Blue Cat Axiom is a multi effects processor and amp simulation software for guitar and bass. It is available as a plugin for all the major DAWs. It is made by the same crew who crafted the amazing Re-guitar which we covered in a previous article.
The interesting thing about their approach is that this plugin looks like a mini pedalboard inside your DAW. It allows you to then insert the effects as sub-plugins inside the plugin, if that makes sense, and expand your tone.
If you are familiar with plugins such as the Helix Native or the Bias FX, the principle here is quite similar. A main signal chain plugin through which your tone will flow when inserted in a DAW channel. Then a plethora of amp simulations and effects to shape your tone.
It boasts two separate and parallel amp channels to beef up your rock and roll dreams, creamed up by 44 built in effects, which is likely to be more than you will ever need.
Both channels are used in conjunction when building a preset. They allow for pre and post effects, as in a real amp scenario. These channels are surrounded by a stack of input effects, and a stack of output effects, which we presume is common to both channels.
All the usual suspects are there: distortion, eq, delay, reverb, compressor, flanger, you name it.
One very interesting thing about their approach is that you can load third party effects into these slots. Like a plugin or a virtual instrument from another vendor, as long as it is AU or VST. This allows you to have Axiom as an all-in-one plugin on your channel strip rather than having to worry about interplay with plugins in other slots of the same channel of your DAW. Nice !
The key differentiator here is that it seems to go deeper in terms of options to design your tone and shape your sound.
You will be able to edit the amp presets to create your own sound from the ground up. This will take you beyond loading IR (which is also supported) and tweaking parameters and right into tone shaping nirvana.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
What we liked:
- Unique all-in-one approach to tone shaping;
- Amazing number of presets: 422;
- Nearly limitless possibilities given the number of effects and dual amp channels;
- Expansion possible even with third party effects.
- The number of presets is overwhelming, but there is a way to search by type (ex: guitar crunch);
- Not sure how robust it is once you start inserting all sorts of third-party plugins they have not tested;
- Some of the UI elements are quite subtle and take a while to master.
With its unique approach and vast selection of effects, Axiom is an essential tool to have in your virtual guitar tone toolbox. It’s hard to imagine another set of effects as complete and versatile as this.
This article’s sound was created using the Universal Audio Apollo Twin mkII which you can buy at Amazon and help support the blog.
Here is the link to the Blue Cat Axiom site.
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