AXP has released Flextron, a virtual-analog guitar amp effect plug-in for Windows, made for the KVR Audio Developer Challenge 2014.
It’s based on a concept of the hybrid guitar distortion pedal I’ve built for myself a while ago. The prototype pedal in its turn was based on two commercial tube emulation technologies – Flexwave by Crate and Cooltron by VOX.
This combination was discovered by accident when I was repairing my bandmate’s VOX Bulldog distortion pedal. I didn’t like the Bulldog that much, however I got interested in its low-voltage tube design so I assembled a copy on a test bench. On its own it has provided very little overdrive, just as expected, but when combined with the Crate Flexwave preamp (my favorite solid-state distortion) it has completed its already great tone, giving it more fullness and presence. I’ve used this arrangement for rehearsals and some gigs and got complemented for the tone.
Flextron goes a step further and accurately models a range of Crate solid-state amps powered by the Flexwave circuit. Every stage of the preamp signal path is carefully analyzed and modeled with the same attention to details as my previous SoftDrive GV and SoftAmp FM25 plugins.
Flextron for Windows (VST) is a free download.
More information: AXP / Flextron
AXP has released SoftAmp FM25, a free virtual-analog model of the Fender Frontman 25R solid-state combo amp.
The Frontman is a versatile solid-state practice amplifier for electric guitar. It’s equipped with 10″ speaker, has 2 channels that share a 3-band equalizer, and a spring reverb. The current issue sports a classic “Blackface” look.
“Huh, a solid state Fender practice amp model. Now that is an interesting choice” – was the initial response from one of the beta testers. The reason for that choice is simple: Frontman 25R was the first guitar amp I’ve ever owned. To my best knowledge its digital model did not exist, so I decided to fill the gap. And after all, who needs yet another incarnation of say, JCM800? :)
This VST model is a tribute to the original design and faithfully models all its essential features. It is mainly intended for quick and simple recording of draft tracks as well as for some live jamming whenever you don’t feel like setting up a more sophisticated amp simulator.
The SoftAmp FM25 effect plug-in is available to download as a VST plug-in for 32- and 64-bit Windows.
More information: AXP / SoftAmp FM25
AXP has released SoftDrive GV, a free virtual-analog model of the Marshall “Guv’nor” and “Guv’nor GV-2 Plus” guitar distortion effects.
The Guv’nor is a solid-state distortion pedal first issued in 1989 to recreate the sound of a cranked up Marshall stack in a small stomp-box format. It became rather popular in the 90’s and is still used widely nowadays for its quality high-gain sound and a its tonal versatility. It was re-issued in the early 2000 in an updated housing and incorporating a new “Deep” control to mimic the effect of a JCM2000’s “Deep” switch.
This VST model is a tribute to the original effect and models the circuits of both the “vanilla” Guv’nor and its modern GV-2 variant.
SoftDrive GV expands on the original design and brings in new possibilities unthinkable of outside of the digital realm. In the spirit of my prior creations, this plug-in also features a few things to visualize what’s going on inside the box.
SoftDrive GV is available to download as freeware for Windows (VST).
More information: AXP / SoftDrive GV
AXP has announced the release of CharBooster, a free guitar booster/overdrive effect plug-in for Windows.
The CharBooster is based on the 12ax7 tube preamp and the ATR-102 tape recorder models.
CharBooster is a composite overdrive effect tailored specifically to be used as booster in front of any virtual amplifier model. It essentially consists of a pre-emphasis filter section designed to provide a variation of voicings for your instrument followed by a saturation circuit that excites the signal with harmonics while still being as transparent as possible.
The UI is not trying to look like a hardware stomp box but rather has a range of meters and scopes to provide an insight on what is going on with your signal.
CharBooster is available as a freeware VST effect plug-in for Windows (32/64-bit).
More information: AXP
AXP has released SoftAmp GT, a free guitar amplifier effect plugin for Windows.
SoftAmp GT is a virtual emulation of a well-known analog guitar amplifier simulator stomp-box. The prototype is a solid state circuit that uses op-amps to saturate the signal and moderate filtering to shape the tone throughout the signal path.
The speaker simulation is achieved by a steep low-pass filter as well as some middle-frequency manipulation to resemble different microphone positions.
The plug-in is freeware for Windows (VST).
More information: AXP