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Blue Cat Audio Releases Axiom Guitar & Bass Multi Effects and Amp Sim + New Bundle
Old 20th April 2018
  #1
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Blue Cat Audio Releases Axiom Guitar & Bass Multi Effects and Amp Sim + New Bundle

Dear Gear Addicts,

We are very excited to announce the release of Blue Cat's Axiom, our new comprehensive and open multi effects processor and amp simulation software for guitar and bass, and a new software bundle, the "Axe Pack".



As announced earlier this year at NAMM, with its dual amp simulation channels based on the innovative Destructor engine, its 40 built-in effects and the ability to load third party plug-ins, Axiom offers an infinite number of amp models and effects that can be tweaked indefinitely.

Amp models can be chosen from hundreds of presets, or personalized with the amp editor that offers complete control over all the parameters. Axiom also includes a built-in version of Blue Cat's Late Replies for creative delays and reverbs, and a built-in version of Blue Cat's Destructor to create your own distortion pedals, cabinets or additional amp simulations.

Blue Cat's Axiom is available as a standalone application or plug-in (VST, VST3, AAX, Audio unit) for Mac and Windows, and can be purchased independently, or within the new Axe Pack bundle: this new software bundle for guitar & Bass gathers the new Axiom and full versions of the Destructor, Late Replies and PatchWork plug-ins (that can be used outside of Axiom).

We have an introduction offer for both Axiom or the Axe Pack bundle until May 19th (details below), and there are also several upgrade paths for registered customers. You can download demo versions and check out our videos to get a better idea!

Blue Cat's Axiom Main Features:
- Powerful and unlimited multi-effects processor and amp modeling software for guitar and bass.
- Realistic and fully customizable amp simulation based on Blue Cat's Destructor.
- Flexible routing: 2 parallel amp simulation channels with effects + input and master sections.
- 40 high quality built-in effects: wah, delays, reverb, pitch bender, EQ, filters, distortion units, compressor, gate, chorus, flanger...
- Includes Blue Cat's Destructor and Late Replies as built-in effects.
- Built-in high precision tuner.
- Open and extensible: load any third party VST, VST3 or Audio Unit (AU) plug-in.
- Delivered with thousands of presets for all sections and built-in effects.
- Load third party virtual instruments to play along.
- Global stereo spread control.
- Lock sections to prevent changes when loading presets.
- No latency.

System requirements:
- Intel Mac running Mac OS 10.7 or newer.
- PC running Windows Vista or newer.

Pricing:
Blue Cat's Axiom: $149 or 149 EUR instead of 199 (25% off until May 19th)
Blue Cat's Axe Pack: $249 or 249 EUR instead of 299 (16.5% off until May 19th)
Upgrade Offers: See our Axiom and Axe Pack upgrade paths.

And the final word goes to Martin Miller, who checked out our preview of Axiom earlier this week:

Old 21st April 2018
  #2
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This may be good for some weird distorted tones for synths, probably vocals, or any other creative stuff, but as a guitar plugin, it sounds like a joke.
Nearly impossible to make something close to competitor guitar plugins, not to mention hardware units such as Axe FX or the real amps.

The flexibility of this thing as an overall distortion unit is amazing indeed but not for everything, unfortunately.

Cheers

Edit,
I said "Nearly impossible to make something close to competitor", well, it's possible but requires lot more tweaking.
Not seeing myself using it, but I guess there are guys who like to tweak and has more time than me

And I forgot to mention that it would be a lot better to have decent IR loader instead of that "CAB SECTION" which is basically eq

Last edited by Detch; 21st April 2018 at 02:53 PM..
Old 21st April 2018
  #3
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Why so much hate? You obviously do not like the software and we respect that (guitar tone is a matter of taste, isn't it?). However your post is not very respectful to the professional guitarists who either worked on it or use it for their daily job, without necessarily spending time tweaking it.

Peace
Old 21st April 2018
  #4
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Didn't meant to be offensive.
This is GS you had to be prepared for such posts )
I deeply respect your company and your innovative approaches!

No hate at all.
Cheers
Old 21st April 2018
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Old 21st April 2018
  #6
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Sounds pretty good!



This is certainly the most flexible guitar amp plugin out there. For better or for worse...sometimes too many options is a bad thing.

The GUI leaves much to be desired compared to the competition. But, I may be able to live with it because...

The best thing I can say about it is there's little to no "digital fizz" that plagues most other amp sims. And the sonics do sound "dynamic" or reactive, whatever you want to call it. It perhaps sounds too good/synthetic, if that makes sense. Reminds me of Waves GTR3 but better.

For in your face sounds I have to do some extra processing. High gain heavy metal tones doesn't seem to be Axiom's forte but cleans and overdrive sounds great!

Overall, nice job Bluecat!
Old 22nd April 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Sounds pretty good!



This is certainly the most flexible guitar amp plugin out there. For better or for worse...sometimes too many options is a bad thing.

The GUI leaves much to be desired compared to the competition. But, I may be able to live with it because...

The best thing I can say about it is there's little to no "digital fizz" that plagues most other amp sims. And the sonics do sound "dynamic" or reactive, whatever you want to call it. It perhaps sounds too good/synthetic, if that makes sense. Reminds me of Waves GTR3 but better.

For in your face sounds I have to do some extra processing. High gain heavy metal tones doesn't seem to be Axiom's forte but cleans and overdrive sounds great!

Overall, nice job Bluecat!

"dynamic"is debatable he's took something that has no memory and forced memory into it and the reason there is no digital "fizz"is because this is basically just an oversampled waveshaper.perhaps you are convinced this sounds and expresses like an amp,but i aint (and i take it the guy above you isn't convinced either)perhaps it being a "joke"is a little harsh,but selling this as an alternative to an amp sim is pushing the boat out a little too beyond the shore IMHO this doesn't sound remotely like an amp to me and using comb filters and Bi-quad EQ is not a replacement for a cab or a cab sim either.i don't like amp sims either though so....

There's also a much cheaper option if you are looking for a dynamic waveshaper and find it sufficient at supplying guitar like expression, by Audio Thing called "Wavebox", it doesn't bracket you into only doing simplistic non-linear clipping curves with asymmetry either (it can do wavefolding and the like)

That being said,i think Late Replies is easily the best delay plugin ever conceived along with Melda's MXXX(before those i had to concoct delay feedback loops in Reaktor or the super primitive Senderella method limited to my ASIO drivers buffer size.....) but considering i already own it and i'm not fond of Destructor,i'm guessing Axiom makes no sense for me as a purchase?

After having 2 decades worth of waveshaper/transfer curve based plugins i guess i am just very allergic to the sound of them and their response.sticking an envelope follower onto them(no matter how responsive it is) and making the curve somewhat dynamic does not prevent it from sounding or behaving any less like one

Just my 2p
Old 22nd April 2018
  #8
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Old 22nd April 2018
  #9
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I'm not for simply sounding like the next guy, and sounding conventional, although that has its uses, and it works. But this plugin is a sound designer's dream. Is it a toy? It certainly can be, because you can have fun with it. But it can also be a tool, and a very powerful, flexible one at that. Some guitarists may not like it, but others will love it, because this thing can create some sounds/tones that you simply won't hear anywhere else. It defines uniqueness!

BlueCat, I think you guys should do some demos/vids that focus on recreating or highlighting authentic guitar sounds and tones, for the purists. Guitar purists tend to be a bit snobby and picky (no pun intended). Basically showcase Axiom's creative side, as well as its role as a more traditional, conventional amp/cab sim. Some traditional sounding presets will surely help.

But thank you for this, and I'll be buying it soon.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
BlueCat, I think you guys should do some demos/vids that focus on recreating or highlighting authentic guitar sounds and tones, for the purists. Guitar purists tend to be a bit snobby and picky (no pun intended). Basically showcase Axiom's creative side, as well as its role as a more traditional, conventional amp/cab sim. Some traditional sounding presets will surely help.
We are indeed working on some more content. But all the videos we already posted with Destructor and Late Replies are still relevant (most of the presets we did at the time are actually in Axiom now). Also, we did a Legendary guitar tones challenge some time ago that worked pretty well.

Here are just a few examples, if you don't want to click on the links above :













If you want more examples, check out all our Axiom-related videos on YouTube.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

You know, I haven't tried Axiom yet, but I really liked Destructor, except for their EQ approach to cabinet simulation. Last time I tried it, it sounded 500% better loading Recabinet after it with some Ownhammer IRs.

A lot of developers out there seem to underestimate the importance of the cabinet component, consequently, all ampsims I've ever used sounded incredibly better with a third party impulse response instead of their original cabinet solution.

I don't know...Maybe developers get too nerdy about emulating tubes, transistors, transformers and all sorts of components and forget that even the most expensive amps can sound like **** without a matching cabinet...Man, some times even a great amp with a great cab can sound pretty bad if the room isn't right.

Anyway, in my opinion, Blue Cat's approach to cabinet emulation should sound and feel as good as the traditional IR loading method, technically speaking, but for some reason, it doesn't...At least to my ears (and hands).

Also, there's the familiarity factor. Guitarists expect, when they first fire up an ampsim, for it to sound familiar. Everybody loves familiarity...This isn't exclusively directed to Blue Cat's ampsims, but to most of them, except for S-Gear: When you first load them and play the first note, they just sound too dry...It's unnatural...And we all know that the first impression is crucial. There are many ways to fix that: Add a global ambiance/reverb option, add some reverb to their presets, etc... All I know is that developers should be way more mindful of what they want their customers to feel during the first first minutes (if not the first seconds) of interacting with their plugin, because this can be the difference between success and failure.

Take S-Gear as an example. A lot of people seem to believe it's the best ampsim out there. I think it sounds great, yes, but nothing that you can't achieve with at least a few other ampsims (after some extensive tweaking). The thing is, the first time you load it, BAAM, it sounds like you just pluged your guitar through a real amp, with real speakers in a real room.

Just my two cents.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #12
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I can get pretty much any guitar tone out of it I want, and dynamically it’s superior to virtually any other sim out there. I think because there are so many presets it’s easy for someone to click on a few and hate it because they don’t fit their taste. There are some ****ty tones in there, for me, but equally there are some glorious ones too. It’s a tweakers plugin for me in some respects, but having the ability to add third party plugins anywhere is brilliant. The options are unlimited.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idontcare View Post
... and the reason there is no digital "fizz"is because this is basically just an oversampled waveshaper.

...
... and what is a "real" amp with pedals before it and cab(s) after it other than a waveshaper or a chain of waveshapers resulting in a waveshaper?


You "experts" are really, really funny experts.
Old 24th April 2018
  #14
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Originally Posted by Twrogstudio View Post
I think because there are so many presets it’s easy for someone to click on a few and hate it because they don’t fit their taste. There are some ****ty tones in there, for me, but equally there are some glorious ones too.
Guitar tone is indeed as personal as a haircut, or the amount of spice you add to your food... So at least some presets have to sound very bad (I would be worried if you like them all ).

Another thing to consider is the input level (too low will sound tiny, too high will never sound clean, so it has to be adjusted carefully) and the way you play: some people will play with lots of dynamics and other play more softly. So I don't think one can expect presets to work instantly out of the box without a bit of tweaking (be it Axiom or any other piece of software/gear).

Old 24th April 2018
  #15
hve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMorgan View Post
Also, there's the familiarity factor. Guitarists expect, when they first fire up an ampsim, for it to sound familiar. Everybody loves familiarity...This isn't exclusively directed to Blue Cat's ampsims, but to most of them
There are plenty of presets in AXIOM's Destructor that have references to real amps and cabs. Also, I'm not so sure for the younger guitarists that they really have that much references to hardware anymore, I may be wrong, but most younger guitarists I see in classes today actually never ever used a tube amp anyway as they started with modeling amps instead.
Old 9th May 2018
  #16
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Originally Posted by hve View Post
I'm not so sure for the younger guitarists that they really have that much references to hardware anymore, I may be wrong, but most younger guitarists I see in classes today actually never ever used a tube amp anyway as they started with modeling amps instead.
That's an interesting point of view. It is indeed probably the tendency nowadays!
Old 9th May 2018
  #17
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Personally i think it looks really powerful. I could def see creating alot of sounds from lead tones to esoteric parts and fills. I haven't found or heard a great, slight chimey breakup sound but most sims I have heard can't do that (the kemper I had could but those were snapshots of real amps). I went back to an amp for those, EL 84's in the Fender Bassbreaker and I can dial that sound in.

Do you have any rhythm type sounds like that? the "plug the guitar straight into a Vox or orange or Fender/marshal, EL 84's, transformers etc" and achieve that, its hard to describe, deep rich, sag, chimey breakup? its not OD or distortion. Sort of an AC/DC meets early REM. Just asking because it would be cool to have all the sounds you need in one place. The Zep video would have been close to what I am talking about but while it had sort of the tone, for me, it didn't have the depth and crunch of the real thing. and thats not being negative, i just find no sims seem to be able to do "that" sound. but i would love to hear some examples if you might have more

It's ok if it won't do that because I think it does sound great on alot of other things I would need. I also like the depth and layout just fine, especially the depth you can go to setup some sounds. congrats on this, I think its a cool product
Old 9th May 2018
  #18
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I think this is the best guitar amp software of them all so far IMO, I think SGear is now in second place, I absolutely love it, it's truly superb and no I'm not a beta tester or anything I truly am loving what I can get out of this, I have tried and own most of the amp sims available, and this IMO is night and day above the rest, it has to have an IR loader at the end to get it to sound right, this should be built in and I'm surprised it's not because it's essential, but then it's easy to just stick a free player in there so it's all good, once you find the right IR this thing plays fantastically with tons of feel, and the delay is the best one I have ever heard, better than even the AxeFx IMO, and the reverb is really good as well, it sits with the tone just right.

Thanks for building this beauty BlueCatAudio, it's really fantastic.
Old 9th May 2018
  #19
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Serious , innovative , complete as usual'with bluecat ...congrats for the release !!
Old 10th May 2018
  #20
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did anybody had success with high gain metal tones? me not that much... maybe someone has a cool sound clip? i´m on the edge...
Old 10th May 2018
  #21
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Very interested in this product, but I come from amplitube so I'm use to using a sim with cabnet and mic positioning built into the plugin. For those of you stating that you need an IR loaded with good 3rd party IR's, can you point me in a good direction? Any recommendation for high quality IR's. If I'm going to try this, I might as well start with some quality. If you need ideas of the style of music I write, check out my band link in my sig. I do prog rock like YES, Genesis, Pink Floyd, but with a little heavier, hopefully more "modern day" sound, though I do still like like a rich, warm, creamy tube lead tone.

I'm guessing this will be like most things Guitar, where its hard to really know how they sound without trying them through your rig, but instead of blindly throwing down money I would appreciate any suggestions or advice.
Old 10th May 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theXbucket View Post
did anybody had success with high gain metal tones? me not that much... maybe someone has a cool sound clip? i´m on the edge...
High gain is where most amp sims, including Axiom, fail to deliver. The only exceptions IMHO are Mercuriall, Kazrog, Axe-FX and Kemper. Although I haven't tried everything out there...those are the ones that sound good to me.

Last edited by doom64; 10th May 2018 at 02:10 PM..
Old 10th May 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
High gain is where most amp sims, including Axiom, fail to deliver. The only exceptions IMHO are Mercuriall, Kazrog, Axe-FX and Kemper.
Rather interesting, I usually hear folks say the exact opposite: that amp sims do high-gain fine and more subtle break-up or crunchy tones poorly.

I suspect it just depends on what you personally have the most interest in.

I thought that Axiom does high-gain just fine, however I don't feel that many of the presets show that off very well.
Old 10th May 2018
  #24
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I agree, I find most sims do the high gain and clean very well, its the chimey slight breakup raw sound that they always have fallen down for me. I have a bunch of the sims, had the Axe 2, and the kemper. The kemper was the only one that had "that" sound in some of the amp profiles. But, for me, when i compare any of them to mic'ing the fender bassbreaker i got for that rhythm sound, none were as good, no matter how i dialed them in.

which is fine since I use the amp for "that" sound, and i can use something like this for leads, or more esoteric sounds that it IS hard to dial in with an amp and pedals. plus of course the recall, and saving it into the session are fantastic.

I guess I like both worlds and find appeal in each. I think this looks, and sounds, like a great product.
Old 10th May 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
Rather interesting, I usually hear folks say the exact opposite: that amp sims do high-gain fine and more subtle break-up or crunchy tones poorly.

I suspect it just depends on what you personally have the most interest in.

I thought that Axiom does high-gain just fine, however I don't feel that many of the presets show that off very well.
The biggest problem I normally hear with high gain amp sims is that high frequency "gnash" that isn't present in real amps/cabs. At least not the "good" ones (Dual Rectifier, Revv 120, Peavey 5150). Also, dynamics/speaker push isn't there.

Crunch, I think Mercuriall, Scuffham and Kuassa has that covered. The new Waves PRS one also sounds fantastic. I wasn't entirely happy with amp sims until this year, really. I can finally stop buying them!

Axiom would be a great first purchase for guitar players. I just have so many already that cover cleans and crunches that I will pass.
Old 10th May 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
The biggest problem I normally hear with high gain amp sims is that high frequency "gnash" that isn't present in real amps/cabs. At least not the "good" ones (Dual Rectifier, Revv 120, Peavey 5150). Also, dynamics/speaker push isn't there.

Crunch, I think Mercuriall, Scuffham and Kuassa has that covered. The new Waves PRS one also sounds fantastic. I wasn't entirely happy with amp sims until this year, really. I can finally stop buying them!

Axiom would be a great first purchase for guitar players. I just have so many already that cover cleans and crunches that I will pass.
I totally agree with you about those shortcomings in high gain amp sims.

That's the cool thing about Destructor in Axiom, you can control that HF fizziness/awfulness with the post-filter. It's just not automatic... you have to spend some time learning to use it.

The dynamics are definitely there as well, as once again this is part of Destructor. There's a fully dynamic waveshaper that you can tune to have the exact type and amount of dynamic response you want from the amp.

It's just really deep and you need to dive in to learn to use it. It's really not a product for 'plug and play' type folks. I think that is is complicated further by what I feel are poor presets.

I think you have it backwards. Axiom is really deep and requires a good bit of learning to get the best out of it. Products like Kazrog and Scuffham give excellent quick no-nonsense results, but lack the capability and extensibility that Axiom offers. Hell, you can combine them too. I've been using Kazrog products with Axiom for a couple weeks now and it's an awesome combination.
Old 11th May 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theXbucket View Post
did anybody had success with high gain metal tones? me not that much... maybe someone has a cool sound clip? i´m on the edge...
Have you tried tweaking the amp presets from the "Hi Gain" category? Changing the Gain + Bass/Mid/Treble/Tone and/or loadng another post filter preset can have a large impact on the overall tone.
Old 11th May 2018
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trock View Post
Do you have any rhythm type sounds like that? the "plug the guitar straight into a Vox or orange or Fender/marshal, EL 84's, transformers etc" and achieve that, its hard to describe, deep rich, sag, chimey breakup? its not OD or distortion. Sort of an AC/DC meets early REM. Just asking because it would be cool to have all the sounds you need in one place. The Zep video would have been close to what I am talking about but while it had sort of the tone, for me, it didn't have the depth and crunch of the real thing. and thats not being negative, i just find no sims seem to be able to do "that" sound. but i would love to hear some examples if you might have more
It's pretty hard to find out the right tone with a description... Have you tried loading the crunch presets and adjusting the dynamics parameter? If I understand well, the kind of tone you are looking for could be achieved with a distortion curve that is quite sensitive to dynamics, and sounds like a compressor that distorts on loud transients.
Old 11th May 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
Rather interesting, I usually hear folks say the exact opposite: that amp sims do high-gain fine and more subtle break-up or crunchy tones poorly.
Technically speaking, that's indeed more difficult to achieve, mainly because the subtle crunchy types of sounds are very dependent on the guitarist's playing and are also quite sensitive to guitar pickups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I thought that Axiom does high-gain just fine, however I don't feel that many of the presets show that off very well.
I know that you are not a fan of our presets, but would you maybe share a few of presets of yours with the community, so that we can see the types of sounds that you like?
Old 11th May 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecataudio View Post
I know that you are not a fan of our presets, but would you maybe share a few of presets of yours with the community, so that we can see the types of sounds that you like?
Absolutely. Excellent idea.

I really should have done that the first time I complained about the presets.

I'll set aside some time to work on that in the next week.
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