Gear used in this article:
Axe-Fx II (Original, Mark II, XL, XL+)
One of my favorite features of the Axe-FX II is Global Blocks. This allows you to save the configuration of any block to one of 10 save slots and quickly load those values to a new block of the same type. More importantly though, you can link blocks of the same type across as many patches as you want! When you make a change in a Global Block in any of these patches every other patch with a linked block will be automatically updated.
Let’s say you have 2 presets and you want to use a Delay1 block with settings of Digital Mono, 20% Mix, 500ms and 30% Feedback in both presets. After you set the first one up, of course you can easily copy Delay1 from preset 1 to 2 using the Effect Retrieve menu in the Recall screen. But what if you want to change the delay time from 500ms to 700ms? You’d have to change it in patch 1, save, then go to patch 2 and repeat the process.
With Global Blocks, first you set up the effect the way you want. Then while in the Edit screen, press FX BYP two times quickly. It will take you to the Global Blocks screen. Using the Value dial, select which Global Block number you want to use (1-10, we’ll use 1 here). Then select “Save to & Link with Block.” Now you have saved the settings to Global Block #1.
Go to your second preset and load the same type of block, in this case Delay1. In the edit screen, press FX BYP two times quickly again. Select #1, and this time select “Load from & Link with Block” since we are loading the settings we just saved earlier.
You have to manually link every block in every patch at the beginning, but it saves a lot of time later. Any change made to a block linked to Global Block #1 for Delay1 will be automatically copied to every other Delay1 block that is linked!
So back to our example; we want to change Delay1 from 500ms to 700ms in all 20 of our patches that use Delay1. We have already linked them all to Global Block #1. I can go to any one of those patches, adjust the delay time or any setting and every patch will be updated at the same time. Awesome!
I use this mostly for my multi-guitar setup. I have an electric guitar signal and row and an acoustic guitar signal and row in each of my patches. The acoustic row stays the same on every patch with the same blocks with the same settings; I want it to be consistent through every patch change. I have linked Mixer2, Cab2, GraphicEQ1, MultibandCompressor1, Enhancer and Reverb2 each to its own Global Block. Then on all my presets, I created the same effect chain and loaded and linked the settings.
Now when I’m playing and I need to adjust the Graphic EQ, for example, that change is updated automatically to all my patches meaning I don’t have to adjust each patch one by one at the gig, or anywhere for that matter.
Give it a try on an effect block that you want to keep the same. Maybe it’s your Reverb block; you want the different guitar sounds to appear to be all in the same room/environment. Or maybe it’s a quiet delay that’s always there on every patch you play. Whatever it is, Global Blocks will definitely save you time and let you stop guessing if you updated all of your presets with your new amazing delay settings.