BIAS Amp PRO - BIAS Rack



  • So I downloaded the BIAS Amp Pro which will soon be AMP 2, but have not installed the update yet. I got the new rack unit, but playing with the software right now, compared to the demo version or some version I was running to get a feel for the software.

    1: If the BIAS FX are not in the package, then how can you place a pedal before the amp like you would on a real amp to get a good tight metal tone ?

    2: I had a nice demo version or something of the sort, were the amp was just a Jeff Loomis amp, had pedals in front of it VIA BIAS FX, sound was great.

    3: Minus the effects issues not being in the software, but the boost and other pedals, make a huge difference to the tone.

    4: How can I get that same tone live when I cannot even get a pedal in front of the rack unit ? Nice tone in the software playing at home, but the whole purpose was to use a rack unit to get the same tone.

    5: As was mentioned on this forum, someone having issues that it sounds like it is clipping, and over distorted tone, same thing I have found.

    6: What is the IRs section ? can you or can you not load your own custom ir ? or it just extra cabs with extra mics ? I want to create my own IRs and load them, is that possible ?

    7: And the real pisser, the dual amp option is in the BIAS FX, for me that is a deal breaker.

    I have not played around with it enough yet, but minus the pedals, I cannot recreate that same tone I created in the software... Now What ?

    The whole purpose was it not to have everything in one unit ? Minus the effects, some pedals are important in the signal chain.

    As someone else mentioned, I might as well take my laptop everywhere and have everything I need.. So what was the purpose of the rack and head units ?

    Right now to me, the rack unit is kinda useless because of everything mentioned.
    Everything is riding on the software, and spending that kind of money on a rack unit, frankly, quite disappointing.



  • You are mistaken, unfortunately. BIAS Head/Rack is not a hardware version of BIAS FX (nor has it ever claimed to be); it is a hardware version of BIAS Amp. It is an amp modeler only; the only effects it comes with are simple reverbs. If you want pedal effects, well, you gotta stick some pedals in front of it.

    It is meant to replace your physical amp, not be an entire tone stack with separate channels and whatnot. You need to supplement it with pedals if you want those extra elements, and naturally it doesn't do dual-amping since it is just meant to do the same job your regular amp does (but better). It's the sheer level of customization and tweaking ability you have, in addition to the amp-matching system (all of which BIAS FX lacks without being used in conjunction with BIAS Amp), and having this all available in a reliable hardware package with many accessible presets that can be used live, that are the main incentives for buying the Head/Rack. If you want an entire tone stack with dual amps and everything, it is the wrong product for the job.

    PositiveGrid does not currently offer a hardware version of BIAS FX, nor have they announced any plans to do so.

    As for your question about IRs: You can indeed swap out the cab sim section for the IR loader instead, and use any IR files you have. But again, you need to do this through BIAS Amp, not BIAS FX.



  • @ash-wolford Yes I wish I was mistaken, I guess there are a lot of videos that misrepresent the bias rack and heads, well misrepresent is not quite the word for it, but a bit confusing.

    The software is great, tone wise awesome with the dual amp features in Bias FX, which was the main reason to buy a rack unit, until I installed the software, woops.

    What I am getting at, I passed up other products for a lot less money, with much more features, and tone wise all these units are good if you know how to tweak them. Heck I have a line 6 xt live, 11r and digitech 1101, that all sound great, but I pair them together for dual amps and effects. Just thought it would be nice all in one like even the older line 6 products with dual amp features and tons of effects.

    The 11r and the old digitech have stand alone editors, and now the digitech you can install 3rd party IRs, and somewhat decent tones, but the BIAS stuff caught my attention.

    Kinda defeats the purpose creating a dual amp tone with pedals in front and unable to take it on the road with you, isn't that why the racks and heads where created for ?

    I should have paid more attention, and that's just to bad, thought it would be a good contender with Kemper and AXE FX at a more reasonable price.

    The unit is up there in price, and to get the tones within the software to bring to the stage you have to add more hardware ? At that rate, if the AXE FX and Kemper claim what they are supposed to do ( have heard Kemper live while I was mixing a band) and was pretty impressed, but not impressed at the price tag, but what you are saying, with all the extra stuff you need, might as well go for those other brands, after all said and done, probably be spending a lot more.Trying to get away taking tons of gear on the road and this unit seemed like a good solution, in studio no brainer, on the road different story.



  • @mike_studio said in BIAS Amp PRO - BIAS Rack:

    Kinda defeats the purpose creating a dual amp tone with pedals in front and unable to take it on the road with you, isn't that why the racks and heads where created for ?

    absolutely not, and nobody ever claimed it was.

    Axe FX, Kemper, and BIAS Head/Rack are all very different products. Axe FX is an effects rack with a bunch of amp models, Kemper is an amp profiler with a selection of basic effects, and BIAS Head/Rack/Amp is a component-level amp modeler with reverb. They all are highly advanced in their own ways, but they are still different products with different scopes, and are used differently:

    Axe FX (and similarly, Helix) is meant to be a single box that replaces your entire signal chain, and is closest to what it sounds like you're looking for. It gives pretty good sounds out of the box, but its models may not be the best there is and you don't have too many options for customizing them. You'll probably find users that still use their own pedals with them, but it's not as necessary since they have quite a selection of decent stuff already. This is the hardware equivalent of BIAS FX -- a product for those looking for a simple all-in-one solution that lets you throw together a signal chain out of individual modeled pedals/amps with some basic control over them.
    Kemper is a profiling unit that is meant to replace your amp and some of your pedals, providing you with the ability to effectively copy the sound of any other amp near-perfectly (meaning the amp being copied needs to be dialed in when profiled, and can't be customized all that much afterward) while providing a bit of convenience in its simple effects (meant to supplement your nicer pedals). It can be used standalone, but I think you'll find most users will still want to use their favorite pedals with it, since its effects are fairly limited and more of a convenience feature than anything. Also, Kemper does not support dual-amp as far as I am aware.
    Finally, BIAS Head/Rack is the epitome of doing one thing and doing it well: component-level amp modeling. You can swap the tubes, transformer, tone stack, set the biasing, topology, gain stages, compression, eq, IR/cab, mic placement, etc... Basically letting you build your own amp from scratch by letting you select and tweak all of the individual major components of that amp. It also has an amp match feature that lets you 'copy' other amp tones similar to Kemper (but it does so via automated selection and tweaking of component models rather than audio profiling). It provides far more options than any other product for customizing the amp itself, but makes no attempt at providing effects, because anyone actually interested in something with this level of nuts-and-bolts customization is almost definitely going to want to use their own pedals/effects anyway.

    As far as cost is concerned, regardless of which path you go down it will likely end up being fairly similar once pedals are accounted for. If you're super picky about effects, Kemper's built-in effects probably won't be enough, and BIAS includes none to begin with.

    I'm not sure what videos you saw that made it look like the BIAS Head/Rack was remotely connected with BIAS FX, but that's never been the case. All videos I've ever seen show it in conjunction with BIAS Amp; never with FX, and are always pretty much perfectly clear that it's an amp modeler, not a complete top-to-bottom signal chain replacement.

    I hate to say it, but it sounds like you somehow got the wrong idea and bought the wrong product for the job. You wanted top-to-bottom, not nuts-and-bolts.



  • You could look at something like a helix hx for effects, I know the point was to use bias fx in a live scenario but these two combined would still bring you in under the cost of a kemper/axe fx, especially when accounting for their floor units.

    Afaik, the only units with dual amping built in require a separate power amp for both amps? That may be worth considering when you say there was a cheaper option you considered, which I'm guessing was the helix? On the other hand lots of guys over on the thegearpage.net seem to love the helix so if effects and amps in one package is what you need them that may be more appropriate. I got the bias head since I love messing around with my physical pedal board and I'm not quite ready to give it up yet, but we all require different things from out equipment.

    If I were you I'd see if getting the HX and using it in conjunction with bias rack would solve your problems otherwise until bias brings out a bias fx unit you may be better with helix



  • Yeah, I don't know if there's anyone right now that makes an all-in-one box solution with dual powered outputs for stereo amping. Even our current powered units (with single-channel amplifiers) are $300-400 more than their non-powered versions. If you wanted to dual-amp with actual cabinets, you'd need external amplifiers -- otherwise if you were running straight into the PA then there wouldn't be any problems with running a standalone Helix or Axe FX.

    But yeah, BIAS FX is strictly a software solution for now, meant for folks using laptops/ipads. It'd be cool if they released a hardware version eventually, but it does kinda cater to a different crowd than the people most interested in the Head/Rack.

    HX wouldn't be a bad option at all for effects, and it's relatively cheap too. If you're wanting to use effects and different amp presets and whatnot, you still need a floor unit of some kind anyway (whether it's a fully-packed pedalboard or just a simple pushbutton controller for your amp), so it's not like you're saving any hassle/space by not getting a floor effects unit in addition to your head.


  • A2

    Well there is, but I have to build them one at a time and its a PITA....please please please positive grid make it for us!



  • Yeah I get the different products and what they all have to offer and their price tags associated with what they offer.

    I tried to stay away from the AXE FX and Helix and even Kemper for that matter, because realistically, who is buying those products to justify the price tag.

    I just wanted dual amp feature which I do not know why it does not come with Bias Amp, would makes more sense, and third party IRs, with a selection of peddles, do not care about the effects.

    The sound of bias amp/fx is great and very good in making it all tweaked and custom and sounds good compared to other products I tried.

    Line 6 hd500x dual amps and separate signal chain, the older pro x same thing, and a great feature. If you have not tried dual amp features, you can get some fantastic tones as Metalica does with their AXE FX II. They used to run dual amps (tubes)to get that big sound, now they use the dual amp features in the AXE FX.

    It is my mistake to assume certain things instead of looking at the product more closely, and figuring out the software I really wanted was the BIAS FX but in a preamp for on the road.

    Not knocking BIAS products, but I believe with a little bit of configuration and giving people close to what the so called high end players are offering at a good price point, they would corner the market.

    But I hear the same thing over and over, what 1200 plus cdn and no effects or peddles and such, does not get many interested.

    Yeah it is not my products an yeah I can spew all I want, but it is up to the company as to what they offer and want to do with their products.

    I will pay closer attention next time and do better research before buying something which I usually do... MY Bad !!!

    Ok enough ranting, just give me the dual amp option and does not have to be separate signal chains and the peddles and I will be on my way...LOL

    Cheers Guys



  • @mike_studio As a few have said, dual amping requires two separate power amps unless you're running in to a PA.

    Last I looked the Axe FX 2 (at least in the UK), was nearly double the cost of the bias head/rack (even more if you go the mini). Then you'd need to add the cost of two power amps and the floor unit and suddenly you're adding an extra 1k. Afaik the Kemper doesn't allow for multiamping? Unless I'm typing the wrong search terms in anyway.

    The line 6 products do what you want, but again you run in to the 2 power amps/PA issue, but that would bring likely bring you in line with the large bias head so maybe a more reasonable deal.

    The only other thing I can think of is whether you could get 2 Bias mini units instead of having the one larger head, this would solve the dual amping (power amp is built in to the units), then you just need you're effects which you could get a floor unit or a few individual effects pedals. This would probably bring you more in line with a powered kemper unit overall, but you'd get dual amping and would have the floor unit which you'd still need to get if you got the kemper.

    I'm writing this between calls at work so hopefully you understand, difficult to be coherent going back and forward!



  • @liam I understand the dual amp situation, trust me I have plenty of tube amps, rack and none rack versions.

    the goal was to make things simple in 1 unit with dual amp features with 3rd part IRs, that sounds good straight to a mixing console. Most of what I tried sound like crap and artificial.

    That being said my Eleven rack and digitech 1101 straight to pa sounds fantastic with a little bit of tweaking.

    I thought about 2 Eleven racks and be done with it, like a wet/dry setup, which is also a goal, thus the dual amp route.

    I wanted a unit to install 3rd part IRs with of course dual amp features with separate signal chains. Couple of ways to accomplish this, but wanted a simple solution.

    I can do that with the Eleven rack, but no 3rd party IRs, send dry signal to lets say a stage monitor or amp, and a wet/dry signal to front of house. Even though the Eleven rack is outdated you can tweak it to sound awsome for clean and high gain tones, but with the added IRs that I have it would be the only unit I would use, thus the quest to get the same live sound as the studio but not complicated. I have a crap load of gear, but who wants to haul it around, nice simple unit in 2 rack space or peddle board.

    I gravitated to Bias because of the sound, and assumed I could take that exact sound on the road, which yes you can, but single amp chain, no peddles an no effects. So it starts to get complicated again, and more gear to haul around.

    I can do dual amps now straight to mixer and sounds good, but 6 rack unit and floorboard to control it, gets heavy and starts to take up a lot of room.

    The dilemma is, for the cost of the bias rack could have gotten another Eleven rack or other cheaper unit and called it a day. As mentioned weight and portability with the ability to configure a few different options for live gigs, thus why I bought the preamp version, no cabs or micing on stage. straight to board, providing it sound decent, and feels somewhat like a real amp.



  • @Mike_Studio honestly I think the Helix would be more what you're after then, If it's going direct to PA then the power amp wont matter. You can load third party IR's (you can in bias but obviously no effects in BA), and you have all the effects/floor unit, so everything in one unit



  • @liam Yes I looked at a lot of equipment, and yes could have bought a Helix or AXE FX8, but without testing them and really having youtube vids to go by, and nobody really demoing it live it is hard to consider.

    I use Protools and play around at home and tried different software, when I tried bias FX, it sounded great, thus thinking I have an all in one solution for a good price and sounds good to take on the road, thus I turned to bias rack without really checking the bias amp software to realize the dual amp feature with stomp peddles was not in that piece of software.

    I assumed the software was the same for the rack unit and heads, but, soon found out, nope not the same.

    Like I said before not my company, but would have thought it through the bundling of software to take on the road with you, since it is all really computer based interfaces.

    Do not care for the effects even though they are great, bu the other features would have been great a that price point.

    Not sure what the big deal is to incorporate the bias fx into the bias amp and take it on the road, I could do that with a laptop and software and run into the mixer.

    So again bias has some great stuff but it limits it to take on the road ? You want that studio sound with the peddles and fx on the road with you, don't want to start getting other equipment to try and replicate that, makes no sense.

    Hey you got a great sound, using the effects, peddles and dual amps, and here is some hardware, but you can only have the amp models and really you cannot take what you created in the studio with you.

    Makes no sense at all, but doesn't matter, it is what it is, and hopefully the company understands what they are up against if they want to compete in that market.

    The bottom line for me, they have such a great product, put the features into the portable units for he same price they are now, and there will be no competition, Bias will be leading the way, and to me that is a no brainer for a marketing perspective.



  • @mike_studio I think we're going in circles here, only trying to help and get you a solution.

    In terms of incorporating BFX into the head; I'm not sure what the specs are of the head in terms of ram etc, but I'm sure I saw when they added reverb that it only really is enough to run BA, so even getting the reverb in was a task. I think for them to incorporate BFX in to the head it would require more powerful hardware.

    As I say I'm not 100% certain on this, but I'm sure I've seen it when reverb was added. It may even be in a post on here somewhere


  • A2

    Why would you need two power amps to run dual amps in Bias fx? It has a mixer



  • @pipelineaudio to connect to physical cabinets. you'd need either a pair of mono poweramps or a single stereo unit. Obviously if connecting to an existing PA system this isn't necessary.



  • @mike_studio You're only looking at the situation from one angle here -- the need for an all-in-one solution. You are assigning value solely upon how well a product complies with that need, without taking into account its individual capabilities. You have to understand, the BIAS Head/Rack is a different product with a different purpose, and has its own unique value. It does not, and should not, do the same thing as those other units, because that's not its purpose. That's not who it's for.

    PositiveGrid made a name for itself by making modeling products that allow full customization of amp components. It makes products that appeal to hardcore tinkerers. That's its entire thing. For you to not realize that is kind of missing the point of why PositiveGrid even exists, to be frank. BIAS FX is little more than a side project, if anything.

    You can't say the Axe FX is a better value because it supports dual-amping and effects while BIAS doesn't, when the Axe FX doesn't have remotely the same capabilities of amp customization/modeling that the BIAS has. Their individual specialties will offer different value to different people. I personally place more value upon the customization options of BIAS than the all-in-one aspects of those competitors -- dual-amping doesn't mean anything to me in a live setting, and i have pedals i like and would prefer to use over built-in effects already.

    For that matter, Kemper doesn't support dual-amping either and is significantly more expensive than even the BIAS units; is that suddenly less of a value? Of course not; Kemper does its job extremely well and dual-amping is outside the scope of that job. This is just conjecture, but I think you'll find most stage guitarists probably don't care all that much about dual-amping anyway; They just want a great-sounding amp, and for that purpose, Kemper and BIAS deliver. Dual-amping is more of a studio thing.

    Maybe PositiveGrid will release something for folks who want these features someday, but for the moment that market is already fairly well taken care of by competitors and PG is offering something unique for a different market.



  • The preamp looks fantastic, the software works fantastic with all the tweaking, and not bashing the product at all, but some features just do not make sense, and I'm not the only one that thinks like this.

    I get it was designed for a specific purpose, but when you have great software and want to create a portable product, at least offer the features that you use at home in some sort of package or make it available even to buy if need be.

    The thing I do not get, you buy all the software and create specific tones using both bias amp and bias fx, and you can integrate the 2, why not have a unit with that option ?

    I would buy the bias fx standard if i could load it into the unit.

    I guess I will just hold my breath and maybe let it collect dust and see if any updates become available, or resell it again and try something else.

    Thanks for all the input, was not trying to start anything, just frustrated and dissapointed, and that is my fault not the companies fault, just venting.

    Cheers

    Mike



  • @mike_studio said in BIAS Amp PRO - BIAS Rack:

    when you have great software and want to create a portable product, at least offer the features that you use at home in some sort of package or make it available even to buy if need be.

    That's exactly what they did. They took their flagship product, BIAS Amp, and offered its features in a hardware package.

    BIAS FX is just a bonus for producers that doesn't really offer anything the competition doesn't already provide in that space, aside from BIAS Amp and BIAS Pedal model integration. Their component-level modeling is the real product, not BIAS FX. Furthermore, the people who used their flagship products would already have their own preferences for outboard effects. It only makes sense that their initial hardware offerings were packaged versions of their core software product.

    You don't seem to realize the level of complexity of what you're asking. PositiveGrid is known for its products that do one thing and do it well, and BIAS Head/Rack was their very first hardware offering. Adding in all this stuff you're wanting is overextending upon the core product. Offering all the tweakability of BIAS Amp plus the effects chain and stereo amp channel of BIAS FX would've required them to build a more complex product with higher hardware requirements, a more complex and problematic UI, and a more expensive BOM. It would've made the end product even more expensive, at a time when an app company like PositiveGrid entering the hardware space was already an eyebrow-raising move to begin with, and the Head/Rack are already viewed as expensive (thanks to people comparing to the price of their software). Nevermind that the all-in-one effects box market is already kind of saturated. From a marketing perspective, it would have been a misstep.

    Again, you want an all-in-one effects box. PositiveGrid wanted what most of its customers wanted: A great-sounding amp.

    They may possibly at some point release a standalone all-in-one effects box built around BIAS FX; who knows. But one thing that's certain is that they won't do it via an update to BIAS Head/Rack, so if purely a great super-tweakable amp isn't what you're after then you should probably go ahead and return/sell yours now...


  • A2

    We don't know though, how much DSP power is in these heads and racks. Its conceivable that it could run bias fx, though my tests show bias fx running at a lower latency and using roughly twice the cpu power of bias amp



  • @pipelineaudio i feel like that's an extreme long-shot tbh. And even if it could, the hardware UX is not remotely optimal for it. Just adding stereo amps to the equation alone already severely complicates simple matters like tweaking your amp settings from the hardware controls (i.e. which amp are you tweaking?), nevermind the complete lack of controls available for effects...

    Using twice the CPU power of BIAS Amp is already saying a lot, given that it's infamously pretty extreme on system resources compared to basically any other effect software.

    To be honest though, I've kiiiinda gotten the feeling from things that PG has said that they're already barely skirting the limits of the hardware they're using in the Head/Rack, so it doesn't seem likely, but who knows.