The Toneport KB37 from Line 6 : Ready to Rock Your Socks
Thursday, May 24, 2007
By Stephane Brault
@ zZounds.com - The best place for all your musical needs
While most of Line 6's products are aimed at guitar and bass players, products such as the Toneport shows that they are taking the computer-recording market seriously. The inclusion of Pod-style software and amp-modeling will surely make computer recording more attractive to the guitar player. The KB37 has a lot to offer for it's price. Let's find out what it got.
What may at first look like a simple controller keyboard reveals a lot more functionnalities. A closer look shows that the 37-note, velocity-sensitive keyboard, which has a pitch-bend and modulation wheels also offers a fully functionnal, two-channel Toneport computer audio interface, complete with two mic amps capable of powering capacitor microphones. There are also transport controls and four assignable real-time knobs and buttons key-parameters of your computer which is connect to with a USB cable.
If only for bashing drum parts, even guitarists need a keyboard for inputting MIDI data sometimes. As with the stand-alone Toneports, you get the Gearbox amp-modeling software offering 16 amp models taken from the Pod XT and also a range of pedal effects, bass-amp modelling from the Bass Pod XT and emulations of classic vocal-recording. That makes the KB37 far more oriented toward guitar and bass players.
The Toneport KB37 processes the audio before it encounters the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) drivers therefore eliminating latency. This is achieved through Line 6's Direct Tone Monitoring even if the host software requires a lot of resources.
The KB37 comes with it's own recording software, Ableton Live 5 Lite. Mac users can also use the Garage Band software that comes with all new Macs if they prefer. With a pair of headphones, you have you need to turn your computer into a fully functionnal recording system.
Record and monitor via amp models and effects without latency,
thanks to Line 6's Direct Tone Monitoring
The Toneport KB37 is made of a tough black plastic shell. All the controls are on the top surface while the connectors are on the rear. Connectors include a stereo headphone output with a level control separated from the main output-level. Quarter-inch jacks are used for stereo analogue outputs. The monitor-in stereo jack allows you to add external sources to the monitor mix. Two line inputs are available for recording from external preamps with a line-level output. There are also two microphone inputs to allow to record vocals or you could also mic an acoustic guitar. Three further jacks allow for the connection of two external footswitches and an expression pedal for controling volume or wah-wah for example.
Summing It Up
The Toneport KB37 is really impressive and laptop-using guitarists will be more than satisfied with the keyboard controller it offers, making it a good one-box solution. The transport controls are really useful due to the fact that it's a lot more intuitive than using a mouse or the computer keyboard. The near zero latency monitoring is also a great advantage and the included software Pod XT-style quality. The audio interface or mic preamp quality is rather good considering the device's price.
If you're a guitar or bass player, you will totally fall in love with the Toneport KB37. Even keyboard players should have a look at it. Don't wait, order now!
Line6 TonePort KB37 37-Key Keyboard Controller
MSRP : $404.99
zZounds.com : $299.95