App Review: PocketGK
PocketGK by PocketLabworks (in collaboration with Gallien Krueger) is the world’s first bass-exclusive iOS bass practice tool. The app was created in an effort to level the playing field for bass players, since there are so many guitar-exclusive apps out there.
PocketGK features a bass amp with two channels: clean and Boost. Boost offers the Gallien Krueger GIVE circuit tone. Both amp channels have a horn control, Boost (Gain), Master Volume, Noise Gate, and 4-band EQ.
The PocketGK, like all apps in this niche, requires some sort of adapter to work. Luckily, there’s no one adapter you are required to purchase, so anything you find convenient will work. This is a huge advantage point.
PocketGK allows you to play-along with your favorite itunes music. The feature allows you to pause, fast-forward, or rewind the track. PocketGK also allows you to choose between the GK NEO 4×10 and 1×15 cabinets. At $4.99, the PocketGK is price very competitively with other apps.
Putting it to the Test
Using my iRig adapter, I plugged-in my new Lakland 5 string and played around with the EQ to dial-in my tones. This tone circuit is essentially the same as the Mobile Bass system. I own a GK Mobile Bass amp, and must say that the sound is pretty true to the GK tone. The horn was a little noisy for my taste, but I always have mine turned down or nearly off anyway.
The Noise Gate is cool in some ways, and not so cool in others. It does a fantastic job of canceling out any extraneous noise while you aren’t playing, but if you play a longer note, it cuts in and out as your notes decay. This was a little annoying at first, as it resembled your signal cutting in and out, probably because this is essentially what it is designed to do. Going to the presets, I found that you can limit the amount of effect the gate has. You can even cut it out completely as to eliminate the issue of the sound cutting out. This is a great way to moderate your 60-cycle hum, whether you want a lot of it or none at all.
PocketGK could use some more features, however. I’d love to see more amp cabs and maybe some effects added in the future. Some more options to slow-down or speed-up iTunes play-alongs would be a nice feature.
I’ve played through a lot of good iPhone apps for guitar and bas, and although the PocketGK falls short of my spoiled taste, it is a great app with a lot of potential. Since it is the first kid on the block, it is no surprise to me that there are some bugs to be worked out. I see some updating in it’s future, but it’s a fantastic start for the pioneer in bass apps, and it is priced very competitively for any app market. Keep an eye out for the PocketGK.
This app is the best choice for a bass player that owns an iphone/pad. The sound is very comparable to any GK amp I’ve owned ( 800, 700RB2, 2000RB and MB150 ). The ability to just play along with your ipod playlist without the need to import each song is the way all similar apps should work.
Like the reviewer said, this app would benefit from a few additional features. Especially the ability to slowdown playback of tunes. A few effects would be cool if they were add-ons. No need to force players to pay for them if they don’t want them. The ability to record your playing would also be a great feature.