contenu en anglais
ejecta 24/03/2011

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx : l'avis de ejecta (contenu en anglais)

« One of the best offferings in the modeling world »

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The AxeFX is an all digital unit in a four rack space. Designed by Cliff at Fractal Audio it has just about any effect you'd ever want from your classic effects to way out there sounds. On top of the effects you have amp modeling and cab simulation with the ability to load your own impulse responses for cabinets. You have balanced and unbalanced outputs and full midi capabilities. Also there is a still in beta software editor that lets you build patches from your PC or Mac and even though it' still in beta it works rather well.


I find navigation on the front of the unit to be fairly easy to get a hang of despite how complex you can get with routing of your signal through the unit. Add the ability of the software editor and it becomes even easier. You do however have to be careful when building patches with your levels of each block or you can get into some clipping. The manual was pretty informative but I found more information on line with the wiki and forums. I tend to lean to more using it as preamp in front of a tube power amp into a real guitar cab but using direct into a PA with the cabinet simulations works well too. But in my humble opinion you lose some that "in the room" feel and sound.


The guitar I'm using my Dean Soltero loaded with Motor City Pickup in the bridge and a Duncan P-Rail in the neck. I think the AxeFX does translate the tone of my guitar rather well and does a great job reacting to the dynamics of your playing. The feel is quite good as well. The quality of the effects is one of the best I've heard and amp sims are nice as well. I do find though there is an underlying similarity to all the amp simulations. Not that that is a bad thing it's just something I noticed. As far as modeling guitar amp tones I think the technology is there to get you most of the way to realism for the amps but in my humble opinion where the weak link is is in the cabinet simulations. The cool thing tough I was able to download third party cab simulations with various microphones and load those in as well. Where I think this unit really shines is through a tube power into a real guitar cab. At that point it gets real hard to find that much difference in it and the real deal.


I'm of the mind where you use the best tool for the situation. My situation right now is I need something I can record with silently and or play at very low volumes. For this situation and for guys who play live into great PA's, need to control stage volume, and need a large variety of tones I think you'd find the AxeFX hard to beat. Yes the unit is more on the higher end in terms of cost but with all the tools you get and the quality of sounds I think it's worth it. The only negatives I find with the unit is I wish there were easier access to the amp's EQ section on the front. For those playing live this would be nice.