Slash fans have had it pretty sweet for the last few months. New album Apocalyptic Love is an absolute scorcher, Dunlop has launched two new signature pedals, and now, thanks to IK Multimedia, aspiring guitar heroes can carry Slash's coveted tones around in their pockets.
By now, most of us have had some experience with amp modelling in one way or another. It's one thing coming up with a reasonable simulation, but accurately modelling a signature amp from one of the world's most influential guitarists is a big ask.
If anyone can pull it off, it's IK Multimedia. AmpliTube was one of the first modelling apps to launch on Apple's iOS devices, and still remains the benchmark by which other efforts are judged.
The app comes complete with two similar, yet distinct, signature amp models. The first is based on Marshall's JCM Slash 2555 Jubilee Signature Edition, and the second on Slash's newer AFD100 signature amp.
Don't be fooled into thinking two Marshalls designed for the same guitarist are going to sound the same, though. The two-channel JCM has less drive under the bonnet, but produces warmer clean tones and a slightly more vintage-flavoured crunch that responds to your picking just as you'd expect a classic Marshall to. The AFD, on the other hand, has a more modern voice, with a touch more gain and aggression. Both the lower gain #34 and the lead AFD channels are present and correct.
Cycling through the presets is a good way to get a handle on the effects. Patches based on Paradise City and Welcome To The Jungle show off the Slash-approved chorus and delay effects at their absolute best. They sound bang on for the tone they're aiming for, and importing the original tracks to play along with is a cinch. You can even turn down the centre mix to remove the lead guitar and vocals. Other onboard effects include Slash's signature wah (based on the older Dunlop SW-95 Crybaby Slash signature), a booster and a wicked octave pedal. That covers just about any Slash-a-like tone.
A single-track recorder is provided gratis, which also allows for re-amping of your original signal. This is a great way to tune your tone to perfection, while actually being able to hear your riff altered in real-time.
A tuner and metronome are also included, but, for an additional £10.49, you can expand AmpliTube's recording capabilities to full eight-track, with master effects section. That's a little steep in our eyes, considering the quality of Apple's own GarageBand app (£2.99), but for recording everything in the one app, it's your only option.