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When using Windows for audio, it may be best to make some optimizations to allow for the best performance of your products. This guide goes both over a step-by-step approach as well as an informative approach to optimizing your system.

Table of contents:

  1. Turning off Windows Sounds
  2. Windows Power Settings
  3. Windows Performance Options
  4. Maintaining your system
  5. Removing Bloatware from your system
  6. Disabling & closing any unnecessary background apps
  7. Disabling any unnecessary background services
  8. Setting the appropriate Sample Rate & Bit-depth
  9. Setting the appropriate Audio Buffer Size
  10. Staying up to date!

Turning off Windows Sounds

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Sounds" to enter the Control Panel -> Sounds menu. Inside here use the "Sounds" tab to select "No Sounds" as your "Sound Scheme".

Windows Power Settings

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Power & Sleep Settings". In the newly opened window, select the "Additional Power Settings" option. Inside this window you will be able to select "High Performance" mode. This is preferred for the best performance from your system.

    NOTE: The "Additional Power Settings" window will offer an option to "Change Plan Settings". For additional optimizations you can use this window to make sure your USB ports are not turned off for any reason during use which can cause disruptions to your workflow or cause connected peripherals not to operate as they should.

Windows Performance Options

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Performance" and select the "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" option. This page will offer the choice to "Adjust for best performance". This is suggested to allow for the most resources to be used for audio, rather than other settings which you may not need at the moment.

    NOTE: In this page you can use a "Custom" option to find a good in-the-middle option for your usage.


Maintaining your system

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Storage". Select the Settings option which appears. Use this window to "Free space now". This will clear temporary files, the recycling bin, as well as any other remaining files which may not be needed on your system at this time.

  • Using a File Explorer window, go to your available drives. Right click each and go to "Properties". Inside here you can use the "Disk Cleanup" option, which is similar to the point above, then you can use the "Tools" tab to "Optimize and de-fragment" your drives. This can take some time, so this is suggested to be done at the end of the process or when you won't be using your system for some time.

  • Perform an antivirus and malware scan regularly to ensure the computer isn’t infected.
  • Consider using Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software Windows Defender and uninstalling third-party antivirus software. These tie up a lot of resources, can cause installation issues, and cause software not to run correctly.
  • Make sure there is open space on both your main drive and the drive you are using to save your audio files or sessions. Do this by deleting unnecessary files and clearing your recycling bin regularly.

Removing Bloatware from your system

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Add or Remove Programs" and select the option which appears. Using this menu, remove programs which are pre-installed with pre-configured computers, which is known as bloatware. These are unnecessary programs which take up a lot of hard drive space and can use a lot of memory.

  • For a more in-depth look at the same process above click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Control Panel". Use this section of your system to enter the "Programs" sub-section's "Uninstall a program" option.


Disabling & closing any unnecessary background apps

  • Click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Type "Background Apps" to "Choose which apps can run in the background". Inside this window you can select the apps you wish to use, or even disable this entirely. Use the "Let apps run in the background" slider to turn this function off. This is the preferred option.


Disabling any unnecessary background services

  • Right-click the Windows logo or Start Menu. Select "Task Manager". Inside here disable non-essential third-party start-up "Processes" or "Services" such as: Skype, SpotifyWebHelper, OneDrive, and iTunes.

Setting the appropriate Sample Rate & Bit-depth

  • When recording it can be tempting to set the Sample Rate as high as possible. Doing so however can affect your system's performance. If you system has any trouble running any particular projects or sessions, try lowering your Sample Rate. This will reduce the amount of DSP being done in real-time. "Red Book" Standard audio or CD quality uses a Sample Rate of 44.1kHz with a bit-depth of 16. Studio Quality can be considered at 48kHz and a setting of 24 for bit-depth. This can be taken to the next level when resources are available to 96 kHz or 192 kHz with 32-bit floating point as the bit-depth setting.
  • On top of performance, a larger Sample Rate or Bit-depth will cause your files saved to be larger, as they contain more DATA. If you do not have a very large drive for storage, it may be best to use lower settings when recording.

Setting the appropriate Audio Buffer Size

  • When recording, mixing, or mastering an appropriate Audio Buffer Size is necessary to create a nice easy work flow as well as the best experience. During Tracking (Recording) it is suggested to use a lower Audio Buffer Size. This allows for less latency (Delay between what is played and what is heard) when recording which can allow for a better, more accurate performance. We suggest starting at a 512 Audio Buffer Size, then reducing this until a good middle-ground is found. Personally, I prefer 128 or lower, but some performers can play well with a 256 Audio Buffer Size. However, during Mixing or Mastering, a lower Audio Buffer Size is not required. This is because you will not be monitoring live audio input to your system. In this case, try using an Audio Buffer Size anywhere from 512, to 1024, or 2048 when available.

Staying up to date!

  • Always stay up to date with your IK Multimedia software, host program (DAW) software, and operating system! When updating, always check your software's compatibility to ensure you do not update to an incompatible operating system or host program.

    IMPORTANT: If you are running Windows 10 build 1903 and haven’t updated yet, Be sure to install this update manually as it fixes many DPC latency issues.

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Please contact our support team if you need further assistance after reading this FAQ.

FAQ ID: 1277

To get started, download and install your AXE I/O Control Panel & Drivers. Once downloaded and installed, connect your AXE I/O to your system and launch the AXE I/O Control Panel.

Important: On Mac, the AXE I/O Control Panel will open directly to the top navigation bar. The icon which appears here can be right-clicked to enter the Firmware updater or Control Panel.

Once launched your Control Panel will tell you if you need to update your device's firmware. When available, be sure to update. This will make sure your unit it up-to-date with the latest improvements and features.

Once updated you are good to go! Launch your audio software and you can get started using your AXE I/O like any other audio interface.

Important: When presented the option to open the Control Panel from your DAW or Audio Software like AmpliTube 4, make sure to use this option. Otherwise you may not be able to adjust all available options for your AXE I/O.

In the future, your AXE I/O Control Panel will keep you up to date on that latest Firmware. If you prefer, you can right click the AXE I/O Control Panel icon in the top navigation bar (Mac) or Taskbar in the lower right hand corner (Windows).

Important: The CONTROLLER page in the AXE I/O Control Panel can be edited, so if you need to get back to the default settings, right-click anywhere to see this option.

If you need further assistance after reading this FAQ, please check with our support team here.

FAQ ID: 1276

To control AmpliTube in your DAW you will need to route a MIDI track to send MIDI data to your AmpliTube plug-in. Almost all DAWs can be used to accomplish this, but each will have their own unique way of doing so. Below we cover Ableton Live Lite 10, but if you need help with another DAW, or host program, please check your products user manual or check with our support team.

  1. Connect your iRig or Audio/MIDI interface to your system and launch Ableton Live.

  2. In Ableton, go to the Preferences menu and go to the MIDI sub section to set up your iRig or device for use as a MIDI device. Enable your device under both the Track and Remote fields.

    Note: For the iRig Stomp I/O, select "iRig Stomp IO" as opposed to the "Port 2" option.

  3. In Ableton, create a both a MIDI track and an Audio track. The MIDI track will be used to record the incoming MIDI messages, and the Audio track will record your Guitar or Instrument input.

  4. Add AmpliTube to your Audio track.

  5. Using the created MIDI track, set the "MIDI To" field to your Audio track with AmpliTube. Once done, record arm both tracks to allow incoming signal to be recorded.

  6. Open the AmpliTube plugin and you will now notice the small red circle in the lower right hand corner illuminating with MIDI input. Right click any control and select "MIDI Learn", this will allow your MIDI knob, button, or fader to learn to this control.

  7. For more in-depth control, click the MIDI button in the lower right hand corner of AmpliTube. Here you will have control over all currently assigned MIDI controls, as well as global MIDI PC (Program Change) and MIDI CC (Control Change) controls. Program Change messages will be associated with your Presets, these can be recalled with the associated MIDI PC message. Control Change messages will be associated with parameter controls. For example, bypassing Stomp FX, controlling Amplifier parameters, or making any adjustments to your gear's settings during your performance.

  8. Once you've recorded Audio and MIDI, there will be both an Audio as well as a MIDI clip. The Audio clip will have your dry/unprocessed Audio being sent through the AmpliTube plug-in. The MIDI clip will have all of your MIDI messages. These can be edited after they are recorded. Use the Clip view's Envelope section.

If this FAQ did not help get you started, please reach out to our support team here.

FAQ ID: 1238

Currently, these programs are working with macOS Catalina and we have provided compatible updates to the following programs in your IK User Area:

  • ARC System 3.0
  • Syntronik 1.2.0b
  • Miroslav Philharmonik 2.0.6
  • T-RackS 5.2.2
  • AmpliTube 4.9.0
  • MODO BASS 1.5.1b
  • MODO DRUM 1.1.0
  • Hammond B-3X version 1.1.1
  • SampleTank 4 version 4.0.9
  • AXE I/O Control Panel 1.1b
  • Custom Shop 1.9
  • Authorization Manager 1.0.27
  • UNO Drum Editor 1.1.0b
  • UNO Synth Editor 1.1.0b
  • UNO Drum Anthology Libraries (1.0.0)
  • UNO Drum Firmware Update (1.0.2)*
  • UNO Synth Firmware Update (1.1.4)*
  • iRig Firmware Update (1.12.0)*
  • iRig Keys I/O Firmware Update (1.2.0)

*Requires forcing installation via right click. Notarization to follow.

Please check this page or your IK product's specifications page for full information on the current officially compatible operating systems.

If you need any extra help or information after reading this FAQ, please contact our support team.

FAQ ID: 1264

With the latest version of macOS, version 10.14 (Mojave) or later, Apple has introduced a new section in Preferences for Microphone Permissions. When disabled, these preferences can prevent audio input in any software which can accept external audio input. This can affect AmpliTube 4, ARC System 2.5, or any of our Mac compatible audio interfaces being used on macOS 10.14 or later.


To access and adjust your Microphone Permissions please follow these steps:

  1. In the upper left hand corner of your screen, click on the Apple Icon, then select System Preferences. Inside here, go to the Security & Privacy section to find the Privacy tab.

  2. Make sure you have any audio application(s) installed prior in order for them to be listed in the Microphone Permissions list. Click on the Lock Icon on the bottom left of the Privacy Window, enter your administrative password, and you will be able to make changes to the Microphone permissions. Once your application is checked, click on the Lock Icon again to save the changes.

If you need extra help after reading this message, please contact us here.


FAQ ID: 1243

Z-Tone lets you dial in impedance from 1 MOhm (“sharp”) down to 2.2 kOhms (“bold”). By "sagging" your pick-ups, this interaction can help get a wider sonic pallet out of each of your instruments.

This is necessary as all pick-ups will vary on impedance and modern audio interfaces normally use a value around 1MOhm (If they do feature a guitar/bass input). This is to mimic the input on a traditional amplifier.

By being able to dial in this value, you can match your pick-up or signal’s impedance to your input. This can be used as a tool to sculpt tone or as an effect to get unique characteristics out of your tone which would not be otherwise possible. When using a program like AmpliTube, you can also vary the input depending on the amplifier model being used, allowing you to match your guitar to your gear. Allowing for complete control of your sound before you reach for EQ or compression.

We used this control as one piece in the perfect guitar input AXE I/O, AXE I/O Solo, Z-Tone D.I, and Z-Tone Buffer Boost. We call the complete input design Triple Topology.

FAQ ID: 1365

Triple Topology is something you won't see in all audio interfaces, and this is referring to the 3 different circuit topologies offered on the AXE I/O, AXE I/O Solo, Z-Tone D.I, and Z-Tone Buffer Boost. These are 3 different controls to adapt to any type of guitar, pick-up and style so you can always dial in the perfect tone from any instrument. When combined with Z-Tone, this gives you the golden channel for your guitar.

PURE: a completely transparent and ultra-accurate instrument preamp that won’t color your sound in any way.

JFET: a Class A JFET input buffer to add subtle harmonic enhancement. A slight midrange focus adds warmth, giving you more tonal options from the same instrument.

ACTIVE: bypasses unnecessary gain stages when using active pick-ups, to keep your signal path as direct, transparent and clean as possible.

FAQ ID: 1366

The Z-Tone control interacts with the input signal impedance. This is designed mainly for Passive pick-ups in guitar or bass to 'sag' the pick ups to allow for a sharp (1MOhm) or bold (kOhm) sound from any instrument. This interacts much more with Passive pick-ups, as Active pick-ups amplify a signal. While not designed for amplified signals, like Synthesizers or Keyboards (as Z-Tone won't interact with the signal like it would with a passive pick-up), this can make a slight difference on any connected signal due to the nature of what Z-Tone is doing to your signal.

FAQ ID: 1367

Re-amping and virtual re-amping are similar. To put it simply the process is doing just that, re-amplifing a signal. This can be done physically, sending the signal from an audio interface or recorder to an amplifier, or virtually, by sending a dry/unprocessed guitar signal to a plug-in like AmpliTube 4.

With the AXE I/O, this process is as easy as routing your signal through the amp output (output 5/6). This signal can then be re-recorded through one of the two inputs. See how to re-amp in AXE I/O here.

Traditionally this is used by guitar players to allow for tone sculpting without compromising performance, but this can be used for almost any instrument for some very interesting results.

When using the Z-Tone D.I or Z-Tone Buffer Boost pedals, you also get a form of re-amping. This is through the "Link" port on the unit. This allows you to send one copy of your signal to your amplifier, while the main output goes to the sound board or audio interface for recording. From here you can use AmpliTube 4 to virtually re-amp your signal or you can use something like the AXE I/O to send your signal to a physical rig.

FAQ ID: 1369


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