Francis Stringbender, from Switzerland, is a passionate guitarist. He likes variety and has therefore made himself at home in many different music styles: rock, blues, metal, funk, pop and fusion. He also plays the drums and bass. This of course makes him an ideal partner for all types of production, whether live or in the studio. He has been an Axe-Fx user for many years now, handles support for G66 in Switzerland and is the man to go to for those in Switzerland who want to try out Fractal Audio or Matrix products.
In the year 1796 a still very young Carl Friedrich Gauss provided mathematical proof that a regular heptadecagon could be constructed with only the help of compasses and an unmarked straightedge. The academic world was very impressed indeed, but since then there has not been a great deal of activity concerning the number 17, apart from a few lightweight German pop songs. Up to now, that is, because at the end of 2014 Cliff Chase has succeeded in pulling off another feature. He has, without the aid of compasses or straightedge, proved that it is possible to improve the world’s best guitar processor yet again.
Firmware version 17 has just integrated microphone preamp simulations into our favourite tool. Now, at this point you might be forgiven for asking yourself just what that is all about and what it has to do with you – well, let’s find out. Ever since the appearance of the first Axe-Fx it has been possible for guitarists to determine our signal chains completely independently. Whether it’s directly from the guitar into the amp sim and from there into a power amp and a real cabinet, or keeping it totally digital; everything we needed was there.
And now Fractal Audio has added some more to this everything.
Firmware Version 16.03 the reverb algorithm has been thoroughly reworked – in fact so thoroughly and simultaneously so brilliantly that we are devoting a whole article to it. Now, nobody ever said that the existing reverb algorithm wasn’t already very good. Indeed, it belonged to the very best the market had to offer and was up there with any other dedicated guitar effects processor you could care to mention. And this tried and tested reverb remains as the ‘Normal Mode’ in the new Reverb block. But where there is light, there is sometimes even more light and this is exactly the case here, as the new Reverb can now also operate in a ‘High Definition’ mode. This does use a little more CPU, but the results are well worth it.
First off, we'd like to apologise for the late appearance of this article. There is, however, a simple explanation: Every time the author turned on the Axe-Fx to explore a new aspect of the latest firmware he disappeared into a world of his own. He would return to reality several hours later with a happy smile on his face, only to discover that he hadn't written a single word.
New to the XL? And wondering how to combine your components and get them all up and running? In this video Cooper Carter shows you how to combine the Axe-Fx II XL with the MFC-101 and a Mission expression pedal with toe switch.
Every step is clearly shown, from basic cable connections to necessary configuration of the devices themselves. Cooper also discusses other configuration options and common mistakes.
Take a look and see how easy getting set up can be!
The FX8 is a new “multi-effects pedalboard” designed to deliver Fractal’s signature “quality without compromise” in an effects-only floor unit. FX8 runs up to eight simultaneous effects using the state-of-the-art algorithms made famous in the Axe-Fx II line of processors. It features a rugged steel chassis with aircraft aluminum end-panels, convenient top handle, eleven quiet, durable solid state footswitches with no mechanical contacts to fail, 27 LEDs in three colors, five knobs beneath a bright display, Humbuster™ outputs to eliminate hum due to ground loops (when used with Humbuster™ cables) dual TRS relays for amp switching, two switch/expression pedal jacks, USB, MIDI and more. The unit is designed for unity gain and offers true bypass. Above all, it features an extremely high quality signal path to deliver ultra-low noise and pristine sound quality. In other words, “no tone suck!”
We are very happy to have found a special "Thank You to Fractal Audio Systems" in the liner notes of 'Songs of Innocence', the new album by U2. We'd like to return the thank you: We are honored to have the Axe-Fx be among the many pieces of equipment—past present and future—that the Edge has selected to become part of U2 rock 'n roll history" (in case you missed Apple's keynote celebration last night, iTunes subscribers can download the album for free through iTunes).
The free online magazine is featuring John Petrucci and Andy Wood in this issue - watch the video interviews:
The Fractal Audio Axe-Fx gives guitar players an incredible range of capabilities, but the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. In this course Cooper Carter is sharing his road-tested tips for getting the most out of the Axe-Fx preamp/effects processor.