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Questions: Effects Trails and Setlists

Just revisiting this Forum after a long time away. I've been on the Axe-FX II XL+ since 2016. Just bought the III and the FC12, and anxiously waiting for it to arrive. Meanwhile, I've been trying to learn some more about it. A couple questions I haven't been able to find answers to... First, my experience with the II was that effects trails (Reverb, Delay) were cut off when switching presets. Has this been corrected with the III? Is there a setting for it? Second, there was a function in the MFC-101 that at least tried to handle songlists or setlists. Since that was not a function of the Axe FX, but rather the pedal, is this addressed at all with the Axe-FX III? Thanks in advance.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
First, my experience with the II was that effects trails (Reverb, Delay) were cut off when switching presets. Has this been corrected with the III? Is there a setting for it?
It works the same as it did in the II: there's a setting to preserve trails, but if the delay and reverb block change algorithms when you change presets it'll cut them or potentially do slightly weird things on change.

Best way to preserve trails is to not change presets, but instead change a scene. With 4 channels per block its easier than ever to pack a ton of different sounds into one preset.

Second, there was a function in the MFC-101 that at least tried to handle songlists or setlists. Since that was not a function of the Axe FX, but rather the pedal, is this addressed at all with the Axe-FX III?
There is currently no song/setlist mode available on the III. Since the FC is just a slave of the III, that means there's no song/setlist mode available if you use the III-FC combination. It's been a consistent ask since the FC's shipped. Fractal has said it's on the future feature list.

There are ways around it, but they involve a lot of preset management on the unit.

You can use a third party controller like an RJM GT which does have song/setlist mode and works with the III. Though they are far harder to program to work with the III than the FC.
 
It works the same as it did in the II: there's a setting to preserve trails, but if the delay and reverb block change algorithms when you change presets it'll cut them or potentially do slightly weird things on change.

Best way to preserve trails is to not change presets, but instead change a scene. With 4 channels per block its easier than ever to pack a ton of different sounds into one preset.


There is currently no song/setlist mode available on the III. Since the FC is just a slave of the III, that means there's no song/setlist mode available if you use the III-FC combination. It's been a consistent ask since the FC's shipped. Fractal has said it's on the future feature list.

There are ways around it, but they involve a lot of preset management on the unit.

You can use a third party controller like an RJM GT which does have song/setlist mode and works with the III. Though they are far harder to program to work with the III than the FC.
Thanks for the reply. It's pretty much what I thought, but not what I wanted to hear. It's just disappointing that with this new processor (with all the extra power), they didn't address those two pretty common requests with the upgrade to III. Obviously it's not a "must have". There are definitely workarounds, but some things like this could go a long way towards better workflow. There are nice adds like these in some much cheaper units. Unfortunately, for me at least, those units can't match the sounds of the Axe. How does one add their voice to the "asks" to FAS?
 

chris

Legend!
Presets load the entire set of blocks to the active memory. when you change presets, those blocks and memory are wiped and need to change to the next set. there has to be a brief break of audio as things are changing quickly.

there IS a Spillover option on all Axe-Fx products, which allows delay and reverb trails to continue when changing presets. you can turn it on. but what happens is the audio from Preset 1 that's repeating/trailing, is "given" to the new blocks in Preset 2. if you have the exact same delay block setup in Preset 1 vs Preset 2, it will sound the same as it trails (albeit with the slight needed gap when changing presets - almost all digital products have this gap given how digital products work). if the delay block in Preset 2 is setup differently, the trails will change sound to whatever Preset 2's delay block is - again, that's how digital works. if there is no delay block in Preset 2, there will be no trails because there is nothing to play the trails through.

what many people want and the way they think it works is that Preset 1 delay is trailing, when you change presets that trail should just continue until it's done. well again, what "block" is it trailing through? it has to be something. in order for P1 Delay to keep going when you change to P2 with no delay block, that P1 delay block needs to continue to exist somehow. the memory has to be there. for this to happen, there would need to be 2 Presets active at the same time: Preset 1 active while the trails fade, and Preset 2 when you change so you can immediately play those new sounds. but really no digital processor is designed to have 2 presets run at the same time. and then the question is when exactly is the first delay "done"? when we can no longer hear it? the unit would have to be designed to monitor the signal going through that first preset until it's "done" making a delay sound. this all gets very complicated.

to us humans with a brain and logic, it's clear when a delay would be "done" making the repeats. but to a machine, it doesn't "know" when we're done with that delay.

the way the Axe3 deals with this is its expanded Layout Grid capability and increased CPU power, as well as Scenes. again, a Preset loads all blocks into active memory to be used. in the Preset we can bypass blocks all we want without issue because it's loaded into that active memory and we're basically muting and unmuting it - no memory needs to change. Scenes allow us to turn on/off multiple blocks at a time. so Scenes are the best way to get spillover while changing sounds. all blocks are loaded, no memory is changing, we're muting and unmuting blocks, and that is the "2 presets loaded at once" concept in action. the "presets" in this case are Scenes though, as all the blocks needed are active and loaded.

Scenes are the answer and the approach to solving this problem. you can also use the Spillover settings in Setup to have it between presets.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
they didn't address those two pretty common requests with the upgrade to III
On the spillover, they did: expanded channels, processing power and eight scenes address this more than adequately.

On the songs/setlist thing, I'd say give it time. I feel like that one will eventually get solved. Though I understand not wanting to buy and hope. You could always opt for a third party contoller if you really need songs/setlists now.
 

quark

Experienced
The Mapping Table available through Setup->Midi/Remote/Mapping works well as a setlist option until something more sophisticated comes out. Need to turn PC Mapping On in order for it to work and then input data into a scramble table.
 
On the spillover, they did: expanded channels, processing power and eight scenes address this more than adequately.

On the songs/setlist thing, I'd say give it time. I feel like that one will eventually get solved. Though I understand not wanting to buy and hope. You could always opt for a third party contoller if you really need songs/setlists now.
Well, I've already bought, so I'm all-in now. :) On the spillover/trails issue, I don't expect it to come up very often, but it will occasionally. I realize there are multiple ways to approach it, and I'll figure it out. I don't use the really deep & long reverbs/delays much, but if/when I do, it sounds like I will have to make sure the same effect block(s) are included in any preset that may follow it. It sounds like they would also have to be "active" (not bypassed) in the next preset. But I don't understand how I would set it up to be "active" to receive that input from the previous preset and keep the spillover going, but NOT take the guitar input for the next song into that effect (completely different song/feel, etc.).

I wasn't really using the setlist stuff on the MFC-101 anyway, so it's not like I'm losing anything. It's just that the tap-dancing was already an issue, and I'm looking for a way to minimize that.
 
The Mapping Table available through Setup->Midi/Remote/Mapping works well as a setlist option until something more sophisticated comes out. Need to turn PC Mapping On in order for it to work and then input data into a scramble table.
Sounds complicated. Does that assume you're using a DAW with the Axe? If not, I'd like to hear more about how to set that up (or a link to a tutorial or resource for more info). I was looking forward to NOT having to always have a laptop with me at every gig.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
On the spillover/trails issue, I don't expect it to come up very often, but it will occasionally. I realize there are multiple ways to approach it, and I'll figure it out. I don't use the really deep & long reverbs/delays much, but if/when I do, it sounds like I will have to make sure the same effect block(s) are included in any preset that may follow it. It sounds like they would also have to be "active" (not bypassed) in the next preset. But I don't understand how I would set it up to be "active" to receive that input from the previous preset and keep the spillover going, but NOT take the guitar input for the next song into that effect (completely different song/feel, etc.).
You'd need the block, setup identically, in the target preset. But it could be bypassed as long as it's set to mute input bypass mode, and not thru or mute output.

But really, my advice here is to spend time crafting presets that can do this with scenes and channels. Fighting scenes and channels and trying to cram it into presets is working against the system's architecture here. I think you're going to be blown away by how much more you can put into a single preset than you ever could in previous generations.
 

chris

Legend!
But I don't understand how I would set it up to be "active" to receive that input from the previous preset and keep the spillover going, but NOT take the guitar input for the next song into that effect (completely different song/feel, etc.).
the block can be bypassed in that 2nd preset, with bypass mode set to Mute Fx In. this allows the "delay data" to continue, but doesn't take "new data" from your guitar.

this is the same as if using Scenes and bypassing the block (or simply bypassing the block).

Sounds complicated. Does that assume you're using a DAW with the Axe? If not, I'd like to hear more about how to set that up (or a link to a tutorial or resource for more info). I was looking forward to NOT having to always have a laptop with me at every gig.
a laptop isn't needed. this is in the Setup MIDI menu on the front panel. it simply takes a Preset Change message - say PC004 - and instead of loading Preset 4, it loads whatever Preset and Scene you chose in the Mapping menu.

i still prefer just rearranging presets in the order i need per show. with so many preset slots, i can typically leave a few show orders on the Axe without needing to change anything. just start on different numbers at different shows and move up through presets as ordered.
 
You'd need the block, setup identically, in the target preset. But it could be bypassed as long as it's set to mute input bypass mode, and not thru or mute output.

But really, my advice here is to spend time crafting presets that can do this with scenes and channels. Fighting scenes and channels and trying to cram it into presets is working against the system's architecture here. I think you're going to be blown away by how much more you can put into a single preset than you ever could in previous generations.
Ian, thanks for all the info. I didn't know there was more than one way to "bypass" an effect. I guess I've got a lot to learn here. Thanks for the help.
 
the block can be bypassed in that 2nd preset, with bypass mode set to Mute Fx In. this allows the "delay data" to continue, but doesn't take "new data" from your guitar.

this is the same as if using Scenes and bypassing the block (or simply bypassing the block).


a laptop isn't needed. this is in the Setup MIDI menu on the front panel. it simply takes a Preset Change message - say PC004 - and instead of loading Preset 4, it loads whatever Preset and Scene you chose in the Mapping menu.

i still prefer just rearranging presets in the order i need per show. with so many preset slots, i can typically leave a few show orders on the Axe without needing to change anything. just start on different numbers at different shows and move up through presets as ordered.
Chris,
Good info. I have so much to learn and this info helps a lot.
Thanks!
 

quark

Experienced
Sounds complicated. Does that assume you're using a DAW with the Axe? If not, I'd like to hear more about how to set that up (or a link to a tutorial or resource for more info). I was looking forward to NOT having to always have a laptop with me at every gig.
It's quite easy. On the Axe Front Panel push the SetUp button ("E"), then scroll down to Midi/Remote and hit "enter". then scroll down to "PC Mapping" and turn it on. Once this is set, then page over to "Mapping" and you'll see a table that scrambles presets. For example, Preset 0 can be mapped to Preset 100, Preset 1 can be mapped to Preset 352, etc, etc. Don't have to actually move Preset 100 to your first slot and then Preset 352 to your 2nd slot. It's a virtual scramble. Pretty easy.

The only issue I found is that the defaults require some work ... if you don't set them all up manually the default mapping goes to the zeroth preset. Maybe this has already been fixed ( can't tell since I already set up the right mapping ). But all of this is just done once. Backup up your setup in case you need to restore it at some point and don't want to re-input the correct defaults again. Correct for me means, if preset mapping is on and I don't put anything into the table, then Preset 0 should map to 0, Preset 1 should map to 1, etc, etc.
 
Quark,
Sounds doable (if I'm understanding you correctly). Sounds like there's only one mapping table, and you would have to set this table up per gig, and then turn off PC Mapping if/when you don't want to use it. Does that mean that in your actual Presets table, those presets that you want mapped to something else would be "blank" (as in no names)? You would just have to manually (as in on paper) figure out the whole mapping table you want to use, and then input it as simply from & to numbers. Am I on the right track? Or just confused? :) Then as you page thru the "from" numbers, the "to" presets (and names) would show up on the screen?
 

quark

Experienced
Yes, there is only one mapping table ( a real set list utility would probably have multiple setlist files that you can load ) and you would set it up for every gig. I have my FC-12 set to a bank size of 6 and 2 banks can easily get me through a gig. So I have to map presets 0 to 11 to whatever presets I would like to use for that gig and then I just toggle between the 1st 2 banks. So if I map preset 0 to preset 300, then when I call up the first bank, which is set to load the 1st preset, I would see preset 300 load instead of preset 0. This is exactly the same as if I had copied preset 300 into the preset 0 slot. It's all a lot easier than it sounds and once you get your III, you'll figure it out in no time.
 

TG3K

Power User
Yes, there is only one mapping table ( a real set list utility would probably have multiple setlist files that you can load ) and you would set it up for every gig. I have my FC-12 set to a bank size of 6 and 2 banks can easily get me through a gig. So I have to map presets 0 to 11 to whatever presets I would like to use for that gig and then I just toggle between the 1st 2 banks. So if I map preset 0 to preset 300, then when I call up the first bank, which is set to load the 1st preset, I would see preset 300 load instead of preset 0. This is exactly the same as if I had copied preset 300 into the preset 0 slot. It's all a lot easier than it sounds and once you get your III, you'll figure it out in no time.
Still easier (for me) to copy my per-song presets into an empty section. I can use Manage Presets in Axe-Edit to see the presets names (which match the song titles) and copy/paste from my master list into the setlist for that gig. We change the set list for every gig, and with roughly 40 songs/presets per gig, doing the MIDI mapping thing and referencing preset numbers instead of names would be more of a pain.

That said, I'm looking forward to the day when FAS adds something on par with what the MFC-101 (and MFC-Edit) could do. I used that functionality a lot with my Axe-Fx II, and really miss it with the III.
 

rpray

New Member
Concerning setlists: I was all ready to buy FC-12 and FC-6, but when I found out that it had no setlist functionality, I decided to wait. It never happened so I ended up getting an RJM Mastermind GT/22. Works really well and was very intuitive to setup. Has a great editor for creating songs and setlists that does all the uploading through USB midi. I've been using this for well over a year and I still love it. So, if you need/want the set and song list functionality this is one way to go.

You could add this on to your FC-12 more inexpensively by getting the RJM Mastermind LT ($399). This would allow you to have the ease of use of the FC-12 and add the song and setlist functionality with the LT. It is a relatively small form factor, but has all of the same functionality as the GT/22 except for the user interface(# Foot switches, scribble strips, etc). It's a little expensive for just adding song and setlist stuff, but if you need the functionality it's great.

I would probably still be interested in getting the FC-12 if they would add this feature, but it looks like that is a long ways off and it's something I'm not willing to live without.

Just an idea while you wait for Fractal to implement setlists.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Power User
Not sure why there is such resistance to the preset management workaround. It literally takes just a few minutes to copy the presets you need into a contiguous block of empty space for your set. 😕
 
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