IK Multimedia launches the TONEX Pedal, a game-changing affordable stompbox that uses AI machine modeling to capture the sound of any amp or drive pedal

Software specialist IK Multimedia has unveiled the last addition to its lineup of stompboxes – and it could be a game-changer for floor-based amp modeling.

Enter the IK Multimedia AmpliTube TONEX Pedal: a hugely innovative – and surprisingly affordable – floor-based AI machine modeling unit that puts the brand’s hugely popular TONEX powers into a stompbox format, allowing users to capture and harness the sound of any amp and pedal with the stomp of a footswitch.

In essence, the AmpliTube TONEX pedal is a gig-friendly alternative to the company’s TONEX Capture software, with the added benefit of offering 10 tone sculpting parameters, 50 savable banks divided into three individual presets, full MIDI control and a custom IR Loader for cab sims. All for a modest $399.

At first glance, it looks to be a winner from IK Multimedia, one that heralds an affordable future for high-quality amp and pedal modeling and that gives floor-based modelers already on the market a serious run for their money.

The AmpliTube TONEX Pedal lets users browse over 1,000 Tone Models via the TONEX MAX software, 150 of which can be installed onto the pedal in 50 banks of three via the USB connection. With the addition of the new TONEX Librarian feature, these 150 Tone Models can be edited, organized and arranged in any desirable setup, and can be easily recalled using the pedal’s Bank Up or Bank Down footswitch functions.

Not only that, thanks to the TONEX’s AI Machine Modeling software, players can model just about anything in their own rig, from single pedals to a whole amp-and-cab rig. 

For those unfamiliar with how AI Machine Modeling works, IK Multimedia's software analyzes a specially prepared guitar track of an existing rig and subsequently creates a Tone Model based on the audio using "deep machine learning".

A wealth of convenient onboard controls allows for a further layer of sound sculpting, with five dual-function control knobs making the TONEX Pedal even more friendly to live situations. Standard Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble and Volume knobs also double as Reverb, Compressor, Noise Gate, Presence and Depth controls, which can be accessed by the Parameter Encoder.

It’s also worth noting that five reverb models are available, all of which have been lifted from IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube X-Space reverb pedal.

The control set is completed by a Model Encoder, which lets you change the Tone Model of the selected preset, and Preset Encoder, responsible for accessing the 150 presets.

In practice, banks can be browsed by pressing two footswitches at once, with the three individual footswitches then responsible for recalling one of the three presets within that chosen bank.

But, as IK Multimedia notes, the “TONEX Pedal tone experience goes beyond the stage”. Instead, the stompbox doubles as a 24 bit/44.1 kHz USB audio interface for effortless studio compatibility, and can be used to transfer amp and pedal captures into its AmpliTube 5 software.

In terms of connectivity, the TONEX Pedal features an instrument input, left and right outputs for connecting it to an amp or PA system, a headphone jack for silent monitoring, and a dedicated input for a third party expression pedal.

The rear is completed by a MIDI in and out – for connecting to the rest of the X-Gear line – a 9V DC power socket and a USB for audio interface and TONEX Software usability.

For our two cents, it looks to be a seriously powerful piece of kit for $399, especially when compared to its four-figure competitors, such as the Kemper Profiler Stage and Neural DSP Quad Cortex. Yes, it’s missing the onboard effects of those pedals, but its compact dimensions mean it can also also integrate within an existing pedalboard setup.

To find out more, head over to IK Multimedia.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.