News

Firmware 12


 IT’S BEEN JUST OVER TWO MONTHS SINCE
FIRMWARE 11 LANDED AND NUMBER 12 IS HERE ALREADY

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT PRESENTS CLIFF CHASE 
HAS GIVEN US THIS TIME 

METALL-BOUTIQUE
First off there are loads of new amps included, so the introduction of Firmware 12.2 has sent the amp counter rocketing up to an impressive 157. Firmware 12 also unifies two seemingly non-reconcilable views of the world – finally metal heads and boutique friends have something in common: the excitement of trying new amps.

TOP CLASS CALIBER
The line-up begins with a model of the old Fender Champ, alongside another Trainwreck amp and a Two Rock Jet 35 and continues with a second and third model of the Dumble OD Special. Two new Mesa Dual Rectifiers are in there, as are two models of the Bogner Fish Preamp, the original version of which is already 20 years old. 

To keep the naming of all these amps consistent some of the existing amps have been renamed slightly. As always, you will find details of this in the release notes included with every firmware update. 

DON'T WANT ANY ROUGH EDGES?
The Axe-Fx II has got to the point where it can reproduce tube amps with frightening accuracy and authenticity – they are truly ‘warts and all’. However, many users have got used to rather more polished studio sounds or the slightly soulless performance of lesser modelers and expect the Axe-Fx II to be able to produce this type of sound as well. Cliff Chase has been working hard to satisfy this portion of his clientele and has come up with two ways for users to adjust an amp’s behaviour to their liking. 

AUTHENTIC OR HIGHLY POLISHED?
For a start, the modeling version can be globally set to use the previous firmware version. Additionally the Grid Modeling within the Amp block now has a variety of settings that can be individually set for each preset. The spectrum goes from authentic through polished sounds to an idealized version, making the Amp block of the Axe-Fx II perfect for anything from completely realistic to ‘so smooth it’s ready for the next number 1 hit’. Further small improvements to the Amp block support this even more. 

EFFECT PERFECTION
There are two new distortion pedals to try out and on top of this the modelling of the existing drives has once again been incrementally improved, especially those making use of silicium or germanium diodes to create their distortion. There is also now the option of a good old LED as clip type in the Drive block, which will add a different flavour to any existing pedal. The room reverb algorithm has been improved and the Classic mode of the Enhancer now has a level parameter. The Tremolo block now always starts at the same point in the rotation cycle.

TARGETED MONSTER CONTROL
The fastest car would be useless without a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal. In the same way a monster like the Axe-Fx II can only unleash its full capability if the user can control it effectively and engage its effects at exactly the right moment. With this in mind every firmware version brings with it some improvements in terms of control – sometimes they are very small, sometimes they are quite considerable.

SCENE CONTROLLER TIDBITS
The advent of Scene Controllers in Firmware 12 is what most users would call a considerable improvement. We are talking here about two internal controllers whose settings can be saved independently for each scene. Each controller can be assigned to one or more parameters, enabling these parameters to have different values in every scene. Variations such as ‘a bit more reverb in scene 3’ are now possible without the need to ‘waste’ X/Y settings. This is a very tasty tidbit for all users of the scenes feature. On top of this, the configuration options for the auto-engage function have been further extended. Now the relationship between how the pedal is moved and the way the effect turns on or off can be set to just about any imaginable configuration. 

IN GOOD HANDS
Once again, many tiny details have been improved and some small bugs removed. This creates a good feeling, as one thing is for sure – the next update is already in the pipeline!

And as always, updating your Axe-Fx II will only cost you a few minutes of your time. However, we cannot be held responsible for the many days you are likely to spend trying out all the fantastic new features… 

Axe-Fx II FW12 Amp demonstration from Clark Kent
Clark: "Pretty self explanatory: 10 different amps, 10 different sounds 
for 10 different situations. Boom!"

{jomwebplayer type=youtube video=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0T5h7Nlke8}

Atmosynth + 5 Scenes demo
Quick demo of the new V12 Scenes controllers, assigned 
to the synth block pitch!

{jomwebplayer type=youtube video=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvL1P2tK5TY}