Always consult the Owners Manuals first

Tempo and Metronome

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Tempo menu

When tapping the Tempo button or switch, the Tempo menu appears. It will disappear after a few seconds. Some devices let you specify how long it stays on-screen (Global menu).

On the Axe-Fx III, it's also a shortcut to the Controllers menu.

Tempo: global or preset

You can specify in the Tempo menu whether you want the tempo to operate globally (across all presets) or per preset.

Tapping tempo

The Global menu lets you specify how Tap Tempo works:

  • Average: averages the tempo to the last ten taps. Usually a wise choice.
  • Last Two: uses only the most recent two taps to determine the tempo. Acts faster but also less precise.

Setting tempo in effects

You can assign effect parameters such as Time or Rate to a specific tempo, like 1/4 or 1/8 Dotted, instead of milliseconds. That will make the effect depend on the global or preset tempo. Tapping a different tempo will change the rate of the effect.

Important: after assigning a parameter to a tempo, you can no longer adjust the time in the effect!

Accuracy of the Tempo LED

"The tempo LED is handled by a low-priority thread so it isn't rock solid and the higher the CPU usage the less solid it will be." source

Tempo on the Axe-Fx III

Tempo is part of the internal controllers. The Controllers block on the Axe-Fx III has 4 channels. This means that each preset can have 4 different tempos.

Using Tempo to auto-activate a Delay

Read this.

Tempo and MIDI

MIDI CCs

  • Tempo: defaults to CC 14 on the Axe-Fx II, AX8 and FX8. Keep it this way to avoid issues.
  • Metronome: CC 122 (not supported on Axe-Fx III).

Showing the tempo on a foot controller

The Axe-Fx II, MFC-1010, AX8 and FX8 show the tempo.

Fractal Audio's FC series indicate the preset tempo on an Axe-Fx III. 3rd-party MIDI controllers can also show tempo when they have been programmed to act as a client to the Axe-Fx III, using Fractal Audio's protocol. Regular MIDI does not suffice to accomplish. The Axe-Fx III does not provide a Send Realtime Sysex parameter anymore.

MIDI Clock

The Axe-Fx II and III, FX8 and AX8 do not transmit MIDI Clock to other devices. They can process an incoming MIDI clock signal.

Tempo guide

The Owner's Manual contains a guide a Tempo Cross Reference guide.

Tempo in SysEx

Here's a list of all SysEx commands for each tempo setting in the Delay 1 and Delay 2 blocks.

Metronome

The Axe-Fx II, AX8 and FX8 can emit a metronome signal. The metronome is located in the Tempo menu. You can start the metronome using a switch (assigned to the Metronome's MIDI CC) or through the Tempo menu. The metronome plays through Output 1 only.

The Axe-FX III does not contain a metronome.

Troubleshooting

Ticking tempo noise

Audible bleed-through of the tempo signal can occur when the MIDI cable is not properly shielded.