The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

After the Book Came Out: Bias FX

Screenshot of Bias FX on iPad

I used Positive Grid's JamUp amp and FX simulator for quite a few gigs as a pedalboard replacement (mainly for the Bass Muff simulator and a combination of a chorus and envelope filter) - slap my iPad into an iTrack dock, hook up a SoftStep for the foot control, andI was ready to go. Much lighter than my pedalboard, and the sounds were good. So I didn't really have much of a reason to look into Bias FX aside from the promise of better tone. I'd purchased Bias Amp as an amp simulator to check out, but never really used it. I was more interested in effects pedals (which JamUp provided easily, including the bass packs through in-app purchase). But why not try a new app, especially when it promises better sound?

The sound is indeed good, but I'm a little tweaked by the user experience. I found it a little easier to start pedal configurations in JamUp than in Bias FX, where I have to start with an existing preset and modify it from there. And speaking strictly from a bassist standpoint, there's only one bass model in the app - a GK 800 clone. That said, the integration with Bias Amp allows you to import a bunch of different bass amps, and I don't really use the amp simulators all that much. I'd rather run the pedals into my existing amp and go from there.

The effects in Bias FX do sound good, but the choices are limited at this point. The inclusion of several different compressor varieties helped, but other than that I couldn't find any bass-specific effects. I didn't lose too much tone using the standard effects, though. And the preset setup does map perfectly to an existing toggle patch on my SoftStep. But Bias FX carries over an existing gripe of mine from JamUp - you can turn pedals on and off in types (such as reverb or modulation) but not single instances. I don't often need multiple drive pedals on at the same time, so this requires me to create separate presets with separate types of pedals.

Screenshot of Preset Layout in Bias FX

Preset Layout in Bias FX

I'm sure more updates are on the way, and the sound is good. There's just a long way to go to please bassists' usage here.