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Crashed at a gig!!

ralphonz

Inspired
Played a gig last friday night, and my axe fx completely froze on me in the middle of a song.

I'm using a Mastermind GT/16 to change presets. During one song I changed presets and no sound was coming out of the Axe. I turned around to look at the front panel of the axe at the back of the stage and it was stuck on the previous preset. Nothing would move and I had to miss out an entire section of the song and reboot the axe before it would respond again. Luckily it didn't happen again that night.

Has anyone experienced freezes or crashes before? I'm rather worried about this now...
 
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Moke

Fractal Fanatic
I had this happen a couple of times a while back. Both times it had to do with a corrupt preset. Not sure what or why, but I have had two different (high CPU) presets go wacky. Had to save an empty preset over the slot, and load an older version of the preset from a backup, then re-dial it for the newer firmware again. I also ended up slightly reducing the CPU load to not exceed 90% and haven't had an issue since.
 

Pinkycramps

Veteran
Early on I had it happen several times. In fact... I was having a lot of issues with freezes and crashes. (I don't anymore though... at all.)

A few watch outs:
1. Never have the USB connected to a laptop during performance.
2. Be aware of midi connections. Loose or disrupted FASLink or midi connections can cause freezes, (I don't know anything about the Mastermind... I use a MFC... but have gotten name timeout errors, crashes and freezes by using too loose of a XLR at the MFC connection.
3. Midi inputs... are you using any other midi sources or connections? Midi "collisions" can cause issues.
4. As Moke mentioned... corrupt presets.
 

ralphonz

Inspired
Thanks guys,

Firstly, a lot of my presets are over 90%, simply can't be helped if I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I need more processing power!!

The only midi connection is the Mastermind GT so I can rule out midi collisions.

I never have the USB connected on stage.

My cables seem fine, there is only one MIDI cable from the RJM phantom box to the axe and I use a different cable live than I do at home in the studio so find it unlikely both are loose or faulty.

I will try the corrupt preset thing but I don't think this is the issue as I've seen it happen on different presets at practice. I've also made the preset switch countless times without a problem so it's very hard to replicate!
 

Shenks

Veteran
If all your presets are over 90% then I'd say you are just asking for trouble...

I know sometimes you think there isn't a way around it but one of the things I have found useful is to change the Reverb block from High quality to Normal - in a live setting nobody will ever notice the difference. This saves a few percent.

I'd suggest you take a look at the WIKI article here for some additional reading
 

lp59

Veteran
Thanks guys,

Firstly, a lot of my presets are over 90%, simply can't be helped if I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I need more processing power!!

The only midi connection is the Mastermind GT so I can rule out midi collisions.

I never have the USB connected on stage.

My cables seem fine, there is only one MIDI cable from the RJM phantom box to the axe and I use a different cable live than I do at home in the studio so find it unlikely both are loose or faulty.

I will try the corrupt preset thing but I don't think this is the issue as I've seen it happen on different presets at practice. I've also made the preset switch countless times without a problem so it's very hard to replicate!
I also use a RJM GT16, I don't think it's the problem. Try to skin down your presets, get rid of blocks you might use, and keep only those really in service. You can also lower the reflection in the reverb block to save CPU.
 

ralphonz

Inspired
If all your presets are over 90% then I'd say you are just asking for trouble...

I know sometimes you think there isn't a way around it but one of the things I have found useful is to change the Reverb block from High quality to Normal - in a live setting nobody will ever notice the difference. This saves a few percent.

I'd suggest you take a look at the WIKI article here for some additional reading
Yeah I knew someone would suggest that but believe me, it's not possible to skin them down any further. They're whacky sounds, not just your standard guitar tones! But thats why I got the axe, it allows me flexibility on par with a synth for the guitar. On many presets I've even reduced the cab quality which helps a lot. My presets nearly always use only one amp and cab and reverb, it's usually the delay/multi-delay blocks and synths that hog CPU. Also, some presets are actually two presets combined into one because of the dropout that would occur if they were separate presets and I switched between them - I've already made a lot of compromises in tone during this "merging" process.
 

Shenks

Veteran
They're whacky sounds, not just your standard guitar tones! But thats why I got the axe, it allows me flexibility on par with a synth for the guitar..
I guess that's the thing, in your case you are pushing the envelope for the capabilities of the Axe FX so the road to tonal nirvana is not necessarily a smooth one. I know you might need/want/desire another Axe FX in an ideal world, but have you thought about using another manufacturers FX processor in the loop for that extra grunt? Might be a bit cheaper than another Axe FX.
 

ralphonz

Inspired
I guess that's the thing, in your case you are pushing the envelope for the capabilities of the Axe FX so the road to tonal nirvana is not necessarily a smooth one. I know you might need/want/desire another Axe FX in an ideal world, but have you thought about using another manufacturers FX processor in the loop for that extra grunt? Might be a bit cheaper than another Axe FX.
Thought about it - yes. Done it - no. I use a lot of modifiers on the axe too. I would like to keep it simple. Do you have any recommendations? I need MIDI control as I don't want to add to the floor board and want to control the whole rig via the RJM and connected expression pedals.
 

Shenks

Veteran
Difficult for me to recommend something I've never had to use but in general if it is a rackmount unit then it keeps it nice and neat that way and close by your Axe FX for the various bits of cabling that will need needed.

MIDI capabilities will be the big ask I suspect, you would need to find out exactly what is supported on the 'other' unit but maybe other forum contributors will be able to add their thoughts.

If I ever was in the same situation I'd be wanting something that doesn't exist (yet?) - an FX8 in a rackmount format...
 

sprint

Forum Addict
Staying below 90% CPU get you rid of 90% of the potential crashes.
90% can also be risky as presets can start at 90% and creep up to 93-94% as the preset gets exercised. Once a preset hits 93%, it will start to exhibit problems (ie static).

From my experience, above 85% starts to get risky.

Also, when testing a preset, use front panel to monitor cpu as Axe-Edit does not always show a true reading.

A few ways to save cpu:
- Avoid HQ mic preamps, reverbs.
- Use Spring Reverb
- Avoid studio conp.
- Avoid comp in the amp.
- Avoid Ultra- rez cabs.
- Unplug USB to computer (worth a % or 2).
- Extreme measures - Outboard Fx ( ie put Axe8 in loop of Axefx )

I have a "cpu tweaked" preset that is huge and still starts at below 85% (has looper, wha, whammy, comp, chorus, flanger, phaser, rotary, eq, in pre-gain positions; then drive, two parallel amps, and mono cab; then eq, pitch, chorus, tremolo, rotary, delay, reverb, enhancer, eq in post gain positions). On the opposite end, I have the same core "premium" form preset which has only comp, drive, two parallel amps, stereo cab, reverb, and delay which also clocks in at 85% ("premium" = studio comp, ultarez cab, stereo cab, hq reverb/preamp, use comp in amp settings).

So, the Axefx gives us a pretty wide range of choices to mange cpu vs complexity/quality.

Interestingly, the "economy" preset still sounds very good to my ears compared to the premium version.
 
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ralphonz

Inspired
Difficult for me to recommend something I've never had to use but in general if it is a rackmount unit then it keeps it nice and neat that way and close by your Axe FX for the various bits of cabling that will need needed.

MIDI capabilities will be the big ask I suspect, you would need to find out exactly what is supported on the 'other' unit but maybe other forum contributors will be able to add their thoughts.

If I ever was in the same situation I'd be wanting something that doesn't exist (yet?) - an FX8 in a rackmount format...
Yes, an FX8 rack mount would be nice. Good for the studio too ;)
 

ralphonz

Inspired
90% can also be risky as presets can start at 90% and creep up to 93-94% as the preset gets exercised. Once a preset hits 93%, it will start to exhibit problems (ie static).

From my experience, above 85% starts to get risky.

Also, when testing a preset, use front panel to monitor cpu as Axe-Edit does not always show a true reading.

A few ways to save cpu:
- Avoid HQ preamps, reverbs.
- Use Spring Reverb
- Avoid studio conp.
- Avoid comp in the amp.
- Avoid Ultra- rez cabs.
- Unplug USB to computer (worth a % or 2).
- Extreme measures - Outboard Fx ( ie put Axe8 in loop of Axefx )

I have a "cpu tweaked" preset that is huge and still starts at below 85% (has looper, wha, whammy, comp, chorus, flanger, phaser, rotary, eq, in pre-gain positions; then drive, two parallel amps, and mono cab; then eq, pitch, chorus, tremolo, rotary, delay, reverb, enhancer, eq in post gain positions). On the opposite end, I have the same core "premium" form preset which has only comp, drive, two parallel amps, stereo cab, reverb, and delay which also clocks in at 85% ("premium" = studio comp, ultarez cab, stereo cab, hq reverb/preamp, use comp in amp settings).

So, the Axefx gives us a pretty wide range of choices to mange cpu vs complexity/quality.

Interestingly, the "economy" preset still sounds very good to my ears compared to the premium version.
Usually I do all of these things except studio comp is a must for me on most of my presets, and the spring reverb doesn't cut it for spacey sounds where the reverb is a prominent part of the sound. Like I said earlier these aren't your 'standard' guitar patches.
 
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