Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

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Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby tim_m » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:25 am

I bought a AX80 over the weekend, and am currently nursing it back to health. I've been getting acquainted with it, but I can't seem to find a way to do a manual filter sweep. When I select 'cutoff', press a key and turn the data knob, you don't hear the tonal change until you play another note. I like nudging the cutoff around a bit while playing bass lines, and the mod wheel only affects lfo depth. Is there some trick that I'm overlooking? Is my princess in another castle?

Are there any other tricks of note for this synth? So far, the only one I've figured out is to press one note and hit 'chord memory' to get it to work in a monosynth manner.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby sequentialsoftshock » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:02 am

You may want to make sure the envelope amount and key amount aren't too high.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby tim_m » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:50 pm

It's like this on every patch, so I don't think it's the envelope amount or key amount. When I select cutoff as the edit parameter, I press a note, then turn the data knob. I see the value number change, but the sound stays the same. When I stop playing the note, then play a new one, you then hear whatever change you made to the cutoff adjustment. It's kind of neat for a stepped filter sound across a bunch of notes, but for a manual filter control it's not the most useful. I have to say, the AX80 is a quirky beast!
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby rhino » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:41 pm

The MOD wheel should be able to sweep the filter. Press the M.Wheel VCF button to the right of the data wheel.
This should be stored in the patch, but I am not 100% sure.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby tim_m » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:32 pm

From what I can tell, the mod wheel only seems to affect LFO depth for either the OSC's, VCF or both. The manual seems to indicate the same, but is not the most in-depth manual out there. To make things weirder, the filter resonance control works in real-time! Some controls work real time, and some don't.

Out of sheer curiosity, does anyone have a schematic for this thing? I've got it fully working, but like to keep a schematic in case anything breaks.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby Pro5 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:32 pm

YOu can definiately set the mod wheel to control just the cutoff (without it going into wah wah ) you have to set up the 3rd LFO just right using the right type (forget which parameter it is now) so that it has no vcf pulsing just a smooth adjustment. Have done this on a number of patches. Make sure you adjust LFO 3 (for VCF) not LFO 1/2 (press the LFO button until '3' shows on the display) then cycle through the wave types for the LFO and I think one of those, set with minimum 'sweep' will give you a vanilla VCF adjustment that you can then use on the mod wheel with the VCF on it.

As for adjusting with the dial, no it won't do smooth sweeps that way - it's something to do with it's digital parameter access (similar to some digital synths) and needs a retrigger of key to use the new value, yeah strange as the resonance can be swept with the dial - However a non issue as it handily maps to the mod wheel as described and is VERY smooth there, no stepping at all (BTW I think Akai did it on purpose to stop people trying to sweep with the dial as it's staggered, it jumps in values of 3 or more as it's a 'quick adjustment' unlike the up/down buttons) had they let you sweep it it would have had stepping like no one's business and people would have thought it wasn't capable of smooth sweeps - the key is in the mod wheel > VCF. :)

to clarify, unlike the alpha dial on a juno 2 for example, the quick adjust dial really is that so even if adjusted COFF in realtime without rekeying it would jump values and sound crap, akai had a choice, allow the dial to sweep and suffer BAD stepping OR make the dail increment smoothly +1 at a time and make a very 'touchy' dial (not even sure it would be feasible as the turn from 0 / 99 wouldn't allow +1 - unlike the alpha dial which is a continuous controller the Akai one has upper/lower limits hence can't be used for +1/-1 hence would = bad sweeps, so they took away that ability (IMO) to stop the synth being 'mishandled' and thought of as bad, and put it on the Mod wheel instead - smooth!


edit > set parameter 24 to 3 (select VCF LFO) then set parameter 23 to 1 then make sure parameter 21 is at 0 and you can then use the mod wheel (in VCF mode) for a sweep (though it won't be the full 0-99 it will be from the patches current COFF to a certain range above it).
Last edited by Pro5 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby tim_m » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:02 pm

Your suggestion works great. It's a very smooth adjustment, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks!
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby Pro5 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:58 am

tim_m wrote:Your suggestion works great. It's a very smooth adjustment, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks!



no probs, glad it worked for you.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby Pro5 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:23 pm

hey fellow AX80 fans, does anyone have any more info on this synth's envelopes - speed in MS, are they hardware or software? I'm still a bit clueless to the internals of an AX80 as it's quite rare and there's not much info out there like there is for Rolands for ex. Maybe this info is in the service notes if anyone has them?

I find the envs pretty fast/punchy and good for sequencer/bass work but I wanna know if they are hardware (unlikely?) or just fast software?

I'm finding this synth to be a great studio tool, I think that's where it was ideal (as part of AKAI's micro studio range) which could be why it purposely removed sliders and went with a deeper architecture over the AX60 because in a studio 'live tweaking' wasn't considered as important I guess (but sound quality and possibilities were - back then). Though one of the adverts for it insinuating it was a gigging synth I'm not sure, though of course any synth can be both.

Seems to make sense the more I get to know it and uncover the great sounds it can pull off. even it's LFO reset 'flaw' rarely bothers me with the majority of sounds/uses I use it for and I find it adds some uniqueness working around this, and also stops notes from dying in filter/vol in a sequence (which sometimes is preferable but many times for fast sequences that you don't nessecarily want over-used filter sweeps on it seems ideal this way) - would still like to mod it to make it work both ways but with so few of them around nobody seems interested in modding it (like the new JX-3P mod would be ideal, add solo/portamento and a shed of load of features to fully unleash the monster). I also like this synth as the only analog I have that doesn't lose volume/power when the res goes up, fits in well with the others that do, very aggressive and cutting.

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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby tim_m » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:11 pm

The envelopes are handled by the same chips as the vcf- the CEM3372. The datasheet I linked to has some info on it, but probably not the specs you are looking for. The envelopes are hardware, not software. The CEM3372's were also used on the Oberheim XPander, Polaris 6, Prophet 600, Six-Trak, and some of the Simmons Drums.

When you open up the AX-80, they're on the board on the center-bottom; right above the keys.

I really need to finish fixing mine so I can dive in and spend some quality time with it. It's a pretty individual synth, which sits nicely, duty-wise, between my Virus KB and Juno-60. I have the three wall-mounted on top of each other, and I ask myself when I pick which synth to use, "How complicated do I feel like being?". The AX-80 is the middle answer to that question.
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby Pro5 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:02 pm

thanks

Yes I've replaced one of those chips when it died so know the physical layout etc just wasn't sure of what did what (other than the filter part of the CEM 3372!) as it's a board that doesn't seem to have been interrogated in depth on any forums I've found (unlike the comparison lists between the Junos/jupiters/JXs etc).
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Re: Akai AX80 manual filter cutoff control?

Postby oldsynth » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:33 pm

Hi, I've got a problem with the LFO. It re triggers every time I press a key. I can't get the LFO to free run. Anybody have any suggestions? Cheers
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