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AmpliTube app icon

AmpliTube

IK Multimedia

App

iOS

★★★

Before you can use AmpliTube on your iPhone or iPad, you need some way to connect your guitar. IK Media sells a simple and effective product, iRig HD. Once you've got that sorted you're ready to rock.

When you launch the application you'll see a beautiful interface that simulates the look and many of the controls of traditional amplifiers, combos and effects. Everything, from the knobs and buttons down to the leather, mesh and metal finishes is faithfully rendered.

Simply jamming with your guitar and exploring the many built-in ways to tweak the sound to your liking is the strongest feature of AmpliTube. In app purchases make it easy (too easy!) to get signature sounds of famous guitarists such as 'Slash' and 'Jimi Hendrix'.

Where AmpliTube looses its way a bit is as a recording studio. The UI, while attractive, is not very intuative. Even on a full size iPad it is difficult to control the positioning and adjustment of tracks. Even playing back a single recorded track can be combersome. Trying to lay down multiple tracks on AmpliTube really makes you appreciate the simplicity and power of Garage Band.

AmpliTube recording studio user interface

AmpliTube also offers drum loops and custom kits. Again, its great for simple jamming to a groove but good luck trying to arrange an entire drum track for a song. As with the recording features, the drum kits are surprisingly difficult to control.

AmpliTube drum kits

Overall, IK Multimedia delivers a very good product if you stick to the basics. The initial excitment of seeing the full feature set was quickly replaced by frustration. I suspect many of the advanced features will go unused by the majority of guitarists unless usability improvements are introduced.