The Edit software from Fractal Audio makes it easy to import individual Block files from other users’ Fractal Audio products with a simple drag and drop. If you additionally want to store any Block and its settings for later recall using the Edit software, there is a Block Library feature that can do just that.
This tutorial shows an Axe-Fx II and Axe-Edit primarily, but the process is the same for an AX8 with AX8-Edit, or an FX8 with FX8-Edit.
Method 1 – Loading the Block only
If you want to simply add the Block to your current Preset and not add the block to your Block Library for later use, just Drag and Drop the Block file from a folder on your computer into a blank slot on the Layout Grid in Axe-Edit. There are 2 ways to do this. In this example, I am loading a Drive block called “Chris Drive.”
One way is to make sure that the Layout does NOT already contain the Block type you are trying to add. For example, if you are trying to add a Drive Block from the external file, be sure you don’t already have a Drive Block in the Preset. As you can see there is no Drive Block in this Preset.
If you click on the file, then drag it to a blank slot in Axe-Edit, you’ll see a Plus sign and an outline on the destination slot.
When you let go of the mouse button, a Drive block will be loaded.
Alternatively, if you DO already have the Block in the Layout, such as Drive Block 1, select the Block in the Layout first,
then drag the external file onto the lower parameter section in Axe-Edit.
Note the yellow dashed outline around the Blocks Library section on the lower left of Axe-Edit. This indicates that you are indeed loading the block. When you let go of the mouse button, the Block will be updated with the parameters from the external Block file.
You can now adjust your Preset as needed, but be sure to Save before switching to another Preset, or you will lose all changes.
Note that this method will temporarily show the name of a Block in the Library area after the drag and drop, but the Block is not truly in your Library.
If at this time you would like to add it to your Block Library for later recall, you can click the + sign in the Blocks Library area to Save the Block (or “Save As” to set/change the name) to your actual Block Library.
You can also follow the 2nd method below if you know from the beginning that you want the external Block to be in your Block Library.
Method 2 – Loading the Block into your Block Library for later use
If you want to load the Block into your Axe-Fx II for later use in addition to loading it into a Preset, you’ll need to do a few additional steps compared to the 1st method, and also understand a bit more about the Block Library.
The Block Library exists on your computer – NOT the Axe-Fx II – and you need to know where on your computer this is. Click any block in the Layout and then click the + sign in the Blocks Library section on the lower left, then click “Show Folder”.
This will open the “blocks” folder on your computer. This “blocks” folder is the Block Library folder. In this example, I moved the “blocks” folder under Axe-Edit on my computer screen.
If you have not saved any Blocks to the Blocks Library before, this folder may be empty. If it is empty, I highly suggest taking a little time to Save a test/dummy file of each block type, or at least the types you anticipate wanting to load in the future. Here’s how:
Simply select the Block, such as a Drive block, and click the + button in the Blocks Library section, and then click Save.
Give the block a descriptive name like “Test Drive” for Drive, “Test Reverb” for Reverb, etc. and click Save again.
Now if you revisit the Blocks Library folder on your computer, you should see a new folder called Drive, and in it will be the Test Drive block you just saved.
The main purpose of doing this Test Block is to have Axe-Edit create the correct folder name for you automatically. Once the folder is made, you can delete the Test Block in that folder. (For this example though, we will not delete it.)
Staying with Drive for this example, drag the external Drive Block file into the Drive folder – I will be using the file “Chris Drive” in these screen shots.
You can see that the “Chris Drive” file is now in the “Drive” folder, within the “blocks” folder.
After you have moved the files into your own Blocks Library Drive folder, you must quit Axe-Edit and open it again so it will re-scan and find the new files you added.
Now when you click the drop down menu in the Blocks Library section in Axe-Edit, you will see the new Block you just added.
Repeat this process for all the types of Blocks and Block files you want to load. You can of course do multiple block types and files at once. Remember to create the Test files first so Axe-Edit creates the correctly named Folders (like Drive, Delay, etc.) for you, and also to quit and re-open Axe-Edit so it scans for these new files.
Again, this 2nd method adds the external Block file to your Block Library for later use. If you simply want to load the external Block file into a single Preset, follow Method 1, which is much faster.
Saving your Presets as Block Files for loading across devices (Axe-Fx II to AX8 or FX8, etc.)
To easily create Block files from your already-existing Presets, simply click “Preset” in the Axe-Edit menu, then “Save as Blocks in Library”. This will instantly create individual Block files for all Blocks in your currently selected Preset, including Input/Gate, Output, and Controller blocks as well.
Open the “blocks” folder on your computer just as we did in Method 2 above to see these files in a folder that has the name of the Preset, in this case “Axe-Fx II Preset”
Once we have these Block files, we are done with the first device. You can power down and close the Editor for this first device at this time if you choose.
Now power on and open up the Editor for your second device, in this example an AX8 and AX8-Edit. Typically we want to create a similar Preset on the second device, so select a blank Preset.
From here, you can either do Method 1 or Method 2 as described above. Either simply drag and drop the Block files into your Layout to build the Preset, or you can add the Blocks to your Block Library for later use. You most likely will just want to use Method 1 and drag and drop to create the Preset.
If you would like to do Method 2 and add these blocks to the Block Library of the AX8, click on the Input/Gate block, only so we can easily find our Block Library folder for this second device. We again do this by going to the Block Library section and clicking the + sign, then “Show Folder”.
This is where it can get a bit tricky, because both folders for each device are called “blocks” and you cannot rename them (if you do, none of this will work). One way to tell the difference though is using the File Path, as the Parent Folder of the Axe-Fx II Blocks is “Axe-Edit” and the Parent Folder of the AX8 Blocks is “AX8-Edit”. You can see this indication at the bottom of my folders in this screen shot.
You can just drag the entire Preset folder from one “blocks” folder to the other. In this example we would drag the “Axe-Fx II Preset” folder from the Axe-Edit “blocks” folder to the AX8-Edit “blocks” folder. Consult your OS documentation for ways to copy these files rather than move them, if desired.
Regardless of what method you use, notice that there is a “Controllers” block, a “Input Noise Gate” block, and a “Output Mixer” block. Depending on the original Preset, you might choose to not load these if you don’t need the information from those blocks of the first device. If you do want to load them, you need to click the corresponding area in the Editor first, then drag the block onto the lower Parameter section of Edit:
For Input Noise Gate, click the Input/Gate block on the left of the Layout. Note that the “Level” parameter is set to -20 dB after loading an external Input Noise Gate Block file. Set this manually to 0 dB after importing the external block.
For the Output Mixer, click the Output block on the right of the Layout
For the Controllers, click the Controllers tab near the left middle of Edit
Notice in all 3 of these examples, the Blocks Library section is highlighted with a yellow dashed line as you drag the Block file onto the lower Parameter section.
Remember to Save the Preset after you load the Block files and make your adjustments. Be sure to check each imported block and its parameters, especially the Level parameter in any Amp block, as this is set to a default value and must be manually adjusted, as well as the Level parameter in the Input/Gate block as mentioned above (manually reset it to 0.0 dB as it changes to -20 dB after import).
Fractal Forum member “yek” posted some additional thoughts on this process here: http://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/migrating-axe-fx-ii-presets-to-ax8-my-approach.108499/
You can support him and AFT.com with a donation to our StreamJar page: http://streamjar.tv/donate/axefxtutorials