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Axe-Fx II Firmware Version 12.04 Public Beta

Chris O

New here
I'm TOTALLY locked up. Blank screen, lights all on. Ax2 - Mk 1

Windows 8 user, used Fractal Bot - prior version to the one I dl'd today. I was on 12.02.

Tried to reset - (power down, hold recall). Nothing.

HELP!!
 

Morphosis

Fractal Fanatic
Morphosis, have you sorted out why your first test only revealed subtle differences? I noticed you were really happy with your later tests.
As stated, first test was A/B 12.03 to 12.04beta by audition two recordings through headphones. The big surprise was, when playing Axe-Fx II + Matrix GT1000 through real Cabinet in comparison to my Tube-Amp through the same Cab. Before the new beta i had to tweak a lot the SPKR page to get similar results in feel and "dimension". With 12.04beta i am there almost out of the box.

Not yet tested via FRFR Monitoring....
 

Tone Seeker

Forum Addict
As stated, first test was A/B 12.03 to 12.04beta by audition two recordings through headphones. The big surprise was, when playing Axe-Fx II + Matrix GT1000 through real Cabinet in comparison to my Tube-Amp through the same Cab. Before the new beta i had to tweak a lot the SPKR page to get similar results in feel and "dimension". With 12.04beta i am there almost out of the box.

Not yet tested via FRFR Monitoring....
Now I understand. . . . thanks.

Terry.
 

RossE

Inspired
I'm sorry to say I'm not really "feeling" the new firmware yet. Using the factory presets as test material, everything sounds overly hot/distorted and scratchy. In terms of feel it's as if my strings are a lot stiffer.

Switching amp type to another type and then back again does help in taming this for me. (Even though it has been stated that amp sims shouldn't need a reset.) I do notice that amps seem to sound punchier.

I'll be spending some more time to get things to resemble what everyone else is experiencing. Night need to load the FW again?
I'm with Winger. Same impression here. In my case, my listening is all headphones.....Beyer 770s and 880's. Most of the new magic being sited is thru actual guitar and FR cabs and turned up loud, so not surprised. Any suggested tweaks to help with feeling the magic in my headphones.

Qualifier: I'm not complaining.....I love my Axe II beyond description....FAS is the best company on the planet.....Cliff's dedication, brilliance, hard work and generosity are legendary. I just want to hear this new magic in my cans, where I live.
 

Gamedojo

Forum Addict
first and foremost, switch tubes back to "idealized Tetrode" or "Idealized Pentode" to get you close to what the pre-12.4b sounded like to see if that helps right away and to give you a sense of what you were used to. Then switch back and start tweaking.

There is something in how we approach the high end that needs to be tweaked now to get back to the clarity of before. I think the new firmware models the paoer amp more realistically which bumps the midrange and curls highs in a real tube amp. Before this update, we are all playing with more conservative high frequency settings which makes for a stuffier sound IMO.

Try things like cranking treble or presence. and lowering transformer distortion..etc.

My assumption is the new update is a new approach to the fletcher munson problem where we hear different frequencies differently at set volume levels. Folks are enjoying the new FW at HIGH volumes because the presets sound good at that level, but sound less inspiring at listening levels on headphones. Where-as the AxeFx has had the OPPOSITE problem in previous Firmwares where the patches sound amazing at low volume, but shrill and ice-picky at stage level.

I'm with Winger. Same impression here. In my case, my listening is all headphones.....Beyer 770s and 880's. Most of the new magic being sited is thru actual guitar and FR cabs and turned up loud, so not surprised. Any suggested tweaks to help with feeling the magic in my headphones.

Qualifier: I'm not complaining.....I love my Axe II beyond description....FAS is the best company on the planet.....Cliff's dedication, brilliance, hard work and generosity are legendary. I just want to hear this new magic in my cans, where I live.
 
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clarky

Axe-Master
The SPKR page settings are the same. I can't really say anything more about what is going on. This latest epiphany has taken me eight years to realize and I don't want to give competitors any hints.
whatever it is you've really hit a bullseye with this one…

I've always loved the Axe through my Marshalls.. heavenly stuff..
I really enjoyed it with FRFR too but felt that although a pair of 1x12 monitors had plenty of volume, there was always something missing [I'd guess it's due to 1/4 of the surface area of the cones throwing the air at you]
but I've never really been hugely happy with headphones.. it was always just a little flat feeling..
nothing I can't work / have fun with, but not greatly inspiring either.. just is what it is I guess..
and given that the bulk of my practice and recording is via headphones it was never quite as much fun as I hoped it could have been..

now though, when monitoring via headphones I get a feeling that's every bit as inspiring as being stood next to my cabs cranked [but without the 'cab breeze'.. lol]
makes me really want to play my heart out..
and obviously that translates to laying down your best possible performances..
a total home run..
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Try things like cranking treble or presence. and lowering transformer distortion..etc.

My assumption is the new update is a new approach to the fletcher munson problem where we hear different frequencies differently at set volume levels. Folks are enjoying the new FW at HIGH volumes because the presets sound good at that level, but sound less inspiring at listening levels on headphones. Where-as the AxeFx has had the OPPOSITE problem in previous Firmwares where the patches sound amazing at low volume, but shrill and ice-picky at stage level.
I would think with MIMIC and matching the real amp pot tapers, that the tone stack settings would still have the same auditory affect? E.g. cranking the Treble would be close to the same affect before and after this FW?
 

Moltenmetalburn

Self-Admitted Software Thief
THIS IS THE BEST THE AXE 2 HAS SOUNDED THUS FAR!

Yes I'm screaming, it's that good!

Thanks to the universe for this snow day!
 

Gamedojo

Forum Addict
I would think with MIMIC and matching the real amp pot tapers, that the tone stack settings would still have the same auditory affect? E.g. cranking the Treble would be close to the same affect before and after this FW?
I'm not 100% sure since MIMIC is a bit of mystery to me, but its possible MIMIC DOES replicate the EXACT taper of the controls like the real amp. The difference is that the power amp is now properly altering that signal at the last stage of the amplifier. Kinda like, if Cliff improves how IR captures work, that doesn't alter the way the tone controls work vs. the real amp.

THIS IS THE BEST THE AXE 2 HAS SOUNDED THUS FAR!

Yes I'm screaming, it's that good!

Thanks to the universe for this snow day!
Thats not screaming...

THIS IS SCREAMING!


:pride:
 

RossE

Inspired
[/QUOTE]now though, when monitoring via headphones I get a feeling that's every bit as inspiring as being stood next to my cabs cranked [but without the 'cab breeze'.. lol]
makes me really want to play my heart out..[/QUOTE]

Clarky.....you can see in my previous post I'm having the opposite reaction with headphones. Have you made any tweaks for your headphone monitoring or did the magic just happen on its' own after the FW update?
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I'm not 100% sure since MIMIC is a bit of mystery to me, but its possible MIMIC DOES replicate the EXACT taper of the controls like the real amp. The difference is that the power amp is now properly altering that signal at the last stage of the amplifier. Kinda like, if Cliff improves how IR captures work, that doesn't alter the way the tone controls work vs. the real amp.
The tapers of the controls isn't really MIMIC per se'. It's just me doing the dog-work and measuring the tapers. So, in that regard, the tapers match my amps. However manufacturers are notorious for changing tapers, sometimes right in the middle of a production run due to part availability.

Furthermore the tapers in the Axe-Fx assume "true" logarithmic pots. Consumer-grade log pots are not true logarithmic, they're a crude approximation. At noon on a pot you'll get a nearly perfect match assuming the pot has 0% tolerance. As you deviate from noon there may be some error due to the approximation in the actual amp. As you get to the ends of the travel the error will decrease to zero. At any point there shouldn't be more than 10% or so deviation between the Axe-Fx knob position and the real amp.

Master Volume tapers are NOT matched. If they were the amp volumes would jump all over the place when you switched amp types. IIRC I use a Log10A for the MV.

MIMIC is distortion profile and frequency response matching. Hidden in the debug version of the firmware are special test tones and analysis modules that allow me to compare the real amp to the model.
 

pdup

Veteran
Still running with my two wedges with B&C 12NCX. The 2" HF drivers are very different to your run-of-the-mill FRFR wedges - lower cross-over point at 1.2 kHz, problematic because they split to the 12" in the "sweet-spot" of the guitar range. But that's manageable. A 2" HF-driver covers lot's more of the guitars overtones with ease and undistorted linearity.
As backline I run one of them with HF-driver off just to push more air in the lower fq - the one HF-driver still breathes sufficiently. FOH feed only one - more than enough.

Back to the new FW version. What happens from my POV is a much more dynamic "feel", nomatter dB. Like if you are downmixing with a spongy maximizer. (And please, this has nothing to do with me thinking that Fractal has invented some sort of compex-limiter ruining "tone").
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I'm with Winger. Same impression here. In my case, my listening is all headphones.....Beyer 770s and 880's. Most of the new magic being sited is thru actual guitar and FR cabs and turned up loud, so not surprised. Any suggested tweaks to help with feeling the magic in my headphones.
I use 880's and it's very noticeable to me. Crank the MV and maybe turn up Low Res a bit.

I think, though, that you have to be tuned in to the sound of classic tube amps and the subtleties in the response. For those of us who grew up with tube amps and know that feeling when you hit the sweet spot is what it's all about. When you crank the MV on a tube amp you hit that sweet spot and it's glorious. Below that and it's uninspiring. Above that and it turns to mush.

We remember those gigs where it was a big room with lots of people and stuff to soak up the sound and you could crank your amp. The bounce off the strings and the sustain are memorable.
 

clarky

Axe-Master
did nothing at all… just loaded the fw and turned up the volume..

I didn't even reset the amps [to make sure I had the right comp settings, I just left my own settings as they are]
just loved it.. figured nothing got worse, everything got better.. means there was only two things needed doing
back all this up and then play for fun

seriously though..
my riffing tones are dual mono [5153Red left / Herbert ch3 right]
my clean, solo, crunch tones are single amps [so they're mono] but through a pair of cabs [stereo cab block with each cab panned hard]

12.xx has always had something extra…. but 12.04b feels to me like a quantum leap [especially in the cans]..

my cans are pretty ok.. not absolutely top of the line but they're not exactly crap either: KRK KNS8400
comfy, lightweight, good freq range, quite a fat sound and very loud..
so they're ideal for long period usage [song writing / practice / recording / checking recorded parts for 'things to mend' etc]..
but I wouldn't mix down with them..

so no really, I didn't do anything at all.. just loved it right away..
 

rsf1977_again

Forum Addict
I use 880's and it's very noticeable to me. Crank the MV and maybe turn up Low Res a bit.

I think, though, that you have to be tuned in to the sound of classic tube amps and the subtleties in the response. For those of us who grew up with tube amps and know that feeling when you hit the sweet spot is what it's all about. When you crank the MV on a tube amp you hit that sweet spot and it's glorious. Below that and it's uninspiring. Above that and it turns to mush.

We remember those gigs where it was a big room with lots of people and stuff to soak up the sound and you could crank your amp. The bounce off the strings and the sustain are memorable.
Is that sweet spot a universal number or is it dependent on the other amp settings, guitar, boosts etc?
 

rsf1977_again

Forum Addict
the low res parameter has just become probably the most amazing adjustment i've ever made to a tone. I can now get that hit you in the chest punch when doing palm mutes. Awesome.
 
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