Music hardware and software maker Line 6 is one of the premier vendors of guitar amps and effects modeling. (They make software that emulates chorus, delay, and similar effects that used to require a pedal or other hardware control.)
Using Line 6’s TonePort UX2 couldn’t be simpler. You just plug your guitar, bass, or microphone into the TonePort and connect the USB cable from the TonePort to your Mac. You can then record directly into applications like
GarageBand ( ),
Logic Pro ( ), and
Cubase ( ), or you can use the optional $199 Audio Unit plug-in.
The TonePort UX2 has just about every input you could want: mic (two), guitar/bass (two), stereo line, and stereo monitor. Getting your music out to a set of studio monitors or an amp is easy, too, with RCA and line outputs.
The TonePort UX2 comes with Line 6’s GearBox software (PowerPC- and Intel-compatible), which enables you to edit and download presets. (A preset allows you to create and adjust a collection of virtual amps, cabinets, and effects and save them for later use.) The TonePort itself doesn’t store the presets; changes are kept on your Mac’s hard drive and loaded when the TonePort starts up. You can also easily transfer any presets you create to other Line 6 devices (such as the PodXT Live).
While there are a few products on the market that claim the same types of features as the TonePort, nobody comes close to the sound, versatility, or quality of the TonePort in such a compact package.
Macworld’s buying advice
The TonePort UX2 covers all the musical bases for Mac-friendly guitar and bass players and singers. It comes with a nice variety of presets, and it is easy to create and download other presets. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you play: from Mississippi blues to the heaviest metal, the TonePort has got you covered.
[ Jim Dalrymple is Macworld.com’s news director. ]