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MacOS Catalina *WARNING* 64-bit Driver Coming Soon!

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vaultnaemsae

Inspired
So, an important fact — the Axe-Fx II is technically class compliant but there’s a reliance on a software bootloader to send/enable the driver to the Axe when it first connects after power up. It’s the same as when you want to connect an iOS device to the Axe. Directly connecting it won’t work unless you’ve preplugged the axe into a device that has software that will enable the connection. So plug into a device running pre-Catalina MacOS and you can then plug your axe into a device running whatever...the bootloader has already done its work.

In my case I used the FracPad demo on an old damaged Galaxy Note 7 to get the driver to the Axe. Then it’s just a matter of plugging into the computer.

I didn’t seriously test it but I would be very surprised if there are any issues — after all it is as I said before ‘technically class compliant’. I may not have explained this very elegantly so if anybody has a better way of putting it please feel free to chime in.
 

HarrySound

Power User
Catalina was released yesterday. Just a warning and reminder to anyone thinking about updating - the Axe Fx driver is NOT compatible and thus your Axe FX will stop communicating with your Mac if you upgrade.
 
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Doc Rock

Inspired
Even though I tend to live on the bleeding edge in most things, and actively get involved in beta testing for all sorts of things from iOS to individual apps, the upgrade to Catalina is one step that I will NOT be doing. With my Mac now bugging me to upgrade to Catalina, I think it's important to point out something re the Catalina move. I will not be changing to Catalina.

For a long time.

I use lots of little utilities, some are legacy ones, and most are still 32-bit - hence will not run on Catalina.

And as a muso with a decently-equipped studio, I'm running Logic Pro X and Reaper, along with LOTS of plug-ins of various types, from processing to softsynths etc. Many, if not most, of those plug-ins have not been upgraded to 64-bit, and many will never be. Catalina will NOT run any 32-bit apps at all.

So i have a perfectly working system that runs smoothly and everything works. I'm not going to screw that up by "upgrading" to Catalina.
 

Saki

Member
Does anyone have experience with virtualization? If I keep a Mojave install in a VM, will it be able to communicate with the Axe to send the firmware? I'm not clear on what the guest OS can do with the USB ports.
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Does anyone have experience with virtualization? If I keep a Mojave install in a VM, will it be able to communicate with the Axe to send the firmware? I'm not clear on what the guest OS can do with the USB ports.
Parallels will probably work, but you may also consider the newish choice of installing Mojave on its own partition on your boot drive using a APFS container..no virtualization software needed, and full access to all USB functions
 

Saki

Member
Parallels will probably work, but you may also consider the newish choice of installing Mojave on its own partition on your boot drive using a APFS container..no virtualization software needed, and full access to all USB functions

You're right... I was still in the "old school" way of thinking, that partitioning the drive was required. With APFS it's different. I'll look into this, thank you for the pointer.

Edit: nevertheless, rebooting just to upload the firmware and then rebooting again to get back into Catalina for everything else would be cumbersome, so I'd still be grateful for any additional info.
 
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BadMelonFarmer

Power User
It worked for me in VirtualBox the other day, so I would guess it would work in other virtualisation tools.

I used windows 10 as a guest, installed the Fractal USB drivers and passed the axe-fx though to it and it worked.

mad long as you don’t switch off the axe-fx, you can then disconnect it from the virtual machine and it works in Catalina.

I did not do a load of testing, but axe-edit worked fine, both in the guest OS and Host OS
 

Tom Morris

Power User
The drawback with a Mojave partition is having to reboot to get into that OS where as you wouldn't need to running a virtual machine. However No idea if all the 32 bit stuff would work connecting devices. I installed Catalina last night on a MacBook that doesn't get used for anything audio and doesn't really need any mission critical software. Catalina was 8.1GB download. Didn't go to smoothly as it took a really long time and hung at the last step, Setting up your Mac. A simple force reboot and it was up and running.
 

Saki

Member
It worked for me in VirtualBox the other day, so I would guess it would work in other virtualisation tools.

I used windows 10 as a guest, installed the Fractal USB drivers and passed the axe-fx though to it and it worked.

mad long as you don’t switch off the axe-fx, you can then disconnect it from the virtual machine and it works in Catalina.

I did not do a load of testing, but axe-edit worked fine, both in the guest OS and Host OS

If it works in VirtualBox, it's perfect, thanks for the feedback. FA's USB driver is the only thing remaining on my system that isn't 64 bits, so being unable to upgrade just for this would be annoying (and I plan to replace that computer next year anyway, so I need to solve this problem).
 

butterfly

Member
I'm in this predicament -- upgraded to Catalina (10/8/19) Axe FX IIXL+ . Just downloaded most recent version of AxeExit (64bit) but of course it is not connecting to my unit.
This really blows...I have been using AxeFxs since the first ones a decade or so ago. I really like and need the Edit--and I purchased the IIXL+ right before the III came out so I have a significant investment in it and can't buy a III over an OS upgrade. Crestfallen:(
 
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AlGrenadine

Axe-Master
Vendor
I'm in this predicament -- upgraded to Catalina (10/8/19) Axe FX IIXL+ . Just downloaded most recent version of AxeExit (64bit) but of course it is not connecting to my unit.
This really blows...I have been using AxeFxs since the first ones a decade or so ago. I really like and need the Edit--and I purchased the IIXL+ right before the III came out so I have a significant investment in it and can't buy a III over an OS upgrade. Crestfallen:(
Why upgrade?
Better is the enemy of well
 

Saki

Member
I'm in this predicament -- upgraded to Catalina (10/8/19) Axe FX IIXL+ . Just downloaded most recent version of AxeExit (64bit) but of course it is not connecting to my unit.
This really blows...I have been using AxeFxs since the first ones a decade or so ago. I really like and need the Edit--and I purchased the IIXL+ right before the III came out so I have a significant investment in it and can't buy a III over an OS upgrade. Crestfallen:(

I won't have time to test solutions before next week, but even if FA still refuses to update the driver, it can be made to work. Here are the solutions I'm going to test:

  • Using Fracpad for macOS: not sure it's going to work, since its web site doesn't say whether it requires the driver or not (and every documentation only talks about iOS and Android, so the macOS version might be abandoned).
  • Using Fracpad for iOS: this should work, but it requires buying additional hardware (mostly cheap, though).
  • Using the Yahama MD-BT01 to communicate from macOS to the Axe. I don't think it'll work (the Axe requires the firmware, so it has to come from somewhere), but since I'll have bought the Bluetooth device anyway, it's worth a shot.
  • Installing Mojave in a VM: this should work, but it seems that installing macOS as a guest OS isn't always easy.
In every case, it'd mosty be just to get the firmware uploaded into the Axe-FX. Once it's done, Axe-Edit should be usable.
 
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