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Anyone else think the Axechange can benefit from a refresh?

Bruce Sokolovic

Power User
Recently downloaded a few blocks on the forum here and couldn’t help but think these really should be hosted in Axechange, but there doesnt seem to be a blocks section there. Sadly it doesnt look particularly traveled, either as filtering out results for the III yield far fewer results than the II (at least it looked that way). I’m going to poke around there a bit more and please don’t misunderstand me, I’m extremely grateful for the resources provided by both this forum and the Axechange.
 
Everytime I go there I see the same presets by the same, well I guess they are "artists".

Haven't been there or downloaded anything in a long time.

I find that section unnecessary anymore.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
It's not mostly a shortcoming of AxeChange if people don't use it that much.

For some reason people here seem to share presets in their posts, instead of putting them up there, where they'd be more easily found by searching. And it's a self-reinforcing thing - people don't go there if there's not that much content, and don't bother to put their presets up there if they're not going there much.

About the amount of Axe II content vs III, the II has been out way way longer.
 
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blaggers

Experienced
I find that loads of the presets are not levelled correctly - why do people let the output levels get to +10db!?! And some need USER IRs - so whats the point of posting if it wont sound the same to the downloader? I wish there was a quality check process (or a flag the preset fro review button) that stopped the poor quality ones being posted.
 
I agree with a visual refresh to the user interface. It feels dated and unfriendly.

I also agree that most of the presets are very specific to unit/firmware and therefore no longer sound good. There doesn't seem to be much up-to-date content there or revisions. To be fair, that's what we're supposed to do as the community.

I would like to add that, as it was the first place I looked for sounds when starting out with AXE, it actually led me to have rather negative feelings about the AXE due to the sounds being "meh". I didnt know what I was doing and the presets failing me was a definite discouragement.

To be honest, I feel like it would be better to SEE how they achieved a sound (amp settings, cab) vs loading it and having it sound nothing like either the reference or video (if you're coming from a video), so you would at least have a starting point. I've downloaded some presets where it's basically supposed to be super metal and the sound is completely clean - which always boggles my mind as to what is going on.

I also fully understand this is due to the ever changing environment of the AXE and I'm not here to complain - and once again, as the community it's our job to remedy some of these issues.

One of the reasons I typically do not upload there is the fact that I use YA and Ownhammer IRs a lot and feel it's not helpful to upload a sound that someone else may not be able to achieve (as I've downloaded a lot with blank patches).


As far as a quality control of the presets, that would take a lot of man power to deal with reporting and/or checking of the sounds. Adding something like a downvote would potentially discourage people from uploading and then we'd end up killing a great resource.

I love the forum and definitely come here over A/E. I guess I need to try to do better moving forward.
 
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So, I sent Cliff a message a month ago and he said he's cool with me building an open-source axefx preset / block sharing platform. I have some ideas about additional features that could be beneficial as well as a modern UI overhaul. If anyone wants to help out or has any ideas to share please let me know!
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Wish you could half-like a post ;)

I'm all in favor of forward progress, and I'm a web dev by trade, so I may be able to help; more on that below.

But I'd like to see what folks think are the squeaky wheels in the site's functionality or UI, as opposed to the content users have put up.

The one big one I heard here so far is the ability to upload Blocks. What else do folks think is important? I have some ideas myself, don't have time to detail them now, but they're not incredibly important IMO.

What are the drivers for starting over, rather then enhancing what's there?

When you talked with Cliff about this, did he indicate he was willing to provide access to the existing data and uploads, either to clone it for a new app, or to let a new app read and modify it directly (which would have to be done very carefully to maintain compatibility with both apps until the new one is live)?

Were you talking about making the existing code for the site open source, or creating something new from scratch?


As far as me helping beyond kibitzing here, on the back end I'm mostly ColdFusion/Lucee, which isn't exactly a hot topic these days, though it is actually pretty good. (To be clear, I REALLY don't want to derail this into a discussion of its merits, or Adobe's, or the Lucee Foundation. If anyone is considering actually using it for this, cool, I have decades of experience, but if not, let's just leave that be. I'm open to spinning up on other tech too, and have a smidgeon of experience in some.)

I also have long experience in SQL, JS, CSS and HTML, a well as architecture and interaction design. My long unused business cards say "Work process tools for humans".
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
I find that loads of the presets are not levelled correctly - why do people let the output levels get to +10db!?! And some need USER IRs - so whats the point of posting if it wont sound the same to the downloader? I wish there was a quality check process (or a flag the preset fro review button) that stopped the poor quality ones being posted.

Generally the reason people choose to purchase something from the likes of Austin Buddy etc.

You want something “quality”, you pay for it..... you want something free, you take what you get, true of most things in life

At the same time, I can’t think of anything that would lessen the overall contributions for a user preset site than gatekeeping it with only “quality” presets....

Seems like about 99% of people just want to download presets, they don’t actively share and upload, but then to complain that those who are uploading should have their stuff removed.......

Probably will end up with only a handful of Burgs presets left lol
 

Sleestak

Power User
For those of us who use other site / systems to sift through big repositories of media.... what are the best characteristics of those systems?
In a lot of ways, I would rather have the editor simply treat the new AxeChange as a remote preset library. It doesn't need to be a separate tool; just launch it from the tools menu. The biggest challenges for the AxeChange are (1) freshness (2) isolation (3) duplicate entries (4) finding relevant search results.

My wish list
  • Know the Fractal Audio products I am using with editor, and show me patches / blocks / resources pertinent to it. If there's an FC layout specific to that patch, include it. Know how many expression pedals I use (let the user enter that info) so when I load someone else's patch that uses more pedals, it can show me an alert that I need to reassign something.
  • Let me set preferences for minimum FW version number or something, so that when I search for "Limelight", I'm able to locate the most recent versions.
  • Let me browse the patch / block library the same way as my own presets.
  • Integrate the new AxeChange with the Forum to that any posted sysex / blocks / patches can be automagically added to the repo (make this a selectable option).
  • Give me an audio preview / sample I can listen to. It would be GREAT if there was a "let me hear single coil vs humbucker" option for the preview. We could have a small number of direct-recorded samples, and basically re-amp them via the preview.
  • Rating system so we can identify popular / best versions. Ditto for authors / creators. Allow me to follow favorite patch creators.
  • Manage the sprawl. (1) If a patch is more than x (perhaps four?) major FW revisions old, omit it from the list. Give me a link to "show older content" if I want to dig a bit. (2) Only show me the top ten results by rating / date / compatibility. Same option to "see more".
  • Let me contribute my patch / block to the new AxeChange simply by selecting it from the editor, and clicking "share to AxeChange".
  • Integrate the full ecosystem of free / paid patches and resources. Allow "sponsored / commercial" content to be selectively shown in a sidebar, so that we can compare great commercial sample packs against the freebies, and also, if we're looking at "great blues tone", we could see a link to Cooper Carter's commercial videos on how to build from the ground up.
  • Integrate the WIKI too. If I'm trying to get a killer wah sound, include a sidebar link on "hey, do you know how to set up your expression pedal for this purpose?".
  • Create a third-party effects block library that can be used in the editor. Say I'm looking for a good whammy pedal effect. Show me some examples.
 

Morphine

Inspired
There's thread after thread here with people consistently commenting about how user presets are no good, paid presets are a joke, no downloaded preset has ever sounded good, make your own, use your ears, etc etc. I don't see why it comes as a surprise to anyone that the Axe-Change is more of a grave yard than a playground.

Rating systems imo aren't useful. I can go on and downvote every "djent" themed preset cause I don't play that style of music and those presets are useless to me. It will help the stuff I might be interested float to the top and be easier to find. If there's no ability to downvote, then there's really no rating system. Nevermind that it serves as another reason to discourage many from sharing anything in the first place.

IMO the main thing that would benefit activity with the Axe-Change is a much easier/simpler way to upload and share. It's literally two clicks through Axe-Edit and you can browse/audition shared content. Not so simple for sharing anything. I don't know what the logistics of that look like, but perhaps something like a one time sign-in via Axe-Edit and having a "Share Preset" button or option in the Tools menu that allows you to write a brief description and upload it instantly.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Axechange was doomed from the beginning due to the firmware update policy where there is no backwards compatibility for presets. That means 99% of the presets on Axechange are from old firmware versions (mostly very old) and sound weird if you try to use them with a recent version of the firmware. You can glean some ideas from them, but they're not very useful as is. I'm not saying that policy is good or bad, but a robust preset sharing community like you have with other modelers is never going to happen with Fractal Audio. A better source of ideas for presets are videos like Leon's that demonstrate patch building.
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
IMHO it's a great tool that needs a refresh and I read some very good ideas in that direction hereabove.
I found a lot of well build patches there that with a few tweaks can be adapted to your needs and instruments. Also I think there's a lot more commercial patches nowadays what makes their clients not go through the process of retweaking and try to dig how and why a patch was built and thus better dig the unit.
No noting system please; unfortunately beyond what was already suggested hereabove that will just make axechange another "hate" platform.
The idea of sharing patches on a voluntary basis is good, it means we accept also the lesser patches but maybe it's the occasion for exchanging with the poster and augment common knowledge to let progress all of us.
 
No voting system please; unfortunately beyond what was already suggested hereabove that will just make axechange another "hate" platform.
How about an encouragement platform? Maybe a rating out of five and if rated less than five then you need to provide useful advice for the uploader to improve?
 
The biggest challenges for the AxeChange are (1) freshness (2) isolation (3) duplicate entries (4) finding relevant search results.

My wish list

  • Let me set preferences for minimum FW version number or something, so that when I search for "Limelight", I'm able to locate the most recent versions.


  • Give me an audio preview / sample I can listen to. It would be GREAT if there was a "let me hear single coil vs humbucker" option for the preview. We could have a small number of direct-recorded samples, and basically re-amp them via the preview.
  • Rating system so we can identify popular / best versions. Ditto for authors / creators. Allow me to follow favorite patch creators.
  • Manage the sprawl. (1) If a patch is more than x (perhaps four?) major FW revisions old, omit it from the list. Give me a link to "show older content" if I want to dig a bit. (2) Only show me the top ten results by rating / date / compatibility. Same option to "see more".

  • Integrate the full ecosystem of free / paid patches and resources. Allow "sponsored / commercial" content to be selectively shown in a sidebar, so that we can compare great commercial sample packs against the freebies, and also, if we're looking at "great blues tone", we could see a link to Cooper Carter's commercial videos on how to build from the ground up.
  • Integrate the WIKI too. If I'm trying to get a killer wah sound, include a sidebar link on "hey, do you know how to set up your expression pedal for this purpose?".
  • Create a third-party effects block library that can be used in the editor. Say I'm looking for a good whammy pedal effect. Show me some examples.
Awesome ideas! These points above are possible for the project im working on, the others are improvements of the AxeEdit software.
 
But I'd like to see what folks think are the squeaky wheels in the site's functionality or UI, as opposed to the content users have put up.
The site looks very dated and performs pretty slowly, this is a huge deterrent for people to use AxeChange imo.
The one big one I heard here so far is the ability to upload Blocks. What else do folks think is important? I have some ideas myself, don't have time to detail them now, but they're not incredibly important IMO.
Yeah blocks sounds like a go 👍
Throw your ideas at me!
What are the drivers for starting over, rather then enhancing what's there?
It doesn’t seem like FractalAudio has any plans for improving AxeChange as nothing has changed in years.
When you talked with Cliff about this, did he indicate he was willing to provide access to the existing data and uploads, either to clone it for a new app, or to let a new app read and modify it directly (which would have to be done very carefully to maintain compatibility with both apps until the new one is live)?
Unfortunately I didn’t get much other than he’s cool with me creating an open-source AxeChange platform with modern UI and additional features. I don’t know if this project will ever be integrated but I am hopeful.

Currently planning to start the shared library over.
Were you talking about making the existing code for the site open source, or creating something new from scratch?
New
I also have long experience in SQL, JS, CSS and HTML, a well as architecture and interaction design. My long unused business cards say "Work process tools for humans".
Awesome, the project is React frontend and Node backend so you’ll be able to help out if you’re keen.
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
How about an encouragement platform? Maybe a rating out of five and if rated less than five then you need to provide useful advice for the uploader to improve?
It just my opinion, but keep things as simple as possible to encourage users to share. We know not every patch on axechange is usable for everybody's instrument and style. The ability to join sound samples is useful as it will show what was intended at submittal.
 
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