Migrating Axe-Fx II presets to AX8: my approach

Discussion in 'AX8 Discussion' started by yek, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. #1 yek, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    yek

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    I had to migrate a number of my Axe-Fx II presets to the AX8.
    For anyone interested, here’s my approach.

    Edit: Chris from AxeFxTutorials created a handy tutorial:
    http://axefxtutorials.com/2016/02/i...les-to-share-among-devices-axe-fx-ii-ax8-fx8/

    Preparations:
    • If possible, use a large screen. This allows you to keep the Axe-Edit and AX8-Edit windows visible at all times, without having to move them around, and keep a Finder/Explorer window in sight as well.
    • Connect the Axe-Fx II and AX8 to the computer using 2 USB connections, and launch the editors.
    • If you use 3rd-party IRs, load them into your AX8 first.
    In Axe-Edit:
    • Load the source preset.
    • Execute “Save As Blocks In Library”.
    • Copy the preset title.
    • Remember the preset tempo.
    In Finder/Explorer navigate to the folder under Documents/Fractal Audio where the block files are created.

    In AX8-Edit:
    • Go to a blank preset slot.
    • Paste the preset title.
    • Enter the preset tempo.
    • If you want to migrate NOISE GATE settings: click on Input+Gate, then use Finder/Explorer to drag the saved INPUT block onto the Block Library widget.
      Beware: the migrated LEVEL parameter will always be set at -20, so adjust this to your liking (probably 0 db).
    • If you want to migrate internal controller settings: click on Controllers, then use Finder/Explorer to drag the saved Controllers block onto the Block Library widget. Check the settings afterwards, especially the Scene Controllers.
    • Now replicate the entire preset grid in AX8-Edit, by dragging and dropping blocks, one by one.
    • Migrated blocks will have the same engaged/bypassed state as in the source Axe-Fx II preset, per scene, with some exceptions.
    • If you use Reverb, add that block in an early stage, to prevent CPU load issues. If the Reverb's CPU requirements are too high, switch to Normal Quality. And if that doesn't solve it, switch to Spring Reverb.
    • If you use 3rd-party IRs, verify that the CAB block points to the correct slot.
    • Other parameters: there are a couple of Axe-Fx II AMP and CAB parameters missing in the AX8 firmware, don't worry about it. FILTER and PEQ on the AX8 do not have the LowShelving2 and HighShelving2 EQ types.
    Migration caveats:
    • Some effect blocks are not supported by the AX8, such as the Multiband Compressor.
    • Some effect blocks such as Pitch are limited to one instance (instead of two on the Axe-Fx).
    • Some effect blocks on the AX8 do not support X/Y (i.e. GEQ and PEQ).
    • Vice versa, some effect blocks on the AX8 do support X/Y, while the Axe-Fx II version doesn’t (i.e. FILTER). In this case the block will always be engaged when migrated.
    • AMP block: its LEVEL value will not migrate correctly. Look up the value in the source preset. Don't forget to do this for the block's Y state as well if you use that (I have a global AMP X/Y switch).
    • FXL block: if you’re using FXL to feed a power amp amp through OUT 2, make sure FXL is branched off to a parallel row, and don’t connect it to the grid’s Output (or set its Level at -80).
    • I don’t use the saved Output block.
    Scenes:
    • Don’t forget to go through scenes 2 and up. I’m using a maximum of 4 scenes per preset. Switches 1-4 are global scene switches on my AX8.
    • I make sure that scenes which aren’t used are muted, by setting the Bypass Mode of the CAB block to MUTE (the CAB block is always the last one on the grid).
    • Don't forget to check both X and Y values where applicable.
    Assign the footswitches, if you don’t use “global” switches.

    Save the preset.

    Test the preset on the hardware.
     
  2. Scented Meat

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    Thanks for this. I don't have an AX8 yet, or I'd try to figure this out myself: what's the best way to load your IRs so they're in the same slots as your Axe-Fx? Is that done easily with "cab manage"?
     
  3. yek

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    Yes, that's the easy way to do it.
     
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  4. soheil

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    Thanks. great post as always yek.
     
  5. Dealmaker

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    It's still quite a convoluted way to do it if you have lots of presets though?

    Does anyone think we will see a "preset migration assistant" tool from Fractal? I'm sure many AX8 owners are also FXII owners so this would be invaluable - we could develop presets on the FXII and swop them over to the AX8 for gigs?
     
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  6. yek

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    Yes, it does require work.

    I don't think a fully automated migration is possible, because of the differences between the devices.
     
  7. Smittefar

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    Well, you almost already wrote the algorithm in the first post ;)
     
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  8. #8 yek, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    yek

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    I just bought the iPad app Duet Display, for about 10 euros.

    This lets me use my iPad as a 2nd screen (next to my MacBook).
    This way I can keep both windows (AX8-Edit and Axe-Edit) visible all the time, which works much faster.

    The app works really well.

    Also, it offers a great way to operate the software editors on a touch screen.
     
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  9. iaresee

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    In native resolution, both editors run side-by-side very nicely on this monitor -- highly recommend an ultra-wide monitor.
     
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  10. cataclysm

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    Does this approach work the same transferring Axe-Ultra presets to AX8? Or do you need to completely recreate blocks given the differences between the two?
     
  11. Rex

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    You'll have to migrate Ultra presets manually. Ultra blocks aren't compatible with the AX8.
     
  12. Pllm

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    I can't count the number of times I've learned something from you Yek. Your presets are great, the wiki and your posts so useful... Thanks again for this one (I was about to buy a 2nd screen)!
     
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  13. jzucker

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    Sure it is. A "portable" export format could be supported by both "edit" programs and if the edit program was smart it should even be able to adjust for unsupported blocks and such.
     
  14. count_chocolat

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    The way Yek describes it is the way I did it, I found out a a rehearsal that some blocks don't translate 100%. Now i've got it down.

    The one benefit of having to streamline my presets for the AX8, is that I realized that I had way too many things stuffed in my presets that I did not really use....Just because I had the extra Horsepower.
     
  15. anhen

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    Anyway to load Axe 2 presets without the axe 2 unit present? Only have AX8 but lot of presets from my old Axe 2 that I dont own anymore... :)
    Great guide ..
     
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  16. lp59

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    When exporting a preset from my XL to AX8 using your method (nice and complete tutorial, thanks), I noticed that the AX8 was not as loud as the XL, especially on clean sounds. Looking at the input meters on both units I saw that with my strat I barely tickle the green In1 led on the AX8 but the orange led (higher level) on the XL.

    Did you notice a difference in input level on AX8 and Axe-FX XL? In the I/O menu of the AX8 In1 is set on 0.0dB (max) and on the XL I'm on 100% (max I can get).
     
  17. #17 Rex, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    Rex

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    Input Level affects your signal-to-noise ratio, but it won't change your volume much. Of the AX8 is quieter, turn it up. :)
     
  18. joe rogers

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    Also keep in mind that the output levels on the amp block have different ranges on the two inits. When you import amp block from the AxeFX to the AX8, AX8-Edit will automatically set the Output level of the block to -12dB. So you will want to adjust that as need after the import.
     
  19. lp59

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    Yes, I adjusted all parameters and verified one by one, but I still have differences, if I imported say a crunch sound, it sound much cleaner in my AX8, just like if I had turned the volume of my guitar down. It's not a volume output problem, I can adjust these with the output main pots, but rather an input problem. Crunch sounds gets cleaner, and distorted sounds have less gain. Did somebody experience the same behaviour? I can understand that the input stages of both units are different, but I would like to know if this is normal, or if I have to further investigate my AX8.
     
  20. yek

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    Do you have Amp Gain (Global menu) on the Axe-Fx higher than on the AX8?

    Also, if you import an INPUT block that was saved on the Axe-Fx, the LEVEL parameter in that block is set to -20 after importing. Should be 0 dB.
     
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