Mark Studio 2 bests its forbearer, Mark Studio 1, by upping the anti from three amp heads and six cabinets to six amps and nine cabinets, respectively. A selection of six modelled close mics is on hand, as is a satisfying (virtual) midi-controllable pedal board layout. Also included in the booty are a couple of front (room) microphones. Polishing off the kit is a built-in precision tuner with optional output mute. All of this bass-a-licious-ness is presented in an easy to use, intuitive UI (User Interface) complete with a robust, simplified preset manager.
A notable change, welcomed by all customers, is whenever a company *lowers* its prices, instead of raising them. This is just such a case in point – Mark Studio 2 offers more, and costs less, than its predecessor, coming in at only € 109/$129 (usd). Mark Studio 1 bore an exorbitant price tag of € 190 a few short years ago. Generous upgrade prices reduce that amount by no less than 40%, and during annual sales events, even more so.
This is in contrast to the popular and expected methodology of granting guitarists gads of tweaking options through the inclusion of many dozens of amp models, cabinet designs and microphone options. Rockrack Pro sported three über-carefully modeled amps – with a total of five distinct channels – and four cabinet models.
The amp channels were (and still are) discreet modeling of the following: ENGL 530 (Clean and Lead); Marshall JCM800 (Clean and Crunch); and Mesa Boogie Rect-O-verb (Clean and Lead). Gratifying cabinet impulse-responses of a “Marshall 1960 TV”, a “Mesa Boogie 4x12”, an “Orange 2x12” and a “Diezel 4x12” were loaded in – with varied mic configurations. BX Rockrock Pro was capable of delivering big, shimmering cleans, authoritative crunch, and screaming higher-gain leads. It tended towards minimalism and simplicity, yet offered plenty to take its rightful place on any home recordist’s “GO TO” shelf.
Fast forwarding to 2017, Brainworx unleashed the bigger, better, bad-assier BX Rockrack_V3. This grown-up, weightier, warrior of rock n’ roll marches onto your sound stage with an arsenal of EIGHT distinct amp channels and a battalion’s worth of cabinet impulses.
Some pertinent good news that I’d like to highlight immediately, is the fact that BX Rockrack V3 is very light on CPU – a very welcome advantage in its favor! A second piece of welcome intel, is that V3 hosts 40+ cabinet impulses/recording chains. Stick n’ stay ! Hang out with yours truly for a few minutes, and let’s find out if the $199 (USD)** price tag is merited.
**Excluding Plugin-Alliances special sales and bundle offerings.
** PS. There's a link to my full-featured video presentation of bx Rockrack V3 at the end of this article. You'll see it at the bottom of the page. ☻
In a manner of speaking, there are 16 of Softube’s most coveted plug-ins crammed into this collection. The mix and producing gamut is amply covered with kit pieces dedicated to Compression, EQ, Limiting, Summing, Amp simulation, Reverb, Delay, Echo, Flanging and Doubling/Chorus.
If that weren’t enough, Softube’s “Heartbeat” is an innovative, virtual drum machine that can handle most nearly any beat-making situation imaginable. Last, but far from least, the deluxe, expandable synthesizer, aptly named, “Modular”, attends a dizzying spectrum of flexible synthesis.
Purchased separately, all the included accessories would set you back a little over $2000 (MSRP)! Thankfully, a perpetual (lifetime) license for this crate-load of plug-in glory can be had for a reasonable $499 (USD). Monthly and yearly subscriptions are also available - $20/month and $200/yearly respectively.
“You're traveling to another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of aural creativity; a journey into a nebula of wondrous amplifier simulation whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop...the Tone Stack Zone.
Canada’s innovative brainchild, AcmeBarGig, have recently released the highly-anticipated Head Case into the wild. Head Case is the embodied culmination succeeding three years of deep-level programming, intense research & development, and exhaustive beta testing. Head Case is alone in its nebula. It unanimously has dominion of the sphere it occupies. There isn’t another for it to be aptly compared to. How do you spell ‘unique’? H-E-A-D C-A-S-E!
The $60 sign post is just ahead. Cast off your timidity and join me. If you dare.
Kuassa have recently released one of, if not “the”, finest vintage/retro guitar combo amp sims to have ever been seen and heard “In The Box”. Considering the spectacular quality that this top-shelf plugin delivers, the $39 USD price point is most definitely affordable!
This polished, new guitar amplification simulator is a definite BEST in CLASS product. The vibrant, authentic-sounding, retro tube amp tones that come out of this piece of programming creation are par excellence. Kuassa have released Vermillion in native 32bit & 64bit for Mac and PC. Bam!
Sit down on your favorite studio stool, and let’s give this boutique combo amp the center stage; shall we?
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