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Monday, September 13, 2010

Appraising AmpKit and AmpKit Link

Appraising AmpKit and AmpKit Link

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By Clive Young.

The marketplace for software/hardware interfaces that turn an Apple iPhone into a guitar effect simulator has been crowding up quickly. There’s at least five different hardware solutions that allow you to get your guitar signal in and out of your phone and even more apps that let you play around with it once it’s in there, simulating a variety of amps and stompboxes. Peavey recently released a hardware solution, AmpKit Link, teaming up for the software counterpart, AmpKit, with Agile Partners, known for their popular Guitar Tool Kit app. I recently tried the pair on an iPhone 3G and here’s what happened.

2010-09-13-Peavey1Most of the iPhone guitar interface options out there seem to land at $39.99, and AmpKit Link is no exception. What makes it unique, however, is that it’s a powered device, requiring two AAA batteries in order to run a small headphone preamp inside the unit that defeats (most) feedback by turning the iPhone’s output into a low current signal, thus minimizing crosstalk between the headphone and mic inputs on the iPhone, which share a single, common ground. That said, I still got hit with feedback once, and given that I was wearing some nice Beyerdynamic studio headphones, it just about ripped my head off; keep the AmpKit app’s virtual noise gate on, period. And speaking of the app….

The AmpKit software comes in two flavors. First, there’s Free, which includes a metronome, tuner and simulations of a Peavey ValveKing amp with clean and high-gain lead channels, two mics, and two pedals. AmpKit+ is available for $19.99, and includes four amps, two mics and eight pedals. In both versions of AmpKit, you can make in-app purchases of additional gear, typically ranging from $3-$7.

The software is broken down into five areas-



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