Recommendation #2: Amplitube Fender


Last week “Blackbeard” paid me a visit and dropped off close to $1,600 in new software. Amongst the lot was the new Amplitube Fender modeling software program which I have been waiting on for quite some time. Previously, Blackbeard had given me all the Amplitube modeling programs available and I have enjoyed them quite a bit. The only thing lacking in all of them was the presence of a preset that could really deliver a clean tone on par with the natural warm sound of a tube amp. In fact, last summer I was invited to sit on a panel  put together by one of the leading software companies in the music industry and at one point they asked me what the biggest challenge facing them was. My answer was simply that they need to do a better job modeling clean tone tube amplifiers.  I told them that I don’t believe a company is capable of creating modeling software that can ever touch the sound of an actual amplifier. It is my opinion that Digital simply won’t allow it because it has a tendency to crush the signal. Often, when I try to “drive” an amp simulator through my fingers, it results in horrible clipping rather than “natural” distortion. This is also true with digital recording programs like Pro-tools and Logic Pro. With Analog gear becoming more and more obsolete these days, engineers have had to find ways to emulate the natural compression and distortion commonly associated with analog consoles. Some engineers claim that they compensate for the loss of analog’s natural distortion/compression by using analog emulators like McDSP’s AC1 but I’m not totally convinced yet. That’s a discussion for another blog and time…

Anyway, Since Fender has always made my favorite amp  for clean tone (the Fender Twin Reverb), I was excited to test out the emulator and see  how close I could get to recreating the tone of an actual amp . Well, needless to say, Fender Amplitube doesn’t really compare to the sound of an actual amp. It does, however, come pretty close in some respects. Right off the bat, I noticed a profound improvement in the sound quality of the reverb over previous versions of Amplitube. IK Multi-Multimedia seems to be getting closer and closer to actually recreating the unmistakable sound of a spring reverb. I’m sure you’re also interested in the list of amps modeled in this package:

Truthfully, I have a long way to go in terms of actually exhausting the possibilities that Amplitube Fender provides. So far, I have programmed a really decent “modern jazz” guitar tone and a couple of driving blues rigs. Players interested in recording, will of course, want to use additional plug-ins to unlock Fender Amplitube’s full potential. Although, I might not want to walk out on stage with Amplitube Fender behind me, I am thankful to have it for modest means like recording demos and the lessons provided on this blog.  

For those that are interested, here’s a sample of Fender Amplitube in action-’59  Bassman (Lead Guitar) ’57 Deluxe model (rhythm guitar):


Also, here’s are Ik’s official videos relating to Fender Amplitube:

Part 1

Part 2

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