IK Multimedia X-Drive

Italian powerhouse IK Multimedia, a multifaceted builder of hardware and software for musicians, unveiled four new, multi-mode pedals powered by the algorithms of their popular audio plugin Amplitube. This post will take a closer look at the gain pedal in this line, called X-Drive.

This is a multi-mode, do-it-all kind of gain pedal reminiscent of releases by Strymon and Line 6, but with a twist no other modern gain workstation on the market can offer: it comes with an Amplitube 5 SE plugin including an exact virtual reproduction of the hardware, allowing players to apply their settings directly to their DAW’s channels (as many times as allowed by their computer’s DSP).

Like the other stompboxes in the X-Gear series, the X-Drive features 16 algorithms covering pretty much any possible gain option, from amp-based overdrives (Modern, Metal, Monarch and Orange, just to mention a few) to Boosts and Fuzz options – you can see the full list here.

With a 5Hz to 24kHz frequency response, versatile routing options, 300 storable presets, and full Midi/USB implementation, the X-VIBE has nothing to envy the established multiverb boxes on the market. 8 knobs allow navigation of all the essential parameters (one can be assigned to custom control), while the spacious screen features fonts that look a little retro (vintage alarm clock-style), but its large size makes it very easy to read also when standing. On top of that, its open architecture is a window into upcoming new features and software improvement.

Unlike the rest of the line, the X-Drive is not stereo, but offers other useful outputs: the Cab Out allows you to play live without an amp, while the
Headphones Output is always a great feature to play anywhere at any time.

To facilitate direct recording, the X-Drive also includes 5 cabinet impulses.

Here’s the first video of the IK Multimedia X-Drive. It can already be purchased at Sweetwater.com.

IK Multimedia X-Drive, Builder’s Notes

Bring your perfect studio guitar sound onstage with the new AmpliTube X-DRIVE distortion pedal. This boutique pedal features 16 all-new overdrive and distortion effects leveraging IK’s latest AmpliTube technologies, accompanied by an exclusive virtual X-GEAR version of the exact same effects. Use the virtual version with AmpliTube 5 (SE version included) to record and tweak settings and save as presets on your X-DRIVE pedal for world-class tone anywhere.

AmpliTube X-VIBE overview

  • Breakthrough software and hardware integration for guitarists
  • State-of-the-art DSP in a road-worthy anodized aluminum chassis
  • 16 different algorithms, 50 factory presets (300 storable presets)
  • All-newgain algorithms, from tape echos to crystal-clear
  • Includes exclusive virtual X-VIBE version for use in AmpliTube 5
  • Cab Output to play live without an amp
  • Headphones Output to play at home at any time.
  • USB port for preset management and use as a recording interface
  • Full MIDI implementation including control over AmpliTube 5
  • Designed and made in Italy for a lifetime of playing and gigging

Best-in-show DSP
AmpliTube X-DRIVE leverages IK’s latest technologies for hyper-realistic emulations of real-world gear. The state-of-the-art DSP onboard offers 16 high-end algorithms, while a special X-MODE opens additional signal boosting features. Using 192kHz internal processing with 4x oversampling, X-DRIVE delivers amazing clarity to the stage with the realism and response that users love about AmpliTube 5.

16 high-end algorithms

Hardware that stands out
For AmpliTube X-VIBE we went all out to guarantee your tone stays as pure and pristine as possible, no matter how simple or sophisticated your signal chain becomes.

• Ultra-low noise, 24-bit/192kHz converters for class-leading sound quality
• 5 Hz–24 kHz frequency response to capture the full scope of your guitar’s sound
• 123 dB dynamic range provides whisper-quiet operation at any gain setting
• Selectable true or soft bypass for maximum control

Industry-leading integration
AmpliTube X-DRIVE includes a matching virtual version for Mac/PC and a copy of AmpliTube 5 SE. Open any version of AmpliTube 5 and you’ll find your virtual X-DRIVE pedal available as a stomp for use within the program. Adjust any of your pedal settings with the convenience of AmpliTube’s award-winning workflow and save them as presets. The X-GEAR Librarian lets you move presets between X-GEAR pedals and AmpliTube and easily reorganize them on the hardware pedal. You can store up to 300 presets per pedal.

All-in-one recording
With AmpliTube X-DRIVE there’s no need for any other gear when it comes to recording guitar. We’ve put a USB audio interface and some must-have recording features right onboard.

• 5Hz to 24kHz frequency response to record the full range of your guitar or bass
• Versatile routing options let you send the wet or dry signal to your DAW
• Full MIDI implementation to map control of AmpliTube and/or any compatible DAW

From soundcheck to final encore
When it’s time to play out, AmpliTube X-DRIVE holds everything you need to perform at your best. In fact, you can even leave your amp and cab at home, if you want to.

• Fast, intuitive interface and control knobs to tweak your sound on the fly
• High-contrast LED display keeps you informed on everything, indoors and out
• Expression pedal input adds additional control over any parameter you choose
• Full MIDI implementation is built-in for even the most complex setups
• 5 cabinet impulse responses and a CAB SIM out to connect directly to the PA