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IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface Audio Interfaces
Old 17th January 2019
  #1
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IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface

IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface-unnamed-14-.jpg

IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface with unique advanced guitar tone shaping

High-end audio interface guitar players have been waiting for has arrived

IK Multimedia proudly announces AXE I/O™. This high-end audio interface and controller is now available, and delivers premium sound and innovative features designed for guitarists seeking the perfect way to record with world-class tone and professional techniques.

The new 2 In/5 Out AXE I/O offers guitar-centric features such as adjustable impedance, streamlined re-amplification functions and a variety of instrument input circuits, plus a wealth of recording options including high-end mic preamps, top-of-the-line converters, 192 kHz operation, a wide dynamic range, an extended frequency response and more.

AXE I/O also doubles as a controller that allows guitar and bass players to record and perform with real-time effects like wah and volume, offering hands-free control over their preferred guitar-friendly software.

The inclusion of an unrivalled plug-in selection of more than 150 guitar and outboard effects from IK's leading AmpliTube and T-RackS packages makes AXE I/O an ideal solution for producing top-quality tracks out of the box.

The high-end audio interface guitar players have been waiting for
Unlike most desktop audio interfaces that offer mostly identical feature sets, AXE I/O offers unique guitar features not found anywhere else - allowing users to sculpt guitar and bass sounds never heard before - along with top-of-the-line sound comparable to devices costing much more.

AXE I/O represents the apogee of IK Multimedia's experience and leadership for more than a decade in guitar gear modelling software and dedicated guitar performance interfaces. IK's experience creating and capturing the best possible guitar tone has driven the innovations that make AXE I/O possible.

Tone and feel like never before
AXE I/O offers a highly flexible input path for guitar and bass, with features that aren't available anywhere else. The main input channel offers both a fully discrete Class A PURE circuit for pristine, uncoloured sound, as well as a JFET circuit for harmonically rich recordings, to go from transparent to tube-like within a single device. A unique pick-up selector also offers an ACTIVE mode that bypasses unnecessary gain stages for use with active pick-ups, keeping the signal path as direct and clean as possible.

In addition - for the first time in an audio interface - a new patent-pending Z-Tone™ impedance-adapting circuit allows users to adjust the input impedance of AXE I/O to interact with their electric or acoustic guitar's pickups in a unique new way. This enables changes to tone, transients, dynamics and more, for a massive range of tonal flexibility never heard before.

These AXE I/O input stages offer a superior 117 dB dynamic range to ensure the cleanest possible signal, while the extended 3 Hz - 32 kHz frequency response preserves the full sonic impact of any instrument and all its harmonic content, going beyond the 20Hz-20kHz response of traditional audio interfaces.

Re-amplification made easier
For added sonic flexibility for guitar and bass players, AXE I/O offers a streamlined re-amplification setup in a single box, allowing users to easily integrate real-world gear into a recording setup without the inherent noise or hum typical of these connections. A dedicated Amp Out enables using real amplifiers and stompboxes without the need for an external signal conversion box or other accessories (or having to unplug existing connections). Conveniently placed on the front panel, it eliminates ground loops to keep even high-gain re-amplification as quiet as possible.

PURE mic preamps for transparent recording
For recording with microphones, AXE I/O offers two hi-quality PURE discrete Class A preamps designed for transparent and clean sound. These mic preamps offer a wide, flat frequency response of 5 Hz to 32 kHz, to avoid unwanted colouration and perfectly preserve the sonic character of vocals, pianos, acoustic guitars or any other instrument, and maintain the character of any microphone plugged in. Their 116 dB of dynamic range provides ultra-quiet sound that's perfect for recording everything from the most delicate instruments to the loudest amp stack.

Convenient connections, zero latency and high-end conversion
AXE I/O provides two Hi-Z front panel ¼" inputs for guitars and basses, two rear combo inputs with phantom power to connect mics and line instruments, and bright multi-segment LED VU meters to accurately monitor input signal visually. Two floating balanced outputs, two unbalanced and one floating unbalanced for Amp Out plus a high-current headphones output allow users to connect up to two pairs of monitors, mains and headphones, with independent volume for both. A Monitor knob makes it easy to blend direct monitoring and audio from a computer for zero latency monitoring. AXE I/O's 24-bit, 192 kHz conversion and ultra-stable, low jitter internal clock ensures the highest fidelity, whether recording vocals, acoustic instruments, amplified guitar or just a direct signal.

Seamless software integration - for AmpliTube and more
Rarely found on audio interfaces, two dedicated back panel controller inputs enable AXE I/O to double as a software controller and provide connection for two expression pedals, single or double switches. An assignable data knob with push encoder on the front panel also allows switching presets and controlling AmpliTube or any other software in real time, directly from the device. Full-size MIDI IN/OUT connectors are also available to plug-in floor controllers or to control rackmount gear, keyboards or any other MIDI compatible device. A convenient front panel chromatic tuner offers lighting-fast tuning at the press of a button.

Advanced digital control & routing
AXE I/O features a powerful and convenient software control panel application to manage inputs and outputs, and assign routing and controller inputs. It encourages a faster, freer workflow by letting users stay focused on their music instead of adjusting settings on the unit itself. The software allows active audio I/O to be selected digitally from the front to rear panels, enabling users to leave all devices connected and switch between them from any computer. Users can also control gain, meter behaviour, and more for both inputs and outputs, without ever needing to touch the physical unit. In addition, the software offers control over the preset knob and 2 controller inputs. Set behaviour, MIDI channel, MIDI CC #, minimum and maximum values, and more, to dial in the best settings for each application.

A full-blown in-the-box studio - out of the box
Included is a massive bundle of over $/€1,000 of software and plug-ins that includes everything needed to track, mix and master right out of the box. The Bundle features IK's AmpliTube 4 Deluxe and a selection of 10 popular processors from T-RackS 5 for recording, mixing and mastering, plus Ableton Live 10 Lite.

Pricing and availability
AXE I/O is available immediately from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for only $/€349.99*.
* All prices excluding taxes

For more information about AXE I/O, please visit: AXE I/O

To watch AXE I/O in action, visit: AXE I/O

See it at NAMM Room#17202, ACC North Hall, Level 2
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface-unnamed-13-.jpg   IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface-unnamed-14-.jpg  
Old 17th January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 

oooooh - i like the look of this... very interesting!
Old 17th January 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

Whoa. This might be the most intriguing product announcement I’ve seen yet.
Old 17th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I don't get it? why not just use a low latency I/O and use some of the great Guitar plugins out there, what does this offer unless all you do is play guitar.
Old 17th January 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
I don't get it? why not just use a low latency I/O and use some of the great Guitar plugins out there, what does this offer unless all you do is play guitar.
Personally speaking, I've just been using Amplitube4 in Reason ; great fun and good sound. I think the Axe would offer me the ability to fine tune the input from the guitar(s) using the active/passive; pure/jfet; and the z tone dial. The dedicated re-amp output is useful too as are the inputs for assignable MIDI pedal and footswitches.
Pretty good price-point too.

IMO between this and the Audient Sono it's pretty good for guitarists or recording guitars. I'm impressed by the recent amp sims and it kinda opens up possibilities in the home-studio whilst keeping the neighbours happy.

Still need real amps of course!
Old 17th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
I don't get it? why not just use a low latency I/O and use some of the great Guitar plugins out there, what does this offer unless all you do is play guitar.
AXE I/O is a great low-latency interface that also adds some great guitar tone-shaping features.

You get things like
  • 2 in/5 out high-end USB audio interface
  • Discrete Class A microphone preamps
  • 24 bit/192 kHz maximum sample rate
  • Ultra-flat and extended frequency response
  • 117 dB dynamic range
  • Very low latency
  • Ultra low jitter clock for transparent, world class sound
  • Top of the line converters
  • High-current balanced outputs
  • High-current professional headphone amplifier

But also impressive I/O and control like
  • Front-panel 1/4” Hi-Z in and Amp out
  • 2 x combo inputs for instruments and mics (with +48v phantom power)
  • 2 x balanced line outputs, 2 x unbalanced line outputs
  • 2-in, 5-out simultaneous I/O
  • Reference-quality headphone output
  • MIDI Input & Output
  • 2 configurable inputs for pedal/switches
  • Input gain controls and LED signal indicators
  • Monitor, master and headphone volume controls

And guitar tone-shaping features like
  • The PURE circuit delivers completely transparent and ultra-accurate sound, with 117 dB (A) dynamic range
  • JFET adds subtle harmonic enhancement for a rounder, warmer sound without sacrificing dynamic range
  • ACTIVE bypasses unneeded stages for completely transparent sound when used with active pickups
  • Patent-pending Z-Tone variable impedance Hi-Z input re-shapes the sound of instruments to dramatically re-shape the tone of your guitar, or precisely match the impedance of a virtual gear model

And not just tone-shaping, but guitar-focused features like
  • Front-panel Amp output for easy re-amping, with no need for a direct box and no ground loops or noise
  • Front-panel 1/4” return lets you add external pedal FX without the need to re-wire rear inputs
  • Built-in tuner to keep your instrument in tune throughout recording sessions
  • PRESET control to change settings in AmpliTube 4 and other plug-ins, with freely assignable CCs
  • 2 inputs for expression pedals or single/switches for real-time control over virtual rigs

And over $/€1000 of guitar & bass, mixing and mastering software


...for $/€349.99 MSRP

So yes, it has some great guitar-centric features but those are only more powerful coupled with a very well-spec'd audio interface.
Old 17th January 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jiffybox's Avatar
I’m intrigued, but when I saw the listing on SW I have to say that my original reaction was that’s a bit pricey for what it is. Of course that’s only from a first impression. I’ll be curious as to how this is incorporated into people’s workflows. I’ve had my eye on some reamping boxes lately and this might just be the all in one solution I need. You have my attention, IK.
Old 17th January 2019
  #8
Gear Head
 

I feel like you could do some pretty cool stuff with a synth or keyboard plugged into those hi-z inputs. This looks like it could be a great general audio interface, guitar-centric aim aside.
Old 17th January 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
AXE I/O is a great low-latency interface that also adds some great guitar tone-shaping features.

You get things like
  • 2 in/5 out high-end USB audio interface
  • Discrete Class A microphone preamps
  • 24 bit/192 kHz maximum sample rate
  • Ultra-flat and extended frequency response
  • 117 dB dynamic range
  • Very low latency
  • Ultra low jitter clock for transparent, world class sound
  • Top of the line converters
  • High-current balanced outputs
  • High-current professional headphone amplifier

But also impressive I/O and control like
  • Front-panel 1/4” Hi-Z in and Amp out
  • 2 x combo inputs for instruments and mics (with +48v phantom power)
  • 2 x balanced line outputs, 2 x unbalanced line outputs
  • 2-in, 5-out simultaneous I/O
  • Reference-quality headphone output
  • MIDI Input & Output
  • 2 configurable inputs for pedal/switches
  • Input gain controls and LED signal indicators
  • Monitor, master and headphone volume controls

And guitar tone-shaping features like
  • The PURE circuit delivers completely transparent and ultra-accurate sound, with 117 dB (A) dynamic range
  • JFET adds subtle harmonic enhancement for a rounder, warmer sound without sacrificing dynamic range
  • ACTIVE bypasses unneeded stages for completely transparent sound when used with active pickups
  • Patent-pending Z-Tone variable impedance Hi-Z input re-shapes the sound of instruments to dramatically re-shape the tone of your guitar, or precisely match the impedance of a virtual gear model

And not just tone-shaping, but guitar-focused features like
  • Front-panel Amp output for easy re-amping, with no need for a direct box and no ground loops or noise
  • Front-panel 1/4” return lets you add external pedal FX without the need to re-wire rear inputs
  • Built-in tuner to keep your instrument in tune throughout recording sessions
  • PRESET control to change settings in AmpliTube 4 and other plug-ins, with freely assignable CCs
  • 2 inputs for expression pedals or single/switches for real-time control over virtual rigs

And over $/€1000 of guitar & bass, mixing and mastering software


...for $/€349.99 MSRP

So yes, it has some great guitar-centric features but those are only more powerful coupled with a very well-spec'd audio interface.
Thanks Peter, do you know what the round trip latency is at 44k and 96k?
Old 17th January 2019
  #10
USB Powered?

Can the interface be powered by USB or only by the DC IN?
Old 17th January 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
Thanks Peter, do you know what the round trip latency is at 44k and 96k?
I'm curious as well but I'll wait until TAFKAT gets a unit for testing. I'm on PC so OSX driver numbers don't concern me.
Old 17th January 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxterbrown View Post
Can the interface be powered by USB or only by the DC IN?
AXE I/O comes with a power supply, it cannot be powered solely by USB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
Thanks Peter, do you know what the round trip latency is at 44k and 96k?
I don't have that information spec'd out in the Specs area so I've asked.
Old 17th January 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
[url=https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/axeio]
(...)[*]Front-panel 1/4” return lets you add external pedal FX without the need to re-wire rear inputs
(...)
I can't find it on the picture of the front! Or does this mean to use the amp out as a send and to use the second instrument-in as the return of the effect?
Old 17th January 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antithesist View Post
Looks nice... funny there's no brand label, logo, etc.

Dinosaur recycling and/or body spray/wash marketing campaign partnership?

Sound like Dino, smell like Dino!
Why would we have a dino on this? Anyway, you can see the product name clearly on the front and also on the back with the IK logo. You can read more and see more images at AXE I/O

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
I can't find it on the picture of the front! Or does this mean to use the amp out as a send and to use the second instrument-in as the return of the effect?
You would go Amp Out --> FX pedals --> Input 1 (so you could adjust the input using the multiple options you have there, as you may not need a Hi-Z input, etc).
Old 17th January 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Not for me but man, great product... bundling a remap solution is brilliant... I think I didn’t spend much less than this msrp for my Radial reamp

Last edited by The Press Desk; 18th January 2019 at 12:42 PM.. Reason: No need to quote the entire OP.
Old 18th January 2019
  #16
Universal Audio OX

IK AXE

I get it.

Also the IK synth has a logo that is a blatant rip-off of the Elektron Monomachine logo.

The new Behringer...
Old 18th January 2019
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post
Universal Audio OX

IK AXE

I get it.

Also the IK synth has a logo that is a blatant rip-off of the Elektron Monomachine logo.

The new Behringer...
The OX and AXE have little in common. Frankly, the IK product appears to have a way larger feature set. And if you have an issue with a company (Behringer) providing great musical equipment for prices that working musicians can afford, then you must be nervous that your future Grammys are in jeopardy because the talented folks now have accessibility to products that level the playing field.
Old 18th January 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 

OT: High-end sound meets best-in-class guitar tone — Audiobus Forum
Accprding to IK multimedia it will be as good as RME and Axe FX, but a third of the price.

Does this company ever stop shovelling s**t.
Old 18th January 2019
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLstudio View Post
The OX and AXE have little in common. Frankly, the IK product appears to have a way larger feature set. And if you have an issue with a company (Behringer) providing great musical equipment for prices that working musicians can afford, then you must be nervous that your future Grammys are in jeopardy because the talented folks now have accessibility to products that level the playing field.
somebody has been triggered
Old 18th January 2019
  #20
Gear Addict
 
sirthought's Avatar
Wow. This product looks pretty amazing, especially for bedroom recorders. Not sure if bigger recording studios need it, but I've never used their amp sims. I know it has a good reputation and the T-racks stuff is used by many. This might be a fun unit to try.

You can find interfaces cheaper than $350, but seriously...here you're able to record a couple mics and/or a couple guitars PLUS be able to control the guitar software from this one box, AND you can use it for reamping. That's a decent feature set. Hopefully the mic pres are decent.

AD/DA conversion quality is the next step in the industry improving what they offer. 117 db dynamic range is respectable (and was considered very good just a few years ago), but several bigger interfaces are getting up towards 124...although you have to spend thousands more. You really can hear a difference.

For those wondering if you can power it via USB...you really wouldn't want that. Dedicated power is going to make your audio clearer and better sounding.
Old 18th January 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Detch's Avatar
 

the name gives me instant association with AXE FX from Fractal Audio
there are tons of possible names and IK choose this one, wtf
Old 18th January 2019
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Detch View Post
the name gives me instant association with AXE FX from Fractal Audio
there are tons of possible names and IK choose this one, wtf
Guitars have been known as Axe's since the 70's at least...
Old 18th January 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Detch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Guitars have been known as Axe's since the 70's at least...
ah, I didn't know that. alrighty then
(I'm not native English)
cheers
Old 18th January 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Detch View Post
ah, I didn't know that. alrighty then
(I'm not native English)
cheers
I get your point Detch...it's not a novel name and close to AxeFX by Fractal... and OX by UA.
Hey, maybe we're running out of words?

I call it the SMERRG.
Old 18th January 2019
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post
somebody has been triggered
I did come out swinging there, didn’t I? Anyhow, if this product is as advertised, it will prove to be a great tool for musicians who can’t shell out $1,500 for a top-notch interface and effects unit.
Old 18th January 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
Quote:
In addition - for the first time in an audio interface - a new patent-pending Z-Tone™ impedance-adapting circuit allows users to adjust the input impedance of AXE I/O to interact with their electric or acoustic guitar's pickups in a unique new way. This enables changes to tone, transients, dynamics and more, for a massive range of tonal flexibility never heard before.
How does the Z-Tone feature compare to Eleven Racks "True Z" ?

Last edited by The Press Desk; 18th January 2019 at 05:34 PM.. Reason: fixed quote bracket
Old 18th January 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 
jiffybox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I get your point Detch...it's not a novel name and close to AxeFX by Fractal... and OX by UA.
Hey, maybe we're running out of words?

I call it the SMERRG.
Haha. I think that’s already the name of an IKEA sectional.
Old 18th January 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
 
jiffybox's Avatar
Question for ya, Peter. Regarding reamping (which I love is a part of the AXE), is there a way to record a clean direct guitar track (for reamping later) simultaneously while recording and monitoring another guitar track with effects on it. The Sono does this (not that this is a competition!) and I think it’s essential to be able to track a guitar with effects but still have that extra DI track to play with later. I’m unable to download a manual at this point, but maybe there’s a way to route out 1 & 2 through Amplitube into Logic and 3 & 4 clean and direct into Logic? Thanks! Looks like a cool interface.
Old 18th January 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybox View Post
Question for ya, Peter. Regarding reamping (which I love is a part of the AXE), is there a way to record a clean direct guitar track (for reamping later) simultaneously while recording and monitoring another guitar track with effects on it. The Sono does this (not that this is a competition!) and I think it’s essential to be able to track a guitar with effects but still have that extra DI track to play with later. I’m unable to download a manual at this point, but maybe there’s a way to route out 1 & 2 through Amplitube into Logic and 3 & 4 clean and direct into Logic? Thanks! Looks like a cool interface.
You can use AXE I/O's input 1 to record through AmpliTube as an insert effect in your DAW, which will already give you a (great, due to the Z-tone section's flexibility) clean signal on that recorded track, whilst sending the Amp Out to an amp and mic that via XLR input on the back if you'd like to record a real amp to another track at the same time. Then you can reamp the clean track (copy it as much as you'd like to do it multiple times and to keep the AmpliTube track if you want/need to) later using the Amp Out.

So you get both software and true hardware / real amp re-amping possibilities quite easily without a mess of wires or routing that is complex in any way.

Edit - added the graphic from the manual showing how easy it is to re-amp using AXE I/O. You can find the full manuals at AXE I/O
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia unveils AXE I/O premium audio interface-axeio_reamp.jpg  
Old 18th January 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 
jiffybox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter - IK View Post
You can use AXE I/O's input 1 to record through AmpliTube as an insert effect in your DAW, which will already give you a (great, due to the Z-tone section's flexibility) clean signal on that recorded track, whilst sending the Amp Out to an amp and mic that via XLR input on the back if you'd like to record a real amp to another track at the same time. Then you can reamp the clean track (copy it as much as you'd like to do it multiple times and to keep the AmpliTube track if you want/need to) later using the Amp Out.

So you get both software and true hardware / real amp re-amping possibilities quite easily without a mess of wires or routing that is complex in any way.

Edit - added the graphic from the manual showing how easy it is to re-amp using AXE I/O. You can find the full manuals at AXE I/O
Awesome, thanks for that! It's shaping up to be a no brainer. I'm *thisclose*.
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