This week we’ll be leaving our gear on the shelf and getting our phones out – this week it’s all about apps, well one app in particular: ToneStack 3 by Yonac. Over the next few reviews we’ll take a look at the journey I’ve been on with ToneStack, how it changed my sound, my approach to live sound and the gear I used to pull it all together.
ToneStack is an iOS app with over 45 amps and 100 effects for electric/acoustic guitar and bass. Classic, modern and boutique amps, cabs and stomp boxes, vintage effects and rack gear – they’re all available in this simple to use app for iPad and iPhone.
I got into ToneStack when our band started getting serious – I needed an amp to suit the chugga chugga style of metal we play, but not break the bank or my back. Being a bit of a gear and tech nerd, it was inevitable that I ended up following a path of amp modelling and apps.
My tone needs are pretty simple: Noise Gate, Boost, 2ch Metal Amp, Delay and Tuner. ToneStack has the ability suit my simple chain, or complex enough to run a load of pedals, ABY switching or multi-amp stereo chains.
Function and features are all well and good, but the sound is where ToneStack proves itself. The natural breakup, transients and touch sensitivity that you get from a tube amp is there. The tone when you roll the volume knob back on your guitar is there. Pushing a distorted amp with a boost pedal gives you that exact sound – the sound I’m after.
Put simply, it sounds bloody good!
On stage I run the iPad in to a power amp and then to a cab which is mic’d up, just like a regular amp. To change the channel on the amp or switch a delay, I use an iRig BlueBoard. It’s a 4-button board that connects to the iPhone/iPad via Bluetooth and is battery powered.
In coming reviews I’ll go over how I’ve built a physical rig around the iPad for live use, the pros and cons of using an iPad and the feedback I’ve had from other guitarists.