Monday, June 22, 2009

Amplitube Fender Review

AmpliTube Fender

Created in cooperation with Fender Musical Instruments, IK Multimedia has released AmpliTube Fender guitar and bass amp simulation software.

AmpliTube Fender  software is composed of two separate versions, the stand alone, or VST version, and the Plug in, or RTAS version. I opted to upload the RTAS version, and will be “reviewing it” after using it as a plug-in; via Pro Tools software as a D.A.W.
Let me first say that I was very nervous.

This software comes with some very large demands from all of us recording musicians. Will this software really compare with some of the most famous Fender amps in history? Can someone actually come up with a way for us to actually possess 12 vintage, all tube Fender guitar and bass amps as software, and then sell it in just one affordable package?

The short answer is a triumphant “yes”. The long answer is a triumphant “no”.

“Yes”, this software is remarkably exact to the vintage Fender amps that we all cherish; in fact it is amazingly close.
To explain the long answer of “No”, IK Multimedia didn’t stop at just accomplishing this one amazing feat, but instead IK Multimedia has decided to include so much more in this amazing package.
What could possibly be “more”, you ask?

Well, how about 12 matching classic Fender speaker cabinets, in AmpliTube Fender , all of which are also of vintage fame. Look, the musical fun only begins with the amps and their amazing attention to tonal detail.

Next, in AmpliTube Fender to take the mind blowing tone carnival even further IK Multimedia and Fender Musical Instruments decided to include 6 iconic and also highly sought after stomp boxes, which include a Fender Blender, Fuzz Wah pedal, Volume Pedal, Fender Phaser, Tape Echo, and a Fender 1963 Reverb Pedal.

Just to keep even the most demanding guitarist and/or bassist happy, IK Multimedia and Fender made sure to expand the microphone selection to 9 different popular professional studio recording microphones to choose from, including ribbon microphones, condenser microphones, and dynamic microphones.AmpliTube Fender


Like effects? Well, how about a choice of six different rack effects, including a Pitch Shift, Sine Flange, Tape Echo, Triangle Chorus, Wah, and a Compressor, in four rack mounted effect units; each capable of supplying one of the six commonly used guitar and bass effects. AmpliTube Fender

Top all of this off with a guitar tuner, and you are deep into some serious Fender tone fun!

Let me be the first to tell you that the stomp box, amp, cabinet, microphone, and the rack effect combinations are all 100 percent customizable, or tweak-able. Plus you can run two separate guitar rig combinations together (series or parallel) at the same time! This means that you can plug your instrument into two Fender amps of your choice (complete with separate chains of stomp boxes, cabs, mics, and rack effects) simultaneously, just like the pros!

With each of the above mentioned included items in the AmpliTube Fender comes a host of tweak-able, more selectable modifications.

For just one example, each microphone can be placed either on or off axis to the speaker cone. The musician can place the microphone as close to, or as far away from the speaker cabinet as they like. Adding a room ambience is as easy as turning the “ambience” pot, which adds a very realistic live room feel. What’s more, it sounds as authentic as any studio that I have ever mic’d an amp in.

Now, let’s just toss in the fact that all of the tweaks that you might wish to perform on the fly, or as you play your instrument, can be fully automated in the AmpliTube Fender software itself!

O.K. Let me slow things down a little now, and get into exactly which Fender products IK Multimedia has replicated here.AmpliTube Fender

As for the Fender guitar and bass amps, they have taken no shortcuts. Included in AmpliTube Fender are the Vibro King, 1959 Bassman LTD, 1965 Twin Reverb, 1957 Deluxe, 1965 Deluxe Reverb, 1964 Vibroverb Custom, Supersonic, Vibro-King, Pro JR., Champion 600, Metal Head, TBP-1 Pre Amp, and a Bass Man 300.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube Fender is not like some of the loosely copied amp simulations out there, but instead these are as close to the real thing as I have ever heard. It is amazing to me that these amps not only look like the much loved original Fender amps of the past, but you can hear in the original amps little intricate details come to life as you tweak the pots and knobs themselves!

These Fender amps even “break up” and mildly distort when you turn the volume pots up past 6 or 7! Talk about attention to even the most minute detail! The respective Fender reverb amps feature a spring reverb that sounds completely authentic. The same is true for the respective tremolo amps with a tremolo so real that it brings you back into the tremolo laden college rock scene. The Vibro king amp sounds so close to the original that it has become my “amp of choice” when recording my music.

The fact is that the chosen Fender amps that IK Multimedia has provided us all access to are some of the most sought after and most loved amps of all time. Judging from the tone of this software package IK Multimedia certainly must have obtained the original amps, torn them apart in order to study them, and then replicated them exactly in software code. IK Multimedia claims that it is all possible using their DSM technology.

Whatever technology IK Multimedia used, their resulting product, AmpliTube Fender works.

Not just the tones of the classic Fender amps are correct, but the tiny characteristics of each amp, speaker, microphone, rack effect, and stomp box are also dead on. The amazing fact that everything in AmpliTube Fender is tweak-able and fully automate-able should once and for all prove, to even the most hardened recording professional, that software based guitar amp simulations have come to their place, and they are here to stay.

In parting I would like to add that instruction manuals have long been a deciding factor for me when it comes to choosing one product manufacturer over another. There are only a couple of manufactures that actually produce a musician friendly, easy to read and understand instruction manual. I have added the instruction manual (PDF version) from IK Multimedia  AmpliTube Fender to that short list. Not only was it simple to understand, but the images included left little doubt in my notably different, musicians brain. Downloading and printing the PDF instruction manual file was effortless and flawless.


  1. Is there no any degree for audio engineering? Like other engineering's have? any way this blog is very help full for me. home recording

  2. Glad that this blog helps, as I am having a blast! Not sure about your question though, are you looking for a school that teaches audio engineering? I think Full Sail is a good place to start, as is Berklee.

  3. I have been waiting for this review for over a month now. I really want to know how good that thing is. After reading this review. I find it so great and I am going to buy one for my home recording studio.

  4. is amplitube also supporting the dual tune line the Line 6, POD HD had???

    did someone already tried to use any other external foot controller?

    Thanks in advance!....

  5. You are welcome Home Recording! Hope that you enjoy it as much as I am!