Adding to Positive Grid’s growing collection of stellar apps aimed at guitarists, comes what fans may call a natural evolution of their guitar amp simulator offerings, but none the less, it once again raises the bar on what can now be done with just a trusty guitar in one hand and an iPad in the other.
Released just a few days ago, BIAS FX, is a one-stop-shop for creating your own customised, signature virtual guitar rigs to die for. It includes a dozen amps, more than 2 dozen effect pedals, and for the first time, a handful of professional rack processors, and heaps more. Some of these features have been available in varying degrees across Positive Grid’s previous offerings. Jamup Pro – with its combination of amp heads and stomp boxes, then followed by BIAS with its near surgically precise customisation of tweakable amp head settings.
What the new BIAS FX iPad app does is consolidate many of those features into Positive Grid’s now familiar user-friendly interface for both editing and performance scenarios, while introducing some much wanted new features as well.
Arguably the app’s best sound-worthy new addition includes the dual signal ability, adding the option for a second amp head for an even chunkier/fatter/ballsier/sweeter sound as both amps run in parallel. You can also control the mix of those two amp outputs. Think of it as the equivalent of having your guitar running through two separate guitar stack simultaneously.
BIAS FX doesn’t offer the same option to tear the back off the amp head and tweak the amp’s inner workings, like its predecessor, however if you happen to also own the original BIAS app, you will have the option to slickly switch between the two apps and have that same customisation options, enabling you to still fondle with every last setting of your amp’s pre and post amps, transformer, tone stack and more.
As the name suggests, the new BIAS FX, focuses on delivering a performance environment, where your amp and stomp boxes are right at your finger tips. Any given performance settings allows you to pick an amp head, and then string any number offer effects pedals before or after the amp, including noise gates, boosters, overdrive, distortion, fuzz, equalizers, tremolo, phaser, flanger, chorus, octaver, compressors, delays and spring and plate reverbs. It’s like JampUp Pro on steroids! Introducing the handful of new studio FX processors adds an extra level of quality for recording options too.
Saved patches can be viewed in either the pedalboard view, which I’d say work best in the home/studio environment, and then there is the familiar Live View mode which appeared in JamUp Pro, and is ideal for those guitarists waiting to use this app live on stage, thanks to its simple user interface.
Of course, Positive Grid has continued their cloud-based community feature in BIAS FX, enabling users to both upload and download unique guitar rig settings. So whether you’re struggling to come up with a decent sound, or want to share your killer rig with the world, this social-friendly feature is a fantastic option that sets this apart from any other app.
MIDI Learn is something also worth noting, and for those with all the right gear, you will appreciate the added support for this hardware feature.
Last and by no means least, Positive Grid is going down the cross-platform path with BIAS FX, so later this year expect a PC and Mac version BIAS FX, in the form of a plug in for DAWs. So iOS users can expect an even bigger community, as this app goes cross-platform and the users base grows even bigger.
I must confess, I’m not a seasoned guitarist, but a hack drummer and well-oiled professional studio engineer, so I got a good friend (and excellent guitarist) over to test drive BIAS FX, where we recently spent a rainy weekend going through many of the sounds, patches, and unique features of BIAS FX and he came away suitably blown away with the features, while I can commend the impressive sound quality Positive Grid have delivered with their latest offering.
Yes, to get the utmost out of BIAS FX, you probably should also own BIAS, but it is not essential. The new app itself still offers great sounding amps, ample collection of stomp box effects, and unique cloud-based features. And if that’s all you need, bravo, you’re set! What are you waiting for?
Here’s a rundown on the Key Features –
– Extremely intuitive operation
– Unrivalled, component-level simulation, analog-like sound quality
– 12 classic BIAS amps, import any amp models from BIAS AMP
– 25 high-quality effect pedals with brand new sound-processing algorithms
– 5 ultra-professional rack processors that sound like high-end analog gear
– Full integration with BIAS AMP gives you unprecedented control over designing your own fully customized amps
– Dual signal path and dual amp processing
– Brand new splitter switches between and combines dual signal paths, adjusting the level and frequency range for each path to give you more tone-shaping possibilities
– Live View mode lets you recall any preset with a single tap and toggle on/off any single effect or category of effects
– Pedalboard View shows all the effects and amps in the currently loaded preset at once
– Global Settings optimizes BIAS FX’s output to sound the best in any environment—including sending to a mixer, amp head or combo or stack power amp—by letting you EQ and selectively deactivate the app’s preamp, tone stack, power amp and cab separately for each destination.
– Full MIDI compatible
Grab all the latest details on BIAS FX here – http://www.positivegrid.com/bias-fx