This review is mostly for guitarshredder, but hopefully others will benefit from this as well. I’m going to try to keep this review at 1,000 words, max, and let the sound clips have the final word.
The KORG PXR4 is definitely overlooked, imo, when it comes to amp modeling. Included in this review will be the pros and cons of this great unit, sonic comparisons, sound clips, etc.
OVERVIEW: Physically, the PXR4 is about 5” square by 1.5” deep. It resembles a miniature stand-alone digital recorder, which is exactly what it is: It has 4 tracks of recording, multiple inputs, built-in condenser mic, amp models and effects, as well as multiple outputs (analog and USB) and drum machine, tuner, and metronome. As far as a DAW, the PXR4 can do what any other workstation can: bounce tracks, virtual tracks, as well as mixing down to a 2-channel stereo track. Media is saved on Smart Media cards (more on this later, too). Finally, the PXR4 can operate with either AA batteries or wall wort power supply.
AUDIO INPUTS: Of course, the PXR4 is primarily set up to be used with a guitar plugged into it, so it has a 1/4” input for guitar. It also has a stereo line input on a mini-jack, as well as a surface-mounted condenser mic (more on that later). You CANNOT select more than one input at a time, however, so unless you’re using the mic, you can only track one instrument at a time.
The guitar input also has a switch beneath the unit for HI or LO impedence, so you can also use the ¼” input for line level sources as well, when on the LO Z setting.
There is also a Trim control which controls the actual input gain to the PXR4. The miniature faders control the input to whichever track you’re recording on, as well as the output. Just like a any other DAW you have stacked input and output volume and gain conrols.
AMP MODELING AND EFFECTS: This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. If the modeling and effects suck, then what’s the point of going on with the other stuff? Well, there’s good news here – the modeling and effects are just as intuitive and thought out as any other aspect of the PXR4. For demo and jamming purposes, I haven’t even had the need to customize any of the 100 factory presets, even tho there’s room for 100 user-defined presets as well.
There are presets for both guitar and bass, but I would say that 2/3 of the presets are for guitar users. I’ve been able to record some nice sounding bass tracks as well using the presets.
The only other amp modeler I own is the best one you can buy: The Roland VG-88. How does the Korg compare? Of course, it’s not as flexible. Plus, it’s not using the same processing power. However, it’s battery powered, portable, and can fit on my lap when playing on the sofa, which the VG-88 cannot do!!
According to Korg, there are 77 separate effects on the PXR4, although, in all honesty, they count amp and cab models under “effects” … however, there is still penty of flexibility, and all the major parameters are adjustable for delay, chorus, compression, reverb, etc.
** I WILL BE POSTING CLIPS TONIGHT AT http://korgpxr4.tripod.com **