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Dutch Axe-Fest 2016

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On June 4th 2016 nearly 100 guitar players gathered in Utrecht for the 2016 edition of Dutch Axe-Fest, an event aimed at users and potential users of Fractal Audio gear. We counted an all-male audience. Well, and two girlfriends. Even with extraordinary warm weather outside, people stayed at the event until the end.

carlProgram

Compared to the previous edition in 2013, the focus was on presentations, demonstrations and TIFY-sessions (Try It For Yourself), rather than performances.

Carl Bergman

Carl Bergman (forum: “Gibsonlespaul”) welcomed the audience and showed a video where Chris Traynor of Bush explains the benefits of using Fractal Audio gear. He also did a fine job introducing each speaker.

yekAlexander van Engelen

Alexander van Engelen (Yek) was next on the list, explaining the various devices and ways to connect them. Knowing that a considerable part of the audience didn’t own a Fractal Audio device yet, he explained how to work with the grid, and where to go to find information and help.

At the end of the afternoon Alexander hosted a 2nd session, providing tips and tricks. He showed how to create automatic swells, to build a preset for an acoustic guitar, to fight annoying frequencies by using peak EQ-ing and more.FX8 mk2 240

The FX8 Mark II was shown to the audience , just a day after it had been announced by Fractal Audio. The FX8 Mark II has the same physical layout as the AX8 and features even lower floor noise.

Viewers also noticed that the firmware on the AX8 on display was a beta one. This will enable users to configure “momentary” switches and assign switches to external controllers.

fr12TIFY

anandDuring the TIFY sessions members of the audience were able to get a guitar and test an Axe-Fx II, AX8 or FX8. Several “workstations’ were prepared for this purpose. Guitars (including an innovative headless model) were supplied by De Brug gitaren. People were able to hear and test the new 1x12 fullrange monitor by Matrix.

It was easily noticeable that there were quite a few heavy players present, looking for “that” metal sound.

The TIFY sessions were also the right moments for a short break, conversations with other attendees and enjoy the weather outside.

Anand Mahangoe 

Next was Anand, who delivered a great performance at Axe-Fest 2013 and succeeded again in getting the attention of the audience. He explained how he creates his presets and the ideas behind them. He finished with a blistering performance of Joe Satriani’s Surfing with the alien.

Jens Larsen 

Jens Larsen, guitar player in Traeben, and famous for his YouTube lessons, is still waiting for delivery of his AX8. But he was present to try the device already. Since he had dialed in a very convincing Twin preset in a few minutes, he was talked into giving a short and sweet performance.markus

Markus Hohmann

Markus Hohmann (forum: “Morphosis), owner of Cabir.eu, then introduced the audience to the miracles of impulse responses (IRs). Not shy of discussions with the audience, he explained in a great pace the theory behind IRs and then proceeded with an actual capture process, using Alexander’s Port City 2x12 cabinet. This demonstrated very clearly the similarity between the sound of a mic’d cabinet and that of the IR.jon sonic

Jon Symons

We know Jon from his awesome sound clips and tone matching. He’s the musical leader of the band Valhella and runs his home studio Sonic Drive. Well into the afternoon, Jon was able to keep the audience focused with his skills, explaining how he creates those demos in Cubase and providing tips and tricks about double-tracking, EQ-ing, recording bass etc.

The Final

The final, hosted by Carl, was irresistible: the chance to win a brand new AX8 in a lottery! Liquid_Metal, well known on the Gitaarnet forum, drew the lucky lot and got to take it home, having paid just € 15 for the lot!

There were loads of other give-aways, also made possible through the generosity of Stomplabel.de and Cabir.eu.

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1Organization

The event was organized by Carl Bergman and Alexander van Engelen. Many thanks go to the other speakers, Jill Loor for the pictures, Rob Kroyenga (forum: “Betweenus”) and Jules van Engelen for helping. 

thumbAnd…

It took 2,5 years to “recover” from the previous Dutch Axe-Fest. With the ever growing list of users of Fractal Audio gear, it may not last that long again until the next edition.
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