IK Multimedia was one of the pioneers in guitar amp simulation software with their famous Amplitube launched in 2002. The Italian company comes back eight years later with the third version of their flagship product. And what’s new you ask?
Amp simulation software manufacturers have been fighting their battle over the last eight years offering more models, new GUIs, new algorithms, and new functionalities. The advantages of amp simulation software are plenty (direct recording, reamping, huge sound possibilities, etc.) and a lot of guitar players and home studio owners already have one of them or are seriously think about getting one. So, what are the advantages of this new Amplitude over its competitors? We’ll try to answer that question in this detailed review…
No Need to Go Out Anymore
Once you download the product, the installation under Mac and Windows goes very smoothly and the GUI is displayed after only a few seconds. The first step is the software configuration: set up the audio and MIDI interface you want to use and the buffer size, which will have a direct influence on Amplitude’s latency. With a small buffer size (256 samples or less) the latency, i.e. the time gap between the moment the signal goes into your sound card and the moment you actually hear it through your monitor speakers, will be pretty low or even imperceptible. However, your computer will have to stand a very high processing load and some artifacts might appear if it doesn’t have enough CPU power. You’ll have to find the right setting depending on your system. Once the configuration is made, you are ready to concentrate on the GUI…
A Look Through the Window
The software works with three quality modes: hi, mid and eco (from most to least demanding in terms of processing power). This will allow you to reduce the system’s load if you use a lot of effects at the same time. The audio quality is slightly reduced with the mid and eco modes, but not dramatically so the software remains useful. To help you make yourself an idea, a preset requiring 25% CPU load in hi mode will require 19% in mid mode and only 11% in eco mode. This can be a big advantage if your system is not very powerful or if you work with several instances of the software simultaneously.
Finally, you can also select here an IK Multimedia StompIO ($900) or StealthPedal ($200) controller — if you are among their lucky owners.
Simply click one of the elements on the signal path to display it in the main section of the GUI…
Now let’s take a closer look…
Nevertheless, we do have to criticize the background noise that is always present as soon as you increase the gain, and also the higher price compared to competitor products (can we expect a price reduction anytime soon Mr. IK?). However, there’s no doubt that Amplitude remains one of the top products out there and it will delight guitar players looking for a comprehensive and powerful software.
- Plethora of amps and effects
- Overall quality of the modelings
- Independent preamp stage, power amp, and EQ
- Comprehensive and convenient integrated 4-track recorder
- Simultaneous use of two amps
- Two mics per speaker cabinet
- Three quality modes
- Ability to chain up to twelve stompboxes and eight rack effects
- Preset browser with tag management
- More expensive than competitors
- Some poor quality modelings
- No convolution technology
- Background noise with high gain settings
To read the full detailed article see: Amplitube 3 Review