Gear used in this article:

Axe-Fx II (Original, Mark II, XL, XL+)

MFC-101 (Original, Mark II, Mark III)

The Axe-FX II is an amazing piece of gear, but we need a little help controlling it when playing live. After all, we only have 2 hands right (I’m looking at you, Steve Vai…).

That’s where the MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller comes in to help.  The MFC can help us change presets, enable and bypass effects and blocks, and control a whole bunch of parameters in realtime while our hands are busy playing that Journey tune.

In this video, I show how to setup the basic menu items on the Axe-FX II and MFC-101 to get everything connected and communicating correctly.  I am using the latest firmware available for each unit, 6.02 for the Axe-FX II and 2.02 for the MFC-101.  I am connecting using the Expansion Port on the MFC, which uses a CAT5 cable.  If you want to connect using a MIDI cable instead, you will need to power the unit using the included power adaptor, and set the first item in the MIDI menu “USE PORT” to MIDI.  This is described in the video.

MAJOR IMPORTANT NOTE: As stated in the video, do NOT use both a CAT5 cable and the included MFC power adaptor at the same time.  That’s 2 sources of power to the unit and that’s not good!  However, keep a long MIDI cable and the power adaptor in your gig bag as a backup in case your CAT5 stops working.  CAT5 cables are usually flimsy and the jacket is very thin, making it easy to break.  Always have a backup at the gig!