4PDT Blower Switch for Guitar

In this post are a series of diagrams to show how a blower switch could be wired up in a guitar.

A Blower switch is one that sends the output of the pickup directly to the output jack bypassing the guitars volume and tone controls and any other circuitry.

One use of such a switch would be that another sound using a different volume, tone, and pickup selection is being used and by engaging the blower switch the bridge humbucker, for example, is sent directly to the output jack bypassing the preselected settings on the selector switch, volume, and tone.

For a humbucker using a 4PDT is probably the best way of ensuring isolation between the two different positions and avoiding “bleed”.

The diagrams use Seymour Duncan colour codes, but for other pickups consult the manufacturers colour codes and adjust accordingly. The logic is the same even if the wire colours differ.

First, let’s take a look at a 4PDT switch wired to do the job that we want.

The blue dashed lines show what is described as Switch position A in the diagram. This is the internal connectivity within the switch when in that position.

The purple dashed lines show what is described as Switch position B in the diagram. This is the internal connectivity within the switch when in that position.

4PDT switch

Now, lets take a look at the Blower Switch A position. The A position takes the signals from the North and South coils into the guitars selector switch, volume and tone etc or any other switching such as series/parallel switching. The hot wire that is shown in black then leaves the Volume pots centre output to its own pole on the switch which then sends it to the output jack.

4PDT switch A

Looking at the Blower switch B position, this time the inputs from the pickup are now switched as follows. The black hot wire is linked from its input pole of the switch to the pole used for the output to the jack. The red and white wires poles are also joined so that the North and South coils are in series.


One possible option for a 4PDT switch to use is the Fender S1 Switch.  The S1 switch is a 4PDT switch attached to a potentiometer.

The S1 is available in two types for Stratocaster type guitars or Telecaster type and in 250K or 500K values.

Here is the complete wiring.


Here is position A or the switch disengaged.


And here is the S1 wired as a blower switch engaged and bypassing the guitar’s circuitry direct to the output jack.


Hope this is useful…

Posted in Guitar Wiring | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

History Of Boss

Here is some information from Boss on the History of their compact pedal (stomp boxes) product line.

I remember when they first came out but now is there a guitarist who has never used one of these ?

The History Of Boss Guitar Pedals | Roland UK

Boss TE-2 Tera Echo Pedal | Roland UK Boss MO-2 Multi Overtone Pedal | Roland UK Boss DA-2 Adaptive Distortion Pedal | Roland UK Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal | Roland UK Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Pedal | Roland UK Boss CH-1 Super Chorus Pedal | Roland UK Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal | Roland UK


Produced and developed by Roland – Manufacturer of V-Drums, V-Pianos, Boss Guitar Pedal Effects, Synthesizers and all of your electronic musical needs.

Posted in Compact Pedals, Effects Pedals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Automating Axe FX Pre-set Changes With Cubase

This post covers how to use Cubase to send midi information to the Axe FX II in order to change pre-sets and/or scene changes on the Axe FX. It also covers sending Bank Changes to access pre-sets numbered higher than 127, e.g. 128-383.

The tutorial was made with Cubase 6.07 and Axe FXII Firmware 9.0 Full Release.

The tutorial assumes that you already have basic Cubase knowledge and will show how to use Cubase to automate Bank, Pre-set and Scene Changes. (Scene Changes are available in Firmware 9.0 and later)

Why would you want to do this?

There could be a couple of reasons to automate changes from Cubase to the Axe FXII

  • You don’t own an MFC-101 or similar foot controller
  • You do own an MFC-101 or similar foot controller but want to use a DAW as an alternative when in a studio situation
  • For playing along to a backing track and selecting a different pre-set or scene for the solo for example.
  • For playing along to a track you are working on and want to automate a pre-set or scene to kick in at a certain point in the track.
  • When re-amping to automate the pre-set or scene to use for the chorus or solo for example

There may be others but the above are the main reasons I can think of to do this so without further ado here is the how to.

Setting Up The Axe FXII as a Midi Device in Cubase

This is the first thing we need to do as if the Axe FXII is not set up as a Midi Device the following steps of the tutorial will not work.

  • Ensure the Axe FXII is connected to the computer via a USB cable into a USB2.0 0r compatible port.
  • Power up the Axe FXII
  • Start Cubase

Note: The USB Connection is used to transport the Midi information. If for some reason you use the Midi In port of the Axe FXII for this it will still work but this guide doesn’t cover setting up alternative connection scenarios. However as long as you take care of getting the midi connectivity set up the Cubase part of the guide is the same.

Open up Cubase and the project you want to work with.

Open up Midi Device Manager Devices/Midi Device Manager.


Click Install Device.


The Add MIDI Device window opens select Define New… and click OK.


The Create New Midi Device opens, give it a name Axe FXII as indicated in the red circle and click OK.


The Axe FXII Device Window now opens. Note that all midi channels 1-16 are added. If you are using the default midi channel of 1 for the Axe FXII, highlight channels 2-16 and click the delete key of your keyboard to delete them as they are not needed.


After deleting channels 2-16 click the + button indicated by the blue arrow and it can be verified that only Channel 1 is available.


Close the Axe FX II device Window. It can now be seen in the Midi Device Manager, that the Axe FXII is now installed as a Midi device. In the output section shown underlined in red select AXE-FX II Midi in. Close the window.


The Axe FXII is now installed as a Midi Device that Cubase can control. This will now be available to all projects in Cubase.

Add Midi Track

The next set of steps is in the project where we want to add automation of pre-set changes we need to add a midi track.

In Cubase open the project if it isn’t already open.

Right click in the area shown and click Add Midi Track…


Click Add Track


The track now exists but has nothing in it.


Using the Pencil tool draw in the midi track just added from start to finish of the track. This is step is important as otherwise the next steps for adding changes to the Midi Track won’t work.



With the midi track selected, set the Midi in and out as shown in the red circle in the diagram below. Not connected on this track we don’t need to receive any Midi. On the output select Axe FXII Midi in. We are sending via the Midi Output of Cubase to the Midi  in of the Axe FX II, and make sure 1, is selected for the midi channel.


The In Place Editor

So that when we add events such as Program changes or CC messages for Bank or Scene changes add the In Place Editor to the midi track.

With the midi track selected go to Midi/Open In-Place Editor shown in red. (Ignore List Editor for now)


Now the In-Place Editor will be visible in the midi track


Left Mouse click the little grey square Velo which is short for velocity.


Then click Setup…


In the Midi Controller Setup dialog use the <<< button to move the highlighted CC34 (Breath LSB) to the Visible column. Also CCO (BankSel MSB), needs to be in the Visible column.  Click OK.


Right Click the area just under the grey Velo square and click Create Controller Lane. This needs to be done twice.


Now the In Place Editor will show 3 * Velocity Controller Lanes as indicated by the red arrows. This isn’t what is needed and is changed in the next step.


Left Mouse click the little grey squares Velo in turn and select CCO (BankSel MSB), Program Change and CC34 (Breath LSB) .


This should now look similar to the below screenshot. I have it arranged from the bottom up in the order CCO (BankSel MSB), Program Change and CC34 (Breath LSB) but it can be arranged in another order.


Adding Changes to the Midi Track

We are now in a position to add to the midi track the event changes we need. This can be done via the In Place Editor. However I find it a lot easier and more accurate to do via the List Editor. These changes might be a Clean Chorus sound for an Intro, Crunch for Verse and Chorus and a Lead Sound for a solo.

We will be adding :-

Axe FXII Cubase Midi Event Name
Bank Changes CCO (BankSel MSB),
Pre-set Changes Program Change
Scene Changes CC34 (Breath LSB)

CC34 is used to send Scene Change Information. The values to use are in the table below.

Axe FXII Scene Cubase CC Change Cubase Data2 Value
Scene 1 CC34 (Breath LSB) 0
Scene 2 1
Scene 3 2
Scene 4 3
Scene 5 4
Scene 6 5
Scene 7 6
Scene 8 7


With the midi track selected go to Midi/Open List Editor shown in blue.


The List Editor, opens. To the right is a grid where events can be added with the pencil tool and to the left the details of what those events are.


To enter events select whether it will be a CC event (Bank or Scene Change) with Controller selected or a Program Change for a pre-set change. The values can then be adjusted by double clicking and making a change as needed.



The below List Editor shows some events that have been added.


Focusing in on the events.


The events added are :-

Bar 1: a CC0 value of 1 in the Data2 column and a Program Change of 1 (Data2 Value is left at 0 for Program Changes)

This means Bar 1 starts with Bank B on the Axe FXII and Program change 1 gives Pre-set 128

At Bar 4: a CC0 value of 0 in the Data2 column and a Program Change of 24 (Data2 Value is left at 0 for Program Changes)

This means at Bar 4 a change to  Bank A on the Axe FXII and Program change 24 gives Pre-set 23 (remember by default the first pre-set is numbered 0 on the Axe FXII)

Bar 8: a  Program Change of 1 (Data2 Value is left at 0 for Program Changes) and a CC34 value of 0 in the Data2 column.

This means at Bar 8 we have no Bank change on the Axe FXII and Program change 1 gives Pre-set 0 (remember by default the first pre-set is numbered 0 on the Axe FXII). In addition the CC34 which is used for Scenes in the Axe FXII value of 0 in the Data2 column gives us Scene 1 of pre-set 0. This logic is opposite to Program changes as the CC34 values begin at 0 but is equal to Scene 1 as scenes are from 1 – 8.

Note at Bar 8 as we were changing pre-set via a Program Change, Scene 1 is selected by default so the CC34 value was not needed but just shown to illustrate the example.

Bar 10: CC34 value of 1 in the Data2 column.

This means that we have no Bank or pre-set change at bar 10, but CC34 sends a value of 1 giving us Scene 2 of the previously selected pre-set.

Bar 12: CC34 value of 2 in the Data2 column.

This means that we have no Bank or pre-set change at bar 12, but CC34 sends a value of 2 giving us Scene 3 of the previously selected pre-set.

Close the List editor when finished editing.

This looks as follows in the In place editor of the midi track. When the list editor is closed.


Play the track and watch the front panel of the Axe FXII display the changes.





































Posted in Axe FXII, Cubase | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Updating Axe FX II Firmware

This is a walk through tutorial of upgrading Axe FXII Firmware using Midi Ox on Windows. A similar procedure using Snoize can be used on the Mac. (Edit: 13 December 2012 A fellow Fractal Audio Forum member has a guide for the procedure on the Mac here)

The images can be clicked on for a larger view.

Downloads for new firmware and Midi Ox can be found at the below link.


Download Midi Ox and install it if you don’t already have it. (Snoize would be an equivalent for the Mac and there is a link on the above page at the time of writing)

Download and unzip the firmware and release notes to a folder of your choice.



Ensure the Axe FXII is connected to the computer with a USB Cable. This is better if it is connected to a USB2.0 or compatible port.

Switch on Axe FX II if it isn’t already powered up.

Prior to running the update procedure you may want to check the Midi Ox buffer settings. See note at the end of this post.

Start Midi-Ox

Note: This procedure is not the only way to use Midi Ox, but is the method shown here.


View/ Sysex…


SysEx View and Scratchpad window opens.

Command Window/Load File


Midi Ox will open the location that was last loaded in this example the open dialog shows 9.0 beta which was the last firmware I upgraded to. This isn’t what is needed.


So make sure to browse to the new firmware.


Select the firmware .syx file and click open.

The firmware will then load and after a while it will look like this.


Now go to the Axe FX front panel. All of the buttons needed for this procedure are marked in the picture.


Press the Utility button

Use the Page right button to get to the firmware tab on the green screen.


So at this stage the new firmware is loaded in Midi Ox and we are ready to transfer to the Axe FX.

Press the Enter button of the Axe FX.

The Axe FX displays Awaiting FW File.


Go to Midi Ox. Command Window and click send sysex.


Midi Ox will start sending the file.


And the Axe FX will display file transfer in progress.


Now wait a while as the firmware load progresses, get a cup of coffee or beverage of choice as it won’t load any faster if you watch it. How long it takes will vary dependent on your system, FW release etc. This example took around 15 – 20 minutes.

Midi Ox Progress bar just closes when finished. Midi Ox program can now be closed.

The Axe FX I I will display a message that the firmware has loaded and to power off, wait five seconds and restart.


When it restarts the Axe FXII will display the last pre-set that was in use.

To confirm the new FW is loaded press the utility button and use the Page right button to get to the firmware tab on the green screen.


Press recall to return the green screen to show the pre-set.

Enjoy the new Firmware.


I have not personally experienced but just in case a firmware upgrade fails.

From the Axe FXII Manual.

If a firmware update fails, you may need to reboot the Axe-Fx II and try again after lowering the rate at which your application sends SysEx data. This setting is typically called something like “Speed of sending MIDI”, “Delay between buffers”, or “Pause between played messages

The procedure to adjust the settings is below. Make those changes and follow the process again. Make sure you have power cycled the Axe FXII prior to running the update again.

Slowing down the Low Level Input buffers.

In Midi Ox

View/SysEx… to open the SyEx View and Scratchpad Window then Sysex/Configure to open the Configure Window


Make the following changes.

Low Level Input and Output Buffers: Size, 256 Bytes Num, 16 (Shown in red)
Milliseconds between buffers: 60 ms. (Shown in blue)


Make the changes as above and click OK.

Posted in Axe FXII | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Test Post

This is just a test post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment