GuitarML releases SmartAmp, a freeware guitar amp modeling plugin based on machine learning.
The future is here for guitarists looking to get involved in the latest machine-learning amplifier technology without breaking the bank!
Traditionally, guitarists would argue for hours over their favorite vintage amplifier. Fender versus Marshall, Vox versus Orange- the mention of “artificial intelligence” and “guitar amplifier” in the same conversation would cause any reputable gearhead to scoff!
Times have changed, though, and now, with the introduction of some incredibly accurate amp modelers, you no longer need a 100lb earth-shaking cabinet to sound like Jimi himself.
Despite the accuracy of modelers produced by companies such as Kemper or Neural DSP, they still have high price tags almost akin to the vintage amplifiers of old they aim to recreate.
GuitarML is looking to make this technology more accessible with their plugin, SmartAmp, a FREE amplifier plugin that implements similar machine-learning technology as similar, more-expensive amp modelers.
The interface of SmartAmp is reasonably straightforward, featuring a clean and lead channel with bass, middle, treble, and gain controls, respectively.
Both the clean and lead channels utilize machine-learning models that are essentially “trained” to mimic the character and dynamics of real tube amps.
I found that both channels offer a surprisingly accurate tone that, similarly to real tube-amps, gets grittier as you turn up the gain.
A vital feature of the technology used to make SmartAmp is its ability to use a Neural Network and basically “learn” similarly to how the human brain does.
Each time you tweak the settings, the plugin uses a machine-learning algorithm to generate its best estimation of a realistic amp tone.
Beyond the two channels, SmartAmp also includes a master volume control and a presence knob to add extra body shimmer to your output signal.
GuitarML offers SmartAmp as open-source software. For those looking to dive deeper into the technology, the code is free and can be modified and built to your liking.
SmartAmp is available on Linux, Windows 7 and up, or Mac OS X 10.11 and newer. It is available in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats.