JamUp XT Review

 

JamUp XT Review

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Hallo guitar fans. This month I am presenting JamUp XT Pro iOS app developed by Positive Grid. This is not only one of the best guitar amp simulators out there in my own opinion, it is much more than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JamUp XT review by Daddo Oreskovich

 

Some time ago, with the appearance of the first iOS apps for guitarists, iPad, iPod, or iPhone were merely a tool for great practice, warm-up or hotel room jam. Android is still not even close to iOS because of its latency issue.

I remember almost two years ago when I bought my iRig audio interface. I downloaded free AmpliTube app and I was amazed with an opportunity to practice virtually anywhere without harassing my neighbors with Progressive Metal and Rock music by turning my amp and the full gear on 🙂 The sounds were decent and the app served its purpose -> to be used as a practice tool.

jamup xt pro

 

After I found out about JamUp, honestly, I thought this is just one of the many variations of the same thing. I was so wrong 🙂 It is not only the perfect practice tool, it is truly every guitarist’s “Swiss army knife” app. All magazines like: MacWorld, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitarist and Premier Guitar were reviewing the app with high appraisals, introducing the best seen symbiosis of Apple iOS and actual musical instrument.

What is JamUp? It is guitar amp and FX simulator, multi track recording device, loop/phrase sampler, guitar tuner and professional backing track player with tempo and pitch tweak possibility. What makes possible using this app live is ability of pairing with a third party MIDI controller pedals.

Amp simulators

jamup xt pro

Virtually almost every amp is emulated here; Fender, Marshall, Messa Boogie, Orange, Peavy, Laney are just to name a few. Regardless of what version of JamUp you downloaded (free or pro version), all additional amps and stomp boxes can be obtained through the “in app purchase”. There are 3 categories of amps: acoustic, electric and bass guitar amps.

 

Stomp boxes

jamup xt pro

There are 6 stomp box groups in JamUp:

  • nosie gate FX
  • modulation FX (chorus, flanger, wah, phaser…)
  • reverb FX
  • delay FX
  • EQ
  • Compression and overdrive/distortion group

All effects and amps can be moved in the signal chain order. For example, you can drag the Tube Screamer stomp to be the first in the signal chain, Noise Gate on the last spot, etc… like the “real-world” pedalboard. All parameters are very easy and straightforward. Just use your imagination and tailor to your taste. All settings can be configured as a “patch”. There are 4×16 patch slots including factory presets. Each slot and patch name can be renamed of course.

 

Jam Player

jamup xt pro

Jam player is professional grade audio file player. You can import your favorite guitar backing tracks and regulate their tempo and speed. This comes very handy if you have string lock on your guitar and the backing track is half step down for instance. Just raise the pitch parameter half step up to “1 o’clock”  and you can jam without retuning your instrument. Very cool. This is also great aid for singers. Not every male singer has a vocal range of David Coverdale or Bruce Dickinson, so backing track pitch comes very handy -> great karaoke player as well 🙂

If you are “one-man-band “, it is great to control both your guitar sound and backing track in the same app, without a need for a separate CD/Karaoke player. Both volumes (guitar and backing track) are controlled separately.

 

Phrase sampler

jamup xt pro

Let’s say you are on a guitar clinic or you have your guitar solo section on the gig. You can record and loop a phrase, and then play over it. You can also load a drum loop from your iPod library and jam with it and also save it for later exploit. Loop and instrument levels are controlled separately.

 

8-track recorder

jamup xt pro

One of the best tools in JamUp. I use it frequently when filming lessons for Live4guitar. I record video on the HD camcorder, I play backing track on iPad and record live guitar track on iPad. This eliminates dragging the computer to the best spot in my apartment for video recording.

Lets say you have your ProTools or any DAW session. You can export each track and the drums stem, and import into 8-track recorder for better control. You can also copy audio file from another app such as Garage Band as well. You can also record your guitar or bass in another app on the same iDevice using “Audio Bus” app. I briefly explain it how in the review video.

Many, many possibilities and options. This is why I claim JamUp to be the “Swiss Army Knife” music app.

Tone/Patch sharing

jamup xt pro

This is one of the unique features in JamUp. You can share your patches on-line with JamUp community. People can like or comment your patch.

I am truly honored to be chosen by Positive Grid as their featured artist. You can download and jam with my signature “Preset Pack“. More about my Preset Pack in this video:

 

 

Using JamUp live

jamup xt pro - controler

There are vast possibilities of connecting your guitar to JamUp and your iDevice to your pedal board. I am using Griffin pedal controller with JamUp. You can configure 4 different stomp switches from the app. This controller also has an expression pedal input, so you can control volume and Cry Baby wah. At the time of this writing, Positive Grid is developing emulation of Digitech Whammy so stay tuned for that one 🙂 There are many different third party external MIDI pedals that can be used with JamUp. For complete list visit www.positivegrid.com 

In the next video, I’m showing my Griffin controller and talking about my hybrid pedalboard in details.

 

 

The Verdict

I am giving JamUp 10/10 points. This is universal “guitar Swiss army knife app” for every guitarist and bassist. It can very astoundingly emulate all vintage amps and stomp effects. It can be used for making music, recording and sharing the ideas and patches. It can be used as a source of recording in other apps via “Audio Bus” app, so you can use JamUp sounds in Apple Garage Band for instance. With third party MIDI controllers, it can be used live on stage.

What else one needs? It’s all in there, in iOS app called JamUp XT.

Download free version and see it for yourself. Here is direct iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jamup-xt-amp-effects-processor/id449820506?mt=8

 

(by Daddo Oreskovich in Reviews | 08. 06. 2013.)

Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 Amp Head

Hughes & Kettner’s Tubemeister has a few new tube heads. The 5 watt mini amp, the 18 and 36 watt. I was impressed of the feature set and huge sound of the 5 watt. The  Tubemeister 36, with 36 watts of output and three channels, offers considerably more features in a compact package that’s only about twice the size of the Tubemeister 5. The Tubemeister 36 may still qualify as a mini amp, but the only things small about it are its physical dimensions and affordable price. It offers versatility, performance and functions that aren’t available on many three-channel amps nearly four times its size.

FEATURES

The Tubemeister 36 is a stylish amp head featuring chrome handles on its sides and a clear Plexiglas faceplate that lets you see the transformers and glowing tubes inside. The interior is also illuminated with cool blue LEDs when the amp is powered up. Four EL84 tubes drive the power amp section to provide 36 watts of output, while three 12AX7 tubes drive the preamp section. To keep the size as small as possible, the Tubemeister 36 features onboard digital reverb instead of a bulky spring reverb tank. The reverb is also programed to sound full and lush with clean tones and become less pronounced with crunch and distortion tones to avoid the smeared mush that often occurs when using reverb with high-gain sounds.

The front panel is logically laid out. It has separate gain and master volume controls for the Clean, Crunch and Lead channels, three-band EQ (treble, mid, bass) controls for the Clean channel, and three-band EQ controls that are shared by the Crunch and Lead channels. Each channel has its own push-button selector switch, although you can also switch channels with an optional footswitch controller or via MIDI. The rear panel reveals most of the Tubemeister 36’s “secret” weapons, which include its Power Soak feature, Red Box DI output and TSC (Tube Safety Control) self-adjusting bias feature.

The Power Soak reduces power to 18 watts, five watts or one watt and provides a speaker-off setting that allows guitarists to use the head without an external speaker cabinet or load box. The Power Soak is also MIDI programmable, allowing users to program different settings for each channel (such as 36 watts for the Clean channel for maximum clean headroom, 18 watts for the Crunch channel to produce full-bodied power amp overdrive and five watts for the Lead channel to generate singing sustain at lower volumes). Up to 128 different combinations can be saved. The Red Box is an XLR DI output with 4×12 speaker emulation for sending the preamp and power amp tone to a mixing console or recorder. The TSC automatically adjusts optimum bias, and rear-panel LEDs indicate if the power tubes are malfunctioning.

A MIDI input lets guitarists use an external MIDI controller to switch channels, reverb, effect loop and Power Soak settings, and a MIDI Learn switch makes it easy to assign amp settings to a program-change number. The seven-pin MIDI connector also provides up to 20 volts of direct current for powering a MIDI controller without an external power supply.

PERFORMANCE

I thought the Tubemeister 5 sounded huge, but the Tubemeister 36 sounds absolutely colossal, especially when connected to a 4×12 cabinet. Like most Hughes & Kettner amps, it has its own sonic personality, so you’ll want to try a variety of cabinets to find the best match. With 1×12 cabinets, the amp sounded best through speakers with scooped midrange characteristics, as the Tubemeister 36’s inherent midrange is quite pronounced and assertive. I use it with the Carvin Legacy 2 x 12 speaker cabinet.

The Clean channel offers more than ample undistorted headroom, and it can generate lush, gorgeous tones with the reverb dialed in. The Crunch and Lead channels deliver plenty of supersaturated gain and sustain, but if you prefer muscular power amp thump you can get that even at low volume levels thanks to the Power Soak. Don’t let the Tubemeister 36’s small size and 36-watt output fool you—this is a truly gigworthy amp that’s more than loud enough for the stage. And if you need more volume you can feed its glorious tone to the house PA via its impressive Red Box DI.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 may be a mini amp head, but it provides outstanding tones, versatile professional features and distinctive innovations that many full-size amps don’t offer.

Ibanez UV70P (Universe 7-string)

 

Product Description

Inspired by Steve Vai, Ibanez has created another excellent playing guitar which is the Universe UV70P. Featuring DiMarzio pickups for great tone and jumbo frets on a Wizard 7 neck, the UV70P Universe guitar has easy playability and an awe-inspiring tone. The iconic Steve Vai has influenced guitar players all over the world and now the UV70P Universe is designed to break boundaries.

 

Specs

– Neck: Wizard-7 5pc Maple/Walnut with KTS TITANIUM rods
– Body: American Basswood
– Frets: Jumbo with Premium fret edge treatment
– Fretboard: Rosewood
– Inlay: Green dot
– Bridge: Edge-Zero II-7
– Hardware: Cosmo black
– Pickups: DiMarzio Blaze

Gig FX Megawah Stereo Multi-Wah Pedal

 

One of the best wah these days is the Gig FX Megawah. Not only a wah, but it has also five other features.

Product Description

The Gig FX Megawah is much more than great-sounding classic wah. You can adjust the gain, resonance peak, bass response and trigger sensitivity to produce the ultimate in wah sounds. And with two independent channels, you can run your signal in stereo for one-of-a-kind wah sounds.

The Megawah is Six Wah’s plus a volume pedal
– Classic Wah: The original analog classic Wah sound, mono or STEREO in a lightweight, noise-free optically controlled package
– Mega-Wah: Gig FX took the classsic wah and put it on steroids. Tons more OOOMPH on the bass frequencies and a tooth-rattling upper end
– Trig-Wah: The Mega-Wah sound triggered by a note. Sounds awesomely funky
– Auto-wah: Auto-wah: Why buy a pedal wah, envelope filter and auto-wah? This…pedal does them all
– Stereo-Wah: Two circuits give twice the Wah and can be used in a stereo effects train
– Stereo-Reverse-Wah: Flick a switch and reverse one channel for a neat melodic effect
– Foot-volume control: At the flick of another switch, the pedal becomes a foot volume control

Fed up with trying to master the wah pedal? Turn it on auto-wah and set the tempo as you wish. Don’t want to be limited by tempo and want every note to be wah’d? Set it to trig-wah and every note will trigger a wah so you can fire your synth player.

Then you can switch it to become a volume pedal. Keep pressing and it adds up to 3dB of clean gain. Even the cleanest amp will start to rip and burn (with no loss of frequency response that distortion pedals give).

Bored with all that? Hook it up in stereo and switch to reverse the wah on one side…CHECK IT OUT. This is no ordinary wah. It is the ultimate in wah and volume / gain pedal technology.

For the most extreme wah tone ever, plug the output of the left channel into the input of the right channel and hear the most extreme wah sounds on the planet.

How it works
The Megawah has two entirely independent Wah circuits in one package giving stereo in, stereo out capability. The effect also will accept a mono input signal automatically provide a stereo output. If the pedal is stepped on and rocked from the off position (all the way back), the optical linkage will automatically and noiselessly turn the unit on and then provide the classic wah or wah of choice as pedal is pressed down. The resonance control allows adjustment of the peak value of the wah determining how much wah range the pedal provides. The gain control allows control over how much gain the pedal provides to allow soloing at higher volume levels.

 

(Author: zZounds)