Hands-On Review:DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation


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DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

Every guitarist's new best friend

By Ralph Franklin DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

 

With so many guitar products out there these days, it's easy to find yourself with a number of different effects pedals, processors, or even a MIDI controller in your setup-and that's just for playing live! Lately I've noticed a lot of guitarists in my town sporting DigiTech Guitar Workstations. It appears that these guitarists are on to something, so I was thrilled when I was chosen to review the newest member of the family, the GNX3000.

At the Gig

The GNX3000 is packed with features and functionality--both for live gigs and studio or home recording. Let's take a look first at how powerful it can be in a performance setting.

The obvious places to start are the amp, cab, and pickup models and the outstanding set of 57 effects. From vintage classics to modern heroes, the GNX3000's 46 amp and cabinet models run the gamut of fine tone. Whether it's based on a '65 Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb or a '99 Carvin Legacy VL-100, DigiTech's new Component-Based Modeling delivers superb reproduction. Pairing one with any of the 32 cabinet models gives you even more tonal options. I spent some time honing my own ideal sound and was amazed how easy it was and how great it sounded. In addition, two pickup models let you easily slide between the clear, ringing tone of a single coil and the warm, raw sound of a humbucker.

 

Your gear bag is sure to get a lot lighter once you discover the brilliance of the GNX3000's 57 effects, including 11 popular stompbox emulations. Forget lugging multiple pedals around--the GNX3000 is packed with outstanding effects that can conjure up any tone you can imagine. The stompbox models are based on classics like the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer, the Boss DS-1, Roger Mayer Octavia, and the DigiTech Grunge.

 

ToneWorks AX3000G

The built-in effects encompass the standards (reverbs, chorus, tremolo) as well as two killer acoustic guitar simulators, Univibe, analog and ping-pong delays, phasers, and even a pitch-shifter! Create to your imagination's end using up to 11 effects at a time and save your settings easily in any of the 65 user presets. You can also use the included X-Edit software for both PC and Mac to devise your own patches on your computer and transfer them to the GNX3000. If you're not too much of an experimentalist, the 130 factory presets will help you get started building your sound.

 

The GNX3000 has other nice touches that make it a joy to use in a live setting. Separate 1/4" and XLR outputs, each with its own level control, allow you to run the signal to both your amp and the PA. This came in handy for me when switching between my acoustic-electric, which I like to run directly through the PA, and my Les Paul that goes to my tube amp. The amp and cabinet models sound so authentic that I even did a few songs without my amp at all and they sounded great!

 

Digitech GNX3000

Recording Time

A simple USB audio/MIDI connection is the GNX3000's portal to laying down tracks on your computer with ease. Included with the unit is Pro Tracks Plus multitrack recording software for PC, developed with the same folks who created the industry-leading Cakewalk. With Pro Tracks Plus and the GNX3000, there's no need for a mixer.

The GNX3000 has a built-in drum machine with over 80 patterns, balanced 1/4" line inputs, and a dbx mic preamp with phantom power. It handles up to six tracks of 24-bit audio (four tracks recording, two tracks playback). I was putting tunes together in no time at all--complete with drums and vocals--and I especially dug the handsfree aspect of it all. Pro Tracks Plus also has editing and mixing functions, as well as the awesome Lexicon Pantheon reverb plug-in, that make it a snap to take your recordings to a polished, professional finished product with ease.

Pure Power

The GNX3000's potential truly amazes me. As a performance tool, it essentially eliminates the need for different guitars (there are even two acoustic guitar models!), effects pedals, amps, and cabinets. Heck, you don't even need an amp with this thing! Being able to access and layer so many different effects opens up limitless tonal possibilities.

DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

There are also great practice tools like Learn-A-Lick and Jam-A-Long. Learn-A-Lick lets you sample a phrase (up to nine seconds long) from a CD or other source and slow it down to 1/4 of its original speed without any change in pitch--perfect for learning those blazing licks by your favorite guitarist. With Jam-A-Long, your source material is channeled through the GNX3000's headphone output, letting you play along with your favorite songs. Both are extremely effective practice tools for any guitarist that wants to learn from the pros.

 

Guitarists of every level will benefit from having a GNX3000 in their rig. For the gigging player, the effects, amp, and cab models and I/O make it the ideal tool for playing live and eliminating the clutter that multiple pedals, cabinets, etc., create. In the studio or for home recording, features like the included software, built-in drum machine, line inputs, and dbx mic preamp make it indispensable. The Learn-A-Lick and Jam-A-Long functions are sure to benefit your playing. Truly a tool for all occasions!

Features & Specs:

 

 

  • 46 amp models
  • 32 cabinet models
  • Component-Based Modeling
  • Single-coil and humbucking pickup models
  • 57 programmable effects, 11 at one time
  • 130 factory, 65 user presets
  • USB audio/MIDI interface with Hands-Free recording
  • XLR and 1/4" direct stereo outs
  • Balanced 1/4" line inputs
  • Pro Tracks Plus recording software
  • 6 channels of 24-bit audio (Record 4/Playback 2)
  • X-Edit Editor/Librarian for PC/Mac
  • Drum machine with over 80 patterns
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Learn-A-Lick
  • Jam-A-Long
  • 7 wide-spaced footswitches
  • Rugged metal chassis and treadle
  • dbx mic preamp with phantom power
  • 3 assignable expression pedal functions at one time