Always consult the official Owners Manuals and Guides first.
Information about the FM3 may be incomplete or wrong, it's being worked on.
This FAQ provides answers to the most common questions, posted on the Fractal Audio forum. So you may also refer to this page as the FAFQ: Frequently Asked Forum Questions.
This FAQ is still being constructed: more content will be added.
- 1 General
- 1.1 I'm new to modeling. Where do I start?
- 1.2 I bought a second-hand unit. How should I proceed?
- 1.3 Something's not right. What's the cause?
- 1.4 The unit crashes after powering up. What can I do?
- 1.5 Does it hurt the unit to leave it switched on?
- 1.6 Why is my sound at rehearsals and gigs not as great as at home?
- 1.7 My presets suddenly sound different, very loud, or very harsh. Why?
- 2 Connecting to other hardware
- 3 Firmware updates
- 3.1 How do I update the firmware of my unit?
- 3.2 Will updating my unit erase my presets?
- 3.3 After installing new firmware, the unit no longer boots. What should I do?
- 3.4 I installed new firmware and something is not right. Will reinstalling the firmware fix this?
- 3.5 When will the editor be updated to match the firmware that just has been released?
- 3.6 I updated to the beta/recent release firmware, and I don't see the new feature in the editor?
- 3.7 I installed an updated editor, but it still doesn't seem to work right?
- 3.8 Where can I get a copy of older versions of the firmware or editor?
- 3.9 Do I need to reset the Amp blocks in my presets after updating the firmware?
- 4 Amp and Cab models
- 4.1 Where can I find the names of the real amps on which the models are based?
- 4.2 Where can I find more information about the stock cabs?
- 4.3 Why doesn’t this virtual amp model sound the same as my real amp?
- 4.4 Is a generic preamp-only or power amp-only amp type available?
- 4.5 What happens when I reset an Amp block?
- 4.6 Is it possible to show (only) the amp controls that are present on the modeled amp?
- 5 Managing presets and scenes
- 5.1 How do I return to a scene in the state I left it?
- 5.2 How do I import a preset created on another FAS product?
- 5.3 Can I overwrite factory presets?
- 5.4 How do I reload a factory preset?
- 5.5 How do I copy X/Y settings or a channel?
- 5.6 Can each scene within a single preset contain different blocks?
- 6 Editing presets and effects
- 6.1 Input Level in I/O menu: does it prevent output clipping or make the signal softer or louder?
- 6.2 What's phase cancellation or comb filtering, and why should I worry?
- 6.3 Why does the volume decrease or increase when I bypass an effect in a parallel row?
- 6.4 How do I lower the CPU usage of a preset?
- 6.5 Why should I place an effect before (PRE) or after (POST) the amp or cab?
- 6.6 Why is my block stuck in bypass mode?
- 6.7 Where do I find the Metronome settings?
- 6.8 Does the device provide a Limiter?
- 6.9 Why don't I hear repeats from the 2290 delay type?
- 6.10 Why can't I adjust the time (milliseconds) in a Delay block?
- 6.11 How do I boost the volume level of my solos?
- 6.12 Why don't the fuzz models sound and respond as their real counterparts?
- 6.13 Where do I find more information about a Drive model?
- 6.14 Why am I hearing clicks and crackling noise in my preset?
- 7 Axe-Fx III
- 7.1 The display shows several lines of text information on startup. Is this normal?
- 7.2 Why is the output level of the Axe-Fx III lower than that of the II?
- 7.3 Can I monitor the signal from Output 2, 3 or 4 through my headphones?
- 7.4 I want to use Input/Output 2, 3 or 4 as an effects loop but I don't hear the signal?
- 8 FM3
- 9 AX8 and FX8
- 10 Software editors, Fractal-Bot
- 10.1 Why doesn't the editor or Fractal-Bot recognize the unit?
- 10.2 Does the editor allow offline editing?
- 10.3 Why do I have to press Save twice when changing the preset title?
- 10.4 How do I use Axe-Manage?
- 10.5 Do I have to convert IRs in .wav format before using them in Axe-Edit III?
- 10.6 Is there be a mobile version of the editor?
- 10.7 When I double-click a control in the editor, does it reset to the correct default value?
- 11 FC-6 and FC-12 controllers
- 12 MFC-101
I'm new to modeling. Where do I start?
Start here: Amp and Cab modeling for beginners.
I bought a second-hand unit. How should I proceed?
- Download and install the software driver for the unit, if required.
- Use Fractal-Bot to backup the contents of the unit.
- Go to the Utility menu and reset the system parameters.
- Download the latest set of factory presets from www.fractalaudio.com and install them using Fractal-Bot.
- Install the editor.
Something's not right. What's the cause?
The trouble is almost always a cable, connector, a volume knob setting, an exhausted battery, or something else very basic.
In case of trouble, try the headphones output first to be able to pinpoint the cause.
Also try this: Reset system parameters.
The unit crashes after powering up. What can I do?
This may be caused by a corrupt preset. Bypass the preset using this method.
Does it hurt the unit to leave it switched on?
Why is my sound at rehearsals and gigs not as great as at home?
There are two reasons that contribute to this experience:
- the characteristics of closed-miked sound
- the Fletcher-Munson curve
Luckily, you can do something about it: continue here ...
My presets suddenly sound different, very loud, or very harsh. Why?
- Perhaps you disconnected an expression pedal that controlled your Wah, and now all your presets with a Wah block have the Wah enabled.
- Verify that Power Amp Modeling in the Global menu is not turned off.
- Verify that Cabinet Modeling in the Global menu is not turned off.
- If you're hearing crackling noises, check the CPU usage of the preset.
Connecting to other hardware
Which end of a Humbuster cable goes where?
A Humbuster cable has a "mono" (one stripe) and a "stereo" (two stripes) end. The 'stereo" end goes into the output of the Fractal Audio device. More ...
How do I get that low end thump from my traditional guitar cabinet?
A modeler doesn't interact with a solid state amp and a traditional guitar cabinet in the same way that a tube power amp does. To get the traditional speaker cab to resonate, you have to select the correct low frequency (which the modeler can't automatically detect). There are three ways:
- Use a dedicated hardware meter (like from Daytona Audio) to measure the speaker
- Send a Sine wave (using the Synth block) to the speaker and change the frequency until you hear and feel the speaker resonate. Set Low Resonant Frequency in the Amp block to that frequency.
- Disable the Cab block in the preset. Add a Filter after the Amp block, set to Peaking, Q at 5 and Gain at 10 dB. Start at 50 Hz, play some chugga-chugga (or use the Looper) and slowly adjust the frequency until you hear and feel the cabinet resonate. Remove the filter block, enable the Cab, and set the Amp block's Low Resonant Frequency to match.
Can I change the sample rate of the unit to above 48kHz?
Why don't I hear the USB / AES / SPDIF signal from my computer?
Adjust the Return Level parameter in the I/O menu. More ...
What is FRFR?
FRFR stands for “full-range, flat response.” This acronym is used to describe a “neutral” speaker or speaker system that is designed to reproduce the entire audible spectrum of 20 Hz – 20kHz without emphasis or de-emphasis. Examples of FRFR systems would include studio monitors and properly designed PA systems or components. Many manufacturers are also offering FRFR systems designed specifically for direct guitar applications.
How do I update the firmware of my unit?
Will updating my unit erase my presets?
After installing new firmware, the unit no longer boots. What should I do?
I installed new firmware and something is not right. Will reinstalling the firmware fix this?
The official response to this is that reinstalling the same firmware will not fix an issue resulting from installing new firmware. More ...
When will the editor be updated to match the firmware that just has been released?
Soon. Editor updates are provided once a new, non-beta, firmware has been released. Editor updates usually lag by no more than a couple of business days.
I updated to the beta/recent release firmware, and I don't see the new feature in the editor?
Sometimes a new version of the editor has to be released and installed to support the new firmware feature. Wait for the release.
I installed an updated editor, but it still doesn't seem to work right?
If you installed the updated editor that was released to support the new feature, and it won't work as expected, try refreshing its definitions.
Where can I get a copy of older versions of the firmware or editor?
Try AxeFX Archive.
Do I need to reset the Amp blocks in my presets after updating the firmware?
No. Only if the firmware release notes tell you to do so. More ...
Amp and Cab models
Where can I find the names of the real amps on which the models are based?
For in-depth information about each amp model, read Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amp Models.
Where can I find more information about the stock cabs?
Why doesn’t this virtual amp model sound the same as my real amp?
The sound of a traditional amp (combo or head + cab) is often referred to as: amp in the room. The use of a speaker cabinet with its specific directional characteristics, not being miked, differs greatly from a close-miked speaker, captured as an IR, which is then used in a direct signal going to a mixer or studio monitors or FR amplification.
The direct signal has more lows and highs too because of the proximity effect (distance between mic and speaker). Also, the directivity of studio monitors and FR speakers differs greatly from guitar speakers.
If you want the same sound, use the FAS modeler without cabinet modeling and amplify it:
- with Power Amp Modeling enabled: through a neutral power amp and a traditional guitar cabinet
- with Power Amp Modeling disabled: through a traditional guitar tube amp and a traditional guitar cabinet
Is a generic preamp-only or power amp-only amp type available?
No. But you can disable the power amp section of any Amp block by setting Supply Sag to "0". And you can use the TUBE PRE amp model at default settings to operate as a generic power amp block.
What happens when I reset an Amp block?
A soft reset (performed by re-selecting the amp type) resets most of the parameters. A hard reset resets all parameters. More ...
Is it possible to show (only) the amp controls that are present on the modeled amp?
Set Tone Control Display to: Authentic (Axe-Fx III only).
Managing presets and scenes
How do I return to a scene in the state I left it?
The default behavior for recalling scenes is that the blocks are recalled in their stored states. Scene Revert (in the MIDI menu) lets you change this. Set this to ON, to be able to return to a scene in the state you left it. More ....
How do I import a preset created on another FAS product?
FracTool lets you import presets that were created on other FAS processors.
Can I overwrite factory presets?
Yes. Factory presets occupy regular preset slots, which are not read-only.
How do I reload a factory preset?
If you've deleted factory presets from your unit, or want to install the most current ones, download them from Fractal Audio's Support page, and use the editor or Fractal-Bot to load it onto your device. The editor also lets you import single presets from a Bank file.
How do I copy X/Y settings or a channel?
The editors for the AX8, FX8 and Axe-Fx II let you copy or swap the settings of "X" or "Y" only, by right-clicking X/Y and selecting the desired option.
The editor for the Axe-Fx III lets you copy a single channel through the Channel menu at the bottom of the window. You can also use the Layout > Tools menu on the hardware. At the time of writing, the Axe-Fx III does not support swapping scenes or channels.
Can each scene within a single preset contain different blocks?
No. A preset always has 8 scenes, and all scenes have the same routing and block.
You can do the following per scene:
- set the bypass state of each block
- control the output level of the scene
- set a block to X or Y, or on the Axe-Fx III: to a specific channel.
Editing presets and effects
No. Input Level in the I/O menu lets you the optimal input level for SNR: Signal to Noise Ratio. It does NOT prevent output clipping (indicated by the output LED) and it does NOT make the signal softer or louder and it does NOT change the gain of the amp.
But: don't set Input Level below 5% on an Axe-Fx III.
What's phase cancellation or comb filtering, and why should I worry?
Read this: Mono and stereo
Why does the volume decrease or increase when I bypass an effect in a parallel row?
You have to set the parameters correctly for a single effect in as parallel row. Set Mix to 100%, Bypass Mode to Mute In, and set Level as desired (or set Level to 0, and adjust Input Gain). More ...
How do I lower the CPU usage of a preset?
Why should I place an effect before (PRE) or after (POST) the amp or cab?
Sonically speaking, the main reason to care about PRE vs. POST is that a given effect will sound different when placed BEFORE or AFTER the amp (the place where distortion occurs).
How does this difference sound? If you’ve ever switched the sequence of traditional DRIVE and WAH pedals, you’ve heard an excellent example. In the case of wah before overdrive, the resonant filter of the wah “excites” the overdrive in a cool way while still retaining a natural overall tone. When the wah follows distortion, you might hear a more dramatic filtered sweep—with heavy distortion it can get almost synth-like—which might be considered less “classic.” It’s not surprising then that Wah would traditionally be a run as a “PRE” effect between guitar and amp. The amp’s distortion follows the wah effect. Many other effects fall in this same category.
A different example is found in overdrive with reverb and delay. In the natural world, reverb and echo occur because of open spaces around your guitar amp – like a club or concert hall. These effects would therefore NOT be heard before a distorted amp, but after it. Recording studios often add these kinds of effects at the console—after the mic has picked up the distorted sound from the guitar amp. If you wanted to simulate this natural sounding reverb or delay these effects would likely be run “POST.” This is not to say that delay or reverb before distortion is a “no-no.” Many “legendary” tones came from echo units in front of an amp—but this effect is very different from “POST” delay—not only tonally, but also in terms of dynamics.
Why is my block stuck in bypass mode?
Here's an example of this question from the forum, with a screenshot: https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/stuck-in-bypass.159025/
The most likely culprit is that you have a modifier assigned to an parameter in the block that is set to auto-engage/disengage the block when you change the external controller associated with the block. For example, you have a WAH block with an external controller assigned as a modifier of the Control parameter in the block. In that modifier definition you've set up auto-engage so the wah block turns on when you rock the expression and off when you return the pedal to the "toe up" position. These settings would prevent you from un-bypassing or bypassing the block using any other means other than rocking or parking the expression pedal.
Where do I find the Metronome settings?
Does the device provide a Limiter?
In the Compressor block, set Ratio to Infinity" to turn it into a limiter. More ...
Why don't I hear repeats from the 2290 delay type?
The 2290 delay type has phase on one side reversed and must be heard in stereo. If the signal is summed to mono after the Delay block, delay repeats will disappear because of phase cancellation.
Why can't I adjust the time (milliseconds) in a Delay block?
If the Delay block is set to a specific Tempo, e.g. "1/4", you can't adjust the number of milliseconds. More ...
How do I boost the volume level of my solos?
Add a "null" Filter or a GEQ block at the end of the chain, with increased Level (try 3 to 4 dB). More ...
Why don't the fuzz models sound and respond as their real counterparts?
The FAS processor acts as a buffer and many fuzzes don't like that, because they depend on direct interaction with the guitar's pickups. It's the same with the virtual fuzz models. To improve the authentic behavior of a virtual fuzz model, make sure it's the first non-bypassed block following the Input 1 block and the input block impedance must be set to Auto. More ...
Where do I find more information about a Drive model?
For in-depth information about each Drive model, read Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Drive Models.
Why am I hearing clicks and crackling noise in my preset?
Check the CPU usage of the preset. If it's above the limit (read this), then crackling noises may occur.
If you hear a tick in your audio signal which syncs to the tempo, and it's not the Metronome, it's probably MIDI noise bleeding into the signal. You can easily check this by turning off Send Realtime Sysex in the Setup menu. If the noise stops, it's indeed caused by the MIDI cabling. Use better MIDI cables and keep the MIDI cables away from problematic sources.
The display shows several lines of text information on startup. Is this normal?
Why is the output level of the Axe-Fx III lower than that of the II?
The default nominal output level of Output 1 and 2 on the Axe-Fx III is -10 dBv. This was done to reduce the number of support cases due to people overloading the inputs on consumer-grade interfaces, mixers, etc. Most professional gear runs at +4 dBu, so when using a pro-grade interface, mixer, etc., you may want to go into the I/O menu and change the Output Level to +4 dBu. More ...
Can I monitor the signal from Output 2, 3 or 4 through my headphones?
I want to use Input/Output 2, 3 or 4 as an effects loop but I don't hear the signal?
Turn up the output level knob on the front panel.
FAQ on the Fractal Audio forum
Read it here FM-3 FAQ
AX8 and FX8
Why don't effects in my preset appear on the foot switches?
Effects in a preset are not always automatically assigned to foot switches. You have to do this manually, or assign "global" switches. More ...
Why does my Reverb block keep getting into bypass mode?
When an effect causes excessive CPU usage, the FX8 and AX8 automatically will disable one effect block to lower CPU usage. This usually is the Reverb block.
FX8: Why am I not hearing sound from this preset?
Make sure that the PRE/POST configuration of the preset matches the way you'ver set up your rig.
FX8: Why don't I hear the Looper?
Check the Looper Location in the Looper's menu. It must not be set to "No Looper". If it is set to Global, check the Global Looper Location to ensure that it is not set to "No Looper"". Also check the PRE/POST settings. If your rig uses only the PRE chain or only the POST chain, set Looper Location accordingly.
Why do the footswitches seem a little sluggish?
To support press-and-hold functions, the unit activates effects on the up-stoke of the footswitch, instead of the down-stroke. For faster action (on the downstroke), you can change this behavior:
- disable PRESS/HOLD FOR XY in the Global menu, or
- assign Single X/Y or Sticky X/Y to an F-switch at the right side.
Software editors, Fractal-Bot
Why doesn't the editor or Fractal-Bot recognize the unit?
On some computers, the editor and Fractal-Bot will work only if a driver has been installed. Check the system requirements and go to the page on Fractal Audio's website to get the driver, if needed.
Does the editor allow offline editing?
No. The editor must be connected to the hardware to operate. This is a design choice which is unlikely to change.
Why do I have to press Save twice when changing the preset title?
You don't have to do that. When editing the preset title field, make sure to press Enter to make the editor aware of the title. Then press Save to store. More ...
How do I use Axe-Manage?
Axe-Manage Presets and Axe-Manage Cabs use a Browser pane at the left of the window. To show or hide the Browser pane click on the Browser menu at the top-left of Axe-Manage and choose "Show / Hide". Or use the key sequence CTRL+B (Windows) or CMD+B (Mac). More ...
Do I have to convert IRs in .wav format before using them in Axe-Edit III?
No. The Axe-Manage Cabs tool in Axe-Edit can import .wav files directly. Simply drag-and-drop any number of .wav files into the Browser pane to allow Axe-Manage to convert them. From the Browser pane you can now either Auto-Audition the files to a Scratchpad or drag from the Browser pane to a User cab slot.
Is there be a mobile version of the editor?
Use FracPad to control the device on a tablet or smartphone.
When I double-click a control in the editor, does it reset to the correct default value?
When double-clicking a control, it gets reset to a default value, not necessarily the default value. Only a soft-reset of the amp type (re-select) or a hard reset of the Amp block pulls the correct values from the hardware.
FC-6 and FC-12 controllers
Why aren't all notes in the Tuner screen the same as on the III's Tuner screen?
The tuner on the Axe-Fx III shows sharp notes as # (F#) and flat notes as b (Gb). The tuner on the FC controllers shows sharp notes only. More ...
Why doesn't the Tuner screen appear after pressing the Tuner switch?
If the Tuner menu on the device is not set at its first page, the Tuner won't appear. More ...
What does this error message number mean?
The MFC-101 can display a range of numbered error messages. These are explained in chapters 14.2 and 14.7 of the Owners Manual.
Why doesn't the Tuner apppear on the display?
Make sure that the Axe-Fx II is set to the standard MIDI CC for the Tuner, that Realtime SysEx is enabled on the Axe-Fx II, and that the Tuner on the hardware is set to its first page.
Can I use the MFC-101 to control the Axe-Fx III?
The MFC-101's Axe-Fx Mode is not supported. But you can continue to use the MFC-101 as a general MIDI controller with the Axe-Fx III.