It’s always nice to see the bass get a little love. There’s an ever-increasing number of guitar amp apps in the App Store, but to the best of my knowledge, only Pocket GK is tailored specifically to the needs of bass players. Well…most of the needs; although Pocket GK has some really nice features and great sound, it’s also missing some basic functionality it needs to become a must-have utility for bass guitarists like myself.
What is it?
Pocket GK – Bass Guitar Amp is a guitar app amp for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (it’s a universal app) developed in partnership with Gallien-Krueger. It uses “… GK’s renowned voicing filters and intuitive four band active EQ for great, easy to dial in, punchy tone.” The built-in music player allows you to easily start up the songs on your iDevice and play along with them, and the various amp controls allow you to adjust your sound as you practice.
How does it work?
First of all, you’ll need an instrument adapter such as the iRig (check the PocketLabworks website for recommended devices). Pocket GK – Bass Guitar Amp is just an app, after all; you’ll still something to plug your bass into your iDevice and run the sound back out to headphones or a speaker.
From there, it’s a surprisingly simple matter of adjusting your amp (contour, boost horn and Master) and EQ (treble, hi-mid, low-mid and bass) settings, selecting your music to play along with, and having at it. If you get a particular sound you like (not hard to do), you can save it as one of an unlimited number of presets. The interface is clean and simple. It’s great in the practice setting for which the app is designed, but I wonder if PocketLabworks sacrificed some functionality to get this clean design. A tuner would’ve been tremendously helpful, for example, or even a metronome for when you want to practice without music.
Is it contagious?
If you’re a bass player who has tried out the various guitar amp apps and would like something a bit more specific, then yes. You may miss some of the advanced features of Pocket GK’s more expensive counterparts, but I found the clean interface to be a welcome change for those of us who aren’t used to mucking about with a lot of pedals and effects. And unlike the competition, Pocket GK doesn’t require you to make in-app purchases to get a more customized experience—you get what you get for $5.00.
Throw in a tuner, though, and I’d be happy to lay down another dollar or two.
Download: Pocket GK – Bass Guitar Amp