has released version 2.0 of its popular guitar effects and recording studio for iPhone. This app is great for guitarists who want the freedom to play and record anywhere they want, without the need to bring along a bag full of stompboxes and effects. The biggest new feature is the Speedtrainer: this allows you to speed up or slow down songs imported from your iPod library. This is a great feature for learning new songs at a more reasonable speed. A four-track recorder has also been added to the app as well. This is a great way for guitar players to record songs on the go and to not lose a great riff that might have otherwise gotten away.
Currently, there are three versions available in the App Store: the Full Version of AmpliTube
($19.99) includes 11 stompboxes, 5 amps + cabinets and 2 mikes; AmpliTube LE ($2.99) includes 5 stompboxes, 1 amp + cabinet and 2 mikes; and AmpliTube FREE includes 3 stompboxes, 1 amp + cabinet and mikes. In-app purchasing is available if you just want to upgrade to one specific feature.
To get the most out of this app you will need the $39.99 AmpliTube iRig
cable. As there is no ľ-inch input jack on an iPhone, this cable is needed in order to plug a guitar into an iPhone. This cable also has a mini jack for headphones, or you can just plug it into external speakers. The full AmpliTube experience will set you back $60, but compared to the latest version of AmpliTube 3 for Mac and PC, which retails for $350, this is quite a bargain.
As I was checking out the free version today, I came across a few things worth mentioning. First, while looking at the new multi-track recorder, the app repeatedly asked me if I wanted to upgrade it for $9.99. I didnít go into an in-app purchasing area, the message just popped up. I didnít like the fact that I couldnít just have a look around. I hope this is just a bug that will be addressed in a future update. Second, when I hit the home button, the app let me know it was still active by displaying a red bar across the top of the screen similar to when youíre making a call and decide to open an app. As it stands now, the app loses some of its charm by constantly asking for money.
An iPad version of AmpliTube 2.0 is in the works and should be available in a few weeks. With the iPadís additional screen real estate, the current version of AmpliTube looks great and is easier to work with. You can see so many more effects on screen at once and it just makes for a nicer overall experience.
When the App Store was first introduced, it was clear that the iOS could do more that just make calls and surf the web. I doubt anyone would have been able to predict what a powerful addition apps would become to musicians. Making music on an iOS device is really starting to come into its own. I only hope Apple continues to allow innovation and gets around to implementing some sort of MIDI interface for iOS. Then I think youíll see iPads in every recording studio in the world. Oh, and a section in the App Store dedicated to apps for musicians would be nice as well, instead of just lumping them all together with apps like Pandora.