Did you see Rhett Shull's review of the Axe-Fx III?

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LaXu

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The Axe-Fx Standard/Ultra/2 was rather horrid to use from the front panel. I used these for years and the Axe-Edit software was the saving grace. I would have sent my Standard back without it. Often just doing some small tweaks to anything from the front panel was awkward with the way it worked.

Axe-Fx 3/FM3/FM9 has a half-assed refactor of the original UI. The display is bigger and in color, more controls fit on screen at once, the A/B/C/D knobs are now in a sensible position under the screen and there's one more knob. Not having to remember the knob position vs mapping is a huge help.

They did next to nothing about the button layout and navigation. It's still that awkward big knob surrounded by buttons placed around it and the nav section that is spaced a bit too far apart. Most of the UI software still works the same way too for better or worse. Part of this may be because the Axe-Fx 2 processor was discontinued so they had to expedite development of the 3rd gen Axe-Fx.

With the addition of the home screen, access to the layout grid became increasingly awkward when there's no longer a dedicated button for it but you have to hit one of the knobs or the Enter button but only if you are in the home screen. Accessing amp/cab is no longer one shortcut button away and you either need to scroll to the performance view or go through the layout grid or spam Edit until you get there.

It's a few steps forward, few steps back. It took them several years to do something as simple as shortcut buttons for going back to previous block or quickly going to common blocks. It helps, a lot in fact.

Yes people learn to use the units just fine, even get fast at it but it's never a joy to work with because there's a good bit of mental "ok, what do I press/turn now" type thinking involved because it lacks consistency as I outlined in some other post. It's got an engineer type design mentality to the whole thing that makes it more complicated for the non-power user to operate than it needs to be.

With Cliff claiming he's using these 99% from the front panel (post in their now locked Rhett Shull review thread), I don't know what to say other than he prefers things like that. Considering he's someone seeking perfection for his modeling tech it amazes me if he does not see the various pitfalls in their current UI design. I kind of want to see a "Cliff using the front panel" video in case I am missing something on how these are meant to be used.

My bigger beef with Fractal is their refusal to address the issues. Non-wishlist UI issue threads often get locked quickly on their forums and for a company celebrated for their rapid firmware updates, the near complete lack of UI updates is disappointing. Lots of low hanging fruit suggested by yours truly and others. If they could do even one or two UI improvements for every major firmware release that would trickle to a lot of improvement over time.

EDIT: For the record I'm not expecting the world here, just some small improvements here and there would make it better.
 
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JiveTurkey

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Unit with a terrible name (axe fx iii mk 2) and tacky glowing logo has a lousy UI. Shocked.

it always seemed like engineer designed UI
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Whizzinby

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I’ve actually come to like Beato and Shull.

Beato can be a little self absorbed but at least he’s built a big channel that doesn’t do sponsored and branded content. He’ll shill his book, but that fair. I have a handful of his theory/scales videos saved that are fantastic.

Shull gets points for being one of the few people to pump the brakes on the QC hype machine prelaunch. My music preferences couldn’t be any different but there are only so many 5150/5153/Iconic shootouts a man can watch.
 

JiveTurkey

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I’ve actually come to like Beato and Shull.

Beato can be a little self absorbed but at least he’s built a big channel that doesn’t do sponsored and branded content. He’ll shill his book, but that fair. I have a handful of his theory/scales videos saved that are fantastic.

Shull gets points for being one of the few people to pump the brakes on the QC hype machine prelaunch. My music preferences couldn’t be any different but there are only so many 5150/5153/Iconic shootouts a man can watch.
I'd say his tone and amp choices are completely removed from mine but sound great for their intended purposes. His guitar choices, however; are always gross. He said; cognizant of his (mostly) Made In Indo guitar collection :anon
 

Husky

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The Fractal crowd gets really wishy-washy when Cliff's creations are criticized. The Suhr crowd here is the same way.

As a disclaimer, I own both and think they're fantastic. My only issue with Fractal is the antiquated UI and only issue with Suhr is $3,000 guitars should come with a case (though their gigbag is stellar).
You can order a hard case if you like ;-)
 

Jarick

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I’ve actually come to like Beato and Shull.

Beato can be a little self absorbed but at least he’s built a big channel that doesn’t do sponsored and branded content. He’ll shill his book, but that fair. I have a handful of his theory/scales videos saved that are fantastic.

Shull gets points for being one of the few people to pump the brakes on the QC hype machine prelaunch. My music preferences couldn’t be any different but there are only so many 5150/5153/Iconic shootouts a man can watch.

Beato has such a crazy good ear and ability to decipher and apply music theory. I appreciate his videos for that. I don't really watch his reaction videos or the clickbait stuff...like he'll say something outrageous and then have to make some kind of weird response video. It works for clicks and that gets him paid, but I'm not interested.

Rhett Shull seems to make videos that sometimes have clickbait titles but the content tends to be really good. He strikes me as someone who knows he needs to play the game to make a living off YouTube but doesn't really enjoy doing so.

A very underrated channel is "Late Night Lessons" with David Brewster. He's an incredibly good guitarist and teacher who also has a great ear and knows his theory. He's very chill without any clickbait at all. And his rig is hilarious, it's an old Behringer V Amp that he's probably used for 20 years and actually sounds pretty good in his room.
 
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Note: its not because its not intuitive that you cannot be good at it. Just like you can pilot a 747 aircraft, but sitting in the cockpit without instruction, it might be a bit overwhelming.

Exactly. You CAN learn the UI. But still...

I'm no Axe-Fx noob. I've owned every version of it they've ever made. I've gigged them. I've recorded with them. I like them. But Fractal units seem to be the only ones where using the editor exclusively to dial in tones puts you at a big disadvantage when you don't have a computer available and need to make changes. Like, seriously, I once struggled for 15 minutes on how to help a bandmate do something that is really simple using the editor but neither of us could figure it out on the UI. All the other units I've owned and gigged never presented me with that kind of frustration.

Maybe this whole "Axe-Fx has an unintuitive UI" is starting to sound like a broken record and everyone wants it to go away, but what's the alternative? Never call it out? Never get improvements to it? Even Neural recognized the need for putting a great UI first, but let's not go down the rest of that thread. :D
 

Orvillain

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Exactly. You CAN learn the UI. But still...

I'm no Axe-Fx noob. I've owned every version of it they've ever made. I've gigged them. I've recorded with them. I like them. But Fractal units seem to be the only ones where using the editor exclusively to dial in tones puts you at a big disadvantage when you don't have a computer available and need to make changes. Like, seriously, I once struggled for 15 minutes on how to help a bandmate do something that is really simple using the editor but neither of us could figure it out on the UI. All the other units I've owned and gigged never presented me with that kind of frustration.

Maybe this whole "Axe-Fx has an unintuitive UI" is starting to sound like a broken record and everyone wants it to go away, but what's the alternative? Never call it out? Never get improvements to it? Even Neural recognized the need for putting a great UI first, but let's not go down the rest of that thread. :D

Try calling out the fact that the Kemper actually isn't really all that accurate..... see where that gets you! :rotflmao
 

JasonE

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707
I think some of the difference of opinion on the ability to edit something on the face of the unit depends on how people are using the unit. For me, in the past with my Ultra I was unable to gig with it due to the UI. I was dragging my laptop to gigs and keeping it connected so I could make tweaks when needed. I finally just gave up and went back to an amp. I have the FM9 now. It is an improvement but I can still see there will be issues when you don't think of the exact parameters to put in the page you can get to quickly. When I have had these units in my home and connected to my computer, where speed was not a requirement, I was able to make the tweaks I wanted and moved on. I have the feeling that these two scenarios are a big factor in whether someone thinks it needs improved.
 
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