*WARNING* FW 12.04 contains some FC bugs.

FW 12.05 has been released that rolls-back the FC changes of 12.04. https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/axe-fx-iii-firmware-release-version-12-05.159156/

Reported FC bugs:

  • Any Increment/Decrement functions (Bank, Preset, Scene, Channel) multiplies the value by 3. If Preset is set to +1, 3 Presets are advanced. If Preset is set to +2, 6 Presets are advanced, and so on, for both + and – functions.
  • Pressing the Record switch for the Looper with Looper block in the preset activates Record, Play, and Overdub at the same time. Recording does not happen. Pressing Play or Stop (if available on Once) is the only way to exit this state.

Always do a full backup with Fractal-Bot before loading any new firmware so you can restore later


Firmware 12.04 for the Axe-Fx III has been released. Click here to visit the forum download link. Below are the release notes with some explanations added.

Click here for the complete list of Release Notes for the Axe-Fx III.


  • Updated the default value of P.A. Cathode Bias Resistor for some models. Existing presets are NOT changed. The new default values are listed here if you want to apply them to your presets:
    • AC-20 DLX: 61%
    • Boutique 1,2: 48%
    • Blankenship Leeds: 58%
    • Car Roamer: 56%
    • Class-A 15W TB: 56%
    • Class-A 30W: 46%
    • Citrus A30: 56%
    • Citrus Terrier: 60%
    • Deluxe Tweed: 49%
    • Div/13 CJ: 56%
    • Div/13 FT37: 56%
    • FAS Class-A: 56%
    • Gibtone Scout: 76%
    • Hot Kitty: 50%
    • Matchbox D30: 59%
    • Nuclear Tone: 78%
    • Wrecker Liverpool: 59%

In the Owner’s Manual and Block Guide, this is called “P.A. Cathode Resonance” and in the Axe-Fx III it is called “P.A Cathode Resistance”. The manual describes it as follows

There are two types of power tube bias: fixed bias and cathode bias. In a cathode biased amp a resistor is placed between the power tube cathode and ground thereby self-biasing the tube. This parameter sets the value of the virtual cathode resistor. Higher values result in a more negative bias and push operation towards Class-B, resulting in more crossover distortion.

This parameter is meant to be adjusted on Class-A amps, as listed above in the release note.

Cathode Resistance parameter in the Amp block Advanced tab

As it mentions “existing presets are not changed,” you will not hear these new Defaults on any presets already on the Axe-Fx III when this new firmware is loaded, meaning there should be no change to your presets (Factory or custom). This means to hear the difference of the new defaults, either change Amp types (what is known as a “soft reset”) or create a new Preset from scratch by going to a blank Preset slot or simply deleting and re-adding the Amp block. Again a soft reset of the amp block (choose another amp type then back to the original) will do the same thing.

It seems through research or testing, Fractal has determined “better” default values for these amps and this parameter.

Feel free to try the new defaults, stick to what you had before, or try something completely different. Just know that moving forward, any new Presets created or any Amp soft resets will have these new defaults. So there may be a difference between your old and newer Presets as you create them. This parameter typically causes a subtle change, so you may not hear or feel any difference regardless.

Previous default values were as follows:

Old Defaults

  • AC-20 DLX: 80%
  • Boutique 1,2: 71.4%
  • Blankenship Leeds: 72.4%
  • Car Roamer: 70%
  • Class-A 15W TB: 83%
  • Class-A 30W: 70%
  • Citrus A30: 70%
  • Citrus Terrier: 80%
  • Deluxe Tweed: 70%
  • Div/13 CJ: 70%
  • Div/13 FT37: 70%
  • FAS Class-A: 70%
  • Gibtone Scout: 70%
  • Hot Kitty: 70%
  • Matchbox D30: 75%
  • Nuclear Tone: 68%
  • Wrecker Liverpool: 70%
New Defaults

  • AC-20 DLX: 61%
  • Boutique 1,2: 48%
  • Blankenship Leeds: 58%
  • Car Roamer: 56%
  • Class-A 15W TB: 56%
  • Class-A 30W: 46%
  • Citrus A30: 56%
  • Citrus Terrier: 60%
  • Deluxe Tweed: 49%
  • Div/13 CJ: 56%
  • Div/13 FT37: 56%
  • FAS Class-A: 56%
  • Gibtone Scout: 76%
  • Hot Kitty: 50%
  • Matchbox D30: 59%
  • Nuclear Tone: 78%
  • Wrecker Liverpool: 59%

  • Improved pedal calibration.

No further information was given, but this most likely increases the accuracy of the Pedal Calibration process for the on-board Pedal Jacks of the Axe-Fx III. It’s unknown if this affects the FC Pedal Jacks calibration.


  • Changed parameter value display to update if control is attached to modifier.

In this photo, the Expression Pedal is heel down, and the Wah Control Knob shows a reading of 0.00

Here the Expression Pedal is just over 1/2 way up, and the Wah Control Knob shows a reading of 6.06 corresponding with the pedal position.

Before this firmware, if you have a modifier attached to any parameter – like an expression pedal or LFO – the virtual knob itself would turn to show that it’s working, but the numbers/value above would not change, instead staying set to the last saved value to indicate the PC Reset value. All Fractal gear worked this way.

Now, as you use your expression pedal or LFO, the number/value does change in real-time as the modifier works. This is a long standing request for all past Fractal gear, though it isn’t too informative unless you are looking at the Edit page of that block and parameter.

Secondary knob position indicators make it easy to see where the knob is set

In addition to this, all Knob type parameters now have an additional indicator on the outside of the knob to better show the value of the Knob. So instead of just the “notch” in the middle of the Knob that moves as you change it, an additional “outline” in yellow appears representing the position. Nice visual update that makes it easier to see things.


  • Added Triple Crest amp models based on a Mesa Triple Crown TC-100. Note that the actual amp’s “Tight” switch engages a built-in Tube Screamer circuit which can be replicated using a Drive block or the Amp block’s internal Boost feature.

A new amp!

Photo from mesaboogie.com

The product description from Mesa Boogie says

Built around 4xEL34s the TC-100 is designed to feature the best sonic characteristics of rock-inspired amps from the 70s up through today.

Channel 1 (Clean) Features: Normal or Drive Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls

Channel 2 (LO Gain) Features: Normal or Tight Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls

Channel 3 (HI Gain) Features: Normal or Tight Modes – Independent Gain, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Reverb (rear panel), Master & Multi-Soak Power Controls

The Multi-Soak feature is not needed on the Axe-Fx, as we can adjust the loudness of the amp using the many Level controls available without the need for a physical “power-soak” or “variac” style of volume reduction on a real amp.

Channels 2 and 3 from this amp have been added to the Axe-Fx III with Amp Types called “Triple Crest 2” and “Triple Crest 3”. Be sure to look in the Amp block itself, and not for a new Preset.


  • Fixed a couple mistakes in Citrus Terrier amp model.
  • Fixed clicking when engaging/bypassing effects which change input impedance.
  • Fixed some parameters that should be modifiable (i.e. Chorus Rate, Rotary Rate, etc.) are not displayed as such.

  • FC: Add FC Views to allow access to all 12 switches from the FC-6.

“Views” were a function added during FM3 development. An FC Layout has a maximum of 12 switch definitions to match with the FC12, the largest FC available. An FC6 however only has 6 physical switches, yet the Layout still holds 12 switch definitions.

Before Views were added, those 6 other switch definitions were basically “wasted” as there was no way to access them with the FC6. Now Views allow you to “shift the view” of the group of switches you’re using from the full Layout. View 1 would be the first 6 switches, and View 2 would be the other 6 switches. Now you can define all 12 switches in each Layout and simply change Views during the gig to access them all. No more wasted switches!

My FM3 Footswitch Designs and Concepts article mentions Views as I progressively describe different ways to use the FC style switches to arrange setups. The FC Footswitch Functions Guide has an excellent explanation of this. Here’s a screenshot of a diagram explaining Views:

Find Views as a new FC Switch Category. Consider putting it on a Switch’s Hold function to change what the 6 Switches are showing without changing Layouts completely.

Find Views as a new switch category


  • FC: Add ‘Current’ display options for the toggle functions.

For Toggle functions on the FC, you could only show the Destination name

Now we have the option to show the Current name instead

Previously, for Toggle functions on the FCs – like Scene Toggle, Channel Toggle, etc. – we could only set the switch to tell us the Destination Name. This means the switch’s mini-LCD would always show what you would toggle to. Now we have the option for the switch mini-LCD to tell us what is currently selected.

So if you had a switch set to Toggle between Scene 1 and Scene 2, if you were on Scene 1, with Destination Name set, the Switch would show “Scene 2” as that is where you would go if you press the switch. With the new Current Name option, the Switch will show “Scene 1” if you are on Scene 1.

Some people like the switches to show where it will take you when pressed (the previous default), and others requested for the switch to remind them of where they currently are, and they would remember what would happen if they hit the switch. You’ll have to decide your preferred labeling here.


  • FC: Mini-LCD text for Per-Preset Placeholders with no functions assigned to them.

Old label method of blank Per-Preset placeholders

New label method of blank Per-Preset placeholders

Per-Preset switches are a popular option for keeping the same Layout, but having the switches change functions as you change Presets. Previously, a blank Placeholder would appear as blank on the FC mini-LCDs. Now the Placeholder number is shown on the mini-LCD to help keep track of why that switch is blank when it’s supposed to be a something!


  • FC: Exit Tuner when a switch is tapped if that switch has Tuner as a Hold function.

A common way to setup the FC is to have a switch be Tap-Tempo on the Tap function, and Tuner on the Hold function. Lots of gear arranges these 2 functions this way, so it makes sense to many people.

However, with the FCs, if Tuner was on a Hold function, in order to exit from the Tuner, you had to Hold the switch again. Most other gear allowed you to Tap the switch to exit the Tuner. Now the FCs let you exit a Hold function Tuner with a Tap on the same switch.

This small change makes tuning much easier during the gig, as it’s easy to forget to HOLD the switch to exit.