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Just got Axe-Fx 3...never been more frustrated

jlee462

New Member
I have been playing with this all afternoon trying to do the following:
  • utilize USB to route more than one audio stream to/from the unit (the manual is the most convoluted doc I have ever read). It says it is 8in-8out but it 100% does not function like a traditional 8in-8out unit.
  • adding an fx loop to utilize my pedals while streaming from USB (being able to access that fx loop while browsing through presets via some type of global insert seems impossible).
  • using Axe-edit to insert a block into the chain while shifting other blocks (doesn't seem possible). Right now I have to manually move each block to the right and then reconnect all of them.
  • Browsing presets while trying to manage 2 audio input streams is virtually impossible.
I have to say this is the most frustrating piece of gear I have ever owned by far. The sounds are great, but it is pretty much unusable when trying to use it as a writing or experimentation tool with a studio setup. It seems like it was meant for a full time guitar tech to setup each preset from scratch. Outside of that scenario, I don't see how it is manageable. Not trying to complain, but I have owned so much gear and never have I been so discouraged. I literally spent all day just trying to use this thing via USB, send it two audio signals and add an fx loop. Even if that was done (which I don't think is possible), I think I would then have to go update each preset individually to utilize the routing.

Ugh. My entire weekend will be spent not playing the guitar trying to set this thing up and then I will probably send it back because it won't do what I need it to do.
 

yek

Legend!
It says it is 8in-8out but it 100% does not function like a traditional 8in-8out unit.

Read the USB chapter in the manual. It works as advertised.

Moving blocks/rows/columns: see Block > Move command in AE's menu bar.
Or Layout > Tools on the hardware.

Each preset is treated as a separate rig. There are no global effects across all presets. So an fx loop (an Output and Input pair) indeed has to be added to each preset.
 
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chris

Legend!
  • utilize USB to route more than one audio stream to/from the unit (the manual is the most convoluted doc I have ever read). It says it is 8in-8out but it 100% does not function like a traditional 8in-8out unit.
what specific audio are you trying to route? USB audio does work for others. what specifically is or isn't happening?

  • adding an fx loop to utilize my pedals while streaming from USB (being able to access that fx loop while browsing through presets via some type of global insert seems impossible).
what "pedals"? what does "streaming from USB" mean?
  • Browsing presets while trying to manage 2 audio input streams is virtually impossible.
what specifically does "manage 2 audio input streams" mean?

I have to say this is the most frustrating piece of gear I have ever owned by far. The sounds are great, but it is pretty much unusable when trying to use it as a writing or experimentation tool with a studio setup. It seems like it was meant for a full time guitar tech to setup each preset from scratch. Outside of that scenario, I don't see how it is manageable. Not trying to complain, but I have owned so much gear and never have I been so discouraged. I literally spent all day just trying to use this thing via USB, send it two audio signals and add an fx loop. Even if that was done (which I don't think is possible), I think I would then have to go update each preset individually to utilize the routing.

it sounds like you are trying to insert this device into an already-established workflow without considering the workflow of the device itself.

if you can answer the questions above, we can provide insight to what you're trying to accomplish. the way you've phrased things, it is very confusing as to what you're doing.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
The III has easily twice the capability of anything else on the market in terms of routing, usb audio, loops etc. I can’t even imagine how frustrated you be with anything else in the market.

Not that it helps but it sounds like your trying to do some rather unique things that maybe the III, and certainly no other product on the market, are able to do.

To which, I might wonder if it’s not a problem with the unit, and instead your workflow needs are simply far outside the way most people work
 

jlee462

New Member
Fair assessment. I'll outline the scenarios.

1) I am using Ableton as my DAW. I have about 6 different synths going into an audio interface. I originally wanted to use the Axe FX 3 as a way to run a gtr, bass, synths and/or vocal through it as an amp/effects unit (I like distorted vox). The ultimate goal was to have 4-8 separate outputs from Ableton into the Axe FX and be able to browse presets to hear the effected version as an fx loop to the daw. The way Axe FX works, presets default to IN 1 and OUT 1 so realistically I can only use it to send one piece of audio at a time if I want to browse presets. This eliminates the value of the 8ins and outs for me. In my scenario, it seems the AX8 provides almost the same functionality, but at least I could use my feet.

2) To browse presets, I have to run all inputs from Ableton into IN 1 (USB 5+6). I now can no longer run the guitar into the front of the Axe FX (because it is set to USB) so I have to run it as an input into my old audio interface and then out to the Axe FX which means I don't get to use the converters on the Axe FX. Ideally, I would be able to plug my gtr or bass into the Axe FX and also run a channel from my DAW into an input. Both the guitar and/or the other track from my DAW should be able to act as an input to the default presets. This would allow me to play the gtr or Ableton and have them routed to IN 1 so the default preset will pick up the signal.

3). I have two hardware effects pedals that I really like (Industrialectric RM-1N and Echo Degrader) and would like to incorporate in an fx loop. I have no idea how to incorporate them with the Axe FX with USB while still being able to use them against the default presets. I would have to patch them via the analog input-output pair but then I won't hear them when I change a preset without editing each preset because I would have to change the routing of each preset to include them.

The actual use case to me doesn't seem that complicated. I want to route audio from my DAW to Axe FX to use it as an outboard effects unit. I would like to do that for multiple audio streams, but I can't because of how presets are setup by default and its limitations with input-output routing and USB. It seems I can only use it as an analog outboard unit for one channel at a time.

Hopefully this helps.
 
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chris

Legend!
Fair assessment. I'll outline the scenarios.

1) I am using Ableton as my DAW. I have about 6 different synths going into an audio interface. I originally wanted to use the Axe FX 3 as a way to run a gtr, bass, synths and/or vocal through it as an amp/effects unit (I like distorted vox). The ultimate goal was to have 4-8 separate outputs from Ableton into the Axe FX and be able to browse presets to hear the effected version as an fx loop to the daw. The way Axe FX works, presets default to IN 1 and OUT 1 so realistically I can only use it to send one piece of audio at a time if I want to browse presets. This eliminates the value of the 8ins and outs for me. In my scenario, it seems the AX8 provides almost the same functionality, but at least I could use my feet.

2) To browse presets, I have to run all inputs from Ableton into IN 1 (USB 5+6). I now can no longer run the guitar into the front of the Axe FX (because it is set to USB) so I have to run it as an input into my old audio interface and then out to the Axe FX which means I don't get to use the converters on the Axe FX. Ideally, I would be able to plug my gtr or bass into the Axe FX and also run a channel from my DAW into an input. Both the guitar and/or the other track from my DAW should be able to act as an input to the default presets. This would allow me to play the gtr or Ableton and have them routed to IN 1 so the default preset will pick up the signal.

3). In the scenario above, I have two hardware effects pedals that I really like (Industrialectric RM-1N and Echo Degrader) and would like to incorporate in an fx loop. I have no idea how to use them with the Axe FX with USB. I would have to patch them via the analog inputs-output pair but then I won't hear them when I change a preset without editing each preset because I would have to change the routing of each preset to include them.

Hopefully this helps.
consider that the Axe-Fx III is intended primarily for a single guitar. all "defaults" you could say are setup for this.

with this in mind, yes, doing what you do won't work by default. the Axe3 also functions on a "preset level" as you've discovered. so yes, if you want In3 and Out3 in multiple presets, you'll have to design those presets like that.

it's no wonder you can't audition guitar and synth and vocal through the Factory Presets all at once because the Presets weren't designed for that. it's almost like saying a distortion pedal is frustrating because you can't send 3 inputs to it at the same time. it's just not designed that way.

this is a guitar device primarily. the Presets are designed to show different amps and effects for specific guitar-driven tones. can you run synth and vocals through that same preset? sure. but the nuance will probably be lost there since those aren't guitars.

i'd suggest running through all the Factory Presets with your guitar at first to get used to the Axe3. once you're familiar, then i'd suggest creating your own Preset with all the I/O that you need, and add the Blocks that you want for each instrument.

tonight i'm running a preset for 3 guitars at the same time - 2 are mine (acoustic and electric out of the same guitar) and 1 is my gig partner. it works great. none of the Factory presets are made for that though, so there's no way i could scroll through presets with all 3 guitars to find out what sounds good. it's just not how it's designed.

so yes, you can run multiple sources into it if you design it that way. as for the USB I/O, it is not a typical audio interface. it doesn't have 8 "general" inputs and 8 "general" outputs. the Owner's Manual does mention these specifics, and to me it is not convoluted. hopefully the text becomes clearer with another read through.
 

jlee462

New Member
@chris Thanks for the response. I erred in thinking that the 8 in and outs opened up the unit to my scenario. It actually seems that from a software perspective what I am suggesting could be possible to design, it is just not the current use case. That was helpful.
 

Zedhed

Power User
The ultimate goal was to have 4-8 separate outputs from Ableton into the Axe FX and be able to browse presets to hear the effected version as an fx loop to the daw.

To surmount this limitation I use one of these, https://www.rjmmusic.com/effect-gizmo/ coupled with a midi foot controller (MMGT) I can switch loops ( in your case separate outputs from Ableton) to audition or record any channel or channels with any preset in the AxeIII. Basically the effects gizmo operates as a controllable bunch of extra I/O's either using them individually or all together or any combination within. This also frees up the Axe I/O's for use with guitar/s since only one input is needed from the Effects Gizmo. Obviously custom presets in the AxeIII have to be designed as far as I/O's go.

The only downside is the added cost, but it would get you to where you want to be IMHO. Hope this is of some help if only to get you thinking of alternatives. The AxeIII is too good a piece of kit to give up on easily, again IMHO.
 
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lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Presets are designed for single guitar input, which is what probably 99% of people are using the unit for.

If you want to create a complex routing preset, the unit can do quite a bit, but you need to tell it exactly what your setup is, how you route things etc, is totally subjective and no two people have the exact same needs.

The III can be a fantastic piece of outboard gear and I run some synths through mine, use external pedals, etc, but I created those presets myself.

Think of a preset as the complete rig and routing. Want to change the sound? Swap between 4 channels of each effect, use multiple block instances etc, turn scenes on and off etc.

Simply can’t scroll through a bunch of presets assigned to a given input and expect everything else to all be routed correctly in each, UNLESS you go and set that up.

No one making a preset they are sharing is likely to have the same I/0 needs as yours so simply can’t expect generic factory presets, or really even 3rd party ones to do what your after I’m afraid to say.

I think you either need a bit more outboard gear to have the independent routings and preset selection per audio channel your after, or you need to change your way of working a bit to fit within the limitations of the III.

It’s a pretty powerful tool, more than just a guitar processor, but at the same time, remember it’s really designed around being a guitar processor, if that makes sense
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
To surmount this limitation I use one of these, https://www.rjmmusic.com/effect-gizmo/ coupled with a midi foot controller (MMGT) I can switch loops ( in your case separate outputs from Ableton) to audition or record any channel or channels with any preset in the AxeIII. Basically the effects gizmo operates as a controllable bunch of extra I/O's either using them individually or all together or any combination within. This also frees up the Axe I/O's for use with guitar/s since only one input is needed from the Effects Gizmo. Obviously custom presets in the AxeIII have to be designed as far as I/O's go.

The only downside is the added cost, but it would get you to where you want to be IMHO. Hope this is of some help if only to get you thinking of alternatives. The AxeIII is too good a piece of kit to give up on easily, again IMHO.


Too add upon what you’ve said, the new FC’s can be setup to tell the III to send midi commands, so in theory one can control the III and an external midi bypass looper, all from one control unit which is pretty sweet.
 

mcmurray

Inspired
1) I am using Ableton as my DAW. I have about 6 different synths going into an audio interface.

Doesn't solve your problem, but if I were you I'd connect all of your instruments to the inputs on the AxeFx. The ADCs on the Axe are of a much higher quality than a cheap interface, for a start. Your guitar would stay on input 1 so you don't need to mess around using USB for it and adding latency in the process.

Then you could modify your presets and/or create custom presets to include additional ins and outs so you can audition them in the way you want. Analog synths through this thing sound phenomenal! I urge you stick with it. In fact now that you own the Axe I see no reason why you need your Behringer interface except possibly as a microphone preamp. I'm about to sell my RME interface for the same reason, it has some nice features but it's essentially redundant.
 

xpenno

Power User
My advice is to change your current mindset and also to forget the factory presets as they are not going to work.

I would setup 1 preset with 4 inputs down the left hand side and the 4 outputs down the right, link each row end to end with shunts.

Rather than changing presets to alter the sound you would be adding/removing/editing effects blocks.

So let's say you route your guitar to input 1, you might add an amp and a cab block in thqt chain.

Then route your daw synth to input 2 and add a drive block and delay.

Etc.. etc..
 

Capt Nasty

Experienced
The 16 USB channels are “hard wired” per the manual. Page 19 of the manual lays out the routing of Axe Inputs/Outputs to USB Inputs/Ouputs accurately... once you understand how the manual is presenting the information. First the routings are documented from the perspective of the computer, e.g. USB Inputs refer to signals originating from the Axe for input to the computer.

The Axe III routes USB channels in stereo pairs and each pair is dedicated to a specific input or output on the Axe III. Each pair of USB channels enables a specific audio integration scenario:
  • USB Inputs 1&2 always carry the signal of Axe III Output 1... presumably the monitor feed
  • USB Inputs 3&4 always carry the signal of Axe III Output 2... presumably the FOH feed
  • USB Inputs 5&6 always carry the signal of Axe III Input 1... presumably a raw guitar signal
  • USB Inputs 7&8 always carry the signal of Axe III Input 2... a raw feed from another instrument or external audio source
The Axe III USB integration is all about Inputs/Outputs 1&2 on the Axe.

As for creating an FX loop. As others have pointed out, the factory presets are set up for a pure FRFR configuration with no outboard gear. The factory presets can easily be reconfigured to insert outboard gear into the signal chain. How to insert outboard gear in the Axe III signal chain is covered on page 30 of the manual in a section aptly titled “Inserting Outboard Gear”.

I suggest going step by step rather than trying to fully integrate in one “Big Bang”. Integrate a single Axe III input to Ableton. Then create an FX loop on a preset. Start simple then grow the integration. Also based on what you learn as you methodically integrate the Axe into your rig, be prepared adapt your mental model of how you plan to achieve your integration.
 
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Sharp

New Member
My Axe III will be here Tuesday. Now I'm scared. I have a feeling it's going to be a nightmare for me as well.
 

chris

Legend!
My Axe III will be here Tuesday. Now I'm scared. I have a feeling it's going to be a nightmare for me as well.
why? it's been very simple for so many people.

this thread shows a situation where it is being used outside of it's primary default design, so i wouldn't use this example as the base experience.
 

AlbertA

Fractal Fanatic
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