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Run two Axe 3’s simultaneoly with an FC12?

Metalmike42

New Member
Just curious if anybody is doing this or figured it out. There is a main and spare in the rack. Wired to outputs of a radial JX44. So I can switch to the spare with a button push. I have the midi out of the main into the spare, so the presets change. But scenes do not. Any way to have both units moving completely together without crazy midi mapping? Thanks in advance!!!
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Since FASLink provides both power and data connections to the FC Units, this might not be a good idea. You'd essentially be connecting the power rails of both Axe III's together. I'd consult with Fractal directly on this before trying it. One FC unit receiving data from two different Axe III's might cause some weird behavior there as well, especially if for whatever reason the two got out of sync.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
The FC acts as a dumb terminal and the modeler is the host computer. You can’t connect two systems together that way. You CAN connect two FC to the same modeler and control it from either board by design.

The appropriate way would be to have two modelers, back one up, restore it on the other modeler, then use a MIDI controller to control both. MIDI and the controllers are designed for that purpose.

And, yes, controlling them with MIDI can be a pain. Some of the controllers are getting better integrated but there are still gaps.
 
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Frodebro

Inspired
I've never delved into this so I could be completely off the mark, but would it be possible to use the FC to control the first AX3, then send MIDI commands from the first unit to control the second?
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I just looked at the manual and it shows that scenes can be controlled with PC commands. See p. 42 and 75.

PS-
Any way to have both units moving completely together without crazy midi mapping?
I’d be thinking in terms of a MIDI splitter and tweaking both units so they can change their presets and scenes. MIDI is probably going to be a necessary evil.

PPS- Maybe @Cooper Carter or @Admin M@ can give some ideas. This has got to be a common problem on big tours.
 
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Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
I've never delved into this so I could be completely off the mark, but would it be possible to use the FC to control the first AX3, then send MIDI commands from the first unit to control the second?
It could but if the first one fried then the connection to the second would die too.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
Since FASLink provides both power and data connections to the FC Units, this might not be a good idea. You'd essentially be connecting the power rails of both Axe III's together. I'd consult with Fractal directly on this before trying it. One FC unit receiving data from two different Axe III's might cause some weird behavior there as well, especially if for whatever reason the two got out of sync.
Presumably, one wire is power hot, one data hot with a shared ground. Perhaps there is a way to avoid the power hot on the second unit. You’d have to know how to use a multimeter and understand basic electricity prior to proceeding.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
I've never delved into this so I could be completely off the mark, but would it be possible to use the FC to control the first AX3, then send MIDI commands from the first unit to control the second?
The OP already mentioned this...

If you put the Scene midi block in every preset that is used you could have it send the midi for scene changes to the other unit on scene changes.

However, as a backup this all has a major flaw: if the first unit is down, how would that work?
 

mr_fender

Axe-Master
Presumably, one wire is power hot, one data hot with a shared ground. Perhaps there is a way to avoid the power hot on the second unit. You’d have to know how to use a multimeter and understand basic electricity prior to proceeding.

FASLink has two way communication though, so both wires might be used for data, one in and one out. I don't know exactly how it works, so I'd definitely consult FAS directly.
 

HereToday

Inspired
Sorry, just re-read the OP regarding midi.

Calling scenes is pretty simple thru midi. There is a spreadsheet floating around here somewhere that has every FAS midi command in it. You don't even have to serach thru a list, you just select what you want the command to do and presto, all the heavy lifting is done for you. I wish I could remember who put it together, but it is nothing short of awesome and a HUGE timesaver. Search for midi spreadhseet on the forum...
 

Metalmike42

New Member
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I understand that a midi switcher and splitter would work best. I was doing it exactly that way and had both units completely in sync independently. But we are using the FC12 and love it. And have a mirrored FC in guitar world. The idea is to not midi map from main to spare, assuming that if the main goes down, the mapping will too. I did take into account not using an xlr splitter for the exact reason as mentioned. I’m worried about the doubling of voltage from the two units. Thanks again for all the help on the forum, you guys are the best!
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
There is currently no way for the main to transmit a Scene CC to the spare.

As you noted, the "Main" can transmit a preset change message from its MIDI OUT to the MIDI IN on the "Spare" unit. That message does not include a Scene CC however, so the Spare will always sit on the default scene. Aside from MIDI mapping mentioned above, which is a bit of a can of worms, here are the ways to handle that:

1. You can put a Scene MIDI block in your presets so they always transmit a MIDI message to load the required scene on the spare when scene is changed on the Main. This is what I'd do. Don't forget to enable SCENE SELECT in the SETUP menu of the spare. I still use CC#14 out of habit.

--OR--

2. If the main unit goes down, you can manually re-load the desired scene from the front panel or a footswitch.
 

HereToday

Inspired
Thanks for all the suggestions guys! I understand that a midi switcher and splitter would work best. I was doing it exactly that way and had both units completely in sync independently. But we are using the FC12 and love it. And have a mirrored FC in guitar world. The idea is to not midi map from main to spare, assuming that if the main goes down, the mapping will too. I did take into account not using an xlr splitter for the exact reason as mentioned. I’m worried about the doubling of voltage from the two units. Thanks again for all the help on the forum, you guys are the best!

No need to map from main to spare. Use a controller like an MC8, etc and then run that to a splitter such as a Kenton Thru 5. Now, whenever you send a message, it will be sent to both units and they will always be in sync. If one goes down, flip over the other unit and no one will know but you and your guitar tech! I know you like the FC12, but it is not going to get you where you want to be, unfortunately. Life is full of choices.
 

Metalmike42

New Member
There is currently no way for the main to transmit a Scene CC to the spare.

As you noted, the "Main" can transmit a preset change message from its MIDI OUT to the MIDI IN on the "Spare" unit. That message does not include a Scene CC however, so the Spare will always sit on the default scene. Aside from MIDI mapping mentioned above, which is a bit of a can of worms, here are the ways to handle that:

1. You can put a Scene MIDI block in your presets so they always transmit a MIDI message to load the required scene on the spare when scene is changed on the Main. This is what I'd do. Don't forget to enable SCENE SELECT in the SETUP menu of the spare. I still use CC#14 out of habit.

--OR--

2. If the main unit goes down, you can manually re-load the desired scene from the front panel or a footswitch.
That’s it with the scene midi! That will keep them moving in sync and at least have the spare on the appropriate scene if it’s needed. Thank you!
 

unix-guy

Legend!
That’s it with the scene midi! That will keep them moving in sync and at least have the spare on the appropriate scene if it’s needed. Thank you!
Ya know, I said that on Sunday ;)

The OP already mentioned this...

If you put the Scene midi block in every preset that is used you could have it send the midi for scene changes to the other unit on scene changes.

However, as a backup this all has a major flaw: if the first unit is down, how would that work?
 
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