I have been using Positive Grid JamUp Pro XT ever since getting an iPad, I find that it is particularly good for modelling metal style amps and I often use it to write and record riff ideas. A few weeks ago I was sent a Beta version of Positive Grid’s latest App for iPad called BIAS, an Amp Modeller and Designer app and was immediately amazed at the level of detail that Positive Grid have gone to in order to create a modeller that lets you tweak every stage of the amp and even the look and name which is a nice touch to make it more personal. I imagine that this app started life as an internal software tool to help the team create custom amps for JamUp Pro but if that was the case it probably would have had a very basic developer interface. The GUI for BIAS is amazing, the one thing that makes this app so enjoyable to use is not only the level of realism in the audio output but also from a visual perspective. When you switch out a tube from say a 12AX7 to a 12AT7 the actual tube graphics change, when you bias the tubes cooler the glow of the tube dims. But obviously what counts is the audio quality and as you will hear in my demos below they have done an amazing job of creating very realistic models of loads of famous amps such as the Fender Tweed Deluxe (called the Tweed Lux) and the EVH 5150 III. The funny thing is I found myself starting with something like a Fender amp and by the time I finished I had turned it into a Marshall, but that’s the beauty of the app you can tweak settings, change tubes, cabs, tone stack topologies and extensive EQ options in the preamp, power amp, tone stack and 2 separate EQ modules that can be placed first and last in the chain after the cabinet emulation.
I was so impressed with this app, the latency and tones that I was producing that I decided to write and record a demo track to show how it sounds in context. I found that I was pulling better tones than I do in desktop amp modelling software, maybe because my DAW is overloading the CPU and this way of recording makes the iPad into a dedicated amp module. Here is how I set it up. I plugged my Cilia Guitars CGA7 into my Griffin Technology StudioConnect Audio Interface (the iPad stand), the stereo outputs then run into 2 separate channels of my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface (my stereo out lead splits to 2 separate phono jacks) then the USB connection outputs to my iMac where I am running Reaper. For this recording I also used an Ibanez 5 string bass also through BIAS and Superior Drummer 2.0 from Toontrack.
For more info – http://www.positivegrid.com/bias/