AmpliTube Orange Review (Mac Version)
Modeling software has matured to the point where it is very convincing at capturing the tone of guitar amps, cabinets, and effects. IK Multimedia was one of the first companies to produce modeling software and it continues to be one of the best. And while very few guitar players have replaced their live rigs with laptops and software, modeling software excels for recording, allowing almost any guitar player the chance to play through dream rigs and capture the tone in a recording for a very reasonable price.
Since the release of AmpliTube 3, IK Multimedia has taken a modular approach to software releases. Creating and releasing collections such as AmpliTube Fender, AmpliTube Slash, and AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix. With the release of their Custom Shop software, they have also allowed players to purchase individual amps, cabs, and effects. They even offer mobile version of many of their products so you can jam using only your phone.
The latest collection of amp models to be released by IK is AmpliTube Orange. As you would guess it is a collection of amplifiers and cabinets by Orange Amplification. Since the late 1960‘s Orange amps have been known for their orange color and their equally unique sound. AmpliTube Orange offers 8 amp models and 9 matching cabinet models including the AD 200, Dual Terror, OR 50, Thunderverb 200, Tiny Terror, AD30TC, Rockerverb 50, and the OR-120. They are all also available separately via Custom Shop.
Instead of recording a bunch of sound samples, I thought it would be more interesting to demonstrate the models in more of a real-world setting. So I fired up my DAW, picked a key (A Minor) and started jamming to a drum loop. I used only the new AmpliTube Orange models and continued to overdub parts that would show some of the possible tones available and how they might mix together. I didn’t use any other processing so they are dry (except some reverb on the Rocketverb 50 model) to better show what you will get when recording. Of course, most people add effects, reverb, compression, etc. when recording, but I wanted to stay as true to the straight amp models as possible. When I was done I created a video showing the settings I was using for each part. Here it is:
Here are brief overviews of the included models and available tones.
This model is included with AmpliTube 3, so if you own AmpliTube 3 you already have it and are probably familiar with it. The rest of the models are new. The OR120 is a single channel, hand-wired amp first released in 1970. It contains some unusual controls. The F.A.C. is a six position tone switch which cuts bass. To my ears it make the amp increasingly “thinner” sounding. Hz controls the amount of low frequencies and kHz controls the amount of high frequencies. HF.Drive controls the “presence” and “brightness” of the amp. And Gain controls the volume (power amp level) of the amp. I was able to get chimey tones, dark jazzy tones, and hard rock crunch. A very versatile set of vintage Orange tones.
The Tiny Terror is a 15 watt (switchable to 7 watts) point-to-point, hand wired tube “lunchbox” amp. It only has three controls: volume, tone, and gain. It can go from a warm clean to a raspy “metal” grind. The lone tone control didn’t seem to alter the tone greatly.
The Dual Terror is a 30 watt two channel version of the Tiny Terror that features an additional “fat” channel. The “fat” channel is a little darker, but there didn’t seem to be any difference in the amount of gain between the two channels.
A single channel amp released in 1970. It featured “pics only” labels for the controls (no text.) It also sports a HF.Drive knob. It does thick clean to almost fuzz-like gain. The heiroglyphic controls make experimentation a must.
This one is a little confusing. The Orange AD30TC is twin channel amp, thus the “TC” in its name. But the model included here is a single channel. I am guessing the crunch channel. Regardless, it is great sounding 30 watt model. There is not much clean headroom, but the very fat crunch more than makes up for it.
The Rocketverb is a dirt machine. It will play clean at low levels but it moves to dirty quickly and soars at higher gain settings. The reverb kicks in fast also giving you a big wash right out of the gate.
The Thunderverb is basically a two channel version of the Rocketverb with a “scoop” control on the B channel. A very capable rock and metal machine.
The AD 200 is a tube bass amp. Simple controls. Great tone.
I reviewed AmpliTube Orange using an older 2007 Mac Powerbook Pro and a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 audio interface. Even with an old laptop I had no problems running the software. The software can be used stand alone in either AmpliTube 3 Free or the full version of AmpliTube 3. The amp models show up under the Custom Shop menu. It can also be used as a plug-in in your DAW.
The only thing I could find to complain about was the lack of any documentation. It is not a big deal as the collection works within Amplitube 3, which does has documentation, but some of the Orange amps have unusual controls that could use some explanation. Fortunately there are brief description of each model on the IK Multimedia website which shed a little light on the controls. You can also try out each amp via the Custom Shop application before you buy. And you can purchase them individually if you like via Custom Shop.
If you are fan of Orange amps this collection is a no brainer. It is far cheaper than buying 8 amps and 9 cabs. I can’t verify that the models sound exactly like their physical counterparts, but they were certified by Orange and they sound great to me. Even if you are not a die hard Orange fan, it a great collection to add to your recording arsenal to get that unique Orange tone.
Publisher: IK Multimedia