Monday, September 14, 2009

IK Multimedias Metal guitar amp simulation review.

Once again I have had the good fortune to review another incredible product from IK Multimedia. This review is of IK Multimedia Metal guitar amp/cabinet/microphone simulator.

But just what is Metal?

Metal is a software plug-in (VST and/or an RTAS) for your favorite recording software. It acts and sounds just as a guitar amplifier and cabinet combination would, with all of your favorite pedals included too! But there is so much more to Metal that one needs to dig in and look deeper. Metal contains all sorts of gadgets; in the form of knobs, sliders, rack effects, a tuner, and some awesome guitar pedals.

After uploading IK Multimedia Metal onto your recording computer (Mac or PC) all you will then need to do in order to start making music is to plug your electric guitar into a computer digital interface of some sort. That’s it!

The end result? One heck of an awesome guitar amp/cabinet selection that will transform your guitar riffs and guitar licks into pulsating, pounding, full-on metal assaults!

I have not ever been in a heavy metal rock band. I have, however, written some heavy metal songs. So now I had the opportunity to use IK Multimedia Metal just to see how well it stacks up against some of the most heavy metal guitar tones of all time. To make a long story short, it stacks up just fine. With all of the included rack and stomp pedal effects in Metal I had no trouble at all getting very distinct metal guitar tones. If you consider the difference in cost between the real thing verses Metal, the solution is a no brainer.

If you are like me, a true guitar tone designer, then you will love Metal. I found that using Metal in order to obtain some very dirty guitar tones that are remarkably close to some of my favorite Metal bands (Metallica, Ozzy, and AC/DC) was amazingly easy! You can even “put together” your dream amp with Metal, with the choice of selecting all kinds of amp styles and types including everything right down to guitar amp tube types!

Putting together a recording “dream guitar rig” is also made easy with Metal. Metal software includes some great user pre sets that you can audition, and alter to your demanding tastes. The user presets are not only a great starting place, but they sound great by themselves too!

Playing thru two complete guitar rigs at the same time is also possible in Metal. This is what peeked my interest due to an obsession with getting that hard hitting, yet “note articulate” guitar tone. One dirty channel and one heavy distortion channel is what this tone is all about. Metal is fast and easy to use in order to get whatever tone your “mind hears”.

The included stomp pedals that come in Metal are great in tone, and pretty cool looking too. I like the little extras sometimes, what can I say? Metal is full of these extras it seems. Every effect, weather stomp pedal or rack type, is very well laid out, very easy to adjust, come loaded with user presets, and they look great to boot! Having everything so well laid out and easily adjustable sure makes finding that one particular tone a breeze. However I found it hard to stop at just “good” and I seem to keep on tweaking this or that, and go on adding on more and more effects.

I don’t like to read a lot of different manuals in order to make music. Soon after Metal was installed I was jamming. No need to read a single page of any manual at all. This sums up the ease of use for Metal, but let me give some more examples.

The user interface in Metal is easy to navigate and getting to just where you want to be is as fast as a click of the mouse. A collection of buttons up in the upper right hand part of the user interface makes changing to the different screens fast. Finding and tweaking that certain effect is easy due to pop up lists; in both the rack effect section, and the stomp effect section. The same is true with the auditioning of the many user presets for the amps, cabs, microphones, and effects. Well done IK Multimedia!
To wrap up this review, I would reccomend that you follow the links posted here and listen for yourself. The videos on IK Multimedias site will give you an idea of what you can expect from Metal. Bottom line is that if you are a Metal head guitar player, wather live or in your home recording studio, Metal might be the best plug in out there for your tones. It sounds great, works fast, and is sooo diverse. Get it!

What follows below are some screen shots of Metal that detail the many screens that make up the interface. I could not place them all on this post as it would be way too many.

The many stomp pedal effects.

A couple of the amp types.

Here are some cab choices and some of the different microphone types in Metal.


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