Audified GK Amplification 3 Pro: What is it?
While the various thrills of being in a band tend to outweigh the downsides, one of the biggest burdens is being forced to lug weighty amp heads and cabs from practice room to show, up flights of stairs and into the back of vehicles. But, it has always been a struggle worth enduring. Historically, this was the only way of bringing rich tube-powered warmth and room-swallowing scope to the stage.
Mac OS X 10.11 - macOS 12. AAX 64b, AU 64b, VST3 64b, Apple Silicon Native. Windows 7 - Windows 11. AAX 64b, VST3 32b, VST3 64b. Buy from Plugin Boutique
That’s how things used to be, at any rate. Today, with the capabilities of plugins like Audified’s latest GK Amplification 3 Pro, the option of relying on software modelling to recreate the internals of those top-tier amps and cabs is a less taxing option – both financially and physically.
GK Amplification 3 Pro is the third in a series of plugins which seek to reproduce the respected Gallien Krueger bass amp range, with three amp heads, three matching cabs and nine industry-standard microphones all virtually modelled with precise finesse. As with the previous version, the amps consist of an MB150: an all-round solid-state choice, fit for multiple genres, and the 2001RB, an iconic GK flagship.
Finally, there’s the 800RB, a transistor amp which harks back to the oomph of ’80s rock. Each amp head has a large array of sculpting options, with the latter two models sporting bi-amp output and variable crossover frequency control respectively.
Audified GK Amplification 3 Pro: Performance and verdict
While the amps impart the flavour, the hefty low end requires a sizeable cab and the three on offer all serve up the prerequisite beef.
Each cab choice has additional woofer and tweeter options, and they can carefully match the amp heads, though for more interesting results, switching things up can lead to more personalised tones, as can the ability to use twin cabs in parallel.
The final crucial aspect in real-world emulation, microphone placement, is catered for by nine pro mics which can then be positioned via horizontal and vertical dials, as well as angular and distance settings. A-B testing allows for wider scope to go off-road while keeping your personalised setup locked on another channel.
While these fundamentals remain unchanged since the previous version, the plugin’s latest upgrade brings a new rather clever feature: Smart Gate. Presenting the brisk means to auto-set an ideal gate threshold for your sound, Smart Gate is an impressive time-saver. Used in conjunction with its straightforward slide-able compressor, it’s refreshingly easy to land on machine-suggested settings for your signal. Often they’re bang on the money.
The stage is set
While home recording is a given, using GK Amp 3 Pro as a standalone application in a live context is simple. The straightforward accessibility of the UI’s dial-turning familiarity makes things stress-free when used for real-world performance. Integrated into an onstage signal chain, GK Amplification 3 Pro conjures the hallowed warmth and punch of its physical forebears easily.
Cranking up the 800RB in particular results in some seriously awe-inspiring strength, while a very quick adjustment to the amp’s variable frequency crossover controls leads us into a far funkier domain – perfect for slappers.
That UI remains largely unchanged from the previous iteration, and that’s not necessarily a negative point. You get the amp head, output cabs and microphones all in one easy-to-navigate view.
It’s tricky to find fault with this augmented version of an already well-loved amp sim. While some may balk at purchasing a plugin that strictly replicates just one speaker brand (particularly when more wider-ranging amp sim suites are available at a similar price point), we’d be hard-pressed to think of a finer recommendation for promptly beefing up your bottom end.
MusicRadar verdict: If you’re looking to finalise your bass tone with punch, and a neat array of shaping options, then GK Amplification 3 Pro will serve you very well indeed. A solid emulation of an amp legend.
Audified GK Amplification 3 Pro: Hands-on demos
Audified GK Amplification 3 Pro: Specifications
- Mac OS X 10.11 - macOS 12. AAX 64b, AU 64b, VST3 64b, Apple Silicon Native.
- Windows 7 - Windows 11. AAX 64b, VST3 32b, VST3 64b.
- CONTACT: Audified