Created on Monday, 21 June 2010 11:18
Written by Terence Teo
IK Multimedia launched their iRig hardware and AmpliTube app for the iPhone and iPod touch in UK last week. Crammed with many amps and functions, the small guitar amplifier promises to bring much convenience and interesting results to musicians.
The iRig hardware and the AmpliTube app comes together. The former is as any other of your cables and patch leads. It allows you to plug a mono 1/4" jack into your iPhone as well as an output via stereo 1/8" mini-jack to your headphones, speakers or mixers.
Next, the AmpliTube app comes in three variations: AmpliTube Free, AmpliTube LE (£1.79) and just AmpliTube (£11.99) being the fully featured version. And of course, you would require the iRig hardware to plug your guitar in. However, you could first download the free version before deciding to expand on from there. There are some pre-recorded guitar takes built in for you to try instead of jumping right into purchasing an iRig.
In short, the app features:
- 11 various stomp boxes (chorus, delay, distortion, envelope filter, flanger, fuzz, noise filter, octave, overdrive, phaser, wah)
- 5 amps (bass, clean, crunch, lead, metal)
- 5 cabinets
- 2 microphones (condenser and modeled SM57)
- Built-in chromatic tuner and metronome
You could create 12 presets which includes three pedals, one amp and cabinet each time – all which are clearly labelled and easily tweaked. Simply tap to turn on or off a preset, or to switch to another. And to adjust the volume, slide your finger up or down. Also, you could import songs (MP3s, not directly from iTunes) into the app, handy for listening to the song while playing at the same time.
Technicalities aside, the AmpliTube takes after classic equipments with its clean and simply look. The iPhone version is built with the same engineering as for the AmpliTube desktop versions.
However, the app is not recommended for first-generation iPhones or iPod touch. There are also certain limitations to how far certain tones could go. For example, the 'wah' pedal doesn't sound close to what the real pedal would do.
Nonetheless, for the size of the iRig hardware and the AmpliTube as well as the convenience, variety and customisation it brings, the duo is impressive and would be definitely worth a try.