A firmware update for the AKAI AX73 Synthesizer
As I had recently created a new firmware version for the AX60, it seemed logical to take a look at the code for the AX73. Also, several people had emailed asking about this. The code is fairly different, due to the larger LCD, but there were some parts that were similar. As AX73's are somewhat rare, I was not able to have one on hand for testing, but with the help of several testers and my simulation I was able to make and test the desired changes. As it turns out, the same exact EPROM is used for the VX-90. The code checks to see which unit it is installed in , and then behaves a little differently in several places. One example is setting the split point, which can be done with the front panel on the VX-90.
My new firmware (which used the V1.2a code as the starting point) has been tested by 4-5 AX73/VX90 owners, and is now available. Here are the new features:
1) MIDI Sysex all patches save and restore - saves or restores all patches in one operation (tape save/load works as before)
2) MIDI cc parameter changes are now supported. Note: Several people have reported issues with using CC's for real-time parameter control when the AX-73 was busy playing notes. I do not have an AX-73 here for testing, so I can't confirm this, but I have heard it from several people. So it's possible the CC's may only be useful for editing patches, and not for real-time control. I have not heard anything about an issue with the VX90.
Here is a document that shows the CC assignments to the different parameters.
Installing the new firmware requires removing the existing firmware EPROM and installing the new chip.
Please note: Taking an AX73 or VX90 apart and installing the EPROM must be done carefully, or damage to the synthesizer could result. It should only be attempted by someone familiar with this type of work. I will not be responsible for any damage to any instrument caused by either proper or improper use of the code offered here.
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