Swedish software maker Klevgrand has introduced Stark, an amp simulator plug-in for PCs, Macs and the iPad. Its minimalist GUI and tweak-ability for the amplifier, cabinet, room and effects make it worth checking out.
The Stark virtual rig includes amplifier, cabinet, room and effects, all bundled into one package. Unusually, they have gone for a minimalist front end instead of the more traditional approach of making it look like a real amp. Whether or not this bothers you, it has a clean look that promises to be easy to navigate.
Stark’s four modules named Amplifier, Cabinet, Room and Pedalboard. I like the neat layout. It should make your workflow simpler, as you aren’t getting blinded by whizzy graphics to distract you from building your virtual guitar rigs.
Stark has 12 Amp Profiles in total, with both Clean and Overdrive modes. Each has a Three-band EQ with presence and a Booster to dial in some end-stage amp saturation when required. The Cab Profiles include 10 options differing in size and sound. A Stereo Width knob lets you set the distance between the two “mics” in front of your virtual speaker cone. Six Room Profiles are on offer here, spread over small, medium and large rooms. The controls includes a Decay parameter to govern the reflectivity of the virtual walls. And there’s a pedalboard, too, with 14 effects you drag and drop to the four FX slots.
All in all, it looks like a fairly decent virtual guitar rig setup and the company has some introductory pricing that gives you a fair chuck off of the full price. Klevgrand uses its own algorithms that don’t involve any convolution or FFT analysis, which they state gives Stark a more natural feel and response. You can hear it in action in the video below and download a free demo from the company site. I actually think the pricing is pretty reasonable, even at full price.
It runs in AAX, AU and VST plug-in formats on PC/Mac, or AUv3 on iPad.
RRP – PC/Mac Introductory price USD 39.99, usually RRP USD 79.99 and iPad USD 9.99, usually USD 19.99