Back in late 2011 I wrote about GuitarTone and my impression of it when using an iPhone 3S. A few things have changed since that article. Firstly, I’m now using an iPhone 4S and an iPad. Secondly, the GuitarJack (version 1) I had purchased isn’t compatible with my new devices. Thirdly, GuitarTone has been upgraded to version 2. Some aspects of GuitarTone have remained the same but some aspects have been changed … for the better. Let’s look at some of the changes as they apply to the iPad.
The first thing you may notice is the addition of the pedalboard at the bottom of the screen (see the first screenshot below). This new interface addition allows you to quickly and easily alternate from one preset to another. Saving presets is as easy as it is on a real world pedalboard. You simply press and hold the preset slot you’d like to save your current sound to and you’ll either save to an empty slot or overwrite the preset that was there previously.
The coolest new feature that is available in GuitarTone 2 is the ability to have your amplifier head feed into two amplifier cabinets. These cabinets can be set to match the head, or you can select the cabinets you feel give you the best tone. That can even be done by having the head feed into two different cabinets. The tonal variety is huge with this new addition.
You can also select the microphone you’d like to use in front of each cabinet (as you could in GuitarTone 1). Combined with the previously mentioned ability to run alternate cabinets, the tonal range continues to grow in this app. If the name GuitarTone didn’t make sense before, it certainly does now.
The built-in tuner and presets are still there of course. As is the ability to upgrade your amplifiers and pedals with some in-app purchases. Owning GuitarJack 2 unlocks some pedals and amplifiers for you. I sadly can’t comment on those just yet as I’m still on GuitarJack 1 (as mentioned earlier). Knowing how cool those amplifiers and pedals sounded in GuitarTone 1 though, I can only imagine how much better they are in GuitarTone 2 now that there is the option to mix and match the cabinets.
Another new feature to GuitarTone 2 is the built-in noise gate. The button to turn that on looks like a bridge I’m sure many people recognise and the gate feature itself is called Golden Gate. Ingenious! The noise gate doesn’t just feature the usual on/off and threshold that many noise gate pedals do. This one also features the Fast Mode that can be switched on and off. I imagine this comes in handy for the shred style sounds that would be available with the additional amplifiers and pedals.
The rest of the app is very similar to the previous version of GuitarTone. You can add/edit/remove pedals from your desired sound, you can access the settings to mix the input/output levels and you can learn more about the app and Sonoma Wire Works from the company logo in the app’s menu bar.
The one thing I’m waiting for is the ability to get the new tones out of the app and into either StudioTrack (iPad) or FourTrack (iPhone). Currently the built-in GuitarTone feature for both of those apps is using the GuitarTone 1 settings. When that changes, I’ll be a much happier camper. That’s not true … I hate camping. I’ll be a much happier guitarist!