IK Multimedia has one of the most well-regarded software guitar amp systems available in AmpliTube. They have decided to combine that software technology with a new premium audio interface for guitar, packed full of guitarist-friendly features. It’s called the AXE I/O — well, of course, it is!
AXE I/O is a 2 input, 5 output audio interface in a ruggedized rack style box. On the input, there’s a “Z-Tone” impedance adapting circuit that matches up to your pickups and is switchable between passive and active. The fully discrete input circuit has a choice of Pure or Class A JFET and takes you from transparent to tube-like at the throw of a switch.
The unexpected 5th output is an “Amp Out” designed to go straight to a guitar amplifier so that you can process your recordings through external gear rather than committing them to your project.
All the guitar amp and cabinet modeling are done in the included AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, with over 140 ultra-accurate models of guitar and bass amps, cabs, pedals, mics and more. You can dial in what you need via the front preset knob. On the back are two pedal inputs for expressive control that can be mapped directly to the software. They’ve even integrated a guitar tuner directly on the front panel.
And, like the Sono, it will do all the microphone recording and monitoring, as well — but the AXE I/O also has a handy MIDI In and Out port for connecting keyboards or floorboard controllers.
Along with the full-blown version of AmpliTube 4 you also get Ableton Live Lite to get you started with recording. Priced at $349 it’s a super package for the recording guitarist.
Street Price: $349