Always consult the official Owners Manuals first

X/Y switching

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This page discusses functionality of legacy products and will not be updated.

Available on which products

  • Axe-Fx III: no (replaced with Channels)
  • FM9: no (replaced with Channels)
  • FM3: no (replaced with Channels)
  • Axe-Fx II: yes
  • AX8: yes
  • FX8: yes

About X/Y switching

Most effect blocks in the Axe-Fx II, FX8 and AX8 can be switched quickly between two sets of settings: X and Y.


  • Amp X = clean, Amp Y = high gain
  • Phaser X = Script 90, Phaser Y = Vibe
  • Rotary X = slow, Rotary Y = fast
  • Cab X = mono, Cab Y = stereo
  • GEQ X = soft boost, GEQ Y = loud boost

X/Y switching has been replaced with Channels on next generation Fractal Audio products.

Which effect blocks 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

Switching between X and Y

Axe-Fx II — In the Edit mode of a block, press the dedicated X/Y buttons on the front panel.

FX8 and AX8:

  • Hold a switch (1-8) to alternate between X and Y. If the LED is amber lit, Y is active.
  • Assign one of the three F-switches to "Single X/Y" or "Sticky X/Y", then press the switch which has been assigned to the effect.
  • Switch a block between X and Y on the grid using a shortcut key:
    • AX8 — SHIFT + 2x EDIT on LAYOUT page, or 2x EDIT in a block's editing mode
    • FX8 — 2x EDIT on CFG screen

Scenes — The X/Y state of an effect can be set per scene.

Editors — Press the "X" key on the keyboard to switch a block between X and Y in the software editor. The X/Y state of each block is shown in the software editor, without needing to select the block first.

MFC-101 and other MIDI controllers — Most blocks have a dedicated MIDI CC for X/Y switching. These are listed in the manuals. Assign the 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: [1]

  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 MIDI controller's "group" or "linked switches" feature.

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

Note that not all effect blocks which support X/Y have a specific MIDI CC for that task. The FX8 lets you assign CCs to those, the Axe-Fx II does not. There's a way around this. Use a MIDI Monitor to detect the MIDI sysex command that switches the block between X/Y. Then program a switch on the controller using that data.

Visual indication

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).

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

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

CPU usage

Reported CPU usage is based on the current block state (X or Y). When switching an effect between X and Y, the preset's CPU usage may change.

Copy and paste

The "X" settings can be copied to "Y", and vice versa, on the front panel of the Axe-Fx II by pressing the X or Y button twice quickly. There's no equivalent shortcut on the AX8 and FX8 hardware.

The software editor can be used to copy and paste an entire block or just the X or Y settings within the preset or to another preset.


Swapping the X and Y settings of a block requires use of the editor.

Block reset

Resetting block settings 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 editor to reset the entire block.


If a modifier has been 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 this. [2]

Recall Effect

The Recall Effect function (which copies block settings from another preset) always imports both X and Y settings. If you want to copy just X or just Y, use the software editor.

X/Y switching can cause an audio gap

When switching an Amp block between X and Y, there will be a short gap in the sound.

Compare sounds and settings

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

  1. Go to a 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 editor.

This also offers an easy method to quickly see non-default settings, by resetting one side to default settings.

Crossfading sounds

Sounds do not crossfade when switching between X and Y. Use Scene controllers instead.