IK Multimedia ToneX Capture review

IK has come up with an easy way to feed your hand-crafted guitar tones into your amp and cab sim ecosystem

  • £233
IK Multimedia ToneX Capture
(Image: © Future)

MusicRadar Verdict

ToneX gives guitarists the power to enter the software matrix without losing their fine-honed real-world tone. An impressive breakthrough.

Pros

  • +

    An easily set-up bridge that connects your hardware world with IK’s guitar ecosystem for two-way communication.

  • +

    Creating a tone profile from the input signal is refreshingly straightforward, and the AI-constructed results have to be heard to be believed.

  • +

    Huge array of additional tone profiles, and further editing can create heaps of new sonic combinations.

Cons

  • -

    If you want the most detailed model of your tone, it might take a while.

  • -

    Requires you to own a healthy assortment of jack leads and XLRs (which most of us do, to be fair).

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IK Multimedia ToneX Capture: What is it?

At a glance

Compatibility: Mac, PC, iOS
TONEX CS: free
TONEX SE: $149.99/€149.99
TONEX: $149.99/€149.99
TONEX MAX: $249.99/€249.99
TONEX APP for iOS: free
Buy from IK Multimedia (opens in new tab)

Many guitarists spend countless hours experimenting with pedals, amp settings and core cabinet-miking zones to produce a tone that suits. With the advent of top-flight amp/cab simulators, and dexterous effect-chain modelling in software (notably, IK’s own AmpliTube) it’s now easy to do this entirely in the box. 

To the ears of some holdouts, however, these software-sculpted tones might lack bite, gain and, crucially, the venue-filling results that their own hardware has already yielded. Heeding these desires, IK Multimedia has created a new hardware/software combination with the express intention of analysing the particular qualities of an external signal chain for software replication. Then, the particular tone of your pristine hardware can be called on, whether in the studio or on-stage. 

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture

(Image credit: Future)

This new bridge between two worlds comes in the shape of IK Multimedia’s ToneX Capture. This small, yet strongly constructed I/O box enables you to feed your amplifier (or pedalboard) line-out into your interface and record the incoming signal, before some intelligent on-the-fly AI modelling software renders a multi-dimensional virtualisation of your tone. It can also be used as a nifty re-amplification device, taking a line out signal from your interface and outputting the results with your chosen amp. 

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture

(Image credit: Future)

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture: Performance and verdict

It’s really ToneX Capture’s rig-catching capabilities that we’re keen to test. Coupled with IK’s accompanying ToneX software suite, the combo of hardware and software presents the most complete universe for injecting tones out of the real world and into our hard drives that we’ve yet seen, particularly when run within IK’s guitar hub, AmpliTube.

The software itself comes pre-loaded with previously captured tone models, all of which have harnessed the company’s proprietary AI Machine Modelling tech. While these are varied, they’re nothing short of substantial, yet it’s our own home studio guitar tone we want to save. 

Once wired up (instructions can be downloaded) the software does a simple test and sends your rig a specially prepared file, to then study. Before it can build the virtual version of the tone, the software asks you to choose from a Fast, Default or Advanced model; once done, we’re presented with a fully playable version of our tone. For us, the valve-driven beef of a delicately EQ’d Marshall JCM200 is now fully explorable in our MacBook, while our actual amp sits unplugged. While the gain and length of feedback decay often goes hand-in-hand with cranking up the volume, the ToneX Capture has an all-important attenuator knob, which can neatly take in the richness of our full frequency tone, while offsetting some of the volume.

The accuracy of the Advanced modelling was stunning. Saved tones and profiles can then be uploaded to IK’s ToneNET cloud repository, facilitating sharing of rigs and unique setups. The hardware/software bundle provides a remarkably brisk route to satisfying that long craved-for itch for taking your prized amp tone into the digital domain.

MusicRadar verdict: ToneX gives guitarists the power to enter the software matrix without losing their fine-honed real-world tone. An impressive breakthrough.

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture: The web says

"Tonex represents a quantum leap forward in tone capture and modelling for guitar and bass players."
MusicTech (opens in new tab)

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture: Hands-on demos

IK Multimedia

Jason Sadites

TheSuperFunAwesomeHappyTimePedalShow

Plague Scythe Studios

IK Multimedia ToneX Capture: Specifications

  • KEY FEATURES: Model your own guitar rig, and import the sound of your amps, pedals and cabs.
  • CONTACT: IK Multimedia  (opens in new tab)
Future Music

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