Fractal Audio Systems was founded in 2006 to create the revolutionary Axe-Fx line of preamp/effect processors. Guitarists everywhere have since embraced Fractal technology. At Fractal, we are dedicated to quality without compromise in the pursuit of “eXtreme digital technology.”

Shortly after the advent of the electric guitar and the amplifier, guitar players began to experiment with altering the basic sound of their instruments. Amplifiers soon began to incorporate reverb and then tremolo and overdrive. Never satisfied, guitarists yearned for even more sonic possibilities and the effect pedal was born. These consisted of wah-wah, distortion and other simple effects. Although crude, folklore has exalted these early pedals to the point where some feel they were endowed with almost mystical properties. With the introduction of the integrated circuit in the late 60’s, designers realized more complicated effects. By the 1970’s a myriad of pedals were available: Chorus, phaser and flanger effects became ubiquitous.

As technology marched on and IC’s became ever denser, a new paradigm was thrust into the spotlight: digital. Digital effects, it was promised, would offer far superior performance: zero noise, nearly infinite delay times, pristine reverbs, and more. Soon the multi-effect was born. In a single rackmounted unit the guitarist could have the equivalent of a dozen different effect pedals. Competition was fierce with each manufacturer trying to one-up the other by cramming more and more into their boxes. Ultimately, and unfortunately, this led to digital’s demise. As engineering gave way to marketing, many soon began to question the Emperor’s new clothes. Pricing pressures and cost cutting forced engineers to use low-grade components and inferior algorithms, and the quality of the effects suffered. Grainy, cheesy, noisy. No doubt many have heard these terms when referring to digital effects. Soon, many guitarists rebelled against digital effects and analog pedals have now enjoyed a renaissance. Old analog pedals are prized and sought among vintage collectors. Musicians ditched rack processors in favor of a board full of individual pedals.

But in fact, digital technology is quite capable of delivering all of the benefits that were originally touted. Now, more than ever this promise is realized with superior sound quality, the convenience of multiple simultaneous effects, programmability and superior control. With the Axe-Fx line of products — and now beyond it with new offerings — we have hopefully restored digital to its rightful place as the superior solution to guitar signal processing. Every aspect of every one of our products is designed with this in mind to deliver the ultimate in sonic quality. We thank the many musicians, unsung heroes and guitar superstars alike, who now stand behind Fractal at the dawn of a new age in guitar tone and technology.

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Fractal Audio Timeline

Feb-2020 The FM3 Amp Modeler/FX Processor begins shipping.
Apr-2019 Fractal Audio holds “Axe-Fest III: Boston” an East Coast presentation with celebrity performers and more.
Apr-2019 The FM3 is announced: a small portable Amp Modeler/Multi-Fx floor unit based on Axe-Fx III technology.
Dec-2018 Fractal Audio Systems’ next gen foot controllers, the FC-6 and FC-12, begin shipping.
Feb-2018 Fractal Audio Systems begins shipping the X-LOAD LB-2, a reactive load box ideal for both live and studio applications.
Jan-2018 Fractal Audio Systems announces the new Axe-Fx III.
Dec-2017 Fractal Audio Systems wraps up a record-breaking year with a gift of free cab packs to all its customers.
Oct-2017 QUANTUM v9 firmware for the Axe-Fx II and AX8 is released with a new model of speaker compression, new effects, and more.
Jul-2017 The EV-2 begins shipping, a compact version of our award-winning Expression/Volume pedal.
Aug-2017 Fractal Audio participates in musician workshops. By now, the list includes Dweezil Zappa, John Petrucci, Plini, Intervals, Animals as Leaders, Adrian Belew, and many more.
Jun-2017 The artist roster has grown to include Don Felder (The Eagles), Lyle Workman, and many more
Jan-2017 The AX8 has been awarded top honors by every major guitar magazine, matching its big brother the Axe-Fx.
Jun-2016 FX8 Mark II begins shipping, sporting a host of design improvements and block compatibility with the Axe-Fx II.
Jun-2016 The artist roster has grown to include Joe Satriani, Andy Summers, Robert Fripp, and many more
Apr-2016 The 24th Cab Pack is live in our store! This model has launched an entire industry of producers selling IRs for guitar.
Jan-2016 The EV-1 expresion volume pedal is shipping. It combines a high-quality expression and analog volume into one top-quality product.
Nov-2015 The Edge of U2 is officially added to the Fractal Artist roster.
Nov-2015 Announcing FAS-FX Reverb, the first VST/AU plugin from Fractal Audio Systems.
Sep-2015 QUANTUM firmware is announced for the Axe-Fx II, representing a milestone in amp modeling technology through Realtime Spice (RTS).
Apr-2015 FX8 Multi-Fx pedalboard processor begins shipping .
May-2015 Fractal Audio Systems launches its own line of Cables for use with its products
Mar-2015 Fractal Audio Systems named in a Wall Street Journal article about the skills of ‘concert technicians’.
Mar-2015 Axe-Fx II Firmware 18 with “G3 Amp Modeling” is released.
Feb-2015 Fractal Audio announces the AX8, an all-new Amp Modeler / Multi-FX pedalboard and the company’s first all-in-one floor unit
Feb-2015 Cab Lab 3 IR Mixer and Tools, including the first plugin from Fractal Audio Systems, is launched.
Feb-2015 The Axe-Fx II XL becomes the XL+, with improved display and even lower noise floor.
Jan-2015 EV1 Expression/Volume Pedal begins shipping.
Oct-2014 A special “Thank You” to Fractal Audio Systems appears in the liner notes of U2’s Songs of Innocence.
Oct-2014 FX8 Multi-FX Pedalboard is announced.
Apr-2014 Fractal Audio releases Cab Pack 4 -Universal Noise Storage studios, the first cab pack in UltraRes™
Mar-2014 MFC-101 Mark III ships, allowing 2-way MIDI and power over a single XLR cable using Fractal Audio’s proprietary FASLINK™ connection.
Feb-2014 UltraRes™, our patent-pending IR technology, dramatically increases speaker sim quality without added latency or CPU use.
Jan-2014 The Axe-Fx II XL is announced, featuring expanded memory and numerous other improvements.
May-2013 Fractal offers the first in its CAB PACK series of professionaly produced Speaker Cab IRs.
Apr-2013 Axe-Fx II Firmware 10 introduces MIMIC™, a revolutionary improvement to amp modeling.
Apr-2013 Fractal-Bot is launched, offering a standalone, lightweight MIDI utility for Fractal products.
Oct-2012 Alex Lifeson adopts the Axe-Fx II, thrilling the many Rush fans who work at Fractal Audio.
Oct-2012 Axe-Fest West, featuring 2 days of Fractal-related presentations and performances draws record crowds to the L.A. Amp Show.
Jun-2012 AxeChange, our preset and cab sharing web site is launched.
Jul-2011 shop.fractalaudio.com is launched.
May-2011 Fractal Audio Systems announces Axe-Fx II, the long-awaited successor to the Ultra.
Oct-2010 The MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller is released.
May-2010 Fractal Audio Welcomes Steve Vai AND John Petrucci to its artist roster this month.
Apr-2010 The artist roster has grown to include Steve Stevens, Tosin Abasi, Adrian Belew, Chris Broderick, Devin Townsend, Neal Schon and many more.
Sep-2009 By now, the Axe-Fx has won every top award from every major guitar magazine.
Apr-2009 Four new artists become the “cornerstones” of our roster: Dweezil Zappa, Chris Traynor, Pete Thorn, and Larry Mitchell.
Sep-2008 The Fractal Audio Systems forum is launched.
Jun-2008 Axe-Fx firmware 5 draws major attention with dramatic improvements to amp modeling.
May-2007 Axe-Fx Wiki is launched.
Apr-2007 Axe-Fx Ultra is announced.
Jan-2007 store.fractalaudio.com is launched.
Dec-2006 The first firmware update is released, establishing what will become Fractal’s commitment to product evolution.
Nov-2006 fractalaudio.com goes live.
Mar-2005 The first internet forum posts about “an AxeFx” appear, stating “This guy Cliff built it from scratch and did all the DSP coding.”
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Amid the current outbreak of COVID-19, our business remains almost fully operational and extra measures to ensure the safety of our customers and employees have been taken. We continue to accept and fulfill orders via UPS as allowed for e-Retailers in the state of New Hampshire. Our engineering, sales, and customer service teams continue to work remotely with almost no limitations, though our repair and service capabilities are currently diminished. Be smart and stay safe, and thank you for choosing Fractal Audio Systems.
Amid the current outbreak of COVID-19, our business remains almost fully operational and extra measures to ensure the safety of our customers and employees have been taken. We continue to accept and fulfill orders via UPS as allowed for e-Retailers in the state of New Hampshire. Our engineering, sales, and customer service teams continue to work remotely with almost no limitations, though our repair and service capabilities are currently diminished. Be smart and stay safe, and thank you for choosing Fractal Audio Systems.