Review of the Axeport Pro Portable Guitar USB Interface

You have been seeing laptops on stage for a while but mainly with DJs or keyboard players. It has only been in the last few years that guitar players are starting to use laptop for live situations. (Vernon Reid, John McLaughlin, Craig Anderton and others) With NI Guitar Rig, IK's amplitube, Peavey Revalver and others, the guitarist can have a big arsenal of amps and effects at a touch of a foot pedal.

You will need an audio interface to get from the guitar to the computer then to the speakers. I now have a Motu 828 to use but I really do not want to lug around a rack unit. There are plenty interfaces that have same/similar specs and you could get something smaller but not as small as the Axeport Pro by CEntrance! The Axeport Pro is like a blue cigar coming in at 4.5″ long x 1″h x 1″w and weighing 2.4 oz with one input and an 1/8″ headphone output. This not for use as the main interface in the home studio. Small and bus powered, this for “on the go”, portability, on the tour bus, in the teaching studio, live laptop. The 1/8″

output is geared towards headphones use but you can run it to a powered speaker for live use. You have an knobs for input “axe” level and “phones/amp” output.

With the included flash drive, you can load the driver on any system. Installation was a little confusion because the control panel isn't label as per the instructions. The company is updating the install instructions. Also, the input is stated as mono but it shows up in the software (Logic and GB) as two inputs. The input is like dual mono, not true stereo. My guitar shows on two tracks and I can record the two tracks at the same time. In Mainstage, I can pan each channel left and right to setup a stereo effect with effects, amps etc. Nice! You can use multiple Axeports by setting up an aggregate device in Mac or using

CEntrance' s Universal Driver for PC, available as a free download. Plugged in, the low-noise high-quality 24bit/96khz Hi-Z preamp supplies a really nice, full and transparent tone with low latency. I got 6ms or better on a Macbook 2.4 core 2 duo running Logic. Guitar Rig 3 showed 5.2 ms latency. A wet/dry mix panel is included in case you have more latency. You can monitor the direct sound.

new LTD models
The AxePort Pro

The anodized aluminum chassis is nice and ruggedly built. The Axeport Pro can be clipped on to your guitar strap.

USB doesn't let you run long lengths (5 meters at the most), so it might not be for the guitarist running around on a big stage unless he/he is using a wireless system. In that situation, you could still go wireless by taking the output of the wireless receiver into the Axeport. You'll need 1/8″ to 1/4' adaptor to get to a powered speaker from the Axeport's output.

Reaper is the included audio program and Oliigarc supplies VST guitar effects I am not concerned with the included software. This is really not for your first interface, so you would already have software. Portability is the name here. One idea would be if it was class compliant but you might sacrifice driver quality. The Axeport also has built-in light (why?), which can be turned off, to save bus power.

At $150 street and NI coming out with Guitar Rig Mobile, it seems a little pricey for what it is but you get a small, well-built interface with a high quality preamp. You get to use your own guitar instead of a USB guitar.(Behringer on the low end, Brian Moore on the high-end.) The unit comes with a 6' Usb cable, strap clip and a carrying pouch. AxePort Pro is compatible with Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS 10.4 and above, and LINUX. My laptop rig just got smaller.

Included Software:

PC Users: Universal Driver -Offers “wet/dry” monitor mix contro-Provides ASIO compatibility-Allows to use multiple AxePort Pro and/or MicPort Pro USB mic preamps on the same computer!

Mac Users: AxePort Pro Control Panel for “wet/dry” monitor mix control

Compatible with:

Windows: All audio software that supports either WDM (native windows drivers), or ASIO drivers

OSX: All CoreAudio complaint software

Linux: Most distributions of Linux support AxePort Pro, treating it as a standard audio device

Brian Murphy is a guitarist/teacher located in Rockland County, NY. Brian has 20 years experience in the Music Industry.

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