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Has anyone sniffed/looked at the FASLINK II protocol?

squealie

Inspired
Reckon this is likely to get nuked.

Just wondering if any of y'all smart mofo's have inspected how this thing works. Electrically, physically, and what I assume is serial-packet wise.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Reckon this is likely to get nuked.

Just wondering if any of y'all smart mofo's have inspected how this thing works. Electrically, physically, and what I assume is serial-packet wise.
Not sure why FAS would keep that knowledge private. Interoperability and extendability are generally good things in technology and in the market. We'd have a very different world without MIDI, Ethernet, or HTTP, for instance.

Have they said it's proprietary? Or are you going by the apparent current lack of documentation?
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Um, why would this be important in any way? Just curious.

Or are you just jonesing to have a thread nuked 'cause you're bored?

Either way...why?

Ron
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Um, why would this be important in any way? Just curious.

Or are you just jonesing to have a thread nuked 'cause you're bored?

Either way...why?

Ron
Speaking for myself, it's because I can't afford an MJT-22, and I'm wondering what it would take to build a controller with Channel Groups and Bypass Groups, which for some reason I can't link that text to:
https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/channel-groups-and-bypass-groups.173736/post-2140427

I built a microprocessor based hardware controller back in the day, and now I've just got all this free time, why not?
/SARCASM

But seriously, why are you folks talking like FAS will nuke a thread about this? Is that known to be a verboten topic?
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
FASLINK is not MIDI. The FC-6/12 are "terminals". They record button presses and send the button press to the host. The host sends messages to the terminal which tells the terminal what color to display on the LEDs and what text to display on the LCDs.

If you want to make your own MIDI controller you would have to use the MIDI ports.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
FASLINK is not MIDI. The FC-6/12 are "terminals". They record button presses and send the button press to the host. The host sends messages to the terminal which tells the terminal what color to display on the LEDs and what text to display on the LCDs.

If you want to make your own MIDI controller you would have to use the MIDI ports.
Thanks for jumping in Cliff.

Do I gather them that no documentation on the workings of FASLINK is planned? You intend all controller extensibility to be done via MIDI?
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks for jumping in Cliff.

Do I gather them that no documentation on the workings of FASLINK is planned? You intend all controller extensibility to be done via MIDI?
Actually I'm being thick I think.

If what the FCs send to the Axe is basically button presses, not commands, a homebrew controller talking that language couldn't do anything the FCs can't, because the actual functionality is in the Axe, not the controller.

MIDI might be able to do the block group things I'm specifically talking about, or not, need to look into what's available via MIDI.

Anyone know if the MJTs send just normal controllers, or do they also send sysex?
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
a homebrew controller talking that language couldn't do anything the FCs can't, because the actual functionality is in the Axe, not the controller.
Bingo. That's been the brilliant bit about the FC controllers and how they keep working in lock step with the firmware.

Anyone know if the MJTs send just normal controllers, or do they also send sysex?

They also send custom SysEx messages.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Bingo. That's been the brilliant bit about the FC controllers and how they keep working in lock step with the firmware.



They also send custom SysEx messages.
Do you know if the Fractal-specific setups they have include sysex, or can you do everything they do with CCs?
 

squealie

Inspired
FASLINK is not MIDI. The FC-6/12 are "terminals". They record button presses and send the button press to the host. The host sends messages to the terminal which tells the terminal what color to display on the LEDs and what text to display on the LCDs.

If you want to make your own MIDI controller you would have to use the MIDI ports.
And I figured this was commonly understood here on the forums. And that's why I'm interested.

The Line6 FBVs operate in a similar (if not exactly the same way). There's a string of bytes sent at each button press or pedal actuation. Essentially a header, a length byte, a 'which button/pedal' byte and a value byte. And to on/off the LEDs, it receives a packet that is very similar.

I'd like to attempt to recreate the functionality. There are obvious pitfalls like sussing out how the power is coupled without toasting my FASLINK port. I reckon nobody has gone this far yet.
 

touch33

Inspired
I reckon nobody has gone this far yet.
Could well be that’s b/c when you consider cost vs. functionality it’s pretty hard to beat the FC’s. It also doesn’t hurt that they are fairly painless as the “brains” are in the host and not in the FC.
Since I’m old and can’t see the FC button displays clearly (and b/c I love Ron’s dedication to his products) I’m a pretty devout MMGT-16 user — more expensive for sure, but def. worth the extra coinage for my purposes.
 

Handyman

Inspired
Just remembering what FAS has said in the past, FASLINK II uses single ended signaling. This presumably means the three wires in the cable are power, ground, and a bidirectional signal wire. As this is all custom hardware the signaling could be one of a handful of existing protocols or something totally custom.

Might be fun to poke around just for curiosity's sake, but I don't think there's a practical use in figuring out the details. If you want to control the thing with something other than a FC6/12, the MIDI interface is incredibly well documented.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
Might be fun to poke around just for curiosity's sake, but I don't think there's a practical use in figuring out the details. If you want to control the thing with something other than a FC6/12, the MIDI interface is incredibly well documented.

I would love to see a FASLINK II breakout box of some stripe which could intercept and pass along a copy of FASLINK II data from the FC footswitches (as well as attached pedals and attached switches) so that it could be shared with a second Fractal device downstream. The goal is to be able to set up an FM3 or FM9 and use it with a downstream Fractal FM3, FX9, or FX3, and share FASLINK II control between them.

I am also quite open to using MIDI if the MIDI spec could be expanded to cover all switch, attached pedal, and attached external switch actions and send them out over,MIDI. This might allow a DAW to record (and possibly edit/correct sloppy timing) and play back the MIDI messages so it could automate control of a Fractal device.
 
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