Posts Tagged ‘AmpliTube Fender Edition’

Amplitube Fender EditionMore often than not, the way I end most of my days is to strap on an axe, plug into one of my amps, and just noodle or jam to a jam track I put together. But tomorrow, I’m doing an outdoor gig that requires the use of my amps (had to drop them off tonight), and even though I have a little Fender Champ 600 for practice and recording, I was more in the mood for a bigger sound.

It was then I remembered my copy of IK Multimedia’s Fender Edition! I could plug directly into my DAW, spark up AmpliTube X-Gear, Amplitube’s excellent standalone and plug-in modeling software, and jam away! And with 12 different amps and boatload of presets to play with, I could get any sound I wanted! So I lost myself for over an hour of playing and trying out a bunch of different models and presets. It was truly marvelous and a great way to cap the end of a great day!

When I finally came up for air, I realized the power and allure of using these amp plug-ins from AmpliTube. They’re certainly not the real thing, but they’re so close to real, it almost doesn’t matter. Imagine going to a gig, and all you lug with you is a laptop, a DAW, and a couple of cords. You plug straight into the board and output through the PA. Then all you do is monitor your tone through your stage monitor.

IK Multimedia has tools to make it even easier to do exactly this. AmpliTube Fender – or any modeling software they make for that matter – is fully controllable via MIDI. So IK Multimedia has a product called StompIO, a USB stage controller that gives you full control over “Powered by AmpliTube” plug-ins, such as AmpliTube Fender Edition. Want to switch to a different amp? Add some chorus? Add a little dirt? It’s all available via the StompIO! The coolness factor of this is way huge, and at least for someone like me, it has some interesting ramifications.

For one thing, I play mostly small venues, so the more simple I can keep it, the better. Also, except for real purists, most people just can’t tell the difference that you’re playing through a model or a real amp. For instance, last year, I went up to Lake Tahoe and was sitting in a bar at a Casino, and there was this excellent male/female duo playing classic rock covers. The lead singer was a real excellent guitarist, so during one of their breaks, I went over to talk to him and see what gear he was playing. Amazingly enough, I discovered that his amp wasn’t an amp at all; it was a VOX ToneLab that he ouputted straight into his mixing board! I consider myself to be pretty good at making the distinction between a model and the real thing, but as the dude explained it, with all the ambient crowd and general bustle of the casino, it would be tough to tell he was using a modeler. It didn’t matter to me just the same, because the guy was such a damn good guitarist who could make his guitar absolutely sing. So for someone like that, he could make pretty much make anything sound great!

He shared that for larger gigs, and for playing solos in the recording studio, he still used a real amp – there’s just no substitution. But for tracking rhythm parts, and for playing in the casino, there was a lot to be said about the gear he didn’t have to bring with him. And that’s the point of something like AmpliTube Fender Edition. The less gear I have to lug around, the better! Of course, there’s no substitution for a real amp. Even though software can come close – incredibly close – to sounding like a real amp, there’s nothing like playing through the real thing.

But that said, when I want to go on a song writing trip, I can now pack everything I need to record my ideas in one bag, and all I’ll have to do is bring a couple of guitars! When I return home to lay down the tracks for good, I’ll just keep the rhythm tracks I recorded with the software models, and layer solos using a real amp.

Cool? You betcha!

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