Positive Grid’s Spark Amp is a smart practice amp for guitarists. Because it has a USB connection to the computer, guitarists always wonder if it can be used as an audio interface.
Well, yes Positive Grid Spark Amp works as an audio interface. You can connect this to any computer or laptop that runs on Mac or Windows operating system.
but it has some limitations which we’ll discuss later in this article,
First, let me tell you “IN DETAIL” what is Spark Amp?
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What is Spark Amp?
Spark Amp is a smart guitar amp designed and sold by Positive Grid. It is one of the best accessories for beginner guitar players.
Spark Amp is not an ordinary amp. It has some smart features that make it unique.
- Smart Jam Live – Which accompanies you in real-time with realistic authentic bass and drums. When you start to play, the Spark amp and its dedicated app work together to learn your feel and style and start jamming with you. Smart Jam Live works like a virtual band.
- Auto Chords – Spark Amp app auto display the chords of any song that you choose all in real-time.
- Voice Command – You can also command Spark Amp with your voice just like Alexa. You can tell it stream a song or Jam with you and it starts following your command.
It has a hyper-realistic tone engine with 10k plus custom guitar and bass effect presets delivered via ToneCloud.
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The best thing is you can connect Spark Amp directly to a Windows or Mac computer and use it as an audio interface. You will also get Presonus Studio One Prime DAW with the package.
Well, let me show you how to connect Spark Amp to a computer.
How to Connect Spark Amp with Computer
Spark Amp has a built-in audio interface which you can use via USB port given on the backside of this gear. You will get a USB cable in the package that you can use to connect to the computer.
To connect with the computer you have to first download the required ASIO driver.
This link also guides you to install the driver properly.
Then you should connect the USB cable to Spark Amp and the computer.
Now go to the hardware setting and see if the driver is showing there.
Install the given Presonus Studio One Prime DAW on your computer and check the connection settings.
If all is done right you will see the inputs and outputs with the name of Spark hardware.
How to Fix Low Volume Problem of Spark Amp as Audio Interface?
Some users complain that when they connect Spark Amp to the computer, the recorded track’s volume is very low compared to other audio interfaces.
Well, it was a bug in the software which is already fixed. I think, when you install the latest driver you will get rid of this problem.
Can You Use Spark Amp With Garageband and Other DAW?
Yes, you can use Spark Amp with any DAW that supports ASIO driver. Spark Amp comes with an ASIO driver that you can download from Positive Grid’s official website.
I have already given the link above.
This audio driver supports all major DAWS.
Latency Problem in Spark Amp
Some users tasted the latency of Spark Amp which I have given here.
- 512 samples ASIO-buffer size and 48 kHz, 24 Bit WAV mono input: Input 15.17 ms (728 samples) and Output: 12.5 ms (600 samples)
- 256 samples ASIO-buffer size and 48 kHz, 24 Bit WAV, mono input: Input 9.83 ms (472 samples), Output: 8.5 ms (408 samples)
Compared to other same-price range audio interfaces, Spark has a little bit latency problem.
Also, Spark Amp has a fixed sample rate of 48kHz which cannot b changed which is a disadvantage of Spark Amp compared to professional audio interfaces.
However, keep in mind, it’s not a dedicated audio interface but a smart guitar amp equipped with an audio interface feature.
My Thoughts on the Positive Grid Spark Amp
Positive Grid Spark Amp is a great guitar practice amp for beginners. It has several unique features useful for a guitar beginner.
But, the virtual smart jam is really awesome.
I personally like it.
Well, I admit, it’s not the replacement for real jamming but it will complement your guitar practice which is great for beginners who want to practice alone.
The Auto Chord feature is also good for beginners who don’t know how t find the chords of a song.
And, of course, the amps and effects with thousands of presets are big deal within this price range.
Best Alternatives to Spark Amp
There are several alternatives to Positive Grid Spark Amp, however, I like,
Yamaha THR30II has almost similar features to Spark Amp. The audio interface in Yamaha THR30II is better than Spark.
It has lower latency then Spark Amp so you can choose it as a better alternative ot Spark Amp.