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Out of the loop for a long time...any plans for Fractal software sim like Helix Native?

OverAmp

Regular
I haven't been around these parts for quite some time. With the release of the Axe 3, I wondered whether there has been any talk of an AxeFX software solution.

I don't really need hardware these days as anything I'd work on is at home on my PC so I don't see myself upgrading to a new unit but, I would probably jump on a software solution if it existed.
 

Narzugon

Forum Addict
The last I heard was still a negative. Although since then Fractal released their Reverb plugin. Maybe that was to test the software waters? Dunno.
 

stm113

Veteran
My guess is Cliff ain’t gonna do it, not because it can’t be done but because he don’t wanna do it.
 

Keybi

Inspired
The AXE is a perfect combination of special designed hardware and software. A PC simply doesn't have the horsepower. You can't turn a VW rabbit into a Ferrari by adding some lines of code. I also have an Apollo Interface here. Connected via Thunderbolt, the amp plugins are pretty good. But again, it is no secret that the number crunching is done in the Apollo, not in the MAC. So IMHO there never will be a software only solution.
 

Gonwild

Inspired
The AXE is a perfect combination of special designed hardware and software. A PC simply doesn't have the horsepower. You can't turn a VW rabbit into a Ferrari by adding some lines of code. I also have an Apollo Interface here. Connected via Thunderbolt, the amp plugins are pretty good. But again, it is no secret that the number crunching is done in the Apollo, not in the MAC. So IMHO there never will be a software only solution.
A modern PC today have all the horsepower (don't know about complex fx chains though, like the ax3), but there are other challanges when it comes to development, rapid changes in hardware for the platform etc. A working version of what I think was called AXE-PC was rumoured to be in existence at Fractal some years ago, but never released to the public. Think there was a photo of it running on a laptop. So it's possible, but up to Fractal to decide what they want to release.

As for Helix VST, I don't think the old Pod Farm/Gear Box from Line6 was ever cracked as long as it required their hardware as a dongle. A bit less userfriendly, but still a good solution at the time. I used it a lot. Don't know why they moved away from the hardware-dongle combo.

(I have tried the Helix VST, and although it sounds good, I don't think it matches the AX8 amps modeling. So I found the reamping hassle to be something I just gotta do to get that sound I want).
 
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I happen to think Fractal is missing a huge opportunity to separate their amp models into plugins, and release them individually over time. Even if they get cracked, who cares. The Reverb plugin is still not cracked, and ilok is pretty good. Look, people just want convincing tones, and if they lets say started out with a 5150 model, Friedman, or Marshall model, it would sell well, and bring in some good revenue if the price was reasonable. Its a good way to test the waters. Release a single model, see how sales are impacted for 6 months, and either release more, or stop.
 

s0c9

Moderator
Moderator
I happen to think Fractal is missing a huge opportunity to separate their amp models into plugins, and release them individually over time. Even if they get cracked, who cares. The Reverb plugin is still not cracked, and ilok is pretty good. Look, people just want convincing tones, and if they lets say started out with a 5150 model, Friedman, or Marshall model, it would sell well, and bring in some good revenue if the price was reasonable. Its a good way to test the waters. Release a single model, see how sales are impacted for 6 months, and either release more, or stop.
While I can't say with certainty, and this is my "personal" opinion -
I seriously doubt FAS is worried about revenue!
 

Kamil Kisiel

Veteran
The biggest challenge with software plugins is platform support. At minimum you'd need VST and AU on Mac, and VST on PC. Preferably both VST2 and VST3. Even if you use some sort of cross-platform plugin development environment like JUCE, you still need to test your plugin on a wide range of supported DAWs because they each have their quirks. On top of that you also need to test on multiple versions of each DAW since a lot of studios don't like to upgrade their working environments very often. Once you've released the product it's not over either, because there are regular updates for all these software packages that you also need to test, and you need to do your testing again when you release an update to your own product.

It's not impossible but it's a lot of work that requires dedicated staff to keep track of all of this. It's basically a whole other kind of business than what Fractal is doing now. Developing for your own dedicated hardware is much easier in that sense.
 

chris

Legend!
i agree that clip sounds good. marco always sounds good :)

but it's funny. people say the Axe is so hard to dial in, yet i drop in an amp and cab and it instantly sounds "good." just tweak to taste.

with the Helix and previous gear, i've helped local musicians dial in their tones, and i spend hours trying to get it to feel "natural." and with so few parameters, it's really tough. the results are pretty good, but yeah. it's just funny to constantly hear how many hours it takes to use the Axe, yet other systems take me just as long, if not longer (and it's definitely not due to unfamiliarity).
 

Geoff

Regular
I do generally prefer the models in AX8, but the Helix Native is handy at times and can sound great. With Helix Native, an easy thing to over look is that you need to carefully keep an eye on the input levels. I run lower than I normally think I should, that is very important with the Helix software. I doubt I'd buy another expensive software (VST/AU) guitar modeler since I use it mostly for practice, but price would be key. Maybe I'd feel differently if I were a pro and recording real songs, not just running lots of loops for fun or practice.
 

steadystate

Fractal Fanatic
I gave Helix Native a throughout workout. I tried every amp, every cab, every effect, every parameter. I tried my best to get a great tone out of it. I found it virtually unusable. The market is full of amp sims that are far superior to Helix Native. BIAS, Revalver, and UAD's sims (to name a few) blow Helix out of the water. Totally. But if it works for someone else, more power to them. I could never recommend it.

I no longer want an Axe plugin. The III's USB reamping scheme does everything I need it to do. I predict we will never see one, and that's fine by me. Every plugin other than UAD has been cracked.
 
So now that Neural DSP is basically cornering the market by providing a viable solution for guitarists, I personally think it would be wise for Fractal to think about what the next 5-10 years will bring. This company is growing fast, and I am sure their fingertips are stretching out to bring on new artists and amplifier companies on board. I really think if hardware companies dont think fast (Fractal, Kemper), they will start to see a slow down in sales. It may not seem that way now, but Neural DSP has sound quality on par with both Fractal and Kemper, and at a fraction of the price. Fractal and Kemper both have big names, lots of users want access to what they have at a lower cost, I think the time is right. There is no question that within 5 years, the impact will be felt by companies like Neural DSP continuing to put out products that drive sales based on demand
 

NightWalker

Forum Addict
but Neural DSP has sound quality on par with both Fractal and Kemper,
not agree with this comment,i tried Neural plugins and the feeling/sound is not in the same league as fractal or kemper,there are too many cool amp modeling plugins out there like S-Gear,Mercuriall,Amplitube,Helix,TH-U but none sound like fractal or kemper.
 
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