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Slash Talks With Us About His Guitar App – AmpliTube Slash

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Recently, I took a look at IK Multimedia’s iRig STOMP digital stomp box. In order to test it out, I used AmpliTube Slash — a version of the same company’s amp modeling app that’s based on the Marshall amp sounds of Slash (you know…Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators).

The app sounded quite good, so I inquired if I could ask Slash a few questions about it, how it was developed and how he uses it. He was kind enough to oblige, via phone, from his hotel room somewhere in the world while I was backstage at TechCrunch Disrupt last week. Here is our ever-so-brief conversation.

TC: Slash thanks for talking with us here at TechCrunch. The first question I have for you is how did you end up working with IK Multimedia to build AmpliTube Slash?

SLASH: You know I’m always playing in my hotel room — plugged into my computer  — and at some point they called me up and asked me if I’d be interested in an actual modeler of the Slash model amplifier. And I just thought ‘Fuck, that’d be a great idea.’ You know, I thought a lot of people would dig being able to have access to that sound and that amp. And so we just went from there. You know, working on what sounds right. Also a couple of late california tech meetings and we got the sound.

TC: Cool. And do you think it’s pretty accurate to your setup?

SLASH: Well, it’s as accurate as you can get using digital sounds. Marshall amps are tube-based and so…that’s a whole subject in and of itself — analog [sounds]. But I think for a digital application it’s as close as you can possibly get.

TC: Tell me, how do you typically use AmpliTube Slash, yourself? Is it something you use on tour to capture an idea? Or do you use it to practice?

SLASH: All of the above. You know, anytime I want to just plug in quickly and practice or write — there’s a recording feature in the app as well in case you wanted to lay down an idea. But, there are a lot of things you can do with it to create your own sounds instead of having to fake it through something that doesn’t sound anything like what you want. You know what I mean? Something a little more inspiring.

But anyway, you can use the app no matter where you are. Whether it’s your hotel room, the back of a car, in a plane, on a train — I use it at my house when i just don’t want anyone to hear what I’m working on.

TC: Have you ever used the new iRig STOMP stomp box in conjunction with your app?

SLASH: I have one, but I’ve really just been basically using  the iRig [interface].

[The iRig interface] made it so I didn’t have to use an Mbox to play through my computer to GarageBand and that was a life saver for me. The whole Mbox set up was just too many pieces to put together.

TC: I’ve run AmpliTube Slash through my bass rig (which has a warm and clean, tube preamp) and I was able to get some pretty loud — hugely loud actually — Marshall-y guitar tones using the combination of your app, a guitar, the iRig STOMP and a Mesa Boogie Walkabout combo. I kept thinking to myself “would I ever actually try this in a live situation…because it sounds pretty good and the stomp box would make it possible to switch between clean and distorted tones.” I kept thinking I might. So here’s the question for you. Would you ever use AmpliTube Slash (or the iRig STOMP) in a live situation, in your rig…in your setup? Maybe for some effects or something? Or do you really prefer it for practice and recording?

SLASH: I mean, obviously, these are duplications of my live rig so it’s not really necessary for me to use them in a live situation, but who knows? At this point, it’s really something that I use privately. But the guys at IK Multimedia put some great sounds in the app…there’s only going to be more where this came from.

TC: Last question. Tell us what’s next for you right now. You’re still on tour correct? Where are you headed next?

SLASH: Yeah, I’m on tour through November at this point. And that’s really just the touring to support the Apocalyptic Love album. And then after that — like right now, I’ve got my guitar right next to me and I’m working on ideas for another Slash and Myles and the Conspirators record.

TC: Slash, thanks a lot for talking with us here at TechCrunch. It’s been a pleasure. If you have any updates or new apps coming out, please keep us in the know.

SLASH: At the moment, there’s nothing happening but I am totally into whatever interesting developments come up with that. I’ve got my ear to the ground. Will let you know.

TC: Ok. Good luck to you.

SLASH: Alright man, take care.