IK Multimedia has spawned another stunning new iPad app packed with a stack of 25 speaker cabs and 11 classic guitar effects. AmpliTube for iPad is an iPad app that when connected with the iRig device (sold seperately) turns your iPad into a guitar effects processor that can in real time rigs sounds and effects from a variety of Stomps, Amps, Cabinets, and Mics. Combining software and hardware using your iPad and electric guitar or bass, you can now jam away in the privacy of your own headphones anywhere you like. AmpliTube for iPad gives you 11 stompbox style effects. Mix a total of four effects like Overdrive, Delay and Flanger simultaneously, 5 amp each with 5 cabinets, to create your very own unique sound in-real time as you play. Then store your sounds in one of 36 presets and play along to your favorite songs.
You can order the iRig device from the IK Multimedia web store or buy it from a local Guitar Center store. Once you get your hands on iRig, download the AmpliTube iPad app and open it up. Plug your guitar/bass into the iRig, and the iRig to your iPad. From there connect a headphone to the output jack on iRig to hear the sound. You can use the white Apple headphones but don’t use iPhone headphones, since the microphone in those will pick up feedback. Just find some plain headphones, or you can also connect iRig to amplified speakers for live performance. Now that you’re all hooked up it’s time to play with AmpliTube.
Once you open the app on your iPad, you get a few messages about setting up for first time users. Create an account with the IK Multimedia site to register your app and get an additional Distortion sound effect for free.
The iPad version of Amplitube is divided up 4 effects pads on top and 1 amplifier/mic combo on the bottom in landscape view. You also have buttons for getting to Presets, Tools, Songs, Setup, Add Gear and Account on the bottom of the screen. The brilliant graphics in the app are a joy to look at and use.
AmpliTube for iPad gives you the ability to overlay 4 sound effects (the iPhone version handles 3 only) running one Amphead and mic combo. Choose your effects by easily from a drop down menu for each FX channel. Each effect has a beautiful lifelike graphical interface with knobs, switches and power buttons. You can adjust the level of each effect by touching the knobs and sliding your finger up and down. The 8 stompbox effects included are:
– Delay (delay, feedback, level, bpm sync)
– Fuzz (volume, drive)
– Distortion (tone, character, gain, level)
– Overdrive (drive, level, tone)
– Wah (on, auto, tilt where the accelerometer controls the Wah-wah effect)
– Envelope Filter (ctuoff, res, depth)
– Chorus (rate, depth, level)
– Flanger (rate, depth, feedback, level)
– Phazer (speed)
– Octave (direct, octave)
– Noise Filter (depth)
There are 5 amplifiers in AmpliTube for iPad listed below. Each amp has 5 speaker cabinet configurations in itself (1×12” 2×12” 4x12A” 4x12B” 1×15”) and 2 mic setups (dynamic and condenser) to choose from.
1) Clean (volume, bass, mid, treble, presence, reverb, rate-term, depth)
2) Crunch (volume, bass, treble, tone, reverb)
3) Lead (gain, bass, mid, treble, presence, reverb, volume)
4) Metal (gain, bass, mid, treble, presence, reverb, volume)
5) Bass (gain, bass, mid, frequency, treble, volume)
In the Tools section you’ll find a chromatic digital Tuner which, a useful tool to have for fine tuning your guitar/bass. There is also a metronome for honing your timing, and it has a way to change its BPM using a slider or by tapping. Finally here you can listen to 8 demo tracks recorded using AmpliTube for inspiration.
In the Setup section you have 3 settings:
Latency: (Ultra-Low/Low) is a processor generated micro-delay. Use it to adjust the difference between what you play and what you hear.
No Feedback: (On/Off) will disable high pitch constant notes in headphones.
Auto Sleep: (On/Off) is disabled by default. Turn it on to save battery but if you hear clicks and pops during playback, turn it off.
The Song tab lets you import your own music files into AmpliTube so you can jam to them. To do this you have to use a computer that’s connected to the same Wifi station as your iPhone. Then you get a URL that you go to on your PC to upload the songs one by one. You can set loop points in imported songs so you can easily practice specific parts of a song. You can also adjust the volume to better hear your own playing while the music plays.
Presets are saved settings with various combination of AMP/FX choices that you can jump between quickly. AmpliTube for iPhone comes with 9 pre-made presets and you can create up to 36 total. Tap and hold any number to create new presets or delete existing ones. There is an 8 page help section that explains how to use the app with a link to the website with a full manual.
Here is the total cost breakdown for the iRig setup:
AmpliTube iPad App: $19.99
iRig Hardware: $39.99
Shipping for iRig: $13
Total Cost: $72.98
You can find iRig in your local Guitar Center and avoid paying the shipping fee. When you order from IK Multimedia you do get an awesome GrooveMaker T-Shirt for free however.
The graphics used for the stompbox effects and speaker cabinets are amazingly accurate to their true life products. All the colors, knob styles, switches, speaker covers, and even cable hookups are perfectly presented in HD quality. Also on the iPad version of AmpliTube not only do you get 4 FX to play with, but you can see them all simultaneously which makes changing settings super easy and effective. Changing the effects and amps on the iPad is a so much easier on the iPad. If you have an iPad and are thinking about which app to get, I would strongly recommend the iPad version of AmpliTube over the iPhone one. The only benefit of the iPhone version would be somewhat easier to carry around and might be easier to put into an iPhone belt clip case while playing.
When you switch amps, the settings for the amplifiers get reset to their default positions. I found myself wishing the app would remember my previous configurations, especially since the default volume level is 10 so every time I switched amps I had to reduce the volume level again. There is no way to record/share your playback sessions which would make this app even more complete. Once in a while messages popup warning you about volume levels which is good to have but please make this go away after the user has seen it a few times. The iPad and iPhone apps are not universal, so when you buy one you don’t get the other one.
Overall, iRig/AmpliTube for iPad is a nothing shy of extraordinary. It is a must have accessory for any guitar/bass player who wants to explore cutting edge digital processing in music. You’ll be able to practice in the privacy of your own headphones or output to your own speakers for exceptional sound. Surprisingly all this is packed into an app under 22 MB in size.
Here is a video demo of the AmpliTube for iPad app
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