21st-century partial rewrite of the latest firmware for the Akai AX-80 vintage analog synth, enhancing its functionality and fixing some problems. –
Rewritten by Bob Grieb 2017 – tauntek.com
- MIDI Sysex patch save and restore – saves or restores Bank A and B patches in one operation
- MIDI Sysex and cc parameter changes are now supported
- Non-volatile storage of MIDI send and receive channel setting, current patch, and NVLFOFR variable
- Selectable free-running LFO’s mode, controlled by NVLFOFR variable
- VCF cutoff parameter changes are now applied immediately
- Current program and bank are displayed when program Write is initiated
- MIDI channel-setting displays changed to rC and SC for receive channel and send channel
A PDF instruction sheet is available for download here: AX80NewFWinstrs
Which version do I need – I, K, L?
There are three revisions of analog chips that have been used in the AX80 – the CEM3372B, CEM3372C, and CEM3372D. These three revisions differ slightly in the analog specs, so the firmware adjusts the voltage presets for controlling them. So if you pick the wrong version for your synth, it is no desaster – yet we recommend to choose the best fit.
The easiest way is to look at the factory ROM – it should be marked with the letter “I”, “K”, or “L”, so this is the type you should order. If the ROM is not labeled, have a look at the CEM3372 chips – and identify what you have: Type B chips need the “I” version of the ROM, type C the “K” version, and type D the “L” version.
If in doubt, have a look at the AX-80 service manual, page 61.
By the way: you may also download the code from Bob’s page if you would like to burn the PROM for yourself, provided you pay the license fee directly to him.