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