Apple iOS is not short of very high quality amp simulators these days. Yonac’s Tonestack, released last year, immediately put itself into the top rank with very good clean amps and perhaps the best modulation effects available.

But there

was a sense that there was more to be got from this ampsim. Distorted noises were not quite up to the best that Bias could offer and there were limitations to the capabilities of the recording platform.

Now Yonac has released version 1.4, that looks like it will try to meet these shortcomings. How does it measure up?

Dishing the Dirt

There are no new amps or pedals here, but there have been tweaks of the overdrive algorithms. And the effect is…subtle, but very musical. There is a more pronounced 3-d effect to overdriven tones that is particularly effective on the more subtle overdrive pedals such as the clones of the Tubescreamer and Fuzz Face. There is more weight and articulation in the tone now. For extreme overdrive, I still prefer Bias or Ampkit, but for everything else – from crystalline cleans to solid heavy rock, you really do not need more than Tonestack.

Mix it Up

The biggest changes are in the 8 track recorder. Now this was perfectly competant before but rather inflexible. Now you can reamp with the recorder and use any 4 amps or effects as insert FX – and that is 4 effects per track. There are also new studio effects, a 5-band EQ and a compressor. These changes make the recorder far more flexibel and a much more usable musical tool.

There are also changes to the Onstage live performance control, promising instant, silent switching. Now my experience has been that there is a slight delay in switching  as well as a distinct noise when a patch is changed. Playing at home this is not a problem, but I would think twice about using it live,

So the 1.4 update makes Tonestack sound better and be more flexible. Now what would make it pretty near perfect is to give a patch download capability like Bias or Jamup, come on Yonac! You can do it!