As I posted a few weeks ago, Positive Grid have been releasing the occasional bit of teaser material for their new BIAS FX app for a while now.
Given the powerful combination that Positive Grid’s BIAS guitar amp designer and JamUp Pro guitar amp/cab/effects modeller provide, it is hardly surprising that they have become a combination of choice for lots of iOS musicians with a guitar habit. There is, of course, also a version of BIAS made for desktop computers (BIAS Desktop surprisingly enough) and, while it is undoubtedly a brilliant piece of software, without the equivalent to JamUp Pro that we have under iOS, BIAS Desktop did feel like it was missing one key ingredient; stomp box effects.
Positive Grid obviously felt the same and with BIAS FX – which is released for iOS today on the App Store (and with the desktop version to follow at some point later this year) – they are obviously having a re-think in terms of how the brilliant amp modelling options available in BIAS can be sat within an overall ‘virtual guitar rig’.
While this is a very necessary gap to be filled in the desktop version of BIAS, we do already have a Positive Grid take on virtual stomp boxes under iOS in JamUp Pro (and very good it is to) so many existing users will be quite interested to see what new features BIAS FX has to offer over and above those already possible through JamUp Pro.
I’ve only had a short while to explore the new app at this point so I’ll reserve any details comments on that point until later. However, like JamUp Pro, BIAS FX allows you to combine various modelled stomp box and rack effects into a virtual pedal board arrangement. You can, if you like, think or it as a ‘virtual pedal board/rack’ design unit. Unlike BIAS itself, you don;t get to design the actual pedals (you can’t build your own fuzz box, for example) but you can assemble a full pedalboard configuration.
As well as the 25 stomp boxes and five rack-style effects, the app is supplied with a small selection of virtual amps but you can also import your own amp designs made within BIAS (as in JamUp Pro). However, there are some differences to JamUp Pro also. BIAS FX includes some rather more advanced – and flexible – audio routing options compared with JamUp Pro. For example, you can configure dual signal paths using different combinations of amp and effects. You can also add IAA apps into your virtual pedal board; if you want your favourite iOS effects processors sat right in your guitar signal chain, BIAS FX will allow you to do it.
Anyway, the app supports Audiobus, IAA and has a comprehensive MIDI Learn feature. It requires iOS8.0 or later, is a 300MB download for iPad and has a launch price of UK£22.99. As soon as I’ve had a full explore then I’ll post a detailed review.
Oh, and it is just me or have the app icons on the iTunes App Store gone all square on us today? I quite liked the rounded corners….