The IK Multimedia AmpliTube effects go hardware in the form of four new hands-on X-GEAR guitar pedals packed with versatile algorithms and MIDI power.
From software to hardware manufacturer or the other way. IK Multimedia has been two-pronged for many years and is constantly showing new products in both areas. One of their flagship products remains the AmpliTube guitar software, which I even like to use with synths.
Version 5 is the newest version and has gotten better and more powerful in many areas. The quality has now reached the point for the next step. So IK decided to put their award-winning algorithms in four new X-GEAR effects pedals. These are the first effects pedals in its company history, finally.
IK Multimedia AmpliTube X-GEAR Pedals
The AmpliTube X-Gear series consists of four new DSP-powered effects pedals: X-DRIVE distortion, X-VIBE modulation, X-TIME delay & X-SPACE reverb. Each pedal has 16 different effects taken from the most popular AmpliTube models plus all-new reverb and delay algorithms. A big advantage is that pedals can communicate with the AmpliTube 5 software. Each pedal comes with a virtual X-GEAR version of the exact same effects for use in AmpliTube 5 (SE version included).
So you can tweak sounds on the hardware, save them, but also import them into the software if necessary and use them in the DAW. A very interesting hybrid concept where you can benefit from both, the hardware and software world. We saw something similar from Positive Grid in the past.
Guitar pedals are no different from synths. The higher the quality and power, the longer you can have fun with the pedal. Here IK Multimedia goes this way. The X-GEAR pedals are made in Italy, feature an aluminum chassis, and offer high-quality audio components.
According to the developer, they are ultra-low on noise, include 24-bit/192kHz converters, an extended 5hz-24kHz frequency response, and up to 123 dB dynamic range for whisper-quiet operation. Also, you get a pure analog dry path, and a selectable true or soft bypass. Cool, IK also includes 5 cabinet impulse responses in each pedal to connect them directly to the PA.
Interface & Presets
The interface of the X-Gear pedals looks simple and intuitive at first glance. They have a high-contrast LED display, 8 knobs, and three switches that allow you to tweak the effects on the fly, change presets, and more. Talking about presets. You can save up to 300 presets on the hardware pedal and import/export them between the pedal and AmpliTube using the X-GEAR preset manager.
Connectivity, MIDI, and USB Audio Interface
The X-Gear pedals are stereo, so you get stereo (L/R) inputs and outputs on the backside. IK Multimedia gives you the option to choose between sending the wet or dry signals to their DAW what’s a neat functionality. There’s also a stereo out for monitoring your sounds. Thanks to the MIDI interface on the backside and the full MIDI implementation users can map the dials and stomps to control the software and/or any compatible program. They also support MIDI command messages for instant effect changes. Plus, you get an expression pedal input.
Once connected to the computer, X-GEAR pedals also work as a handy audio interface. Also here they use the same ultra-noise converters and frequency response to capture bass or guitar in all its range and dynamics. Hopefully, synthesizer signals too, as pedals are becoming more and more important for electronic music.
According to IK Multimedia, the X-GEAR pedals have an open architecture for future updates. One can certainly be curious about what will come along. The launch was very focused on guitars and bass. I would be very interested in how well they harmonize with synthesizers or other electronic instruments. Since they have stereo inputs/outputs, that shouldn’t be a problem.
IK Multimedia AmpliTube X-GEAR pedals will be available in August and can be now pre-ordered from the official webstore and retailers for $/€ 299.99 (without taxes).
More information here: IK Multimedia