IK Multimedia’s effects enter the physical world with new X-GEAR pedals

The latest software company to make the leap to hardware effects.

Summer NAMM 2021: Amp-modelling stalwart IK Multimedia has marked its first steps into hardware guitar effects with the launch of the X-GEAR series of digital effects.

The set of pedals consists of four units: the X-DRIVE, X-VIBE, X-TIME and X-SPACE, distortion/overdrive, modulation, delay and reverb stompboxes respectively, all running on the same base hardware and DSP. The X-DRIVE and X-VIBE position this DSP to offer a range of “iconic, must-have analogue pedal effects”, while the X-TIME and X-SPACE offer effects custom-created by IK Multimedia. In all cases, 16 discrete effects are found within each pedal.

Given their origins in digital effects, it’s no surprise that these pedals’ features include presets bank, operation as a USB Audio interface, full MIDI support for any parameter, onboard impulse responses for connecting directly to a PA, wet/dry separation and stereo connectivity.

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IK Multimedia X GEAR pedals

Connectivity continues with more than one X-GEAR pedal in the mix, as they can be daisy-chained with MIDI. When using more than one X-GEAR, one of the pedals can be set as the main device, storing presets for the rest of the pedals.

In terms of numbers, the digital processing utilises up to 24-bit / 192kHz audio sampling, 4x oversampling capabilities and a frequency response of 5Hz to 24kHz – capturing the parts of an instrument’s tone that extend out beyond audible human ranges. These same sample rate converters are used in the pedals’ USB interface functionality.

The pedals include a matching virtual version for Mac and PC, as well as a copy of AmpliTube 5 SE. The physical and virtual versions of the pedals can share presets, with the hardware versions being able to take 300 presets with it wherever they go.

The launch follows a number of other notable guitar processing software and recording equipment manufacturers making the leap onto pedalboards, such as Universal Audio’s UAFX and Neural DSP’s Quad Cortex.

Each pedal lists for $/€299.99. Full operating details of each X-GEAR pedal are forthcoming, but are set to be showcased across Summer NAMM 2021. Stay tuned to Guitar.com for more on the X-GEAR pedals.

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