With NAMM just a matter of days away there is some interesting information leaking out across the interwebs such as this new invention from Aussie Amplification and Effects company MI Audio (MI Amplification & MI Effects). MI Audio are set to release the Flex SmartAmp which is a pure analog vacuum tube amp circuit that can be controlled via a specifically designed iOS App. The Flex SmartAmp has an intuitive control touch-screen interface that provides near-infinite amplifier options.
Michael Ibrahim, founder of MI Audio explains “The Flex SmartAmp is an all-analog path, vacuum tube amplifier like all of the classic designs before it. From the input jack to the speaker cabinet output, the signal flows through all of the traditional components found in customary amplifiers such as resistors, capacitors, power and preamp tubes etc. What sets the Flex SmartAmp apart is the way that these components are wired up to each other can be controlled via a mobile computing device such as a laptop, smart phone or tablet. Digital modelling amps typically switch and control DSP programming. Every option, dial and switch that corresponds to a physical component in the amplifier is switched in real time. When you flick the amp from Standby to On, you aren’t changing 0’s and 1’s. You are physically altering the voltages in the amp to give you the response, feel and character that digital modelling can never achieve. The control of these components is done via the integrated touch-screen. Slide, swipe and touch to recall your amp presets instantly, with each screen and set of controls changing with each amp preset.
It is now possible to create a limitless number of unique amplifier designs that can be saved and stored in your portable device. New circuits can also be downloaded via an “Amp Store” and one-off custom amp designs can be created. Flex SmartAmp users will be able to make and share their ideal schematics”.
The versatility of Flex SmartAmp is also tour friendly thanks to its genius design. The brain of Flex SmartAmp is separate from the brawn, which means that all of your amps, designs and presets are stored in your device (like your iPad) and can travel with you, in your carry-on luggage! Touring musicians will have their sounds and settings stored in their smart phone, table or laptop. Just hire a Flex SmartAmp at the destination and the sounds will be ready to go.
In the recording studio, Flex SmartAmp gives an unlimited* arsenal of pure vacuum tube amps ready to please the most discerning of players. Any modifications that are necessary to any of these amps are just a click away via the Schematics Editor. This allows you to tune the amplifier specifically for the user.
This is the technology that kills the tube vs. digital modelling debate. This is the technology that will set the tone of amps to come. This is the technology that you have to see.
MI Audio’s patent pending technology is a major evolutionary step in sound amplification. One of the exciting features is the open-ended collaborative approach to circuit design, not only between different equipment manufacturers but also between amp designers and end users.