Pro Audio

Engineering the Sound: test driving IK Multimedia’s AXE I/O and AmpliTube 5

We put IK Multimedia’s AXE I/O and AmpliTube 5 bundle to the test in the Engineering the Sound studio. With plenty of tonal options in the analog and digital domains, it could be a guitarist’s secret weapon in the studio.

Recently, IK Multimedia updated their industry-leading amp, cabinet and stompbox emulation software, AmpliTube, reaching version number five. Combined with IK’s innovative guitar interface, AXE I/O, the combo is close to irresistible — we were looking forward to giving it the Engineering the Sound treatment.

Together, the two provide the best of analog circuitry and digital versatility. With several options to provide the best front-end possible for your guitar and a galaxy of options for when you get inside the box, the AXE I/O and AmpliTube 5 bundle offers up genuine character for DAW-based guitarists.

On the front-end, the AXE I/O is an audio interface that provides what IK Multimedia call, “advanced guitar tone shaping” a claim that is hard to argue with. The discerning guitarist will want to at least have options for subtle tonal shifts before the signal hits the converters. To this end, the AXE I/O provides a few crucial choices.

The Z-Tone variable impedance knob, for example, gives players a range of colours to perfectly compliment their guitar’s pickup configuration. Plus, you can also switch between the JFET transformer DI and a pure path.

As an audio interface for any purpose, it’s quite versatile, with two mic/line inputs on the rear, as well as four outputs, and a MIDI input and output. On the front, there’s a tuner, plus a preset switch for navigating your favourite sounds from the AmpliTube 5 software.

Dozens of amp models are provided in this comprehensive suite. The list is far too long to detail here, but all your favourites from the golden era of the American and British amps and classic bass amps are present.

AmpliTube 5

A swathe of stompboxes, cabinets galore (including Leslies), a mic locker to die for and an Abbey Road‘s worth of rack-mounted effects. Beyond that, Volumetric Impulse Response technology means you can attain unprecedented realism when you’re experimenting with microphone placement.

IK Multimedia has ticked many a box with the AXE I/O and AmpliTube 5 bundle. A characterful blend of analog and digital know-how gives guitarists a chance to create their own library of signature tones, all while staying in the box.

For more, visit IK Multimedia.