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A kind of magic: Brian May meets IK Multimedia

The gear that made Brian May's guitar sound, painstakingly modelled by IK Multimedia for AmpliTube

The sound of Brian May's guitar and rig... now painstakingly modelled by IK Multimedia for AmpliTube.The sound of Brian May's guitar and rig... now painstakingly modelled by IK Multimedia for AmpliTube.Photo: Paul Harmer

Out today is a special edition of IK Multimedia’s long-established virtual amplifier plug-in AmpliTube for PC and Mac — and it contains something rather special. Many years in the making, and two full years in development, AmpliTube Brian May, a stand-alone desktop app or use within any DAW, models the entire signal chain of the renowned Queen lead guitarist’s studio and live rigs, from May's treble booster to his three-amp live setup and a selection of effects. The software is a close collaboration between Brian May himself, his studio team, IK’s engineers, and May’s collaborator Jamie Humphries (lead guitarist on the Queen stage production We Will Rock You). There's even a super-affordable iOS version, the Brian May Collection, for use within the iPhone or iPad version of AmpliTube.

AmpliTube Brian May, available stand-alone, or as a plug-in for PC and Mac (or for iPhones or iPads running the iOS version of AmpliTube).AmpliTube Brian May, available stand-alone, or as a plug-in for PC and Mac (or for iPhones or iPads running the iOS version of AmpliTube).

Using IK’s modelling tech, AmpliTube Brian May emulates the tone and controls of May’s famed self-built Red Special guitar as a stompbox effect, and also provides two amp models (one of Brian May's Vox AC30 and the other of the renowned 'Deacy' amp, the unique, self-built amp created by Queen bassist John Deacon from an old radio), plus three cabs and six stompbox effects, including treble boost, wah, phaser and noise gate pedals long used by May himself as key, personal elements of his sound. There's even a harmoniser built-in so you can create stacked Queen-style leads from single lead guitar lines. Jamie Humphries, closely supervised by May himself, has then used these elements of the software to create song-based presets for the new software which recreate the guitar sounds used by May on key tracks drawn from throughout his musical career.

Here's a taster of the software in action...

...and 40 audio demos showing off the song-specific presets, which can be accessed here. For a more detailed rundown of the features of the software, which even covers the software's close integration with IK's range of pedals, foot controllers and audio interfaces like the Axe I/O, check out the longer product introduction by Jamie Humphries linked below:

The Mac/PC version of AmpliTube Brian May costs £109.99$99.99 and runs inside IK's freely downloadable AmpliTube Custom Shop. You don't have to buy AmpliTube separately, although if you are already a user of AmpliTube 4, you can buy and run the Brian May models in that software too. The Brian May Collection for iOS devices runs within AmpliTube CS for iPhone or iPad and costs $19.99 from the Apple Store. Individual models from the software can also be purchased separately, with the modelled stompbox effects costing $3.99 each and the amps $6.99 each). Alternatively, all the models from the new collection are now included in IK's All-In Bundle 2019 collection.

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