I’ve always looked at wah plug-ins as a joke. You can set them to filter a certain frequency band or you can auto-wah, but it’s not the real thing. What makes a wah unique is the fact that you manually control the sweeping filter and create an expressive talking effect. This is exactly what you’ll achieve when you pair IK Multimedia’s Stealth pedal with the AmpliTube software.
The housing is shaped just like a Dunlop Crybaby wah, and the feel is similar to that pedal when controlling virtual wahs in the included software. However, it isn’t just a MIDI controller; it’s a 24-bit, 44.1kHz/48kHz interface that will work with your DAW (excluding Pro Tools) or the included Sonoma Riffworks T4 recording software. In addition, each Stealth pedal package includes a variety of AmpliTube virtual amp and effects bundles that can run as stand-alone software, Audio Units, RTAS or VST plug-ins.
In this tight little package, you get a pair of mono instrument-level analog inputs; there’s no need for a DI. The inputs can also be used at balanced line-level. As for outputs, there is a built-in headphone amp with a level control and a stereo pair of balanced analog TRS outputs. Best of all, there’s an input to plug in any two-button footswitch; you don’t have to buy proprietary components. If you have an amp with a footswitch (or a keyboard sustain pedal), hook it up to the Stealth pedal and go to work. There’s even an input to connect an additional expression pedal. With all of that, you can control the bypass state of multiple software stomp boxes while simultaneously controlling a wah effect and a volume pedal effect. You can also write automation while tracking and then clean it up in the edit. Cool!
Upon installing the included software and drivers, the AmpliTube application recognized the hardware right away; there’s no complicated setup. Mapping the Stealth pedal to the control values of the AmpliTube software was easy. Additional control of the audio I/O can be accessed through AMS. There’s also an included application that lets you map MMC messages from the Stealth pedal to non-IK applications. This is a little more advanced, but was still user-friendly.
Aside from that, the pedal control was smooth and worked impeccably. In the included software, I found a whammy pedal reminiscent of the sound of the classic DigiTech Whammy. This sounded great and was a lot of fun. There were also a couple of wah effects that lent a great sound to solos or scratchy rhythm guitars. This is a killer product that feels sturdy, includes a lot of software and is a great buy. Prices: $269.99, pedal and limited software; $449.99, Deluxe package with pedal and additional software; both include AmpliTube Metal for a limited time.