Review: IK Multimedia Amplitube Slash iPad/iPhone App
You don’t have to be a fan of Slash to love IK Multimedia’s new AmpliTube Slash app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. But if you enjoy gnarly, aggressive Marshall amp tones, cool effects, and the convenience of working with a portable recording, practice and live performance rig, you’ll want to download this powerful app ASAP. AmpliTube Slash not only provides a wealth of Slash’s signature tones but also offers the best classic rock Marshall tones available in the iOS world, as well as everything you need to record killer guitar tracks or bring those tones to the real world.
To use the AmpliTube Slash app you’ll also need a guitar interface, like IK’s iRig, iRig STOMP or StealthPlug devices, which range in price from $39.99 to $79.99 (street). The AmpliTube Slash app has a rig’s worth of gear, including two amp models (Marshall AFD 100 and JCM Slash), one 4x12 cab model and five effects (booster, delay, gate, Octo Blue and X-Chorus) with up to four available at once on the iPad and three on the iPhone/iPod Touch. The wah distortion effect is also available as a free download once you register the app.
In addition to providing two channels for each amp and a full selection of controls for all of the amps and effects, AmpliTube Slash offers a one-track recorder (expandable to eight tracks on the iPad and four on the iPhone/iPod Touch, with an optional download), a tuner, a metronome, and a song player that lets you play along with songs from your iPod library or computer, complete with functions for speed trainer, voice removal and looping. The app is even MIDI compatible, allowing guitarists to select presets and engage effects with a MIDI controller during live gigs.
As cool as an app’s features may be, the sound is what’s crucial. AmpliTube Slash delivers by providing two outstanding amp models that sound very close to the real thing. The AFD 100 produces killer, gritty distortion with Plexi-like treble sizzle and bass punch, while the Jubilee-style JCM Slash produces throaty midrange that works exceptionally well for fat, sustaining solos. Both amps’ clean tones dazzle as well, with the JCM Slash having a slight edge in fullness and warmth.
All of the effects sound great as well. Most are straightforward, although Octo Blue can produce unusual octave tones, should you want to get weird. The song player gives guitarists a great idea how well the amp models nail authentic Marshall tones. I played along with various classic rock songs and was able to duplicate the guitar tones in fine detail with a few simple control tweaks. Very impressive!
THE BOTTOM LINE
IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube Slash is a powerful app that turns iOS devices into a full rig of raging Marshall amps and cool effects. Plus, it features very useful recording and practice functions.