Amped Review: Digitech iPB-10 iPad Driven Pedalboard

Very pretty to look at.. and the sound?      27/10/11

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At Musik Messe this year, Digitech unveiled the iPB-10; an iPad programmable pedal board.
This was not a silly move by any stretch of the imagination, the legion of iPad-bearing musicians is ever increasing, and there are a number of companies inventing apps to help you read music, process your guitar sounds, and even process your vocal sounds. With decent sequencing and recording software available for iOS, it now looks as if the iPad is catching up with the humble laptop (remember when they were cool?) in terms of convenience and audio processing.
 
When I first plugged in to the iPB-10, I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I love the idea of it, the fact that you can spend all day tweaking your sounds and building preset banks for gigs is a guitarist’s idea of heaven. It also has a recording interface, which means you can plug into your computer via USB and record your riffs into your favourite DAW.

The first thing I did was to scroll through the banks like a kid at Christmas. It’s nice to sound like Satriani (in terms of tone, not playing) one minute, and then Hendrix the next minute. We all do it! But then you scratch beneath the surface and realise that Digitech have literally modelled all of your favourite amplifiers, cabs, and effects pedals. You realise that the model of the Tube Screamer reacts in a very similar way to your actual tube screamer when you change the tone setting.
It’s hard to drag yourself away from it once you’ve started, in very much the same way that a great video game will make you never ever want to leave your seat ever again… ever.

The only fault I can pick with the general ‘tone’ of the DSP is the crunchy distortion sounds. Crunch is hard to model with digital distortion, as nothing really ever comes close to the sound of 4 pre-amp tubes beginning to overload ever so slightly as you increase the dynamics of your playing. The heavier sounds were brilliant though, and this is probably down to the distinct lack of need for mid harmonics in heavier distortion sounds.

I much prefer the DSP and interface on the iPB-10 to almost any other similar unit, my only single issue is with the price.

It’s obvious that Digitech have to make some money. They are aware that once you factor in the cost of an iPad then this setup becomes expensive, but what are they supposed to do? Decrease their profit margins whilst Apple maintains theirs?

I think the answer is that this only makes economic sense if you already own an iPad. Sweetwater offer a bundle (iPB-10 and iPad 2) for just under $1000, perhaps if you could find a cheap bundle, then the iPB-10 would be a good purchase!

Features:
  • Drag and drop pedalboard design
  • Arrange pedals in any order
  • Touch screen control
  • 87 pedals
  • 54 amps
  • 26 cabinets
  • Drag and drop footswitch assignment
  • Real-time view of pedal settings with direct access to pedal control
  • Up to 10 pedals, 1 amp, and 1 cabinet can be added to a setup
  • Unique setup assignable to each preset
  • Infinite number of presets, 100 footswitch accessible
  • Store, organize, and rate presets using My Tones library
  • Compatible with iPad2 and iPad
Pricing £499 /$749.95

 

More From: DIGITECH
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10 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Mattsynth    Said...

What happens if you stomp on your $500.00 iPad my mistake? This is not a good idea.

27-Oct-11 10:07 AM


Nick B    Said...

Yep, that is of course a concern. Wear slippers?

27-Oct-11 10:37 AM


Dolphono    Said...

The presenter mentioned MIDI but there is no connector for MIDI. I supposed it's usb only? I love the encasement design of this unit, it covers up the Orwellian cameras on the iPad,I'm in just for that freedom perk only. I well be using this as an efx unit for my DAW with iPad integration, not as a pedalboard.

27-Oct-11 11:44 AM


Dpm    Said...

Other than the user interface, a better purchase would be Digitech's own RP1000 or RP500. You'd have a cheaper all-in-one unit.

27-Oct-11 03:34 PM


Chris    Said...

Once you program your presets an set all your sounds you ca remove the iPad and use it without it. This thing sounds amazing! Been playing marshals for over 20 years and this thing nails the sound. All stomp boxes sound like the real thing. I already had an iPad and was very fond of the Amplitube iPad app. This digitech pedal is one bad ass piece of equipment. (never really liked any digitech stuff also) if you have an iPad go for it.. If for some unknown reason you don't like it return it. That's what I thought...

30-Oct-11 09:13 PM


   Said...

Really enjoying my IPB10. It give you so many option and the sound of each amp pedal and cabinet are amazing . If you are serious about you music it is worth the money. You get so much.... Do the math

19-Jan-12 09:46 PM


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01-May-12 10:27 AM


Wanderson    Said...

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01-May-12 10:27 AM


Wanderson    Said...

Good blog post, nice efforts. It coduln't appear to have been penned any better. Reading this article piece of writing reminds me about my old boss! He usually kept babbling about this. I will email this post to him. Pretty confident he will probably have a high-quality read. Appreciate your posting!

01-May-12 10:27 AM


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03-May-12 10:59 PM


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