The revival of Orange from a dim memory of early ’70’s rock pomp to the hugely innovative amp giant of today does warm the heart but can they make the jump to Apple greatness? Let’s find out….
It’s fair to say that Amplitube does divide people in its IOS incarnation. Many love it, but others tire of the endless push to buy not inexpensive addons and that some of the models are sounding pretty rusty compared to the Fancy Dans of Jamup, Bias and Tonestack.
But if the basic package may be wanting, the addons are something else. Hendrix has beautiful effects (that Univibe is just so………….lovely), Slash is a lot of fun and I really like the Fender package. Orange follows a similar pattern, a selection of iconic amps along with some effects to spice it at all up. Layout is identical to the other packages, so there is nothing new to learn there, There is still a strict restriction on the number of effects that can be used, which is really not good enough when Tonestack offers such versatility.
Amps on offer are the OR50, Rockerverb 50, Thunderverb 200, Tiny Terror, AD 30 and the AD 200 Bass MK3. The OR50 is based on one of the original Orange designs and exudes early 70’s rock tones which are warm, clear and with a pleasing amount of heft and weight. The AD30 sounds similar but has (to my ears) a lighter tone. The Thunderverb 200 is a beast on the PC version of this software and sounds pretty good here – I love the clean tone which has a lot of headroom and worked superbly with a Baja Tele. I was less pleased with the Tiny Terror, but then, I’m not a huge fan of the hardware original either.
My Godin bass really liked the Mk3, but then it is a bass that likes to dirty things up, a Jazz bass was slightly less successful.
The effects are not Orange designs but work very well. The Echo Trip is a really nice analog type echo, the Shaker is a very musical tremelo effect and I have more than a little love for the Highway Drive, a warm and subtle overdrive.
This is not a general package like Jamup – this is a specialist collection of amps for those who dig the traditional Orange sound so you are not going to have every tone type covered. But the models are strong – pretty much up with the PC versions. Its £10.49 so even if you only use 2 or 3 amps, it’s not a bad buy.
The basic design of Amplitube though is really showing it’s age and although many of the limitations of it can be overcome by using it within Audiobus, it does feel clunky compared to Jamup or Tonestack. Bearing this in mind, it;s not an essential purchase unless you are an Orange fan, but, let’s face it, there are a lot of us out there.