Guitarists looking for a wallet-friendly way to record high-quality sounds will want to take a look at the IK Multimedia Axe I/O Solo. The guitar recording interface and controller, announced at Winter NAMM 2020, is now shipping and available to consumers.
The Axe I/O Solo is a compact 2-in/3-out USB audio interface that features IK’s high-end PURE microphone preamp and an instrument input with proprietary tone-shaping options. It’s also bus-powered, which means less power connections to worry about and greater portability.
The Axe I/O Solo is the latest addition to the series, following last year’s introduction of the 2-in/5-out audio interface and controller, simply called Axe I/O, which we reviewed here.
Axe I/O Solo can also act as a controller for use with IK’s included AmpliTube® or other guitar software.
Output connections include 1/4″ balanced outputs and a headphones out, while 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.
The front panel Amp Out offers guitar and bass players the option to re-amp their own amplifiers and stomp boxes 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.
Other features of the unit, taken from their press release:
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.
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, 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 is now available from the IK Multimedia online store and from IK authorized dealers worldwide for $249.99 (excluding taxes).
More information about Axe I/O Solo can be found here: www.ikmultimedia.com/axeiosolo