**HASR TOP PICK**
SCORE: 10 / 10
Axiom is a full amp suite brought to you by the geniuses at Blue Cat Audio. It’s a full amp suite that is designed with their flagship Destructor plugin as the heart and soul. Basically, think of Destructor like the engine and Axiom the really high performance car that the engine sits in.
To read about Axiom you will first need to read about Destructor so please see our review on it HERE! Many reviews on Destructor exist, in ours we tried to simplify it so by all means, reach out further than our review.
That said, this review won’t touch as much on the inner workings of Destructor and instead more on Axiom as a whole.
I can’t imagine how much work and effort goes into developing a user friendly GUI for a plugin with the amount of incredible features provided here. Yet as I look at it, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s what fairly quickly. Being that Blue Cat Audio products are very unique in a multitude of ways, I read the manual, watched tutorials and read through all the tips. The graphics are also a stellar part of the GUI but if you don’t like them, the looks of Axiom are fully customizable.
Every component has presets that act both as a guide and an educational tool. Axiom itself has overall presets but inside it, everything from the individual pedals to the components in Destructor also have their own presets. These all showcase the plugins capabilities while showing you how the controls respond.
You can find the full and almost endless amount of Axiom’s features in the product link above and every single feature we tried collectively was well executed but we are just going to focus on our favorite features.
Have you ever been using a full amp suite type plugin and said “man, this amp would be cool with my own _______ plugin”? Yep, us too but Axiom has an answer. BCA included the ability to load any vst into Axiom’s pre and post FX sections. I loaded the pedals section with a huge list of my own pedal plugins with no crashes, no hitches or drops in quality. Every plugin from boost pedals to both pre and post processing plugins that I loaded, did so flawlessly. So when it comes to the pedals section, while the included selection of pedals is really nice, having the ability mix their pedals with your own is a really great feature. For me, this feature eliminates a huge issue I have had with full amp suites for years regarding signal chain issues so I have to say, I am impressed!
The next cool feature here is the Destructor. It’s simply the most customizable amp sim on the market today. It’s designed to give the user an almost unlimited amount of ways to create guitar tones and it does just that. That said, with such a wealth of options, there’s a few more steps involved but if you take the time to really get to learn how to use this software, there’s no tone you can’t achieve. If you are more of the easy plug and play type of player, the mountain sized amount of presets includes a ton of great tones for literally any style of player. It’s also got some really nice bass tones.
Next we come to the parallel signal abilities. Axiom gives the user the ability to run two complete rigs at once. While I realize that many full amp suites offer this feature, with Axiom, it’s done infinitely better. So if you can’t get the specific tone you are after with the million and a half tone shaping options provided in one rig, you can build a section highly customizable rig that can be blended in as you see fit or run alternately. As we would suggest with any plugin, research the features so you know what you are getting. Know specifically what each control adds or takes away. Blue Cat Audio have a whole library of videos fully explaining their products that make the plugins so much more effective.
It was hard to narrow our favorite features down to a few but what it boiled down to was what features we used most collectively and the third one was easily the ability to load virtual instruments. Instantly, Axiom becomes even more valuable to a wider demographic of users, most notably the musicians on the go in need of quick but high quality ways to record on the go. I tried this feature and it worked great. I
As mentioned above, the Blue Cat Audio Destructor plugin provides all of the amp sounds in Axiom. It’s a very different kind of amp sim that provides the most tone editing capabilities of any amp sim you will find and then some. Again, if you haven’t researched Destructor, you should do so if you are thinking about buying Axiom. Reviews for it can be found on our page and readily with a google search. In a nutshell, it’s a plugin capable of creating any tone.
A huge selection of gorgeous clean tones, driven blues, punk rock, hard rock, thrash, djent, death metal and everything in between but the flexibility doesn’t end there. You can also do just about any style amp as well. Say you wake up one day and say hmm.. I would like a Mesa Boogie hi-gain tone closer to a modded Mark series amp than a rectifier. Spend some time and there it will be to slay dragons or maybe a snappy 70s country tone is your thing… again, no problem. Whatever you want to do can be done.
Axiom includes 40 effects that can be added in the pre or post sections. The selection includes boost, drive, fuzz, wah, reverb, EQ and a lot more for effects. Again, I need to mention that you can use your own VST / VST3 plugins inside Axiom anywhere in the pre or post FX slots. This is a feature this changes the game and hopefully it also leads to more customers demanding this feature in other full amp suites.
I didn’t really didn’t care for any of the boost or distortion effects included but everything else included was high quality, effective and useful.
Destructor is a guitar plugin for the most part but it’s also one of the best bass amp sims on the market. Blue Cat Audio designed Axiom the same way. Bass players get a ton of useful gear in both Destructor and Axiom that can be used to create any bass tone you can imagine for any use you could ever need. Axiom includes a ton of presets for bass ranging from clean to driven to distorted. Like the guitar side of Axiom, the bass side of the plugin also provides everything required to create any tone you can dream up.
The Destructor has a post filter section that simulates impulses and other filters which you can use to fine tune the tone. Every component has presets so when it comes to the post filter / impulse section you have plenty of starting points to go from. However if you prefer your own impulses, Axiom gives you the ability to add an impulse loader in its post effects section or use the post filter section in Destructor to load your own.
UPS / DOWNS:
I absolutely love Blue Cat Audio’s plugins. It took me a little time to really get used to how they do things but once I had a good grasp on it, great tones became easy and endless. There is simply no tone you can’t build in Axiom but you have to be willing to go beyond the usual plug and play experience. People go on an on about the customization and options inside plugins that really don’t put a lot into the “mods” but Axiom and Destructor give you a million high value ways to create your own professional quality guitar tones.
Posted Dec 29 2018