Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Gibson builds an amp into an iPhone app without cables

Bringing a guitar amp to go can be a little on the heavy side, but with an app coming from guitar maker Gibson, you just need your phone, and maybe your drive to play.

Guitarists looking for a way to take their jam session anywhere mightn’t need to grab a portable amp anymore, provided they’re happy using a pair of wired headphones or earphones. It could be any pair, but it needs to be a wired pair for the iPhone, at least if they want to jam and listen to themselves using their iPhone and an app Gibson is releasing inside of its app.

Named for its brand, the Gibson app covers a way to record ideas and play a Guitar Hero-inspired music lesson, but now also comes with a digital amplifier that uses the microphone on your phone to pick up on guitars. The concept is made for both acoustic and electric guitars, and provides built-in 6 effects pedals, with three presets for acoustic guitars and four for electrics, plus backing tracks to play alongside.

And the idea is simple enough: let your phone’s microphone pick up on the sound of the guitar, and amplify it inside the app for wired headphones and earphones. Wireless earphones aren’t supported simply due to the issue of Bluetooth latency, which means the sound of you playing your guitar and listening wirelessly would have you hearing everything out of sync.

Interestingly, while the digital mic-based amp is part of the package, the app still includes instructions for a wired connection, should you choose to use something with a more direct path with better sound.

With either approach, the idea is to use a portable amp in your phone to help you learn to play, with guides and lessons to teach you songs and styles, provided you don’t mind paying. While the Gibson app is free, but there is a subscription cost for music lessons on the app, coming in at a $25.99 monthly price or $155 for the year.

Worth noting is that Gibson’s approach to guitar education isn’t alone, with Fender also in this space, offering a subscription service for music learning, too.

As for whether Android users will see the digital amp feature, Gibson says it’s coming, but iOS users are first, with Android’s take on the idea not expected until next year.

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