My iOS Guitar Journey

Which brings up another point, the pay. Amplitube VST was early on with the “item mall” style of commerce. I never really minded, as the free version certainly contained everything you needed, and you got to feel good about rewarding the developers by buying little bits here and there to spice things up. It wasn’t quite iCulture, but it did rub a lot of people the wrong way.

iCulture is kind of its own beast. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s like an even slimier version of “free to play” aka pay to win online video games. In that case, you download the product for free with the knowledge that you will get pwnt by everyone unless you use real money to buy some stuff, but you play with it and get a feel for whether or not you want to actually spend IRL dollars on it.

in iCulture, you pay first to even find out if it looks like something that might work, then you pay to unlock basic functions so it actually can “work”. And I mean “work” at a very basic level. You will spend quite a lot before you get “works” without the scare quotes.


I was somewhat aware of this beforehand, but not really needing any extra apps or whatever for my iPhone than what it came with, I just kind of laughed at the iNfected from afar.

As far as I know, there is no demo for any of this stuff. But pay or not, far worse is the lack of documentation or even basic information. This was something I was familiar with when trying to get Positive Grid’s BIAS worked out in REAPER. It was very strange, and alien to me, and rightfully, this sort of behaviour got them tarred and feathered in the VST community. But in iCulture, its the norm.

As I looked beyond Amplitube to see what guitar apps I could try, I ran headlong into the information black hole. There were a few apps to buy, but no real way of telling what you would actually get. I’m not rich by any means and even the cheapest of these apps were beyond my daily pay. I was hesitant to buy something and find out that I would still have to buy quite a bit more before I could even find out if it would work if I bought even more from its catalog.

So much was also determined by “bundles”. Except again, you really didn’t know what was in what bundle. I immediately sent messages to several manufacturers to try and figure out what was in what, and also, curious to find out WHY this info wasn’t on their websites or somewhere, ANYWHERE.

Yonac, makers of Tonestack, to their credit gave me some answers, but even there, the info was very light.

Some of this is me expecting too much. Yonac is head and shoulders above what else I’ve seen of iCulture, yet I’m used to the wild and wooly world of VST, where answers are immediate, developers are available, active forums abound, and even Facebook can provide answers in near instantaneous fashion. If all else fails, and you can stomach it, KVR will have your answers, and fast. There really isn’t, from what I’ve been able to find (and come on, I’m no slouch when hunting info) an easy way to get basic info on these things.

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