AmpKit

I finally put AmpKit+ on my iPad yesterday and I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed. For a guy who lives and breathes iOS for a living and plays guitar, it's hard to believe that it took this long. But, up until recently, I couldn't really see a place in my life for a simple amp-simulator. Don't get me wrong. That's cool, but not necessarily all that practical. But somehow I got a bee in my bonnet to try it again and realized there's more there than initially meets the eye.

The amp-modeling, effects and cabinet simulations are pretty good. Truthfully, I never find any of them as good as a real amplifier, but that's so obvious it's hardly worth pointing out. What I was hoping was to get something that was tweakable enough that I could dial in a reasonable tone. I also wanted something I could plug into if I got the late-night guitar bug and didn't want to blast the neighborhood awake. Plus, it will play along with the Music app so you can jam along to just about anything in your collection. Very cool.

There's also a handy recording feature. Not only can you just record one-off snippets, you can also channel your inner-Fripp and record loops. You can also share those recordings, and AmpKit even features direct integration with SoundCloud. Here's a little demo I put together using a variation of the "Nu Metal ValveKing":

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what all I'll use this for. Probably for practice,  probably for some jamming and certainly for capturing little ideas. Up to this point I'd either just been making video of ideas (handy for seeing what the fingers are doing), or putting stuff in GarageBand. But sometimes GarageBand has a little too much ceremony when you just want to get the idea down.

Back in the day I used to have a Rockman X-100. It was awesome because I could stay up late and practice while the rest of my family slept. Now with an iPad and a spare $20 I have the same thing with a gazillion more tweakable parameters and I check my email on it. That's progress in my book.