Appletell reviews iShred Live for iPhone

Sections: iDevice Apps, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Reviews

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Category: Music
Seller: Frontier Design Group, LLC
Requirements: iOS 3.1 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad
File Size: 6.1MB
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Price: $1.99
Age Rating: 4+

iShred Live main windowiShred Live is a guitar processing app for iDevices similar to AmpliTube for iPhone. It aims to replace your guitar effects and allow you to jam with just a cable and an iDevice. But unlike its counterpart—the Griffin GuitarConnect cable—iShred Live falls short.

I had high hopes for iShred Live. It’s the app partnered with Griffin’s GuitarConnect cable. I found the cable to be the best choice available for guitarists since it was fairly priced, designed well and still had audio quality similar to the iRig. So, I thought maybe this combo was on a roll, maybe the app was going to do great things at a lower price, just like the cable. It just wasn’t meant to be.

iShred Live is actually quite different than AmpliTube. AmpliTube models common gear, including amps, whereas this app has one amp with a single switch on it. You can’t adjust things like bass, mid and treble on the amp. There’s merely a switch to turn on Overdrive, and one knob; no options for type of mic or speaker cabinet are present. So, the app is a lot more like a bunch of effects strung together without amp simulation. It’s also cheaper than AmpliTube, so I guess the smaller feature set is to be expected.

The thing that disappoints me the most about this app is that it can’t generate any pleasing distortion. The distortion mostly happens from the Clean/Overdrive switch on the top of the amp, but there is also an effect that can help distortion as well. To me, it sounds muddy and unpleasing; nowhere near what I’m looking for. If you’re a heavy rock or metal guitarist, I’d advise you to steer clear.

iShred Live patchesBut I do want to highlight some of the higher points of the app. First, unlike AmpliTube, iShred Live does have a compressor, and it does have a few nice effects. There’s a chorus, a modulator, a delay and a few others, but you’ll have to buy them individually as in app purchases. That’s no big deal; the app is free, the effects aren’t. There’s also a tuner and a metronome, so the extra tools are there, too. And actually, the method for storing presets in iShred Live is preferrable to the method used in AmpliTube, yet your settings are still not shareable. There’s room for a lot more patches here, though. Sadly, the app doesn’t come preloaded with very many sample patches, which may have helped it.

So, iShred Live really isn’t about shredding at all. It’s much more about cleaner guitar effects. If that’s your style, there are a few interesting things that you can do, but none are enough for me to recommend the app. Sure, it’s cheaper than AmpliTube for iPhone or iPad (actually, the app itself is free), but it also doesn’t model amps, cabinets or mics. You’re much better off paying a bit more for AmpliTube for iPhone or iPad.

It seems that the best combo available to guitarists out there now consists of Griffin’s GuitarConnect cable and AmpliTube for iPhone or iPad.

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