ampLion Pro is “All-in-one” guitar software for Mac & PC. It is a multi-tool for recording, composing, practice and live performance. Pro version features 9 guitar preamps, 7 power amps, 8 microphones and 30 effects. App can be used as a stand-alone and as a plugin in you DAW.
I was testing version 1.1 as a stand-alone and Pro Tools plug-in. The upper left part of the screen is showing metronome, a great practice tool. What makes ampLion Pro metronome unique is ability to choose between meter and metronome sounds. For example, I like to practice my odd meter licks in 7/8, and I am usually “allergic” on common bell-sounding metronome sounds. In this case as my accent beat I used a stick, and hi-hat for every other beats. You can chose between 7 different metronome samples: Stick, Claves, Cow Bell, Triangle, Finger Snap, Hi-Hat and Kick respectively. Great addition is metronome volume as well. One suggestion for an additional feature from my side is to integrate a drum loop here as well. Most guitar players like to practice with the drums
Next to metronome is the Track Player. By clicking on the letter “E” new window pops out, where you can import all your backing tracks and where you can tweak lots of things:
My favorite knobs here are speed and key. You can slow down your backing track to perfect that Yngwie Malmsteen lick you always wanted to learn, and since all Malmsteen tracks are recorded in Eb tuning, you can use the Key knob to tune your backing track half step down, instead of tuning your entire guitar half step down. This is a big time saver and very practical. After you tweak all the stuff here, you can close this window and use the control transport in the main window.
Next to Track Player there is an on-off button, and Recording options and controls. Default recording directory on my PC is Music folder.
After you press the Learn button and play your guitar for 5 seconds, AmpLion Pro will measure the signal level and set the output slider accordingly. Very cool.
Another feature that caught my attention is (RAM) Memory Mode – with Eco mode only current amp is loaded into RAM memory. If you planning to use ampLion live, Live mode loads all of your amps sounds into RAM memory, delivering a smoother patch switching.
On the left side before the tuner, there is a Preset menu. You can first start right here, and there is an option of 9 different preamps:
- Super clean
- Deluxe clean
- Bass crunch
- 800 Lead
- 900 Lead
- 650 HiGain
- 530 HiGain
- 530 Clean
In Preset mode each amp has 6 sub-groups of 6 different sounds.
After the preamp, there are choices of 12 different speakers:
- Classic 1x10 combo (Marshall MG30FX Combo)
- FBlues 1x12 combo (Fender Blues Junior Combo)
- FRockPro 1x12 combo (Fender RocPro 700 Combo)
- Modern6 1x12V30 Combo (Line6 Spider Valve Bogner)
- ModernE 1x12V30 Combo (Engl E320 Thunder 50 Combo)
- Classic 2x12T combo (Marshall JCM900 Combo)
- Classic 2x12(V+H) – H open (Marshall TSLC)
- Rect 2x12V30 closed back (MesaBoogie Rectifier 212)
- Modern6 1x12C90 Combo (MesaBoogieRoadKing – left speaker C90)
- Modern6 1x12V30 Combo (MesaBoogieRoadKing – right speaker V30)
- Rect 4x12V30 closed back (MesaBoogie Rectifier 412 Slant)
- Classic 4x12T closed back (Marshall 1960A)
Another cool feature ampLion 1.1 is possibility to import IRs or Impulse Response of any speaker. This is becoming a standard these days, and you can purchase or make your own IR PCM WAV files. This option is visible in the speaker menu as Convolution Speaker.
Each preamp can be used with its own matched power amp, or 7 different power amps with different tubes and 30, 50 or 100 W power.
It is possible to choose stereo output with 2 different speakers, as well as to control microphone distance, angle and position. As far as I’ve seen, this app has the biggest variety of microphones, so I have to mention that as well:
- Dynamic 57 (Shure SM57)
- Dynamic A5 (Audix i5)
- Condenser 1A (Rode NT1A)
- Condenser 1000 ( AKG C1000)
- Condenser 451 (AKG C451)
- Condenser kh40 (Sennheiser MKH40)
- Bass Dynamic 6 (Audix D6)
- Bass Dynamic 112 (AKG D112)
There are 9 different stomp box pedals with corresponding sub-groups:
auto wah, MC Clyde wah, Cry wah, V847 wah, EH wah 1&2
treble booster, XXL distortion, BAT distortion, overdrive, Super drive, 9 screamer, 808, Metal drive
Compressor, noise gate, D Comp
digital chorus, super chorus, chorus ensemble
digital flanger, EH flanger, EH flanger deluxe
small phaser, digital phaser
digital tremolo, analog tremolo
parametric EQ, graphic EQ
It is possible to set up the pedalboard chain in serial or parallel configuration mode.
In addition to the stomp-box effects, additional 6 effects can be used in the FX rack. You can choose all effects formerly presented in the stomp box format, plus additional delay, reverb and limiter.
Using ampLion Pro live
It is possible to organize all your presets in a playlist for live use in Program Manager panel. You can organize all your patches per song, or per song section and recall it live.
ampLion Pro is all-in-one FX app for guitar and bass. It can be used as a stand-alone and plug-in in your favorite DAW. With very attractive price of $99 you get everything you need to practice and record, but it doesn’t stop there – it can be used live as well. I used it also to re-amp some of my Pro Tools session DI tracks and it works like a charm. It is possible to download a free version as well at http://shop.audified.com/collections/products/products/amplion-pro-1?variant=1088275913
In the next video, I am browsing through some of the factory presets, and I will demonstrate one distorted and one clean tone.
GK Amplification 2 Pro
Other great product of Audified I had a pleasure testing is GK Amplification 2 Pro. It is also stand-alone and DAW plug-in amp simulator, featuring famous Gallien-Krueger bass guitar amps and speakers. For $79 you get incredible quality sound for your DAW recorded DI bass tracks, or you can use this app as a preamp before the live DI box.
Audified developers did a great job here by incorporating all the controls from their hardware counterparts.
User interface is similar to ampLion Pro, with metronome, track player, recording and power button sections.
- Gallien 800RB
- Gallien MB150
- Gallien 2001RB
- NEO 412 Full Range
- NEO 412 BiAmp – Woofer
- NEO 412 BiAmp – Tweeter
- NEO 412 BiAmp – Woofer + Tweeter
- RBH 410 Full Range
- RBH 410 BiAmp – Woofer
- RBH 410 BiAmp – Tweeter
- RBH 410 BiAmp – Woofer + Tweeter
- MB 150 Combo /112
It is possible to use two speakers at a time, and that is a great feature of this software, because hardware Gallien-Krueger amps sound the best with combining both speaker cabinets.
I recorded a demo video on a bass guitar with some factory presets.
GK Amplification 2 Pro is a great value for $79, and the sound you get is by far one of the best emulated bass sounds I ever heard so far in this plug-in category. It is perfect addition to your DAW - to spice up those DI tracks you have. On some of my Pro Tools session bass tracks, this plug-in provided an instant karma. It completely revived the low B string on my 5 string bass and gave it more “rounded” sound.
Other products by Audified
I suggest you visit Audified website and check out the complete list of all their products: http://shop.audified.com/collections/products
Other cool products by Audified I want to mention in this review are inTone 2 and MultiCabinet.
inTone 2 is basically a jamming tool and a playback machine. It functions as live production mixer that can process multiple audio inputs together with studio plugins. I recommend you download inTone solo for free and check it out for yourself.
With MultiCabinet you can spice up your already recorded clean or distorted guitar tracks.
If you are on a budget and you’re looking for affordable software to record your music or spice up your recordings, or even to practice/perform live, check out these apps.
Software specs & requirements
Mac - VST2/VST3/AU/AAX 32/64b, RTAS 32b – Intel & Mac OS 10.6 – 10.10 + Core Audio compatible audio interface
PC - VST2/VST3/AAX 32/64b, RTAS 32b – Windows Vista, 7, 8 (32&64bit) + ASIO compatible audio interface
Minimum CPU speed for both platforms; 1.6 GHz, 2GHz recommended + 300 MB of hard drive space