AmpKit 2.0 review by Agile Partners

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (6 votes)
Agile Partners: AmpKit 2.0

Ease of Use — 9
I've used multiple amp simulators on iOS and what I like most about AmpKit is how it operates the same way as a real world effects chain and amplifier. If you have ever connected a series of pedals and plugged them into an amp, then you'll be able to use AmpKit immediately. I didn't spend much time wondering, "what does this do?", and I was playing with a good setup in just a few minutes. Once I understood how to tweak a setup, I found the interface super fast and intuitive. You can mix and match amplifiers, speaker cabinets and microphones; and you can add and tweak a seemingly infinite number of pedal effects (I gave up after 18). AmpKit is introducing new MIDI & AirTurn control compatibility. The added functionality brings the usefulness of the app to the next level. I tested AmpKit with a 4-button MIDI controller and it worked flawlessly. Figuring out how to use 2 pedals to move from one setup to the next, and the other 2 pedals to perform independent operations in each setup took no time at all. This newly added control compatibility is flexible without being overwhelming, which is a theme I notice in many areas of the app.

Sound — 9
There are a ton of reviews for amp simulators on iOS and I have yet to read one that addressed a simple and crucial point: the quality of sound output is directly related to the quality of the guitar interface. I opted to test AmpKit using well known digital interface that works well with all apps. I liked what I heard. AmpKit, like other apps of its kind, has big gain and distortion. These apps all have rock and metal gain setups in mind, and they all execute. I found AmpKit had the tightest controls and most nuanced sounds when I was using distortion effects and overdriving the amp head. When I tried using AmpKit for cleaner sounds, they were crisp and clear, and there were no hints hiss or buzz. I was pleased to find that clean setups didn't necessitate a Noise Gate, which brought that much more signal clarity. On a side note, I might have lost a half day using the Acoustic8 pedal, which turns your electric signal into a customizable acoustic guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The app never crashed while I was using it, but I went online to look at how it has performed for durability over time. What I found was that the developer has provided free updates to the app over the last 4 years, and those updates are backed up with above average customer support. On reliability, it's worth mentioning that AmpKit is a universal app. If you get the app for iPhone, then you can install it on an iPad without having to buy it all over again from scratch. If you buy gear inside the app on one, you can run a "restore" inside of the app on other devices, and everything transfers over for free.

Overall Impression — 9
I've used several of these apps, and you probably know at least three of them off the top of your head. AmpKit had taken the top spot on my device. I've found the combination of flexibility and sound output is the best among its peers. The new MIDI control definitely leads the pack for making the most out of my little controller. The gear selection is huge (I have all of it at this point) and I'm looking forward to what the developers have in store for the future.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wrong! have you ever heard about sonoma? they are the first one and the only one that have broken the android latency issue. it was last january "2013" ampkit, amplitube and jamup certainly don't have the technical know-how. it's ashame they don't know how to. .
    Ampkit kicks everything's rump. No matter what Ola says. I've tried all the gtr apps, & all 3 Poitive Grid apps. On my new iPad Pro. Audiobus, Drum Loops HD2, Cubasis, a couple other audio producing apps. BIAS FX has turned out randomly buggy as hell, BIAS is ok, Jamup seems SO hokey to me. Their metronome is a joke compared to Ampkit's. Ampkit is pretty much turnkey & go, POS-G is too easy to get lost in the woods. And I'm a experienced mil-spec ME tech & well gopher trained in a pro production Seattle Studio. The kind that knows his way through a 64 channel Primary Neve Consile. Just as DAT was arriving. So all these apps & iOS itself is alien technology to me! Ampkit's CS is quick & capable; Pos-G CS seems confused asking me questions I sent them already in a simple list. BIAS itself is surprise good dry on everything, but only 2 mics, a Shure 57 that usually sounds like a perfect '57, & the AKG mic is muddy. Not so on Ampkit. And on all apps, on a new iPad Pro w/128 GB & nearly empty, they ALL sound scary real. Especially when BIAS-FX feeds back for no apparent reason in a wash of random bugs. And the stomp boxes are WAY MORE hissfull than I recall OF REALITY. , especially modulation & the other effects are BARELY noticeable when on, even full-out they should be killing it. The NG may as well not be there & the BIAS-FX metronome is a pathetic joke compared to AK's time & metering. Done the deletes, reinstalls, same issues collection, sometimes new things. Glad I just had to give up some coffee for those, I'm sticking w/Ampkit, definitely use it w/a powered interface, its 'ok' w/ IKMM passive input. I'll stick it into a Alesia iOS dock, the audio will exit via the better fidelity lightning slot, & I hope to use it live. I'm really attached to the Soldano & PV Valveking 4x4. The Bogner is killer, too. Sorry for the bash on PG, do it right next time if you wanna rule the roost. Then again, Pro-Gruels have been the big DAW even in it'S worst versions. And THAT is going dark again, according to my friends working on it professionally. I can't WAIT to get something going to praise & not bitch at all about.
    I can't say enough about ampkit. Besides the sound, I found the backing tracks and recording to be a breeze to use. I can't imagine not being able to warm up with it before shows.....
    Is there a windows or android based counterpart to this app?
    The only reason I haven't sold my iPhone after switching to Galaxy S4 is this app. I've talked to the Ampkit devs before, last time being July 2013. They stated that Androids audio processing capabilities are not fast enough to run a live instrument through and get the proper quality. They review porting it every year, but until the audio processing improves, it will be iOS only.