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[UPDATE - 8.31.23]

On Walrus Audio's live stream today they announced the launch of firmware update 2.0 which includes quite a few improvements to the already impressive feature set of the ACS1. In the stream it was announced that the team listened to their users, reviewed their product and made the decision to rebuilt the amp and cab simulations from the ground up. 

One thing the guys at Walrus recognized was that they we're going to need help building IRs that could deliver a product superior to what the current firmware offers. That's why they've teamed up Tone Factor to create some of the best if not THE best IRs on the market today. This is very exciting news for users that have wanted more options for stock IRs.

What else is there? Well, more gain more gain more gain! As mentoned the amp models have been rebuilt from the ground up to include more gain, and when they say more gain they really mean it! When I found out the new firmware was available I immediately updated my ACS1 and tried it out. Let me tell you, the Bluesbreaker amp simulation now has enough gain to rival a Plexi!

In addition to more gain in the amp models, there's also more gain and volume (+4db) in the boost section. I tried this as well, and it is loud! 

That's really about it in the firmware 2.0 update, but man have they delivered on some big items that a lot of users have been asking for. One thing to mention, which is listed in the changelog before uopdating you ACS1, is that applying this update will erase and saved presets you have as well as any exisiting IRs. As far as I can tell, there's not any way - at least via - to backup your firmware before updating. This might be a scary idea to some that have gotten used to the pedals current feature set, but in my opion the update is totally worth it!


[ORIGINAL POST - 8.28.23]

Walrus Audio, purveyors of fine guitar effects and one of my personal favorite makers, announced on Meta Monday that they will be doing a live stream this Thursday to discuss some "news" regarding the ACS1. For those of you who are not familiar with the ACS1, it's an amp+cab simulator that some would call Walrus' answer to Strymon's very popular amp and cab simulator, the Iridium. 

A Beloved Pedal

Since it's launch it's become a favorite of many direct board users for it's size, versatility and pedal-friendly gain structure. The ACS1 is set apart from other amp and cab simulators on the market mainly by it's ability to assign different combinations of amps and cabs on on either left or right channel, which leaves room for a lot of experimentation, especially in recording. The ACS1 also features a Room reverb which is very usable and gives your amp the effect of being mic'd from farther in a large room without muddying up the mix. 

Previous Firmware Updates

When initially launched, users found a few quirks with the pedal that Walrus was quick to address. After all, Walrus Audio is known for their customer service just about as much as their high-quality effects units. Soon after the first firmware update was released they, released huge update which included additional features like enhancements to the limiting structure, more gain for amp models, an updated EQ, a global low-pass and high-pass filter, and updates to the volume controls.

What's The News? 

Walrus Audio's recent post was met quickly with concerns about whether or not a new ACS1 would be coming out, and if customers should wait to buy one. One commentor asked "Should I hold off buying one for the moment then?", to which Walrus replied "nope, you'll just be more glad that you did. 😊". Subsequent replies praised Walrus Audio saying things like "Now this is how you create hype", and I gotta say I'm pretty hyped myself. 

It's been a minute since Walrus Audio's last major firmware release back in 2021, and with this new announcement we're expecting this update to have some major enhancements in it - But what will those enhancements be? Some are speculating that there could be a companion software editor released for more pedal tweakability. Maybe there will be more options for reverb algorithms? We could spend all day speculating, so tell us what you think in the comments below!

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