Fractal Audio Systems
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Learn More About Fractal Audio
The Fractal Audio Systems company was started in 2006 creating the revolutionary Axe-Fx line of preamp and FX processors.
Guitarists around the world have since raved about Fractal technology.
Fractal Audio is dedicated to high quality products without compromise in the pursuit of “eXtreme digital technology.”
Shortly after the birth of the electric guitar and the amplifier, guitarists began experimenting with manipulating the basic tone of their instruments. Guitar amplifiers quickly began to incorporate spring reverb "tanks" soon followed by tremolo and overdrive effects. In the endless pursuit of unique and new sounds, guitarists craved for even more sonic options and the FX pedal was born !
Among the first dedicated effect pedals that were created were the wah-wah, distortion and fuzz.
Early pedal design and construction was crude, yet time and legend has elevated these first pedals to a point where some guitarists feel they were blessed with almost magical properties. With the introduction of the IC (integrated circuit) in the late 1960's, builders were able to design more complicated FX.
By the 1970's a slew of "stomp" based pedals were available that included Chorus, Phaser and Flanger.
As technology evolved, and Integrated circuits became more complicated and compact, a new breed of effect was pushed into the limelight: DIGITAL. Digital FX were said to offer far greater performance with lower noise, delay times that were previously impossible, studio quality reverbs, and more. Soon the multi-FX processor was born. In a single rack fitting unit a guitar player could now have the equivalent of a dozen different FX pedals. Competition was rife as companies began trying to out do each other by stuffing more and more features into their boxes. However, in the end this led to the eventual downfall in digital's popularity. As design gave way to profit, many musicians soon began to question if digital was infact a better option. Were they really getting all that was promised?
Competitive pricing pressures and extreme cost cutting forced manufactures to begin using lower quality parts and quickly programmed algorithms for their FX. This caused the quality of digital FX to noticeably suffer. Grainy tones, unrelaistic effects, and higher noise floor cast doubt into many guitarists minds about the quality of digital pedals and multi fx. This led to many guitarist players rebelling against digital FX and analog stomp-pedals have reigned king ever since.
Old analogue guitar pedal FX have become collectors items these days, and more and more guitarists have left the rack processor fuelled 80s behind in favour of an all analog pedal board of individual FX.
The truth is, digital tech is very capable of delivering all of the qualities that were originally promised. Today, more than ever before this can be seen (heard) with superior tonal quality, ease of using multiple FX simultaneously, programmability and unrivalled control.
With the Axe-Fx (and now AX8) product lines we have hopefully restored opinions of guitarists the world over that digital effects are not an inferior solution to guitar processing needs. Every aspect of each of our product lines has been created with this as the main focus to deliver the ultimate in tone and quality.
We thank the many guitar and bass players, the unsung heroes and bedroom superstars alike, who choose to stand behind Fractal Audio at the beginning of a new era in guitar tone and technology.