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Does the AX8 have an audio gap?

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I'll have engineering look into ways of reducing it. The problem is that our modeling is very detailed and whenever the amp model changes the "virtual circuit" needs to be reconfigured. We can switch quickly but often this causes clicks and pops due to the reconfiguration. So the amp block needs to run silently for a bit so things will settle. Then we unmute the block. This mute period is what you are hearing.

Most other products just use a fixed algorithm and change the input/output EQ and gain. With this type of algorithm you can switch quickly without clicks and pops but, of course, you don't get the realism and detail.
 

DLC86

Power User
I'll have engineering look into ways of reducing it. The problem is that our modeling is very detailed and whenever the amp model changes the "virtual circuit" needs to be reconfigured. We can switch quickly but often this causes clicks and pops due to the reconfiguration. So the amp block needs to run silently for a bit so things will settle. Then we unmute the block. This mute period is what you are hearing.

Most other products just use a fixed algorithm and change the input/output EQ and gain. With this type of algorithm you can switch quickly without clicks and pops but, of course, you don't get the realism and detail.
Maybe a workaround could be to incorporate the channels of a specific amp in a single model (with switches to change channel) instead of having a model for every channel? In this way I think (from an ignorant perspective) for most amps it would be equivalent to changing just a few parameters and it shouldn't cause lots of sound glitches. The downside is that the issue would be improved only if you use the same amp in a song, not bad anyway.

But maybe I'm just saying bullshit :-D
 

Ericbr1

Inspired
Maybe a workaround could be to incorporate the channels of a specific amp in a single model (with switches to change channel) instead of having a model for every channel? In this way I think (from an ignorant perspective) for most amps it would be equivalent to changing just a few parameters and it shouldn't cause lots of sound glitches. The downside is that the issue would be improved only if you use the same amp in a song, not bad anyway.

But maybe I'm just saying bullshit :-D
I like your post, but they sortof already allow that though, as there's certain 'advanced amp parameters' that are assignable /switchable via switches/expression pedals. Also gain and input trim,etc are controllable. . I assign mine to gain,etc. . BUT the real issues are switching a Matchless or Top Boost lo-gain/clean to a Splawn hi-gain, or a Fender Commander clean to an Herbie hi-gain,etc. .If you want to switch within the same amp they've built ways for us to do it pretty convincingly already! :) I understand FAS's post above and it makes 100% sense to me, but I still bet they can make it more seamless :) Eric
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
I like your post, but they sortof already allow that though, as there's certain 'advanced amp parameters' that are assignable /switchable via switches/expression pedals. Also gain and input trim,etc are controllable. . I assign mine to gain,etc. . BUT the real issues are switching a Matchless or Top Boost lo-gain/clean to a Splawn hi-gain, or a Fender Commander clean to an Herbie hi-gain,etc. .If you want to switch within the same amp they've built ways for us to do it pretty convincingly already! :) I understand FAS's post above and it makes 100% sense to me, but I still bet they can make it more seamless :) Eric

I agree...using one amp is pretty good but there are times, many times, when 1 amp doesn't do the job. Even using a high gain amp and reducing it's gain via parameters doesn't always work because it's the high gain channel of said amp...it won't sound good when reducing gain, which is why there's sometimes a clean channel to that amp.
 

DLC86

Power User
I like your post, but they sortof already allow that though, as there's certain 'advanced amp parameters' that are assignable /switchable via switches/expression pedals. Also gain and input trim,etc are controllable. . I assign mine to gain,etc. . BUT the real issues are switching a Matchless or Top Boost lo-gain/clean to a Splawn hi-gain, or a Fender Commander clean to an Herbie hi-gain,etc. .If you want to switch within the same amp they've built ways for us to do it pretty convincingly already! :) I understand FAS's post above and it makes 100% sense to me, but I still bet they can make it more seamless :) Eric
Well changing amp parameters is not the same of switching channel, you're not gonna get a high gain channel by just turning some knobs on a clean channel, most aspects of the amp algo are hard-coded or are parameters accessible only to the engineers. For example when you switch to a crunch or high gain channel on a real amp, in most cases you're actually adding a preamp tube with the relative circuitry to the amp schematic, there's no way to do that with advanced parameters on the afx
 

DLC86

Power User
I agree...using one amp is pretty good but there are times, many times, when 1 amp doesn't do the job. Even using a high gain amp and reducing it's gain via parameters doesn't always work because it's the high gain channel of said amp...it won't sound good when reducing gain, which is why there's sometimes a clean channel to that amp.
Sure, I was suggesting that as a compromise to get better results AT LEAST when using different channels of the same amp
 

bishop5150

Fractal Fanatic
This is my only pet peeve with the unit. At first I just worked on my timing switching between clean and high gain to find just the right spot where it was least noticeable. But I mainly use high gain most of the time in the band anyway so I went with the scene controller work around and just use them on my input gain and master volume to get my clean tone. I put in an extra GEQ block to shape the tone a little on those scenes and haven't looked back. It works great. But a fix for this issue is definitely my one and only wish list item.
 
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ibanezfreak4

Power User
All of the above can be accomplished in a single preset using only one amp model. If you really wanted to, it could be set up such that, you could morph between sounds. But then there might be too many morphing possibilities.
My 2 cents is yes, this is simply unrealistic in a single preset. Tell me which song or session you would need to plan out that many scene changes without having a brief moment to hit the Preset selector and your next preset? I truly understand the challenge and agree that the scene transitions could improve, but for what it does it's pretty phenomenal. An example of this was my AX8 emulating the entire "Simple Man" tune from the intro, post-chorus, chorus and solo parts using 4 scenes. Timing was everything so if you watch closely to the vid on this thread, you have to time it just right: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/simple-man-preset-video.118109/#post-1408031

The AFX II Mark I and MFC-101 Mark II for me has been a similar experience, timing and understanding how many parameters change. I wouldn't call it "worse", it just depends on how much you are enabling/disabling/XY switching.
 

st3sch

Member
Hehe a few days ago I thought of using my Standard in th FX loop for cleans. Not really the reason for buying the AX8 was a smaller setup. But wait I could do trippel amping ... :D
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
I really don't see the big problem - I get that if you really want to use a Silverface twin for your cleans and then a JCM800 for drive, and MESA MarkIV for leads, then it cannot be done without an audio gap, and workarounds will be neigh impossible. But then again, such a setup could not be made gapless on the AxeFX XL+ either. I am a simple man, so I prefer to keep my tones fairly consistent. If I go for Marshall drives, I will also choose a Marshall style clean. Such two sounds can be combined gaplessly without problems.

I make a preset per song, and within each song, I have to make choices. Does it need to be gapless? Will using the same amp for all tones be a compromise? Can I live with such a compromise. I have yet to come across a song, where it needed to be gapless, and I could not live with the tonal compromise. Also, back in my tube amp days, I would never have considered bringing two amps to a show. I have had three channel amps (Marshall TSL100 and Koch Studiotone), but in both cases, those channels were not all that different.

Again, with just a single amp model, it is possible to do a vast amount of tones without running out of CPU. I get that some people need to change amps, and it needs to happen quickly. They are a bit out of luck with the Ax8.

I have found that changing the footswitch action to happen on the downstroke rather than the upstroke, really diminishes the amount of delay, I actually notice. When I had the action happen on the upstroke, I always felt like my changes came late. But since I changed to downstroke, I hit the changes, I need. Again, I measured the audio gap to be 1/10 of a second - That is less than a 1/16 note at 120 BPM.
 

FreeMind

Power User
I am really looking forward for a fix.
Even if it's only for the same amp head channels fix, that is better than nothing.
I think there might be other ways to look at the issue... For example, by masking the gap with a generated signal, or a repeated buffer, or reversed audio or something like that instead ...
 
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atquinn

Power User
...I get that if you really want to use a Silverface twin for your cleans and then a JCM800 for drive, and MESA MarkIV for leads, then it cannot be done without an audio gap, and workarounds will be neigh impossible. But then again, such a setup could not be made gapless on the AxeFX XL+ either...
Not true.
-
Austin
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
That is true. Since there are three amps, you would need to use amp block x/y in one of the two amp blocks. The audio gap is smaller on the XL, but it is there.
 

Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
Regarding masking the drop out, you can always use reverb. But an automatic generated masking sound might cause more problems than it solves. I'd rather be silent than in the wrong key.
 
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