AmpliTube is one of the most popular amp simulator plugins on the market. Like many similar applications, it’s designed to emulate the feel of a full guitar setup, minus the cost.
What’s most interesting to me about software like this is that it’s made to look as close to a guitar setup as possible. In other words, amps and cabinets have representations of hardware knobs, the same goes with pedals, microphones and effects. In other words, the software is designed for guitarists. As obvious as that sounds, anyone who has worked in the software world knows that virtual instruments and software don’t always have interfaces that emulate the appearance of their real-world counterparts. Just check out any Logic synth if you don’t believe me. Amplitube Orange emulates Orange amps and cabinets. The interface is designed to look just like Orange hardware amps, even down to the control labels. I’ve never used Orange myself, but a fellow musician friend loves them.
There are also routing options. Again, these are designed to look much like a real-world setup. You can drop in pedals, and arrange them in any order you want. You can even adjust the microphones and change their proximity from the speaker cone of the cabinet, you can also set up the room mics, which add a bit of ambience. It makes for a very customizable setup, but someone wanting to learn enough to use more than presets will have to spend quite a bit of time with it.
The software works standalone, or within your DAW. It’s cool to install it on a laptop and incorporate it into your live show. Plug your audio interface into your laptop, then plug that interface into the mixer. You’re set with an awesome, customizable setup. From there, you can save presets for individual songs. The biggest benefit to this is that you can use your studio settings in the live show. You don’t have to make compromises in sound. That’s something some of us have had to do when we have a handful of pedals or stomp boxes and have to choose settings that are set to kind of work for your full set, but may not be perfect for every song. If anything, it just streamlines things so that you don’t have to dial through your saved presets or turn too many knobs on stage.
Another very overlooked aspect of software like this is that it’s a plugin. That means you can use it on any of your synths or drum samplers. It’s something I think some people overlook, but I’ve had synth pads that sound like heavy sustained guitars because I add the right kind of distortion to them. It may not always be the sound you’re looking for, but the right settings can add a little extra bite to any instrument or sound. Even vocals. I use a touch of distortion on most of my vocals just for that extra harmonic content.
You can check out AmpliTube Orange here. It’s $99, and you will need AmpliTube to run it.