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Got a GUITAR, daddio? Wanna plug it into iOS or Droid? Try the iRig 2

Dangle dongle for frustrated axemen

The only way is effects

I had a go at taming the golden beast so I could get a rich jazzy tone, but that crunchiness wasn’t so easy to smooth out. You'll also notice the Noise Filter pedal really takes some of the high-frequency attack out of the notes, so you might want to experiment with this if you're not getting the bite you're expecting.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube settings, cabinets and in-app purchase deals

If you're still overloading, check the levels (left), cabinets for sale (middle) and deal or no deal with the in-app purchase offers (right). Click for a larger image

I had better luck using the Fender set-up, which is hardly surprising as it’s more of a gentleman’s amp. Although both amps feature reverb, the Fender has a vibrato function for anyone after a makeshift How Soon is Now? sound. Having both Marshall and Fender style kit should keep you happy for a while, but it won’t be long before you’re looking for options.

One option is to use GarageBand, as iOS features Inter-App Audio, enabling apps to feed audio signals into each other. It doesn’t have to be just GarageBand, but as an example, you can set up a track to record on GarageBand with AmpliTube as the instrument. Alternatively, a previously recorded track could be fed into AmpliTube by configuring the app as an effects unit.

I gave this a try and so long as you have AmpliTube configured to be audible when used in the background, it works like a charm.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube on GarageBand

AmpliTube tracks recorded directly to GarageBand on the iPad

A simpler approach is to use what’s available in AmpliTube Free, which, when you appreciate the limitations, won’t be free for long. The app has some standard rock drum sections you can string together but even though you can change the tempo, you’ll eventually yearn for some different styles. Even so, as a notepad it works well enough.

If you can go on to use the recorder section, the drum track will play along as you lay down some tasty licks... on one track. That’s all you get, although you can export it as an MP4. Pay £20 and you’ve an 8-track studio at your fingertips, however. Thanks, but some other time.

It’s not all kerching whenever you want to kerrang. You get a free tuner, and you can play along with music from a variety of sources including your own iTunes music library. The tunes are initially imported into the app and then you can loop around that tricky chorus you need to practice and even change the speed without altering the pitch. The 'No Voice' option does its best to knock out vocals and, if they’re not soaked in reverb, it works extremely well.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Loop Drummer, Recorder and play along practice

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Loop Drummer, Recorder and play along song practice. Click for a larger image

The Reg Verdict

Having an interface dangling off your phone or tablet is never going to look particularly elegant, but if you’re careful enough to not drag the lot crashing to the floor when you move around, IK Multimedia’s iRig is very effective set-up. Lest we forget you can plumb it into a recent Mac too.

If you’re already an iOS musician then you may well have ways of bypassing some of the add-ons that IK Multimedia is so keen to get you to buy into. As a way of making music, I spent hours in the garden with headphones on, barely making a noise that anyone could hear – immersed in the possibilities and working with the limitations – yet still making some rather pleasing noises. For £30, what’s not to like? ®

IK Multimedia iRig 2 guitar interface

Got a GUITAR, daddio? Wanna plug it into iOS or Droid? Try the iRig 2

Guitar interface with free apps for iOS, Samsung Pro Audio supported Android handsets, that can also be plugged into recent Macs to work with desktop software
Price: £30 RRP

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