Pros: Ampli Tube’s design is great and has an awesome
range of amps and effects.
IK Multimedia iRig ($39.99 street) Ampli Tube app ($19.99 street), ikmultimedia.com
just as you would any other audio I/O. As
previously mentioned, the Jam’s sonic qualities suggest quality converters—Apogee calls
it PUREDigital. We just call it low-noise,
with 40 dB of variable gain. And the inclusion of a physical input gain control on the
Jam’s side flank is a nice touch, too.
While the Jam is a nice interface—if
slightly overpriced, given the materials—the
app that Apogee recommends you use with
it, Apple’s GarageBand, is a minor miracle.
Perhaps it’s Apple’s sheer economic might
that lets it get away with only charging five
bucks for what is, essentially, a complete
8-track audio and intelligent MIDI recording system, with myriad modeled vintage
keyboards, basses, guitar amps and effects
pedals, drums and drum machines, an
onboard sampler(!), as well as loop-based
features (including some 250 drum loops),
Smart and Touch instruments, and mixdown tools. Did I say five bucks?
The guitar section alone includes nine
amp models (tweeds, silverfaces, Vox-style,
vintage Marshall-style, Rectifier-style, and
more) and 10 stompbox effects, from the
super-mod Treble Boost to the quirky
Auto-Funk. All of them provide more-than-reasonable facsimiles, with minimal
need for RAM and processing power—and
the good-looking graphics are backed
up by control views that beef up the size
of knobs and sliders for easy editing.
GarageBand does offer an input level control that’s smartly partnered with a noise
gate to keep your sounds clean and mean.
There’s also a reliable onboard tuner. The
bottom line is that it’s a fun, highly creative tool that may even help you capture
keeper tracks for an album.
cons: iRig has fidelity, construction, and materials issues.
IK iRig and Ampli Tube App
iRig is compatible with:
• iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, and 3G
• iPod Touch 4th, 3rd, and 2nd gen.
• iPad and iPad2
Ampli Tube for iPhone works on iOS 4.0 or later
with cool pedals like the legendary Fender
Blender, which makes the whole line
worth exploring. It’s the details that count
on the Ampli Tube—the mini tuner that’s
always conveniently in the lower right
Ampli Tube has been a perennial favorite
among software-amp aficionados since it
was released for desktop systems back in
2002. It was also the first amp app for
iPhone, causing a virtual stampede at the
App store. In its latest iteration, Ampli Tube
for iPhone has only gotten better.
While the Jam is a nice interface
... the app that Apogee
recommends you use
with it, Apple’s
a minor miracle.