A handheld gateway to the world of home recording.
Doesn’t require a power supply or batteries. Works with any plug-in or DAW. Very simple interface.
Differences between preamp emulations are subtle.
Positive Grid Riff
It’s never been easier or less expensive to take part in the home recording experience. And Positive Grid’s newest entry into the interface market, called RIFF, exists at an impressive nexus of portability, functionality, and price. For around the cost of a decent overdrive, it’s a handheld audio interface that skips the bells and whistles for the sake of making a tool that just plain works.
The design is streamlined. The front of the unit is home to a backlit LCD screen and a multi-function push knob. There’s also a headphone output and audio input jack on the bottom along with an output jack on top next to a USB port. Setting up RIFF is a breeze. Apple Logic recognized the unit right away on my own computer, and because it’s powered via USB (or Lightning in iOS applications), you just plug in to your computer to power up. You can adjust four primary parameters: input gain, output gain, direct (which blends direct and processed tones coming from your computer for monitoring purposes) and tone, which cycles through three preamp emulations. The preamps are effective, though their overall effect and the differences between them can be subtle.
The recording quality of the RIFF is stellar. It handles 24bit/96kHz sample rates and there is little-to-no detectable latency. RIFF also comes bundled with the company’s BIAS FX 2 LE software for amp emulation, which makes RIFF a super fun way to practice on top of an incredibly handy recording setup.
Test Gear: Fender HSS Stratocaster, Fender Jazz Bass, Neural DSP Archetype: Cory Wong
Take a look at a powerful new USB interface loaded with Rupert Neve-designed transformers and new guitar-centric features in Cubase.
The UR-RT4 is a premium six input, four output USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface with switchable Rupert Neve Designs transformers on the front inputs. Combined with the onboard, high-quality D-PRE preamps, the Rupert Neve Designs transformers deliver a musical, more expressive sound with rich harmonics, which is especially beneficial for vocals, guitar and other instruments with a versatile dynamic range.
Offering a studio quality, mobile production platform with a range of input/output options for laptop and iPad, the onboard SSP2 DSP chip also delivers zero-latency FX for monitoring. The robust UR-RT4 is engineered to offer outstanding quality for its price class, making it the ideal portable production interface for PC, Mac or iOS.
Cubase is one of the most powerful music creation software packages in the world. With its unrivaled range of flexible tools, you can create any kind of music quickly and intuitively. It comes packed with a wide range of virtual instruments, effects and thousands of sounds. Whether you're a professional composer or a music production beginner, Cubase provides you with everything you need for turning your ideas into music.
The Axe I/O Solo is a compact 2-in/3-out USB audio interface that features IK’s Pure microphone preamp.
Modena, Italy (February 7, 2020) -- IK Multimedia brings its award-winning Z-TONE advanced tone-shaping, derived from IK’s AXE I/O hi-end guitar interface, to two new products: Z-TONE Buffer Boost pedal and Z-TONE DI active direct box.
Both offer a unique active/passive pickup selector switch to ensure the ideal gain staging for any instrument; switchable PURE and JFET input circuits to adjust from pristine, transparent sound to added warmth and harmonics; and IK’s patented Z-TONE variable impedance control for powerful new ways to shape an instrument’s sound & feel.
Z-TONE Buffer Boost
This guitar/bass preamp/DI pedal adds Z-TONE tone shaping to any player’s pedalboard or stage rig. Now users can adjust the feel and tone of their instrument directly by adjusting the input impedance of their preamp pedal before hitting the rest of their pedalboard. Z-TONE Buffer Boost also offers premium sound, with a best-in-class dynamic range and extended frequency response, delivering superior performance as an instrument preamp.
A buffered signal preserves instruments’ tone when using pedalboards or long cable runs, and a boost control provides added volume and drive when needed. Both the Z-TONE circuit and Boost circuit can be independently bypassed for more flexible control.
Z-TONE Buffer Boost offers true bypass on the pedal & amp output, while both balanced & unbalanced outputs let bass or acoustic players connect directly to mixers and PAs for a wider range of tonal or routing options. A ground lift switch is also included to eliminate buzz and hum.
Z-TONE Buffer Boost runs off either a 9V battery or standard 9V pedal power supply to make it easy for users to add to their existing rig.
This studio-quality active DI box lets users add Z-TONE tone shaping to line-level sources like mixers and interfaces, making it ideal for use both in the studio and on stage.
Like Z-TONE Buffer Boost, Z-TONE DI offers a best-in-class dynamic range for ultra-quiet operation, and a wide, extended frequency response that won’t cut off an instrument’s natural range. It features adjustable input and output gain, a balanced Main output with ground lift to eliminate buzz or hum, plus an unbalanced out for flexibility and a -20dB pad for an extended operating range.
A convenient “Link out” also mirrors the input signal directly, making it easy to capture a DI signal while still feeding an amplifier or pedalboard. Now users can record or mix both clean and amplified signals without the need for additional splitters or gear.
For added convenience, Z-TONE DI can be powered by either a 9V battery or +48V phantom power.
Made in ltaly
Z-TONE Buffer Boost and Z-TONE DI are both housed in sturdy metal chasses for extreme reliability and durability, and are designed and manufactured in Modena, Italy in IK Multimedia’s own state-of-the-art facilities.
Pricing and availability
Z-TONE Buffer Boost and Z-TONE DI will be available in March 2020, and are available for pre-order now from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide.
Z-TONE Buffer Boost: $/€169.99*
Z-TONE DI: $/€149.99*
*prices excluding taxes
IK Multimedia proudly announces AXE I/O SOLO, a new entry in its range of AXE I/O high-end guitar interfaces with advanced tone-shaping features.
Developed for guitar players who want to record the best possible sound on a budget or on the go, AXE I/O SOLO is a compact 2-in/3-out USB audio interface that features IK’s high-end PURE microphone preamp; an instrument input with proprietary tone-shaping options; an exclusive Amp Out to incorporate real gear into a recording setup; and 24-bit, 192 kHz converters with a wide dynamic range, for pristine recordings in all musical genres.
AXE I/O SOLO can also act as a controller for use with IK’s included AmpliTube® or other favorite guitar-friendly software, offering a complete, affordable solution for players who want the best possible tone for their tracks.
A crystal-clear mic preamp
AXE I/O SOLO offers IK’s high-definition, Class A PURE mic preamp, designed for transparent and clean recording. An extended, flat frequency response captures the full tonal range of voices and instruments without coloring the sound. A best-in-class dynamic range ensures ultra-quiet recordings.
Exclusive guitar tone shaping
Proprietary tone-shaping options let users dial in the perfect settings for their instruments or coax a wider range of tones from a single instrument:
First, an active & passive pickup selector adapts instantly to any instrument. The active channel bypasses unneeded gain stages, ensuring the signal is always as direct and uncolored as possible.
Next, AXE I/O SOLO offers both a PURE circuit for pristine, transparent sound and a JFET circuit for adding warmth and harmonics, all within a single device.
Finally, IK’s proprietary Z-Tone impedance-adapting circuit lets users adjust the input impedance to interact with their guitar's pickups: at the maximum impedance, sounds are tighter, sharper and more precise, and at lower impedances the sound becomes thicker and bolder.
These controls give guitars even more sonic character – with just a few minutes’ experimentation, users can dial in a sound that perfectly fits the mix.
AXE I/O SOLO offers a streamlined re-amplification setup in a single box. A front panel Amp Out lets guitar and bass players incorporate real amplifiers and stompboxes without the need for an external conversion box. This low-noise out also eliminates ground loops, to keep even the highest-gain re-amplification as quiet as possible.
Premium sound throughout
AXE I/O SOLO preserves the best-in-class dynamic range, ultra-low self noise and wide, extended frequency response of the original AXE I/O, ensuring premium sound quality for recording both instruments and vocals.
Convenient connectivity and control
1/4” balanced outputs and a headphones out provide comprehensive connections, and a “blend” knob mixes direct and processed signal for zero-latency monitoring. In addition, AXE I/O SOLO also features two dedicated inputs for controller pedals and switches, plus MIDI In/Out, offering a range of options for real-time control over amp modeling plug-ins or recording software.
A massive software bundle
For seamless, out-of-the-box recording and processing, AXE I/O SOLO comes bundled with AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, IK’s powerful guitar and bass tone studio for Mac/PC/iPhone/iPad, as well as a suite of T-RackS mixing & mastering plug-ins and Ableton Live 10 Lite recording software.
Pricing and availability
AXE I/O SOLO will be available Q2 from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€249.99*, and is now available for pre-order.
IK Multimedia, in partnership with rock icon Joe Satriani, presents IK’s newest artist signature collection, AmpliTube® Joe Satriani. Available for Mac/PC, iPhone and iPad, it offers users a convenient way to play, practice and record – anytime, anywhere - using precise models of the guitarist’s amps and pedals that were created alongside Satriani himself.
AmpliTube Joe Satriani reflects the guitarist’s reputation as a tone and gear connoisseur, featuring models of both classic and artist signature pieces, along with some fan favorites. Each model was created to Satriani’s exact specifications, for an authentic user experience.
Inside AmpliTube Joe Satriani
Available as a desktop app and plug-in for any DAW, AmpliTube Joe Satriani features five stompboxes and three amps, including:
Satch Wah - modeled after a Vox® BBW Wah; Satch Dist - modeled after an early ‘80s, Japanese-made BOSS® DS-1; Satch Overdrive - modeled after an early ‘80s, Japanese-made BOSS OD-1; Tube Overdrive-modeled after a mid-80s Chandler® Tube Driver; Satch Octave-modeled after a Fulltone® Ultimate Octave.
Satch VM, modeled after Satriani’s Marshall® JVM410HJS signature head, SJ50, modeled after a ‘93 Peavey® 5150, both with matching cabinets; and Boston 100, an expanded version of the ’82 Scholz® Rockman model with stereo mode and cabinet modeling.
Also included are song presets covering Satriani’s discography that allow users to dial up their favorite Joe Satriani tones for instant inspiration.
The Joe Satriani Collection (iPhone and iPad version) is available via in-app purchase from within AmpliTube CS for iPhone or iPad, and features the same amp, cab and stompbox models and presets.
Groundbreaking Modeling Technology
IK's latest Dynamic Interaction Modeling™ was used to deliver the highest level of ultra-realistic sound when modeling Joe Satriani’s gear. The product of 20 years' experience modeling analog gear, DIM™ models the behavior of every component in the circuit all the way down to its smallest nuance and character. Applied to Satriani's rig, it delivers the same sound and feel as his real gear.
About AmpliTube guitar and bass tone studio
AmpliTube is the world's most powerful guitar and bass tone studio for Mac/PC/iPhone/iPad. Available in both free and paid versions, it recreates the entire guitar/bass signal chain from instrument to recording device in a hyper-realistic and intuitive way. Users can also browse and purchase collections of gear models from top gear manufacturers plus signature artist gear.
Easy connection to AmpliTube
AmpliTube connects seamlessly with AXE I/O, IK's premium audio interface with powerful guitar shaping tools. AmpliTube is also compatible with IK's iRig Stomp I/O, iRig Micro Amp, iRig HD 2, iRig Pro I/O and other iRig portable audio interfaces for fast connectivity and on-the-go convenience.
Options, pricing and availability
AmpliTube Joe Satriani (for Mac/PC) runs inside AmpliTube Custom Shop, a free download available to all. The new models will be released in February 2020 as a bundle from within the Custom Shop, the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $/€99.99*, and are now available for pre-order.
No previous purchase of AmpliTube is required. These new models will show up as an optional purchase for existing users of AmpliTube upon updating to the latest version.
The Joe Satriani Collection (iPhone and iPad) will be available via in-app purchase from within AmpliTube CS for iPhone or iPad for $24.99*. Individual models may also be purchased a la carte.
*All prices excluding taxes
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