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Audient Sono guitar recording interface review

A ‘plug and play’ audio interface for recording and modeling that's simple to use and boasts a built-in tube

Audient Sono Amp Modelling Audio Interface review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

A fine piece of kit with plenty of usable applications, the Sono is a fuss-free interface with some powerful tone-shaping potential under the hood.

For

  • Simple, intuitive and well laid out.
  • Two Notes cab sim software.
  • Effective for guitar or bass.

Against

  • Some might find speaker modelling alone too limiting.

Audient are well-known for their excellent preamps and audio technology, so the simplicity of this Sono unit intrigued us. 

Presented in a desk-friendly metal casing, the hardware side of things gets a big thumbs up as the unit can be used for practice applications with headphones, as well as a valve preamp and modelling amp. 

Although the unit was primarily designed for guitar use, hence the inclusion of a 12AX7 valve in the front end, the bass application is a no less viable option. With a three-band EQ, an array of inputs and outputs and level indicators, the physical hardware is simply laid out and easy to use.

Connecting the interface to your Mac or PC is effortless, and before you know it, you’re setting up the Two Notes Engineering Torpedo Remote speaker cab simulation software. A considerable number of cabinet simulations are instantly available with additional models available with a subscription fee.

The whole setup is intuitive and simple to use from start to finish

Running through this list, your screen changes depending on the room type you select (in terms of reverb) and you can see the speaker being emulated.

On the left of the screen, you can modify the preset and output levels, the tonal contour (from vintage to modern), the type of mic and its distance from the cabinet, the tone and the effect of the preamp valve in terms of a clean or distorted signal.

Connecting the Sono to your Mac/PC is easy as pie, as is using the Two Notes Engineering Torpedo Remote speaker cab sim software to retool your tone.

Connecting the Sono to your Mac/PC is easy as pie, as is using the Two Notes Engineering Torpedo Remote speaker cab sim software to retool your tone. (Image credit: Future)

The whole setup is intuitive and simple to use from start to finish. The modelling is effective, although by keeping the software front end limited to cabinet simulation and modelling, your ability to modify tones is down to your cab rather than amp selection.

However, these tonal changes are extensive and very accurate. Moving from a sound similar to that of a vintage 1x15 cabinet to amodel of a Hartke 4x10, to an Ashdown 1x15, to an Ampeg 8x10 or a Markbass 2x10 cabinet, you can hear the tonal changes instantly.

There is very little noticeable latency, thanks to a 96kHz sample rate and 24-bit resolution, and the ability to store your favourite presets on the interface means you can take them with you on the move.

Specs

  • Price: $399 / £349
  • Made in: China
  • Features: Mic preamp gain x 2, speaker output, headphone output, monitor mix, bass, middle, treble, instrument input volume, Two Notes drive stage level, instrument output volume, signal peak LEDs, Two Notes cab selector switch, ¼” jack instrument input, ¼” jack Re-amp output, ¼” jack headphone output, USB-C input/output, ADAT digital in input, ¼” jack left/right line outputs, phantom power switch x 2, mic/line XLR/jack inputs x 2
  • Dimensions: 229mm (W) x 164mm (D) x 67mm (H) / 9” (W) x 6.45” (D) x 2.63” (H)
  • Power: 12V DC (adapter supplied)
  • Weight: 1.7 kg (3.74 lbs)
  • Contact: Audient