I went into a music shop today...

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Member Since: Dec 19, 2012

I wanted to upgrade my gear - find out what's new, what gear people are using and stuff.

I found out that I am mega out of touch.

I currently use a Line6 TonePort with Gearbox, a Korg Pandora and REAPER.

Apparently REAPER is still good.

Line6 haven't replaced the TonePort; apparently there's nothing like it any more.. the guy looked at me like I had two heads when I asked him what the latest version of the Korg Pandora was. They said people now use their Android or iPhones now as pre-amps. Is this true? What apps do you use? How do you stick it all together with headphones and cabling etc?



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Since: Dec 04, 2007

Dec 08, 2014 10:45 am

This could be a long and overly detailed post.

I'm not sure what Korg is doing these days other than putting out some newer keyboard workstations, and going small with some of their synths. (I got their Volca Beats box, and I've been having fun with it) But for amp modeling/multi-FX stuff, I don't really know what's current with Korg.

Pre-Amps....You sure the music store guy wasn't talking about iRig and Amplitube app on iPhone/Pad for guitar amp modeling? Because that's definitely a thing with the little IK Multimedia iRig guitar adapter you plug into the phone/iPad. They're just now starting to make them for Android devices too. I got the cheaper iRig guitar adapter (about $40) for myself to muck around with as I "slowly-on-and-off" teach myself to play guitar. The more expensive iRig guitar plugs probably have a better signal/noise ratio, and maybe a couple slightly better features.


So far, though, the Android version of iRig is only for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and maybe the S5 phones, because those are the first phones to use Samsung's "professional audio SDK" (which is just Linux JACK + ALSA) and Soundcamp, which is their answer to garage band. Apparently the very low recording input latency only works inside their Soundcamp app right now, though.

Google has their own fix for low latency for Android Lollipop, but I don't know if it's the same fix or not.

Eventually, I think the Android iRig version will work for other Android devices besides Samsung. But right now, it's tied into soundcamp...or something like that.

But yeah, the iPhones/iRig things have been around for several years now, and the Amplitube modeling stuff is kinda like having the VST amp simulator in your phone.

But I would call that guitar amp modeling...not a pre-amp. When I think pre-amp, I think microphones, and no, there aren't really much in the way of mobile audio interfaces....there's a couple, (again, IK Multimedia iRig stuff) but I can't speak for their sound quality and feature limitations. Android is adding USB audio support now, but beyond that....*shrug*

your mileage may vary. It's probably decent enough for your hobbyist or weekend warrior, but for serious gigging, I would question the sound quality (signal to noise ratio) and reliability of those apps and iRig interfaces.


If the Line 6 toneport AI is still good for you, stick with it. If you need to upgrade to an audio interface with more features, I always hear good things about Native Instruments Komplete 6, and of course the newer MOTU interfaces are good, if pricey. Some of the PreSonus and Focusrite interfaces are probably also decent.

If you have an iPhone or iPad and want to go mobile, look into the iRig stuff and Amplitube on the iOS app store. If it's an Android device....I'd say wait and see how the latency actually performs with Lollipop before diving in.

Oh, and before I forget, yes, Reaper is still good, and always getting better. I have had very few issues with it, and I did use it with my freelance recording work. Once I get into working with people here now that I'm in Philly, I'll keep using it.

Sure, some people don't like the UI or workflow in Reaper, and that's understandable, but it does the same thing that most other DAWs are capable of. And the workflow suits me just fine. I bought it in 2012, so my license is good thru version 5.99. I think we're at least a couple years away from that!

That said, if I were to ever switch DAWs, I would probably go with PreSonus Studio One Professional (the Artist and Producer versions don't enable VST/i support)The workflow is similar, and I've heard it is a very stable and reliable DAW.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Dec 08, 2014 10:51 am

I still use the KB37 TonePort, so if people think it's "old" or whatever, they can go screw themselves...cuz it works, it sounds good and it's stable and reliable. I also use Reaper and have yet to find it unable to do something I have needed to do. I know there are things that other, very expensive apps can do that Reaper can't, but it's not been anything I have ever needed to do.

I have seen a lot of apps come out for mobile devices to do modeling and preamping and stuff...I have never tried one as yet because I haven't the need to do.

I look at a lot of this as kind of the ol' Jurassic Park type of argument...just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you have to. if what you have works for you, stick with it.

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