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toneport: please explain!

i would be grateful if anyone with good experience of line 6's toneport could answer a few questions (searched around their website, but am still unsure about the following) (generally looking at funk/soul/jazz kind of guitar/vocals):

1. is the audio processed in the box itself? or in software (i.e. your computer).

2. if software, i guess it functions almost like a vst instrument (not quite, i realise but in that it's inside the software) so i suppose it has some affect on your cpu use while recording in whatever DAW you're using. does it use a significant amount of cpu cycles? and is latency at all noticeable -- does the ASIO direct monitoring feature work?

2b. also, if it is in software, then is this basically just an audio interface? in which case, if i get the software i can just use my existing audio card?

3. if it's happening inside the box, does it work at all when not tethered to your computer? i.e. can i set up sound processing while plugged in, then take it on the road when i don't have my computer with me? if not, then what is the next jump up in line 6's products that would allow me this possibility (sound setting with computer, but freestanding too -- i like the way this works with the variax guitars)?

4. i guess you can only have one sound card set up at any time, so if you use toneport then you have route all your audio out through it at the same time. is it any good at this? (and i presume then that it doesn't also process this audio too? since it's playing back pre-recorded audio from whatever piece you're working on). the extract from the manual on line 6's site suggests one way to set up is to route out through analog back into your original sound card -- is this really the only way to set up if you have a sound card already? (seems a waste of the analog-digital-analog-digital conversions. )

5. how good are its preamps for both both vocals and guitars? i.e. if i use it without any processing at all, is it good value for money (given that it's already pretty inexpensive). i don't need it at all for its effects (delay, reverb, phaser, etc.).

6. are the visual meters of the UX2 any use, or are they just there for show?

7. i have the echo darla sound card (24bit/96khz); if i got the toneport would it be best to dump the darla completely, or still use it as my main sound card?

many many questions, i realise but would be grateful for any anwers. !

thank you...


Pro Audio Guest Tue, 04/04/2006 - 21:00
I was considering this, so I researched it a little, although I don't have experience with it yet. From what I can tell, it acts as your sound card and produces a digital file which gets sent to your hard drive via a USB connection. It completely bypasses your soundcard. It's almost like most usb devices, it transfers a digital file to your pc, after converting the analog signal from your instrument.

You could consider what I was thinking of doing; that is just use it as a redording interface, then disconnect it and process the recording and play it back through your pc soundcard. In other words, just use it to get the music into the pc, then disconnect it for everything else you do after you do your tracking.

It apparently has some nice effects, and as for the quality of the preamps, the users have different opinions about them.

I'm pretty sure it will not work unless it's connected to your pc.

Here are a couple of reviews:

And here are a lot of opinions on the subject:

I hope that helps a little.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 04/05/2006 - 09:53
thanks for those links...
by the sounds of things, all the processing is done in software rather than in the box. in that case, i don't understand why they don't just release the software as a separate item, so we don't need to replace our existing audio interfaces... using around 25% to 30% of cpu is just a little too much when you're already pushing the system limits with all the other processing in your tracks.... i guess this one just isn't for me then!
thanks again.

CoyoteTrax Wed, 04/05/2006 - 16:03
Chundle it does hog a good chunk of system resources and makes it difficult to track if you're already working with a big file.

I've been using the Toneport outside the box on it's own laptop and gotten great results using the analog outputs into an analog signal path that eventually ends up in my main DAW. The sounds are fantastic for guitar and vocals.