This isn’t as bad as it sounds as you probably won’t be using 10 effects that all require toggle activation – think EQ, compressor, noise gate. Even if you did, then it would be possible to duplicate the preset and have effects assigned differently to pedals A to E – a simple drag and drop operation.
The lettered footswitches relate to the effects pedals showing on-screen
While all this is all perfectly logical, it takes a while to get your head round the fact that these large footswitches relate to five small pedals and five named presets below them. Apart from the middle switches, the iPad icons and the footswitches don’t line up at all. Aesthetically, you can see where Digitech is coming from – plastering each pedal with a letter ABCD or E would look awful, as would some snaking lines to point to the physical switch for each effect. Likewise, having the switches closer together wouldn’t work either, so you just have to learn the layout.
Two switches to the left of the iPad screen deal with external devices so that you can introduce an amp or a favourite pedal (stomp) or two into the effects loop. A nice touch is that you can insert these two options anywhere in the signal chain of virtual devices by placing the Amp or Stomp icon in between the pedals in your configuration. The expression pedal defaults to switch between volume and wah duties and even has a calibration feature in the app settings section. Incidentally, you get three wah types too, each offering distinct colourful resonances.
To rearrange assignments simply drag and drop an effects pedals to a lettered footswitch while in Edit mode
Click for a larger image
Having the iPad display this effects array certainly avoids squinting at some cryptic pedalboard screen to initiate changes. Indeed, the whole process of stringing together effects and saving presets is quick and easy to manage. You want a different amp? Just tap on the one showing and the My Gear window appears with a lengthy row of amp heads to choose from, including Dreadnaught [sic] and Jumbo options that transform electric guitars into acoustic emulations. The same tap and choose approach goes for the speaker cabinets too.
Dialling in changes is made easier if you double tap to enlarge – the pop-up shows the parameters too
Selecting and swapping pedals around is slightly more involved. The iPB-Nexus app has icons for different functions in light grey along the top of the iPad screen. On the right side are those for saving custom presets and the edit option for the effects assignments. Here you can see all the pedals lined up – and can rearrange, add or remove them as necessary.
Sort out assignments and sift through the factory and user presets on the go from the My Tones library
Click for a larger image
Get out of edit and you can make changes to the dials on display – a double tap on an effects pedal enlarges it to make knob twiddling easier. Indeed, making changes on-screen is very responsive and an additional values box appears so you can view alterations more precisely. At this point you might be thinking that there’s an awful lot of crouching going on as you tweak pedals and amp settings from the iPad screen with the iPB-10 on the floor. While that is certainly true, the iPB-Nexus app does allow you to make changes without being tethered to the iPB-10 pedal board.
Next page: Session player
Dude, you're a barista!
A grand (in total) for a fancy effects pedal that will probably die when someone spills a pint on it?
I'll stick with my Marshall JMP and array of Boss pedals, thanks.
Gave you a free review unit did they?
As a long-time gigging guitarist, these are both laughably expensive (£500 for the unit plus £whatever for an iPad versus the offerings of Line6, Vox et al), badly built and a batshit mental idea - why do you want your fondleslab unprotected on the floor of an effing pub or club, right the path of the next spilled pint and under the filthy soles of your shoes?
In addition - I found the models to sound far too digital at any kind of volume, which asks questions of why the fruit it's packaged as a floor board.
What most other people said, plus...
I have nothing whatsoever against using iOS devices for music production - there are some incredible music apps out there, like the Animoog synthesiser (one review called it an "app which will sell iPads"), and some decent-looking hardware products with iDevice connections/docks (e.g. Akai's Synthstation25, a portable keyboard controller with built-in iPhone dock for £50).
However, as others have said, I really don't think Digitech have thought this one through very well at all. A £500-ish pedalboard which needs a £400 iPad to work, and which might well end up on the floor at a sweaty gig? And, which will end up obsolete within a few years, as Apple changes its product line?
You might just get away with using this in the studio, but then you could use all manner of other iOS guitar-processing apps/hardware which cost a fraction of this. Sorry, Digitech - if I had £500 to splurge on some guitar kit, I'd bag myself a Roland GR55...
It should have knobs on it
I've just got back into playing after getting too old for a life of debauchery. All the digital things sound digital (which is not surprising) But Alesis seem to be doing it better. I've got an iODock which after some initial loud noise problems i was eventually sorted by Alesis. Now they have something similar to this but with physical knobs on it and half the price.
So when you bend over in the dark to adjust the virtual knobs - if someone hasn't spilled beer on £1000 worth of kit - you have to fiddle around with erratic virtual knobs.
Think I'll stick with my G&L, VHT valve amp - which doesn't try and emulate a digital amp, TC chorus and various analogue pedals.