Gibson launches the Digital Amp, an app that uses your phone’s mic to detect and amplify your guitar signal – no cables required

In March, Gibson unveiled the Gibson App – a learning tool that was dubbed to be “the only guitar app you’ll need”, offering real-time feedback, video tutorials, a digital guitar tuner and much more.

Gibson has now updated its feature-packed app – and announced its entry into the world of virtual guitar amps – by unveiling its Digital Amp.

As the name implies, the Digital Amp offers Gibson App users a wealth of sound-sculpting tools, allowing guitarists to make the most of the app’s expanded features while simultaneously employing a more appropriate guitar song.

For example, those wanting to learn Tommy Thayer’s favorite KISS solos will now be able to do so with the help of a more gain-heavy tone.

As an overview, the Digital Amp caters to both acoustic guitar and electric guitar players, featuring three acoustic mic options, four electric amp options and six effects pedals that – thanks to their geometric patterns – look to take inspiration from the newly revived Maestro effect series.

In operation, the acoustic side of the Digital Amp comes equipped with four different effect presets and three mic options. Dynamic, Ribbon and Condenser mics are all available, and can be used alongside Clean, Spirit, Moon and ‘80s effect combos.

Gibson Digital Amp

(Image credit: Gibson)

Specifically, Spirit adds reverb and phaser, Moon introduces reverb and echo, and 80s makes use of reverb and chorus. Clean, as the name suggests, leaves the guitar signal unaffected.

For electric guitarists, the Digital Amp offers Clean, Crunch, Heavy and Lead amp types, all of which are at the mercy of Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence and Master controls.

Unlike the acoustic side, there are no pedalboard presets, but the same effect options – Distortion, Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Reverb and Echo – are all still available. Each digital effect has a bypass switch, as well as a sole master parameter control knob.

According to Gibson, the Digital Amp can be used without the need for any guitar cables, and Gibson App users can make the most of the virtual tones with just a pair of headphones.

Instead, the app listens to your playing via the mic on your iPhone/iPad, then amplifies the sound through the headphones applying whatever tone-tweaking tools have been selected on the way. 

This is the same technology the app utilizes in order to provide its real-time feedback when players are engaged in lessons. Gibson also says players can connect their guitars with an audio interface to “get an improved sound”.

The Gibson App is available to download on iOS from the App Store now (opens in new tab). An Android version will debut in 2023.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.