“Holds its own in the shadow of its older Oddity sibling, sporting some really beautiful synthetic textures”: GForce Software Axxess review

Recreating a classic (though not very obvious) ARP synth with characteristic aplomb. We get Axxess all areas…

  • £77
  • €88
  • $80
GForce Software Axxess
(Image: © GForce Software)

MusicRadar Verdict

It’s another great ARP emulation from GForce that holds its own in the shadow of its older Oddity sibling, sporting some really beautiful synthetic textures.


  • +

    Surprisingly varied sound.

  • +

    The effects make a big difference.

  • +

    Lots of modulation options.

  • +

    Everything is easy to use.


  • -

    Not a lot more gets you the company’s Oddity.

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GForce Software Axxess: What is it?

macOS: 10.13 or above
7 and above
AudioUnit, AAX, VST2, VST3
View at
Plugin Boutique

In the future, when our children will (or at least should) be taught synth history, the ‘ARP’ name will undoubtedly make at least one appearance. The Odyssey will definitely take its place as the 1970s alternative to the Minimoog, it’s a screaming Rolling Stone to the Minimoog’s calmer, more rounded Beatle. The 2600 also deserves a place – the much loved semi-modular as used by everyone from Depeche Mode to Stevie Wonder. But the ARP Axxe? Probably not. This was an oddity (sorry) in that it was basically a cut-down Odyssey, featuring one oscillator. In fact, it featured pretty much one of everything else – filter, LFO and envelope generator – so it could have been considered very much as the cheaper ARP. Not so much an Odyssey, then, more a trip around the corner to your local shop. 

Gforce Software has, of course, already recreated probably the finest Odyssey ever to grace your desktop in the form of Oddity. For its second ARP, it hasn’t gone down the obvious 2600 route but chosen the Axxe instead. We’ll assume the 2600 is in the works so ‘Axxess’ might well be something to feed us hungry synth users in the meanwhile, and while it might not be the obvious ARP recreation, GForce has included attractive extras, and also wrapped it all up in a reasonably budget price. 

GForce Software Axxess

(Image credit: GForce Software)

GForce Software Axxess: Performance and verdict

The original synth was a 1975 monosynth but GForce has upped the voice count to six. It’s also added its X-Modifiers modulation system – more on this later – a sub oscillator, a great vintage knob, sequencer, effects, 350 presets and a top-notch browser to go through them. 

Also consider...

GForce Software Oddity3

(Image credit: GForce)

GForce Software Oddity 3
The older sibling will demand your money with menace – just like older siblings tend to do.

Baby Audio BA-1
Quite a different synth but still with the same attitude, grit and retro feel nonetheless.

Of course, all of this begs the question: with so many extras, when does a synth emulation become a totally new synth? But GForce insists that “Axxess retains the warm analogue sound and fundamental architecture at the heart of the original”. 

Moving onto that sound and while you might be expecting a kind of thinned-out Odyssey, you will be surprised at what Axxess delivers. Sure the amount of classic 1970s synth sounds is second to none. But the extra sub oscillator means that there are plenty of fat basses and quite a few with a lot of movement for more contemporary electronic genres. And on top of the tearing leads, there are quite a few shimmering hits and more atmospheric stabs in there too – many with a lot more subtlety than we were expecting given the apparent simplicity of the synth. Lots of arpeggiations and sequences notch things up a lot, and it’s very easy to tweak everything by way of the synth’s front panel – complicated this synth is not. 

Surprisingly, although maybe not given the extra five notes, are how many astounding pads there are. Audition Brilliant World for some gently evolving, well, brilliance, or Luminous Horizon for some pulsing atmosphere. Indeed these pads could well be the highlight of the synth; only GForce could be so utterly smart  and off-the-wall with their synth programming skills to make one of our favourite pad synths one based on a mono.

Only GForce could be so utterly smart and off-the-wall with their synth programming skills

Overall, the sound of this synth is surprisingly broad and nuanced, then, as the modern extras really do bring a lot to the party. Talking of which, the sequencer/arpeggiator section is also a big bonus with its 16-step sequencer being well-featured and easy to program and inviting hands on performance – the effects also shine in conjunction with it. 

GForce Software Axxess

(Image credit: GForce Software)

Modulation and effect extras

Two of the biggest features in Axxess are the effects and X-Modifiers, both of which are at the top of the main UI, although can be hidden. The effects do make a huge difference to the sound of the synth: the distortion adding grit to what can already be quite a raw sound, the delays some extra thickness and interest, while the reverb is doubtless the one effect that brings in the unexpected atmosphere. 

However, while it’s perhaps obvious what these bring, GForce’s X-Modifiers are less obvious but just as important. These are located at the top left of the UI and, as with other GForce synths (like Oddity 3), you get an LFO (XLFO) and envelope (XADSR) which you can apply to pretty much every parameter. Click on the parameter (we’ve chosen the Resonance slider) and it colours blue. Now push up the Amp slider up on XLFO and the LFO does it’s thing to the resonance – easy! These 2024 extras really do update the 1975 synth in many dramatic ways, so are very welcome.

An Axxe to fall? 

Axxess then, earns its place as a glimmering entry in the GForce canon. It embodies the company’s guiding philosophy of “make a great synth sound greater and add loads of new stuff while we’re at it”. We’d give Axxess an unbridled ‘yes’, but, if you have Oddity3 then you don’t need to get this as well. On its own merits, it’s undoubtedly another GForce victory. One which we’ll be relying on for a long time to come… 

MusicRadar verdict: It’s another great ARP emulation from GForce that holds its own in the shadow of its older Oddity sibling, sporting some really beautiful synthetic textures.

GForce Software Axxess: The web says

"The Axxess is another excellent software Synthesizer from GForce Software. The sound quality is pristine, the patches are fun, and you can hear the “analog” vibe in the sounds."
Synth Anatomy

GForce Software Axxess: Hands-on demos

GForce Software


The Sampleist

GForce Software Axxess: Specifications

  • macOS 10.13 or above. Intel & Apple Silicon Native. Standalone Application, AudioUnit, AAX, VST2, VST3.
  • Windows 7 and above. 2GHz CPU with 2GB RAM. Standalone Application, VST, VST3, AAX.
  • CONTACT: GForce Software
Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.