Amplitube Stories January 23, 2013

IK Multimedia announces ‘iRig BlueBoard’ Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard for iOS & Mac

With NAMM press day kicking off in Anaheim today, iOS app and accessory maker IK Multimedia officially announced some of the products it briefly had on show during CES 2013. One of the more interesting products is the iRig BlueBoard. IK already has the iRig STOMP pedal, iRig accessories for connecting mixers, guitars, and mics to your iOS devices, but BlueBoard marks its first Bluetooth-enabled MIDI pedalboard designed specifically for iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

The pedal works with a dedicated BlueBoard app that will take the Bluetooth signal, convert it to MIDI messages, and then route them to any Core-MIDI compatible app on your iOS device or Mac. The result is the ability to control functions of an app, such as AmpliTube or JamUp Pro XT Amp Effects Processor, in the middle of a performance without having to fumble around your iOS device’s touchscreen. It will work with apps on your Mac, too.

It’s also possible to fully customize the MIDI messages that are sent out by the four switches and two optional expression pedals. It’s easy to setup iRig BlueBoard to control patch changes, effects parameters, reverb, delay on/off – or any parameter that can be controlled via MIDI. For a guitarist or vocalist using a mobile multiFX app like AmpliTube or VocaLive as a sound processor, iRig BlueBoard provides the foot-controlled functionality and convenience of a pedalboard, but with a form factor so compact and portable that it can easily slide into a backpack, a laptop bag or an instrument case.

Among the features: foot switches are backlit, Bluetooth 4.0 provides over 32 feet range, and the unit measures 10.6-inch-by-3.5-inch. It also requires four standard AAA batteries.

iRig BlueBoard will be available for $99.99 in the second quarter of this year. IK announced two new “iLoud” portable studio monitors for musicians, as well.

Amplitube Stories June 1, 2012

Review: ‘JamUp’ multi-effect guitar app for iPhone & iPad

Written by Travis Tucker

First off, let me just say this is by far the best and most intuitive amp modeling iOS apps that I have seen to date. If you know how to move and manipulate the app layout of your iPhone/iPad, you will be up and running on JamUp in no time. The app has five main sections: Amp/FX, preset, songs, sampler, and tuner.

The Amp/FX section is what you would expect. It is an area for you to experiment with by adding and manipulating amps and effects in various locations in your signal chain. Various staple amp models are featured, as well as the tried-and-true lineup of effect pedals. The amp sounds are genuinely warm and sound noticeably better than comparable models in Amplitube’s amp modeling app. With that said, some of the amp features are not as faithful to the models they are based upon. On-board tremolo and decent clean sounds are noticeably absent on some heads. The pedals sound great. A feature I would like to see added is the ability to stack the same model pedal in series, instead of using it only once.

The Preset section is a collection of sound patches pre-programmed by PositiveGrid that serve as nice launching points for tinkering and coming up with your own sounds that can then be saved. It is self-explanatory, but what makes this work as easy as it does is the fast and intuitive interface. It is also much less daunting and intimidating than similar apps.

The Songs section is great, because it allows you to jam along with any audio file in your iDevice’s music library. You can sort/find the songs in your library in a variety of ways, and control the volume mix. You can even vary the pitch/speed of the music playing! I loved this feature for playing along with some bands that detune a half or whole step. The pitch change alone does not vary the speed. These features are a great practice tool for breaking guitar parts down and playing through setlists by bands with various tunings.

The Sampler section allows you to record yourself playing a section of music, and then you can play something along with it, after the fact, in loop fashion. This is another great tool for practicing and songwriting. I especially liked the ability to export and share recordings as song ideas.

The Tuner is self-explanatory, although, again, I really like the interface choice (the vintage “note wheel”). It also cuts the audio output, so no one is forced to hear your droning notes being tuned.

HARDWARE

Another great feature of this app is the interoperability that it provides with many guitar input interfaces. More than half a dozen other interfaces work with the app besides PostiveGrid’s own JamUp Plug. I compared the audio response of IK Multimedia’s iRig and the JamUp Plug, but the JamUp model was undeniably better sounding. However, noticeable clipping is evident while using some sound combination choices, regardless of input level and interface chosen. This is a problem not unique to this app, but it frustrates nonetheless.

SUMMARY

I think the JamUp is a wonderful tool for guitar players looking to experiment with different amps and pedals before buying the real deal. It is also quite handy in helping to decipher songs and putting simple song ideas together. It sounds much better than Amplitube. It does not offer the ability to dive as deeply into sound tweaking as the rival app by Agile Partners, but its interface is much smoother and intuitive.

JamUp Pro is available for $19.99 here. The company also offers a free, scaled-back lite version available.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP