Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


IK Multimedia ToneX — A Mix Real-World Review…in the USVI

Recording in St. John, USVI, our review team put IK Multimedia's ToneX amp sim to the test, using self-created sims of their own amps.

IK Multimedia ToneX is an amp sim that allows you to capture the sounds of your own amps and cabinets.
IK Multimedia ToneX is an amp sim that allows you to capture the sounds of your own amps and cabinets.

Every year, Mix contributors Rich Tozzoli, Mike Dwyer and Bruce MacPherson decamp to St. John, USVI, and temporarily turn a house into a studio where they record TV cues while also testing new equipment and software, resulting in a bevy of Mix Real-World Reviews written in a unique part of the real world.

Imagine being able to carry your entire amp collection with you wherever you go. Maybe even in your suitcase to a tropical island…. Using this stand-alone app and DAW plug-in is exactly what ToneX from IK Multimedia allowed us to do.

At its core, ToneX is a new take on amp sim plug-ins, using AI machine modeling to create “tone models” of amps. It comes stock with tones of 100 different amps, from companies like Marshall, Fender, Mesa and even Dumble, but what makes this amp sim really stand out is the ability to capture the sounds of your own amps and cabinets. It also has some of the great sought-after pedals, as well, so you can push your sound even harder.

Ninth Annual St John, USVI Recording Retreat Results in Reviews

In the days before leaving for St John, I used the modeler section of ToneX to create a series of captures of my 1963 Gibson Titan amp. With 11 tubes, a couple of massive transformers, and tons of mojo, if any amp was going to test the limits of ToneX’s modeling capabilities, this was it. The process was incredibly straightforward, with simple step-by-step instructions, and when I was done, my jaw just about hit the floor; the ToneX model was remarkably close to the sound of the real amp!

Sony MDR-MV1 Studio Monitor Headphones

On our trip, we put ToneX through its paces, using it on guitar, bass and even synths, and it did not disappoint. Between my amp captures, all the built-in amps, and the thousands of available user-made tone captures available through IK Multimedia’s site, there was no shortage of options, and we were able to find incredible sounds for every situation.

Tozzoli notes: As a player, I can attest that this thing inspires. It reacts to the fingers remarkably well, like the real amp should. Plus, you can tweak the stock settings by adding amp controls (based on each model) such as, bass, mids, treble, gain, reverb and noise gate. Since coming back from St. John, we have also modeled my 1947 Gibson BR6 and 1966 Gibson Falcon amp. Holy s#(& cool! You can also access a huge and growing library of shared user models that are posted in the ToneX ecosystem, offering virtually endless sonic options.

Note, though, that you cannot capture reverb or modulation effects from your amps.