IK Multimedia Amplitube 3
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IK Multimedia Amplitube 3

Amplitube 3, Software Amp Simulator from IK Multimedia in the Amplitube series.

tarrtime 12/18/2012

IK Multimedia Amplitube 3 : tarrtime's user review

« Software Amp Simulation »
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Amplitube 3 is a software plug-in that can be used inside a DAW or as a stand-alone application. The signal path for a guitar and bass has been modeled digitally including: amplifiers, cabinets, microphones, stomp boxes, and rack effects.
The software can be installed by downloading it off the IK Multimedia website. Authorization is completed using an IKM software application if your computer connects to the internet.
IK Multimedia has also released a 'Custom Shop' application to run alongside of AT3. This allows you to 'purchase' different gear models on an individual basis. The Custom Shop application is free to download.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The software is laid out to be intuitive for anyone that has played guitar and used effects. First, the signal goes through a section of stomp-box effects pedals. Then, the signal goes through an amplifier followed by a cabinet/microphone. Finally, there is a section of rack effects. This is a typical ordering of processing that guitarists use in the real world. However, one of the benefits of using software is experimenting with crazy ideas. AT3 has some parallel signal path options, but it is really limited if you want to change the ordering of processing. Most other amp sims offer more flexibility if you are the kind of person that likes to experiment.
To me, the weakest part of the software is the 'post-effects'. I almost never use the effects inside AT3, and also use some other compressor/eg/reverb in my DAW. Guitar Rig 5 has much better options because you can use models of great compressors (1176, LA-2A) and an SSL Eq model. AT3 just comes with a stock compressor, and basic eqs.

OVERALL OPINION

There are many different options for amp simulation software these days (Guitar Rig 5, Line 6 Pod HD/Pod Farm 2, Eleven, OverLoud THD, etc). Every company models the gear in different ways, so they each sound a little different. For instance, an AC30 in Amplitube sounds different than the same amp in GR5 and on a Pod HD. I have a preference of different amps depending on the software, and that's up for you to decide for yourself. The best part of Amplitube is that IKM have started to license amplifiers from different brands. There are a whole bunch of different Orange amps that can be purchased. Most other amp sims just have a single Orange amp model. The Fender add-on pack also includes some great Fender amp models that you won't find else where like the Super-sonic. Finally, bass amps are typically an 'after-thought' in amp sim software. The Ampeg add-on pack is in a league of its own compared to other bass amp sims. I don't even waste my time with other bass amp models.