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Rock out with your Mac out.
When you picture an audio interface, it’s usually a box connected to your computer, with inputs for your audio gear, right? Do you ever imagine yourself standing on it? Probably not. IK Multimedia’s StealthPedal CS is a USB audio interface and controller for the company’s AmpliTube software, with a cool wah-pedal form factor.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, and wondered if I could use it in my main pedalboard. The answer is no; it can only be used connected to a computer with an amp-modeling app. I did get it to work with Native Instruments Guitar Rig, but it’s best paired with IK’s own AmpliTube software—the package even includes 100 credits to purchase more virtual amps and pedals in the AmpliTube Custom Shop.
You also need to install the StealthPedal MIDI Control app on your Mac, which lets you assign effects to the expression pedal and the stomp switch that turns effects on and off. You can only control one effect at a time with the StealthPedal, so you can’t use the expression pedal for a wah effect and use the stomp switch to activate a distortion pedal. IK Multimedia’s Double Switch Pedal (a $79.99 add-on that wasn’t tested for this review) does allow you to activate multiple effects pedals.
By default, the StealthPedal activates the first stomp box in your AmpliTube effects chain. AmpliTube is a very robust modeling package, featuring an impressive lineup of licensed models by Carvin, Marshall, Fender, Orange, and many more. I had no issues controlling AmpliTube via the GarageBand plug-in, so this is a great unit to use for recording.
Almost immediately, the StealthPedal became my primary USB interface for my guitar. The super-long USB cable lets the pedal sit comfortably under my desk. The build is solid, but on my unit I don’t get a satisfying “click” when activating the stomp switch. It’s a little pricey at $230, plus any extra effects and amps you purchase in AmpliTube. That combination, however, is far cheaper than building a pedalboard to record with.
The bottom line. The StealthPedal rocks.
1.5GHz Intel processor, OS X 10.5 or later, 1GB RAM, AmpliTube
Solid construction. Responsive expression pedal. Comes with a super-long USB cable.
A bit pricey. Getting a great sound may require in-app purchases.