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Urgent - can AX8 do convincing and EASY Eb tuning on fly?


Power User
Picked up a gig / audition (learning a **** load of tunes) and many (~15) are clearly guitar tuned to Eb OR CAPO'd first fret in F.
I know there is a pedal that can do transpose that is supposed to be good. Can the Ax8 do this convincingly using the pitch shifter.


does the band keep changing tuning? if not, just tune down a 1/2 step.

i'm not convinced by any pitch shifters for detuning the entire guitar. in a pinch, they can all work. but overall, i prefer tuning the guitar.


Fractal Audio Systems
Just tune down 1/2 step. The better the pitch shifting, the more the latency. It's a perceptual process. There is no mathematically perfect way to do it. Also, when you pitch shift, the sound coming from the speakers doesn't reinforce the strings (since it's at a different frequency) so you don't get sustain and feedback harmonics.


Power User
I use a fixed pitch shift on a few songs live. It works but the slight latency, tonal difference and lack of sustain make it less than ideal. I also have a few Variax guitars. They don’t sound good tuned down, especially on Palm muted notes plus they have they sustain issue. I recommend using a second guitar.


As others have stated, trying to pitch shift the entire guitar a half-step one way or the other is going to be imperfect, and this isn't something that's specific to AxeFx. To me the most ideal solution is to get the ensemble to agree to a single tuning; the band I'm in just tunes everything down a half-step. If I had to manage multiple tunings, I'd be more likely to just have a guitar tuned to standard, and one tuned down a half-step, but I'd push harder to just have a single tuning.
Just buy a Digitech Droptune. It's not perfect, but it sounds really good and much better than the one in the Fractal. I recorded an entire album two full steps down with it and you'd never know it was pitch shifted unless you were told.


The only downtuning solution I found really satisfying was the late, lamented ATG guitar auto tune hardware by Antares, recently shut down by the company.

Bruce Sokolovic

Fractal Fanatic
Line 6 variax system does this the best but even that’s not as good as simply bringing a guitar in E flat. Good bands make this compromise early on and pick a tuning and for the most part stick with it.

Mark Scrivener

Or just tune to Eb and learn to play the parts that are higher without a capo. Yeah, sometimes there is something that is just impossible to play well without a capo or re-tuning, so bring a 2nd guitar or a capo if you must.

But seriously, learning to play in almost any key without re-tuning or using a capo will improve your playing tremendously. It will also open your mind up to riffs, fills, chord voicings, and all sorts of creative things that you would have never thought of had you just used a capo or re-tuned.
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Digitech Drop does horrible things to the tone / signal. It cuts a whole lot of highs, and makes your picking a weird experience. Latency is noticeable. Yet - it is still presumed to be one of the best polyphonic detuners available on the market :) And yes, it does what it is expected to do. But don't expect too much.


Fractal Fanatic
I’ve used the AX8 to tune down a whole step when I didn’t feel like bringing an extra guitar for a couple of Sabbath songs we do in our set. Especially on out of town gigs. Works well enough. My band and the audience couldn’t tell the difference.


Power User
I rehearsed tonight and used this link for my settings. About 8 songs I used going from clean to mean using the Pitch Shift. When you are playing live, the FRFR as monitor source multiple feet away, loud drummer, absolutely no issues for me... I mean, yeah it's not perfect and there is dullness or shrillness and slight squirrels but overall, it works pretty damn good!

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