FAS released Firmware 4.00 for the AX8 today. This version contains a major update with how the AX8 and AX8-Edit work together. AX8-Edit 1.4.1 was also released. 4.00 also adds the latest Quantum Firmware additions from the Axe-Fx II, in addition to a host of bug fixes and optimizations.
Quantum Modeling Update
The note from the Axe-Fx II release notes is as follows:
Improved power tube plate current vs. grid voltage accuracy. New models more accurately reflect how the response is higher order at lower grid voltages and “relaxes” into a lower order response at higher grid voltages. This improves feel when the virtual power amp is overdriven and improves harmonic content accuracy.
Users have commented that 4.00 sounds or feels squishier, with more low-end definition, and/or tighter low-end with sweeter treble. Many say that the update did not change their tone, but added better feel without having to adjust anything. Some people have mentioned they reduced some low end. It really depends on what amp model you are using and how high your Master Volume is. So experiment with different amp types and Master Volume settings!
AX8 and AX8-Edit
4.00 brings an important change to how AX8 and AX8-Edit work together. Previously, when you click on a block in the Layout in AX8-Edit, the connected Hardware LCD screen would change to that block’s edit screen. With 4.00, this is no longer the case, as now the two interfaces have been separated. This means if you have the VU meter showing on the Hardware LCD, you can change to different blocks all you want in AX8-Edit and the VU meter will stay on the Hardware LCD! Or maybe you want to watch the Compressor’s Gain Reduction meter while adjusting a different block. You can now do this easily.
An exception to this is when you move or add/delete blocks in the Layout on AX8-Edit – the Hardware LCD screen will change to the last loaded “Main” screen, like FS, Layout, etc. So as long as you are just editing the parameters within blocks and clicking in and out of them, rather than designing the Preset and moving/adding/deleting blocks, your Hardware LCD shouldn’t change!
The main reason for this separation though is to reduce or eliminate audio dropouts due to USB communication when AX8-Edit would force the Hardware to change. You’ll notice that the audio will be mostly uninterrupted when clicking to different blocks and changing parameters. All of this is a great addition to the workflow.
As mentioned, AX8-Edit 1.4.1 is available for download or auto-update.
Improvements and Bug Fixes
A cool addition is now we are able to assign the same block to more than 1 of the 8 main switches. This is most useful when making one switch a Latching type, and the other a Momentary type. So you could quickly tap and let go of a Drive block with the Momentary switch, or engage it for a while without having to hold it with the Latching type. Note that you could technically make all 8 switches the same block, but this really doesn’t accomplish anything.
Many bugs have been fixed since FW 3.52, but some of the notable fixes are optimized CPU usage for many blocks, Control Switches now honoring the ON state in the Default Scene when changing Presets, as well as eliminating noise when using modifiers on certain parameters. See the full Release Notes below for more.
Note that these links are direct links provided by Fractal Audio. If these links no longer work, FAS has removed the files. At this time, AFT.com does not store Firmware and other files. Please visit the Archive at AxeFx.fr to look for older versions.
- Quantum 4.0: Improved power tube plate current vs. grid voltage accuracy. New models more accurately reflect how the response is higher order at lower grid voltages and “relaxes” into a lower order response at higher grid voltages. This improves feel when the virtual power amp is overdriven and improves harmonic content accuracy.
- All operation of AX8-Edit is now separate from the operation of the front panel. NOTE: any changes made on the front panel of the AX8 while AX8-Edit is attached will still cause a refresh of the editor. This change dramatically reduces audio dropouts due to editor interaction.
- Removed the Footswitch grid restriction of allowing the same block on multiple footswitches. Now that footswitches have the ability to be latching or momentary, it can advantageous to attach both a latching (for both BYPASS and X/Y Toggle) to a block, while allowing the BYPASS to be assigned to a momentary switch at the same time.
- Removed PICK ATTACK parameter from the AMP Block. (The value was never processed on the AX8)
Added TILTEQ, LOWSHELF2, HIGHSHELF2, and PEAKEQ2 to the Filter block.
- Fixed a bug causing noise issues when attaching controller to some modifiers on the AMP block.
- CS1 and CS2 now correctly load the default state on a preset change.
- The Filter on Voice 2 of the Synth block works correctly now.
- Changing the BYPASS state of a block on the LAYOUT grid correctly lights the edit LED.
- Panning all the way right with Pan parameters other than the Balance no longer mutes the output on the following effect blocks:
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