AmpliTube X-Gear FX pedals launched with hardware-software integration
Image credit: IK Multimedia
IK Multimedia has announced its first-ever hardware digital effects pedals, each one accompanied by a software 'digital twin'. These four new 'boutique' pedals will come with matching AmpliTube software versions, designed to allow greater flexibility between stage and studio.
Each of the new AmpliTube X-Gear pedals features 16 different effects, drawn from the most popular AmpliTube virtual models already found in IK's popular amp and stomp box modelling software, as well as all-new reverb and delay algorithms from the IK team.
Each pedal is accompanied by an exclusive virtual X-Gear version of the same effects hardware for use within AmpliTube 5. An SE version of that program will be included with each hardware pedal to facilitate this. The hardware-software integration will allow users to record, tweak settings and save presets (up to 300 for each pedal) from their computer back to the hardware pedal, giving more freedom and extending the usefulness of each of the pedals.
The inaugural four AmpliTube X-Gear pedals will be the X-Drive, for distortion and overdrive tones; X-Vibe modulation, covering a wide range of iconic chorus, phaser and vibrato sounds; X-Time delay, and X-Space reverb. These latter two will feature all-new algorithms custom-created by the IK team exclusively for these pedals. IK says that all four X-Gear pedals share the same high-performance hardware and pioneering DSP for unsurpassed sound quality and feature cutting-edge, studio-grade effects algorithms.
The onboard DSP is described as being state-of-the-art, with 16 custom high-end algorithms per pedal. Featuring up to 192kHz internal processing with 4x oversampling, X-Gear pedals have been designed to deliver amazing clarity with true realism and response for players.
The hardware pedals themselves feature an aluminum chassis designed and made in Italy, using components intended to guarantee the best possible sound in a stomp pedal, including ultra-low noise 24-bit/192kHz converters; an extended 5Hz-24kHz frequency response to capture the full scope of an instrument's tone, and up to 123dB dynamic range. The pedals also have a pure analog dry path and selectable true or soft bypass, so a guitar's tone should always ring true no matter how simple or sophisticated the signal chain becomes.
The X-Gear will also do double duty, functioning as a USB audio interface utilising the same ultra-low-noise A/D converters and frequency response to capture the full range and dynamics of any instrument connected. Versatile routing options let users choose between sending the wet or dry signals to their DAW, along with stereo out for monitoring and full MIDI implementation sothe dials and stomps of an X-Gear pedal can be used to control AmpliTube software and any other compatible program.
For stage use, in live situations, each pedal has a high-contrast LED display clearly showing the settings and preset banks. Impulse responses of five of the most popular guitar cabinets are also onboard each pedal, enabling a player to connect directly to the PA - perfect for small gigs with no physical amp required, as well as recording 'direct'.
The X-Gear range has also been explicitly designed with an open architecture to accommodate future updates, so the pedals can continue to grow and expand their options.
The AmpliTube X-Gear pedals are slated to begin arriving in shops in August. They are currently available for pre-order from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorised dealers worldwide for €299.99.
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