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Entries in guitarists (7)

Giveaway: Win a Copy of the Epic BIAS Guitar Modelling App

BIAS Logo

A couple of days ago in our review we told you how we were blown away by Positive Grid's new infinitely tweakable sound engine, BIAS for iPad.

Well, if you really fancy trying BIAS but haven’t yet splashed out on the app yourself, we have one free copy to give away.

All you have to do is:

1) Ensure you follow us on either Facebook or Twitter

2) Leave us a comment below that includes

a) Your favourite feature of BIAS (hint: check out the BIAS homepage)

b) Your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you win (don’t worry, we are the only ones who see your email, it isn’t made public)

Important Info.

That’s it.  You must meet both criteria 2a and 2b above or, in fairness to other entrants, we cannot consider your entry.

We’ll randomly select one of the commenters below after 1900 GMT on the closing date Wednesday 20th November 2013.

BIAS Blows Us Away

“…We threw out convention and focused instead on how to create the most delicious tone in as many flavors as possible. The result is BIAS... - Calvin Abel, BIAS Product Manager

BIAS Logo

In our last post we told you about the upcoming release of BIAS and what amazing tone control was promised by the team at Positive Grid.

Well, we were invited to be in on the Beta program for BIAS and Wow! BIAS really does live up to that promise.  

BIAS has now been officially released and we think Guitarists are going to love this app, especially those searching for the perfect tone,.

If you care about your guitar tone and want professional results right there on your iPad, you will run out and get BIAS now. Here's why you should:

Infinitely Tuneable

As the above video demonstrates, BIAS makes your guitar tone infinitely tuneable to the finest degree possible. You have complete control over every part of your tone including:

  • preamps
  • tone stacks
  • power amps
  • transformers
  • cabinets
  • panel controls
  • mic selection 
  • mic placement

BIAS 05 Transformer

The great thing is you don’t need to be a sound tech or audiophile to understand this app and dial in your perfect sound.  We found it intuitive and easy to drag/tap our way to a sound we were happy with.

BIAS 07 EQ

You can do things with this app that would take a long time to do or that would cost you a lot of money in the real world.  For example, you may not  bother to change a whole set of tubes or be able to switch to a different head or cabinet setup to fine-tune your sound, but you can do that in a couple of seconds with BIAS, all whilst constantly monitoring the sound as you make even tiny adjustments.

BIAS 06 Cab

Sound Launchpad

To get you started, BIAS comes loaded with 36 amp presets (28 guitar, 4 bass and 4 keyboard/vocal), including a lot of the most popular and well loved amps.  These sound fantastic as they are, but they are also a perfect launchpad for building your own sound, especially as they are categorised so you have an idea of what to expect.  Here’s the categories you get: 

  • Clean
  • Glassy
  • Blues
  • Crunch
  • Hi Gain
  • Metal
  • Insane
  • Acoustic
  • Bass
BIAS 01 Home
 

The quality of these amp models is very impressive.  Positive Grid’s USP for us is the warmth that their sound engine produces in comparison to the often harsh, digital, sound of some other iOS amp sims.  

The clean amps especially sound beautiful as long as you pare down the input from your guitar, but with our Epi Les Paul (no we can’t afford the real thing) the Metal and Insane amps ripped apart our speakers with the lovely, screaming yet smooth, distortion that you would hope to hear.

It is a bit embarrassing to admit, but there was a massive smile on our face as we heard these amp models for the first time, even excitedly chuckling at how awesome they sounded.  BIAS really does sound that good.

Custom Looks

It’s not just about the way your unique amp sounds either.  You can completely customise the look of your new unique amp setup.  You have control over every aspect of your amp’s design whether you want that traditional Marshall rock stack look or a classic Fender Tweed blues vibe, or a mash-up of both, you can do it with BIAS.

You can even change the panel style (behind the controls) and add your own custom image as the bezel for your amp head. 

BIAS 08 CustomPanel

Share It

Once you have found that killer tone and designed your amp’s look, you can tell everyone else about it by sharing it with them on Facebook. 

BIAS 09 Facebook 

This is what it looks like when you share it on Facebook:

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Use It

When your sound is finalised and ready to go Positive Grid have made it a one-tap operation to send your whole amp (including its unique look) over to JamUp XT (Free) or their Pro version to jam live with.

BIAS 10 JamUp Integration

BIAS is also Audiobus compatible so you can use your unique amp sound in any app that integrates with the fantastic Audiobus platform, including GarageBand which you may already have for free if you have a new iOS device, an essential but still very welcome interaction.

Getting the Sound In

Of course, BIAS is compatible with pretty much any manner of iOS instrument input device, not just Positive Grid’s own JamUp Plug. A full list of the compatible iOS audio interfaces can be found at the bottom of the BIAS webpage.

We had no problem using it with iRig, Apogee Jam, GuitarJack 2 and of course the JamUp Plug.  All gave great results with only the difference between the devices themselves affecting the input levels (but that has nothing to do with BIAS). 

Recommendation and Win

We could go on, but it will come as no surprise that we are highly recommending BIAS for iPad.

Yes, it is on the expensive side for an iOS app at $19.99, but at the price of one decent tube for your amp BIAS will open up a world of easily achievable tone and we don't think you'll ever regret purchasing it.

You can find out more about the BIAS for iPad app at Positive Grid's website or go and grab it from the App Store now.

Plus, stay tuned over the weekend for your chance to win a free copy of BIAS - more soon.

BIAS Promises to be Epic

It is hard to imagine how the crowded Guitar Effects / Amp Simulation field could be improved upon, apart from perhaps the realism and authenticity of the sounds or tone of the amps.  Quite a few of the current batch sound very ‘digital'.  

Positive Grid (makers of JamUp Pro) seem to be thinking along the same lines.  We liked the more resonant and authentic sound of their Amp Simulations when we reviewed JamUp Pro a while ago.  

Now they are on the verge of releasing BIAS which promises “Tone revolution on an epic scale”.  A bold claim indeed!

We hope to be getting our hands on a copy of BIAS very soon and we will be giving it a thorough run through, but in the meantime check out the teaser video above.

Tune-in Tuesday: AmpKit Special

In honour of the AmpKit Retina graphics update we mentioned earlier today and the limited time 50% off AmpKit+, we thought it would be fun to find a few tracks on SoundCloud that have been made with AmpKit. Hopefully it will give you an idea of some of the sounds you can re-create in Agile Partners' authentic sounding amp sim.

AmpKit comes with SoundCloud export built right in to the app so it is very quick and easy to share your riff, chorus or even whole song idea with the world. It is also possible to import a backing track or drum loop and play over it in AmpKit, or you can use one of the provided loops complete with bass and rhythm guitars.

There isn't any punch-in type of recording in AmpKit itself though, so you often end up with imperfect one-off takes or maybe the third, fourth, fifth (you get the idea) attempt being shared to SoundCloud.

With that in mind, we have selected three different samples that demonstrate just a few of the many different types of sound you can get from AmpKit.

'Ready Set Jam' by TheRedDash

"Messing around with some Drum back tracking" is how this track is described by Dash from New York, but it features the rich, well sustained Rock sound that you can conjure up in AmpKit without too much effort and reliably every time. We liked the tight, compressed rhythm style at the start too.

'Duckie Dux' by toño châvez

A tongue-in-cheek title for this track but toño demonstrates very nicely the auto-wah pedal sound here, which is actually quite difficult to get right in our experience.

'Strat Your Stuff' by shred_777

We have featured Timothy Khalil's (a.k.a. shred_777) work once before, but we liked the funky Blues sound of this track a lot and it provides us with a sample of the Stevie Ray type of tone that makes us so happy. Nice one Timothy!

Just three short samples of the sounds you can create with AmpKit on your iOS device.

Good enough for a Commerical album

Of course, if you want to take it to the ultimate level and incorporate AmpKit as your main guitar amplification for commercial productions, you can do that too, as perfectly demonstrated by One Like Son in our bonus track below. To find out more about their album made entirely on an iPhone 3GS be sure to read our post.

Over to you

We hope you enjoyed listening to our AmpKit made picks this week, but as always, we want to hear from you too whatever iOS app you use. If you have your own iOS created sounds (preferably with the iPad, but not essential) here's how you can get them to us:

  • Join our iPad Creative SoundCloud group then click on the 'Share a Track' button on the group page
  • If you're on a computer, click 'Send us your sounds' at top of the sidebar --->
  • Leave us a link to your track on SoundCloud in the comments below

We're looking forward to hearing you soon.

Is this the Ultimate iPad Accessory for the Gigging Guitarist?

Wow - this thing blows us away! A full-on floor based Pedalboard with an iPad dock and a Free DSP app made especially for it by DigiTech. This monster is designed for live gigging when connected to your iPad and guitar amp/PA.

Set for a 'June 2011' release, although it is not out yet (more likely July now), the DigiTech iPB-10's main problem for some will be the price, at a SRP of $699.95 (we've seen it on pre-sale here in the UK for £522).

Pricey

We know that these multi-effects units go for a lot of money, even without the iPad functionality and this looks like a very solid metal chassis unit including a chunky expression pedal. For a professional musician this might be affordable but we still feel that it is a lot of money. Combined with even the cheapest iPad you're looking at over $1000 of kit to place on the floor and then stamp all over with your hefty size 10's.

Well connected

We will let you read all the detail on the DigiTech website, suffice to say that the iPB-10 has plenty of connection options for live, studio and practice setups, check out the back panel below (select the image to see a large version). And that's not to mention the software involved on board and in the iPad app.

We want one - look at the Specs!

We are definitely drooling over the iPB-10 and the accompanying iPB-Nexus app and we would like nothing better than to get our hands (or boots) on one but we will just have to look at the pictures and dream.

Here's the specs:

  • Drag and drop pedalboard design
  • Arrange pedals in any order
  • Touch screen control
  • 87 pedals
  • 54 amps
  • 26 cabinets
  • Drag and drop footswitch assignment
  • Real-time view of pedal settings with direct access to pedal control
  • Up to 10 pedals, 1 amp, and 1 cabinet can be added to a setup
  • Unique setup assignable to each preset
  • Infinite number of presets, 100 footswitch accessible
  • Store, organize, and rate presets using My Tones library
  • Compatible with iPad2 and iPad

More details on the iPB-10 and the iPB-Nexus app (including a rundown of the pedals, amps and cabs modelled) can be found on the DigiTech website.

Lick A Day from Top Guitarists on your iPad

Nothing to do with ice-cream or lollipops, Agile Partners and Guitar World are launching today a brand new app Lick of the Day for students of the Guitar.

We think this looks great, it uses video and animated tabs to show you how to play some of the awesome licks you will of heard and more generic riffs in various styles, presented in a GarageBand-like lesson interface for your iPad.

Lessons will be hosted by top guitarist such as Joe Satriani and Zakk Wylde, covering various genres including Rock, Metal, Blues and even Jazz.

The free download of the app gives you five licks to learn and to access the daily lessons you have to subscribe. The prices are reasonable, $4.99 for one month, $12.99 for three months and $19.99 for a six month subscription (the best value option).

If you are learning guitar or if you want to improve your repertoire or keep your skills fresh this is a great idea. You can even utilise your subscription on your iPhone or iPod Touch too all for the same price.

The video above shows you all you need to know, a list of the features from Agile Partners' website is below, and the free download of the app should be going live in your local app store today.

As always, let us know in the comments below what you think and especially if you decide to subscribe.

Lick of the Day Features

  • High quality videos of Guitar World’s award-winning instructors and guitar celebrities, such as Zakk Wylde, Joe Satriani, Gus G., and Phil Collen, demonstrating licks in a wide range of styles: Rock, Metal, Blues, Bluegrass, Classical, Jazz and more
  • Timeless celebrity videos from the Guitar World Vault
  • Standard and tab music notation for each lick that scroll in sync with videos on iPad
  • Practice mode with settings that control music notation tempo, looping, audio synthesis, a metronome and more -- a great way for guitar players of all skill levels to practice each lick
  • Dynamic fretboard that shows finger positions synchronized with the music notation (lefties can invert the fretboard)
  • Performance notes written by Guitar World's instructors
  • “Star” your favorite licks to find them later easily, and sort licks by genre and difficulty
  • Download licks to any iOS-based device that you own -- iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

iPad Guitarists - get excited!

This has got us excited (yes, again!). 4pockets.com, makers of Windows Mobile apps for Guitar and Audio amongst other software apps plus Aurora Sound Studio HD for iPad have just released a teaser trailer of their new app StompBox for the iPad.

This is a 'rack based' Guitar amp modelling and effects app and only the second Guitar FX app specifically made for the iPad that we are aware of (IK Multimedia's AmpliTube being the other).

The rack based approach makes for a less good looking app than AmpliTube, but there will be colour skins available for each module and some of the audio samples in the video sound really good.

Big features to get excited about though are media import with variable speed audio playback without changing the pitch and A/B type looping of audio sections (for learning those tricky guitar solos) plus a 4 Track Recorder module!

It remains to be seen what the other sounds, especially the distortion, are like in reality, but the feature set looks very impressive, the interface is designed for the iPad and there a number of unique features that differentiate StompBox from the other guitar effects apps.

Check out the video below and as soon as we know more we will post it here.:

(Our thanks to PalmSounds blog for the heads up on this one, be sure to check out Ashley's site for more portable audio goodness)