For a while now I’ve been lucky enough to have access to the SilQ app that the talented TonApp As created. You may know TonApp As through their handy little Guitar Capo+ app—which is also quite a sexy little app. Perhaps they’re cornering the market on sexy iOS apps. I’m sure that’s a niche market.
Anyhow, I’ve been playing around with SilQ and I have to say … I love it! There are EQ apps and then there’s SilQ—quite simply the best EQ app I’ve come across. I’m rethinking my opinion on EQ effects in a signal chain now—my previous opinion was not very high.
I’ve generally managed all of my tone settings on my guitar and/or amplifier settings. They’ve been enough for me and my needs. But as I’ve started to play with SilQ I’ve found myself tweaking the bass, treble and mids—upper and lower—to build quite specific sounds that I’m loving more than the original tones I was already happy with in my favourite apps.
What makes SilQ even handier for me is its ability to play nicely with other apps thanks to its integration with the Audiobus app. Now I can build perfect tones and record them into my favourite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) as part of a bigger picture. Or I can record ideas as they happen directly from within the app itself. Handy. More on that later. Let’s look at the app itself.
You can see at the top of the app that there are buttons for bass, lower mid, upper mid and treble. Each of those buttons allows you to create an eight band EQ setting for your tone in the relevant section. That makes this a 32 band EQ—almost 64 in a way depending on how you work with the left and right speakers.
Therein lies a feature I find incredibly handy.
You can keep the left and right speakers linked—indicated by the linked chain icons between the upper and lower EQ bands in the app—or you can unlink them and set different settings for the left and right speakers. Well, that’s what it appears to be doing in my untrained ears. Whatever the technical relation is between those EQs, I love it. Unlinking those EQs can create an amazing dual-guitar style effect in your recording. I can’t speak highly enough of this sound effect/feature.
You can see the unlinked EQ indicators in the screenshot above. They look like broken chain links. You may also notice at the bottom of that screenshot that I am using a preset called Muddy as Phuk. This is a preset I created for this article—you can hear it in the embedded SoundCloud recording below.
Once you have tweaked your EQ to your heart’s desire, creating your own preset is dead easy. Click the Save button, name your preset and save. Done. Now your preset is saved within the app for future use. See below.
You may also notice the list of recordings in that screenshot. All recordings are easily accessed in the same location—easily accessed by clicking the Load button in SilQ. This becomes a great added feature for practice—record a riff and then solo over it while still inside the app—as well as being a handy little moment for prosperity bonus.
For example, I was testing the app out for this article and I ended up creating the simplest little riff that I actually didn’t hate. So now I can showcase how the app changes the guitar’s tone—to my own personal settings of course—while capturing the riff for my own use later on. Winning all around.
As I mentioned, this riff ends up in my own preferred tonal range. That sound file starts with a default preset from within JamUp Pro—which many people love—and ends up muddier thanks to my SilQ EQ preset—much more to my own liking. All of this was captured from within the SilQ app and easily transferred to AudioShare for simple saving and uploading to SoundCloud.
I love it when apps are seamlessly integrated like this.
This app is no doubt capable of a whole lot more and this article has simplified it enormously. But that’s a good thing. For simple tone enhancement, this app is priceless. For audio experts, this app has to be capable of a whole lot more. When you know what the EQ settings are capable of, the fine tuning capabilities of SilQ are going to allow you to get amazing tones from apps you previously thought weren’t capable of such tones. I have a feeling this will be in the Effects position of Audiobus for quite a while now. That pleases me greatly.