HX3.6 Migration Guide (english)

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HX3.5 Board
HX3.6 Board


HX3.6 offers the same sound quality as the previous HX3.5 board. Due to the slightly larger FPGA of the last generation, the rotary simulation could be further refined. As a future extension a TFT touch screen is planned, which can replace many control elements. The controller is now much more powerful and reacts faster to the controls. Compared to the HX3.5 firmware 5.7xx, configurable organ and speaker models (16 different each) have now been added. The dimensions of the board and the positions of the sockets for USB, sill, footswitch and audio have not changed.

Known Bugs

HX3.6 board DAC modification if update to #14102023 does not help (click on picture to enlarge)

When playing notes, a few boards produce a "grainy" noise sometimes after switching on (i.e. sometimes every 3 to 10 power cycles). This is caused by timing issues from FPGA to DAC and DSP, and we solved it for every known case by improved I2S interfacing within FPGA structure. If updating the FPGA Sound Engine to #14102023 does not help and you still experience such behaviour, a small hardware modification is necessary. This has to be done free of charge in our workshop.

If you are confident and familiar with SMD soldering, you can also do this modification yourself (see picture on right): Remove resistors R1 and R8 (heat both sides with two soldering irons). Wire the solder joints from R1 and R8 to R34 (middle) as shown in picture with enamelled copper wire or thin (!) insulated wire. Do not use bare wire.

The first series of mainboards, labeled HX3.6b, requires a damping circuit at the MPX connector, that is supplied free of cost with MPX boards.


HX3.6 is basically compatible with the peripherals for HX3.5 boards, but the numbering of the connectors has changed. The separate and only very rarely used output PREAMP CTRL with various control signals is no longer available. PL19 is newly added for future expansion.

Please note that on board revision HX3.6b from 08/22 the pin headers PL28 and PL29 are not labeled correctly. PL28 is the FOOTSW input, PL29 is the SWELL input.

Also note the behavior of HX3.6 when scan boards are not connected: If another than the MIDI scan driver (scanmidi.dat, default for HX3 Expander) is installed, the corresponding scan board must also be connected; otherwise there will be no connection to the HX3 Manager, and the MenuPanel may not be operable.


Firmware and FPGA (Sound Engine) are not compatible with HX3.5 due to the new components now used. Do not use firmware or FPGA configuration from HX3.5 for HX3.6 or vice versa! Otherwise, Scan drivers, presets, CC sets, taperings and wavesets are the same; so you can continue to use your own presets or taperings.

HX3.6 is compatible from the software interface with HX3.5 in the latest firmware version 5.8xx, so it also uses the same HX3 Manager and Editor. This has changed slightly compared to #5.7xx. Added are now editor tabs for presetting up to 16 organ and speaker models. HX3.6 uses mostly the same parameters as HX3.5, with some exceptions. Check the following values carefully and correct them if necessary:

  • Some System Inits parameter numbers have moved: "2nd DB Set Voice Number" has moved to #1505. #1504 should be "0" (the 1st DB Set number has no effect on the HX3.5 yet)
  • System Inits "Preset Save/Restore Mask" #1498 has changed bit coding (see parameter help text in editor).
  • The Switch Remap codes for the Voice and Preset buttons starting with #5100 have been changed to make room for the now possible buttons of the new Organ and Speaker models. The "Adding" preset mode was changed from value 100 to 104, as was Upper from 102 to 101, Lower from 103 to 102, and so on. This was necessary to implement organ and speaker preset key groups (see below).
  • All older presets with non-B3 settings (H100, EG mode) should be revised for organ model and speaker model values. For this, the old preset settings are no longer valid. A preset now stores the respective organ model and speaker model used instead of the individual values for these.

Buttons for Organ and Speaker Models

You can now define related (consecutive) button groups for organ and speaker model selection on Panel16/Preset16/Extend16 boards, as with presets and drawbar voices. Example: You want to provide four buttons on Panel16 for organ model selection. So you assign the value Organ Model = 112 to them in Switch Remap:

5139 = 7     / Input 39 (onboard Pin PL25-8) Function
5140 = 112   / Input 40 (onboard Pin PL26-1) Function: First Button of Organ Model Button Group
5141 = 112   / Input 41 (onboard Pin PL26-2) Function
5142 = 112   / Input 42 (onboard Pin PL26-3) Function
5143 = 112   / Input 43 (onboard Pin PL26-4) Function: Last Button of Organ Model Button Group
5144 = 12    / Input 44 (onboard Pin PL26-5) Function

These buttons work like drawbar/voice presets. You assign the organ and speaker models linked to each button using the Model Btn Assign section (#5400 ff.), starting with the first button. It is thus possible to select only the models you are interested in from the 16 available, which reduces the number of buttons required:

5400 = 0     / Organ Model assigned to first Button in group (B3 Standard = 0)
5401 = 3     / Organ Model assigned to Button 2 (M100/M3 = 3)
5402 = 11    / Organ Model assigned to Button 3 (Custom 1 = 11)
5403 = 4     / Organ Model assigned to Button 4 (H100 = 4)
5404 = 0     / Organ Model assigned to Button 5 (not used, no more buttons)

Speaker model button assignment does work in a very similar way, using parameters ab #5500 to #5515.


New DFU Upload Tool in HX3 Manager 6.0x

A significant improvement is the new bootloader of HX3.6, which requires a different update process for firmware and FPGA sound engine. The bootloader is now able to load updates directly from SD card or receive them via USB using the standardized DFU mode and features its own menu. You start the bootloader by switching to the submenu from the preset main menu (DOWN button) and navigating to the BootLd Update entry. Press the encoder knob for 2 seconds. Alternatively you can press and hold the encoder knob while powering on. Important: In bootloader mode, HX3.6 no longer responds to commands from the HX3 Editor. Instead, it now expects a DFU update package via USB or SD card with the parts necessary for the update.

The DFU mode works much faster than the previous serial transfer. The update process is described in detail in the new HX3 Manager User Manual for version 6.0xx. New in the HX3 Manager is the BootLoad tool. You may need to increase the size of the startup window vm HX3 Manager (drag it down) to see this button. Here is just a short form:

Update procedure with HX3 Manager (short form)

  • Start HX3 Manager app, connect to device (by USB cable) and open Updater. Check versions.
  • Click HX3.6 Update button. After confirmation, HX3.6 will switch to bootloader mode ("BL" displayed on MenuPanel).
  • Open file hx36_update.dfu. HX3.6 Bootloader will unpack DFU package when upload is finished and restart.

Alternative for manual updates (experienced users)

  • Start HX3 Manager app and click BootLoad (HX3.6). You may have to resize HX3 Manager's start window to see this button.
  • Enter HX3.6 Bootloader by navigating to submenu Bootld Update. HX3.6 will restart in Bootloader mode, "BL" will be displayed on MenuPanel.
  • In HX3.6 DFU Pack & Send Updater window, select all files to be updated from table above (YES) in Update column. Unselect unnecessary files (NO).
  • Click Send DFU Pack button. HX3.6 Bootloader will unpack DFU package when upload is finished and restart.

If Bootloader does not exit automatically, navigate to menu Exit BootLd on HX3 MenuPanel und press encoder knob.

First Aid

Please also see the HX3.6 First Aid (english) page if anything fails.