If you're a guitarist using iOS devices, there's no doubt that you've already heard about BIAS FX. Released back in April of this year, I'm very late to the party. But I'm on board now, and I'm very much enjoying the latest offering from Positive Grid. Check of just one of their YouTube demos for BIAS FX below.
Take a look at Positive Grid's YouTube channel, specifically their BIAS FX playlist here for more demo goodness. I've been a fan of Positive Grid since the JamUp days, and put quite a bit of money into the IAP's for that app. Sure, when I heard that PG was coming out with a newer effects app that would move forward past JamUp, I was a bit bummed. Of course, JamUp still works, and sounds great. But BIAS FX has clearly been the attention of a lot of love from the developers.
There are some reasons why you might want to dive into BIAS FX, even if you're feeling a little stung about having to spend more money. As I mentioned, the sounds here are great. The basic BIAS FX app comes with 25 pedals, 5 rack processors, and 12 amps to start off with. As is their business model, there are more to be had through IAP's.
Effects chain view
Yes, grumble about the price, and then move on. Anyone who plays guitar knows that to buy the hardware versions of these pedals would cost much, much more than the price of the app + IAP's. Even a basic BOSS DS1 is going to run you $49 new. Add to that the inherent portability of the iPad device, and you're getting a great deal here.
A feature that did not exist on JamUp is the ability to split your signal. If you're familiar with ToneStack by Yonac, then you'll appreciate also having that option here. With this feature, you can now run dual signals into two different chains, amps, mics and cabs. Obviously this opens everything up in terms of sonic sculpting. You can individually control the levels, panning, and delay amount of each channel.
Another new feature is the compatibility with non-Positive Grid effects app via IAA. This is really big. If you're like me, you've got a folder full of "go-to" effects apps. Being able to drop them right into your guitar chain is insane. I'm a huge fan of the Kymatica AUFX series, as well as the Holderness Media apps. To be able to use those apps along side custom amps is crazy.
As Ryan just posted about today, Positive Grid has announce the pre-sale of their highly-anticipated bluetooth footpedal, the BT4. This pedal will allow for hands-free switching of presets or pedals via bluetooth. When using the "live view" mode in BIAS FX, this is going to be awesome.
Live view screen (ready for the BT4 Bluetooth Pedal!)
Positive Grid has also created one of the more mind-blowing apps for guitarists last year with BIAS Amp. If you're not familiar with that app, it allows you to create and tweak an almost unlimited number of amp models and cabinets. Like JamUp before it, BIAS FX allows you to use those custom amps within the app. BIAS FX seems to integrate with BIAS Amps better, and switching back and forth is seamless.
With all of these customization options, it's easy to get lost in tweaking your sound all night long. For those who maybe aren't quite as interested in twisting knobs, the app ships with quite a few presets to choose from. I found these to be a good starting point, as they cover the gamut from clean sounds to biting metal leads. I found a lot of the distortion presets to be a bit high on the gain for my tastes as a rhythm guitarist, but these can obviously be changed and saved in the User preset bank.
Like JamUp, BIAS FX also involves the community through the ToneCloud. If you're not familiar with this feature, this is where you can share and download presets created by other guitarists. There are some incredible kits out there right now, and these are growing daily. While you'll certainly find plenty of metal setups, there are some very nice blues and rock tones to be had. Definitely check these out. These are of course free to download, and you can easily upload your own custom sets as well.
Check out the Positive Grid SoundCloud demo playlist below for a listen to the wide range of sounds available:
I know that there was some negativity at the time that BIAS FX launched, and I'll admit I felt some too. I've purchased nearly all the IAP's in JamUp Pro, so I'm invested in that app as well. So I get it. But, there comes a time when technology and development needs to move forward. JamUp Pro was originally released in 2011. The iPad hardware has advanced considerably since then. Our devices are more powerful, and Positive Grid responded by providing a more powerful app. BIAS FX is a tremendous guitar effects app. These sounds are great. Anyone who's thrown down $100's (or $1,000's) of dollars on effects pedals knows how great a deal this app is. BIAS FX will definitely be a part of my guitar sound going forward.
If you're thinking about buying BIAS FX, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 937685528]