REVIEW: IK Multimedia AmpliTube Slash for iPad

Slash is one of those players who manages to cross the divide between generations. Original classic rock fans love his blues-based style. Hard rock and metal fans dig his attitude. And kids are drawn to his guitar hero persona. Slash has always used top-quality gear and has had no hesitation in putting his name to the equipment that meets his standards. We may not all be able to afford a Gibson Slash Les Paul and his signature Marshall AFD 100 amp, but now with AmpliTube Slash you can at still rock out with a version of Slash’s iconic tone – no, scratch that, make that tones.

AmpliTube Slash is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and you can use IK Multimedia’s iRig or iRig Stomp to connect to the app. Other interfaces which use the 30 pin connector work too, and you can also use iRig MIDI to control AmpliTube Slash with your floor controller.

The app includes five effects (Chorus, Delay, Booster, OctoBlue and Distortion/Wah, the latter being available for free when you register the app) as well as a noise gate, two amplifier heads (Marshall JCM Slash Edition Silver Jubilee and the AFD 100), a single track recorder, expandable to eight tracks with mastering effects. You can export your recordings via email, SoundCloud, FTP or File Sharing. There are 30 tone presets included, and you can create your own too. There’s a tuner, a metronome, and you can import/purchase and play along with your favourite Slash tracks or any music in your library. The SpeedTrainer section lets you slow down or speed up licks while maintaining pitch for practicing. if you currently own AmpliTube for iPad or iPhone, upgrade to version 2.5 for free and all AmpliTube Slash gear models are available as in-app purchase, either as a complete set or a-la-carte.

So those amp models: it appears that there are two included, but really there’s three, with two contained within the Marshall AFD100 amp, just like with the real amp. Lemmie explain. The original AFD100 Slash amp features two modes: AFD and 34. The 34 mode is based on Slash’s modded JCM 800 2208 (which has ’34’ stencilled on the side). The second mode, AFD, adds an extra gain stage and is based on the sound heard on the Appetite For Destruction album. So the AFD model in the app is based on this amp and its two modes. Cool huh?

I plugged my Gibson Les Paul Traditional in using Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack 2 (I don’t have an iRig Stomp handy) and let rip. I could tell you all about the sounds, but you can hear some of my noodlings here.

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NAMM 2012: IK Multimedia iRig Stomp

Now this looks cool. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t 100% happy with the original AmpliTube iRig – I bought one from my buddies at World of Music and and it was certainly handy, but the feedback and crosstalk issues meant you couldn’t really turn it up loud enough to rock. And cranking it up loud is part of what makes rock fun! As a result I found myself looking around for other options, which I felt pretty awful about because the IK Multimedia folks are awesome and AmpliTube is one of the best things you can ever do for your guitar in a digital environment.

Well IK has solved that problem and made a more stage-friendly and roadworthy unit in the iRig Stomp. It can go on your pedalboard, it has an active circuit to improve the headroom (especially when used with high-gain amplifiers in the AmpliTube app) and this reduces feedback and crosstalk when recording. Awesome! It can be used inline with other effects pedals, or directly connected to amplifiers or PA systems using regular 1/4″ guitar cables, with no need for adapters.

More info here.

TC Electronic TonePrint app comes to Android

Great news for Android owners! The TC Electronic TonePrint app is now available for you too! I’ve been using this on iOS with my Hall Of Fame Reverb pedal (review soon!) and it’s an amazing innovation.

Here’s the press release.

TC Electronic’s Revolutionary TonePrint App Now Available for Android

 

A few months ago TC Electronic launched its truly mind-blowing TonePrint® App for iPhone. Now the magic has been successfully ported for Android devices!

 

(Risskov, Denmark, 13 January 2012) The new app compiles all TonePrints for TC Electronic’s TonePrint enabled guitar pedals in one place and allows users to ‘beam’ new TonePrints to their pedals in a matter of seconds. The idea behind the technology is as simple as it is ingenious: Each TonePrint has been converted to a unique-sounding magnetic impulse that can be beamed via the phone’s internal speaker, through the pickup of a guitar and directly to a TonePrint pedal! The sound does not carry any data so it doesn’t matter if users are in a raucous arena or a library – no other sounds will interfere with the data being sent from the phone.

 

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Agile Partners GuitarToolkit 2.0


PRESS RELEASE

Agile Partners Announces GuitarToolkit 2.0

Featuring All-New iPad Version and GuitarToolkit+ Upgrade for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, December 15, 2011 – Agile Partners, a leading developer of iOS apps for guitar players, today announced GuitarToolkit 2.0, featuring an all-new iPad version that is free for existing GuitarToolkit users and the GuitarToolkit+ Upgrade, an in-app purchase that adds Chord Sheets, Custom Instruments, and Advanced Metronome.

One of the App Store’s top-rated apps for guitar players, GuitarToolkit was introduced on the opening day of the App Store in July, 2008 and has received thousands of five-star ratings from customers around the world. Recognized as an iPhone Hall of Fame inductee, GuitarToolkit on iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad is a collection of essential tools for guitar players: an extremely accurate tuner, a precision metronome, an extensive library of chords, scales and arpeggios, standard and alternate tunings, and more. In addition to 6, 7 and 12-string guitar, GuitarToolkit also supports 4, 5 and 6-string bass, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, with chords, scales, arpeggios and alternate tunings for each instrument.

“We redesigned GuitarToolkit specifically for iPad to take advantage of the large screen and power of the device,” said John Berry, a principal at Agile Partners. “The large, high-resolution screen is perfect for displaying the interactive Chord Sheets that are included in the new GuitarToolkit+ Upgrade. Users can capture chord progressions and song ideas by adding any combination of chords from GuitarToolkit’s vast chord library. You can touch any chord on a chord sheet to hear it play, print the entire chord sheet to an AirPrint-enabled printer, and email a PDF of the chord sheet to a band member or student,” said Berry.

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Dave Mustaine: Guitar Prodigy app now available!

A few weeks ago I posted about being one of the beta testers for the new Dave Mustaine guitar app. Well now it’s here! Dave Mustaine: Guitar Prodigy, from the makers of Rock Prodigy, is available in the app store now. It’s an awesome product which gives you a real insight into Dave’s guitar technique, using full Megadeth songs as source material, and you can then take that information and use it to either become a master of Megadeth riffage, or apply to your own compositions and style.

 

Check out the app here.

 

There’s also a contest under way to win a signed Dean Dave Mustaine VMNT guitar! Copy and paste this link http://bit.ly/DM-GP-WD1 to your Facebook wall to enter.

 

 

COOL GEAR ALERT: Line 6 Mobile In

Check out this new gizmo from Line 6, for plugging your guitar into your iPhone or iPad. It plugs into the digital audio input on the dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone or iPad, rather than the lo-fi analog input, and it works with any app that uses CoreAudio. I’m really excited by this, because I’ve been pretty dissatisfied with the interfaces I’ve tried that use the lo-fi input.

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]If you want to buy a Mobile In, here it is at Musician’s Friend.[/geo-out]

Here’s the press release:

LINE 6 SHIPS THE NEW MOBILE IN™ PREMIUM DIGITAL GUITAR INTERFACE AND MOBILE POD® APP, WHICH CONNECT GUITARS TO APPLE® iPhone® AND iPad® DEVICES

—Guitarists can turn their iOS devices into portable Line 6 POD® multi-effect processors—

CALABASAS, Calif.—November 15, 2011—Line 6, Inc. (line6.com), the industry leader in digital modeling technology for musicians, announced today the shipment of Mobile In™ premium digital guitar interface and Mobile POD® guitar tone app. The new hardware and app allow guitarists to connect an electric guitar to their iPhone or iPad, which gives them the same high-quality sounds they’d get if they were playing from a wide variety of famous guitar amplifiers, speakers and effects including distortion, chorus and reverb.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: TC Electronic TonePrint App

Okay, this is too cool. Self-tying shoes and hover boards? Ha! The future is here thanks to TC Electronic!

Music Company Adds a Touch of Guitar Magic to Apple’s iPhone

New iPhone app provides musical inspiration in a revolutionary way – by ‘beaming’ a bit of magic through the speaker of an iPhone directly into the pickup of a guitar.

TC Electronic, a music equipment manufacturer, has developed a game-changing iPhone app for guitarists using its range of TonePrint® guitar effect pedals. TonePrint pedals feature an amazing technology that allows users to upload custom-made sounds created by some of the best guitar players in the world. Until now, users have downloaded these TonePrints from the company’s website and transferred them to their pedals via USB. Now, the new TonePrint App allows guitarists to simply hold the speaker of their iPhone above one of their guitar pickups to load new TonePrints into their pedals.

“Most guitarists have their pedals in a rehearsal space and their computer at home. Some may have brought a laptop, but the process still needed to be made faster and more intuitive to really take advantage of the great potential that this artist-driven concept has to offer,” says Product Manager at TC Electronic, Tore Lynggaard Mogensen. “We are proud to present a flexible solution that allows all guitarists with TonePrint pedals and an iPhone to truly explore the ever-expanding list of unique TonePrints created by some of the best guitar players in the world. Now great sounds and thereby musical inspiration can be beamed and enjoyed anytime anywhere.”

Magnetic Magic
The idea behind the technology is as simple as it is ingenious: Each TonePrint has been converted to a unique-sounding magnetic impulse, but the sound does not carry any data. So it doesn’t matter if users are in a raucous arena or a library – no other sounds will interfere with the data being sent from the iPhone. The beaming process only takes a few seconds, and all of the TonePrints are stored within the app as mp3 files, which means that no Internet connection is required.

The new TonePrint app is available now on the Apple App Store and it is completely free of charge. The only requirement to take advantage of the app is one or more TonePrint enabled guitar pedals: Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb, Corona Chorus, Vortex Flanger and Shaker Vibrato.

Currently, the TonePrint App is available for iPhone, but a version for Android phones is under development and will be available in December 2011.