CPU needs, however, you will inevitably reach the limit. When this happens, a warning
message prevents you from adding more blocks until you reduce the load by removing blocks or reducing
the load by other means. See “Preset CPU Limits” on p. 39 for more information.
28
5 Creating Presets
SHUNTS
A shunt is a sonically transparent block—a mere utility to carry signal through otherwise empty grid
locations. Your preset will be silent unless you make a complete connection from the INPUT to the OUTPUT,
so place a shunt wherever you don't use another block like an Amp, Cab, or effect.
Like grid spaces, a shunt is stereo; you don't need two for left/right.
TO INSERT A SHUNT
Navigate to the desired grid location.
Turn A until SHUNT is displayed.
Press ENTER to confirm or EXIT to cancel changes.
CONNECTOR CABLES
Just like physical gear, the blocks in the AX8 need to be connected together for signal to flow. This is done
using connectors, or cables. With even one connector missing, your preset may be totally silent!
Like shunts, connectors are totally transparent. There is zero degradation from long runs of AX8 "cable"!
TO CREATE A CONNECTOR CABLE…
NAV to select the block where you wish the cable to BEGIN. You can’t start from an EMPTY grid space!
ƒƒ The first and last grid columns are automatically connected to the INPUT and the OUTPUT.
Press ENTER. The selected block and its neighbor to the right will alternately flash as “selected.”
NAV to the desired destination block, which must be in the next column to the right.
It is possible to select an empty location. A shunt will be added there if you complete the cable.
ƒƒ Be sure to select a destination that is not already connected to the block
you started from, or you will REMOVE that cable (see below).
Press ENTER. To cancel without connecting, press EXIT instead.
TO REMOVE A CABLE CONNECTOR…
Cables are removed in much the same way as they are created.
NAV to the block where the cable begins.
Press ENTER. The selected block and its neighbor to the right will alternately flash as “selected.”
NAV to select the “other end” of the cable you wish to remove.
Press ENTER. To cancel without removing, press EXIT instead.
SHORTCUT: To span multiple empty grid columns with a series of shunts and cables, select
any block that is followed by a series of empty spaces, then press and hold the ENTER button.
The intervening spaces will be automatically filled with shunts and connected with cables.
Careful: any existing cables encountered along the way will be REMOVED!
29
5 Creating Presets
THE RULES OF AX8 CABLES…
No cables = No sound. Even one missing link will break the chain.
Signal flows from LEFT to RIGHT.
A cable MUST originate from a BLOCK or a SHUNT. Empty locations are not viable origins.
If you try to connect to an EMPTY location, a SHUNT will be created there.
You can ONLY connect to blocks in the next column to the right.
The illustration below reinforces some of the ideas above:
The
represents the origin of a connector cable.
The
shows valid possible destinations.
The
symbol shows destinations that are illegal/unavailable.
Any columns farther left or right would also be illegal/unavailable.
If the
were in a different ROW, every
would still be in the same place.
Cables are created AUTOMATICALLY between the INPUT and any blocks in the first column.
Cables are created AUTOMATICALLY between the OUTPUT and any blocks in the last column.
You may freely SPLIT or MERGE up to four ways at any point. This is sonically transparent and there is
zero risk of degradation or phase problems. CROSSING is also possible. Here are some examples:
Split
Merge
Cross
Complex
MOVING BLOCKS
The main menu also includes a MOVE page with tools to move individual blocks or entire rows or
columns UP, DOWN, LEFT, or RIGHT. When a block or a grid row/column is moved, it changes places
with the item in the space it is moved to. This can result in certain connector cables being modified or
removed, so be sure to observe how the elements of your preset are interconnected before proceeding
with a MOVE operation.
In the Main menu, use the PAGE> button to select the MOVE page.
Select a function with the A knob: Move Effect/Column/Row, Left/Right/Up/Down
Use the NAV/E knob to select the target effect block or row/column you wish to move.
Press ENTER to execute the move.
30
5 Creating Presets
BLOCK INVENTORY
The following table contains an overview of every effect available to every preset.
Effect
Description
#
Amp
Cab
Chorus
Compressor
Delay
Drive
Enhancer
Filter
Flanger
AMP
CAB
CHO
CMP
DLY
DRV
ENH
FLT
FLG
This is the money shot. 222+ Quantum amp models in one block!
Speaker Cab simulation using our patented Ultra-Res™ Technology.
Create classic mono and stereo modulation effects including vibrato.
Control dynamics and add sustain.
Up to 8000 ms of delay, with types for analog, digital, tape, and more.
25+ types including boost, overdrive, distortion, fuzz, and many more.
Classic and Modern modes to create and control spatialization.
Includes Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass, and many other types.
Various types cover everything from subtle modulation to extreme jet.
1
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
1
Formant
FRM
Create dynamic vowel sounds with this multi-mode formant filter.
1
FX Loop
FXL
This block connects directly to IN 2 and OUT 2 on the rear of the AX8.
1
Gate/Expander
GTE
Useful for everything from subtle control to extreme effects.
1
Graphic EQ
GEQ
A variety of modes allow easy, flexible tone sculpting.
2
Looper
LPR
A powerful Looper with automatic "Looper Control Mode" footswitches.
1
Multidelay
MTD A variety of special delays including plex, diffusor, quad-tap, and more.
1
Parametric EQ
PEQ
The 5-band Parametric Equalizer allows precise control of tone.
2
Phaser
PHA
A variety of vintage and cutting edge phaser effects, including ‘vibe.
1
Pitch Shifter
PIT
Includes detune, harmonizer (intelligent/custom), whammy, and more.
1
Reverb
REV
World-class recreations of vintage springs, rooms, halls, and more.
1
Ring Modulator
RNG
The extremely flexible ring modulator provides for a range of cool effects.
1
Rotary
ROT
Simulates a classic rotary speaker with multiple microphones.
1
Synth
SYN
A 3-voice monophonic synth that tracks what you play.
1
Tremolo/Panner
TRM
Creates classic trem, plus auto-pan or extreme psycho acoustic effects.
1
Volume/Pan
VOL
Simple volume block also offers channel input/output tools.
2
Wahwah
WAH The classic wah, with multiple types based on classic originals.
1
In addition to the blocks listed above, each preset also includes an Input Noise Gate, an Output Mixer, and
a set of Controllers for parameter automation.
31
5 Creating Presets
EXAMPLE PRESET GRIDS
Ex 1: Sweet and Simple. Wah. Drive pedal. Amp and Cab. Delay and Reverb post.
Ex 2: Here some more effects are added, and the reverb is run in parallel to the delay for a different sound.
Ex 3: An entire parallel chain for a shimmery, filtered effect with a VOLUME block for its own "Send" control.
Ex 4: A complex preset with "Pre" and "Post" effects and stereo cab sim to OUT 1 (Front of House), plus an "FX
Loop" block to tap signal with NO cab sim to OUT 2 for use with a real power amp & cab (On-Stage backline).
The Cab Block is set to "Stereo UltraRes" mode. It emulates the real speaker setup in that it follows the FX.
32
5 Creating Presets
EDITING EFFECT BLOCKS
Blocks are fully programmable, allowing you to dial in every setting ("parameter") as desired. A block’s Edit
Menu contains one or more pages, each with multiple parameters to control sound functions. Here’s a
quick guide covering how to access and work with the different types of Edit Menu pages.
OPENING THE EDIT MENU
From the grid, use the NAV knob to select the desired block.
OR... from the main Footswitch page, use NAV or stomp the effect ON or OFF to select it.
Press EDIT to display the Edit Menu.
USING VIRTUAL KNOBS
Most Edit Menu pages show five virtual knobs. To
make changes, use the five physical knobs of the AX8.
Above each on-screen knob is an indicator showing
which of the five knobs to use: A, B, C, D, or E.
You will hear all sound changes in real time.
A few pages have SIX knobs... to edit these, use the
NAV buttons (SHIFT+ENTER/EXIT) to move the focus
of A,B,C,D and E.
A
B
C
D
E
TURNING PAGES
Most block Edit Menus have multiple pages.
Tap the PAGE4 button to page forward.
Tap PAGE 3 (SHIFT + PAGE4) to page backward.
The last page “wraps” to the first and vice versa.
USING TEXT MENUS
Use the E knob to move up and down and the A knob
A
to edit the highlighted parameter.
B
C
D
B, C, and D knobs are mapped
dynamically, as indicated on-screen.
Press EXIT at any time to leave editing
and return to the Footswitch Page.
Press EDIT repeatedly to step in sequence through
the EDIT Menus of every block in your preset.
33
E/NAV
5 Creating Presets
SAVING CHANGES
After editing a preset, you will undoubtedly want to save the results.
Every preset in the AX8 can be modified. There are no permanent “factory” presets.
When you change the current preset, the front panel "EDITED" LED lights until you STORE or load a new preset.
TO STORE A PRESET…
Press STORE to show the STORE screen.
Press ENTER to display “OVERWRITE PRESET?”
Press ENTER again to confirm, or EXIT to cancel.
The message “PRESET SAVED” is shown when saving is complete.
TO CHANGE THE PRESET NAME OR LOCATION…
The AX8 has 512 preset memory locations grouped in 64 numbered banks. Each bank contains 8 presets.
You can save any preset to any location at any time. You can edit the name of any preset while storing.
Press STORE to show the STORE screen.
Use the NAV knob to select LOCATION or NAME.
ƒƒ Turn the A knob to move the cursor.
ƒƒ The B knob selects upper case letters.
ƒƒ The C knob selects lower case letters.
ƒƒ The D knob selects numbers and symbols.
ƒƒ You can use up to 24 characters in a preset name.
Press ENTER to Store, then press ENTER again to confirm.
The message “PRESET SAVED!” is displayed and the new location (if any) is loaded.
34
5 Creating Presets
SETTING UP FOOTSWITCHES 1-8
The eight numbered footswitches of the AX8 offer tremendous flexibility. Here is an introduction:
ƒƒ Every preset has its own unique eight assignments for footswitches 1–8.
ƒƒ Any footswitch can work as the classic BYPASS/ENGAGE toggle for any block in your preset.
ƒƒ Any footswitch can instead be given a number of useful “Footswitch Block” functions.
ƒƒ A footswitch can be set to do nothing.
ƒƒ You can set up "Global" footswitches, which over-ride the footswitch settings of your presets.
ƒƒ Both "Global" and "Per-Preset" footswitches can be set to “Latching” or “Momentary" action.
Remember that Footswitch assignments do not change which blocks are actually in the preset. If you think
of the AX8 as a separate guitar processor and foot controller, footswitch assignments represent the “dumb
controller” portion. The Grid—explained on p. 27—is what determines which blocks are actually present.
PROGRAMMING A FOOTSWITCH...
From the main Footswitch Page, turn NAV/E to select the desired footswitch... or just stomp it!
Turn the A knob to scroll through the list of available options.
ƒƒ If a footswitch is set to PER-PRESET, only those effects actually on the current grid are available.
ƒƒ If a footswitch is set to GLOBAL, ALL effects will be available—but the switch will be disabled unless
the block it controls is present within the current preset.
ƒƒ You will find the “Footswitch Block” functions at the end of the list (Looper Control, Bank Up, etc.)
Once you’ve made your selection, press ENTER to assign the effect or press EXIT to cancel.
Save the preset by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
TIP: Remember also that a footswitch assigned to BYPASS/ENGAGE an effect can also be used to
switch X/Y for that effect using PRESS & HOLD or with one of the special X/Y mode F-Switches.
FOOTSWITCH BLOCKS
As you scroll through the list of available footswitch assignments, you will also find various special options
called Footswitch Blocks. Here is a description of each of the options:
ƒƒ Looper Control – This enters “Looper Control Mode”. TIP: No matter which numbered switch
you assign this to, FOOTSWITCH 8 is always used to exit Looper Control Mode.
ƒƒ Bank Up, Bank Down – These do just what they say, and can be quite useful
if you have removed “preset select mode” from the F1 Switch.
ƒƒ Scene 1-8 – Use these to select a given SCENE within the current preset.
ƒƒ Scene 1/2 Toggle – Use this to toggle between Scenes 1 and 2. You get two scenes from one button!
ƒƒ Preset 1-8 – Use these to select a given PRESET within the current BANK.
ƒƒ Amp X/Y Toggle – Provided to simulate the channel select footswitch as found on many amps.
ƒƒ Control Switch 1 and 2 – Control Switches allow the footswitch to be used to control sound parameters
such as Rate, Mix, Level, and many many more. Control Switches are “Modifier Sources.”
See p. 37 for more on Control Switches.
ƒƒ Exit – This footswitch behaves exactly like the EXIT button on the top panel.
ƒƒ None – This disables the footswitch.
35
5 Creating Presets
GLOBAL AND MOMENTARY SWITCHES
Besides offering the standard “Per-Preset” operation described on the previous page, Footswitches 1–8 can
be set as “Global”, meaning they perform the same function no matter which preset is currently loaded.
Independent of this setting—whether Per-Preset or Global—Switches 1-8 can also be set up to be
“Latching” or “Momentary”. Momentary switches do not “latch” when you step on them. They activate while
your foot is down on the switch, and deactivate when you lift it up (or vice versa).
TO SET A FOOTSWITCH AS GLOBAL…
Each individual footswitch can be set to either PER-PRESET or GLOBAL. This setting also determines whether
a GLOBAL footswitch will be Latching or Momentary.
Press SETUP (SHIFT+STORE) to show the SETUP menu.
Tap footswitch 1 to select GLOBAL.
Page to the GLOBAL FOOTSWITCH page ("GBL FS").
Use NAV/E to select the desired footswitch and knob A to set it to one of the available options:
ƒƒ Per-Preset: The footswitch will NOT be Global.
ƒƒ Global Latching: The footswitch will be Global and works as a latching Toggle ON/OFF switch.
ƒƒ Global Momentary: The footswitch will be Global and works as a Momentary switch.
Press EXIT twice when you're finished.
IMPORTANT: After changing a footswitch to GLOBAL or PER-PRESET, you
will want to check and possibly re-assign its function on the Footswitch
page as detailed in “Programming a Footswitch...” on p. 35
TO SET A “PER-PRESET” FOOTSWITCH AS MOMENTARY…
Even if a footswitch is not set up as Global, it can still be set up as momentary.
First, load the preset you want to edit footswitches for.
From the main FOOTSWITCH (“FS”) page of the AX8, page right to the CONFIG page.
Select the FOOTSWITCH MODE (“FS MODE”) option and press ENTER.
Set Each footswitch to either LATCHING or MOMENTARY as desired.
Save the preset! (STORE, ENTER, ENTER)
NOTE: These settings have no effect for a footswitch if it is set to GLOBAL.
NOTES ON ALL MOMENTARY SWITCHES:
ƒƒ If a momentary footswitch is used to BYPASS/ENGAGE effects, the state of the effect
is reversed by the action of a momentary switch. A block that is saved as ENABLED
will by momentarily bypassed. A block that is saved as BYPASSED will by momentarily
enabled. You can manually set the desired initial state by editing the block and using
the front panel FX BYPASS button, or by double-clicking the block in AX8-Edit.
ƒƒ The same is true for a momentary footswitch assigned to SCENE 1/2 Toggle, so depending on whether
Scene 1 or Scene 2 is selected when you press the switch, it will momentarily toggle to the other.
ƒƒ When any effect BYPASS/ENGAGE footswitch is set to Momentary, you can no
longer Press and Hold that footswitch to toggle X/Y for that effect.
36
5 Creating Presets
CONTROL SWITCHES
Control Switches provide a way to footswitches to control sound parameters. Examples include a footswitch
that simultaneously increases the MIX and FEEDBACK of a Delay while reducing the TIME, or one that
bypasses or engages a Drive block and an Equalizer at the same time.
You assign a Control Switch just like any other footswitch 1–8 as detailed on p. 35.
You can use a global or per-preset footswitch, and one set to Momentary or Latching (see previous page).
A Control Switch works as the Source for a Modifier. You’ll learn more about modifiers in Section 8 of
this manual, but for now here is a step by step tutorial. We’ll change the RATE of a ROTARY speaker. Create a
preset that contains a Rotary, or load Factory Preset 2, Brownface, and turn the Rotary on with Footswitch 7.
HOW TO CREATE AND ASSIGN A CONTROL SWITCH...
Create a Control Switch by assigning Control Switch 1 to your choice of footswitches:
From the main Footswitch Page, turn NAV/E to select the desired footswitch... or just stomp it!
Turn the A knob to select Control Switch 1 (“CTRL SW 1”) and Press ENTER.
Press PAGE to show the layout. NAV to the Rotary Block and press EDIT.
On Page 1 of the Rotary block’s EDIT menu, Nav to the RATE parameter and press ENTER to bring up
the MODIFIER screen.
Set the SOURCE to CTRL SW 1 by turning the A knob.
Nav to MIN and set the rate you want when the footswitch is OFF (try around 1 Hz)
Nav to MAX and set the rate you want when the footswitch is ON (try around 8 Hz)
TIP: If this were any other parameter, you might also increase DAMPING so the changes “ramp” up or
down, but that’s built in on Rotary RATE. ;-)
Save the preset by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER
Try your new Control Switch!
CONTROL SWITCH INITIAL VALUES...
The initial value of each Control Switch is saved per scene. These values are set on the Control Switches
(“CTRL SW”) page of the CONTROLLERS area of the CONFIG page.
To Set Initial Values for a Control Switch:
1.
From the main FOOTSWITCH (“FS”) page of the AX8, page right to the CONFIG page.
2.
Select the CONTROLLERS option and press ENTER.
3.
Page to the CONTROL SWITCH (“CTRL SW”) page.
4.
Set the initial value of each switch for each scene to either “ON” or “OFF”.
37
5 Creating Presets
X/Y SWITCHING
In the same way that many amplifiers have two fully independent channels, so do many effects on the AX8.
Each block with X/Y switching stores two complete sets of settings—an “X” set and a “Y” set. This makes it
possible to switch between two different effect sounds while using only one block.
Most blocks support X/Y. These include Amp, Cab, Chorus, Compressor, Delay, Drive, Filter, Flanger, Gate/
Expander, Multitap Delay, Phaser, Pitch Shifter, Tremolo/Panner, Relay, Reverb, Rotary and Wah.
TO USE A FOOTSWITCH...
By default, you can press and hold the footswitch assigned to an effect to change its X/Y state.
The amber “Y” LED lights when the Y state is selected.
Certain special F-Switch modes and one global setting change the way X/Y footswitches work.
See “Up- vs. Down-Stroke Fx Switching” on p. 91
TO SWITCH X/Y ON THE GRID...
To switch between X and Y, select the desired block and quickly DOUBLE-TAP the EDIT button.
A message at the top of the grid area shows the X/Y status of the currently selected block.
For example:
or
for the Drive block (DRV).
TO SWITCH X/Y FROM INSIDE A BLOCK'S EDIT MENU...
To toggle between X and Y, quickly DOUBLE-TAP the EDIT button.
TO DIAL IN X AND Y FOR A GIVEN BLOCK…
Open the desired block for editing. Dial in all parameters for X.
Switch to Y using any of the methods described above. Dial in all parameters for Y.
Save the preset by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
X/Y IS PER SCENE
The X/Y state of every X/Y-capable block is saved in the current Scene.
See “Scenes” on p. 41 for more information.
X/Y can also be switched via MIDI CC#. See “I/O: Controllers Page” on p. 86
X AND Y SHARE THE SAME MODIFIERS
Modifiers allow you to control sound parameters in real time (with an expression pedal or LFO for example.)
It is important to understand that any modifier you place on X will also apply to Y.
WHY WOULD I USE X/Y? For a feature with such a short name, the
benefits of X/Y are immense. For two amp model sounds in one preset, use X/Y!
When you’ve already placed both DRIVE blocks but need a 3rd drive sound, use X/Y! When you have
space for only one DELAY but want both wobbly TAPE ECHO and pristine STEREO DIGITAL, use X/Y! To
go from “a touch of reverb” on rhythms to “spacious” during a solo, use X/Y! When you consider that
scenes can also perform X/Y switching for you, 38
the feature is even more powerful.
5 Creating Presets
PRESET CPU LIMITS
Each block you place in a preset contributes to the total CPU load. You can check the current load
at any time by pressing SETUP, opening the UTILITY menu (#3), and switching to the STATUS
page. A thermometer-like meter on the right side of the screen shows CPU % usage (and provides
a specific numeric readout above). Load is also displayed in the upper right corner of AX8-Edit.
As the load increases, certain functions can become slower, but priority is given to the audio
quality whenever possible. There are safeguards to prevent you from pushing the AX8 too far.
First, you are stopped from inserting any block which might cause an overload by the message
“INSUFFICIENT CPU”. The AX8 assumes that a block will be used to its limits when making this
determination.
If you are prevented from inserting an effect, you can make changes to reduce the current CPU
load and try again. You might remove an effect that is less important. Adjusting certain parameters
can also help. Here are a few of the common block parameters whose settings have a measurable
effect on CPU usage:
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
Amp: OUTPUT COMP (Set to "0.00" for the least CPU usage).
Cab: MODE, stereo uses more CPU.
Reverb: QUALITY and ECHO DENSITY (Lower = less CPU). Spring type uses the least CPU.
Compressor: Set TYPE to one of the "PEDAL" options to use less CPU.
Phaser: STAGES (Lower = less CPU).
Filter: ORDER and Q (Lower = less CPU).
Multi-Delay: TYPE (Different types have different requirements).
ƒƒ Modifiers also affect CPU usage.
AUTOMATIC BLOCK DISABLING
As a second safeguard, the AX8 may disable one or
more blocks if load gets too high due to changes after
a block has been inserted. Changing Reverb to HIGH
QUALITY, for example, increases CPU utilization. If the
preset can’t handle this, you will see an error message.
When this happens, you’ll need to take steps to get
back below the limit. The most likely solution will be
to change back whatever setting you had just made, but it is also possible to remove or edit other
blocks to address the issue. Disabled blocks blink on the Footswitch Page and grid, and show
DISABLED (upper left) in the Edit Menu. Be warned that "living on the edge" is not recommended.
The AX8 uses slightly more CPU when it is processing audio, so give yourself a margin to prevent
unwanted block bypass at inopportune moments. A recommended safe target is about 80%.
CPU & USB
The AX8 dedicates a small percentage of CPU resources to USB processing. Large presets may run
fine while USB is disconnected, but a USB connection may push them over the limit. In this case,
try to reduce CPU load or avoid using these presets while USB is connected.
39
5 Creating Presets
PRESET AND SCENE LEVELS
USING THE VU METERS
The VU Meter page of the main menu shows preset sound
levels in a horizontal meter, scaled from -20 to +10 dB with a
line to mark 0 dB. . To display this page, press PAGE 4x from
the main footswitch (FS) screen. Note that MAIN, FX SEND
and CPU indicators here are for reference only; they don't
impact what is shown on the meter or saved in your preset.
To adjust levels, you'll most usually adjust the Amp block.
Play some big chords and "chugs" and try to focus on an average level of 0db (shown by the line). Adjust the
Amp using the dedicated LEVEL knob on the top of the AX8, or turn the "A" for fine-level adjustments. Save
changes by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
We recommend using the Amp block to set levels for consistency, but if you are using a complex grid
routing, however, or if there are level-dependent blocks AFTER your amp, you'll need to adjust levels in a
different block. (Level-dependent blocks include Compressor, Drive, Gate, and possibly the FX LOOP if the
loop contains outboard gear) Adjust the last of these blocks in your signal chain for best results.
If you need to set levels PER SCENE, see “To Set the Main Output Level for a Scene:” on p. 43.
LEVELS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
The method above is short and sweet, but you can't just dial in levels using your eyes. Here are some variables
to consider when using your ears: 1) your hearing; 2) your speaker system; and 3) your surroundings.
1. Set levels at "stage volume".
When it comes to setting levels, your ears are your greatest tool, and more useful than any meter on earth for
most tasks. But listen up: your ears can mislead you! In fact, the relative differences we hear between various
sounds can seem to change depending on the overall levels. Translated into "guitar player", this means that
if you set perfect levels of your tones at bedroom volume, then turn up to stage volume, your various levels
might appear to have changed! Try to set levels—and dial in your tone—at gig volumes.
2. Use accurate monitors, and check levels on the speaker system you will perform with.
Another thing to consider is that different speaker systems can boost or cut different parts of your tone.
Imagine dialing in your levels on a high end studio system with satellites and a subwoofer, then switching to a
pair of "average" 1x10 wedges. You might suddenly feel a lot of power or articulation missing, requiring you to
compensate. (This explains why many modern guitarists bring their own monitors to a gig!) When setting levels,
try to use a "flat" speaker system—one without strong deficiencies or coloration, so you can trust your starting
point, or at least set levels using the speakers you'll perform with. Remember also that in a pinch, the AX8 has a
Global Graphic EQ at the main out. (See “Global: Out 1/Out 2 Pages” on p. 81).
3: Listen in context.
Don’t expect levels (or tones) to "translate" to a full soundstage if you set them listening to yourself alone. In
a mix, there is "competition" in many areas of the spectrum. (Industry secret: many "great" tones can seem to
sound terrible in isolation!) Set levels and sculpt tones while listening in context. A room will also absorb certain
frequencies. Be prepared to fine tune your levels at rehearsal—or even at a gig.
The bottom line is to adjust levels using consistent methods, armed with the knowledge of how your
equipment works (including your ears) and be flexible about adapting levels in new sonic environments.
40
6 Scenes
6 SCENES
OVERVIEW
Every AX8 preset contains eight scenes. You don’t need to add or create scenes—they’re already there, ready
and waiting to be used. Think of a Scene like a “mini-preset within a preset”. Scenes can control which blocks
are on, which blocks are off, which blocks are set to X or Y, overall preset level, and other settings too.
There are many benefits to using scenes. Selecting a Scene allows you to recall with one tap what would
otherwise require “tap dancing” on the footswitches. Scenes load instantly, they can easily be gapless and
seamless, and they offer the easiest way to ensure perfect “spillover” of time-based effects like delay and
reverb. That’s just the beginning… this incredibly powerful feature may soon become one of your favorites.
WHAT SCENES INCLUDE...
Each Scene stores all of the following:
1. The ON/OFF state of every block in the current preset.
2. The X/Y state of every X/Y block in the current preset.
3. The preset’s Output Mixer Main level. This is useful for creating a
BOOST, or to normalize the level across scenes.
4. The preset’s FX Loop block Main level (if any).
5. The setting for two virtual “Scene Controller” knobs, which can in
turn be assigned to control sound parameters.
6. A MIDI Program Change message (on any channel) that is sent to the
MIDI OUT port of the AX8 when the Scene is loaded.
WHAT SCENES DO NOT INCLUDE...
In short? Everything else! A Scene ONLY contain the items listed above. If you change anything that is not part
of the Scene, the change will affect ALL scenes in the entire preset.
You cannot change which effects are on the grid, or change the grid routing. You cannot tweak effect
parameters per Scene (but remember, you can switch effect X/Y). You cannot change the preset NAME
(scenes do not have names.)
WHY NOT JUST CHANGE PRESETS? Preset changes give you total
flexibility. You can change anything and everything in every preset, but there are also
drawbacks. Synchronizing multiple presets is tedious, it takes care to get levels and spillover just right,
and while preset changes are fast, Scene changes are even faster and can be seamless.
41
6 Scenes
SELECTING SCENES
There are three ways to select a Scene on the AX8:
1. USE THE FOOTSWITCHES – By default, F2 enters Single Scene Select Mode. (The LED will remain lit.)
The next press of any footswitch 1–8 will select a Scene within the current preset.
For example, to select Scene 4, press F2 and then #4.
You can also easily create dedicated Scene Select footswitches as detailed on p. 35.
2. USE THE C KNOB – If you are on the Footswitch Page, the Grid, or the MIDI page of the main menu,
knob C changes scenes. (Repeat after me: “C for Scene. C for Scene.”)
3. USE MIDI – Incoming MIDI messages can be used to select scenes.
By default, CC#34 is mapped to the SCENE SELECT function. The value of CC#34 determines which
Scene is loaded. 0 = Scene 1; 1 = Scene 2; 2 = Scene 3, etc. See p. 102 for a table of these values.
The best way to tell which Scene is loaded is to look at the red Scene LEDs.
The number of the current Scene is also shown on the Footswitch page as highlighted below:
SETTING UP SCENES
Remember that you don’t need to do anything special to “create” or “enable” scenes. Every preset has eight
scenes built in and ready to use. Even if you don’t plan on switching scenes during a performance, you’ll
always be using Scene 1, which is selected automatically when you load any new preset. (You can even set
every preset to load a different Scene initially by changing the “Default Scene” – see p. 44)
Programming scenes is easy. Select the desired Scene and use the footswitches or the grid controls as you
normally would to turn effects ON/OFF and select X/Y states. Repeat this for each Scene in the preset and
then STORE your changes. Here are some step-by-step instructions for setting up scenes.
TO TURN EFFECTS ON OR OFF IN A SCENE...
The on/off state of every block in your preset can be programmed per Scene as follows:
1. Load the desired preset and select the desired Scene.
2. Use the footswitches to turn each effect on or off.
OR... if a footswitch is not assigned to the block:
ƒƒ Press PAGE to change from the Footswitch (“FS”) page to the “LAYOUT” page.
ƒƒ NAV to the desired block and press FX BYP (Shift+Edit) to toggle its state.
3. IMPORTANT: Remember to STORE your preset to save Scene changes.
NOTE: All blocks in scenes 2-8 will be ON until you turn them off. Careful... this can make things loud!
42
6 Scenes
TO SET EFFECT X/Y STATES IN A SCENE...
After selecting a given scene, the states of X/Y blocks in your preset can be programmed as follows:
1. Load the desired Scene.
2. Press and hold the footswitch for an X/Y block to switch it.
ƒƒ Or, use an assigned F-Switch to enable your chosen X/Y Switching mode.
If NO footswitch is assigned to the block, or if you have disabled X/Y foot switching completely:
1. Load the desired Scene.
2. Press PAGE to change from the Footswitch Page to the “LAYOUT” page.
3. NAV to the desired block and double-tap the EDIT button.
TIP: You can also double-tap EDIT to toggle X/Y from inside any block’s Edit Menu.
TO SET THE MAIN OUTPUT LEVEL FOR A SCENE:
The main output level of your preset can be programmed into every Scene.
1. Load the desired Scene.
2. Press PAGE to change from the Footswitch (“FS”) page to the “LAYOUT” page.
3. Turn knob “D” fully clockwise to select the Output Mixer.
4. Press EDIT.
5. NAV to the MAIN fader and use “A” to set it as desired.
NOTE: The “FX Loop” Block also has a MAIN fader whose level can be set for every scene. This controls the
overall output level for OUT 2 [FX SEND].
TO SET THE MIDI PROGRAM CHANGE MESSAGE FOR A SCENE...
Every AX8 Scene can send one MIDI Program Change Message (“PC”) on any channel. You can use this
feature to change presets on a connected Axe-FX, FX8, or any other MIDI device.
1. Load the desired Scene.
2. Press PAGE 3x to change from the Footswitch “FS” page to the “MIDI” page.
3. NAV to MIDI PC and use “A“ to select the desired MIDI PC by its number (0–127, or “OFF”).
4. NAV to MIDI CH and use “A“ to select the desired channel for your MIDI PC by its number (1–16).
SHORTCUT: To disable MIDI for a selected scene from this page, press SHIFT, then double-tap EDIT
TO SAVE CHANGES TO ONE OR MORE SCENES:
Press STORE, ENTER, ENTER to save any and all changes to one or more scenes.
Always test ALL scenes in your preset—even those you think you might not use.
Ensure that there are no unpleasant volume jumps or other surprises in case of an accidental mis-step later.
43
6 Scenes
SCENE REVERT
Scene changes are normally retained until you change the preset. With SCENE REVERT turned on, Scene
changes are discarded as soon as you change to a new Scene.
Here are two examples so you can compare how Scene changes work in both modes:
Ex 1: SCENE REVERT OFF (default)
Ex 2: SCENE REVERT ON
1. You load SCENE 1. DRIVE 1 is OFF.
1. You load SCENE 1. DRIVE 1 is OFF.
2. You turn DRIVE 1 ON.
2. You turn DRIVE 1 ON.
3. You change to SCENE 2.
3. You change to SCENE 2.
4. You change BACK to SCENE 1.
4. You change BACK to SCENE 1.
5. Drive will be ON as you last left it.
5. Drive will be OFF as it was last saved.
TO ENABLE/DISABLE SCENE REVERT:
1. Press the SETUP button (Shift+Store).
2. Press footswitch 2 to load the I/O menu.
3. Turn to the MIDI page.
4. Use the NAV knob to select “SCENE REVERT”.
5. Use the VALUE knob to select “OFF” or “ON”.
6. Press the EXIT button twice to finish. (You do not need to STORE changes in SETUP.)
DEFAULT SCENE
Normally, when you load a preset, it starts with Scene 1 selected. The AX8 offers two ways, however, to
change the Scene that is selected when you load a new preset.
TO CHANGE THE DEFAULT SCENE GLOBALLY...
The SETTINGS page of the GLOBAL menu (p. 79) includes an option called DEFAULT SCENE. This globally
determines which scene will be pre-loaded whenever a new preset is selected. Options include Scenes 1–8,
or “CURRENT”, which causes the current scene to remain selected when the preset changes. For example,
if you had separate Clean and Crunch presets each set up with Delay and Reverb OFF in Scene 1 and ON
in Scene 2, you could begin on the Clean preset, switch to Scene 2 to turn the Delay and Reverb ON, then
change to your Crunch preset where Scene 2 would be pre-selected—causing the Delay and Reverb to
remain ON.
TO CHANGE THE DEFAULT SCENE FOR A SPECIFIC PRESET...
You can also change the default scene for an individual preset. Find the preset-level DEFAULT SCENE
parameter on the Config (CFG) page of the main menu. (Press PAGE 3x from the Footswitch Screen.)
Options include Scenes 1–8, or “CURRENT”, which causes the current scene to remain selected when the
preset changes. The default setting of GLOBAL causes the preset to NOT specify its own Default Scene.
Instead, it will refer to the Global Setting for DEFAULT SCENE (above).
44
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
The AX8 has over 25 different effect blocks with many different types.
We’re currently working on a universal Effect Parameters Guide for all Fractal Audio Systems products which
will detail every parameter of every type for every block.
Until this is released, Chapter 5 of the Axe-Fx II manual has all of the information you will need to
understand effect parameters in the AX8. Find it at www.fractalaudio.com/support.
The pages which follow cover the all-important Amp and Cab blocks, the Looper, the FX Loop, the Noise
Gate, the Output Mixer, and Common Parameters found on the MIX page of every effect.
45
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE AMP BLOCK
Supports X/Y Switching!
The Amp block reproduces the sounds of an impressive array of vintage and modern guitar and bass amplifiers,
with 256+ different “types” based on stock, custom, and hybrid models. It uses our newest Quantum Amp
Modeling technology with the very same algorithms used in our flagship Axe-Fx II processor, including
proprietary multi-stage nonlinearity generators to create ultra-realistic distortions. Separate virtual preamp
and power amplifier stages create rich, cascaded drive tones that cannot be obtained using lesser modeling
methods.
You can get great tone from the AX8 using only the basic amp controls on its top panel. Should you desire
to dig deeper, you’ll find many exciting parameters that allow you to tweak and adjust the deepest aspects
of your amp’s sound. These are detailed below. AX8-Edit also makes using the amp block easier, with a few
simple pages organized with common parameters grouped together.
Don’t be daunted by the available depth. Trust your ears, gain knowledge, and recognize that tone is also very
much “in the hands.” It is also vital that you recognize the role of the Cab block (p. 55) in creating an overall
tone. To learn about how amp and cab work together, try playing different amps through the same cab, or
testing different cabs with the same amp. Even if you choose to not edit advanced parameters, the amp’s built
Graphic EQ is definitely worth getting to know.
A stylized block diagram of the amp block.
THE TYPE PAGE
Amp types are presented in an alphabetical list. Make selections using the D and E knobs. There are over
250 different types based on different real-world amp models.
If you’re unfamiliar with the models, the Fractal Audio wiki, a publicly managed document, contains tons of
helpful information, especially this guide by Yek, an illustrious member of the Fractal Audio community:
http://wiki.fractalaudio.com/axefx2/index.php?title=Yeks_Guide_to_the_Fractal_Audio_Amp_Models
NOTE: As you change the amp type, you will notice that MASTER, PRESENCE and DEPTH LED-ring
knobs change to different “starting values” for each type of amp. Other advanced parameters may
also change behind the scenes as you select types. This is perfectly normal and it helps ensure
that a model sounds right when selected.
For example, if an original amp has no Master Volume control, its power amp runs “wide open”.
Therefore, AX8 will set its MASTER control to 10—fully up—when these models are selected. Of
course, you can still adjust it as desired from the recommended starting point.
46
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE PREAMP PAGE
INPUT DRIVE – (aka “Drive”) sets the amount of preamp gain/distortion. Used in conjunction with
the MASTER (see below), INPUT DRIVE determines whether the sound will be clean, slightly broken up,
moderately overdriven, or completely distorted. The AX8 faithfully reproduces the sound of the treble
peaker circuit on the INPUT DRIVE control found on many amps. This can be heard as the low frequencies
are attenuated more than the highs when the INPUT DRIVE is turned down (and vice versa). For amps which
have no MASTER VOLUME, the INPUT DRIVE functions as the amp’s VOLUME control.
OVERDRIVE – Adjusts preamp overdrive. The OVERDRIVE control appears only for certain amp types.
Note that DRIVE and OVERDRIVE are applied to the appropriate points in the circuit for the amp being
modeled, i.e. prior to the last triode stage or prior to the third triode.
INPUT TRIM – Adjusts preamp input gain. Amps without OVERDRIVE will display the INPUT TRIM instead.
This allows you to adjust for more or less preamp gain than the actual circuit being modeled. This is
different than the Input DRIVE control because DRIVE interacts with the surrounding circuitry, changing
frequency response as it is varied. In short, use INPUT TRIM to adjust gain without also changing tone.
BASS, MID, TREBLE – Adjust these as you would the controls on any amp.
While other modelers use simple filters to approximate amp tone controls, the AX8 recreates the exact
frequency and phase response characteristics of a classic passive tonestack.
Some AX8 models do offer tone controls NOT offered on the original amp. For example, many amps have
no “Mid” control. To faithfully simulate such amps, set controls they are missing to “noon” (or “0.00” if you are
using the “ACTIVE” TONESTACK TYPE). Of course, you may still adjust these “bonus” controls to achieve tones
the original amp does not have.
Please note that extreme tone and high gain settings can cause pickup squealing or excessive noise. This is
especially true with TONESTACK TYPE set to “ACTIVE.”
BRIGHT SWITCH – Many amplifiers contain a “treble peaker,” included as a pull or
toggle switch, or even hard-wired. Every amp TYPE on the AX8 includes this control
(even if the original mode does not). The effect may be subtle or quite pronounced
depending on the amp TYPE. This is also affected by the BRIGHT CAP setting (p.54).
If the original amp had no bright circuit, BRIGHT is OFF by default but can still be
turned on to apply circuit values suited to an amp of that general type. If the amp
has a hard-wired treble peaker, the default BRIGHT state is ON.
To turn the BRIGHT SWITCH ON or OFF, use the NAV keys (SHIFT+ENTER or EXIT) to
select the TREBLE knob and press ENTER. The switch beneath the knob will fill to
indicate that the circuit is engaged.
Bright Switch
OFF and ON.
CUT SWITCH – Reduces the amount of low frequencies coming into the amp simulation. This can be used
to achieve a “tighter” tone or to reduce low-end “flub”. To turn the CUT SWITCH ON or OFF, use the NAV keys
(SHIFT+ENTER or EXIT) to select the BASS knob and press ENTER. The switch beneath the knob will fill to
indicate that the circuit is engaged.
FAT SWITCH– Emphasizing midrange and adds “body” by shifting the tonestack center frequency down.
To turn the FAT SWITCH ON or OFF, use the NAV keys (SHIFT+ENTER or EXIT) to select the MID knob and
press ENTER. The switch beneath the knob will fill to indicate that the circuit is engaged.
BRIGHT KNOB– Think of the Bright knob as a “high treble” control, useful to add “zing” or tame harsh highs.
47
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE POWER AMP PAGE
PRESENCE/HI-CUT – Boosts (or cuts) the upper frequencies from the power amp by varying the negative
feedback frequency response. Increased presence can help a sound cut through. Settings for PRESENCE
don’t necessarily correspond to knob positions on the amp being modeled.
Amps with no negative feedback circuits in their design cannot utilize a realistic presence control. Therefore,
if NEGATIVE FDBK is set (manually or automatically) to “0.00”, PRESENCE becomes a high-shelf EQ at the
output of the power amp, and its label changes to “HI-CUT.” This allows you to control power amp highs
even for amp models that wouldn’t normally have this capability. When changing to a model with no
negative feedback (i.e. Class-A, Mr. Z, Recto Red), be sure to check your HI-CUT settings as values higher
than zero might darken the sound undesirably.
DEPTH – Boosts low frequencies from the power amp simulation by varying the negative feedback
frequency response. The DEPTH control is set by default to an appropriate value when the amp TYPE is
selected, but this setting may be overridden.
TUBE TYPE – Changes the characteristics of the tubes in the power amp. Power amp includes modeling
of the plate impedance of the power tubes. Plate characteristics are adjustable via DYNAMIC DAMPING, an
advanced parameter. The TUBE TYPE parameter sets DYNAMIC DAMPING automatically for you, allowing
you to select from common power tube types: 6AQ5, 6L6/5881, 6V6, 300B (triode), 6550, 6973, EL34/6CA7,
EL84/6BQ5, KT66, KT88 are offered, as well as an “ideal tetrode” and an “ideal pentode”. The power tube type
defaults to the appropriate type when the amp type is selected but can be changed at any time.
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK (NEG FDBK) – This controls the amount of negative feedback, or damping, in the
power amp simulation. Higher values give a tighter and brighter sound but can sound harsh at very high
master volume levels. Lower values give a loose and gritty sound and feel. Like many other power amp
parameters, NEGATIVE FEEDBACK is set to an appropriate value whenever you change the amp TYPE, but it
can then be changed as desired. For example, you might dial in some negative feedback on a “Top Boost” to
give the power amp a more “American” sound while still retaining the preamp voicing.
MASTER VOLUME – The almighty Master Volume is a very important control. It determines the distortion
and dynamics characteristics of the power amp simulator, and its setting at any moment can dramatically
change an amp’s sound. As the Master is turned up, the tone controls will have less influence, and the sound
will have more “bloom” and touch sensitivity. Settings for MASTER don’t necessarily correspond to knob
positions on the amp being modeled, but with a little experimentation, you will learn to dial in different
great sounding DRIVE and MASTER VOLUME combinations.
When you select an amp TYPE, the MASTER will change to an appropriate/typical setting for that amp. If a
real amp doesn’t have a Master, the “correct” setting for MASTER is 10.0—aka, “wide open.”
•
•
At high Master settings, less drive is usually required, especially for high-gain types.
Amps designed for preamp distortion will typically sound great with the MASTER set low to prevent the
tone becoming muddy or noisy. This includes the USA Lead types, SOLO 100, and others.
• Amps with negative feedback tend to have a “crunchier” power amp distortion, which can get “raspy”
if driven too hard. You can experiment with the interactivity of NEGATIVE FEEDBACK and MASTER to
achieve desired distortion timbres.
• Setting SAG (aka MAINS IMPEDANCE) to zero will disable Power Amp simulation, at which point the
MASTER becomes a simple level control with 40 dB of range.
• If more power amp gain is desired, MASTER VOLUME TRIM can be used for increased range.
OUTPUT LEVEL – This is a copy of the LEVEL control on the MIX page for easy volume adjustment without
page turning. This only affects volume and has NO EFFECT on tone! The top panel LEVEL knob operates this
parameter, making it the best way for setting the output level of a preset. See p. 40 for more on levels.
48
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
AMP SPEAKER PAGE
These parameters shape the virtual speaker impedance curve and the resulting resonances in the virtual
power amp. Amp/Speaker interaction affects tone by causing an increase in power amplifier response at
certain frequencies. Note that setting NEGATIVE FEEDBACK greater than “0” flattens the response curve.
LOW FREQ, LOW Q, LOW RES – Guitar loudspeakers have strong low-frequency resonance, typically at about
100 Hz. This shifts up slightly when the speaker is mounted in an enclosure. This resonance causes an
increase in the power amplifier response due to the finite output impedance of the power amp.
HI FREQ, HI RES – A loudspeaker voice-coil presents an inductive load to the power amp at high frequencies.
This inductive load, in conjunction with the output transformer capacitance, creates a high-frequency
resonance at the specified frequency.
SLOPE – This parameter allows fine adjustment of the high-frequency impedance of the virtual voice coil
(which affects the slope of the impedance curve). A speaker voice coil is “semi-inductive” due to eddy
current losses in the motor. This presents an impedance to the power amp that is neither fully inductive nor
fully resistive. The amount of resistive loss varies by brand and type. Reducing the Slope simulates a speaker
that is less inductive, increasing Slope simulates a speaker that is more inductive. Typical speakers range
from 3.0 to 4.5 with the median being about 3.7. Lower values yield greater midrange while higher values
are more scooped and sizzly.
XFRMR LF, XFRMR HF – These set the output transformer bandwidth.
SPEAKER DRIVE –This parameter simulates distortion and gentle compression caused by pushing a speaker
too far. It interacts with the MASTER which determines how hard the actual power amp is pushing. Don’t
overlook this when striving for “vintage” tones as helps make edge-of-breakup tones sound like an old, wellplayed amp.
XFRMR DRIVE – Transformer Drive models core saturation in the virtual output transformer. Higher values
simulate a smaller, more easily saturated transformer. The distortion produced by an overdriven output
transformer isn’t particularly pretty but it does play a role in the tone and without it the distortion would
not be authentic.
AMP EQ PAGE
The amp block includes a built-in graphic EQ, eliminating the need to use a separate block for tone-shaping.
You can achieve different results by changing EQ LOCATION or EQ TYPE in the Amp’s ADVANCED menu. To
reset the EQ to flat, tap ENTER.
To operate the Graphic EQ, turn the E/NAV knob to select a range of faders controlled by A,B,C, and D.
49
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
POWER AMP DYNAMICS PAGE (“PWR DYN”)
SUPPLY SAG – This controls power amp dynamics. Higher settings simulate higher power supply
impedance, and thus greater tube plate voltage “droop,” for a more compressed feel. This control interacts
with the MASTER and will have little effect if the power amp is not being “pushed hard”. As MASTER is
increased, the power amp draws more current from its power supply and SAG control will have more effect.
IMPORTANT: Turning SUPPLY SAG fully counterclockwise defeats power amp simulation,
allowing one preset to be used into a real (presumably tube) power amp without globally
disabling power amp simulation. (See “Global: Settings Page” on p. 79 for more on this.) In this
mode, MASTER works as a simple volume, DEPTH is deactivated, and PRESENCE turns into a
simple shelving filter.
TUBE BIAS – (This is the same parameter as the PWR TUBE BIAS control on the Advanced page). This sets
the controls the quiescent operating current of the virtual power tubes. This powerful parameter allows
you to fine-tune the power amp distortion characteristics to your particular style. The higher the value the
less crossover distortion. When the bias is reduced the amp sags and bounces more, with tighter bass and
edgier tone.
XFRMR MATCH – Transformer Match is an extremely powerful parameter. Lower values cause power tubes
to clip later and therefore the phase inverter and grid clipping becomes more predominant. At higher settings,
power tubes clip sooner and the resonance settings on the SPEAKER page become more pronounced. For
optimum results bring up the MASTER until the desired amount of power amp distortion is achieved, then
adjust matching until the character of the distortion is as desired. The various LF and HF resonance parameters
interact strongly with this parameter, so be sure to experiment with those as well when crafting a tone.
XFRMR GRIND – Transformer Grind accurately simulates dynamic core losses and leakage inductance.
Higher values result in more high frequency response and a more “open” sound. Very high values can yield
a raspy, spitty tone common in vintage and/or low wattage amps. Modern “big iron” amps tend to have low
values. Note that the audibility is dependent upon how hard the virtual power amp is driven and is more
noticeable as the MV is increased.
OUT COMP – The Output Compressor parameter controls the ratio of a compressor specifically tailored to
reduce the output dynamic range of the Amp block. A bar graph beneath the knob shows gain reduction.
COMP TYPE – (Output Comp Type) - Sets the type of Output compression. The “Output” type compresses
the block’s output. The “Feedback” type likewise compresses the block output, but also applies dynamics to
the input of the block, so you will get more distortion as you play harder and less when you play softer or
roll back the volume.
The Output Compressor has additional parameters for Type and Clarity, found in the Advanced menu.
Please note that turning the Output Compressor on by setting OUT COMP to any value greater
than zero will result in slightly higher CPU usage by the Amp block.
50
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
PREAMP DYNAMICS PAGE (“DYN PRE”)
PREAMP COMPRESSION (aka “Preamp CF Compress”) – Sets the threshold to determine the amount of
compression in the virtual cathode follower. You can also set the attack time and ratio of this compressor (in
the Advanced menu using the CF TIME and CF RATIO parameters) or change its TYPE (below)
PREAMP COMPRESSION TYPE (aka “Preamp CF Comp Type”) – Selects between “Authentic”, which
accurately models the compression in a tube amp, and “Ideal”, which is an idealized distorting compressor.
The idealized type is more focused and has tighter bass whereas the authentic type is bolder and looser.
High gain players may prefer the ideal type due to its tight character.
DYNAMICS – Sets the strength of an input dynamics processor that can be used to alter the response of
the amp. When set below zero the amp compresses resulting in a smoother, less dynamic sound. When set
greater than zero the amp expands resulting in a punchier, crunchier and more dynamic sound. Note that
extreme values can have undesirable side-effects such as pumping and clipping.
CRUNCH – Adds crunch, as in Cap’n...
PREAMP BIAS – Sets the bias point of the last triode (not counting the cathode follower). Depending on
the bias points of the previous stages, increasing or decreasing this value can alter both harmonic content
and attack characteristics. Typically, if the previous stage has a negative bias then increasing this value will
be more noticeable (and vice-versa). This value is set automatically when amp TYPE is changed, but can be
altered any time as desired.
HARMONICS – Not the type you play with a soft touch, but the type that occur naturally inside an amp as
tubes interact. Higher values yield softer distortion.
DYNAMIC EQ PAGE (“DYN EQ”)
DYNAMIC PRESENCE – This models output transformer leakage inductance that results in a brightening
of the tone when the power amp is pushed. This control is set to a default value when the model is
selected corresponding to the real amp, if applicable. Increasing this value results in a brighter response
as the virtual power amp is pushed. When playing softly or at lower gains, the influence of this control is
lessened. Note that this only affects the power amp modeling and is dependent on the degree of power
amp overdrive. This control can also be set negative to cause the tone to darken when playing hard. This
control can also be used to help “dial in” the sweet spot of an amp model. As the MASTER is increased an
amp becomes more liquid, compressed and easier to play. However, the highs may get overly compressed,
causing the amp to sound too dark. The Dynamic Presence control allows you to get the desired power amp
drive and liquid feeling and then bring the highs back without affecting the rest of the spectrum.
DYNAMIC DEPTH – Analogous to the Dynamic Presence control, this increases low frequencies when the
virtual amp is being pushed. While real amps don’t display this behavior, it is a valuable tone-shaping tool .
CHARACTER TYPE, CHARACTER FREQ, CHARACTER Q, CHARACTER AMOUNT – These
parameters control a powerful “inverse homomorphic” filter which adjusts tone dynamically in a very
musical way. When playing softly these dynamic filters have little effect on the sound. As the amount of
distortion increases, the influence of these filters increases. CHARACTER FREQUENCY and Q set the center
frequency and slope of the filter while CHARACTER AMOUNT sets how pronounced the effect is. For
example, to darken the tone when playing harder, one might set the frequency to 10000 Hz and the amount
to -5. Setting the amount to +5 will make the tone brighter when playing hard. The amount defaults to
zero whenever an amp type is selected. This control is similar to DYNAMIC PRESENCE and DYNAMIC DEPTH
but the frequency is adjustable. CHARACTER TYPE determines the filter type used. “Dynamic” engages an
exciting mode of tone control that can be used to fatten or scoop the tone as a function of picking strength.
For example, set the TYPE to Dynamic, CHAR FREQ to 450.0, CHAR Q to 0.7 and CHAR AMT to 4.0 for a tone
that gets fatter and thicker as you play hard but is not “honky” when you play soft.
51
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
ADVANCED PAGE (“ADV”)
INPUT SELECT – The AMP block processes audio in mono. This control determines how incoming stereo
signals will be processed. You can input only LEFT or RIGHT channels, or SUM L+R (the default setting).
BOOST – Toggles an additional 12 dB of gain at the input of the Amp.
INPUT TRIM –Allows you to adjust the relative gain of the preamp. Increasing the value will cause the amp
to have more gain than designed and vice versa. It is simply a linear gain applied at the input to the block.
You can use it to give a typically clean amp a bit more “oomph” or decrease the gain of a very high-gain
amp. Note that this is different from the Input Drive control because the Drive control interacts with the
surrounding circuitry and changes the tone as it is varied.
MASTER VOLUME TRIM – (“MSTR VOL TRIM”) Allows you to adjust the range of the MASTER. Increasing
the value above 1.0 will cause more gain in the virtual power amp and vice versa.
MSTR VOLUME CAPACITOR – (“MSTR VOL CAP”) sets the value of the bright cap across the Master Volume.
MSTR VOLUME LOCATION – (“MSTR VOL LOCATION”) – Sets the location of the Master Volume. Most
amps have the Master Volume before the phase inverter (“Pre PI”). On some amps (like the “Class-A” types)
the Master Volume is after the phase inverter (“PI”). A third option, “pre-triode,” is the default for amp types
based on Hiwatt® models.
BRIGHT – The BRIGHT SWITCH appears on the PRE page, but is offered here with a “modifier” option.
BRIGHT CAP – Sets the value of a virtual capacitor to determine the sonic effect of the BRIGHT switch
(above). Increasing this will make the preamp brighter and vice versa.
SAT SWITCH – The Saturation Switch engages a popular mod between the preamp and the tonestack
for a thicker, more aggressive distortion character. The “ON (AUTH)” and “ON (IDEAL)” settings differ only in
volume. “IDEAL” gives you the hotter output you wish a real amp had with saturation engaged ;-)
SAT DRIVE – Controls the amount of SAT SWITCH saturation. The default value differs for each model.
LOW-CUT FREQ – This control filters the lows at the input to the amp. This defaults to a value for each
type but can be overridden if desired.
HIGH-CUT FREQ – This filters the highs at the very end of the preamp simulation. It defaults to a preset
value for each amp type but can be overridden if desired. Experiment with this to fine-tune your tone. For
example, some of the higher-gain amp types are characterized by fairly heavy filtering after the preamp
stage. Increase for a brighter tone or decrease for a darker tone.
DEFINITION – This control is a basic “tilt EQ” which adds highs/cuts lows, or vice versa. It is located at the
amp input, so its effect is heard before preamp distortion or a front-end tone stack.
TONESTACK TYPE – The BASS, MID and TREBLE controls of the Amp block operate by default like a
“passive” tonestack. That is, they simulate exactly the frequency and phase response of the classic passive
tonestacks found in the original amplifiers our simulations are based on. The TONESTACK TYPE control lets
you change this behavior from PASSIVE to ACTIVE, or to substitute the passive tonestack of another amp.
ƒƒ Selecting a substitute tonestack allows you to mix and match amps and tone stacks
to create your own hybrids. This allows you to use, for example, a Plexi-type tonestack
on a Blackface amp model, or a modern German tonestack in a British Preamp.
52
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
ƒƒ Selecting the “ACTIVE” type gives each tone control +/- 12 dB boost/cut operation for up to twice the
range of a typical amplifier. Since the active tone controls are more sensitive, small adjustments have
bigger effects. For example, full PASSIVE treble for a high-gain British amp would be equivalent to
only +5.0 dB ACTIVE, leaving 7 dB of additional headroom! Active tone controls do not interact like
those of a typical amplifier, so when you adjust the treble, the mid and bass are not affected. This
can make dialing in a certain tone easier and quicker than it might be with a PASSIVE tonestack.
TONESTACK FREQ – Sets the center frequency of the tone controls to determine their effect on the
sound. This control works whether you are using ACTIVE, PASSIVE, or substitute tone stacks. This parameter
defaults to an appropriate value whenever you change the amp TYPE, but it can then be changed as
desired. However, if you subsequently change the TONESTACK TYPE, the TONESTACK FREQUENCY will not
necessarily be correct anymore.
TONESTACK LOCATION – This control lets you change the location of the tone stack. “PRE” places the
tone stack at the input to the preamp, “POST” places the stack between the preamp and power amp. “MID”
places it between the last two triode stages, and “END” places it after the power amp (which is physically
impossible with a real amp). Defaults to an appropriate value whenever you change the amp TYPE.
EQ TYPE – This determines the number of bands for the amp block’s built-in graphic equalizer, and
whether it will be variable Q, constant Q, passive or console type.
EQ LOCATION – This sets the position of the Amp’s Graphic EQ. The default value of “Post PA” places the
EQ at the output of the power amp. “Pre PA” places the EQ between the preamp and power amp.
PRESENCE FREQ – This multiplier alters the center frequency of the amp’s PRESENCE control. This setting
changes as you select an amp TYPE but can be altered at any time.
DEPTH FREQ – Alters the center frequency of the amp’s DEPTH and DYN DEPTH controls. This parameter
defaults to an appropriate value whenever you change the amp TYPE, but can then be changed as desired.
POWER TUBE GRID BIAS – Sets the bias point of the virtual power amp. Lower values approach pure
Class-B operation. Higher values approach pure Class-A operation.
BIAS EXCURSION – The higher the value the more the bias shifts when the virtual power tubes are
overdriven. Like cathode squish, bias excursion pushes a power amp from Class-AB operation towards
Class-B operation, which can result in crossover distortion. A little goes a long way, but too much can lead
to what is referred to as “blocking distortion” which can make an amp sound unpleasant.
PA CATHODE RES – There are two types of power tube bias: fixed bias and cathode bias. In a cathode
biased amp a resistor is placed between the power tube cathode and ground thereby self-biasing the tube.
This parameter sets the value of the virtual cathode resistor. Higher values result in a more negative bias
and push operation towards Class-B, resulting in more crossover distortion.
POWER SUPPLY TYPE, AC LINE FREQUENCY – These select between AC and DC virtual power supply
types. AC rectification and resulting supply ripple are modeled, and the line frequency is also selectable.
Note that as with a real tube amp, the AC Supply can cause “ghost notes” when SAG is low and B+ TIME
CONSTANT is high. Lower B+ TIME CONSTANT values will make the amp feel “faster,” but too low can also
cause ghost notes.
AC VOLTAGE (VARIAC) – This sets the relative AC line voltage into the amp simulation implementing
a virtual “Variac”. Note that normally the volume would vary with the Variac setting in a real amp but the
simulation compensates for this.
MAINS IMP. (SAG) – This is a duplicate of SUPPLY SAG on the amp’s PWR DYN page.
53
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
PREAMP SAG –Turning this ON causes the Amp block to behave like an integrated tube head or combo
amp. Turning this OFF simulates a separate preamp and power amp.
B+ TIME CONSTANT – Controls the rate of change in the power tube plate supply. Lower values give a
bouncier feel, while higher values give a tighter feel.
TRIODE1 PLATE FREQ, TRIODE2 PLATE FREQ – These parameters set the cutoff frequency of the
last two triodes in the chain. Many amps have a capacitor across this triode’s plate resistor. This capacitor is
used to smooth the response and reduce noise. You can adjust the amount of capacitance, and the resulting
frequency, using these parameters.
CF (PREAMP) COMP – a duplicate of the PREAMP COMP parameter on the Preamp Dynamics page.
CF TIME, CF RATIO – These parameters determine the attack time and ratio used for CF (Preamp) Comp.
CF HARDNESS – Sets the shape of cathode follower distortion.
OUTPUT COMP THRESH – Sets the threshold of the Output Compressor (found on the Power Amp
Dynamics page.
OUTPUT COMP CLARITY – Used in conjunction with the other Output Compressor parameters, this
adjusts the bass response of the compressor and can be used to add clarity to the bass.
PREAMP TUBE TYPE – This selects a tube type for the virtual preamp from the following options:
12AX7A JJ, 12AX7A RCA, 12AX7A Syl(vania),12AX7A, 12AX7B, 7025, ECC83, ECC803S, EF86
PREAMP HARDNESS – Controls the asymmetry of the triode mode to determines how sharply they
enter saturation, simulating “softer” or “harder” tubes. This subtle effect is most apparent at edge of breakup.
Lower values give softer saturation with less even and more odd harmonics. Higher values give a more
aggressive breakup. The default is set when an amp TYPE is selected but can be changed any time.
PREAMP BIAS – This is a duplicate of the PREAMP BIAS parameter on the amp’s DYN PRE page.
POWER AMP HARDNESS – controls the hardness of the virtual power tube grid clipping. The lower the
value the softer the distortion, but this often is not noticeable because negative feedback around the power
amp makes the distortion harder. Another factor which controls power amp hardness is TRANSFORMER
MATCH: turn it up, and turn down NEGATIVE FEEDBACK for softer power amp distortion.
POWER AMP BIAS – Adjusts the offset voltage of the virtual power amp to vary the symmetry of the
clipping of the virtual power amp. A value of zero produces nearly symmetrical clipping with very little even
harmonics. Higher values are increasingly asymmetrical which increases even harmonics. Small amounts
of even harmonics can make the power amp distortion sound “warmer” and more bell-like while higher
amounts will give a “fuzzier” tone. Most amps have some amount of offset and the amp models will default
to a typical value. Note that this parameter is only applicable for push-pull power amp types. For singleended power amps the Power Tube Bias parameter sets the symmetry (as always).
Don’t confuse this with POWER TUBE BIAS, which sets the quiescent operating current of the virtual power
tubes.
SPEAKER DRIVE – This simulates distortion caused by pushing the virtual speaker too hard. It interacts
with the MASTER, which determines how hard the virtual power amp is pushing.
MIX PAGE
The Amp block has a MIX page with Level, Balance and Bypass mode parameters.
See “Mix Page Common Parameters” on p. 66.
54
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE CAB BLOCK
Supports X/Y Switching
The Speaker Cabinet Simulator or “Cab block” recreates the tonal characteristics of any number of speaker
cabs. The AX8 contains over 175 built-in “factory” cabinet simulations, plus 512 memory locations for loading
custom “User Cab” files. The Cab block also offers preamp and microphone simulations (including submillisecond delays for accurate inter-microphone phasing), plus basic tone controls.
Factory cabs include custom creations by Fractal Audio Systems, plus selections from 3rd-party libraries by
ML Sound Labs, Buddy Gill, RedWirez, OwnHammer, TheAmpFactory, and contributions from Fractal Artists
John Petrucci, James Santiago, and loudspeaker design engineer Jay Mitchell.
The cab block supports UltraRes™ format IRs, as well as the older “Standard” or “High” resolution files.
UltraRes™ is a proprietary format that enhances resolution without intolerable CPU burden or latency.
PAGE 1 PARAMETERS
CAB (TYPE) – Sets the cabinet type by selecting from “FACTORY” and “USER” IRs. The four SCRATCHPAD
locations found at the end of the list are designed to allow you to “audition” cabs before committing them to
a memory location. This capability is especially useful when user cab memory is full, or when you are using
Cab-Lab (available from http://shop.fractalaudio.com). Please note that the contents of the SCRATCHPADs are
cleared every time you restart the AX8.
PROXIMITY – Simulates the classic proximity effect of microphones on a cab, causing an increase in bass
or low frequency response as proximity is increased.
55
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
PAGE 2 PARAMETERS
INPUT SELECT – Selects the input mode of the Cab block. Options include inputting only LEFT or RIGHT
channels, STEREO or SUM L+R.
MODE – Selects the output mode of the Cab block. If both MODE and INPUT SELECT (see above) is set for
stereo, audio received at the left input of the block is processed by the left IR, and audio processed at the
right input of the block is processed by the right IR. Output modes are detailed below.
The Cab block can load two different formats: Standard (2048), and UltraRes™—our best and most detailed IRs.
In HI-/ULTRA-RES mode, UltraRes IRs load in UltraRes mode and Standard IRs load in “High” mode.
The block processes audio in mono.
STEREO ULTRA-RES mode gives you two UltraRes™ or High-Res IRs. The block processes in stereo.
NORMAL RES mode forces all IRs to load at a lower resolution (1024), but can save CPU.
The block processes audio in mono.
STEREO gives you two “NORMAL” IRs and stereo processing.
When you select a stereo mode, each parameter on page 1 appears once for LEFT and once for RIGHT.
PAGE 3 also appears with individual PAN and DELAY parameters for the left and right IRs.
LOW-CUT/HI-CUT – Adjusts the cutoff points of first-order high-pass and low-pass filters. Increase the
low-cut to reduce bass boom. Decrease the high-cut to darken the tone.
PROXIMITY FX – This allows you to disable the Proximity effect completely.
PROXIMITY FREQ – This allows tuning the frequency range over which the proximity effect occurs.
STEREO LINK – Available only when the Cab MODE is set to “STEREO”, LINK turns the LEFT channel
parameters into master controls, which set identical values for LEFT and RIGHT parameters. You can still
override the right channel parameters values if desired.
CAB MIX PARAMETERS
AIR, AIR FREQ – Adds “air” and sets the cutoff frequency to determine if it is dark or bright sounding.
The Cab block MIX page also has LEVEL, BALANCE, and BYPASS MODE parameters.
56
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
See “Mix Page Common Parameters” on p. 66.
WORKING WITH USER CABS
In addition to the on-board “Factory” cabs, the AX8 allows you to store 512 “User Cabs” on-board.
Here’s how it works.
First, you’ll need a user cab impulse response file in SysEx format (.syx).
Don’t confuse the newer “.IR” file format, which is used only for re-mixing in Cab-Lab (see below).
For professionally produced User Cab files, visit our web site and check out our many Cab Packs.
Using the Fractal-Bot or AX8 Edit, transmit the file to your AX8, noting which numbered Cab Slot you are
sending it to (Example: “USER 1”).
ƒƒ Fractal-Bot: Lightweight and definitely the easiest to use.
ƒƒ AX8 Edit: Its powerful Manage Cabs feature lets you load multiple cabs in one action.
Once the IR has been transmitted to your AX8, select the Cab block in your preset and press EDIT.
Change the “Cab” parameter to the USER slot your IR was transmitted to (Example: “USER 1”).
CAB-LAB
In addition to the free utilities mentioned above, we also offer Cab-Lab, an IR Mixer and Tools.
While designed for the Axe-Fx, Cab-Lab can also create cab files that can be transmitted to the AX8.
Future direct connectivity between Cab-Lab and the AX8 is planned.
Learn more at http://www.fractalaudio.com/p-cab-lab-ir-mixer.php
57
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE LOOPER BLOCK
The AX8 Looper Block has a maximum loop time of four minutes in mono and two minutes in stereo (half
that if optional UNDO is enabled). The Looper is placed on the grid like any other block, but when you
enter its Edit Menu, the main functions are executed using footswitches 1–8 instead of the knobs that most
blocks use. This is also known as Looper Control Mode, indicated by the letters “LCM” in the menu tab.
LOOPER CONTROL MODE
Enter Looper Control Mode by selecting the Looper block and pressing EDIT. This operation can also be
directly assigned to an F-Switch, or to any of the numbered footswitches. Exit Looper control mode with the
#8 footswitch. Entering other footswitch modes like Preset Select Mode or Scene Select Mode, or changing
a preset through other means will also exit Looper Control Mode.
TIP: Footswitch 8 is great for engaging the Looper because it is also exits Looper Control Mode.
Here are the functions of Looper Control Mode:
UNDO
HALF-SPEED
REVERSE
EXIT LOOPER
RECORD
PLAY
ONCE
DUB
RECORD – When you press RECORD, the Looper starts recording. Here’s a tip that is not quite as obvious:
you can press record again to stop recording and start playback. This makes it easy to set up a loop without
looking at your feet to change switches. If the Looper reaches its time limit, playback will start automatically.
PLAY – Starts playback—and also stops it if already in progress.
ONCE – When ONCE is toggled on, Looper playback stops automatically when it reaches the end of the
loop. If playback is already stopped, ONCE will start playback, play through once, and then stop. You cannot
go directly from RECORD to ONCE.
DUB – Press to overdub new material on top of an existing loop. Pressing DUB again stops overdubbing,
but playback continues so you can “punch in and out” at will. Please note that with each pass through the
loop, existing layers gradually fade. To change this, increase DUB MIX (see p. 60) to 100%. For a more
rapidly decaying/evolving loop, set this to a lower value.
UNDO – This removes the most recently recorded overdub. You can only undo one layer, and it needs to be
an overdub. (To throw away and re-do a first take, just press RECORD again).
HALF – Slows the Looper to half speed. For double speed playback, record at half speed and then switch to
normal. You can even overdub to record audio at different speeds in the same loop.
REV – Reverses the direction of the Looper. Most other Looper functions work while the direction is
reversed, so you can record forward and backward audio in the same loop.
About Looper LEDs: Active Looper functions are indicated by the primary (green) LED. For example:
the green LED for footswitch 1 is lit during recording. The red and amber LEDs continue to indicate
the current Scene and X/Y states, though Press-and-Hold is disabled during Looper Control Mode.
58
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
LOOPER PAGE 2 PARAMETERS
MODE – Selects the Looper mode, whether mono or stereo and with or without undo.
Whenever you change the mode, the Looper memory will be entirely cleared.
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
ƒƒ
MONO – Recording/playback are in mono. Maximum loop length is 4 minutes. Undo is not possible.
STEREO – Recording/playback are in stereo. Maximum loop length is 2 minutes. Undo is not possible.
MONO UNDO – Recording/playback are in mono. Maximum loop length is 2 minutes. Undo works.
STEREO UNDO – Recording/playback are in stereo. Maximum loop length is 1 minute. Undo works.
QUANTIZE – With QUANTIZE set to any value except “OFF”, loop length is forced to some number of beats
(or subdivisions): 1/4 notes, 1/8th notes, or 1/16th notes—with respect to the tempo of the AX8. If you stop
recording early or late, loop length is adjusted automatically to the nearest quantize “tick” mark.
RECORD BEATS – This sets the
loop length to some number of
QUANTIZE beats/subdivisions,
causing recording to end and
playback to begin automatically
after a certain time. For example, if
your QUANTIZE unit is set to “1/4”
and record beats is set to “4” the
loop length is automatically set to
four quarter-notes.
PLAY IMMEDIATELY – Turning
this OFF disables automatic
playback upon completion of
recording.
THRESHOLD – The Looper can
start recording automatically
when the input exceeds a given
level.
QUANTIZE forces loop length to precise units (1/4, 1/8th or 1/16th)
The loop begins precisely
when you hit RECORD
Loop length is quantized, even if
you stop recording early or late.
RECORD BEATS stops recording and starts playback after the
designated number of quantize units (4 in this case)
THRESH LEVEL – Sets the level
that must be exceeded (at the
input of the Looper) for recording
to begin.
LOOPER TRIM PAGE PARAMETERS
The START and END controls on the TRIM page allow you to manually trim the length of the loop. This
would most likely be used for extremely precise fine-tuning during recording, or for creative effects.
Hidden feature: press ENTER with either trim control selected to add a modifier for realtime trim control.
59
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
LOOPER MIX PAGE PARAMETERS
The Looper has a MIX page with LEVEL, BALANCE, and BYPASS MODE parameters.
See “Mix Page Common Parameters” on p. 66.
DUB MIX – Determines how existing layers fade when you DUB new layers. If you want old layers to NOT
decay, set this to 100%, but be aware that adding additional layers in this way might cause clipping.
LOOPER MIDI CONTROL
Every function of the Looper (plus its “BYPASS” feature) can be remote controlled by MIDI CC messages or an
external footswitch. Here is the full list of functions and default controllers. These settings can be changed
on the CTRL page of the I/O menu under SETTINGS.
Looper Record. . . . . . . . . . 28
Looper Play. . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Looper Once. . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Looper Dub. . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Looper Rev. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Looper Bypass. . . . . . . . . . 33
Looper Half. . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Looper Undo. . . . . . . . . . . 121
Metronome ON/OFF. . . 122
60
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE FX LOOP
The FX Loop block works with the FX SEND and FX RETURN inputs and outputs to provide a full-stereo
insert that can be used to place outboard hardware anywhere in the signal chain of any preset. Because it
can be switched on and off with a footswitch or by a Scene, the Effects Loop block is a great way to insert
outboard effects. It can even be used for the preamp section of an analog head or combo.
Signal that hits the input of the [FXL] block is passed directly to the physical OUTPUT 2 (“FX SEND”).
Signal at the output of the [FXL] block comes directly from physical INPUT 2 (“FX RETURN”).
The diagram below will help you understand its signal flow.
This is the Layout Grid.
O
U
T
P
U
T
I
N
P
U
T
Signal from preceding
blocks hits the input
mixer of the FXL block.
FXL
[FXL] block output passes
to any remaining grid
blocks and on to OUT 1
Signals from IN 2 appear directly on
the grid at the output of the FXL block
Signals from the input of the FXL
block appear directly at OUT 2
Outboard processing
61
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
FX LOOP SEND PAGE PARAMETERS
The FX Loop works just like the main Output Mixer (p. 65). “Channels” 1-4 are fed respectively by the four
rows of the grid. Each channel has a LEVEL that determines the gain of the incoming signal (+/- 20dB) and a
BALANCE control that determines how the LEFT and RIGHT channels are passed to Output 2. A master MAIN
slider offers +/-20 dB control over the final mixed output. Its setting is memorized per-Scene.
Here’s an illustration taken from AX8-Edit showing a portion of the grid, and the output mixer parameters.
Four rows of grid blocks
feeding the FX Loop block.
Four channels in the FX Loop block
corresponding to the four grid rows.
Grid Row 1 goes to Output Mixer Channel 1.
The DELAY in this row will reach Output 2 at Level +/- 0.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 2 goes to Output Mixer Channel 2.
The CHORUS in this row will reach Output 2 at Level -6.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 3 goes to Output Mixer Channel 3.
The MULTIDELAY in this row will reach Output 2 at +6.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 4 goes to Output Mixer Channel 4.
The REVERB in this row will reach Output 2 at +0.00 dB.
With Balance 4 hard left, only the left channel of the REVERB will be passed to Output 2.
The MAIN fader is set to -2.00 dB. This setting is stored per Scene (see Scenes, p. 41).
If only the Chorus were present, it would still be Channel 2 because it is in Row 2 of the grid.
62
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
ALTERNATE USE AS AN AUXILIARY OUTPUT OR INPUT
The FX Loop Block doubles as a means to provide an auxiliary output or input.
Signal at the INPUT of the [FXL] block is routed directly to the OUTPUT 2 jacks. This is useful for the type of
rig described in “Setup: Power Amp & Guitar Speakers” on p. 16 where a signal with cab sims is sent direct
to front of house, and a signal without cab sims is sent to a power amp and cab on stage.
Another example is using the FX Loop to insert a second signal into layout grid at any point. One such
application would be using a dual output guitar with the magnetic pickups into IN 1 [INSTRUMENT] and
the piezo side into IN 2 [FX RTN]. Here’s an example:
Signal from IN 1 [INSTR] enters the grid at the INPUT. It passes through a Wah, Amp, Cab, PEQ and Delay.
Signal from IN 2 [FX RTN] also enters the grid via the FX Loop block. It passes through a Compressor, Graphic
EQ, and Chorus. The two lines are joined and processed by a shared Reverb before reaching the Output
Mixer and appearing at physical Output 1 [Main] jacks.
Please note that the FX Loop Block must be placed in parallel for use as an Auxiliary Output
or input. It only passes signal in series if an outboard device is patched in.
FX LOOP MIX PAGE PARAMETERS
The FX Loop block has a MIX page with LEVEL, BALANCE, and BYPASS MODE parameters. See “Mix Page
Common Parameters” on p. 66 for more on these.
63
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE NOISE GATE
Every AX8 preset includes a Noise Gate connected directly to INPUT 1 [INSTRUMENT].
To edit these parameters, open the layout grid, NAV all the way to “INPUT” at the far left, and press EDIT.
PARAMETERS
TYPE – The Noise Gate has a “CLASSIC” type, and a variable “INTELLIGENT” type which uses filters instead of
simply hard-clamping.
THRESH – The threshold control determines how quiet the signal must be for the gate to close. The
threshold can also be adjusted globally using the NOISEGATE OFFSET parameter found on the SETTINGS
page of the GLOBAL menu under SETUP.
RATIO – Ratio determines how much quieter the signal will sound when the gate is closed. The ratio acts as
a multiplier to reduce signals below the threshold by a factor of “x.” At higher settings, the gate is like a hard
clamp completely silencing noise. At lower settings, noise level is reduced but not cut off.
ATTACK – determines how long it takes for the gate to open. You’ll typically want this set low so the attack
of your first notes can punch through naturally.
RELEASE – determines how long it takes for the gate to close. Use a slow setting for a gradual decay to
prevent your notes from being clipped suddenly or a fast setting for a dramatic “Djenty” chopping.
LEVEL – Controls level at the output of the noise gate. Can be used to boost the overall preset input level
which is useful, for example, when you really want to “smack” a Compressor or a Drive pedal.
64
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
THE OUTPUT MIXER
The Output Mixer controls how the grid passes signal to OUTPUT 1 [MAIN].
To edit its parameters, open the layout grid, NAV all the way to “OUTPUT” at the far right, and press EDIT.
“Channels” 1-4 of the Output Mixer are fed respectively by the stereo outputs of rows 1-4 of the grid.
Each channel has a LEVEL control that determines the gain of the incoming signal (+/- 20dB)
and a BALANCE control that determines how the incoming left and right signals are passed to the final mix.
A master MAIN slider offers +/-20 dB control over the final mixed output. Its setting is memorized per-Scene.
Here’s an illustration taken from AX8-Edit showing a portion of the grid, and the output mixer parameters.
Grid Row 1 goes to Output Mixer Channel 1.
The DELAY in this row will reach the output at Level +/- 0.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 2 goes to Output Mixer Channel 2.
The REVERB in this row will reach the output at Level -6.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 3 goes to Output Mixer Channel 3.
The SYNTH in this row will reach the output at +6.00 dB with Balance centered.
Grid Row 4 goes to Output Mixer Channel 4.
The FX Loop in this row will reach the output at +0.00 dB.
With BALANCE 4 hard left, only the left channel of the FX LOOP will be passed to the main output.
The MAIN fader is set to -2.00 dB. This setting is stored per Scene (see Scenes, p. 41).
If only the Reverb were present, it would still be Channel 2 because it is in Row 2 of the grid.
65
7 BLOCKS GUIDE
MIX PAGE COMMON PARAMETERS
Almost every block in the AX8 has a MIX page with parameters that determine how that block contributes
to the preset. All mix pages use one or more of the following standard parameters. Different blocks have
different mix page parameters because they require different approaches. You may need to change more
than one parameter setting to achieve a desired result.
MIX – This self explanatory knob sets the balance of wet between dry and wet.
LEVEL – As you would expect, this controls set the overall level of the block.
BALANCE – Every block outputs both left and right signals. BALANCE works like a PAN control, so as you
adjust to the left or right, the opposite channel gets quieter. Both the wet and the dry are affected.
BYPASS MODE – Determines what happens when the block is bypassed. The different options are detailed
below. Not every option is available in every block.
MUTE IN –When the block is bypassed, its inputs are muted, silencing the both wet and dry but allowing
effect “tails” to ring out or “spill over”. Use this for time-based effects in parallel.
MUTE OUT – When the block is bypassed, all audio is totally silenced at the outputs. Effect tails are
silenced immediately, but the input is still “listening” so tails may be heard when you engage the effect.
MUTE FX IN – When the block is bypassed, the inputs of its internal processor are muted, but the dry is
unaffected. This allows effect “tails” to ring. LEVEL and BALANCE controls continue to operate when the
block is bypassed. Use this for time-based effects in series when you want spillover.
MUTE FX OUT – When the block is bypassed, the outputs of its internal processor are pulled, but dry
signal is totally unaffected. With this setting, signals can enter a reverb or delay before it is engaged.
MUTE – When the block is bypassed, both wet and dry are totally silenced.
THRU – When bypassed, the block is completely disengaged. None of its parameters have any effect on
the sound; it behaves exactly as if it were never there in the first place.
The observant AX8 owner will notice that the BYPASS MODE parameter allows you to attach a
MODIFIER. This modifier does not actually connect to the BYPASS MODE parameter! Instead, it
controls the block’s BYPASS SWITCH. When a modifier is attached to this switch, it becomes the
ONLY way that you can bypass or engage the effect. The footswitch will no longer work.
INPUT GAIN – This parameter, available on Reverb, Pitch, Delay, and Multidelay, determines the amount
of signal fed to the effect portion of the block. It has no effect on the dry signal. Within the block, this
simulates the way an “Aux Send” would normally feed an effect routed in parallel.
GLOBAL MIX – This switch determines whether or not the MIX setting of the selected effect will be subject
to an offset (+/- 50%) applied using the global EFFECTS MIX parameter found in the SETUP: GLOBAL menu.
This feature is provided so you can design presets with the built-in ability for one-touch mix compensation
in playing environments that require more or less wet mix. It is offered on the following effect block types:
Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Formant, Multidelay, Phaser, Pitch, Reverb, Ring Mod, and Rotary.
66
8 Modifiers
8 MODIFIERS
OVERVIEW
Modifiers allow sound parameters to be remote-controlled or automated in real time. For example, you might
use an expression pedal to operate a wah, whammy or volume, or use an LFO controller (Low Frequency
Oscillator) to sweep a filter. MIDI can also control sound changes, as in the example of using a Control Change
message (CC#) to toggle the HOLD switch of a delay.
Modifiers are easy to use, but also provide incredible depth of power for those who like to push limits.
CREATING A MODIFIER
The process of creating a modifier begins at the parameter you want to control. Parameters that can be
controlled are marked with a special symbol (below, left). Look for it beneath a knob or to the right of a text
parameter. If a modifier is already present, the symbol will have a line through it (below, right).
This symbol indicates a
parameter which can have a
modifier attached to it.
This symbol indicates a
parameter with a modifier
already attached to it.
TO CREATE A MODIFIER...
Select any controllable parameter (
)
You will need to use the NAV keys to do this: SHIFT + ENTER for left, or SHIFT + EXIT for right.
Press the ENTER button to show the MODIFIER screen.
Select a SOURCE to control the parameter.
(“EXT1” is PEDAL1 by default, for example. We’ll cover other SOURCES later).
Set MIN and MAX to the lowest and highest values you want to hear as the source changes.
STORE the preset.
TO REMOVE A MODIFIER…
To remove a modifier, just change its SOURCE to “NONE” and store the preset.
67
8 Modifiers
MODIFIER EXAMPLE: WAH PEDAL
Below you will find a basic step-by-step tutorial on setting up the modifier for a wah pedal.
For this example, we assume:
ƒƒ A Wahwah block is in your preset (see p. 28 for details on how to insert blocks).
ƒƒ An expression pedal is connected to the PEDAL 1 jack (see p. 20 for more on pedals).
ƒƒ You have performed the pedal calibration routine (see p. 20).
Here are the steps:
1. On the Footswitch page or Grid, NAV to your WAH block and press EDIT to show its Edit Menu.
2. See the Modifier symbol beneath the on-screen CONTROL knob?
Select that knob pressing the NAV> button 4x (Shift, EXIT, Shift, EXIT, Shift, EXIT, Shift, EXIT).
When you’ve selected it, the name of the parameter will be inverted: CONTROL. CONTROL
3. Once the CONTROL parameter is selected, press ENTER to show the MODIFIER screen.
4. On the MODIFIER screen, use VALUE to change the SOURCE to External Controller 1 (“EXT 1”).
Note: EXT 1 defaults to PEDAL 1. (It can be remapped; see “External Controllers” on p. 74)
5. Test. The wah should work when you move the pedal. You’ll also see the dot move on the graph.
6. Store the preset by pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER.
This wah is controlled by an expression pedal. An expression pedal can be used to control other parameters
like whammy control, rotary speed, delay feedback, and many, many more.
There are also many different sources we could use instead of a pedal. Try an LFO for a modulating autowah, or an envelope for some funky Mu-Tron action. You could even use an external MIDI device like an
iPad™ or a GuitarWing™. If you’re intrigued, dig deeper into the pages which follow...
68
8 Modifiers
MODIFIER SOURCES OVERVIEW
Our previous example used EXT 1 assigned to the PEDAL 1 jack, but there are in fact over 20 different
sources to use in your modifiers. We refer to these as CONTROLLERS because they are used to control
a parameter. Some, like the built-in LFOs and Envelope Follower, are internal to the AX8, while others,
like a connected expression pedal or MIDI message from some other device, are referred to as external
controllers.
INTERNAL CONTROLLERS
Internal controllers are built in to the AX8. There are
two LFOs (low frequency oscillators), two ADSR
envelope generators, a Sequencer, a Pitch Detector,
an Envelope Follower, and two Scene Controllers.
Every preset has its own settings for each internal
controller, found in the CONTROLLERS area of the
CONFIG page of the main menu.
EXTERNAL CONTROLLERS
External controllers allow you to use a MIDI message
(CC# 0–127) or any of the on-board PEDAL jacks as
the SOURCE in a modifier.
Pedal
1
For example, EXTERNAL CONTROLLER 1 is assigned
by default to the PEDAL 1 jack.
Assignments for the external controllers are made on
the CTRL page of the I/O menu under SETUP.
CONTROL SWITCHES (ONBOARD FOOTSWITCHES)
Control Switches (p. 37) allow the onboard footswitches to be used as modifier sources.
They can be used to switch multiple effects at once, change sound parameers and more.
MODIFIER TIPS AND TRICKS
Here are some modifier tips and tricks.
ƒƒ The same modifier SOURCE can be used to control multiple parameters at once.
ƒƒ All modifiers in a block will be shared across both the X and Y states.
ƒƒ On the MODIFIER screen (with the graph):
ƒƒ Try Auto-Engage (“AUTOENG”) set to “SLOW SPD” to have your WAH
(or other effect) turn on automatically when you push it forward and
bypass again when you pull it back. No need for a toe switch!
ƒƒ Try a little “DAMPING” if you want sound changes to be slower or smoother.
ƒƒ Modifiers do use some CPU power, so be careful not to overload your preset.
69
Pedal
2
8 Modifiers
ADVANCED MODIFIER PARAMETERS
The default modifier is perfectly linear and direct. You change the source, and the parameter follows
precisely. But you can also tweak the relationship between source and target. Maybe you want to tune the
taper of a wah. Maybe you want a volume pedal which gets quieter instead of louder as you rock it forward.
Maybe you want an external footswitch to glide the rate of your chorus between slow and fast.
Fortunately, a full complement of additional controls allow you to dial in all of this and more. Here is an
overview of the additional parameters you can use to create advanced modifiers:
MIN and MAX determine the range of sound changes. These can be very important parameters.
EXAMPLE: The modifier for a pedal controlling DELAY MIX has MIN at “20%” and MAX at “40%”.
The mix change will be limited to this range as we move the pedal, even though the parameter might
normally go from 0% to 100%.
The GRAPH shows the relationship between the source (x-axis) and the parameter (y-axis). The dot on
the graph shows changes in the source in real time.
The default modifier graph (first graph below) shows the direct (red line) relationship between the
SOURCE and the target parameter. As the source increases, so does the value of the parameter.
START, MID, END, SLOPE, SCALE, and OFFSET are used to create custom curves, re-mapping the
relationship between the source and the target. The second two graphs below show examples of the
kinds of curves you can create. The pages which follow contain more on using these parameters.
DAMPING causes parameter changes to be smoother and slower. At low settings, it adds just a little
smoothing. Try a setting of 4–12 ms to “relax” a pedal or to ease the edges of a square LFO to eliminate
clicks and pops. Higher settings cause sound changes to glide like honey.
AUTO-ENGAGE works with OFF VALUE to create effects which turn ON or OFF automatically whenever
the source controller is moved. This is typically used with a WAH pedal so you don’t need a toe switch.
(Follow the example on p. 68 and set AUTO-ENGAGE to “SLOW POS” to try it out!) Find additional
information on AUTO-ENGAGE on p. 72.
PC RESET determines the value of a modifier’s external source when a preset first loads. This allows you
to override the actual position of an external controller until it is moved/updated. Here’s how it works:
even with a modifier applied, parameters always show a value which can be edited as usual. If PC RST is
ON, this value will be used for the parameter until the source is updated.
70
8 Modifiers
UNDERSTANDING MODIFIER MIN AND MAX
MIN and MAX set the range of a modifier. This lets you fine-tune modifiers in musical way.
In the example below, we’re imagining a volume pedal whose range goes from zero to ten.
Here is your basic default vanilla volume pedal.
Our pedal’s start (heel down position) has the
volume at 0.00 or silent, and the pedal stop (toe
down position) has the volume at 10.0 or all the
way up.
Here’s something different: with MIN increased to
8.00, the volume never goes below 8.00 in the heel
position, then up to full on for toe down.
Maybe this could be used to bring the rhythm parts
down and then up to full volume for the leads.
MID: 50.0 %
END: 100.0 %
MAX: 0.00
Here, MIN is at 10.0, the loudest setting, while MAX
is at 0.0, or silent. This is a reverse volume pedal!
START: 0.0 %
MIN: 10.00
USE MID TO CREATE BASIC CURVES
Let’s imagine a modifier on the FEEDBACK of a delay to demonstrate changes to the mapping of the
response. By now you should be familiar with the default curve, so let’s skip right to the tweaked one:
As we adjust “MID”, the line becomes a curve.
At 25%, we find a taper which means “when the
pedal is halfway forward, the MIX will be only 25%
between MIN and MAX. For this example, that
means finer control of feedback in the low end of
the range, and then a more rapid increase at the
top.
71
8 Modifiers
ADVANCED MODIFIER CURVES AND SHAPES
You can also adjust START, END, and SLOPE (which introduces an “S” or “backwards S” shape). The numbers
below each example show the settings for START, MID, END and SLOPE. With a bit of practice, you will learn
to achieve desired modifier effects quickly. Try dialing in the shapes below.
SCALE and OFFSET also re-map modifier response. SCALE adds vertical exaggeration or compression, while
SHIFT moves the entire curve up or down on the Y-axis. Areas outside the graph boundaries will be clipped
and replaced by line segments. The examples below show some interesting possible applications. (Here,
curves are shown in red because they overlap graph boundaries.)
START: 0.0%
MID: 50%
END: 100%
SCALE: 2.0
OFFSET:100%
START: 0.0%
MID: 50%
END: 100%
SCALE: 10.0
OFFSET:0%
START: 47.2%
MID: 0%
END: 60.6%
SCALE: 10.0
OFFSET:-100%
AUTO-ENGAGE TURNS EFFECTS ON/OFF AUTOMATICALLY
Ever heard of a wah pedal with no toe-switch? It turns on automatically when you use it and then bypasses
when you pull it all the way back. That’s the concept of “Auto-Engage.” Try it! You’ll quickly find that Auto
Engage comfortably eliminates the need for expression pedal “toe” switches.
AUTO-ENGAGE brings a block out of bypass when the SOURCE for one of its modifiers triggers the effect. It
is based on two parameters found on the MODIFIER screen:
AUTOENG – Determines whether or not the block containing a modifier will automatically engage or
bypass based on the level of a modifier source. FAST, MEDIUM and SLOW determine how quickly the effect
turns ON or OFF once auto-engage is triggered. Use SLOW settings to “relax” Auto Engage so your effect
doesn’t snap on or off unexpectedly.
ƒƒ The three POSITION (“POS”) options engage the effect when the controller value approaches the
OFF VALUE.
ƒƒ The three SPEED (“SPD”) options engage the effect when the controller is moved quickly.
ƒƒ Set to OFF to disable Auto Engage.
OFF VAL – Sets the threshold that SOURCE must approach for auto-engage to occur. When OFF VALUE is
set below 50%, the effect is bypassed when the controller goes below the OFF VALUE. If OFF VALUE is set
to 50% or higher, the effect is bypassed when the controller goes above than the OFF VALUE.
For “heel down = bypassed”, set to 5%. For “toe down = bypassed”, set to 95%.
72
8 Modifiers
INTERNAL CONTROLLERS
Each of the Internal controllers can be programmed per-preset for use as modifier sources. To access pages
and parameters for these controllers, press SETUP followed by the footswitch for the Controllers menu.
Notice that some parameters of these controllers can be modified themselves for truly interactive dynamics!
LFO1 + LFO2
ADSR1 + ADSR2
An LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator,
generates control signals in the form
of a variety of familiar wave shapes or random
signals. Familiar examples of LFOs in action
include the pulsing of a tremolo, the steady back
and forth sweep of a phaser.
The two ADSR sources are “envelope
generators” with ATTACK, DECAY,
SUSTAIN and RELEASE parameters (thus “ADSR”).
The ADSR is triggered whenever the signal level
exceeds its THRESHOLD measured at Input 1. The
envelope has three self-explanatory MODES and
can optionally be set to RETRIGGER every time the
threshold is exceeded.
TYPE sets the waveform or shape. You can set
a RATE or lock the LFO to the current TEMPO.
You can vary the overall DEPTH and DUTY, or
symmetry.
ENVELOPE FOLLOWER
Each LFO outputs two signals, “A” and “B” and
so appears twice in the list of sources. You can
change the OUT B PHASE.
QUANTIZE changes smooth waveforms into
segmented ones. Try it on the “TRI” waveform for a
“stepped” effect.
The Envelope Follower converts input
levels to control signals, responding
variably to your playing dynamics. The classic
example is a touch-wah, where the frequency of
the wah varies based on how hard you play. In
comparison, the ADSR envelope generator always
creates the same control signal, but only triggers
when you play hard enough.
SEQUENCER
PITCH DETECTOR
The AX8 step-sequencer generates
control patterns by looping through
2–32 “stages.” You set the VALUE for each stage,
the NUMBER of stages, and the RATE or TEMPO.
The RUN switch allows you to start or stop the
sequence.
The pitch detector analyzes the pitch of
your playing and outputs a low value for
low notes and a high value for high notes.
The RUN parameter starts and stops the LFO. This
can be used to keep it from drifting over time.
SCENE CONTROLLERS
Scene controllers provide a uniquely
powerful way to change certain sound
settings from one Scene to another. These two
“virtual knobs” can be programmed individually
for each SCENE in each preset. For example, you
might assign SCENE CONTROLLER 1 to delay
feedback, with a value of 10% in SCENE 1, 30%
in SCENE 2, 5% in SCENE 3, and so on. SCENE
CTRL 2 could meanwhile be used for something
completely different.
For more on Scenes, see Section 6.
73
8 Modifiers
EXTERNAL CONTROLLERS
External Controllers are modifier sources controlled by MIDI or connected expression pedal(s).
Each External Controller has its own global assignment set on the CONTROLLERS page of the I/O menu.
You can set any external controller to any MIDI CC, or to either of the on-board PEDAL jacks.
So, for example, “External 1” defaults to “PEDAL1”, but if you wanted a computer sequencer to operate your
AX8 instead, you could change External 1 to “16” (MIDI CC 16) -- or any MIDI CC.
To assign a MIDI CC or PEDAL jack to an external controller:
Press SETUP
Press footswitch 2 to select I/O
Press PAGE to select the Controllers page (“CTRL”)
Use NAV to select to whichever external controller you want to change (ex: “EXTERNAL 1”)
Use VALUE to change the assignment. You can also select “NONE” to disable the selected controller.
Press EXIT two times to finish.
EXTERNAL CONTROLLER INITIAL VALUES
External Controllers assigned to MIDI are set to “0” until some MIDI data is received to change them. You can
imagine how a missing or broken MIDI controller might therefore present a problem...
EXTERNAL CONTROLLER INITIAL VALUE parameters can change the startup value for an external
controller to 100%. Now, when the AX8 is powered on, any parameters assigned to the missing controller
will be all the way up instead of all the way down.
Please note that the onboard PEDAL jacks are NOT affected by this setting;
To change the initial value for an external controller:
Press SETUP
Press footswitch 2 to select I/O
Press PAGE to select the MIDI page
Use NAV to select to whichever controller you want to change (ex: “EXT CTRL 1 INIT VAL”)
Use VALUE to change the setting.
Press EXIT two times to finish.
CONTROL SWITCHES
Control Switches allow you to use onboard footswitces 1–8 as modifier sources.
Switches can be momentary or latching, global or per-preset.
Please see p. 37 in Section 5 for more information on setting up Control Switches.
74
9 Tempo
9 TEMPO
Tempo on the AX8 is used to synchronize effects or controllers to the beat of the music. Many effects have
TEMPO parameters you can use to set times or rates to rhythmic values. The AX8 flashes its current tempo
on the LED above the TEMPO footswitch (if you have one assigned). You can change the tempo in several
ways:
1. Tap the TEMPO footswitch several times.
2. Tap the TEMPO footswitch once and use the NAV knob to set the tempo (on-screen) as desired. If
you have no TEMPO footswitch assigned, you can edit the tempo through the SETUP menu (#6) or
using AX8-Edit.
3. Load a preset with its own tempo (see Preset Tempo below).
4. Use an external MIDI device to transmit MIDI Clock to the MIDI IN of the AX8.
5. Use an external MIDI Device to transmit CC# pulses (the default is CC#14).
The tempo can be any whole number from 30 BPM (grave) to 250 BPM (prestissimo).
The AX8 does not transmit MIDI Clock.
TO SYNCHRONIZE A DELAY TO THE TEMPO...
The time of every delay in the AX8 can synchronize to the tempo. The most typical setting is that where the
echo matches the tempo 1:1. Use the musical value of “1/4” (one quarter-note) for this.
Navigate to the delay block and press EDIT to show its Edit Menu.
Navigate to the TEMPO parameter (on PG2) and set it to “1/4”. Feel free to choose/explore other options.
The 1/8th dot setting is also very useful and popular.
Save the preset if desired.
Note that once TEMPO has been set, you will be unable to adjust TIME manually or with a modifier.
TO SYNCHRONIZE A TREMOLO OR OTHER RATE TO THE TEMPO...
Every RATE parameter in the AX8 can synchronize to the tempo. A typical value here might be 1/8th or
1/16th. Feel free to choose/explore other options.
Navigate to the effect and press EDIT to show its Edit Menu.
Find the TEMPO parameter and set it to “1/8”.
ƒƒ In the PAN/TREM block, TEMPO is on the BASIC page.
ƒƒ For CHORUS, PHASER, FLANGER and other modulation effects, find TEMPO on the ADVANCED page.
Save the preset if desired.
Note that the rate you hear may be out of alignment with the tempo LED but will still be correct.
75
9 Tempo
PRESET TEMPO
Normally, each preset has its own saved tempo, which takes effect when you load the preset. You can also
change presets to use the Global Tempo so the tempo stays the same when you load them.
To change a preset to use the Global Tempo:
1. Load the preset.
2. Tap once on the TEMPO footswitch (or open the TEMPO area of the “Config” page of the main menu.)
3. Change TEMPO TO USE to “GLOBAL”.
4. Save the preset.
Your new “Preset Tempo” will automatically take effect when the preset is loaded. The global tempo remains
in the background and will be used again when you load a new preset with TEMPO TO USE set to “GLOBAL”.
AUTO DELAY
When you set this parameter to “ON,” any DELAY blocks that are bypassed will become active whenever a new
tempo is tapped in. This allows you to set the tempo and engage your delay block(s) from a single footswitch.
THE METRONOME
The AX8 features a built-in metronome whose signal is mixed in at Output 1.
Turn it on or off in the TEMPO menu.
METRONOME – Turns the metronome on or off.
METRO LEVEL – Sets the level of the metronome from -20dB to +20dB.
76
10 The Tuner
10 THE TUNER
The AX8 has a built-in TUNER—essential for the performing
or recording musician. The tuner is easy to use and has highresolution automatic pitch detection, a calibration control,
offsets for modified tuning schemes, and the option to mute
audio while tuning. Press and hold the TUNER footswitch to
show or hide the tuner menu.
The tuner is assigned by default to the Press-and-Hold option
of the F3 footswitch. You can change this or remove it from
the footswitches altogether, but it can always be accessed
through the CONFIG page of the main menu, or in AX8-Edit.
ADVANCED TUNER FUNCTIONS
The actual tuner is on the first page of the tuner menu.
The CONFIG and OFFSETS page provide options for advanced tuner functions.
CONFIGURATION PARAMETERS
PARAMETER
CAL
Description
Calibrates the tuner by setting the frequency of A4 (in the octave above middle C).
430.0 – 450.0 Hz
MUTE
OFF/INPUT/OUTPUT
USE OFFSETS
Determines how the tuner mute works.
ƒƒ OFF: No mute. All signal is passed as usual when the tuner is engaged.
ƒƒ OUTPUT: The signal is muted at the output. Tails for PRE FX are silenced.
ƒƒ INPUT: The signal is muted at the noise gate. Tails for PRE FX ring out.
Determines whether the OFFSET settings (see below) are applied or ignored.
OFF/ON
OFFSET PARAMETERS
PARAMETER
Description
E1, B2, G3, D4, A5, E6 Offsets allow the tuner to be calibrated so individual notes diverge from standard
concert tuning by a defined amount. Use this for example, for Buzz Feiten tuning.
+/-12.7 Hz
77
10 The Tuner
This page intentionally left blank.
78
11 Setup Menus
11 SETUP MENUS
Access Setup Menus by pressing SETUP (Shift + Store) and making a choice with the footswitches. Changes
take effect immediately without needing to be STORED. The settings for all Setup parameters are included in
a backup of the AX8 “SYSTEM” (see “Utility: Erase Page” on p. 88).
WARNING: After making changes in the Setup Menu, please wait 2-3 seconds before switching
the power of the AX8 to OFF. Powering off before the AX8 has had time to internally save your
changes can result in your setting NOT being saved—or worse: an automatic reset to factory
default settings for ALL Setup menu parameters.
THE GLOBAL MENU
The GLOBAL menu is accessed by pressing footswitch 1 under Setup.
GLOBAL: SETTINGS PAGE
 Reminder: You do not need to store settings in the SETUP menu. EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
POWER AMP MODELING
This parameter conveniently enables or disables power amp simulation
within the AMP block in all presets. This capability is provided for cases
when the Axe-Fx II is used with a guitar-oriented/tube power amp that
contributes significantly to tone and dynamics. Having these characteristics
applied twice to the sound—once in the virtual amp and once in the real
power amp—would result in an over-processed sound. If this is switched
OFF, preamp (gain, tone, etc.), Graphic EQ, and Mixer (Level, Balance, etc.)
sections of the AMP block continue to affect the sound.
This parameter conveniently enables or disables CAB block processing in
all presets. The CAB block will not physically appear to be bypassed, but act
exactly as if it had been replaced a shunt. Use this when you are using the
AX8 with an amp powering real guitar speaker cabinets or the sound will
be muffled, muddy, and boomy.
Boosts or cuts the MIX for all REVERB blocks in all presets at once. Note
that this offset is NOT reflected in the value shown for the actual reverb
block MIX parameter. This feature is provided because certain performance
spaces may require more or less reverb “across the board.”
Boosts or cuts the MIX of all blocks for which the GLOBAL MIX parameter
is set to “ON.” This switch must be enabled on a per-block/per-preset basis
and is available on the MIX page of the Edit Menu for these block types:
Chorus
Formant
Pitch
Rotary
Delay
Multi-Delay
Reverb
Flanger
Phaser
Ring Mod
(ON/OFF)
CAB MODELING
(ON/OFF)
REVERB MIX
(+/- 50%)
EFFECTS MIX
(+/- 50%)
This feature is provided because certain performance spaces may require
more or less of certain effects “across the board.”
79
11 Setup Menus
PARAMETER
Description
SPILLOVER
Allows delay and reverb “tails” to ring out or spill over across preset
changes. You can select whether DELAY, REVERB, or BOTH effects will spill
over. Setting to OFF causes effect tails to be cleared upon preset change.
(OFF/DELAY/REVERB/BOTH)
PRESS & HOLD INTERVAL
(0.25 - 2.00 seconds)
TEMPO MENU AUTO EXIT
(1-6)
See “Spillover” on p. 90 for details on how to set up presets, scenes, or
blocks for spillover.
Sets the duration that you need to continue holding
for all Press-and-Hold functions.
Determines how many seconds it takes to exit back to the previous screen
after you tap the tempo footswitch.
PRESS/HOLD FOR X/Y
Determines whether footswitches 1–8 work to switch X/Y when you press
and hold them. With Press-and-Hold enabled, regular switching to engage
(ENABLE/DISABLE)
or bypass an effect needs to activate on the “up stroke” when you lift
your foot off the pedal. By disabling Press-and-Hold, effect switching can
happen on the “down-stroke”. You can disable press/hold X/Y switching and
still change X/Y using SCENES, or by using one of the X/Y mode Function
Footswitches (see Chapter X). In fact, the setting for this parameter is
IGNORED and treated as DISABLED if you do assign any X/Y function to any
FUNCTION FOOTSWITCHES.
NOISEGATE OFFSET
Globally raises or lowers the THRESHOLD of the Noise Gate. Note that if the
THRESHOLD for a given preset is set to “OFF” the Global Offset will have no
(+/- 40.00 dB)
effect. See “The Noise Gate” on p. 64.
AMP GAIN
This provides +/- 12 dB of relative gain for the amp block. It can be used to
(+/- 12.00 dB)
quickly compensate for differences between guitars.
DEFAULT SCENE
This parameter allows you to GLOBALLY set which of the eight scenes will
be selected whenever you load a new preset. For example, if you always
(1–8)
want presets to load with Scene 2 selected already, change the global
Default Scene to “2”. Starting with firmware 6.0, each preset can override
this Global setting and select a different Default Scene. For more setting a
Default Scene, see p. 44.
LAYOUT GRID EXIT
This parameter specifies what happens when you press EXIT while in the
Layout Grid (unless LARGE PRESET DISPLAY is set to “Always”). Normally,
(Return to FS, Remove Block)
pressing Exit returns you to the Footswitch page. If you’d prefer instead
to mimic the Axe-Fx feature of using EXIT to remove blocks from the Grid,
select “Remove Block” here. Then, to convert any block to a shunt, select it
and press EXIT, ENTER. To delete any shunt, select it and press EXIT, ENTER.
DISPLAY LARGE PRESET
This determines the length of time in seconds that the preset name is
(NO, 1-4 Seconds, ALWAYS)
shown in large letters on the display after you load a new bank or preset. If
you select “ALWAYS”, the large preset display is toggled by pressing EXIT. A
setting of “NO” eliminates the large preset display completely.
BANK LIMIT
When BANK LIMIT is turned on, the footswitches will only select presets
within a predetermined range of banks. If you set this value to “WRAP”, you
(NO, WRAP, NO WRAP)
can cycle through banks by pressing BANK UP/DOWN to eventually “wrap”
BANK LOWER LIMIT,
back to where you began. With “NO WRAP”, the AX8 stops when it reaches
BANK UPPER LIMIT
the highest or lowest bank in your limit. BANK LOWER LIMIT and BANK
UPPER LIMIT to set the range of banks. You can set these both to the same
(1–61)
value to restrict the AX8 to a single bank.
80
11 Setup Menus
GLOBAL: FUNCTION SWITCHES PAGE
The AX8 has three FUNCTION FOOTSWITCHES labeled F1, F2, and F3. Each of these has two assignable
functions: one for when you tap the switch, and one for when you press and hold. The F-SWITCH page
allows you to set those functions by selecting from a menu of options detailed in Section 4.
GLOBAL: FOOTSWITCH 1-8 PAGE
The Global Footswitch 1-8 (GBL FS) page allows you to set footswitches 1–8 each to GLOBAL or PRESET.
Global Footswitches will have the same function across every preset of the AX8.
Preset Footswitches may be assigned a different function in every preset.
For more on this subject, please see “Setting Up Footswitches 1-8” on p. 35.
GLOBAL: OUT 1/OUT 2 PAGES
Two separate pages each provide a 10-band global graphic EQ, plus a master GAIN adjustment control
for OUT 1 and OUT 2. Use these to make global adjustments to the tone or level of ALL presets. This
is convenient when you need to compensate for using a different amp or speakers, or if a particular
performance space seems overly bright or boomy. The master GAIN fader should be used with care as it
impacts signal-to-noise ratio, and can cause clipping.
GLOBAL: CUSTOM SCALES PAGE
The Custom Scales (“SCALES”) page of the GLOBAL menu is used to configure scales for the CUSTOM type
found in the Pitch Shifter block.
PARAMETER
Description
CUSTOM SCALE NUMBER
Selects from among the 32 global custom scales available to edit using the
12 parameters which follow.
(1–32)
___ SHIFT (+/- 24)
These 12 parameters are used to set the shift amount for each of the 12
steps of the chromatic scale. Range is +/- 24 semitones (+/- two octaves).
To set up a custom scale, select its number in the field above and then set
each of the 12 pitch values as desired. Changes take effect immediately,
with no need to STORE.
81
11 Setup Menus
THE I/O MENU
The I/O menu is accessed by tapping the SETUP button and then pressing footswitch 2.
I/O: LEVELS PAGE
The LEVELS page of the I/O menu contains parameters that affect levels.
 Reminder: You do not need to STORE settings in the SETUP menu. EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
IN 1 (INSTR) INPUT PAD
Pads the signal from IN 1 [INSTRUMENT] before it reaches the A/D
converter. The pad is offset by a corresponding but opposite boost at
the output of the converter, so “what you hear” remains the same at all
settings.
(0 db, 6dB, 12dB, 18dB)
Run this at the lowest possible setting for your guitar, starting at 0 dB and
increasing padding only when required.
OUT 1 (MAIN) NOMINAL LEVEL Sets the nominal level of Output 1.
(+4 dBu, -10 dBv)
+4 dBu is the default. It is designed for use with professional audio
equipment. It is unlikely you will ever need to change this setting.
Use the -10 dBV setting for consumer-grade or other equipment.
IN 2 (FX RTN) NOMINAL LEVEL
(+4 dBu, -10 dBv)
The product manual for your connected equipment should indicate
whether it operates at +4 dBu or -10 dBV. (Some devices are switchable.)
Sets the nominal level for Input 2.
+4 dBu is the default. It is designed for use with professional audio
equipment.
Use the -10 dBV setting if Input 2 is fed by the outputs of consumergrade or other equipment operating at this level.
OUT 2 (FX SEND) BOOST/PAD
(0, 12 dB)
The product manual for your connected equipment should indicate
whether it operates at +4 dBu or -10 dBV. (Some devices are switchable.)
Engages a boost/pad to lower the noise floor of Out 2.
This is useful if the device in your FX Loop is a tube amp or an amp
modeler. Be careful with this setting, however, as you will be driving the
AX8’s FX SEND D/A converter at +12 dB, making it easier to clip. Watch
the front panel FX SEND CLIP indicator and if clipping occurs, reduce
levels within your preset or turn this setting back to the default of 0 dB.
82
11 Setup Menus
I/O: AUDIO PAGE
The AUDIO page of the I/O menu contains parameters that affect audio routing.
 Reminder: You do not need to STORE settings in the SETUP menu. Press EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
OUT 1 (MAIN) MODE
Determines how signals appear at the OUT 1 [MAIN] jacks.
(STEREO/
SUM L+R/
COPY L>R)
ƒƒ STEREO – Choose this option if you are connecting to a
stereo monitoring system. If you use this setting with a
mono rig, you’ll hear only half of the stereo image.
ƒƒ SUM L+R – Collapses the entire signal to mono.
ƒƒ Copy L>R – Replicates the left channel to the right,
discarding the usual right channel signal.
NOTE: To get the best results from any mono or stereo rig, you’ll need to
understand what happens inside of each effect block. You may hear unexpected
results, for instance, if you SUM a phase-inverted signal pair (such as that
created by some DELAY, CHORUS, ENHANCER settings, etc.). Discarding the right
signal of a PANNER or PING PONG will likewise create strange effects (but not in
a good way). In short, learn which effects and parameters create a wide stereo
image and avoid these if your rig is mono.
OUT 1 (MAIN) PHASE
(NORMAL/INVERT)
Determines whether signal at OUT 1 [MAIN] will be normal or phase-inverted
relative to its state at the output of the grid. This lets you compensate for
unwanted inversions elsewhere in the signal chain.
(This inverts BOTH the Left and Right channels.)
IN 2 (FX RTN) MODE
Determines whether IN 2 [FX RTN] is processed in stereo or mono.
(LEFT ONLY/
L+R SUM/
STEREO)
ƒƒ LEFT ONLY – The usual setting for mono, utilizing only the IN 2 L jack.
ƒƒ L+R SUM – Sums both IN 2 L and IN 2 R to mono.
ƒƒ STEREO - This is the setting to use when using stereo or
dual mono equipment in the FX Loop of the AX8.
OUT 2 (FX SEND) MODE
Determines whether signal at OUT 2 [FX SEND] is stereo or mono.
(STEREO/
SUM L+R/
COPY L>R)
ƒƒ STEREO – Choose this option, for example, if you are
connecting OUT2 to a stereo power amp or the FX Return
of two different amplifiers. The stereo setting also works for
mono rigs, but you’ll hear only half of the stereo image.
ƒƒ SUM L+R – Collapses the entire signal to mono.
ƒƒ Copy L>R – Replicates the left channel to the right,
discarding the usual right channel signal.
OUT 2 (FX SEND) PHASE
Determines whether signals at OUT 2 [FX SEND] will be normal or phaseinverted relative to its state at the output of the last POST effect. This lets you
compensate for unwanted inversions elsewhere in the downstream signal chain.
(This inverts BOTH the Left and Right channels.)
(NORMAL/INVERT)
83
11 Setup Menus
I/O: AUDIO PAGE
The AUDIO page of the I/O menu contains parameters that affect audio routing.
 Reminder: You do not need to STORE settings in the SETUP menu. Press EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
OUT 1 (MAIN) MODE
Determines how signals appear at the OUT 1 [MAIN] jacks.
(STEREO/
SUM L+R/
COPY L>R)
ƒƒ STEREO – Choose this option if you are connecting to a
stereo monitoring system. If you use this setting with a
mono rig, you’ll hear only half of the stereo image.
ƒƒ SUM L+R – Collapses the entire signal to mono.
ƒƒ Copy L>R – Replicates the left channel to the right,
discarding the usual right channel signal.
NOTE: To get the best results from any mono or stereo rig, you’ll need to
understand what happens inside of each effect block. You may hear unexpected
results, for instance, if you SUM a phase-inverted signal pair (such as that
created by some DELAY, CHORUS, ENHANCER settings, etc.). Discarding the right
signal of a PANNER or PING PONG will likewise create strange effects (but not in
a good way). In short, learn which effects and parameters create a wide stereo
image and avoid these if your rig is mono.
OUT 1 (MAIN) PHASE
(NORMAL/INVERT)
Determines whether signal at OUT 1 [MAIN] will be normal or phase-inverted
relative to its state at the output of the grid. This lets you compensate for
unwanted inversions elsewhere in the signal chain.
(This inverts BOTH the Left and Right channels.)
IN 2 (FX RTN) MODE
Determines whether IN 2 [FX RTN] is processed in stereo or mono.
(LEFT ONLY/
L+R SUM/
STEREO)
ƒƒ LEFT ONLY – The usual setting for mono, utilizing only the IN 2 L jack.
ƒƒ L+R SUM – Sums both IN 2 L and IN 2 R to mono.
ƒƒ STEREO - This is the setting to use when using stereo or
dual mono equipment in the FX Loop of the AX8.
OUT 2 (FX SEND) MODE
Determines whether signal at OUT 2 [FX SEND] is stereo or mono.
(STEREO/
SUM L+R/
COPY L>R)
ƒƒ STEREO – Choose this option, for example, if you are
connecting OUT2 to a stereo power amp or the FX Return
of two different amplifiers. The stereo setting also works for
mono rigs, but you’ll hear only half of the stereo image.
ƒƒ SUM L+R – Collapses the entire signal to mono.
ƒƒ Copy L>R – Replicates the left channel to the right,
discarding the usual right channel signal.
OUT 2 (FX SEND) PHASE
Determines whether signals at OUT 2 [FX SEND] will be normal or phaseinverted relative to its state at the output of the last POST effect. This lets you
compensate for unwanted inversions elsewhere in the downstream signal chain.
(This inverts BOTH the Left and Right channels.)
(NORMAL/INVERT)
84
11 Setup Menus
PARAMETER
Description
OUT 2 (FX SEND) ECHO
No, not as in repeats… repeats… repeats. Echo in this case refers to a retransmitted copy of a signal. The default value “NONE” connects Output 2 to
the inputs of the FX LOOP block (p. 61). Selecting “OUTPUT 1” creates an
exact copy of the OUTPUT 1 signal at OUTPUT 2 jacks. Use this when you need
to feed both front of house and full-range monitors, for example, and want
independent level control over each using the top panel OUTPUT knobs.
Selecting “INPUT 1” copies the raw unprocessed INPUT 1 signal to OUTPUT 2,
and is ideal for capturing a dry track for “reamping” without using the FX Loop
block. Note that the echo feature will not function when an FX Loop block is
present in a preset as the FX Loop has priority.
(NONE, OUTPUT 1,
INPUT 1)
I/O: MIDI PAGE
The MIDI page of the I/O menu contains parameters that affect MIDI processing.
 Reminder: You do not need to STORE settings in the SETUP menu. EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
MIDI CHANNEL
Sets the channel on which the AX8 will receive MIDI messages.
OMNI causes the unit to respond to incoming messages on ANY channel.
1–16, OMNI
MIDI THRU
OFF/ON
PROG CHANGE
ON/OFF
SCENE REVERT
Turning this ON forwards MIDI data received at the MIDI IN port to the MIDI
OUT port, where it is soft-merged with regular outbound MIDI.
Determines whether the AX8 will process or ignore MIDI program change
commands.
Selects between one of two behaviors for Scene recall via MIDI:
OFF (Default): Scene edits are RETAINED across Scene changes as long as
you do not change PRESETS. So if you tweak Scene 1, switch to Scene 2,
then switch back to Scene 1, your tweaks will still be intact.
ON: Scene edits are LOST if you change the Scene without saving. So if you
tweak Scene 1, switch to Scene 2, then back to Scene 1, Scene 1 will have
reverted to its previously saved state. This makes Scene changes feel more
like traditional preset changes.
For more on Scenes, see Section 6.
85
11 Setup Menus
PARAMETER
Description
EXT CTRL # INIT VAL
Specifies an initial value for each of the 12 External controllers. This Initial
value is used when you power on the AX8, and remains in effect until
anything is received from an actual external controller (an expression
pedal, switch, or MIDI message).
0% OR 100%
This feature has an important use. Let’s say you find yourself without the
expression pedal you normally use as “EXTERNAL 1”. Now imagine that
EXT1 is used to control a VOLUME block. Without the pedal connected, the
AX8 assumes it is at 0%, so all of your presets will be silent! Setting EXT 1
INITIAL VALUE to 100% ensures that the volume defaults to all the way up
instead of all the way down when you power on the AX8.
I/O: CONTROLLERS PAGE
The CTRL page of the I/O menu allows you to map PEDALS or MIDI CC# messages to various AX8 functions.
CC# messages can be sent by a MIDI controller or computer connected to the AX8 MIDI In jack, or via the
USB connection of the AX8. Each of these settings is global.
In every case, the method for mapping a controller to one of these functions is the same:
1. Use the NAV knob to select the desired function.
2. Use the VALUE knob to assign a controller to the function: PEDAL1, PEDAL 2, MIDI CC (1-127), or NONE.
 Reminder: You do not need to STORE settings in the SETUP menu. Press EXIT twice when finished.
PARAMETER
Description
IN 1 (INSTR) VOLUME
Controls the volume at the INPUT 1 [INSTRUMENT] jack. Map a PEDAL
here, for instance, if you want a global volume that works like a volume
pedal between the guitar and the AX8.
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
OUT 1 (MAIN) VOLUME
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
OUT 2 (FXSEND) VOLUME
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
TEMPO TAP
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
TUNER
Controls the volume at the OUT 1 [MAIN] jack. Map a PEDAL here for a
global volume control that affects everything you hear.
Controls the volume at the OUT 2 [FX SEND] jack. Map a PEDAL here if
you want a global MASTER volume which controls only Out 2.
TIP: You can change both Out 1 and Out 2 to the same source for a universal
master output volume control.
Provides the ability to set the Tempo with an external controller.
IMPORTANT: ANY value for the designated controller counts as a tap, so do
not use a momentary switch or you will end up with double-time!
Provides a way to enter or exit the TUNER function remotely.
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
EXT CTRL 1–12
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
LOOPER REC, PLAY, ONCE,
DUB, REV, BYPASS, HALF,
UNDO
This is where you specify which incoming MIDI CC# should be assigned to
each of the 12 External Controllers available as Modifier sources.
Most of the functions of the Looper block can also be remote controlled.
86
11 Setup Menus
PARAMETER
Description
SCENE SELECT, SCENE INCR,
SCENE DECR
These options allow selecting SCENES via MIDI CC#.
For SCENE SELECT, the value of the Control Change message determines
which Scene is loaded. The easy rule is Scene number -1 = CC# Data Value.
(Ex: Scene 1, Value 0).
However, values greater than 7 continue to select scenes, in order. To
determine the Scene for values >7, add 1 and divide by 8. The REMAINDER
is the Scene that will be selected. Ex: 62+1 = 63, 63 ÷ 8 = 7 remainder 7, so
63 loads Scene 7.
OUT 1 VOL INCR,
OUT 1 VOL DECR
NONE/PEDAL…/0-127
SCENE INCR and DECR are triggered by CC# data values greater than 63.
These two options provide a convenient way to increase or decrease the
OUT 1 (MAIN) VOLUME volume of the currently loaded Scene in the current
preset. This can be a very useful tool when you need to normalize the levels
of different presets while playing with a band in a rehearsal situation.
Each time VOL INCR is triggered by a CC# value greater than 63, the value
for MAIN in the OUTPUT 1 mixer is increased by 1.0 dB and the preset is
instantly saved. VOLUME DECR works the same way, decreasing volume.
IMPORTANT! Any other unsaved changes such as altered effects will also be
stored if either VOLUME INCR or VOLUME DECR is triggered.
CHORUS BYP
through
WAHWAH BYP
CHORUS XY
through
WARNING! These functions are designed for use with momentary
footswitches set up to send a CC# value of 127 for “ON” and 0 for “OFF”.
Do not use an expression pedal or you may change levels +/-20 dB with a
single sweep!
The BYPASS switch for every block in the AX8 can be remote controlled.
The list of MIDI CC# defaults can be found on p. 99. Some blocks may not
have a default assignment but you can change any block at any time.
Like the BYPASS switch (above) the XY toggle switch for every block can be
remote controlled. The list of MIDI CC# defaults can be found on p. 99.
WAHWAH XY
I/O: PEDAL PAGES
The functions of the PEDAL page are detailed in “Connecting Pedals & Switches” on p. 20.
87
11 Setup Menus
THE UTILITY MENU
The UTILITY menu is accessed by tapping the SETUP button and then pressing footswitch 3.
UTILITY: LCD PAGE
Provides a slider to adjust contrast/viewing angle for the built-in LCD display. Adjust using VALUE.
UTILITY: ERASE PAGE
The ERASE page provides tools to ERASE ALL PRESETS and ERASE ALL USER CABINETS.
These do exactly what they say, so handle with care. Data erased in this way CANNOT be recovered!!!
UTILITY: STATUS PAGE
Displays realtime audio meters scaled at -80 to 0 db.
ƒƒ IN LEVELS (1 (Instrument) and 2 (FX RTN) left and right
ƒƒ OUT LEVELS for 1L, 1R, 2L, 2R
To the right, CPU Utilization (CPU%) is shown on its own meter. The total CPU usage must not exceed 90%.
For more on this topic, see “Preset CPU Limits” on p. 39.
UTILITY: RESET PAGE
The RESET page provides a tool to set GLOBAL, I/O, and TUNER back to factory default values. RESET
SYSTEM PARAMETERS is one of the first steps of troubleshooting. It never deletes or modifies your presets.
UTILITY: FIRMWARE PAGE
The FIRMWARE page indicates what firmware version the AX8 is running.
Check our support page for free updates you can easily install yourself using Fractal-Bot
http://www.fractalaudio.com/support
88
12 Additional Topics
12 ADDITIONAL TOPICS
GLOBAL VOLUME PEDAL SETUP
The AX8 makes it easy to set up a global volume pedal WITHOUT inserting a VOLUME block in your presets.
q Connect and calibrate an expression pedal (such as the Fractal EV-1).
CONNECT – Using a TRS cable, connect to either the PEDAL1 or PEDAL 2 jack of the AX8.
Open the PEDAL page of the I/O menu. (Press SETUP, press Switch 2, press PAGE to get to PEDAL).
Select PEDAL 1–4 CAL (depending on where your pedal is connected).
Press the ENTER button and follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate.
w Select the volume function of your choice:
Open the CTRL page of the I/O menu. (Press SETUP, press Switch 2, press PAGE to get to CTRL).
At the top of the CTRL menu, NAV to the entry for the volume you want to control:
ƒƒ INPUT VOLUME – Changing this is just like adjusting your guitar’s volume.
ƒƒ OUT 1 (MAIN) VOLUME – This controls the level of everything at Out 1. Effects, amp, tails, etc.
ƒƒ OUT 2 (FX SEND) VOLUME – This controls the level of everything at Out 2.
e Change the value for the desired entry to PEDAL 1–4, depending on which pedal jack you’re using.
r YOU ARE FINISHED! Press EXIT twice and test the pedal.
The Fractal Audio Systems EV-1 expression/volume pedal is ideally suited for the AX8.
89
12 Additional Topics
SPILLOVER
Spillover allows delay and reverb tails to ring out when an effect is bypassed or when you change scenes or
presets. This section covers how to set up spillover in different scenarios.
WHEN MANUALLY BYPASSING THE EFFECT, OR CHANGING SCENES
This is easy and requires only one setting change. For tails to ring when an individual effect is bypassed by a
Scene change, simply change its BYPASS MODE to “MUTE FX IN.”
If an effect is running in parallel, use “MUTE IN” instead.
WHEN CHANGING PRESETS
Setting up spillover that works across different presets is a bit more involved. The first step is to set the
SPILLOVER setting on the SETTINGS page of the GLOBAL menu (p. 79) to determine whether Delays,
Reverbs, or “BOTH” will spill over when you change presets. (“Delay” does not include the Multi-Delay block).
When you want spillover to happen between presets, you also need to ensure that the same delay or reverb
blocks exist in each of them. These need to be the same block and the same INSTANCE (i.e. Delay 1 spills
only through Delay 1 and Delay 2 spills only through Delay 2).
Ideally, the corresponding blocks in each preset should have the same settings as well. This is because the
moment you change to a new preset, the parameter settings for its blocks will “take over” processing the
tails. If you change from a preset where delay has a time of 500 ms to one where the time is 100 ms, the
tails will be “inserted” into the new effect and be heard as 100 ms echoes (with possible glitches if certain
settings change). For spillover to work perfectly then, the pair(s) of blocks in both “starting” and “landing”
presets must have essentially identical settings and must have similar (if not identical) placement on the
grid. You would hear quite a sudden difference in the tail, for instance, if a delay was placed after a clean
amp block in the first preset and in front of a heavily overdriven amp block in the second.
Bypass states and BYPASS MODE settings must also be considered. Switching from a preset where delay or
reverb is engaged to one where it is bypassed with a BYPASS MODE setting of “MUTE FX OUT” will prevent
the tails from being heard. Switching to a preset where the block is bypassed with a setting of “MUTE FX IN”
however, will cleverly allow the tails to ring while material you play after the preset change will be heard
without the effect. See “Mix Page Common Parameters” on p. 66.
For a simple spillover preset experiment, create a preset, then save an exact copy to a new
location and test spillover. Then begin making changes as needed to settings outside of the
blocks you want to spill over. AX8-Edit also makes it easy to copy and paste a block from one
preset to another.
90
12 Additional Topics
UP- VS. DOWN-STROKE FX SWITCHING
By default, the AX8 uses both “tap” and “press-and-hold” actions on its footswitches. This gives the
F-Switches double functions, and it allows Footswitches 1-8 to be used for both bypass/engage and X/Y
switching.
Because of this, the AX8 must execute all tap functions on the up-stroke of the
footswitch, rather than the down-stroke. When your foot goes down, the AX8 begins
waiting. If the switch does NOT come up after a critical time window has passed, the
Press-and-Hold function is executed. If the switch DOES come up, the tap function is
executed.
If you would rather have your effect footswitches engage on the down-stroke, you can turn off press-andhold X/Y switching in two ways:
OPTION ONE: DISABLE PRESS-AND-HOLD IN THE GLOBAL MENU
This convenient global option turns off Press-and-Hold for X/Y Switching so effects fire on the down-stroke.
Press SETUP (Shift + Store)
Press footswitch 1 for the GLOBAL menu
Make sure you are on the SETTINGS page.
NAV to PRESS/HOLD X/Y
Use the A knob to turn it ON or OFF.
Press EXIT twice to finish.
OPTION TWO: ASSIGN ANY X/Y MODE TO ANY F-SWITCH
When you assign either Single X/Y or Sticky X/Y to one of the F-Switches, the AX8 assumes that you don’t
want Press-and-Hold X/Y action. Changing F-Switch functions is easy. Here’s a review:
Press SETUP (Shift + Store)
Press footswitch 1 for the GLOBAL menu
Press PAGE to turn to the F-SWITCH page.
Select one of the available F-Switches using the E/NAV knob.
Assign an X/Y function using the A knob.
Press EXIT two times when you’re done.
If you set the “HOLD” function of any F-Switch to “NONE”, its TAP function switch will
execute on the switch down-stroke instead of the up-stroke.
This is useful for switches assigned to PRESET UP and PRESET DN because you’ll often
want to make this kind of change right on the downbeat.
91
12 Additional Topics
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are the answers to some frequently-asked questions about the AX8.
Fractal Audio Systems also offers help at support.fractalaudio.com
You can also find answers and meet others who use the AX8 at forum.fractalaudio.com
QQ: How do I upgrade the firmware of my AX8?
AA: Use Fractal-Bot, available from www.fractalaudio.com
QQ: Can I load my presets from the Axe-Fx or FX8 into the AX8?
AA: No, but you can transfer individual blocks using the editor software for each product.
See “Transferring Blocks Between Products” on p. 95 for details.
QQ: Why does my AX8 keep changing to the Edit menu of one of my effects?
AA: This is normal while AX8-Edit is running. The “pause” button in the
upper left corner of the program is designed to stop this so you can
edit the unit from its top panel without interference from the editor.
QQ: The effect on/off footswitches seem a little sluggish. Why is that?
AA: Because it supports Press-and-Hold functions, the AX8 activates effects on the upstoke of the footswitch instead of the down-stroke. You can change this behavior.
Please see “Up- vs. Down-Stroke Fx Switching” on p. 91 for more information.
QQ: I’m hearing click and pops.
AA: Are you clipping the AX8 outputs? Could it be a bad cable in your rig?
Excessive CPU usage may also be to blame. Check the STATUS page in the UTILITY menu
under SETUP. Is the CPU meter at or near 90%? If so, you’ve overloaded the current preset.
Try removing one block or reviewing “Preset CPU Limits” on p. 39 for useful tips.
QQ: Where can I learn more about all the many parameters for all of these effect blocks?
AA: We’re currently working on a universal Effect Parameters Guide for all Fractal
Audio Systems products. Meanwhile, the Axe-Fx II manual has most of the
answers you might need. Find it at www.fractalaudio.com/support.
QQ: One my effects has totally stopped working!
AA: Relax. When a tweaked effect overloads the CPU, the AX8 will disable one effect block. This
block will be quickly blink on the grid and footswitch page, and its Edit Menu will show
“DISABLED”. Reduce CPU load and the effect should automatically re-enable itself.
QQ: My expression pedal isn’t working. What should I do?
AA: Expression pedals need to be calibrated, mapped to a controller, and assigned to a
parameter. See “Connecting Pedals & Switches” on p. 20 for a basic overview. Are you
using a TRS cable? Is it connected to the right jack on the AX8? Is it actually an expression
pedal? Did you set up a modifier according to the information in Section 8?
QQ: My AX8 won’t start up correctly.
AA: One problem that may cause this is a bad preset. To get around this issue, reboot the AX8, but
as soon as the “Splash Screen” is displayed, tap ENTER to load an empty, initialized preset. If
this solves your trouble, you’ll need to find and overwrite the problem preset, which may be
as easy as pressing STORE, ENTER, ENTER after performing this special startup routine.
92
12 Additional Topics
QQ: Q: One or more of my presets produces no sound.
AA: A: This might be any one (or several) of a number of things:
Is your rig working correctly? Most of the time, the problem is a faulty or disconnected cable!
Have you double-checked to ensure that you have a complete path from the input to the output?
Is there a MODIFIER assigned to a volume or level control while the pedal or external switch is not
present? See “Modifiers” on p. 67 for more about how to correct this. You may also need to change the
Initial Value for an external controller from 0% to 100%.
See “External Controller Initial Values” on p. 74
Does the preset require a USER CAB which is not loaded? Try changing the CAB block to a Factory cab.
QQ: Can I use a computer or external MIDI controller to operate the AX8?
AA: Yes. The AX8 has a rich MIDI spec which allows it to be remote
controlled. See “MIDI Implementation” on p. 98
QQ: What is “FRFR”?
AA: FRFR stands for “full-range, flat response.” This acronym is used to describe a “neutral”
speaker or speaker system that is designed to reproduce the entire audible spectrum of 20
Hz – 20kHz without emphasis or de-emphasis. Examples of FRFR systems would include
studio monitors and properly designed PA systems or components. Many manufacturers
are also now offering FRFR systems designed specifically for direct guitar applications.
QQ: Why all the technical terminology? Can’t every control just go from 1 to 10?
AA: Only the precise terminology of audio engineering allows the very diverse communities of
casual and professional players, producers, engineers, and others, to get the most from the
AX8. If you’d like to brush up on Hertz, PicoFarads, milliseconds, etc., you can easily find a
good glossary of pro audio terms online, or refer to the appendix of the Axe-Fx II manual.
QQ: Why would I place a certain effect BEFORE or AFTER the Amp and Cab?
AA: Sonically speaking, the main reason to care about effect placement is that a
given effect will sound different when placed before or after distortion.
How does this difference sound? If you’ve ever switched the sequence of traditional DRIVE
and WAH pedals, you’ve heard an excellent example. In the case of wah before overdrive, the
resonant filter of the wah “excites” the overdrive in a cool way while still retaining a natural overall
tone. When the wah follows distortion, you might hear a more dramatic filtered sweep—with
heavy distortion it can get almost synth-like—which might be considered less “classic.” It’s not
surprising then that Wah would traditionally be a run as a “pre” effect between guitar and amp.
The amp’s distortion follows the wah effect. Many other effects fall in this same category.
A different example is found in overdrive with reverb and delay. In the natural world, reverb
and echo occur because of open spaces around your guitar amp – like a club or concert hall.
These effects would therefore NOT be heard before a distorted amp, but after it. Recording
studios often add these kinds of effects at the console—after the mic has picked up the
distorted sound from the guitar amp. If you wanted to simulate this natural sounding reverb
or delay these effects would likely be run “post.” This is not to say that delay or reverb before
distortion is a “no-no.” Many “legendary” tones came from echo units in front of an amp—but
this effect is very different from “post” delay—not only tonally, but also in terms of dynamics.
The good news is that the AX8 allows you to experiment easily and find what combinations
of pre- and post-effects work best for you. Creativity begins where conformity ends.
93
12 Additional Topics
QQ: Why do I hear a pop or a gap when changing certain X/Y block types?
AA: When you change X/Y, the AX8 may need to completely reprogram a block for its new function.
In some cases, this is sonically transparent. In other cases, this may mean making changes
inside the block which cause a small pop or gap. One option for DRIVE blocks that makes this
completely avoidable is to use two different blocks instead of one block with X/Y Switching.
QQ: My AX8 stopped working during or after a firmware update. How can I recover it?
AA: The AX8 has a built in recovery routine. Power the unit off. Hold down the SHIFT button, and then
power the unit on. Hold the button for about 1 second beyond the power up, and then release.
Turn the page to the FIRMWARE screen and you will be able to install firmware using Fractal-Bot.
94
12 Additional Topics
TRANSFERRING BLOCKS BETWEEN PRODUCTS
The AX8, FX8 and Axe-Fx II cannot share presets, but you CAN transfer individual effect block settings from
one product to another using our editor software applications: AX8-Edit, FX8-Edit, and Axe-Edit.
Axe-Fx Blocks from firmware 18.04 or newer (including all “Quantum” versions) are supported in this way.
ABOUT THE BLOCK LIBRARY
The Block Library feature is one of the best reasons to use our editors. It allows you to save a collection of
fully-dialed-in blocks to draw from whenever you are creating or editing presets. For example, you might
save a favorite perfectly-tweaked Drive block as “Tweaked Screamer”. Once you do, it only takes a few
mouse clicks to drop this block in wherever and whenever you need it. It is the files created by the Block
Library that make it possible to transfer blocks from one unit to another.
EXAMPLE: BLOCK TRANSFER FROM AN AXE-FX TO AN AX8
In this example we’ll transfer an Amp block from Axe-Edit to AX8-Edit by copying a block .syx file from the
Axe-Edit Block Library to the AX8-Edit Block Library.
1. Run Axe-Edit. Find the block you wish to transfer.
2. Add that block to the Axe-Edit block library:
ƒƒ Select the block.
ƒƒ Click the “+” (plus) menu in the Blocks Library control in the lower left and select “Save”.
ƒƒ Give your block a meaningful name. “My Amp” is not good. “Amp Deluxe Mid Crunch” is great.
3. Repeat the above steps for any number of blocks you wish to transfer. TIP: Axe-Edit includes
a feature which allows you to save ALL Blocks in the current preset to the library at once!
4. Locate the block on your computer using Finder or Explorer.
Shortcut: Click the Block Library “+” menu and choose “Show Folder”.
5. Select the file(s) for your block(s) and copy to your computer’s clipboard
using the keyboard shortcut for COPY (Cmd/Ctrl + C)
6. Now open the AX8-Edit Block Library folder. If you don’t know where it is, use the same shortcut:
ƒƒ Launch AX8 Edit and select any block on the grid.
ƒƒ Click the “+” (plus) menu in the Blocks Library control in the lower left and choose “Show Folder”.
7. Paste your Axe-Edit blocks into th AX8-Edit Blocks library using
the keyboard shortcut for PASTE (Cmd/Ctrl + V)
8. If it is already running, re-launch AX8-Edit so it can scan your new blocks.
9. To INSERT from the block library, choose any grid space (empty or populated)
and choose Block : Library : Recall from the top menu.
The location of the library can be changed for each program under Settings : Preferences : Workspace. Once
you know where the libraries are, you can simply use Finder or Explorer to copy/paste or drag and drop files
from one to the other.
You can change the location of the Block Library folder on your computer for each of our editors
(though you’ll need to move pre-existing blocks manually.) One possibility is setting the Block
Workspace for multiple editors to the same folder, though after doing so you may see a warning
in Axe-Edit if your version (pre 3.4.0) is too old to load blocks created by AX8-Edit.
95
12 Additional Topics
MAIN MENU SOFT KNOBS GUIDE
The A, B, C, D and E knobs change their functions across the different pages of the main menu that displays
when you power on the AX8. Here is a table showing what each of them does.
Footswitch (“FS”)
A
Value
B
Preset Select
C
Scene Select
D
Nav
E
Nav
Layout
Value
--
Scene Select
Nav
Nav
Move
Value
--
--
Nav
Nav
MIDI
Value
--
Scene Select
--
Nav
HIDDEN EDIT BUTTON FUNCTIONS
Certain buttons of the AX8 have special context-sensitive functions activated when you tap or double-tap.
IN THE GRID
Double-Tap EDIT: Toggle X/Y.
IN ANY BLOCK’S EDIT MENU
Double-Tap EDIT: Toggle X/Y.
Tap SHIFT then Double-Tap EDIT: Display a dialog to RESET the entire block back to default settings
IN EITHER GLOBAL GRAPHIC EQ
Tap SHIFT then Double-Tap EDIT: Flatten the equalizer.
ON THE GRAPHIC EQ PAGE OF THE AMP
Tap ENTER: Flatten the EQ.
IN THE SEQUENCER WITH ANY “STAGE” SELECTED
Tap ENTER: Randomize all stages.
96
13 Specifications & Defaults
13 SPECIFICATIONS & DEFAULTS
INPUT 1 [INSTRUMENT]:
Connector:
1/4” phone jack, unbalanced.
Impedance:1 Megohm
Max. Input Level:
+16 dBu (conditioned for guitar use)
INPUT 2 [FX RTN]:
Connector:
2 x 1/4” phone jack, balanced.
Impedance:1 Megohm
Max. Input Level:
+20 dBu
A/D CONVERSION
Bit Depth:
24 bits
Sample Rate:
48 kHz
Dynamic Range:
> 110 dB
Frequency Response:
20 – 20kHz, +0 / -1 dB
Crosstalk:
< -60 dB over full bandwidth
ANALOG OUTPUTS
Connectors: OUT 1 [MAIN]: 2 x XLR Balanced
OUT 1 [MAIN]: 2 x 1/4” phone jack unbalanced (Humbuster™ hum-canceling type)
OUT 2 [FX SEND]: 2 x 1/4” phone jack unbalanced (Humbuster™ hum-canceling type)
Impedance:600 ohm
Max Output Level:
+20 dBu
Dynamic Range:
> 110 dB
Frequency Response:
20 – 20kHz, +0 / -1 dB
Crosstalk:
< -60 dB over full bandwidth
DIGITAL OUTPUT
Connector:
RCA Coaxial Type for S/PDIF
Format:
S/PDIF 24-bit, 48 kHz fixed
MIDI INTERFACE
Connectors (In and Out/Thru):
2 x 5-pin DIN connector
PEDAL INTERFACE
Connector:
4 x 1/4” TRS phone jacks
Format:
Switch: Momentary or Latching; Pedal: 10–100kΩ max, linear taper expression type.
USB INTERFACE:
Connector: USB 2.0 Type B
GENERAL
Finish: Powder coated steel chassis with anodized aluminum faceplate and end panels
Display:
160x80 dot matrix graphic LCD
Dimensions:
16.1” x 4.0” x 10.3” (410mm x 101mm x 262mm)
Weight:
11.8 lbs. (5.4 kg)
Input Voltage:
100–240 VAC, 47 – 63 Hz (universal input)
Power Consumption:
<40 W
ENVIRONMENTAL
Operating Temperature:
32 to 122 °F (0 to 50 °C)
Storage Temperature:
-22 to 167 °F (-30 to 70 °C)
Humidity:
Max. 90% non-condensing
SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
97
13 Specifications & Defaults
MIDI IMPLEMENTATION
The AX8 features a robust MIDI implementation detailed below.
Function
Basic Channel
Note Number
Velocity
After Touch
Default
Changed
True Voice
Note ON
Note OFF
Keys
Channels
Pitch Bend
Control Change
Program Change
System Exclusive
System Common
System Real time
Auxiliary Messages
True Number
Bank Select
Fractal Audio
Real time
Non-Real time
Song Position
Song Select
Tune Request
Clock
Commands
Local ON/OFF
All Notes OFF
Active Sense
Reset
Tx
1
1-16
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Rx
1
1-16
X
X
X
X
X
X
O
O
X
O
O
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
O
O
O
X
X
X
X
X
O
X
X
X
X
X
Remarks
Receivable CCs are globally soft-assigned to
functions via the I/O: CTRL menu. These include
master volumes, Tap Tempo, Tuner, 12 “EXTERNAL”
control nodes (assignable as modifiers to one or
more parameters on a per-preset basis), all Looper
functions, the BYPASS switch of every block
instance (DRIVE1, DRIVE2, CHORUS, etc.), and the
X/Y switches of the block types that support this
function (DRIVE 1 XY, DRIVE 2 XY, etc.).
The AX8 can transmit CC and PC messages.
SysEx is used extensively for AX8-Edit.
AX8 Global Tempo syncs automatically to MIDI
Beat Clock. AX8 does not transmit MIDI clock.
98
13 Specifications & Defaults
FACTORY DEFAULT MIDI CC SETTINGS
The following text table lists the default MIDI CC# assignments for each of the available functions in the AX8.
In addition to a MIDI CC, any item can be set to NONE, or PEDAL 1–4. All such assignments are global.
In 1 (Instr) Volume. . . . . . . . . . . 10
Out 1 (Main) Volume. . . . . . . . 11
Out 2 (FX Send) Volume. . . . . 12
Tempo Tap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Tuner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
External Control 1. . . . . PEDAL 1
External Control 2. . . . . PEDAL 2
External Control 3. . . . . PEDAL 3
External Control 4. . . . . PEDAL 4
External Control 5. . . . . . . . . . . 20
External Control 6. . . . . . . . . . . 21
External Control 7. . . . . . . . . . . 22
External Control 8. . . . . . . . . . . 23
External Control 9. . . . . . . . . . . 24
External Control 10. . . . . . . . . . 25
External Control 11. . . . . . . . . . 26
External Control 12. . . . . . . . . . 27
Looper Record. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Looper Play. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Looper Once. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Looper Dub. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Looper Rev . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Looper Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Looper Half. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Looper Undo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Metronome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Scene Select. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Scene Increment. . . . . . . . . . . 123
Scene Decrement. . . . . . . . . . 124
Out 1 Vol Incr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Out 1 Vol Decr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Chorus Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Compressor Bypass. . . . . . . . . 43
Delay 1 Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Delay 2 Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Drive 1 Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Drive 2 Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Enhancer Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Filter 1 Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Filter 2 Bypass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Flanger Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Formant Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Gate/Expander Bypass. . . . . . 60
Graphic EQ 1 Bypass . . . . . . . . 62
Graphic EQ 2 Bypass . . . . . . . . 63
Multidelay Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . 69
Parametric EQ 1 Bypass . . . . . 71
Parametric EQ 2 Bypass . . . . . 72
Phaser Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Pitch Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Reverb Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Ring Mod Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . 85
99
Rotary Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Synth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Trem/Pan Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Volume/Pan 1 Bypass . . . . . . . 93
Volume/Pan 2 Bypass . . . . . . . 94
Wahwah Bypass. . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Chorus X/Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Delay 1 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Delay 2 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Drive 1 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Drive 2 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Filter 1 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NONE
Filter 2 X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NONE
Flanger X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Gate/Exp X/Y . . . . . . . . . . . . NONE
Multidelay X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . NONE
Phaser X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Pitch X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Rotary X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Reverb X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Trem/Pan X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . NONE
Wahwah X/Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
13 Specifications & Defaults
MIDI PROGRAM CHANGE NUMBERS
The following table lists the MIDI Bank and Program Change message required to select AX8 Banks/Presets.
MIDI Bank Select (CC#0) Value , Midi Program Change = AX8 Bank:Preset
0, 0
0, 1
0, 2
0, 3
0, 4
0, 5
0, 6
0, 7
0, 8
0, 9
0, 10
0, 11
0, 12
0, 13
0, 14
0, 15
0, 16
0, 17
0, 18
0, 19
0, 20
0, 21
0, 22
0, 23
0, 24
0, 25
0, 26
0, 27
0, 28
0, 29
0, 30
0, 31
0, 32
0, 33
0, 34
0, 35
0, 36
0, 37
0, 38
0, 39
0, 40
0, 41
0, 42
0, 43
0, 44
0, 45
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
01:1
01:2
01:3
01:4
01:5
01:6
01:7
01:8
02:1
02:2
02:3
02:4
02:5
02:6
02:7
02:8
03:1
03:2
03:3
03:4
03:5
03:6
03:7
03:8
04:1
04:2
04:3
04:4
04:5
04:6
04:7
04:8
05:1
05:2
05:3
05:4
05:5
05:6
05:7
05:8
06:1
06:2
06:3
06:4
06:5
06:6
0, 46
0, 47
0, 48
0, 49
0, 50
0, 51
0, 52
0, 53
0, 54
0, 55
0, 56
0, 57
0, 58
0, 59
0, 60
0, 61
0, 62
0, 63
0, 64
0, 65
0, 66
0, 67
0, 68
0, 69
0, 70
0, 71
0, 72
0, 73
0, 74
0, 75
0, 76
0, 77
0, 78
0, 79
0, 80
0, 81
0, 82
0, 83
0, 84
0, 85
0, 86
0, 87
0, 88
0, 89
0, 90
0, 91
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
06:7
06:8
07:1
07:2
07:3
07:4
07:5
07:6
07:7
07:8
08:1
08:2
08:3
08:4
08:5
08:6
08:7
08:8
09:1
09:2
09:3
09:4
09:5
09:6
09:7
09:8
10:1
10:2
10:3
10:4
10:5
10:6
10:7
10:8
11:1
11:2
11:3
11:4
11:5
11:6
11:7
11:8
12:1
12:2
12:3
12:4
0, 92
0, 93
0, 94
0, 95
0, 96
0, 97
0, 98
0, 99
0, 100
0, 101
0, 102
0, 103
0, 104
0, 105
0, 106
0, 107
0, 108
0, 109
0, 110
0, 111
0, 112
0, 113
0, 114
0, 115
0, 116
0, 117
0, 118
0, 119
0, 120
0, 121
0, 122
0, 123
0, 124
0, 125
0, 126
0, 127
1, 0
1, 1
1, 2
1, 3
1, 4
1, 5
1, 6
1, 7
1, 8
1, 9
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
12:5
12:6
12:7
12:8
13:1
13:2
13:3
13:4
13:5
13:6
13:7
13:8
14:1
14:2
14:3
14:4
14:5
14:6
14:7
14:8
15:1
15:2
15:3
15:4
15:5
15:6
15:7
15:8
16:1
16:2
16:3
16:4
16:5
16:6
16:7
16:8
17:1
17:2
17:3
17:4
17:5
17:6
17:7
17:8
18:1
18:2
100
1, 10
1, 11
1, 12
1, 13
1, 14
1, 15
1, 16
1, 17
1, 18
1, 19
1, 20
1, 21
1, 22
1, 23
1, 24
1, 25
1, 26
1, 27
1, 28
1, 29
1, 30
1, 31
1, 32
1, 33
1, 34
1, 35
1, 36
1, 37
1, 38
1, 39
1, 40
1, 41
1, 42
1, 43
1, 44
1, 45
1, 46
1, 47
1, 48
1, 49
1, 50
1, 51
1, 52
1, 53
1, 54
1, 55
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
18:3
18:4
18:5
18:6
18:7
18:8
19:1
19:2
19:3
19:4
19:5
19:6
19:7
19:8
20:1
20:2
20:3
20:4
20:5
20:6
20:7
20:8
21:1
21:2
21:3
21:4
21:5
21:6
21:7
21:8
22:1
22:2
22:3
22:4
22:5
22:6
22:7
22:8
23:1
23:2
23:3
23:4
23:5
23:6
23:7
23:8
1, 56
1, 57
1, 58
1, 59
1, 60
1, 61
1, 62
1, 63
1, 64
1, 65
1, 66
1, 67
1, 68
1, 69
1, 70
1, 71
1, 72
1, 73
1, 74
1, 75
1, 76
1, 77
1, 78
1, 79
1, 80
1, 81
1, 82
1, 83
1, 84
1, 85
1, 86
1, 87
1, 88
1, 89
1, 90
1, 91
1, 92
1, 93
1, 94
1, 95
1, 96
1, 97
1, 98
1, 99
1, 100
1, 101
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
24:1
24:2
24:3
24:4
24:5
24:6
24:7
24:8
25:1
25:2
25:3
25:4
25:5
25:6
25:7
25:8
26:1
26:2
26:3
26:4
26:5
26:6
26:7
26:8
27:1
27:2
27:3
27:4
27:5
27:6
27:7
27:8
28:1
28:2
28:3
28:4
28:5
28:6
28:7
28:8
29:1
29:2
29:3
29:4
29:5
29:6
13 Specifications & Defaults
1, 102
1, 103
1, 104
1, 105
1, 106
1, 107
1, 108
1, 109
1, 110
1, 111
1, 112
1, 113
1, 114
1, 115
1, 116
1, 117
1, 118
1, 119
1, 120
1, 121
1, 122
1, 123
1, 124
1, 125
1, 126
1, 127
2, 0
2, 1
2, 2
2, 3
2, 4
2, 5
2, 6
2, 7
2, 8
2, 9
2, 10
2, 11
2, 12
2, 13
2, 14
2, 15
2, 16
2, 17
2, 18
2, 19
2, 20
2, 21
2, 22
2, 23
2, 24
2, 25
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
29:7
29:8
30:1
30:2
30:3
30:4
30:5
30:6
30:7
30:8
31:1
31:2
31:3
31:4
31:5
31:6
31:7
31:8
32:1
32:2
32:3
32:4
32:5
32:6
32:7
32:8
33:1
33:2
33:3
33:4
33:5
33:6
33:7
33:8
34:1
34:2
34:3
34:4
34:5
34:6
34:7
34:8
35:1
35:2
35:3
35:4
35:5
35:6
35:7
35:8
36:1
36:2
2, 26
2, 27
2, 28
2, 29
2, 30
2, 31
2, 32
2, 33
2, 34
2, 35
2, 36
2, 37
2, 38
2, 39
2, 40
2, 41
2, 42
2, 43
2, 44
2, 45
2, 46
2, 47
2, 48
2, 49
2, 50
2, 51
2, 52
2, 53
2, 54
2, 55
2, 56
2, 57
2, 58
2, 59
2, 60
2, 61
2, 62
2, 63
2, 64
2, 65
2, 66
2, 67
2, 68
2, 69
2, 70
2, 71
2, 72
2, 73
2, 74
2, 75
2, 76
2, 77
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
36:3
36:4
36:5
36:6
36:7
36:8
37:1
37:2
37:3
37:4
37:5
37:6
37:7
37:8
38:1
38:2
38:3
38:4
38:5
38:6
38:7
38:8
39:1
39:2
39:3
39:4
39:5
39:6
39:7
39:8
40:1
40:2
40:3
40:4
40:5
40:6
40:7
40:8
41:1
41:2
41:3
41:4
41:5
41:6
41:7
41:8
42:1
42:2
42:3
42:4
42:5
42:6
2, 78
2, 79
2, 80
2, 81
2, 82
2, 83
2, 84
2, 85
2, 86
2, 87
2, 88
2, 89
2, 90
2, 91
2, 92
2, 93
2, 94
2, 95
2, 96
2, 97
2, 98
2, 99
2, 100
2, 101
2, 102
2, 103
2, 104
2, 105
2, 106
2, 107
2, 108
2, 109
2, 110
2, 111
2, 112
2, 113
2, 114
2, 115
2, 116
2, 117
2, 118
2, 119
2, 120
2, 121
2, 122
2, 123
2, 124
2, 125
2, 126
2, 127
3, 0
3, 1
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
42:7
42:8
43:1
43:2
43:3
43:4
43:5
43:6
43:7
43:8
44:1
44:2
44:3
44:4
44:5
44:6
44:7
44:8
45:1
45:2
45:3
45:4
45:5
45:6
45:7
45:8
46:1
46:2
46:3
46:4
46:5
46:6
46:7
46:8
47:1
47:2
47:3
47:4
47:5
47:6
47:7
47:8
48:1
48:2
48:3
48:4
48:5
48:6
48:7
48:8
49:1
49:2
3, 2
3, 3
3, 4
3, 5
3, 6
3, 7
3, 8
3, 9
3, 10
3, 11
3, 12
3, 13
3, 14
3, 15
3, 16
3, 17
3, 18
3, 19
3, 20
3, 21
3, 22
3, 23
3, 24
3, 25
3, 26
3, 27
3, 28
3, 29
3, 30
3, 31
3, 32
3, 33
3, 34
3, 35
3, 36
3, 37
3, 38
3, 39
3, 40
3, 41
3, 42
3, 43
3, 44
3, 45
3, 46
3, 47
3, 48
3, 49
3, 50
3, 51
3, 52
3, 53
101
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
49:3
49:4
49:5
49:6
49:7
49:8
50:1
50:2
50:3
50:4
50:5
50:6
50:7
50:8
51:1
51:2
51:3
51:4
51:5
51:6
51:7
51:8
52:1
52:2
52:3
52:4
52:5
52:6
52:7
52:8
53:1
53:2
53:3
53:4
53:5
53:6
53:7
53:8
54:1
54:2
54:3
54:4
54:5
54:6
54:7
54:8
55:1
55:2
55:3
55:4
55:5
55:6
3, 54
3, 55
3, 56
3, 57
3, 58
3, 59
3, 60
3, 61
3, 62
3, 63
3, 64
3, 65
3, 66
3, 67
3, 68
3, 69
3, 70
3, 71
3, 72
3, 73
3, 74
3, 75
3, 76
3, 77
3, 78
3, 79
3, 80
3, 81
3, 82
3, 83
3, 84
3, 85
3, 86
3, 87
3, 88
3, 89
3, 90
3, 91
3, 92
3, 93
3, 94
3, 95
3, 96
3, 97
3, 98
3, 99
3, 100
3, 101
3, 102
3, 103
3, 104
3, 105
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
55:7
55:8
56:1
56:2
56:3
56:4
56:5
56:6
56:7
56:8
57:1
57:2
57:3
57:4
57:5
57:6
57:7
57:8
58:1
58:2
58:3
58:4
58:5
58:6
58:7
58:8
59:1
59:2
59:3
59:4
59:5
59:6
59:7
59:8
60:1
60:2
60:3
60:4
60:5
60:6
60:7
60:8
61:1
61:2
61:3
61:4
61:5
61:6
61:7
61:8
62:1
62:2
3, 106
3, 107
3, 108
3, 109
3, 110
3, 111
3, 112
3, 113
3, 114
3, 115
3, 116
3, 117
3, 118
3, 119
3, 120
3, 121
3, 122
3, 123
3, 124
3, 125
3, 126
3, 127
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
62:3
62:4
62:5
62:6
62:7
62:8
63:1
63:2
63:3
63:4
63:5
63:6
63:7
63:8
64:1
64:2
64:3
64:4
64:5
64:6
64:7
64:8
13 Specifications & Defaults
CC#34 TO SCENE
By default, MIDI CC# 34 selects SCENES. The value sent determines the Scene:
0-----------1
1-----------2
2-----------3
3-----------4
4-----------5
5-----------6
6-----------7
7-----------8
8-----------1
9-----------2
10---------3
11---------4
12---------5
13---------6
14---------7
15---------8
16---------1
17---------2
18---------3
19---------4
20---------5
21---------6
22---------7
23---------8
24---------1
25---------2
26---------3
27---------4
28---------5
29---------6
30---------7
31---------8
32---------1
33---------2
34---------3
35---------4
36---------5
37---------6
38---------7
39---------8
40---------1
41---------2
42---------3
43---------4
44---------5
45---------6
46---------7
47---------8
48---------1
49---------2
50---------3
51---------4
52---------5
53---------6
54---------7
55---------8
56---------1
57---------2
58---------3
59---------4
60---------5
61---------6
62---------7
63---------8
64---------1
65---------2
66---------3
67---------4
68---------5
69---------6
70---------7
71---------8
72---------1
73---------2
74---------3
75---------4
76---------5
77---------6
78---------7
79---------8
102
80---------1
81---------2
82---------3
83---------4
84---------5
85---------6
86---------7
87---------8
88---------1
89---------2
90---------3
91---------4
92---------5
93---------6
94---------7
95---------8
96---------1
97---------2
98---------3
99---------4
100-------5
101-------6
102-------7
103-------8
104-------1
105-------2
106-------3
107-------4
108-------5
109-------6
110-------7
111-------8
112-------1
113-------2
114-------3
115-------4
116-------5
117-------6
118-------7
119-------8
120-------1
121-------2
122-------3
123-------4
124-------5
125-------6
126-------7
127-------8
Warranty
WARRANTY
Fractal Audio Systems warrants that your new Fractal Audio Systems product shall be free of defects in
materials and workmanship for a period of one (1) year from the original date of purchase.
During the warranty period, Fractal Audio Systems shall, at its sole option, either repair or replace any
product that proves to be defective upon inspection by Fractal Audio Systems.
Fractal Audio Systems reserves the right to update any unit returned for repair and to change or improve
the design of the product at any time without notice. Fractal Audio Systems reserves the right to use
reconditioned parts and assemblies as warranty replacements for authorized repairs. This warranty is
extended to the original retail purchaser for units purchased directly from Fractal Audio Systems or one of
its authorized distributors or resellers.
This is your sole warranty. Fractal Audio Systems does not authorize any third party, including any dealer or
sales representative, to assume any liability on behalf of Fractal Audio Systems or to make any warranty for
Fractal Audio Systems. Fractal Audio Systems may, at its option, require proof of original purchase date in
the form of a dated copy of original authorized dealer’s invoice or sales receipt. Service and repairs of Fractal
Audio Systems products are to be performed only at the Fractal Audio Systems factory or a Fractal Audio
Systems authorized service center. Fractal Audio Systems may require advanced authorization of repairs to
authorized service centers. Unauthorized service, repair or modification will void this warranty.
DISCLAIMER AND LIMITATION OF WARRANTY
THE FOREGOING WARRANTY IS THE ONLY WARRANTY GIVEN BY FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS AND IS IN LIEU
OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES. ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY
AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, EXCEEDING THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THIS WARRANTY
ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED AND EXCLUDED FROM THIS WARRANTY. UPON EXPIRATION OF THE APPLICABLE
EXPRESS WARRANTY PERIOD (1 YEAR), FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS SHALL HAVE NO FURTHER WARRANTY
OBLIGATION OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS SHALL IN NO EVENT BE LIABLE
FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES SUFFERED BY THE PURCHASER OR ANY
THIRD PARTY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS OR BUSINESS, OR
DAMAGES RESULTING FROM USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE PRODUCT, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR IN
TORT. FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY EXPENSES, CLAIMS, OR SUITS ARISING
OUT OF OR RELATING TO ANY OF THE FOREGOING. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of
implied warranties so some of the above limitations and exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty
gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights, which vary, from state to state. This
warranty only applies to products sold and used in the USA and Canada. Fractal Audio Systems shall not be
liable for damages or loss resulting from the negligent or intentional acts of the shipper or its contracted
affiliates. You should contact the shipper for proper claims procedures in the event of damage or loss
resulting from shipment.
103
EULA
EULA
BY ACCEPTING, INSTALLING OR USING ANY PART OF THIS PRODUCT YOU ARE CONSENTING TO ALL OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS ENTIRE END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (“EULA”). IF YOU
DO NOT AGREE TO ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS ENTIRE AGREEMENT, ARE UNABLE OR UNWILLING COMPLY WITH THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU MUST DISCONTINUE USE OF THE
PRODUCT IMMEDIATELY AS YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY OR LICENSE TO USE THE PRODUCT.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1) GRANT OF LICENSE FOR PRE INSTALLED OR USER UPGRADED FIRMWARE (“THE SOFTWARE”)
Subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein, Fractal Audio Systems, (“FAS”) grants you an individual, personal, non-sub licensable, nonexclusive license to use this product in accordance
with the applicable end user documentation, if any (the “License”). The user will not, directly or indirectly, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the source
code or underlying ideas or algorithms of the Software; modify, translate, or create derivative works based on the Software; or copy (except for archival purposes), rent, lease, distribute, assign, or
otherwise transfer rights to the Software (except as expressly authorized by this Agreement); remove any proprietary notices, comments, terms and conditions and or labels on or in the Software. As
between the parties, you acknowledge that FAS and its licensors retain their respective ownership of the Software, any portions or copies thereof, and all rights therein throughout the world. Upon
termination of this Agreement for any reason, the License and all rights granted to you under this Agreement will terminate and you will cease to use the Software. You may permanently transfer the
limited rights of use of the Software granted to you under this Agreement only as part of a permanent sale or transfer of the hardware device containing the software, and only if the recipient agrees
to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You acknowledge that you have no rights in or to, and may not transfer or otherwise authorize the use of, any “beta” or “preview” software
of FAS and its licensors. THIS LIMITED LICENSE TO USE AND TRANSFER THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED AS-IS AND IS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS, INDEMNITY AND WARRANTY DISCLAIMERS AND
LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY SET FORTH BELOW.
2) RESTRICTIONS, WARRANTY DISCLAIMERS AND INDEMNITY OBLIGATION AGREED TO BY YOU IN EXCHANGE FOR LIMITED GRANT OF LICENSE.
YOU WILL ONLY USE THE SOFTWARE FOR LAWFUL PURPOSES AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS. YOU HEREBY AGREE TO DEFEND AND INDEMNIFY FAS AND ITS LICENSORS AGAINST
ANY CLAIM OR ACTION THAT ARISES FROM YOUR USE OF THE SOFTWARE IN AN UNLAWFUL MANNER (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY CLAIM OR ACTION ALLEGING INFRINGEMENT OF ANY
PATENT, COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK, TRADE SECRET, OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY; UNFAIR COMPETITION; VIOLATION OF GENERAL BUSINESS LAWS; OR VIOLATION OF ANY OTHER LAWS OR
RIGHTS) OR ANY OTHER USE OF THE SOFTWARE NOT EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO THIS AGREEMENT.
3) IMPULSE RESPONSE EXPORT FOR COMMERCIAL USE
Offering for sale any Impulse Response data (e.g. “Tone Match Export/Save/Dump”, “User Cab Export/Save/Dump”) created, converted or modified using Fractal Audio Systems hardware and/
or software requires a commercial use license. Recording studios, consultants, and other commercial entities may use these features in conjunction with work performed for their commercial
customers, but the resulting data files created may not be offered for sale or gifted to their commercial customers or other third parties without a commercial license from FAS and its licensors where
applicable. Contact [email protected] to obtain a commercial license.
4) IMPULSE RESPONSE DATA EXPORT FOR NON-COMMERCIAL USE
You are free to export Impulse Response data for non-commercial use. This includes producing, converting, or modifying Impulse Response data for yourself, or offering/distributing such data at no
charge to third parties. Files created without a commercial license cannot be included for free with another product or package that is offered for sale. Contact [email protected] to obtain a
commercial license.
5) SUPPORT
Subject to the terms hereof, FAS will provide you with e-mail support services for the Software. Under no circumstances will FAS have any obligation to provide you with hard-copy documentation,
upgrades, enhancements, modifications, or telephone support for the Software.
6) TERMINATION
This Agreement is effective until terminated. Either party may terminate this Agreement upon written notice to the other party. FAS may also terminate this Agreement immediately, without prior
notice or liability, if you breach any of the terms or conditions of this Agreement. All sections of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination will survive termination, including,
without limitation, warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability and limitations of use and transfer of the Software.
7) WARRANTY DISCLAIMER
The software is provided as is without warranty of any kind. FAS disclaim all warranties, expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties, fitness for a particular purpose, and noninfringement. Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you.
8) LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT OR OTHERWISE, YOU AGREE THAT FAS AND ITS LICENSORS WILL NOT BE LIABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS
AGREEMENT UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, INFRINGEMENT OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY OR PUNITIVE
DAMAGES OF ANY KIND. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
9) EXPORT RESTRICTIONS
You acknowledge that the Software, or any part thereof, or any process or service that is the direct product of the Software (the foregoing collectively referred to as the “Restricted Components”) are
of U.S. origin. You agree to comply with all applicable international and national laws that apply to these products, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, as well as end-user, end-use
and destination restrictions issued by U.S. and other governments.
10) MISCELLANEOUS
The failure of either party to exercise in any respect any right provided for herein will not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder of FAS and or its licensors. If any provision of this
Agreement is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision will be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that this Agreement will otherwise remain in full force and effect
and enforceable. This Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of New Hampshire without regard to the conflict of laws provisions thereof. You agree
that this Agreement is the complete and exclusive statement of the mutual understanding of the parties and supersedes and cancels all previous written and oral agreements, communications and
other understandings relating to the subject matter of this Agreement, and that all modifications to this EULA, or any commercial license that you may have obtained from FAS and or its licensors
must be in a writing signed by you, FAS and or its licensors, where applicable, except as otherwise provided herein. No agency, partnership, joint venture, or employment is created as a result of
this Agreement and you do not have any authority of any kind to bind FAS and or its licensors in any respect whatsoever. In any action or proceeding to enforce rights under this Agreement, the
prevailing party will be entitled to recover costs and attorneys’ fees. All notices under this Agreement will be in writing and will be deemed to have been duly given when received, if personally
delivered; when receipt is electronically confirmed, if transmitted by facsimile or e-mail; the day after it is sent, if sent for next day delivery by recognized overnight delivery service; and upon receipt,
if sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.
104
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertisement