Saturday, November 24, 2018

Review: Audio Assault Grindmachine II + Discharge Pack (with video sample)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!

Today we are reviewing a new guitar amp simulator, the top of the line of the Audio Assault producer: Grindmachine II!

Grindmachine II is the successor of Grindmachine, which was a very popular guitar amp simulator, highly praised in the internet mixing community, and it offers something different from all the other virtual amps, which try to use scheumorphism to replicate the look of amplifier and pedals: the interface of Grindmachine 2 is similar to the one of a POD, in which you choose amp and cabinet, and the controls stays the same.
This is very effective once you get acquainted with the interface, because you only need to learn the interface once, and all the models will be controllable in the same way, making the tweaking faster and easier.

The controls are very simple: there is an eq section with presence and master control, an intelligent noise gate, the amp and the cabinet section can be individually activated and deactivated (there is also an IR loader), and there are 2 more controls: Tight and Impact.
Tight is a switchable booster that adds gain and overall tightness to the sound, while Impact recreates the movement of the speaker, adding thump and low end, and it can be compared to the "resonance" control of the Peavey 5150.

The plugin comes with a wide range of amp simulations which are not directly a recreation of original amps but more a blend of some (for example PVGL, which is halfway between the lead channel of a 5150 and an Engl), and it has both clean and distorted tones, plus it has a serie of loaded Impulse Responses of different kinds, from 1x12 to 4x12 (and you can also load yours).
There are also original tones, which have been designed exclusively for Grindmachine II.

There are also currently 2 expansions: Discharge and Hidden Gems amp pack, which can be downloaded separately, and which expands furthermore the possibilities of this plugin: I had the chance to try the Discharge pack, which is focused on hi gain tones, and I must say that the tones are really brutal. In the video I have used the Ultra Jcm model, which recreates a modded Marshall Jcm with added gain to make it even more aggressive.
The sound that you can hear on the video is Grindmachine II with no booster (but I have used the Tight switch), and as you can hear the tone is really metal, with no other plugins needed.

The plugin sounds very well and it is very versatile, but here is some suggestion for a Grindmachine III: I would add a simple tuner, unite into it the Dirt Machine plugin to provide more boositng options, and I would add a simple effect section, so that we could add some delay or reverb to a solo without the need of adding an external plugin.

The only thing left to say is to go to the Audio Assault page and check it out, these plugins are a great bang for the buck and you will surely find a tone you like.

Thumbs up!

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