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January 28, 2014

BIAS app - great iPad amp designer

BIAS is an amp modeler app for the iPad, or rather, an amp model designer. It gives you an enormous amount of options for tone and tweaking. BIAS is made by the same company (Positive Grid) that makes the really cool app called JamUp Pro.

What is BIAS?

If you have used JamUp Pro, you will be familiar with the interface. Right away, you will see a display of an amp head with knobs you can adjust. The knobs are the usual suspects - volume, bass, treble, middle, and presence. The knobs behave like a real amp's knobs, so it's easy to manipulate this virtual representation of a real amp.

Towards the bottom of the screen, you will find options to adjust the input and output volumes, and you will also find a noise gate and room control. By manipulating these, you will find that you will get full control over your gain, and there is even a button to lock the input control.

The Noise Gate button provides settings for threshold and decay. The room control is very cool. It gives you the ability to shape the room where the amp sits, with controls for size, damping, color, and mix. This is an example of where amp modeling shines - try doing that in real life!

You will also find a Quick Snap section, with 8 buttons for saving your favorite presets. It is a very handy way to quickly swap between your most commonly used presets.

Towards the top of the main screen, you are able to access all of the amp categories, both factory delivered models and custom configurations. If you choose "FACTORY" in the upper left hand corner of the main screen, 9 different amp categories become available. The currently available categories are: "Clean," "Glassy," "Blues," "Crunch," "Hi Gain," "Metal," "Insane," "Acoustic," and "Bass." In each category, there are 4 different models. So, that means you have 36 highly customizable amps to get you started with BIAS, and I am sure there will be more coming.

How does it sound

The BIAS app provides amp models that feel very real. There is no doubt that experienced guitar players have been part of the development process. There is plenty of flexibility to help you create the sounds you are looking for. The only thing I can think of that is missing is an iPhone version of BIAS. Overall, BIAS provides an intuitive interface for working with virtual amps, and it gives you fantastic sounds coming out of a thin little iPad, with lots of options and tweakability. Quite amazing what Positive Grid has accomplished here! If you play guitar and you use an iPad, you will have lots of fun and be able to create great sounds with BIAS, from Positive Grid.

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By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 28, 2014

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