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Sigh... gig failure.

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
Bummer. I started with an Ultra (still have it) and then went with the FXII. Been using the units for many years in both recording and performance. Never have experienced any problems other than the occasional tube snob telling me that their Puke-O-Rama amp sounds WAAAAAY better, yada, yada, yada. Seems to happen a lot less lately. My Fractal units have proven to be extremely reliable over the years.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
I've never had any issues with my Axe FX that weren't triggered by external MIDI messages one way or another.

In addition to that, I've been less than impressed with the MFC. Mine had assembly issues, and even if it didn't, it's still the weakest link because of physical buttons, being the floor unit etc.

So I think it should be your first suspect.

Going all analog is hardly a solution, IMO, if you're looking for reliability.
 

craiguitar

Power User
Same as a couple of other users here, my MFC froze on me once literally a few seconds before the beginning of a gig recently. I quickly rebooted the unit, and all was well from there onwards, but it did unnerve me, and probably affected the way I played that day. That said, I've been using the Axe-Fx in its various forms since 2009 with no other issues to speak of, so at risk of jinxing it....all in all it's been a trouble free experience.
 

drwiddly

Member
I've had an Ultra for about 5 or 6 years and got an Axe II Mk 1 about two years ago. Both purchased used.

Never had the slightest problem with the Ultra and I still use it regularly in my home studio and for gigs. I did, however, have a few issues with the Axe II. When I got it, it was on firmware 17 or thereabouts and I had a couple of instances of the sound disappearing and the unit needing a reboot. Everything was still lit up and it was responding to midi commands but no sound at all. The first time this happened was at a gig so I wasn't best pleased! Good news is that Quantum seems to have cured the problem as this has not happened for a while and not since the first Quantum firmware upgrade was installed.

The other issue was a fading of the display which I discovered was a very slightly loose ribbon cable. I unplugged both ends of the cable and treated the pins and sockets with some switch cleaner and it's not happened again. I use a FCB1010 with an Uno chip so can't comment on the MFC issues.

Hope you find a cure.
 

Pinkycramps

Experienced
For a year I did a fully tracked show (2014). I had all patches and scene changes done via midi through Ableton Live - but still had a MFC MK3 on the floor 'just in case'.
I had several times where the volume would disappear or the patch would change to somewhere WAY away from the intended patch.
It also would sometime choke on continuous controllers making programmatic filter changes.

While not connected via midi (full manual mode) I have not had any issues.

My guess is that midi clock / midi messages sometimes have issues.

I am really suspecting now that the midi has something to do with this. My random preset issues were (i'm pretty certain) the Faslink jack being a little lose, but I think the sound dropouts and freezes and crashes began (I think) after I went to the Ableton setup. I've been running that setup for maybe 9 or 10 months now... maybe a year... I lost track. I use a MOTU MK3 Ultralight to get midi out of the laptop into the midi in of the AXE. I wonder if the AXE gets input from both sources, MFC and the Midi at the same time, (like me pushing on the volume pedal while a CC message comes in) causes issues, or if it might be midi clock like you suggest.

I really want this system to work... but not at the risk of having my rig fail.
 

dbun

Experienced
Never had an issue over MIDI - had a few niggles over Ethernet.

Only time I've ever had an issue was a corrupt preset that crashed the unit - wish I knew what it was exactly, but it was a preset I had used for ages, so figured it was something to do with carrying the preset through so many FW updates. Re-created the preset and been fine since.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I do have both a MIDI connection and a FASLink connection to my AXE. MIDI runs the show, and the FASLINK allows me to make manual changes, use expression pedals and so on. I am really curious about the possibility of a conflict if I step on a button at the same time as an incoming MIDI change. I know this is very different from a lot of people, and this is a likely problem area.

This is likely the problem. You're getting MIDI collisions. The Axe-Fx was never designed to support multiple MIDI inputs simultaneously.
 

aggiemike08

Inspired
I do have both a MIDI connection and a FASLink connection to my AXE. MIDI runs the show, and the FASLINK allows me to make manual changes, use expression pedals and so on

Not sure the extent that you are using Ableton, but I have had success using OnSong on my iPad to make PC changes on the AXE. The difference though is that I run a midi cable from the iPad directly to the MFC midi IN rather than to the AXE itself.

So... OnSong/iPad > MFC midi In (changes preset on MFC) > Ethernet to AXE FX (changes presets).

Haven't had any issues with this set up. Another thought could be to use some midi merge device???

I just recall though that I DID have an issue when I tried to run my OnSong/iPad into the AXE itself in a similar manner because I was also trying to get the OnSong app to change songs when I clicked an external switch. It was a disaster...the MFC would change to random patches, sometimes no sound...and I never understood why it didn't work, only that it didn't work and so I abandoned that set up quickly and stuck with what was working which is what I described above.

EDIT: Cliff's comment above likely explains the issue I was having as I was sending multiple midi inputs to the Axe. I didn't explain very well the set up that wasn't working and that's all that matters...it didn't work and I'm good without it.
 
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vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
I use a MOTU MK3 Ultralight to get midi out of the laptop into the midi in of the AXE.

Interestingly, I also use Ableton, MOTU Ultralite and MFC. I don't have any problems but I did take a few of important precautions.

First, I NEVER EVER create or edit MIDI clips containing data sent to Axe in Ableton itself. It has a horrendously inadequate UI for this. You have to draw lines and points using mouse, and this leads to lines that aren't purely horizontal, but have some small inclination. As a consequence, it creates a continuous stream of MIDI messages that chokes and confuses Axe FX even without MFC. So, while I use Ableton, the MIDI clips with commands are created elsewhere (in my case, it's Reaper). I have a library of such command clips that I just import into my tracks.

Second, I separate different commands in different tracks. I have one for scene changes, one for looper control, and so on. This allows me to use Ableton's Track Delay feature - I just shift each type of commands a few milliseconds so that they never overlap or happen simultaneously. The looper control (or sequencer control), messages that have to come exactly with the rhythm, aren't delayed, scene changes have a slight negative delay so they happen a bit in advance, some less important messages may be a bit late. All these delays aren't really audible but the do help tremendously.

Last, I don't really use my MFC with this setup, it's sitting there for backup just in case, except for expression pedals.
 

mDaniel

Inspired
Hm, I had that "audio freeze" with my AX8 2 times now as well. European support doesn't seem to have an idea. I think it has something to do with the pitch block because both freeze appeared when I switched to a scene containing an active pitch block. Might be a coincidance tough...
 

rodzimguitar68

Fractal Fanatic
I would think using a midi merge device to combine the input streams would solve those type of problem?

probably so, like something from Midi Solutions, that would be small enough to keep on your pedalboard, for instance. But the way I would likely set up a rig like this, would be to connect the Motu Midi-Out directly into the MFC midi in, not directly to the Axe FX, while using the Fas-link connection at the same time.
 

stratos

Inspired
Axe FX II
NO MFC..using FCB1010
Gig regular, NO issues.
Many internal hardware failures on digital gear are rooted back to DC power issues. I would change out the power supply if it were me.
I am a Telecom Carrier Tech (30+ years) and a component level tech.
I would definitely call support ASAP. As you know, this company is customer sensitive.
You issues are not common among most Axe users.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I have an Axe-Fx II Mark I and had a MFC-101 Mark I but replaced it with a FAMC Liquid Foot LF+ Pro+. When I had the MFC-101, I had it connected to my AF2 with a Cat6 network cable and never had any MIDI issues but I made sure to never connect or disconnect the network cable while the AF2 was powered on because I think one of the manuals said it would cause damage to both devices.

I had to send my AF2 to FAS to get the Output 2 hiss mod, so I could use the 4CM and not get tons of hiss and noise. This issue only affected the AF2 Mark I and the mod was included in the AF2 Mark II and newer.

I had an issue with uncontrollable feedback with high gain presets even when my guitar wasn't plugged into my AF2 and found out that's a known issue when the AF2 gets extreme vibrations, especially when it's on top of a bass cab. I no longer use real cabs and use FRFR cabs and don't put my rack on top of them, so that resolved the issue.

My AF2 has frozen and went silent a few times. I think it was around firmware 15. Then I had a bunch of issues with the Rotary Speaker [ROT] and Scenes when I went from FW 17 to 18 and something was mentioned in the FW release notes but mine was randomly enabling no matter what Scene I was using but could go back and forth between 2 scenes and sometimes it would be enabled and sometimes it wouldn't.

I also had an issue where the Multi-Delay [MTD] would randomly enable. I thought something was wrong with the IA footswitch it was assigned to, so I tried assigning it to a different footswitch and the same issue happened.

I don't want to jinx myself but I resolved all my freezing, silence, ROT and MTD issue by using Axe-Edit to export my presets as CSV files, installed the newest Factory Presets and then manually recreated my presets using the CSV files. I bought my AF2 new in early 2012 with FW 5 and had a bunch of old factory presets and presets created with Axe-Edit around FW 10 when it wasn't working correctly, so I think I had some corrupt presets. I also factory reset my FAMC Liquid Foot LF+ Pro+ and re-programmed it from scratch.

I'm glad I recreated all my presets because Quantum made all the amps I was using sound a lot better and I didn't even have to do much tweaking. I pretty much just chose a factory IR and then adjusted the gain and master. I also made all my presets mono, which was the most time consuming because I had to figure out what parameters make things Stereo or Mono.

I think the OP's issue is either caused by MIDI issues, corrupt presets or corrupt IR.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
But the way I would likely set up a rig like this, would be to connect the Motu Midi-Out directly into the MFC midi in, not directly to the Axe FX, while using the Fas-link connection at the same time.

What would you achieve by that? MFC is very dumb, I don't think it accepts anything but PC messages. And it doesn't have MIDI Thru. Also, I don't think you can get both FASLink and MIDI to work simultaneously.
 

z064ddle

Member
I had the timeout issue initially, but it was fixed under warranty. No problem with my the AXE FXII since. Had an issue with the MFC screen only lid up, but nothing is displayed. Turned out to be loose cables inside. I took it apart and make sure all cables are plugged in, have not had any issue since.
 

jesussaddle

Power User
It's not about how much the rig costs but how big the company is. You couldn't get Friedman or Two-Rock or Redplate on the phone 24/7 and their amps sell for well over $3000/amp. Not even Line6, who is backed by Yamaha, has 24/7 support.
I tend to agree. I've never had to contact customer service, so I don't know how to rate Fractal; or do I?

Here's the real issue for me. Replicating the issue. If a user can't replicate a problem (very common) it should be enough to provide clarification in a support ticket environment, at least to the extent that factors are known. After that condition is met by me, and support fails to help, I begin to feel betrayed and probably am more harsh than a lot of buyers out there, even granted how hard (impossible at times) it would be for a small company to truly provide fast turn-around support.

The thing with Fractal is that I haven't had a single problem with the unit itself. I had a couple of very minor gripes with something being left out of the manual (or wiki), but really only a couple, in 7 years of using the Ultra and II.

But in using computers for music, Windows particularly, problems are fairly regular, and I have so many installs and specific setup parameters that I can't honestly remember even a percentage of what I've been through. I think this has made me over-patient.

I hope the unit is not defective, and maybe Fractal can learn from whatever issue is resulting in your lost confidence (truly sorry you are experiencing it) if you can be patient with them.
 
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Pinkycramps

Experienced
This is likely the problem. You're getting MIDI collisions. The Axe-Fx was never designed to support multiple MIDI inputs simultaneously.
Thanks. I'm thinking this must be it. Going to take a little time to see if the action cleans up and runs smooth without this element.

I would think using a midi merge device to combine the input streams would solve those type of problem?
. You know, I have a quad through, but never thought about merging. Not sure how that would work, can't see it clearly in my head... I guess I would abandon FASLink, have to use wall wart power for the MFC, run a midi from the MFC to the merge, and a midi from the MOTU to the merge, both into the AXE? hmmm... Sounds convoluted, and would not be my first choice, but if it worked... I might be ok with that.

Interestingly, I also use Ableton, MOTU Ultralite and MFC. I don't have any problems but I did take a few of important precautions.
Dude... would LOVE to learn more about how you are doing this. I've never used Reaper, and you are right that Ableton is a REAL pain to draw clips in. I create two points and use Shift/drag, which raises a vertical line segment between two points, so it's clean and on time, but scene changes have a touch of lag that can cause a small delay or dropout. BUT... I would never be comfortable not using the MFC. If a change didn't occur, (and that happens to me sometimes now... very likely a result of the midi collisions Cliff is talking about) I need that manual backup. How do you wah/volume control? Direct to the two inputs on the rear of the Axe?


So much good info here guys... I have a feeling I am going to be able to get this fixed, just not sure what the solution looks like just yet. For now, going to follow my plan to ditch the Ableton control, and then once I go a while with no issues, try one of the above (or some combo) solutions to see if I can get it back on line.
 
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