Some of the amplifier emulators you can get for your iPhone are complicated beasts (with their ability to switch pedals/effects, record yourself with their built-in recording tools or similar fancy features). This is not one of those apps. Amps & Cabs (by Ground Up Audio) is an app that gives you exactly what the name implies—amplifiers and cabinets. Then you play to your heart’s content.
Simple. And with some decent sound quality thrown in. Let’s look at it in my favourite colour styling … none!
When you start the app, you see the amplifier and cabinet combination in the first screenshot below.
With this amp and cab combo you can begin playing straight away. You’re on your way to an excursion in rock. However if you are anything like me—not incredibly handsome or wealthy—you’ll be wanting to get more out of your initial 99c iTunes purchase. Luckily there is more fun to be had. For starters you can click on any of the amp control knobs to highlight them and change their settings. You’ll know it’s highlighted because it gets … Highlighted. See the second screenshot below.
From there it’s a simple matter of adjusting the slider that appears at the bottom of the screen to the position you’d prefer it to be. I selected Gain (see third screenshot below). It needs to go to the top in my opinion.
The same can be done for each control knob. The sound variations are yours to control. But not just with the amp settings. If that was the case, this app would be called Amps. It’s not.
You can also change cabinets by sliding the cabinet in view to the left or right (depending on which cabinet you’re currently using). The other cabinet options can be seen in the other screenshots below (all under the same Modern amp head).
Each time you change cabinets your sound style changes. Combined with the variations you have at the control knob level, there are quite a few options here. But as they often say on the shopping channels, “Wait … There’s more!”
You can also change the amp head you use. Now the Amps & Cabs name makes total sense.
Combined with the Modern head seen in the first screenshots, you have three amp heads to choose from (each one with its own highlightable control knobs). One of the small features I like about each head is that the knobs are uniquely labelled (meaning the sound options are not just based on the head type, but the control type you’re given on each head).
Basically, that is this app summed up. It’s simple, it’s incredibly affordable and I’d have to say the tonal variety is pretty damn good. It’s another of the apps in my collection of articles that could benefit from an ability to record and/or export to an app that allows you to capture the recordings. But for the outlay of 99c, I’m incredibly happy with this app.
For those of you following the review process I’m putting myself through, this app is another that for me work with GuitarConnect Cable, Ampkit Link and GuitarJack.
Update (28 May 2012): Links removed on account of Malware alert provided by Google.