Last month we announced the launch of Celestion IRs inclusion in Positive Grid’s most advanced guitar amp software yet – BIAS AMP 2 – featuring Celestion impulse responses for 5 of our best known speakers in the Elite version. (For an overview of features read our blog: Celestion IRs Team Up with Positive Grid – For the Ultimate Tone Design)
It’s fair to say the launch has resulted in a lot of buzz within the music industry, from seasoned gear reviewers and professional guitarists on both sides of the pond, with numerous YouTube videos now available.
So if you’re still deciding whether Celestion IRs along with BIAS AMP 2 Elite is the right choice of virtual amp software for you, we’ve picked out 4 of the best demos and reviews, with a quick overview of what you can expect from each one, to help you make up your mind.
Rich Ward of Fozzy on BIAS AMP 2
Rich Ward (aka The Duke) is well known as the lead guitarist of heavy metal outfit Fozzy, and previously Stuck Mojo. As well as being lead guitar, Rich also writes and produces, so knows a thing or two about the importance of getting the right tone both live and in the studio.
In this short video (just over 4 minutes) Rich homes on 3 key aspects of BIAS AMP 2 that he’s found particularly valuable:
Visual EQ – Being able to see and easily adjust the EQ to help you recreate the tone you want in different settings.
Amp Matching – Letting the software sample the any existing recording and then apply that tone to your playing – this saves you having to work your way through all the different options within the software to try and recreate the tone yourself.
Celestion IRs – Being able to switch between lots of different cabinet options easily and quickly.
Key quote: “It’s opening up a world of new opportunities tonally, allowing me to try out the new Celestion speaker software which is amazing, and allowing me to try Greenbacks versus Vintage 30s versus 75s … going through those options in the studio would take me hours.”
Andi Picker Review: Bias Amp 2 Elite With Celestion IRs
Andi Picker is a professional musician and producer with many years of experience in recording and mixing. He is a regular reviewer of cutting edge guitar gear for the eminent music publication, Guitar Interactive Magazine.
If you want a short video (under 7 minutes) that shows you plenty of screen shots of how the interface looks and feels, this is a perfect starting point.
A section of the video focuses on the use of Celestion IRs within the software, in particular noting the ability to pick a particular speaker/cabinet IR and tweak the tone in real time by switching or adding microphones and move the microphone around on the screen to get the tone you want.
The video also demonstrates using the Amp Match feature, with Andi noting not just the accuracy of the resulting tone, but the ability to save that tone as a preset and to then use it as the basis for a new tone by making further adjustments, again using the Celestion cabinet and mic options.
Key quote: “The ability in this Elite version of the software to actually use the embedded Celestion impulses, with the flexibility of being able to drag the microphones about on them, so you don’t have to think too much about what you’re doing … I think that is a really big step forward.”
Adam Steel Bias Amp 2 Review
Adam Steel, owner of Hop Pole Studios in the UK, is a hands-on sound engineer and producer, as well as a guitarist. He has become known for his reviews of a wide range of analogue and digital gear, from classic speakers to the latest desktop effects and mixing tools.
If you’re looking for an in-depth demo, with a focus on using BIAS AMP 2 in a multi-track mixing scenario this is the video for you. Over the course of 25 minutes, Adam looks at BIAS AMP 2 in considerable detail, exploring a large number of different settings which he applies to a real mixing project with 4 different guitar tracks.
Adam spends most of the video looking at the huge range of options available from the Preamp, Power Amp and Transformer sections. But, if you’re wondering about the difference that the inclusion of Celestion cabinet impulse responses make compared to the “native” cabs supplied with the standard version of BIAS AMP 2, check out 16:45 thru 17:35 for a “before and after” comparison of the 4×12 Treadplate cabinet (which contains Vintage 30’s) with the authentic Celestion Vintage 30 4×13 cabinet IRs – the difference is amazing!
Key quote: “The Celestion cabs are incredible… If you’re looking for a tone that comes in a box and that’s simple to use, I’ve gotta recommend it.”
Jason Stallworth – BIAS Amp 2 Celestion Metal Shootout
Finally, we love this shootout video by Jason Stallworth, a metal guitarist and songwriter with a number of releases to his name.
Jason recorded this video about an hour after upgrading to BIAS AMP 2 Elite, which is probably the biggest testament to its ease of use that we can think of! As a test, he made a recording (in metal style obviously) using each of the 5 speakers supplied with the Elite (Vintage 30, Celestion Blue, G12H Anniversary, G12-65 and the G12M Greenback) – all using 4×12 cabinets of course. This is a great video to watch if you’re not looking for an in-depth review of BIAS AMP 2 features, but you want to hear what the Celestion impulses actually sound like.
As well as the video, Jason has also written a blog about each speaker and how he felt each one stacked up as a choice for metal – with a few thoughts about his choice of amp and microphones too. Read Jason’s blog here.
Key quote: “I’m going to be using Positive Grid’s BIAS AMP 2 on my next album.”
You can buy BIAS AMP 2 Elite here.