My iOS Guitar Journey

No such luck, BIAS and Jamup had similar holes between sounds, and Tonestack was even longer.

Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat! Amplitube VST had dual amp paths that you could switch between in a hurry, I could do this with CC messages instead. Except apparently, Amplitube iPad has no such feature. BIAS FX and Tonestack on the other hand, did.

I don’t know how much more anyone can stomach of my rants about iCulture, but lets just say, finding the info to actually do any real CC editing as well as mixing and splitting was daunting. Infuriating, frustrating, and ridiculous, but for you dear readers, I trudged on!

I was able to get both Tonestack and BIAS FX to make decent dual paths. BIAS sounded better on most things, but (whether I still don’t know enough about it or if it really is more limited) I couldn’t really switch on and off in different combinations, things instantly the way I wanted to in BIAS as I could in Tonestack.

BIAS has kind of a dual amp path thing, with a splitter at the front and a mixer at the end, while Tonestack has a ABY utility which could switch signals at the front, with some pan and mix controls and then a summer symbol at the end of the chain. It is still unclear to me exactly how the signal flow of ABY works, and I’ve put some messages in their forum asking for help.

Neither app seems to have the basic splitter, panner, mixer type thing you’d really want to get the most out of stereo FX and as we’ll talk about later, handle some of the basic functionality you’d need for a real show at a real venue….Again, there do seem to be workarounds.

Anyway, I was able to get some basic sounds up, and moved on to the more utilitarian stuff of preset management and control from MIDI. I pretty much settled on Tonestack, with the only tonal issue being that I wasn’t 100% sold on the amp and cab sounds. I was pretty easily able to set my Blueboard’s switch #4 to become both tuner and output mute.

Since the beginning, I had my sights set on a certain prize: the wah. My Blackstar doesn’t have one. I never actually owned a wah pedal in my life, but I like the things they do. I also didn’t want the hassle of a real world wah pedal not knowing whether it was supposed to already be on or off on a particular preset (not THAT huge of a deal, since preset switching seemed out of the question anyway, but still).

Due credit time: Tonestack’s wah doesn’t just work well, it has a very smart switching feature! Not the ten ton elephant press of the line 6’s or the “don’t go too far” magical maybe switches of Digitech and some others, Tonestack can switch on just by moving the pedal off of 0 a bit. Very cool. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to specify just how big this dead space is in the MIDI editor, so the wah travel is a bit limited. Still VERY usable. I have asked the developer for help on this as well. I wasn’t able to figure out how to do this same sort of thing on BIAS FX and figured I could take a real wah pedal, send the resistor output to one jack and the switch signal out another jack to go into the Blueboard’s two CC inputs, but since Tonestack’s wah works so well, I didn’t bother.

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