By Mike Riley on Fri, 05/31/2013
IK Multimedia is making big news in the tablet-assisted music world after announcing a major upgrade to its flagship iOS guitar effects software and hardware. AmpliTube 3.0 ($19.99) and its complimentary (though not required) iRig HD ($99.99) hardware can now take aspiring and expert guitarists to a whole new level.
The original AmpliTube was one of the first serious guitar effects applications for the iOS platform and has garnered a strong following thanks to IK Multimedia's expansion packs. These have featured the sounds of guitar masters like Jimi Hendrix and Slash as well as a collection of emulated stomp boxes, tuners, and effects. Taking an iPad, an iRig HD, an iRig STOMP, and AmpliTube on the road is no longer a curiosity for a lot of live guitar performances.
And now that AmpliTube includes a slick audio editing suite called AmpliTube Studio, musicians can both live capture and perform with a professional level multi-track recorder. They can easily edit and move around audio clips on as many as 8 different tracks with the purchase of the in-app expansion module for the iPad.
Also featured in the new 3.0 release is a slew of new effects bundled with the base installation, from Metal 150 and Metal W amps to X-Flanger and Wharmonator pedals. Users can enhance percussion thanks to AmpliTube's Loop Drummer. The base install offers a nice set of rock styles and other percussive collections for metal and blues, as well as others you can obtain via in-app purchases.
The addition of the AmpliTube Studio audio editing suite and the Loop Drummer make AmpliTube feel and perform like a whole new application, not just a refresh of an existing product. More remarkably, IK Multimedia is generously offering AmpliTube as a free upgrade for existing AmpliTube customers. This is a big, pleasant surprise given how IK Multimedia could have easily rebranded the 3.0 version as an entirely new product in the App Store. Of course, all of the features in the previous versions—like the song section that helps guitarists break down pre-recorded music to figure out crazy fingerboard riffs—still help the product stand out.
Perfectly complimenting the new release of AmpliTube 3.0 is the new iRig HD guitar and bass digital interface that brings the physical world of strings and fretboards to the digital world of audio waveform manipulation. In addition to working with iOS devices, the new iRig HD can also plug into laptops and computers to keep the musical interface party going. However, compared to other guitar digital interfaces, iRig HD is a tad bit on the pricey side, elevating it to an expensive accessory that the most discerning and determined guitarists will be able to justify its expense.
Overall, the new releases of AmpliTube 3.0 and iRig HD keep IK Multimedia in the forefront of the have-tablet, will-play musician toolbox. I'm sure the day will come when an enterprising guitarist implants an iPad or iPad Mini into the back of a guitar and controls their entire set and all the effects within their hands.
Product: AmpliTube 3.0
Developer: IK Multimedia
Price: $19.99 plus in-app purchases
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Product: iRig HD
Developer: IK Mutlimedia
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars