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Axe-Edit replacement solutions for macOS Catalina

Saki

Regular
Hello,

Although I'm still hoping that FA will update the USB driver and Axe-Edit to 64 bits, I'm starting to worry that they won't. Since losing the ability to configure the Axe would effectively mean that the device is unusable, I'm trying to get a feel of the various solutions to replace Axe-Edit. Do any of you have any feedback to provide for any of them?

  • Virtualized Windows: having to buy a Windows licence aside, does a VM have enough control of the USB ports to communicate properly with the Axe?
  • Fracpad for macOS: most of the info I find is about the iOS / Android version, so I'm not sure. Can Fracpad be 1) a replacement for Axe-Edit on macOS, 2) work on a 64 bit system and 3) work without FA's USB driver?
  • Fracpad for iOS: I have an iPad, so if the previous solution isn't good enough, I could go for the iOS version. Does it cover most of Axe-Edit features? Since my setup is never moved around, I'd probably go for USB connectivity. Roland's UM-One device seems to recommended. I see that it's "mk2" now. Does this newer version work too?
If you know of any other alternative that could be considered, I'd also be grateful.
 

Tom Morris

Forum Addict
Just looked at AxeEdit3 latest version is 64bit. Fractal doesn't supply any USB drivers for mac that's Apples territory. Has anyone tested the latest AxeEdit with the just release Catalina Beta that is supposed to be GM master?
 

Saki

Regular
If I remember correctly, the Axe-FX III is following USB standards, so it doesn't require any driver, while older models aren't, so a driver is required to load a special firmware onto the device at runtime. And Axe-Edit 3 is only for the Axe-FX III, as far as I know.

So it might be that the problem isn't really Axe-Edit, but the USB driver with the firmware. Why FA can't or won't port it to 64 bits, I can only guess. The transition to 64 bits was a long time coming: it started around 2010, and the end was announced more than a year ago. So FA had plenty of time to think about it if they wanted to. My XL+ is barely four years old, so this is no encouragement to buy a newer model.

On the other hand, every other aspect of long-term support from FA is not only great, but also free (up to the Ares 2.0 surprise upgrade), so I wouldn't mind paying for an updated USB driver.
 
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Gilesy

Inspired
Please could someone clarify the OPs question. Is Axe edit for the FX II 32 bit only while the Mac OS will be ( or maybe is already?) 64 bit.
 

Saki

Regular
Sorry, I should have been more precise.

Axe-Edit for the Axe-FX II seems to have been ported to 64 bits, but it'd be best if someone with more technical knowledge confirmed, because the report made by macOS isn't too reliable. At least System Monitor.app says it is.

On the other hand, the USB driver is still 32 bits only. It's discussed here in this forum and it's uncertain whether FA will do something about it.
 

Tom Morris

Forum Addict
There is no USB driver! Its Apples USB extension Fractal has nothing to do with it. In the other thread someone has a work around to get the two to play nice. Why do we need more threads on the same exact topic?

In Apples system profiler app select applications from the left menu and it tells you on the right hand side yes or no if an application is 64bit or not.
 
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h.c.e.

Veteran
There is no USB driver!
Only for the Axe-Fx III (it's class compliant and doesn't require a driver on Mac), the Axe-Fx II was not class compliant and required a driver.

the matrix here is as follows:

Axe-Edit 3 for the II, 64-bit app, needs a driver, driver is 32-bit

Axe-Edit III for the III, 64-bit app, does not need a driver

That being said, FAS has been cool about doing the odd firmware update for the II still, maybe they'll surprise OP yet and release a 64-bit USB driver at some point ¯\(ツ)

In Apples system profiler app select applications from the left menu and it tells you on the right hand side yes or no if an application is 64bit or not.
Or open Activity Monitor, click the "Disk" tab (nonsensical place to have the column in the default view admittedly) and sort by the "Kind" column to see if there's any 32-bit app running on your system. You can also control+click in the column headers of any view in Activity Monitor and add "Kind" as well
 
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Saki

Regular
In the other thread someone has a work around to get the two to play nice. Why do we need more threads on the same exact topic?
The workaround is rather inconvenient: having to plug / unplug an additional device from the back panel of the Axe, which isn't always easily accessible, will get old very fast if I have to do it every day. So forgive me for looking for a more stable solution. Moreover, the workaround is reported to work with Fracpad for Android. I don't have a device running Android, so it's not unreasonable to ask whether Fracpad for macOS can work too, without the driver being installed.

All I want is to know what the options are, and gather feedback that's been, so far, scattered or missing.
 
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