Guitar Amp Pro

Guitar Amp Pro can simulate the sound of popular guitar amplifiers and the speakers used with them. You can process guitar signals directly, which enables you to reproduce the sound of your guitar through a number of high-quality guitar amplification systems.

Guitar Amp Pro can also be used for experimental sound design and processing. You can freely use it with other instruments, applying the sonic character of a guitar amp to a trumpet or vocal part, for example.

The amplifier, speaker, and EQ models emulated by Guitar Amp Pro can be combined in a number of ways to radically or subtly alter the tone. Virtual microphones are used to pick up the signal of the emulated amplifier and cabinet. You can choose from two different microphone types, and you can reposition them. Guitar Amp Pro also emulates classic guitar amplifier effects, including reverb, vibrato, and tremolo.

The Guitar Amp Pro window is organized into sections according to different kinds of parameters.

Figure. Guitar Amp Pro window, showing various sections.

Building Your Guitar Amp Pro Model

An amplifier “model” consists of an amplifier, speaker cabinet, EQ type, and microphone type. You can create your own hybrids of different amplifiers, cabinets, and so on—using the pop-up menus at the top center of the interface. You choose the microphone position and type in the yellow areas to the left and right.

You can use the Settings menu to save your new hybrid amp combos as setting files, which also include any parameter changes you may have made.

How to build your amplifier model is described in the following sections:

Choosing a Guitar Amp Pro Amplifier

You can choose an amplifier model from the Amp pop-up menu near the top of the interface.

  • UK Combo 30W: Neutral-sounding amp, well-suited for clean or crunchy rhythm parts.
  • UK Top 50W: Quite aggressive in the high frequency range, well-suited for classical rock sounds.
  • US Combo 40W: Clean sounding amp model, well-suited for funk and jazz sounds.
  • US Hot Combo 40W: Emphasizes the high mid-frequency range, making this model ideal for solo sounds.
  • US Hot Top 100W: This amp produces very fat sounds, even at low Master settings, that result in broad sounds with a lot of “oomph.”
  • Custom 50W: With the Presence parameter set to 0, this amp model is well-suited for smooth fusion lead sounds.
  • British Clean (GarageBand): Simulates the classic British Class A combos used continuously since the 1960s for rock music, without any significant modification. This model is ideally suited for clean or crunchy rhythm parts.
  • British Gain (GarageBand): Emulates the sound of a British tube head and is synonymous with rocking, powerful rhythm parts and lead guitars with a rich sustain.
  • American Clean (GarageBand): Emulates the traditional full tube combos used for clean and crunchy sounds.
  • American Gain (GarageBand): Emulates a modern Hi-Gain head, making it suitable for distorted rhythm and lead parts.
  • Clean Tube Amp: Emulates a tube amp model with very low gain (distortion only when using very high input levels or Gain/Master settings).

Choosing a Guitar Amp Pro Speaker Cabinet

The speaker cabinet can have a huge bearing on the type of tones you can extract from your chosen amplifier. The speaker parameters are found near the top of the interface.

  • Amp-Speaker Link button: Located between the Amp and Speaker pop-up menus, links these pop-up menus so that when you change the amp model, the speaker associated with that amp is loaded automatically.

Choosing a Guitar Amp Pro Equalizer

The EQ pop-up menu and the Amp-EQ Link button are near the top of the interface.

  • Amp-EQ Link button: Located between the Amp and EQ pop-up menus, links these pop-up menus so that when you change the amp model, the EQ model associated with that amp is loaded automatically.

    Each amp model has a speaker and EQ model associated with it. The default combinations of amp, speaker, and EQ settings recreate a well-known guitar sound. You are, of course, free to combine any speaker or EQ model with any amp by turning off the two Link buttons.

Using Guitar Amp Pro’s Gain, Tone, Presence, and Master Controls

The Gain, Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence, and Master knobs run from left to right in the V-shaped formation in the upper half of the interface.

  • Gain knob: Sets the amount of pre-amplification applied to the input signal. This control has different effects, depending on which Amp model is chosen. For example, when you are using the British Clean amp model, the maximum Gain setting produces a powerful crunch sound. If you use the British Gain or Modern Gain amps, the same Gain setting produces heavy distortion, suitable for lead solos.
  • Bass, Mids, and Treble knobs: Adjust the frequency range levels of the EQ models, similar to the tone knobs on a hardware guitar amplifier.
  • Presence knob: Adjusts the high frequency range level. The Presence parameter affects only the output (Master) stage of Guitar Amp Pro.
  • Master knob: Sets the output volume of the amplifier—going to the speaker. For tube amplifiers, increasing the Master level typically produces a more compressed and saturated sound, resulting in a more distorted and powerful—that is, louder—signal. High Master settings can produce an extremely loud output that can damage your speakers or hearing, so ramp this up slowly. In Guitar Amp Pro, the Master parameter modifies the sonic character, and the final output level is set using the Output parameter at the bottom of the interface. See Setting the Guitar Amp Pro Output Level.

Getting to Know Guitar Amp Pro’s Effects Section

The effects parameters include Tremolo, Vibrato, and Reverb, which emulate the processors found on many amplifiers.

You can use the pop-up menu to choose either Tremolo, which modulates the amplitude or volume of the sound, or Vibrato, which modulates the pitch.

Reverb can be added to either of these effects, or used independently.

To use or adjust an effect, you must first enable it by clicking the corresponding On button to the left. The On button is red when active.

Note: The Effects section is placed before the Presence and Master controls in the signal flow, and receives the preamplified, pre-Master signal.

Tremolo, Vibrato, and Reverb are described in the following sections:

Using Guitar Amp Pro’s Tremolo and Vibrato Effects

Tremolo and vibrato are controlled by an On button, the FX pop-up menu, the Depth and Speed knobs, and the Sync button in the Effects section. Tremolo modulates the amplitude or volume of the sound, and vibrato modulates the pitch.

  • Depth knob: Sets the intensity of the modulation.
  • Speed knob: Sets the speed of the modulation in Hertz. Lower settings produce a smooth and floating sound, while higher settings produce a rotor-like effect.
  • Sync button: When the Sync button is turned on, the modulation speed is synchronized to the project tempo. You can adjust the Speed knob to select bar, beat, and musical note values (including triplet and dotted notes). When the Sync button is turned off, the modulation speed can be set to any available value with the Speed knob.

Using Guitar Amp Pro’s Reverb Effect

Reverb is controlled by an On button, the Reverb pop-up menu, and a Level knob in the Reverb section near the bottom. Reverb can be added to either the Tremolo or Vibrato effect, or used independently.

  • Level knob: Sets the amount of reverb applied to the pre-amplified amp signal.

Setting Guitar Amp Pro Microphone Parameters

After choosing a speaker cabinet from the Speaker menu, you can set the type of microphone you want to be emulated, and where the microphone is placed in relation to the speaker. The Microphone Position parameters are available in the yellow area to the left, and the Microphone Type parameters in the yellow area to the right.

Microphone Position Parameters
  • Centered button: Places the microphone in the center of the speaker cone, also called on-axis. This placement produces a fuller, more powerful sound, suitable for blues or jazz guitar tones.
  • Off-Center button: Places the microphone on the edge of the speaker, also referred to as off-axis. This placement produces a tone that is brighter and sharper, but also thinner—suitable for cutting rock or R & B guitar parts.

    When you select either button, the graphic speaker display reflects your choice.

Microphone Type Parameters
  • Condenser button: Emulates the sound of a studio condenser microphone. The sound of condenser microphones is fine, transparent, and well-balanced.
  • Dynamic button: Emulates the sound of a dynamic cardioid microphone. This microphone type sounds brighter and more cutting than the Condenser model. At the same time, the lower-mid frequency range is less pronounced, making this model more suitable for miking rock guitar tones.

    Tip: Combining both microphone types can sound quite interesting. Duplicate the guitar track, and insert Guitar Amp Pro as an insert effect on both tracks. Select different microphone types in each Guitar Amp Pro instance, while retaining identical settings for all other parameters, and mix the track signal levels. You can, of course, choose to vary any other parameters.

Setting the Guitar Amp Pro Output Level

The Output slider is found at the bottom, below the Effects section. It serves as the final level control for Guitar Amp Pro and can be thought of as a “behind the speaker” volume control that is used to set the level fed to the ensuing plug-in slots on the channel strip or to Output channel strips.

Note: This parameter is different from the Master control, which serves the dual purpose of sound design as well as controlling the level of the Amp section.