State of Play
It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these and much has happened. Moving house, broken arms (the two are not related) the discovery of the joys of piano.
But in all that time, there has not been the same rampant innovation in the guitar app world as we were used to. Go back 2 years and invention was everywhere, Bias? Blew us away! Bias FX? So good. Tonestack? Sounded so good.
But in August 2016, where are we now? Continue reading State of Play – guitars and apps in 2016
Have Marshall managed to break the code of amp modelling? Get it? I’m so witty!
One advantage in being an old bloke is to see how technology has developed over the years. Go back 30 years and the Rockman promised big stack tones in a tiny box, and it worked pretty well too. And as tech has developed, we got fancy digital modelling too, and then modelling amps as well. And now, a little late to the party, amp legends Marshall have introduced the all-new CODE range, combining modelled amps and effects under that iconic badge.
From the start there are some interesting features in the range (that go from a 25-watt 1×10 combo to a monster 100-watt 2×12 combo and head), not only have you got a classic range of Marshall amps from the past half century to play with, but Marshall have developed the modelling with legendary amp software designers Softube. I’ve played Softube software for years, and these guys really know their stuff.
I’ve spent a bit of time with the 50 watt version, and you get all the classic Marshall amps you would hope for, Bluesbreaker any one? JTM45, 1959? JCM800 all the way to the newest Marshall stuff. Add this to 24 effects and of course all the generic but essential amp tones that every modeller has. Fenders, Boogies, Voxs, you know the score.
It’s a handsome beast too, with a big LCD display, USB socket, tuner and a very solid iOS app called Gateway that allows wireless editing and selecting of tones. This worked very well on both iPhone and iPad and makes tone shaping a doddle.
But, I hear you cry, this is not new, Line 6 have had a similar package for a couple of years, how does it sound?
Well, you will be pleased to hear, it sounds most pleasant. The key of course is the Marshall sound and the modelled JTM sounds like a JTM, the Bluesbreaker sounds astonishingly close to a reissued Bluesbreaker that I played last year (and which weighed more than Australia), in fact the cleaner and mild breakup tones were very satisfying to play, with a liquid transparency that was, dare I say? Valve like?
Go into more extreme territory and the JCMs and JVMs will rock your world with a very pleasing depth and weight to the sound. The effects work well with a discretion that makes the presets genuinely usable rather than just a demonstration of processing power.
I loved Line 6’s Amplifi, I loved it’s usability and the innovation of it’s speaker technology. I think it is still a more innovative product than the Code.
But the Code sounds better, and I think would be easier to use in a live setting. The basic quality of the modelling (especially of the Marshalls) is the best I’ve heard in a modelling amp at this price range.
Have Marshall broken the Code? I think so, if you are a Marshall fan, hell, even if you are not, even if you hate the idea of modelling full stop. Play it, you might love it.
660 Guitars announced today the introduction of their latest guitar design, the CT/52. The CT/52 has been engineered as a modern slant on a classic, single-cut guitar design. The CT/52 extends 660 Guitars’ already robust line of American-made instruments, featuring Continue reading 660 Guitars Introduces the CT/52
The idea behind Klimper is pretty simple, In theory, but fiendishly complex to execute. To find chords that will work in a musical way with a particular scale or with other chords and to find scales that work well with a specific set of notes. Other apps Continue reading Review -Klimper, strikes the right chord…
Gretsch has refreshed its Electromatic® Collection Hollow Body models with new features and finishes for summer 2016.
The Electromatic Collection represents a series of no nonsense guitars that define pure and powerful Gretsch instruments. Bold, Continue reading Gretsch Announces The Upgraded Electromatic Collection
Based on a 1940’s mandolin originally owned by a US Serviceman who fought at and survived the Omaha beach landings The Gordon Giltrap Vintage ‘D-Day Mandolin’ (VPM44 £249 UK rrp) has been faithfully reproduced by Vintage® as a poignant reminder Continue reading Vintage Launches Gordon Giltrap D-Day Mandolin
Specially appointed to commemorate the 2016 Experience PRS event, the Experience PRS 2016 Custom 24-08 adds a new control layout to the company’s most classic model. The Custom 24 first officially debuted at PRS Guitars’ first NAMM show in 1985 and has been played by internationally Continue reading PRS Guitars Celebrate Experience PRS Event with Limited-Edition Custom 24-08
Source Audio has released the L.A. Lady Overdrive, Kingmaker Fuzz, and AfterShock Bass Distortion, the latest additions to the One Series line of effects pedals. All three pedals feature a compact housing and the straight-forward control Continue reading Source Audio Releases The L.A. Lady Overdrive
But that is a good thing. £3.99, which is not bad at all. You can find it here……
I know it is a US issue, and Clinton is a charmless political hack, but Trump? Really? Grea piece in the Atlantic today……”As I was about to push “publish” on this item, news arrived of a significant official defection from Team Trump. Republican Senator Mark Kirk, in a very difficult race for re-election in Illinois, withdrew his endorsement of Continue reading The Mayor of Trump..ton
Though there are alternatives to Audiobus slowly developing, it is still the most versatile app out there if you are serious about iOS music, and it is currently free. What are you waiting for?
You can grab it here…..
With my arm in plaster I spent a lot time on this. It is beautiful, powerful and a masterpiece of elegant design…..in all it is totes amazballs Continue reading Patterning Drums 1.1
After a loooong period of silence, there have been 2 recent updates for the grand old man of iOS amp apps, Ampkit. The updates are nothing special, just stability tweaks, but the fact that the amp is being updated at all is interesting. Could there be more substantial updates ahead? If you know anything, let me know.
Laws amercy! IK have released an update for Amplitube in iOS. We are talking New Mesa Boogie models for in-app purchase and as a freebie, the loopy drummer and 1 track of the DAW recorder. There are also a few reliability tweaks.q
I’ll give those boogies a go when I have a chance, if they are anywhere as good as the VST version, then it will be happy days.