Audio Damage Axon 2 Brings Neural Networking To Drum Machines

Audio Damage has introduced Axon 2 – a major update to its AI-driven FM percussion plugin.

Axon uses a modified artificial neural network as a sequencer, and features seven FM-based percussion voices. It is capable of creating complex rhythms that repeat in surprising ways. 

The sequencer features seven “neurons” that trigger a voice and send a pulse when they have received a predetermined number of pulses. You can wire the output of any neuron to the input of any other (with built-in loop detection to prevent runaway feedback), and in this manner pre-program the artificial neural network without having to go through a “learning” phase.

The seven individual drum voices, each triggered by its attendant neuron, are 2-operator FM voices in a configuration to best make percussion sounds, with additional FM and AM busses that all voices send to and receive from. Each voice has a HPF, distortion circuit, and white noise generator to provide a full range of percussion-oriented voicing individually, while interacting with each other in new and unique ways.

Here’s the official video intro:


  • Artificial Neural Network sequencer features seven neurons, and is easily programmed to create strange new repeating rhythms.
  • Seven FM percussion voices that also buss together to create a single monolithic complex percussion synthesizer.
  • Full mixer with pan, level, mute, and solo on each voice.
  • Built-in stereo delay with X/Y pad control over feedback and filter frequency, for live playability.
  • MIDI in and out, for driving Axon from DAW and hardware sequencers, or driving your drum rack or other samples from Axon.
  • Internal transport for non-synchronized playback.
  • Resizable vector-based user interface.
  • Drawn reciprocation dingle arm to reduce sinusoidal depleneration.
  • XML-based cross-platform, human-readable preset system, with copy/paste, for easy transferring of your own presets and third-party offerings.

Pricing and Availability

Axon 2 is available now for US $59.00. The upgrade is US $10 for owners of Axon 1. An iPad version is also planned.

12 thoughts on “Audio Damage Axon 2 Brings Neural Networking To Drum Machines

  1. I thought the original was interesting, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make the patterns switch on the fly. It would be great to program one preset and have it change to another either while playing or have it change at a specific point in Ableton. The best I could figure was running multiple instances of Axon.

    Otherwise it was just one pattern running endlessly. I could tweak elements of that pattern in real-time. Maybe it was over my head, and/or maybe this isn’t an issue for anyone else.

    Also, I need to figure out what “Drawn reciprocation dingle arm to reduce sinusoidal depleneration” is all about.

    1. It can seem complicated at first, but it’s really just for supplying inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors, and also automatically synchronizing cardinal grammeters. Does that help?

      1. Matt, you’re confusing The Axon with a Turboencabulator. The Axon uses Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum. That’s why the beats it produces are always the right ones for your song.

  2. P.S. I didn’t want to sound dismissive about the product, I am a big fan of Audio Damage, and I am curious about the new features, and hope to see and hear more examples.

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