The extensive review I’ve just completed on Peavey’s Revalver 4 (you can find it here) has made me consider using a similar format to cover some of the other amp sims out there, both for desktop and IOS. These products are massively comprehensive and have huge potential that just can’t be covered in a few hundred words.
When you have a product like Amplitube 3, which is a living, growing thing and now covers hundred of effects, amps and speakers, it’s doubly true. It is an immense product and needs a suitably vast review to cover it. And so, let us begin.
Amplitube was one of the first software modelers available on the PC and I remember playing one over a decade ago – the latency was terrible but Amplitube was refined and improved. Version 2 was released and then a series of endorsed add-ons came out, starting with the Ampeg bass package, the great official Hendrix pack, all the way to the recent Slash and Orange amp packs. Amplitube pioneered the whole Custom shop model and is still – despite the growth of the IOS market – the dominant force in desktop modelling.
So lets have a look at the latest incarnation – Amplitube 3. This can be purchased from the IK website either as a complete package (except some of the expansion packs and newer gear) for about £155 (based on the current exchange rate). For this you get 160 gear models. There are pretty frequent sales as well, you can often get it cheaper.
The alternative is the free version, which contains a couple of amps, speaker, mics and effects. It also has access to the very well implemented Custom Shop, where you can buy the other 240 gear models that Amplitube produce. You can download the free version after registering your details at the IK website and when you install it, it will automatically set up and link the Custom Shop. This was a much quicker and much more painless installation procedure than the oddly convoluted process that Revalver demanded.
Opening up gives you the familiar operations screen, unchanged for years. From the top down you have a preset selector, quality options, a representation of the signal path, a visualtion of the amp or effect and the noise gate and overall volume control. At the bottom is a 4 track recorder and player. It’s unchanged because it is simple and it works. Even if you have never used Amplitube before, you will feel at home here.
Next, lets plug in and make some noise.