Today I wanted to take a little time to talk about the Studio Rack Pack available as an in-app-purchase within BIAS FX from Positive Grid. Originally I had planned on making a video to show off these addon effects but it occurred to me that there really isn't a proper way for me to show off any of the effects. Sure I can use them to create a great tone and let you hear it but at the end of the day you aren't going to be able to tell exactly what the effect is doing and it's going to be different with every effect chain anyway. Hell, if you play guitar you probably have dealt with effects before and probably know what I mean.
One of the things that first confused me about these studio rack effects was that I couldn't access them on my pedalboard. Turns out I just didn't realize there was a second page for these type of effects as you can see in the photo. Just swipe from right to left and the screen will appear. The next thing that bothered me is that in this view the rack graphics are blurry. As a graphic designer this bothers the hell out of me, haha. It does not effect functionality at all merely just a pet peeve for me. BIAS FX desktop is worse, the entire VST is blurry... I don't quite understand why. Hopefully they fix this in the future at some point.
The expansion pack comes with 5 studio effects. The following is the descriptions of each effect from within the app store part of BIAS FX. I often wish they'd show you this information in the effect selection screen like Ampkit does. With all 5 in-app-purchases installed there are a lot of effects and even more amps. It would be great to get a little description when selecting them, it just makes the selection process easier. I had more of an issue with this inside JamUp, trying to determine which amps and effects were for bass and which were for guitar. I really hope they add descriptions to the selection pages to make things easier. I can't imagine how lost someone new would be using amps and effects and trying to figure out which things are better suited for what. Anyhow, on with the effect descriptions...
Based on Teletronix LA-2A studio compressor. It's considered one of the finest compressors in many circles and it provides warmth and transparent all tube circuit compressor effect. It's great to use as a preamp module to drive more gain, or as a rack unit for.... (description cut off in store????)
Based on Sansamp PSA-1 preamp, this rack providesa full range of control parameters for your drive channel. you can dial in from a mellow blues lead to a punchy hard rock power chord, rock on!
Based on Manley Massive Passive EQ, this boutique studio EQ contains 2 adjustable individual channels and each has 3 band EQ to shape the tone.
Based on the famous Echoplex tape unit delay, first made in 1959. The Echoplex set a standard for the effect in the 1960's -- It is still regarded as "the standard by which everything else is measured"
Using 2 simulated channels to provide warmth and wide range of analog spring reverb, adding much juice to your tone and make it swirl and rich.
All in all this pack is excellent and well worth the price of admission. The rack effects can be a little overwhelming at first sight, they have a lot of knobs and appear very complicated. It only takes a little time to get a feel for how they work and which knob does what. Personally I love the compressor, delay and reverb and will definitely be using them on a regular basis. If you were to buy the effects individually instead of in the pack, I would recommend picking up those three for sure. The EQ and preamp are really good too. I couldn't really get the sound I wanted out of the preamp but that doesn't mean I won't someday. There is always combining it with other pedals and amp combos. I am drawn to the heaviest of sounds so it just couldn't get me there. For a rock or blues artist it seems perfect. The EQ, well it's an EQ, lol, I just found it a little complex is all. I tend to do all my fine tuning EQ wise inside the DAW rather than previous to that. So for me it seems a little overkill for my needs. And never having used an EQ laid out in this fashion before, I'm more inclined to stick with what I know. It is a great EQ, just not for me. Maybe if someday Positive Grid introduces presets for the effects (per effect) it would be easier to use racks like this one. Just a thought.
I'd like to mention just one more time that I really wish positive grid would allow us to manage our own presets. I should be able to save it as a file to "open in" or email it without uploading to tonecloud. I REALLY like the way tonecloud works but if I want to share my preset between devices it gets a little trickier than it should be. I also wouldn't mind releasing a iOS MARS series of presets for download either. Everyone loves downloads. lol
Thank you for reading!