Guitar Amp Simulator Software is Finally Available on Android!
As both an Android user and musician, I’ve always been jealous of iOS users for one reason: guitar amp simulator software. So jealous, in fact, I broke down and bought an iPad a little over a year ago. I’m kind of in love with my iPad for a variety of things now, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Today, I want to talk about guitar amp software, and more importantly, the fact that it’s finally available on Android. I actually can’t believe that I’m getting to say that. Thanks to one of the most popular manufacturers of amp simulators on the market today, IK Multimedia, grabbing your Android phone or tablet and turning it into a full-fledged guitar amp (with the help of a little bit of additional hardware) is now a reality.
Right now, IK has released two hardware adapters for Android: The iRig 2 ($40), which works with both iOS and certain newer Samsung devices (Note 5, Galaxy S5, Note Edge, and Galaxy S6/edge); as well as the iRig UA ($100), which works with all Android devices that support USB OTG and are running 4.2 or above. Each unit has its own compatible software in Google Play: AmpliTube and AmpliTube UA, respectively.
As you may have guessed, the iRig UA is somewhat of a big deal. A bit of an explanation as to why is probably needed here, so I’ll try to keep it brief. Basically, software like this has never been possible on Android before because of the audio-in latency. This means that when the player strikes a note on the guitar, the time it takes for the operating system to process the signal and produce an audible response is far too long to make guitar playing practical.
Samsung worked on its own solution for Android’s audio-in latency issues, which it released with Android 5.0 for the abovementioned devices. It calls this tweak “Samsung Professional Audio,” and it’s what’s required for the iRig 2 to work on Galaxy handsets. The iRig UA is far more innovative and versatile, because it doesn’t rely on the operating system or Android device’s hardware in order to process the input signal — everything is handled within the iRig UA unit itself. This is groundbreaking for Android users, because like I said earlier, it allows any device that supports USB OTG and is running Android 4.2 or higher to effectively become a portable practice amp. Even a live rig if you’re adventurous enough.
So there you go. If you’ve been holding out, dreaming of the day when you can use your beloved Android phone or tablet as a guitar amp, this is the future you’ve been waiting for. While I’ve grown to love my iPad in the time I’ve owned it, I absolutely can’t wait to give this new stuff from IK Multimedia a whirl on my Android phones and tablets.
For more information on IK Multimedia, iRig 2, iRig UA, or AmpliTube, head over to IK’s site.