iRig Amplitube + Aebersold = No Excuses
This obsession with perfect tone in software is a bit misguided at times. With the $60 I spent on AmpliTube for iPhone and iRig, I was mostly interested in a practice solution that didn’t disturb my neighbors, or wake up my girlfriend late at night.
I got exactly that, and the tone was pretty decent considering that I was playing my Gibson ES-135 into my phone.
In addition to being able to upload your own songs and loops, one extraordinary feature that caught my eye was the SpeedTrainer slider. This allows you to slow down the tempo without changing the pitch of whatever song you are working on, perfect for uploading and practicing with Aebersold tracks.
After ripping my Aebersold Vol – 54 – Maiden Voyage CD, I transfered the files through iTunes file sharing, slowed down the beginning of Song for My Father to about 0.6x the original tempo, and set out woodshedding those triplet runs, then speeding the tempo up slowly as I improved my ability to nail each one.
I tried this on both my iPhone 4 and my iPod Touch 2nd Generation. The iPhone 4 could slow down the track considerably without too many added pops and crackles, but the iPod Touch really couldn’t pull it off so well. Depending on your device your milage with this may vary.
Obviously, tone and sound quality is important, even just for practicing, but it seems like recent debates on apps like this one tend to leave out equally important factors, such as realistically how are you going to be using this product?
Maybe some people are interested in using Amp Sim software for live performance, but I feel like they are in the minority, and even that minority is probably using more powerful devices than an iPhone.
Playing your guitar directly into your iPhone will probably never sound like, or feel like a Mark I Mesa Boogie, but it can provide awesome practice tools that make ironing out those little kinks in your style a breeze.
January 17, 2011