Mark Holcomb from Periphery Shows off the BIAS and JamUp Guitar Apps

First of all, will someone make a decent guitar interface for Android? I’m dying here. I knew what I was getting into when I switched away from iOS, and sacrificed all those music apps willingly (for other reasons), but it’s still frustrating. I know, there’s software and hardware reasons why these companies focus on iPhone/iPad exclusively. But there’s legions of Android users that would love to be using software like this.


And what is the “this” that I’m referring to? Today it’s Positive Grid’s BIAS and JamUP apps. The pair work in tandem. Bias allows you to model, tweak, and even design amp models, while JamUp lets you take those amp models and use them in a fully virtualized rig, with recording functions.

Periphery’s Mark Holcomb seems to be a fan:

Since I keep my Fractal AxeFx-II racked up in our touring rig when we’re at home, my home jamming rig has been condensed to just an iPad and a powered cab. Not only are the tones as good as any other piece of gear I own but the portability of having both Positive Grid apps on iOS makes it ideal for travel.

And I’ll admit that the tones do sound very good, although I wouldn’t mind it if some of these home studio shredsters started branching out of the civilized high-passed hot-rodded vintage Marshall tone that they all seem to use.

A question for you all though: for your home studio would you go the iPad>powered cab route purely for tone choice? I just can’t do it. None of the software feels right to me. I get it if the practicalities of writing and demoing riffs make it a better trade off, but I’m curious if anyone actually just does it because they prefer the sound. And maybe the younger generation has just grown up used to the different response that digital amps have? Chime in below in the comments if you have an opinion.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • I think it’s on par with any other modeling gear. I equate using JamUp or BIAS into powered speakers the same as running a POD HD500 or Axe-FX II. The UI of these iOS apps are so much more intuitive than the hardware menus or software editors of other modelers – that and the portability are pretty big advantages.

    That said, none of them get the feel of a tube amp 100% though, so for inspirational tone I still prefer a tube amp.

  • I don’t have an Ipad but even I did I wouldn’t use it. I used to make roughie demos with guitar rig but now I just use a distortion pedal straight in. I just don’t have any reason to use sims anymore.

    They’re great fun though for messing with stuff I can’t afford, I’ve got one patch in GR5 that has two amps with ten cabs panned all over the place and bunch of EQ units and compressors.

  • I use a pod as an easy way to demo and jam at low volumes. I still like to go through the process a micing a tube amp for the finish product.

  • “And maybe the younger generation has just grown up used to the different response that digital amps have?”

    I completely agree.

  • I use my line 6 HD for when I’m just jamming in my room. It’s a lot more practical for low volume plus it takes up virtually no space. For a serious jam session with other musicians I use my peavey xxx for volume and a better tone. I’m 20 if you consider that young.

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