Samick Motherlode

December 2014
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Plugging Into the Palm of Your Hand: iPhone & iPod Guitar Interface Roundup

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Plugging Into the Palm of Your Hand: iPhone & iPod Guitar Interface Roundup


Peavey AmpKit LINK (with AmpKit)
Peavey’s little AmpKit LINK interface is similar in construction to most of the other interfaces. The diminutive box has instrument and headphone jacks, and a small cable that runs into the headphone jack of the iPhone. Unlike the other interfaces in this roundup, the AmpKit LINK is powered by two AA batteries, which Peavey says eliminate feedback when using headphones. I didn’t experience any headphone feedback using the unit, but that benefit comes down to weighing whether you’re worried about packing away some spare batteries in case they die—I didn’t experience distracting feedback with non-powered units, either. On first impressions, the box’s plastic build quality seemed flimsy compared to some of the other units, but I soon forgot about it after firing up its matching software, Agile’s AmpKit.

First of all, AmpKit is the most impressive amp modeling software that I’ve encountered for the iPhone. There’s a free version that’s available from the App Store that’s limited to just one amp model and a couple of pedals, and a full version that will run you $19.99. The sound quality just blew me away in terms of frequency response and feel, and I couldn’t believe that I was hearing such great tones through my tiny earbud headphones. Obviously, it wasn’t as authentic as standing right in front of a good, healthy tube amp, but man was it close.

The software comes with a model of Peavey’s 100-watt ValveKing head, coupled with a matching 4x12 cabinet. In contrast to other amp modeling apps, the amp model had both clean and dirty modes, each with their own three-band EQ sections for further tonal shaping. 11 more amp models were available for purchase from the software’s internal shop, along with a myriad of effects pedals for the player’s choosing. After building a rig, it was a piece of cake to record a clip from within the app. After tapping the Recordings option on the app’s main menu, I was able to easily access my recording and email it to myself from within the screen. Best of all, there was absolutely no harsh digital clipping whatsoever using the LINK interface.

Options for reamping were also available, which was a really neat feature. If I wanted to try my little clip with different rigs, all I would have had to do is record my guitar part dry, then run it through the reamp option, building a custom rig while the clip was playing. This gives the player infinite control over dialing in the perfect tone without having to re-record the clip if the original tone was lackluster. All of these features—including models of eight different famous microphones—make the AmpKit LINK a great route for recording guitar parts on the iPhone, along with the software’s knockout amp modeling.

MSRP: $39.99
peavey.com

In this roundup:
Peterson iStroboSoft Adapter Cable (with iStroboSoft)
Griffin Technology GuitarConnect (with iShred)
IK Multimedia iRig (with Amplitube)
Sonoma Wireworks Guitar Jack (with FourTrack)
Peavey AmpKit LINK (with AmpKit)
PRS Cables GuitarBud Cable
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