X/Y switching

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The information on this page supplements the official manuals.



X/Y switching: supported by which Fractal Audio products?

About X/Y switching

Fractal Audio:
"The idea behind X/Y is that people often have multiple distortion/chorus/delay/etc. pedals on their board but they rarely have more than one on at a time. So rather than creating more instances of effects, which sucks up CPU, have each instance capable of more than one sound."

X/Y-switching always occurs at block level, never at preset level.

There's no crossfading when switching between X and Y. If you want crossfading, use Scene Controllers as an alternative to X/Y switching.

Blocks that support X/Y

Axe-Fx II Mark I and II: Amp, Cab, Chorus, Delay, Drive, Flanger, Phaser, Pitch, Reverb, Wah, Rotary.

Axe-Fx II XL and XL+: Amp, Cab, Chorus, Compressor/Dynamics, Delay, Drive, Flanger, GEQ, Gate, Mixer, PEQ, Phaser, Pitch, Rotary, Reverb, Tremolo, Wah.

AX8: Amp, Cab, Chorus, Compressor/Dynamics, Delay, Drive, Filter, Flanger, Gate, Multi Delay, Phaser, Pitch, Rotary, Reverb, Tremolo, Wah.

FX8: Chorus, Compressor/Dynamics, Delay, Drive, Filter, Flanger, Gate, MIDI, Multi Delay, Phaser, Pitch, Relay, Rotary, Reverb, Tremolo, Wah.

Fractal Audio:
"Any blocks that have X/Y on the XL but not on the Mark II will not import the bypass state as that is stored differently. You need to manually adjust the bypass state after import." source

How to switch between X and Y

On hardware

Axe-Fx II:

FX8 and AX8:

With scenes

The X/Y state of an effect can vary per scene. This is one of the advantages of using scenes.

In the editors

Press the "X" key on the keyboard to switch a block between X and Y in the software editor.

The X/Y-states of the blocks are displayed in the software editor, without needing to select the block first.

On the MFC-101 and other MIDI controllers

There's a dedicated MIDI CC for most blocks (not all) that offer X/Y switching. They are listed in the manuals. Assign this CC to a switch to alternate between X and Y.

You can configure X/Y effect blocks to engage the effect in either X or Y mode. Example: (source)

  1. IA Switch 1, ON message: DELAY 1 ON, DELAY 1 X (CC#47:127, CC#106: 127)
  2. IA Switch 1, OFF message: DELAY 1 OFF, DELAY 1 X (CC#47:0, CC#106: 127)
  3. IA Switch 2, OFF message: DELAY 1 ON, DELAY 1 Y (CC#47:127, CC#106: 0)
  4. IA Switch 2, OFF message: DELAY 1 OFF, DELAY 1 Y (CC#47:0, CC#106: 0)

Or use a controller's "group" or "linked switches" feature.

On the MFC-101 X is green, Y is red. If you prefer the default state to be green, use Y as the default state.

As said, not all effect blocks that support X/Y have a specific MIDI CC for that task. The FX8 lets you assign ne, but the Axe-Fx does not. There's a way around this. Use a MIDI Monitor to view the sysex command that switches the block between X/Y. Now program a switch on the MFC using that data.

Audio gap when switching the Amp block between X and Y

Switching an Amp block between X and Y will cause a brief gap in the audio.

Indication of the X/Y state

The visual X/Y state of effects blocks is shown in the software editors.

On the AX8 the current X/Y state of the selected block is shown at the bottom of the Layout page.

On the Axe-Fx II and FX8 the current X/Y state of the selected block is shown in an effect block's EDIT menu (not on the Layout page).

X/Y switching and CPU usage

CPU usage is calculated using the current state of a block (X or Y). When switching an effect between X and Y, the preset's CPU usage may change.

Copy and swap X/Y settings

X and Y effect settings can be copied using the front panel of the Axe-Fx II: press X or Y twice quickly.

Swapping X and Y always requires use of a software editor.

Resetting a block and X/Y settings

Resetting an effect block on the hardware resets the parameters to their default values. This only applies to the current state: X or Y. To reset the entire block, switch to the other state and repeat the process (or use the software editor to initialize the entire block).

Controllers/modifiers and X/Y settings

When a controller is assigned to a parameter, it always applies to both X and Y. It's not possible to have different modifier settings for X and Y, the architecture doesn't allow for this. source

Recall Effect and X/Y settings

Using Recall Effect will always import all effect block settings: X and Y. You can't use Recall Effect to copy only X or only Y settings. Use the software editor to copy and paste X-only or Y-only settings.

Use X/Y switching to compare sounds and settings

X/Y switching offers an easy way to compare sounds when tweaking. Example:

  1. Go to an AMP block, state "X".
  2. Double-click "Y" on the front panel to copy the "X" settings into "Y".
  3. Select X or Y and adjust settings.
  4. Now alternate between X and Y to see and hear the differences.

You can also do this in the software editor.

This also offers an easy method to quickly see non-default settings, by resetting X or Y to default.

An alternative approach to comparing sounds on the Axe-Fx II: save a preset as a Snapshot in the editor. Select Revert to get the original sound back. Then drag and drop the snapshot file into the editor.

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