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Mesh

IK's Axe I/O Guitar Interface

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I'm looking to get this interface as my first gen 2i4 is on it's way out (no official driver support, and too many issues with dropouts/dependability).

I've only read/watched some reviews on the Axe, but would like to know if any of you use it and your experience with it. It has all the features I need, but haven't had any actual usage to know how it responds,

https://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/axeio/?utm_source=forum&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=satriani

Cheers,

Mesh

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Waiting with baited breath for your first impressions Mesh 😎

 

 

 

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I'm waiting with baited breath for tracks with it.

 

Wait..... no project sent yet. DOH!

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I got the Axe last evening and after spending a brief 30 minutes, I'm very happy with the box. The difference between my 2i4 and the axe is night and day. With the axe, the tones are much more thicker and bolder than the 2i4....it's 'almost' like playing through a real amp. I still have to spend more time with Z-Tone and the interaction with the pickups, but all in all.....I really like this box.

Using amp sims like Amplitube4 was a real treat to my ears. Just going through the presets of different collections sounded very good and was easily able to get 'chugging' along. With the 2i4, the sound was always very thin and there was so much tweaking and EQ'ing needed just to get a decent tone. Unfortunately, I only have used lower end audio interfaces to make this comparison, but anyone can easily hear the difference between the two.

I'm very happy with this purchase and looking forward to spending more time with my Axe. :)

Edited by Mesh
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Good to hear Mesh. 👍🏻

It's high on my list of next Audio Interface options. 

I just had a quick scout around at UK prices and right now it seems cheapest to buy from IKM direct as I can use maximum jam points (104.99 EUR) to bring the price down to around 265 GBP (converted from EUR) which includes courier delivery. Looking on eBay I can get around 100 GBP for my existing interface so it's pretty tempting 🤔 

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2 hours ago, ZincT said:

Good to hear Mesh. 👍🏻

It's high on my list of next Audio Interface options. 

I just had a quick scout around at UK prices and right now it seems cheapest to buy from IKM direct as I can use maximum jam points (104.99 EUR) to bring the price down to around 265 GBP (converted from EUR) which includes courier delivery. Looking on eBay I can get around 100 GBP for my existing interface so it's pretty tempting 🤔 

Is there a music store where you can go and test it out? That way you can see/hear how it works.

Before even using an amp sim, it's easy to dial in a nice thick tone with the Axe....then add a sim and you're bound to get a smile on your face. :)

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2 hours ago, Mesh said:

Is there a music store where you can go and test it out? That way you can see/hear how it works.

Before even using an amp sim, it's easy to dial in a nice thick tone with the Axe....then add a sim and you're bound to get a smile on your face. :)

Good idea Mesh! If not I will have to suggest that my local store sets up a demo. 👍🏻

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I still haven't opened my AXE I/O :(  

But, there is rain in the forecast this weekend, there may be a chance it gets hooked up!

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When recording direct, the DI input can make a massive difference (positive or negative) in the sound.

Many folks think all you need is a "Hi-Z" input.  

While it's true you need an input with high impedance, there's a world of difference between various Hi-Z DIs.

 

If you're recording passive Fender electric bass thru a cheap Hi-Z DI and it sounds anemic, the issue isn't the bass.

That same bass thru a Neve DI will sound amazing.

I used to really struggle to get nice DI bass recordings.

Tried 1001 different DI solutions (SansAmp - numerous boxes, Reddi, Avalon U5, Solo-610, etc).

Finally invested in a Neve Portico-II... and suddenly... good DI electric bass tone was easy to achieve (plug-in and set levels).

A nice DI/preamp isn't the most exciting musical purchase, but it's one of the best gear investments you can make.

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On 6/10/2019 at 1:47 PM, Jim Roseberry said:

When recording direct, the DI input can make a massive difference (positive or negative) in the sound.

Many folks think all you need is a "Hi-Z" input.  

While it's true you need an input with high impedance, there's a world of difference between various Hi-Z DIs.

 

If you're recording passive Fender electric bass thru a cheap Hi-Z DI and it sounds anemic, the issue isn't the bass.

That same bass thru a Neve DI will sound amazing.

I used to really struggle to get nice DI bass recordings.

Tried 1001 different DI solutions (SansAmp - numerous boxes, Reddi, Avalon U5, Solo-610, etc).

Finally invested in a Neve Portico-II... and suddenly... good DI electric bass tone was easy to achieve (plug-in and set levels).

A nice DI/preamp isn't the most exciting musical purchase, but it's one of the best gear investments you can make.

Have you liked anything in the under 1k range?  Don't think that Neve would be happening for me anytime soon. 

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The new SSL SiX is about half the cost of the Neve... and it's fantastic (albeit a different flavor than Neve).

Warm Audio makes the WA-73  (Neve 1073 clone with pre-amp and three-band EQ)... which is ~$800.

The GAP Pre-73 is a 1073 pre-amp clone (no EQ/dynamics)

 

I wouldn't recommend lower-end channel-strips... as they're not much better than a typical Mackie channel.

The GAP Pre-73 is a pretty decent pre-amp... but there's no EQ/dynamics.

 

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I've got 2 GAP Pre 73's - they're fantastic - one Mk1 and a Mk II. I upgraded the Mk II with Carnhill transformers.

The good thing about the GAP Pre 73's is you've the choice of adding the EQ-73 separately if you need it. Only the Mk2 & Mk3  or above has the insert socket for it though.

Personally, I prefer to do most of my EQ in the box.

If I do need EQ, I'll use my old Alice 8.28 which has a very different character, but still a really warm pre amp (Belclere transformers) and very nice EQ. 

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18 hours ago, msmcleod said:

Personally, I prefer to do most of my EQ in the box.

Currently mixing a project for a client.

Most of the more "surgical" EQ I've done in-the-box.

I've got the Portico-II wired to both send/receive audio (to/from my audio interface).

With TotalMix, I can use the Portico-II almost like a plugin (albeit I have to ultimately record the result as an audio track).

 

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3 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Currently mixing a project for a client.

Most of the more "surgical" EQ I've done in-the-box.

I've got the Portico-II wired to both send/receive audio (to/from my audio interface).

With TotalMix, I can use the Portico-II almost like a plugin (albeit I have to ultimately record the result as an audio track).

 

Yeah, I've actually thought about using my Alice that way, as it's got individual outs on each channel, and I've no shortage of outputs on my audio interfaces.

Currently I'm using a Fostex VC-8 to feed my Alice outputs to the ADAT input of my Scarlett 18i20, but I guess there's no reason why I couldn't also use the ADAT out to route track outputs back into the Alice.

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I'd give it a whirl...

I'd only been using the Portico-II to record tracks.

Just recently started using it to mix... and it's a really nice option (in addition to plugins).

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 11:36 PM, Greg said:

Have you liked anything in the under 1k range?  Don't think that Neve would be happening for me anytime soon. 

 

On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 11:49 AM, Peter - IK Multimedia said:

*cough* AXE I/O fits the bill *cough* :)

Although I haven't used any of the high-end stuff that Jim's talking about, I have to agree with Peter on the Axe I/O. This is a huge improvement from the normal interfaces. The guitar tone is very close to playing through a real amp....not quite, but very close with full sound in the tonal spectrum.

 

Greg, I would definitely check it out at a store (if possible) before buying.....it's very good. 

Edited by Mesh
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38 minutes ago, Mesh said:

 

Although I haven't used any of the high-end stuff that Jim's talking about, I have to agree with Peter on the Axe I/O. This is a huge improvement from the normal interfaces. The guitar tone is very close to playing through a real amp....not quite, but very close with full sound in the tonal spectrum.

 

Greg, I would definitely check it out at a store (if possible) before buying.....it's very good. 

Thanks.  The preamps (outside of the great stuff happening in input one for guitar/bass) are also very good.  I will concede, of course, that they are not - and are not meant to be - "character" preamps.  In that case you'd definitely want to look at something that has preamps that were meant to impart their sound vs the aim of the preamps on AXE I/O which are meant to be clean.

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"Z-TONE" looks Interesting. Seems variable analog knob. Can you quantify the settings to make a note?

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