We caught up with guitarist Ace from Skunk Anasie to learn more about how he uses AmpliTube 5 and AXE I/O to prepare for a tour. Selling over 6 million records and doing sellout world tours, Ace knows what it takes to hit the stage.
Let's dive in and see how Ace fine-tunes his chops before a tour.
From Ace's Tour Blog:
"For the last year or so, I've been at home practicing on my own. I found the best way to do this was to make a playlist on iTunes from the last live Skunk Anansie album and add the extra tracks and just play along to it in my home studio.
I set up AmpliTube 5 with all my favorite amps and compared them to my real amps in my studio.
"After a whole bunch of tweaking, I managed to come up with my ideal rigs and then added all of my favorite pedals to them. So, there it was, the Skunk Anansie preset library ready to be played alongside the live playlist.
"When I plugged in, the sounds were surprisingly accurate, and I tended to just blend into the songs as I was trying along with them. This made it incredibly easy to rehearse a setlist as the balance between the playlist tracks and AmpliTube was spot on.
"I also used the AXE I/O as the interface in from my guitar and set up the Z-Tone feature so that the response was exactly the same as having a real amp and playing through it. Rehearsing this way made me feel like I really was in the music - and playing along with the band with the correct tone and feel to make it fun and accurate enough to learn songs again properly."
From Ace's Tour Blog 2 - Leaving for the tour:
"We held our nerve and really showed our metal to stand firm to make this tour happen. It really has been a tough journey, but now it will be a rewarding one as we are one of the first bands to hit Europe again. My AXE I/O is packed into my bag and my laptop has the Total Studio 3.5 MAX software loaded and ready for backstage rehearsals and on-the-road recording sessions.
"I've just got to do one bit of mastering for the intro section that Cass and Skin put together, and I'll do that with T-RackS 5 MAX.
"I always do the mastering for the band for the tour introductions and all of our promo and YouTube clips with T-RackS 5 MAX and have done for many years. It's so accurate and never lets me down. And after years of using it I really do know the settings and capabilities of it.
"To be honest, I usually start with a really good preset and just tweak from there until it sounds right.
"On the road, I sometimes also master support bands or other people's remixes, EPs and singles for free. It's really fun when I get those quiet moments backstage and I also keep my hand in testing my own listening and capabilities."
Ace is one of the most distinctive players in contemporary British rock and a founding member of the brilliant Skunk Anansie. The group, featuring singer Skin, bassist Cass Lewis and drummer Mark Richardson, have been at the top of their game since the nineties, releasing classic records such as 'Paranoid and Sunburnt' and 'Black Traffic' as well as performing on stages around the world. Ace has simultaneously enjoyed a leading career in music education, recently joining ICMP as Head of Industry Partnerships and Business Development.
Learn more about Ace HERE.