Before diving into our guitar amp modeling software comparison, let's first discuss what this is, how it could help you, and when to use it. In a previous article we wrote, we talked about different guitar amp miking techniques. However, what do you do if those mics don't fit into your budget, or if you just can't get a good sound out of the room you are recording in? Even if you have both of those things, what if the guitarist has an amp that sounds awful? This is when guitar amp modeling comes into play, and can help you get a good sound.
What Is Guitar Amp Modeling?
Simply put, guitar amp modeling is a using a virtual amp instead of an amplifier. Amp modeling software is a plugin that you can purchase for your DAW and runs out of of the recording program. You do this by plugging your guitar into a DI box, then to your audio interface. Once you record your track clean, you can add the plugin insert, and begin creating the tone you want to have.
Guitar Amp Modeling Software Comparison And Our Pick
The two most popular programs to do amp modeling is Amplitube by IK Multimedia and Bias by Positive Grid. Both of these two programs have tones of add-on effects that you can get for them. I have both of these programs and have used them both on multiple occasions. Both have their pros and cons, which I will cover in this article. (The following products contain affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click through and make a purchase)
Positive Grid Bias Guitar Complete
Bias FX is my personal favorite and runs best on my computer. I have 8 GB of RAM on my computer, and Bias runs well with that. Some of Bias FX's features are:
Some of the amps that are included on Bias are modeled after: Fender Twin Reverb, Fender '59 Bassman, Fender '57 ʺTweedʺ Deluxe, Marshall Plexi 100, Marshall Super Lead, Orange AD30, and Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. This is only a short list of the several amp choices that are included on this software. You can also use the dual amp function to run a combo of two amp heads. This will give even more possibilities to create the sound you are searching for.
Some of the effect pedals that are included in Bias are modeled after: Boss Digital Reverb, Boss 63' Fender Reverb, Boss Phase Shifter, Dunlop Fuzzface, Boss Distortion, Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, and Fulltone OCD. Again, this is only a short list of the pedals that are available. The virtual pedalboard gives you the ability to move pedals around to further get the sound that you are looking for.
Bias also allows the user to move the microphone positioning and even change the microphone to gain further control of the tone that you are looking for.
IK Multimedia Amplitube Max
As I had mentioned, I use Bias far more than I use Amplitube. With that in mind, I will openly say that I only own Amplitube 4 and do not own the complete package. I had troubles with buffering due to the amount of RAM on my computer. However, Amplitube has an extremely cool layout that is a lot of fun to mess around in. Let's now take a look at the other product on our guitar amp modeling software comparison:
Some of the amps the Amplitube Max offers are as follows: Mesa, Marshall, Orange, and Fender. One thing I will note that is different between Amplitube and Bias is that Amplitube has the actual amp names vs being modeled after said amp.
There are tons of major named pedals that you can add to the "stomp" section of the Amplitube interface that help customize the sound that you are searching for.
Amplitube offers a very user friendly microphone positioning and microphone options for you to choose from. The virtual layout of the amp is extremely cool and unique.
If you still have any questions after our guitar amp modeling software comparison or any questions at all about recording, we are always there to help! We can be contacted through our contact us page found here.