The Tonex Pedal makes IK’s powerful amp‑capture technology available in a standalone hardware unit.
When I reviewed the IK Multimedia Tonex software (SOS January 2023), I was impressed by its performance in the studio, but I also commented that a pedal version that allowed the amp models to be used live would be more than welcome. Well, it seems I wasn’t the only one to have that idea: IK Multimedia must have already been working on it, because in March they announced the Tonex Pedal!
The Tonex software, which is included in the price when you purchase the pedal, uses machine learning to capture the performance of a miked guitar amplifier, pedal or amplifier/pedal combination at specific drive and tone settings, in a similar way to other amp‑profiling devices. IK call the captured amp a Tone Model. The types of pedals that can be modelled include drives and EQs, though it’s worth noting that modulation and delay effects can’t be captured. The process of capturing an amplifier can take up to half an hour or so because there’s a lot of number‑crunching going on here, but to my ears, as long as you’re careful to set up your levels correctly, the results are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The software helps to make this easy, by offering prompts, metering and instructions throughout the procedure.
For those unfamiliar with Tonex or, indeed, any other amp‑capture technology, what you capture is the amp’s sound at your current settings. It can’t capture the whole range of sounds of which the amp is capable, or at least not in a single Tone Model, but there is nonetheless some leeway to adjust the drive and EQ on the pedal or using the Tonex software. If you need both clean and driven sounds from the same amp though, for the best results you’d make a separate Tone Model capture for each.
The advantage of the new pedal is that your choice of Tone Models can be loaded into the device as presets, which are then ready to use on stage or in the studio, without having to hook your guitar up to a computer. The pedal hosts both amp and speaker cab Tone Models, and that means you can plug the pedal directly into a PA or full‑range amp. You can, of course, bypass the cab modelling if you prefer to plug it into your guitar amp — if your amp has an effects loop return, plugging the pedal into that rather than the regular guitar input will get you the most accurate sound, as the Tonex pedal can then be fed directly to the power amp and speaker, bypassing the preamp and tone stacks.
Up to 150 Tone Model presets, arranged as 50 banks of three presets, may be loaded into the pedal.
While the Tonex software gives you the opportunity to capture the character of real amps, whether your own or those you hire or borrow for the purpose, you don’t have to rely on self‑captured models — you also get access to a large library of already captured amp and pedal Tone Models that can be transferred to your pedal. Purchasers can choose from 1000 premium Tone...
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