A Closer Look: Two Notes Torpedo Captor X
Published on 07 September 2020
True valve tone from a quality amplifier remains the ultimate way to achieve tonal nirvana. Whilst high-end digital technology from companies like Kemper and Line 6 are undoubtedly closing the loop in terms of sound quality, it’s a fact that these technologies wouldn’t exist if there weren’t outstanding amps out there to model in the first place!
It’s not an either/or situation here, though. Guitarists who use amplifiers can still take advantage of technology to get more from their beloved gear. For example, how often can you really turn up your favourite tube amp to get the volume required for that special tonal sweet spot to occur? Not too often, right? And that’s just in your home! How often have you had to keep your amp’s volume low at gigs, due to the more sophisticated and sensitive live music equipment of today’s venues? You spend all that money on a great amp, dedicate hundreds of hours’ playing time in order to get your technique up to scratch, and then you’re obliged to stumble at the last hurdle because of volume issues.
Hardly fair is it?
Well, what we’re getting at, in our laborious way, is that there is a way around this. The box we’re looking at today, the Torpedo Captor X by Two Notes, is a clever multi-function device that lets you work with your favourite amps, completely without compromise.
The Tyranny of Volume
The Two Notes Torpedo Captor X is, as we’ve mentioned, a few things wrapped up in one device. Put simply, the Captor X is a clever attenuator, which takes over from a speaker cabinet in your amp’s chain. It allows you to operate your amp at any volume setting, with the power being soaked up by the Captor X and fed out to whichever device(s) – from headphones to audio interfaces and live mixing desks – with all of the amp’s tone, dynamics and responses remaining unchanged.
If you prefer the sound of your boutique tube head when it’s cranked to eleven, you can now happily do this without the actual volume becoming a deafening terror. This applies to the live stage, as well as at home. Live, you’d use this effectively as a DI box, and you'd play with a virtual cab setting in order to retain that special tone/feel relationship that makes amplifiers stand out from digital modellers.
A big part of this is a relatively new concept called ‘Impulse Response’. Impulse responses are detailed measurings of the physical behaviour of an amp cabinet. Cabinets physically push air out when you play notes, and this 3-dimensional ‘existence’ of energy provides a big part of the magic of an amplifier.
Two Notes use their DynIR advanced cabinet simulation to provide next generation levels of realism here. By modelling these properties and applying them to the DI’d sound of your amp, the Two Notes Torpedo Captor X allows your amp’s true sound and feel to be recreated, at any volume, with onboard controls for tweaking the Voicing (Mid-rich or scooped in increments, depending on how you set the knob) and Space control on the simple front panel. This is true of headphones, too! Just imagine it: epic 5am blues solo sessions need no longer be cause for an ASBO!
There are so many applications for the Two Notes Torpedo Captor X. Here are a few:
- You can easily record your favourite amps into your computer software via your normal audio interface.
- You can practice playing in your home with your main amp, instead of a smaller practice amp which would inevitably sound and respond differently.
- You can practice silently at any time of the day or night by using headphones.
- You can play live with your preferred tone, at a volume that doesn’t upset the sound engineer or other band members.
- You can record a ‘cab'd’ take of your playing and simultaneously record another ‘dry’ take of the same performance, giving you production options later on for your sound.
- You can use the Torpedo Remote app from your phone or tablet to select not only virtual cabs but also virtual mics (up to two at once, as you’d hope) from a wide selection of models, to really nail every aspect of your sound. Do you have a favourite mic for your cab? It’s probably here! You don’t have a favourite mic? Now you can experiment and find one! Own your tone!
- Speed up recording sessions by having perfect genuine amp tone straight away! Speed things further by making use of the included production effects like Enhancer (Thickness, Brilliance etc), and the awesome Twin Tracker, which automatically double tracks your part for raw Rock huge-ness!
Who Needs This?
Do you use an amp? Do you record? Do you play gigs? Then this is for you! From ultra-realistic virtual cabs, to effective and transparent attenuation and icing-on-the-cake impulse responses, there is something here for every serious player who cares about their tone. Make the most out of what you have and take the hassle and trial out of achieving great tonal results by putting your trust in the Two Notes Torpedo Captor X.