There is no Scene Mode on the MFC-101. There is also no Scene Mode on the Axe-Fx II. Scenes are always “on” or “active” with the Axe-Fx II, so there is no mode to enable or turn on. Every Preset of the Axe-Fx II loads Scene 1 by default. If you never use Scenes 2-8, then you technically are using “Preset #xxx, Scene 1.”
Therefore on the MFC-101, loading a Preset with a Preset switch loads “Preset #xxx, Scene 1” as well.
However, many people confuse the Reveal switch function as Scene Mode.
By default, the MFC-101 Switches 1-5 are Preset switches.
This means by default
Switch 1= Preset 1
Switch 2= Preset 2
Switch 3= Preset 3
Switch 4= Preset 4
Switch 5= Preset 5
However, every Preset Switch also has an underlying Instant Access (IA) or Effect function as well. Pressing the Reveal Switch temporarily “reveals” these functions, which can also be described as turning a Preset Switch into an IA Switch while in Reveal Mode.
The IA functions of Switches 1-5 just so happen to be Scenes 1-5. So at default settings, pressing the Reveal switch will change Switches 1-5 to
Switch 1= Scene 1
Switch 2= Scene 2
Switch 3= Scene 3
Switch 4= Scene 4
Switch 5= Scene 5
It is this function – the changing of Presets to Scenes using the Reveal switch at default settings – to which people erroneously refer to as “Scene Mode.” Since the Reveal switch just so happens to change Presets to Scenes, people have called it “Scene Mode.”
However, the IA functions of the switches can be set to anything. Instead of Scenes 1-5, they could be set to
Switch 1= Delay 1 on/off
Switch 2= Reverb 1 on/off
Switch 3= Reverb 1 XY
Switch 4= Drive 1 on/off
Switch 5= Pitch 1 on/off
Switches 1-5 IA functions have the exact same capabilities as the other Switches 6-17, which by default are IA switches.
If the IA functions of Switches 1-5 were not Scene 1-5 by default, it’s possible that the term “Scene Mode” would never have been created. However, it does make sense from a usability standpoint to have the Reveal switch change Presets to Scenes.
That said, a number of users actually reprogram the MFC-101 so that Switches 6-10 are Scenes, while keeping Switches 1-5 as Presets. This means that the Scenes are always available, never “unrevealed” when not using the Reveal switch.
If you use Scenes a lot during your performances, perhaps change their location from “under” the Preset Switches to other Switches, as just mentioned above.
You can also change the Bank Size parameter from the default of 5 (5 Preset Switches) to something less than 5. Maybe 2 preset switches, so
Switch 1= Preset 1
Switch 2= Preset 2
Switch 3= Scene 1
Switch 4= Scene 2
Switch 5= Scene 3
You can even set the Bank Size to 0 meaning there are no Preset switches, allowing 17 IA functions. To change presets, simply press the Bank Up or Down switches to change one at a time. If you go from default settings and just change Bank Size to 0, now switches 1-5 are Scenes and 6-17 are the same IA switches as before – lots of switches for control! Then you can re-arrange your presets on the Axe-Fx II in a particular order for a show (using Axe-Edit Axe-Manage is the easiest way to do this) and simply Bank Up to go from Preset to Preset in order.
What you may not want to choose, though, is a Bank Size setting of 1. This is a strange setting where Switch 1 is a Preset, and all other switches are IA. However, since there is only 1 Preset switch, the only way to change Presets is to use the Bank Up/Down switches. This is the same as Bank Size 0, but you actually lose the use of 1 switch as an IA function. Pressing the single Preset switch really doesn’t have any functionality (there are some very specific uses, but rarely desired), so it’s best to choose Bank Size 0 for the most IA functions, and never Bank Size 1.
A recent thread on the FAS Forum discusses this concept: