Guitar FX Deluxe is another app for the iPhone that until I started my recent journey of discovery, I did not know existed. It’s also another app I purchased just to make sure my series of reviews was as complete as I felt it needed to be. That of course means I could justify the cost to myself.
What I couldn’t work out (or justify) was the other seemingly similar apps by the same developer which are more expensive and seem to be more restrictive in sound choices. They’d be the Guitar FX Chorus and Guitar FX Echo apps. At $11.99 each, I decided to focus on the Deluxe app instead. It’s cheaper and includes the Chorus and Echo effects.
Guitar FX Deluxe is developed by the TrialandErrorDevTeam (who make other things according to their one page website). I’m just glad they make this app. Let’s look at it in black and white (as I like to do).
The Guitar FX Deluxe app comes in at a very affordable $2.99 and offers a selection of Distortion, Echo and Chorus. You can have one, two or all three running at any given time. And all are accessed from the one handy screen.
What you can see on this one screen is that the Echo effect is the one in focus. The Echo effect has two knobs (the same applies to the other effects). One knob controls the effect’s gain and the other controls the effect’s preset type. I really like the Effects knob. It allows you to select from one of the ten preset effect ranges built into the app. It’s very easy to work out what you’re listening to as well as it’s displayed on the screen for you.
Another thing worth pointing out is that the switches next to the effect name turn the effect on or off. This is also indicated in the lower section of the screen where the effect names are displayed in bold or regular text (regular indicating the effect is off).
This same lower section of the app has an indicator for the sound on/off (mute) and the recording feature. Clicking anywhere in that rectangular area of the app will instantly mute the app.
When the app is muted the speaker icon doesn’t display the sound waves and the volume slider automatically goes all the way to the left (zero position).
When you wish to record your guitar you can simply press the Record button (it’s the circle button to the left of the 1, 2, 3 and 4 buttons) and start playing. You’ll know you’re getting a sound if you see the signal bars move.
You can of course play back your recording after you’ve made it by pressing your Play button (it’s to the right of the 1, 2, 3 and 4 buttons). When you’re listening to your track the Play button changes to a Pause button. I’m sure you can imagine what it does.
One of the things I also like about this app is that it works with the iPhone’s built in microphone. I don’t believe your sound quality will be as effective as when you use the GuitarConnect Cable or the AmpKit Link cables (both of which also work with this app) but it does mean you can add distortion to an unplugged acoustic guitar if you’re feeling experimental.
Apart from playing and recording, you have the ability to save four presets of your own in the conveniently labeled 1, 2, 3 and 4 buttons. To save a preset, get all of your effects set as you like them then press and hold the numbered preset button you wish to save to for three seconds. To select and use a preset you simply click it once.
You’re conveniently warned when saving over an existing preset. This is handy if you’re forgetful like me.
That’s almost everything this handy little app does. Everything except allow you to export your recordings through wi-fi of course. Cool!
To export your recording you click the little envelope icon in the bottom right of the screen. You’ll then be given the URL to link to with your nearby wi-fi connected computer.
Once you’re on your nearby computer, your browser will show you the splash screen from the Guitar FX Deluxe app and allow you to download your recording as a WAV file. It’s simple and effective.
You may have noticed that in the majority of screenshots below there is a tiny information (i) icon in the bottom left. This icon gives you all of the basic information I went over that allows you to use the app and record yourself using your very own sounds.
As for the sound quality, I’d have to say I’m fairly impressed. Considering there are no amp settings, the output is of a high quality and range (thanks to the possible combinations from ten options per effect). I turned on all three effects and recorded this quick and basic riff (as usual). Enjoy (or not) the SoundCloud sample file.