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BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App by Positive Grid Inc

Positive Grid Inc released BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App. I love the humorous hubris of the app's full name. Apple has encouraged developers to put a lot of silly shit in app names, which I usually truncate. For this article I'll be using the full name because if you sort all of the guitar tone apps by their App Store ratings, BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App is definitely the first one at the bottom of the list. Congratulations, you're number one!

Credit: Ailerom

Positive Grid seriously botched this. The 1 Star Reviews aren't even about the fact that BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App doesn't have AUv3. They aren't even that bothered by the fact that BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App doesn't include the IAA insert effects of the original BIAS FX 1; which is now confusingly, but assuredly, the #2 Guitar Tone App. Just about every loyal Positive Grid fan is feeling fucked by their promises of being able to transfer purchases from BIAS FX 1 - #2 Guitar Tone App to BIAS FX 2, which you'll no doubt recall, is the #1 Guitar Tone App.

Instead owners of BIAS FX1 - #2 Guitar Tone App are discovering that essential items are not transferred from their purchase. While Positive Grid is overflowing with words to name their apps, they were a bit reticent with the full details of the transfer. Only purchased "packs" transfer, not any of the stuff that came with the original purchase of BIAS FX 1 - #2 Guitar Tone App. For those essential items you'll need to cough up about $60. I'm not exactly sure on the price because their shit is buggy, and I've lost patience with trying to understand this mess.

BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App

BIAS FX 2 Mobile transforms your mobile device into the ultimate all-in-one guitar effects processor, letting you explore hundreds of premium amps, pedals, and studio racks to create your dream guitar tone. Now plug in and PLAY WITHOUT LIMITS - Anywhere, Anytime.

GUITAR RIG PARADISE
Build to your heart’s content – with a gorgeous user interface, an intuitive drag-and-drop operation, and a massive library of world-class guitar and bass amps, pedals, and effects, you can easily create a rig that’s true to you and your playing style for the ultimate custom guitar tone. Amplify your creativity!

EXCLUSIVE GUITAR MATCH
Looking to transform your guitar into a collection of legendary axes? Thanks to our groundbreaking Guitar Match technology, you can make your guitar sound like a classic American guitar, a vintage LP, and an array of highly-coveted guitar models. Whether you’re recording, performing, or jamming at home, you’ll have a collection of iconic modern and vintage guitars with you at all times – right in your mobile device.

YOUR TONE STUDIO ON THE GO
Practice, record, and jam with Looper, the perfect companion for nailing down riffs and solos for your song ideas. Don’t miss a note – hit the Record button whenever inspiration strikes! Feeling creative? BIAS FX 2 Mobile supports AudioBus, GarageBand, and other IAA host applications so you can take your tones even further.

PRIMED FOR THE BIG STAGE
Ready to rock the show? Forget packing all your effects and hauling your pedalboard to the gig – carry all your gear in your iPhone/iPad with BIAS FX 2 Mobile so you’ll never miss a beat. Fire up LiveView and switch up your entire rig on the fly instantly using a single tap – with zero latency.

UNLIMITED TONES TO DOWNLOAD
Connect to ToneCloud®, discover and download over thousands of custom rigs created by artists, producers, and recording engineers. Got tones? Upload your own custom guitar rig and share with fellow musicians from across the world!


Key Features:
- Ultimate Tone Arsenal – build your dream rig with *101 effects, 35 amps, 25 cabs, 4 mics
- Dual Signal Path – create unique dual amp hybrid setups for your ultimate custom tone
- HD Sound Engine – explore hyper-realistic and detailed tones, backed by our award-winning BIAS tone engine
- Factory Presets – dial in your dream guitar tone in an instant with 77 pre-made rigs of all genres
- Guitar Match – turn your guitar into a collection of 20 legendary axes, right in your pocket!
- Looper – practice, record, overdub, and develop song ideas whenever inspiration strikes
- LiveView – single tap to switch up your rig instantly, with zero latency
- Impulse Response – load your favorite custom cab IR files for even more tonal possibilities
- Celestion® Inside – access official-licensed Celestion cabs (IR) right within BIAS FX 2 Mobile (coming soon)
- BIAS Ecosystem – load all your favorite gear from BIAS AMP 2 & BIAS Pedal (coming soon) within the app
- ToneCloud® – easily share & download custom guitar rigs and artist tones online
- IAA (inter-app audio) and AudioBus support
- Full MIDI support (coming soon)
- Tuner and metronome built in
- 9 expansion packs available for exploring all-new sounds (via in-app purchase)

*Unlocked via Standard, Professional or Elite license.
BIAS FX 2 Mobile supports iOS 11 or later.

Supported Audio Interfaces: iRig (all series), Apogee Jam/Jam Plus, Focusrite iTrack Solo, Shure MVi, Korg plugKEY, iConnect AUDIO and all MFi or Class Compliant audio interfaces with Lightning to USB adapter.

I wasn't invested in their ecosystem so I'm not personally bent by their bewildering transfer promises. Instead I'm completely baffled by the absence of AUv3 in the #1 Guitar Tone App. BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App is limited to Inter-App Audio! Astute readers will recall IAA was deprecated by Apple. At Apple's sole discretion some future iOS update will remove IAA, and Apple are strongly discouraging devs from using it in new apps.

There is a flashy and fast promo video for BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App, but I feel like this clusterfuck of a video from Amp Apps is more representative of actual use.

Reader Comments 14

@Tim Webb

I love this:

" if you sort all of the guitar tone apps by their App Store ratings, BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App is definitely the first one at the bottom of the list."
I actually like some of sounds I got out of their older apps like JamUp Pro and Bias Amp, but yeah, I'm not even looking at these kinds of apps any more if they don't have auv3
May 22, 2020  | person jimhanks
On May 22, 2020 - @stub said:
@Tim Webb

I love this:

" if you sort all of the guitar tone apps by their App Store ratings, BIAS FX 2 - #1 Guitar Tone App is definitely the first one at the bottom of the list."
Glad that came through. It's kind of a programming joke. When you use the .sort() function in any language, it sorts from lowest to highest. This definitely would be the lowest, and hence #1! Actually typing this made me realize I forgot an obvious link. I've fixed it at the bottom of the first paragraph.
Well that's a groovy ska tune. I love that kind of ska action.
@ @s: When real-world complexity and uncertainty enter the fray the simple .sort() ain't so simple is it? The black-boxian shenanigans the computational-class can cook up in a data-driven economy are not dissimilar to the old TV trope of chemists cooking up new designer-drugs to stay one step ahead of the illicit drug enforcement laws. Isn't the Google search result page .sorta() an epic darwinian-marketing fitness contest between eyeball-'predators' of which most viewers are oblivious, or if not blind to, then to soon numbed? The famously clean page, supposedly free of "advertisements", at least the visual form generations of the television-trained would colloquially describe as such, was almost immediately co-opted. Co-opted, by no less than, they that would do no evil, or so we were told by a burgeoning army of lobbyists until even they couldn't keep a straight-face. Today, unless one explicitly filters out .com domains, and so on, the results returned by Google possess scant Information value beyond facilitating the automated vacuuming of wealth from prey to the highest-bidder for the prey's monetary units of choice. The design objective is such that once the business model is implemented the consumer will actually contribute more "human labor" to the exchange than Google going forward. People/consumer-prey need help when they engage The Overload. The Blizzard of Bullfeces. By calling out these 'challenges' for decision-makers, some might think you, i.e., Master Webb, display a penchant for the quixotic, but, obviously it is much more complicated than that where practicing-webmasters are concerned, as you are positioned at the decision-making nexus of multiple conflicting forces. Any one of which would tax the limits of diligent students seeking real-time understanding. Or perhaps you feel more like, "A leaf in the wind", along the continuum of digital existence at times? ... Whatever. Drunk on my own ink yet again ;) Please pardon my rhetorical stumbling about and regurgitating old food for thought. Keep up the good work. =:^D

Hope these links open smoothly before their roadkill on the 'Information Highway' (yet another odd metaphor we naively coined that does us more ill than benefit when it lingers on past any sense of appropriateness):

Why a Right to Explanation of Automated Decision-Making Does Not Exist in the General Data Protection Regulation:

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2903469

In the marbled halls of Neoliberal-America there is the initial tentative attempt to address the 'unintended' consequences data .sort()'s is having on society,

S. 1108: Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019

In this Act:
(1)Automated decision system
The term automated decision system means a computational process, including one derived from machine learning, statistics, or other data processing or artificial intelligence techniques, that makes a decision or facilitates human decision making, that impacts consumers [what Darwin referred to as prey species ;)]....

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s1108/text
The best of us are swamped by the complexity of it all. Befuddled into helpless 'reactivity'. Despite years of warnings and lost man-hours to countless hacks, probably costing this higher-ed institution who knows how many millions by now, here is yet another 'thought' leader serving up http instead of https webpages:

http://www.datasciencepublicpolicy.org
May 23, 2020  | person_outline Crowfly
I agree that this has been a confusing, partly disappointing and pretty messy release with still plenty of glitches and bugs to top it all off. I have spent a lot on PG’s apps in the past but have always been very happy with the sound and functionality that they deliver. I was very hesitant to spend more cash on this release but decided to give them the benefit of the doubt since this version still looks and sounds wonderful and offers some new features. The discounted price of $49 for Elite is still very steep for me, but i made the move after all. Just hoping PG gets their shit together and keeps providing us with regular bug fixes and improvements to build this version into the same solid platform that Bias FX (1) has become.

My biggest issue is that they seem to have removed almost any way to directly contact and email tech support to send them bug reports and such. The site is now just sending you around in circles through FAQ pages. I can’t find any form anywhere to directly contact them. I did message them on their facebook usergroup but i am being pointed back to their website... Am i overlooking something, any suggestions anyone?
May 23, 2020  | person Ed
@Crowfly: I've decided I'm going to read your comments in the voice of Dennis Hopper, doing Dennis Hopper's best role; the photojournalist in Apocalypse Now.

The "Right to Explanation of Automated Decision-Making" is a non-starter. We don't know know. We can't know. There are efforts to understand, and this is a fascinating area of research:

https://distill.pub/2020/circuits/zoom-in/

I particularly like the example of Polysemantic Neurons. The one illustrated there is trying to find cat faces, fronts of cars, and cat legs. That's not a typo. The neuron has "decided" its job is to look for feline faces, feline legs, and the front of automobiles. We cannot explain this decision at all.

We can't explain any of the neuronal activity in neural nets any better than we can in ourselves. In rare circumstances we might be able to correctly explain our own decisions. "I gave him a life sentence because I missed breakfast, so I was getting hungry and grumpy." But for the most part our own decision making process is a black box wrapped in post-hoc rationalizations.
I absolutely despise marketing. Arrogant product names, especially unnecessarily long ones, and “free” that isn’t free... it all basically assures that I won’t give them money.
@Tim Webb: Thanks for cleaning up my prior post. I have know clue what happened after I pressed the submit button. I tried two different browsers even. Must be something I said ;-O Hope I don't waste anymore of your time yet again but I'm a realist.

Ed's second paragraph suggests a customer's** common frustration with the "design objective" (I mentioned) moving down the digital culture industry hierarchy. Not passing judgement, as I too find myself resigned to going with the flow in other sectors just as dubious, if not considerably more so, in our Neoliberal Post-modern economic reality. You may recall, or not I hope for your sake, someone here asked me a few months ago what I thought about the obviously black-box high-freq driven record setting plunge in the major financial indices while they tried to get me to suggest specific stocks :^D. By and large, my answer is holding up (provided the Covid second and third "waves" are not to devastating) to my satisfaction. Based on Trump's summary removal of all IGs I have even less reason to doubt the political prognostications. Either way, eating crow is often an excellent education, so I'm good with it as long as I'm alive and kicking. I hinted obliquely at BLK and GS since I didn't take the question as likely genuine in intent, but, I had fun with it anyway. If the querier was authentically asking (asking a stranger for precise stock picking tips ;-) still makes me grin!) what sort of 'Buffett' worthy stocks he should buy it was obvious what tickers I meant in one sentence about which banks were getting tasked with running equity and credit buying programs for the Fed. BLK has done well price-wise since. Some in the sycophantic business press recently labelled BLK the "4th arm of Government!" Fckng idiots. GS will continue to pay dividends when others can't and last time I looked still had some "margin of safety" in the share price. Dividends that will be doled out to shareholders even if the C-suite 'has to' use taxpayer dollars to do so! Wouldn't be the first time =:^O! Won't be the last time, meaning, doubt we will NOT have to wait another ten years for the next time. Think uncontrolled PIOs (pilot induced oscillations) preceding structural failure. But that is looting-lite compared to what will be coming to the light soon enough. I'm not tooting my own horn here. Just trying to make it clear I sympathize with everyone that engages with 'systems' beyond their control. It is called survival, which makes it, justifiable up to some crux-point. We all must navigate around the (new-)reality-distortion fields black-boxes are ripping through our societies like errant gamma rays. BLK and GS are black-box wielding alpha computational-class predators par excellence. I have no compunction about owning their shares, though, I would rather have lived in a Capitalist society without their particular amoral vampire-squid ilk. When one is kayaking in a river the key to survival is digging in with the paddle and moving faster than the current. Ignore the current and suffer mightily or use the current and have fun navigating. Doesn't mean one has to especially like the flowing water molecules, or, that it is wise to anthropomorphize them with intentions they do not possess. However, your implied equivalency, that human designed black-boxes are essentially on equal footing with the age-old inscrutability of the human mind is dangerous. It potentially negates 10,000 years*** of civilization. A primate with a black-box is still a primate. A black-box, without a Homo sapient holding it, is not a "brain-in-a-jar"**** with the rights and responsibilities and a Netflix subscription like any other Homo sapien. For openers, the propensity of the monopolistic Googles in neoliberal societies to hide behind their black-boxes to evade responsibility or shift blame is lame and shameless and needs to be squelched before Trump's Supreme Court pulls another Citizens United and designates AIs to be siblings of Corporations and gives them We-The-People status. People must always be held responsible for the 'decisions' black-boxes make as if they made the decisions themselves, otherwise, you are clearly on a slippery slope and you will wind up here before the week is out,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqKv_kLZZGQ

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) - Official Trailer (HD)

Besides, a mind is a terrible thing to get wasted.

The neural network computer art is seriously cool. At a minimum it would be very useful if it were always on display when ever a sufficiently powerful AI was processing a 'decision-making' function(s) that corporate-agent(s) were being held legally responsible for. Many agents/suits may be corporate droids, but, do they not have some right to monitor what's going on in their charge's 'mind'? Throughout the 5.5 million years or so since we finally stopped smashing chimpanzee-ass (if only because the "goddamn monkeys bite, I'll tell ya"), and vice versa, if we Homo saps survived long enough to interpret a pattern we could learn from it. We are the pattern-recognition masters of the animal kingdom after all. All though you gotta respect the Cephalopod brain-system when it comes to patterns, or their making, at least. My point is, I don't think AI minds will be forever out of reach of our understanding, or we'll at least get close-enough-for-government-work monitoring abilities, if we make an effort. For example, I think I remember reading about computer scientists developing code specifically designed to leave AI 'thinking' audit trials. The unintended consequence for that might be Homo saps prefer the AI "decider" over the human-expert since the AI leaves an audit trial for their lawyers to pick over....

https://www.nature.com/news/polopoly_fs/1.20731!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/538020a.pdf

**From Webster's Third New International Unabridged Dictionary:
customer  5 : a fox that affords good sport in a hunt

*** List of ancient legal codes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ancient_legal_codes

These codes existed in oral form or recorded on media more perishable than stone carved runes for many thousands of years before the tablets discovered so far. The take home here is the earliest of the earliest surviving written codes were concerned with combatting corruption. What better playground for corruption than a black-box? Short answer: None!

****Philosophic concept of the Brain in a vat (BIV):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_in_a_vat
May 23, 2020  | person_outline Crowfly
By not making this AUV3 they have obviously left room to charge everyone again for
BIAS FX 3 - #1 Guitar Tone App when IAA is completely deprecated.
On May 23, 2020 - @Crowfly said:
However, your implied equivalency, that human designed black-boxes are essentially on equal footing with the age-old inscrutability of the human mind is dangerous.
Neuroscience and Machine Learning are recent hobbies of mine. I cannot claim any expertise in either field, but I have a better-than-layman understanding of where the science is at presently.

I wouldn't want to imply that our cognitive processes are as inscrutable as those of AIs. Not by a long shot. Computational Neuroscience has been making leaps and bounds in recent years. We have a fairly strong grasp of how our wetware operates. We can never hope to understand the AI though.

There are some very dumb AIs that do limited things and we can observe those processes, but the AI you're interested in auditing are all working at a scope and speed that is beyond our comprehension. Think about the ones at Google. YouTube gets over 500 hours of video uploaded to it every minute, and some AI has to check if it is porn and try to parse out language for the automatic subtitles. This thing has to move fast to keep up with 500 hours of video every minute. Let's convert those numbers to milliseconds. Every 60,000ms the AI has to parse over 1,800,000,000‬ms of video. So it is parsing over 30,000ms of video per millisecond.

You might be able to figure out one decision made by the AI in a millisecond, but it would take you three years. In the interval of your research, the AI has now grown and changed dramatically from that millisecond; 94,608,000,000 milliseconds ago.

This is where my other hobby, Applied Theology, comes in handy. It gives helpful context for how to deal with and think about agents that are cosmologically much more significant than you.
Uh... could you post some links/citations to stuff that shows that “we have a fairly strong grasp of how our wetware works”...?

We can step through computer code, viewing values as it executed, slowing it down as needed. This is not something we can do with brains. The brain is basically a black box. Neuroscience doesn’t know much beyond the most basic of hypotheses about how the brain works or how intelligence and awareness is derived from what makes up living brains.
@dysamoria: Thank you for challenging me to provide citations! That's definitely a good idea when anyone is making any claims.

It is challenging to unpack that for an entire field of research. This is a burgeoning science with breakthroughs happening all the time. Here are some of my own favorites from last year:

We have a new method for better classifying the role of specific brain cells:
https://picower.mit.edu/news/new-method-classifies-brain-cells-based-electrical-signals

Last year they did some fascinating stuff with epilepsy patients. Since they were going elbow deep into the brain to treat epilepsy, they were also able to stick some electrodes in there and successfully recorded the process of memory recall:
https://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/life-sciences/firework-memories

I lost two grandparents to Alzheimer's, so this one is most important to me personally though it does not relate directly to your question. Last October we saw tremendous progress on a new drug that triggers the brain to clean out the toxic proteins that cause Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/gumc-naf101719.php

Computational Neuroscience is the field specifically interested in the sort of "step through code" you described. We're not at the stage where we can definitively step through all of the code in your cognition, but there is a lot of grey area between that and a black box.

I strongly recommend you read the first article I linked to 5 comments up if you think we can "step through" the decisions of even trivial ML models.
Man, i thought we were talking about guitar rig sims...
May 25, 2020  | person_outline Matt B
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