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[solved] Logic Pro MIDI automation not working with Axe FX III

luizguitar

New Member
Hi all!

I just got my Axe-Fx III some days ago and this is my first post as a FAS user :)

I'm trying to automate preset and scene changes from Logic Pro, but it's not working via MIDI-over-USB. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or if there's a bug in either, Logic Pro or the Axe-Fx III MIDI implementation. When I use a cheap MIDI-to-USB cable, the same project is able to change the presets, the scenes and perform things like enabling and disabling the tuner, but once I use standard USB connection from Axe Fx to my laptop, nothing changes even if the "MIDI IN" LED is on while the project is playing. I tried 2 different USB cables apart from the original one shipped with my rack, I tried different ports on my laptop, different USB-C adapters / docking stations, and nothing makes it work.

I have other equipments that are normally controlled via MIDI-over-USB from Logic Pro. For a good test, I also turned all of them off to be sure there was no "conflict". I am not sure what else I should try, I hope I didn't get a faulty unit :(

Logic Pro 10.6.3
macOS Big Sur 11.4
Axe Fx III Cygnus 16.05 (USB 1.10, FPGA 16)

Attached you can see my Logic Pro project, using Axe Fx and using the cheap MIDI cable, and also my MIDI Settings on the Axe Fx.

Any help would be really appreciated!!

Luiz
 

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mwd

Power User
You might try downloading Snoize MIDI Monitor, and visually see your MIDI hit your computer. Check to see if the correct messages are being sent. At that point you know if it's a Fractal problem or a Logic problem.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Everything looks fine in your screenshots. I can't think of anything that could cause that to not work. Are you saying the MIDI In LED is showing you midi is being received? Does AxEdit work properly?
 

rossipedia

Experienced
You cannot send MIDI to the AxeFX over USB. It is not a MIDI interface.
If you want to use Logic to send MIDI signals to the AxeFX, you'll have to get another MIDI interface and hook it up via 5 pin DIN cables, like any other standard MIDI setup.
 

luizguitar

New Member
Thanks a lot for all the answers, I'm gonna try to reply all of them here to give more information.

You might try downloading Snoize MIDI Monitor, and visually see your MIDI hit your computer. Check to see if the correct messages are being sent. At that point you know if it's a Fractal problem or a Logic problem.
@mwd that's a good idea, I have a MIDI Monitor app here and I was able to capture SysEx from the Axe, but I haven't tried yet to monitor the output from the computer to the Axe Fx III, that for sure will give more information. I'm gonna do it later tonight and reply again here with my findings.


Have you used Audio MIDI Setup to identify the Axe-FX as a MIDI device?
@randyman In one of my screenshots you can see Audio MIDI Setup with the list of identified devices, including the Axe Fx III details page. I am not sure if I am missing to do something in that screen, but as far as I can see there's not much enable in there to be done. One interesting information is that in Logic when I first create the External MIDI Track, the "Destination" dropdown shows all my MIDI devices except Axe Fx, so I select "Off - Channel 1", but once the track is added I can pick the port Axe Fx in the track inspector, and this seems to recognise when I plug or unplug the USB from the Axe, because in that case the port Axe Fx gets greyed-out (and Logic also gives me a message telling that MIDI configuration has changed).


Everything looks fine in your screenshots. I can't think of anything that could cause that to not work. Are you saying the MIDI In LED is showing you midi is being received? Does AxEdit work properly?
@GlennO When I hit "play" in Logic Pro, the MIDI IN LED turns on, even if there's no External MIDI track. AxEdit is working, yes, however something I feel it gets very slow and I need to restart it or the Axe Fx, I don't know if this is expected. Recording Audio is working perfectly well, I could send 4 channels at the same time (stereo for the wet signal, DI for magnetic pickup and DI for piezo) and that works without any flaw, even when the AxEdit connection gets slow, the recording is not affected at all. It seems to be only the MIDI.


You cannot send MIDI to the AxeFX over USB. It is not a MIDI interface.
If you want to use Logic to send MIDI signals to the AxeFX, you'll have to get another MIDI interface and hook it up via 5 pin DIN cables, like any other standard MIDI setup.
@rossipedia Thanks for your answer but I believe this is not correct. There's a YouTube video by a guy called "Greg Summers", which I probably can't link here for being new user, where he demonstrates exactly this connection using Logic Pro. I followed the exact same steps and that didn't work for me. However, my iPad is able to perform preset and scene changes via USB, by using Auria Pro and also OnSong. That seems to affect only the macOS MIDI, my best assumption is that there's something wrong with the CoreMIDI "driver" implementation for mac.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
I don't know what to tell you. It works fine for me. If the AxEdit response gets slow, that might be a clue about what's wrong. You should probably contact tech support.
 

luizguitar

New Member
I don't know what to tell you. It works fine for me. If the AxEdit response gets slow, that might be a clue about what's wrong. You should probably contact tech support.
Thanks a lot for your feedback.
Are you running the same versions (Logic 10.6.3, macOS 11.4, Cygnus 16.05)?
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
Sounds to me like the axe isn’t getting midi info. I’m not using my axefxIII as an interface at all so my setup may be a bit different and I use studio one. In order to get the fractal to see midi I had to add it as a midi device in studio one as well as send separate midi from another device midi thru (an eventide unit) to my fractal. Hope this is some way helpful.
 

luizguitar

New Member
My Logic is 10.6.1, but I can't imagine that would make a difference.
Yeah, the minor version should not impact for sure. I don't know what else could be different then. Fun fact: I tested from Main Stage and some commands are working, like my custom CC to toggle the tuner, but preset changing I'm still struggling to send also the CC0 for the bank selection, however it kinda works.
 

luizguitar

New Member
Sounds to me like the axe isn’t getting midi info. I’m not using my axefxIII as an interface at all so my setup may be a bit different and I use studio one. In order to get the fractal to see midi I had to add it as a midi device in studio one as well as send separate midi from another device midi thru (an eventide unit) to my fractal. Hope this is some way helpful.
So you more or less faced the same problems I did, right? And had to use a MIDI cable from Eventide.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Yeah, the minor version should not impact for sure. I don't know what else could be different then. Fun fact: I tested from Main Stage and some commands are working, like my custom CC to toggle the tuner, but preset changing I'm still struggling to send also the CC0 for the bank selection, however it kinda works.
That seems like an important clue. Maybe it's related to high cpu usage on the AxeFX? Or a small usb buffer size on the AxeFX?
 

mwd

Power User
Try creating a software instrument track, instead of an external MIDI track, set up your Axe III as the external instrument and insert it in the Instrument button.

Axe-Midi.png
 

luizguitar

New Member
Hi again!

A huge huge thank you to everybody that replied with useful hints here! Really glad to see such a welcoming community. I also contacted Fractal Support and they gave me some hints. After investigating a bit further I managed to "fix" the issue, although I'm still not sure the core reason but now I can dig more to discover.

By checking this setting, everything started working:

Screenshot 2021-07-21 at 18.28.13.png

In my Control Surfaces I have the following devices, none of them require driver to be installed, they simply showed here after first connection, and all of them are not even plugged to the computer, except of course for Axe Fx.

Screenshot 2021-07-21 at 18.28.58.png

It's a bit sad that I can't use my keyboard or X-Touch at the same time as I use Axe-Fx, but at least I have a working automation now. Still trying to understand why and in case I find more answers I share here in case someone in the future has this issue.

Thanks again for your wonderful suggestions!
 

rossipedia

Experienced
@rossipedia Thanks for your answer but I believe this is not correct. There's a YouTube video by a guy called "Greg Summers", which I probably can't link here for being new user, where he demonstrates exactly this connection using Logic Pro. I followed the exact same steps and that didn't work for me. However, my iPad is able to perform preset and scene changes via USB, by using Auria Pro and also OnSong. That seems to affect only the macOS MIDI, my best assumption is that there's something wrong with the CoreMIDI "driver" implementation for mac.
This is news to me, although admittedly the last time I dug into this was quite a while ago (a year or so?). Regardless, happy to be wrong on this one! Kudos on figuring it out, hopefully it helps somebody else in the future 👍
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
It's a bit sad that I can't use my keyboard or X-Touch at the same time as I use Axe-Fx, but at least I have a working automation now. Still trying to understand why and in case I find more answers I share here in case someone in the future has this issue.
Ouch, I wouldn't call that a "fix" :). It works fine for me with my two Artist Mix control surfaces (connected via ethernet, not usb) and my Komplete keyboard. Did you try using a different midi channel?
 

luizguitar

New Member
Ouch, I wouldn't call that a "fix" :). It works fine for me with my two Artist Mix control surfaces (connected via ethernet, not usb) and my Komplete keyboard. Did you try using a different midi channel?
The support was really good, they didn't suggest exactly to do that, but they mentioned that probably other drivers were hijacking the midi subsystem. From that statement I found that bypassing controllers in Logic completely would make it work, and although this is not the perfect solution, at least I'm happy that my unit is not faulty but instead something in my computer is weird and I can eventually manage to find what is and fix it. A defective rack would be much worse and I'm very glad that this is not the case :)

I tried each of all the 16 channels one by one but that also didn't help.
 
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