Ableton Amp

Created by Softube, this add-on works with Live 8.2 and above. The Amp component itself has voicings for Clean, Boost, Blues, Rock, Lead, Heavy (as in “Metal”), and Bass. Controls include Gain, a Bass/Middle/Treble/Presence tone stack, Volume, and Dry/Wet balance control.
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This signal chain follows Amp and a Cabinet with EQ, Filter Delay, and Ambience to build a complete sonic environment.

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Live adds amp/cab simulations

Created by Softube, this add-on works with Live 8.2 and above. The Amp component itself has voicings for Clean, Boost, Blues, Rock, Lead, Heavy (as in “Metal”), and Bass. Controls include Gain, a Bass/Middle/Treble/Presence tone stack, Volume, and Dry/Wet balance control.

The Cabinet component roster is 1x12, 2x12, 4x12, 4x10, and 4x10 bass. Mic choices are dynamic or condenser, with placements for near on-axis, near off -axis, and far; again, there’s a Dry/Wet balance control.

What Makes This Live-Specific?

Live already bundles a bunch of superb effects—not just the usual chorus and delays, but innovative, unusual effects like Grain Delay, Erosion, Filter Delay, etc. So, all the bucks for Amp go to the amp/cab emulations instead of being spread out over a virtual pedalboard.

Some Assembly Required Amp follows Softube’s “here are the tools, you do the rest” philosophy. If you just insert Amp and Cabinet and expect a killer guitar sound, you may be disappointed; of course, you can find plenty of “pre-fab” racks with complete setups, or make your own.

For example, most cab/mic combinations have an “amp sim resonance” that, although technically representing what a mic hears from an amp, doesn’t necessarily represent what your ears hear in a room. The accompanying screenshot shows some Amp post-processing that creates a more “organic” sound (at least to my ears!). Three stages of EQ notch out the resonance, cut a bit of bass to emulate an open-back cabinet, and warm up the sound by trimming the highs slightly. The Filter Delay adds three discrete echoes for stereo space that helps define a large room size, while the Reverb uses ambience to fill in the space between the echoes.

As this is Live-specific and you can download a free trial, we won’t go deeper. Suffice it to say the amp sounds perform as advertised, and the cabs really come to life once you start tweaking. If you’re looking for plug-and-play guitar sounds with emulated vintage effects, you’re probably better off with other sim packages. But for the experimentally-minded—and what Ableton Live user isn’t?—Amp and Cabinet round out Live’s toolset with plug-ins that are good for more than just guitar and bass.

ABLETON AMP LIVE-SPECIFIC FORMAT
$129 MSRP

STRENGTHS:
Classic amp sounds cover a wide range of useful, high-quality sounds. Has all expected basic parameters. Cabs offer the basics too, including a bass cab and (albeit limited) miking choices. Intelligently complements Live’s existing roster of effects.

LIMITATIONS:
Works only with Live. Requires pre- and/ or post-processing for “produced” guitar sounds.

ikmultimedia.com

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