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Blue Audio Blue Cat's Axiom Multieffect

While the cat's here...the mouse will cheer...

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

Blue Cat's Axiom is a open multi effects processor and amp simulation software for guitar and bass by way of synthesizer designers, with a feature set that leads more towards innovation than replication of classic guitar tones. The bundle is built on the Axiom’s Destructor amp simulation plug-in and offers an controls that are founded on deep sonic manipulation.

 
Axiom includes two amp simulations channels that can be mixed together or run in parallel. Each amp channel can be assigned to one of hundreds of presets or built from scratch in Destructor and includes four effect slots .
 
 
What You Need to Know
 
 
Axiom ships with 40 built-in effects that can be loaded in any of the 32 plug-in slots, but is not limited to its built-in effects: these slots can also host third party Audio Unit, VST or VST3 plug-ins. 
 
 
Unlike most dedicated guitar amp and effect plug-ins, Axiom includes a tools section with 3 additional slots to load virtual instruments.
 
 
As mentioned, Destructor is the distortion/and amp sim engine that drives the Axiom package, and it is a behemoth. Built with four stages, Destructor allows you to build an amp from scratch using waveforms and other synthesis nuttiness via a path of Gate/Comp, Preamp, Destruction, and Post-Filter. The typical analog guitar player would do well to start with Easy mode, as the sheer amount of control easily exceeds the most complex modeling amp menu.
 
 
It is hard to describe what Destructor sounds like, because it can truly sound like anything once you get done tearing apart and warping the various components. What it does well is dialing any sonic tweak... what it doesn’t do well is “Sound like a ‘67 Blackface” unless you know how that sonic signature is made. They have presets, but their naming convention obscures more than most guitar gear.
 
 
Late Replies is to delay what Destructor is to amp modeling. A fully sequencable 8-tap delay with per-tap effects inserts, 2 feedback loops with effects inserts, pre-fx inserts, post-fx inserts and ducking, the 24 included effects that can be used on the inserts as well as adding VST/VST3/AU effects, or you can just keep inserting Late Replies into Late Replies until you’re CPU gives up.
 
 
 
System Requirements
 
 
Windows
• An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or newer).
• Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10.
• For the plug-in, any VST / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).
• For the standalone application, an ASIO, MME or WASAPI compatible audio interface (ASIO recommended).
 
 
Mac OS X
• An Intel processor.
• Mac OS 10.7 or newer.
• For the plug-in, any VST / Audio Unit (32/64-bit) / AAX compatible application.
• For the standalone application, a Core Audio compatible audio interface.
 
 
Limitations
 
 
I had some challenges with the user interface and found the dozens of windows being open confusing at times.
 
 
Well not unique to Axiom, I found most of the presets to be pretty bad sounding. I suspect some people checking out on trial will never get to hear how great it can sound based on a quick sort through the various preset amps and effects.
 
 
Conclusion
 
 
Im not aware of a product built specifically for guitar or bass that does what Blue Cat Axiom does. By approaching guitar rig building by way of synthesizers and deep audio engineering, there is something incredibly exciting for the truly curious. The VST/VST3/AU hosting is an incredible feature that expands Axiom well beyond its own impressive sonic array, with is impressive when most people will never find an end to the sonic shaping of Destructor and Late Replies is easily in the top five delay plug-ins currently available. 
 
 
For guitarists/bassists that enjoy experimenting, there’s nothing comparable that’s targeted to you. If you’re a guitarist that knows exactly what amp setup you want and aren’t looking to innovate, then you may want to keep looking... -HC-
 
 
Resources
 
 
Buy Blue Cat Audio Blue Cat's Axiom ($199.95 Direct Download or $199.00 at Sweetwater)
 
           

                                                    

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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