Axe FX III

I'm sure it is being planned. I'm curious as to how they'll reconcile the reduced price with the need for three different DSP chips now (one for the UI, one for amps, one for FX).
Not sure about pricing or if this takes into account all three processors, but I find this image interesting. If they upgraded AX8 based on one of the new chips it should be more powerful than the Axe II, and more than twice as powerful as the existing AX8 (and I'm assuming Helix too since they use the same processors). But I know, it's all in the coding. :D

 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Silver Supporting Member
The parameter wheel they used in the original design is already obsolete and unavailable, and it's a wear part. They claim to have enough stock to reasonably support the installed base, but that's inevitably going to be depleted. Then whaddaya do?
If you think you're going to keep your unit that long buy the spare part now.
 

LaXu

Member
I'm sure it is being planned. I'm curious as to how they'll reconcile the reduced price with the need for three different DSP chips now (one for the UI, one for amps, one for FX).
There's no need to reconcile because the chips they use have both a DSP and an ARM processor on as single chip. So like they can do on the AX8 with a single CPU, just use one of those CPUs for the "AX9" and bring in some sensible limitations. That said, I would love to see the ability to use two amps simultaneously on an "AX9". With the AX8 it's a CPU limitation that should not be there on the next one as it would most likely be about as powerful as the Axe-Fx 2.
 
It's not that I find something lacking, but IRs can only do so much for simulating the cab.
As often as this statement has been made, it's based primarily on mythology. Specifically what limitation of an impulse response do you believe falls short of representing the audible attributes of a guitar cab?

I'm sure they leave out many dynamic aspects of the cabinet and speaker.
You are "sure" based on what insights into this subject?

This is probably an area that could be improved to sound even more realistic.
The "area" can definitely be improved. However, it is not the tools that are presently imposing limits, it is the skills of the practitioners. Making the tools more complex will just give unskilled practitioners more rope with which to hang themselves. Sorta like providing parametric equalization. If you have no idea what it can do or how to use it, you're in no position to say there's something wrong with it.
 

LaXu

Member
HAHA.

I came in the thread looking for this. Dude. You have been whinging on the Fractal UI for a decade. It's comedy.
Imagine my disappointment when a decade later their new product brings limited UI improvements. For now I'm sticking with the Axe-Fx 2, writing my own software to interface with it using a MIDI knob controller to give me the kind of on-the-fly control I want and if any company brings out a device that sounds as good as the Axe but with a much better UI then I'm going to buy one. I have been tempted by the Line6 Helix, Yamaha THR100HD and Atomic Amplifirebox of the current units but all of them have their own set of small issues.
 

jaded_musician

Silver Supporting Member
Supporting Member
As often as this statement has been made, it's based primarily on mythology. Specifically what limitation of an impulse response do you believe falls short of representing the audible attributes of a guitar cab?

You are "sure" based on what insights into this subject?

The "area" can definitely be improved. However, it is not the tools that are presently imposing limits, it is the skills of the practitioners. Making the tools more complex will just give unskilled practitioners more rope with which to hang themselves. Sorta like providing parametric equalization. If you have no idea what it can do or how to use it, you're in no position to say there's something wrong with it.
Question for you about the volume levels that the response is captured at as well as the speed of the attack, sustain and decay of the material used. My understanding is that it's sweeping a sine wave to determine the characteristics of the source.

Does a smooth sweep of a sine wave accurately describe how attack transients and short bursts of sound vs sustained sound? Also I would think the volume levels would change how the measurements would react to reflections, speaker breakup, distortion in the signal along the way, etc. Does any of that matter?
 

jaded_musician

Silver Supporting Member
Supporting Member
I'll be very curious to see how the FPGA chip will be used. I have an Antelope Audio ZenTour that uses FPGA instead of traditional DSP processing. From my understanding, the FPGA actually allows you to create analog circuits through it as opposed to trying to model those attributes of a circuit through DSP processing.
 

hippietim

Silver Supporting Member
Everbody already agrees - the Axe sounds amazing. End of story. The sounds don't even need to be discussed. The latest firmware on the Axe II is great.

So what is the Axe III bringing to the table? Better user experience? A larger screen? More knobs? etc...

All of these questions that people are asking are completely valid.
Actually, lots of answers have been provided here, the Fractal forum, and the Axe-FX III page itself. Here's a start:
* Channels concept with many blocks having up to 4 channels
* Gapless switching
* Way more CPU power which allows for much more complex patches
* 2 feedback loops
* 5 minute looper
* Way more factory and user cab slots
* Parameter knobs are buttons
* 8x8 USB interface
* Nice color screen
* Grid has two more rows
* 4 sets of ins and outs that can be placed anywhere in the grid
* Real-time analyzer
* Support for upcoming new foot controllers with configuration integrated into the Axe-FX III
* MIDI block
* Updated amps, reverbs, pitch, delays
 

hippietim

Silver Supporting Member
With batch-editing I mean editing a lot of presets after each other. For example, removing the FXL block from 30 or so presets, or changing a parameter value in a effects block.
The physical controls on the Axe-Fx II (NAV, Page, Exit etc.) let me do that real fast, like executing a macro. A graphical GUI is much nicer but also slower for some tasks.

A command-line is a text-based input system. The Axe-Fx doesn't have a command line (like MS-DOS, or Linux, or the Terminal app on Mac computers).
I just used that for comparison because it also looks ugly but supports fast operations (if you know what you're doing).
A CLI for the Axe would be awesome. You could have some real fun with a scripting language too with hooks into the event sources. Mwhahahahaha
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Silver Supporting Member
Does anyone know if it has the improved noise reduction circuitry that was introduced in the FX8 to improve noise levels when using the 4CM?

8x8 USB interface
What is the 8x8 nature of the USB interface? Eight what? How does it work?
 

redmonda

Member
I'll be very curious to see how the FPGA chip will be used. I have an Antelope Audio ZenTour that uses FPGA instead of traditional DSP processing. From my understanding, the FPGA actually allows you to create analog circuits through it as opposed to trying to model those attributes of a circuit through DSP processing.
FPGA = field prgrammable gate array. Some come with internal analog blocks available, though not all. And the 'analog' circuits are basically just opamps or DACs (digital to analog converters), and likely not the same type you would want to use for building guitar circuits, nor do they likely run at the voltages you'd want for guitar level effects.

An FPGA is useful for creating optimized logic with specific purposes. You can create IR convolvers, etc with optimized circuits within an FPGA that free up other processors for whatever you'd like... but it's not a magic tool. If you were to use an FPGA for modelling, it would still be doing the modelling by processing, you'd just hard-code it into the FPGA.

Granted, these devices are using DSP-centric microcontrollers that are likely more optimized/cost-efficient for modeling, so the FPGA is likely only being used for controlling I/O or the LED screen...

FPGA are powerful, but not cost-efficient. They can do a LOT, but are fairly expensive compared to application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) like DSP chips.

(I'm an EE and our designs use a combination of CPLD, FPGA and ASIC...)
 
Last edited:

LaXu

Member
A CLI for the Axe would be awesome. You could have some real fun with a scripting language too with hooks into the event sources. Mwhahahahaha
That's pretty much how you can use SysEx on the Axe-Fx 2 already. If you are willing to take the effort you could make for example the synth block do all kinds of wacky things. Of course it's nowhere near as easy as using a higher level language.
 

iaresee

Member
I'll be very curious to see how the FPGA chip will be used. I have an Antelope Audio ZenTour that uses FPGA instead of traditional DSP processing. From my understanding, the FPGA actually allows you to create analog circuits through it as opposed to trying to model those attributes of a circuit through DSP processing.
Display driver, some system management. That’s what all the FPGAs in previous generation Axe-Fx boxes have done. It doesn’t process audio.
 


Top