Checking out Amplitube 5. Anyone else run into this bug? While using one amp and two cabs, I tried to find a way to shut off cab #1 and just hear cab #2. IIRC, first, I tried the radio button by the cab name. That resulted in one nasty amp w/no cab sound coming through the.
- It's been rolled out in various forms, including AmpliTube 2, Jimi Hendrix, Ampeg SVX, Metal and now the officially endorsed Fender version. All bear the 'Powered by AmpliTube' legend, and between them they cover an impressive 38 amps, 45 cabinets, 57 pedals and 30 rack effects.
- Fender Collection 2 for iOS brings seven of Fender's dream machines - some of the most toneful and genre-defining amps from the dawn of rock and beyond - to AmpliTube for iOS, providing spot-on recreations of the sought after '57 Custom series including: '57 Custom Champ®, '57 Custom Deluxe™, '57 Custom Twin-Amp™, and the '57 Custom Pro.
In this release IK Multimedia partnered with Fender to model their amp, effect, cab and mic line. I remember the official announcement regarding this product and just as many other recording musicians, I have been anxiously waiting to hear the results.
According to Shane Nicholas, Senior Marketing Manager, Fender® Guitar Amplifiers, Fender '...made countless suggestions, changes, and tonal tweaks in the same way that we do when we develop the real amps, and many of the same people were involved.'. Davide Barbi, head of development explains that IK went to great length to ensure that according to both IK and Fender, the modelers were as close to the real thing as humanly possible.
So what does the IK AmpliTube Fender contain?
The package contains:
Amplitube Metal Fender Collection Presetsfasrweek Deluxe
• '59 Bassman® LTD
• '65 Twin Reverb®
• '57 Deluxe™
• '65 Deluxe Reverb®
• '64 Vibroverb™ Custom
• Vibro-King® Custom
• Champion™ 600
• MH-500 Metalhead™
• Pro Junior™
• Bassman® 300
• TBP-1 Bass Preamp
• '59 Bassman® 4x10” Open Back
• '65 Twin Reverb® 2x12” Open Back
• '57 Deluxe™ 1x12” Open Back
• '65 Deluxe Reverb® 1x12” Open Back
• '64 Vibroverb™ 1x15” Open Back
• Super-Sonic™ 1x12” Open Back
• Vibro-King® 3x10” Open Back
• Pro Junior™ 1x10” Open Back
• Champion™ 600 1x6” Open Back
• MH-412SL 4x12” Closed Back
• Vibratone 1x10” Rotary Speaker
• 810 PRO 8x10” Front Ported
9 Stomp Effects (before the amplifier)
• Fender® Compressor
• Fender® Blender™
• Fender® Phaser
• Fender® Fuzz Wah
• Fender® Tremolo
• Fender® '63 Reverb
• Fender® Tape Echo
• Fender® Wah
• Fender® Volume
7 Rack Effects (after the amplifier)
• Fender® Pitch Shift
• Fender® Tape Echo
• Fender® Sine Flange
• Fender® Triangle Chorus
• Fender® Wah
• Fender® Compressor
• Fender® '63 Reverb
• Digital Tuner and noise gate
Like AmpliTube 2 ( reviewed earlier on 5/28/09), The Fender and other AmpliTube packages (Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Metal and AmpliTube 2 Live) contain the familiar 5 module layout and a standalone version with SpeedTrainer. The AmpliTube X-GEAR and StompIO provides seamless integration with other products of the range, thus letting you mix and match parts from all the rigs available.
Registration for the software was a breeze as I had already created an account with IK Multimedia. For those that do not have it, it requires you to register and then enables your software via a challenge/response validation routine. The whole thing took less than a few minutes and I was good to go. IK knows that some studio engineers prefer to keep their machines off the web for safety so they also took into account remote validation where you can register via another machine. The software installs a standalone version and a vst/au/rtas plugin version in your default plug-in folder (location can be changed if desired) for use with your DAW app of choice. In my case I tested it with Cubase 4. Without any tweaks I achieved 4ms of latency which was virtually seamless and I could start using it off the bat. The latency results will vary on different systems and on the load that is put on the host, thus I would usually recommend interested users to check the hardware requirements and download the trial version before purchase, so they can be sure the software runs smoothly on their recording computer.
I'd have to say that there are plenty of models - everything that is included sounds realistic and has its uses, depending on the styles and musical approach needed. As far as sound, I have somewhat limited experience with vintage Fender gear so I am not sure how close exactly they've gotten to some of these amps. The ones that I am familiar with - the Bassman, the Champ and Blues Jr. (similar to the Pro Junior) I'd have to say are very close. The models respond and play like the real thing and behave very naturally along their whole spectrum of sounds. The Bassman sound is just as I remember it - fluid, deep and sparkling. the Champ and Pro Junior are clean when played soft and barky and semi driven when hit harder. I've recorded a few bands with the MH-500 Metalhead and although I didn't particularly like that amp then as I found it grating and lifeless, I'd have to say that IK modeled it perfectly, as it has the same sound and response as the original. I've played and recorded a few Fender Twin Reverb Reissues and as far as I can tell these models are also amazingly close to the real thing. The Twin Reverb patch is just as lush as the original, with some great presence and chime. What I found to be truly amazing and I haven't discovered much in hardware and software modelers that I've played previously, is the fact that these amps do great in-between tones. The ones I am referring to are the 'British Invasion' and early Rock'n'Roll sound where the amps are clean but on the verge of breakup. The IK Fender series nails these sounds and they do it beautifully without any artifacts which I've found in other competing products. If you're after the Beatles, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Elvis and other great rock guitar tones - they 're here and are available at the touch of a button. If you want Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd sounds - they're all here as well. The AmpliTube Fender collection excels in blues, classic rock, psychedelia, jazz, funk and traditional rock sounds. It also provides some great bass patches courtesy of the Bassman, TBP-1 bass pre-amp and the Bassman 300 amp model. I found the metal and hard rock section severely lacking, not that it is any great surprise as Fender are really not well known for raging gain tones. The only useful amp in the high gain range being the Super-Sonic™, which on its own and some help from compression and fuzz effects delivers some smooth lead tones and mild hard rock/hair metal crunch, but nothing that would be my first choice for a metal sound. The MH-500 modeler dials in some nu-metal tones and handles low tuned guitars well but it does seem to lack presence and again won't be my first pick for metal rhythm, although it could do really well on an industrial song.
The effects in this pack, although limited, are quite good. I've always loved Fender's reverb and echoes and not just on guitars, so these models are quite useful on other sources as well. Lacking from this pack was an useful overdrive and eq pre-amp effect. I often wished for a tool to push the tubes further and bring some different tonality, like for example the SRV trick of throwing a Tubescreamer pedal in front of a clean Fender amp for some extra sustain and grit. In this pack there is a fuzz pedal that was a bit nasal sounding for that use but provided some nice lead tones. The AmpliTube Fender excels in mic models, such as the GT MD1b-FET, GT VELO-8 and Ribbon-160, probably thanks to the Fender acquisition of Groove Tubes. There is also a wide selection of Fender cabs, with one especially notable - the Vibratone 1x10” Rotary Speaker, which is close to a Leslie in sound.
As luck would have it, this version is compatible with AmpliTube 2, as are other AmpliTube versions such as the Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Metal and AmpliTube 2 Live, and can be stacked together via the AmpliTube X-GEAR software (part of package) so all effects, amps, cabs, mics and rack effects are available and joined in one common interface. I found this to be very useful as the whole collection integrated seamlessly, so I could use Fender echo on a Marshall lead patch and so on.
Overall I find the AmpliTube Fender collection to be very close to the original gear modeled. Highly recommended for its clean, semi driven sounds and vintage sounds. I believe a lot of studios will supplement their plug-ins with this package as natural clean on point of breakup blues tone has been something engineers have been looking for in a plug-in for quite some time.
|Download Example 1|
Strat into Vibro King
|Download Example 2|
Strat into Champion 600
|Download Example 3|
Tele into '57 Deluxe
|Download Example 4|
Tele into '65 Twin Reverb
|Download Example 5|
Les Paul into Super-Sonic
|Download Example 6|
Les Paul into '59 Bassman
Well known for their Stomp I/O hardware and AmpliTube line of software products, IK Multimedia worked directly with Fender to develop a collection of 45 pieces of gear that includes 12 classic amps, 12 matching cabinets, 9 microphones, 6 stomp effects and 6 rack effects. It works on both PC and Mac in standalone mode or as a VST/RTAS or AU plug-in.
Lay it Down
The software’s layout is like all other AmpliTube offerings, so I’ll skip the background basics. The main focus is on the presets and the five separate modules: Tuner, Stomp, Amp, Cab and Rack. Selecting either a preset or a specific module will then fill the GUI screen for tweaking.
Pieces of the Puzzle
Let’s start with the amp models. The ’59 Bassman is presented like you’re looking down at the top—a nice touch. You’ve got the classic Presence, Middle, Bass, Treble and Volume knobs, along with an Amp Model window for easy amp scrolling.
The ’65 Twin is viewed face forward and the ’57 Deluxe is viewed face up (can you beat just having a Tone and Inst Vol knob?). There’s a ’65 Deluxe Reverb, ’64 Vibroverb Custom, a Super Sonic and Vibro-King Custom, all viewed traditionally. The Champion 600 is viewed face down with just a Volume knob, and the Pro Junior is the same with just Tone and Volume. The HM 500 Metalhead, Bassman 300 PRO and TBP-1 Bass Preamp (designed around Fender’s passive tone stack) are also included, and were models I had never actually seen before.
The wide array of cabinet choices, which can be mixed and matched with any amp and mic, include the ’59 Bassman 4x10', a ’65 Twin Reverb 2x12', ’57 Deluxe 1x12', ’65 Deluxe Reverb 1x12', ’64 Vibroverb 1x15', Vibro-King 3x10', Champion 600 1x6',Super-Sonic 1x12', and Pro Junior1x10', all open back. Also inlcuded is an MH-412SL 4x12' closed back, Fender Vibratone 1x10' rotary speaker, and the 810 and 810 Pro 8x10' front ported cabinets with controls for thehigh-frequency horn driver.
There are some cool mics in this collection as well. My favorite is the smoothness of the Velo-8, based on the Groove Tubes Velo-8. You can also select the MD1b-FET, based on the Groove Tubes model, The Condenser 84 (Neumann KM84), a Condenser 87 (Neumann U87), Condenser 414 (AKG C414), Dynamic 57 (classic Shure SM57), Dynamic 421 (Sennheiser MD421), Dynamic 441 (Sennheiser MD441) and a Ribbon 160 (Beyerdynamic M160).
The six Stomp Pedals, which can be placed freely on the “wooden” floor of the Stomp section, include a ’63 Fender Reverb, Fender Blender (germanium fuzz), Fender Phaser (with a cool Blue/Red rate illumination), Fender Fuzz Wah, Fender Tape Echo, and Volume pedal.
The six Rack effects include Compressor, Pitch Shift, Sine Flange, Tape Echo, Triangle Chorus and Wah—all based on a Fender Cyber-Twin SE effects.
Fire it Up
I first plugged in a Fender Vintage Classic ‘50s Strat model with Don Mare pickups. AmpliTube Fender defaults to the ’65 Twin Reverb and I was immediately struck by the sound. It was warm yet crisp, and I was especially impressed by the reverb modeling (certainly one of the best I’ve heard).
I checked all five positions on the Strat and accordingly dialed in different sounds to match. A tough thing to model is that magic “sponginess” achieved when digging into the strings. It did an admirable job at breaking up—even with the low output of the Strat pickups. My favorite sound was the middle position/clean Strat tone with the Twin’s Bright on and a little Treble added. A very nice start, but I was curious about what else was inside.
I plugged in my Les Paul Custom with Gibson 490 pickups and dialed up a Vibro King. I had to turn down the Input level because I could overdrive it if I chose to, which was a touch I actually liked. The sound was creamy and smooth, and again the reverb shined. I also tried the ’65 Deluxe Reverb and found a great sound playing with my fingers instead of a pick—very responsive and very impressive.
Next up was my old Tele with stock Fender pickups. Right away, I got a nice blues/funk tone with the Pro Junior.
I checked out the pedals and found the Reverb, Phase and Tape Echo (very cool!) to be especially nice. I’m not a fan of germanium fuzz, so the only weak link for me was the Fender Blender—just not my thing. However, in running through all the amps, I was simply inspired to play for the sheer fun of it, which is a high compliment to a piece for software.
Amplitube Metal Fender Collection Presetsfasrweek Download
Curious to find out more, I asked Fender Guitar Amplifiers’ Senior Marketing Manager, Shane Nicholas, about the company’s involvement in the product. “We made countless suggestions, changes, and tonal tweaks in the same way that we do when we develop the real amps,” he said. “Many of the same people were involved, and who better than Fender to know how these amps behave, sound, and operate?”
Overall, AmpliTube Fender delivers on the goods. Aside from excellent sound and response, the flexibility to mix and match cabs/mics/effects, and the ability to interface with hardware, take it up another step. Sure, they aren’t real Fender amps, but they are truly the next best thing. I’ll be using this on many projects to come. Nicely done.
You are seeking a variety of excellent Fender sounds and are fine with software amps.
You are not a Fender fan and don't like playing through software.
MSRP $229 - IK Multimedia - ikmultimedia.com