Zoom has launched a new USB audio interface for guitarists called the GCE-3, and it's tiny. Designed to unobtrusively fit in a pocket or gig bag, the interface works with the company's amp emulation and effects simulation software so players can plug in and capture riff creations wherever inspiration hits.

The full name of the 80 x 106 x 29 mm (3.14 x 4.17 x 1.14 in), 90 g (3.17 oz) unit kind of gives its game away. The GCE-3 Guitar Lab Circuit Emulator has been designed to work alongside the company's amplifier and effects simulation software – Guitar Lab.

This Mac/Windows software suite gives users the same amp models, effects and patches available in Zoom's G5n, G3n, G3Xn, B3n G1 Four, G1X Four, B1 Four and B1X Four pedals. But without having to make space in the gig bag for bulky hardware.

The GCE-3 is essentially a mini multi-FX pedal for the desktop, with three teeny "footswitches" up top for calling up emulations without having to use a trackpad or mouse, and scroll controls for accessing patch banks and presets.

It's connected to a computer or laptop running Guitar Lab over USB-C, with the guitar being plugged into the instrument jack to the side for zero lag performance. There's a 3.5 mm aux input too, for feeding in backing tracks from a digital audio player, and a headphone out with its own volume control.

The unit features its own digital signal processor, which takes the strain off of the laptop's own CPU, and benefits from 24-bit signal conversion, 32-bit signal processing and 44.1 kHz sampling frequency for quality sonic output.

As well as a free download of Guitar Lab, the GCE-3 also comes with a free license for the Cubase LE music production software from Steinberg.

The GCE-3 is due for release in the coming weeks for US$99.99, the video below has more.

Product page: GCE-3

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