UPDATED 4-26-15 – A few more bits of information were shared by Cliff recently on the FAS forum, now added to the bottom of this article
Cliff just shared some information about the upcoming AX8 unit. Remember this is a different unit than the FX8, the effects-only unit currently on wait list.
Up until this point, we’ve had very little information regarding the AX8 except a picture and a few comments that it includes amp modeling. Today Cliff has stated the following:
We are aiming for an October 1 release.
They are very cool. They’re not an Axe-Fx but they’re close. Same amp and cab modeling. Stripped down effects section and smaller grid (4×8 vs 4×12).
Two 450 MHz DSPs; one for amp modeling the other for effects/housekeeping. Uses the same silent switch technology as the MFC-101 Mark III and FX-8. Switches are assignable per patch via our new “Switch Assign Matrix” feature.
Awesome! So at this point it seems obvious that it is NOT an “Axe-Fx II in a floor unit” since the grid is smaller and not all effects from the Axe-Fx II will be included. Many people have asked for just that though – a compact, all-in-one unit for people who gig and need to setup/teardown quickly.
The “Switch Assign Matrix” feature sounds awesome, and I’m sure it will solve any problems where “Switch 1” doesn’t start on the bottom row for changing Scenes or anything else.
October is a bit far away, but the wait will sure be worth it! And remember, that is an estimated date of a very incomplete product. It could take longer or shorter to finish. I would definitely benefit from the AX8, as many of my gigs require a bit of a walk and a stage that isn’t much bigger than a coffee table! Guitar to AX8, XLR out (assuming). Done. Sweet!
Yes, the effects are ported directly from the Axe-Fx. If you have used an Axe-Fx the operation will be very familiar. The primary difference is the dedicated knobs for the amp block.
It’s pretty much “Axe-Fx Lite”. There are send/return blocks so you can make series routings that are longer than 8. All the advanced parameters are available in the amp block, you access them via the traditional edit menu. The dedicated Bass, Mid, etc. knobs can be accessed at any time. And it sounds like an Axe-Fx, so there’s that…
Yes, the switches are multi-function. They operate as preset, scene, looper or bypass switches. There are four expression pedal inputs. There is a stereo effects loop. The dedicated knobs control only those parameters for which they are indicated. There are five soft knobs under the display that are used for adjusting other parameters.