BIAS Desktop Amp Designer review

BIAS Desktop Amp Designer is a plug-in for Mac OS X and Windows which allows you to create amp models in a new way. I tried it out with Logic Pro X and multiple track types, including an audio (voice-over) and a software instrument track. What I found was that the plug-in could actually change the sound completely. In other words, you can use it to design the recorded sound to make it a better fit for a movie, besides the obvious use of the plug-in as a regular amp designer.

BIAS Desktop Amp Designer enables you to create totally new sounds by designing a custom amplifier. The plug-in presents an amplification plan with a pre-amp, a tone stack, a power amp, two equalisers, a transformer and a cabinet. There’s also a custom panel and an amp match component. Unique about BIAS Desktop Amp Designer is that it allows you to first set up these components by swapping out tubes, preamp, transformer, tone stacks, cab and mic with simple mouse clicks to create your own custom amps — and unique sound — and use your own custom panel when you are finished.

BIAS desktop amp designer

The two equalisers can be positioned where you want them. The result is that you can create a dynamic depth and range of tones impossible to get when using using traditional amplifiers or other static modellers. While the plug-in is labelled as a guitar amp plug-in, it worked great with my software instrument test setups as well.

The BIAS Desktop Amp Designer also comes with an “amp match” component. This should allow to capture the sound of a tube amps and then analyse and compare your currently selected BIAS amp model and the sound of a target tube amplifier, complete with the corresponding cabinet and microphone in front of it. The plug-in executes a tonal compensation and enhancement that are needed to make your amp model accurately match the target tube amplifier.

This was something I couldn’t figure out by myself, and even the video explanations were of no help, the most probable cause being that I don’t have a target amplifier to test with. Positive Grid combines the plug-in’s capabilities with its sharing service. This allows you to share user-designed and matched amps right inside Positive Grid’s ToneCloud.

From Positive Grid’s web page: Features

  • 36 HD amp models included with the introductory release
  • Amp Matching captures any miked amp or recorded track and creates a matched model
  • Share and download thousands of artist- and user-created and matched amp models on ToneCloud
  • Fully customisable preamps, tone stacks, power amps, transformers, cabinets and mic selection and placement—mix and match
  • Customise look and feel of your own amp panel
  • Works the way guitarists think: tweak gain and overdrive, swap out tubes and transformers, change the cabinet and mic position, and shape the tone with different tone stacks and two 8-band equalisers
  • Included noise gate and room simulator
  • Create a virtually unlimited number of custom amps
  • Quick preset facility recalls each of your 8 favorite settings in turn with just one tap
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