Amp-In-A-Box Pedals - What are they? Do you need one?
An Amp-In-A-Box (AIAB), as the name suggests, is an effect pedal that emulates the preamp section of an actual amp (typically modeled after a notable amplifier). It provides the user with an easy and portable solution, so you don’t have to carry a heavy amp or cabinet to every gig or rehearsal.
Some AIAB pedals even come with a “cabinet simulator” (cabsim), which emulates the sound produced by an amp that’s connected to a guitar cabinet. It allows you to connect the pedal directly to a mixer, so your sound will come through the main PA speakers, in most cases. This is the best case scenario for your local sound guy!
AIAB pedals have their benefits... They’re portable and sit right on your pedalboard. You have all of your normal preamp controls at your feet. They’re affordable, compared to an actual amplifier. They’re versatile, which allows you to change amp models or shape/change the tone of your actual amp. And lastly, they’re consistent! It reduces all of external factors that affect a normal amplifier, such as room size, mic position, and cabinet placement.
Most newer cabsims allow the usage of Impulse Response (IR), which is a specific file created on a computer that is modeled after an actual amp and you can download that file into the pedal and use that as a setting. **It’s important to note that IRs capture a specific amp and cab combo with a specific microphone at a specific point in time.
AIAB and cabsims can be incredibly useful. When playing live, it’s more convenient and requires less setup. When recording, you can plug DI and you’re ready to go! It will never replace
the sound of a natural amplifier in a room, but it can get pretty close!
🔻AIAB pedals we recommend:
🔹Vertex Effects Steel String Supreme
🔹Origin Effects Revival Drive
🔹Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe