Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

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Conjure
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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by Conjure » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:40 pm

Hey all,

Awesome thread, thanks! If it's possible, I'd like to request this feature:

-Saving MIDI Channel after the synth is shut off. I can switch my AX60 to any channel, but if I turn it off and back on, the channel is reset back to 1. Any way to make it permanent, until changed?

I've verified this with some other AX60 users as well.

Thanks!

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by Rasputin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:56 pm

Conjure wrote:Awesome thread, thanks! If it's possible, I'd like to request this feature:

-Saving MIDI Channel after the synth is shut off. I can switch my AX60 to any channel, but if I turn it off and back on, the channel is reset back to 1. Any way to make it permanent, until changed?
Haven't totally explored the memory map of the AX60, but that would probably be achievable. It's not the type of thing that's difficult to implement, it's just a matter of finding the space to put it, really.

I haven't worked on this firmware anymore since my last post, although I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a super cheap AX60 as getting some old beater to fiddle with is probably the only way I'm actually going to get anywhere significant with the idea, and even then I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by lahatte » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:49 am

I agree with the "awesome thread" comment. I have an AX60 that I have yet to touch (remodeling the house). I look forward to what may develop on this. Would this mod also apply to the VX90?

Thanks for the smarts!

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by Rasputin » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:20 am

lahatte wrote:Would this mod also apply to the VX90?
Not directly, but it could make it easier as that whole series is related. But each firmware is unique which means (at the very least) it has to be disassembled separately.

I don't have access to the VX90 firmware so I can't say anything too specific about how feasible it is.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by lahatte » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:53 am

Thanks for the information.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by wjmwpg » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:14 am

Just another friendly voice applauding your efforts.

FYI, if you’re not already aware, Bob Grieb did a great reworking of the Akai AX80 firmware. Might be a good resource to answer questions if you get stuck. I realize it’s not the same synth, but perhaps the code will be similar as they’re both 80’s Akais.

http://tauntek.com/AX80.htm

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by sirdidymus » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Just FYI, another AX-60 owner/user here, and I would be very interested in the progress of this idea. Keep us posted!

SD

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by wjmwpg » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:12 pm

So I have finally found and purchased an AX60 after so many false starts. (I’ve never had so much bad luck hunting for down a synth!)

So anyhoo, just curious if there has been any progress on this firmware revisit front.

Also, for those with samplers connected to their AX60’s, would you recommend S612’s over S900’s or S950? Just curious which I should be after and I know little to nothing about samplers.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by themilford » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:53 pm

Bump. Just wondering if there has been any movement on this.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by Rasputin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:11 pm

themilford wrote:Bump. Just wondering if there has been any movement on this.
I never ended up with an AX-60, and no other good opportunities arose, so not really.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by astraldeeps » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:14 pm

Such a bummer. There is a lot that could be done to this synth that would take it to another level. I think a Dual mode like the AX73 is an obvious yes, because it can actually be done with some midi tricks, and sounds great. My main gripe, is that most don't know this but you can send midi out of the synth when the Arpeggiator is running if you press the Sample button (no S612 needed) but it will send the 6 notes sequentially over 6 midi channels. With unison on, I believe, it sends over one midi channel. The bummer is, that you can only play the arpeggiator, and the S612/AX60 combo, via the onboard keyboard and not with external midi. THIS, to me, would be the #1 mod. The AX60/S612 combo sounds truly incredible (try sampling some FM mod bell sounds from the 60 into the 612, then run it back into the synth and run a square wave patch, you get an extremely nice electric piano sound). If this could be sequenced, the synth would be on a WHOLE other level. Especially with the Arpeggiator...so much could be done with this. I understand people wanting CC control but to me that doesn't matter much, you actually have CC control of the filter with the Pitch Bend wheel, at least that's something. The most glaring problem with this synth is its lack of midi input/control when it comes to the Arpeggiator and S612 combo.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by themilford » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:27 pm

astraldeeps wrote:Such a bummer. There is a lot that could be done to this synth that would take it to another level. I think a Dual mode like the AX73 is an obvious yes, because it can actually be done with some midi tricks, and sounds great. My main gripe, is that most don't know this but you can send midi out of the synth when the Arpeggiator is running if you press the Sample button (no S612 needed) but it will send the 6 notes sequentially over 6 midi channels. With unison on, I believe, it sends over one midi channel. The bummer is, that you can only play the arpeggiator, and the S612/AX60 combo, via the onboard keyboard and not with external midi. THIS, to me, would be the #1 mod. The AX60/S612 combo sounds truly incredible (try sampling some FM mod bell sounds from the 60 into the 612, then run it back into the synth and run a square wave patch, you get an extremely nice electric piano sound). If this could be sequenced, the synth would be on a WHOLE other level. Especially with the Arpeggiator...so much could be done with this. I understand people wanting CC control but to me that doesn't matter much, you actually have CC control of the filter with the Pitch Bend wheel, at least that's something. The most glaring problem with this synth is its lack of midi input/control when it comes to the Arpeggiator and S612 combo.
Agreed. This is everything. The strength of the AX-60 is it's pairing with the S612. So streamlining that would be invaluable. Just curious, have you used the S700 with the AX60? I have both but yet to try it. Also, the VX90, wondering if it's midi implementation is improved for paring with the Samplers.

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Re: Akai AX-60 Custom Firmware (Akai AX60)

Post by astraldeeps » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:00 pm

No I have not, I've wanted a S700 since my S612 died and I assume it probably works pretty great with the AX-60. My friend has a slightly wonky S900 that I wanna try out with the 60 as well.

I'm wondering, would it be possible to add CV inputs for each voice? I know that's rare for poly synths (though obviously early ones relied on that i.e. the prophet 5). I'm just wondering why its impossible to play the arpeggiator via external midi, or the keys in general and I'm wondering if maybe it would be possible to override this by using CV if you had a modded unit. Although modifying the OS/Eprom would probably be the most sensible, I really don't know what I'm talking about with these mod ideas...but I know there is LOTS of potential.

Does anyone know just WHY you can't play the arpeggiator, or the sample combo when sampler in is engaged? It's by far the most confusing and frustrating thing. I won't stop until I figure out a solution!!!

Luckily I met someone who is very skilled at repairs and modifications of vintage analogs and he seemed interested in the task, though hes incredibly busy. :/

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