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This article was originally published in issue #58
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Fact is, you’re never going to get guitar players to give up on amps, but there’s so much powerful tone shaping software out there that we’re missing out on.
Literally endless tonal possibilities
Quiet, fast and reliable performance
Can’t be powered by USB
Insert your favourite mobile and desktop apps into your pedalboard signal chain you say? Yes, please! Nick Jennison reviews one of the most compact plug-and-play USB audio interfaces we have ever seen: The Orange OMEC Teleport.
When it comes to tech, guitarists are famously late to the party. While we agonise over the “modellers vs amps” debate, producers the world over are perfectly content with the convenience and power of the DAW, and keyboard players practically scoff at the idea of carting a whole raft of analogue gear from gig to gig. In fact, many of our keys-toting counterparts are perfectly content with a MIDI controller and a laptop, especially where touring is concerned.
Fact is, you’re never going to get guitar players to give up on amps, but there’s so much powerful tone shaping software out there that we’re missing out on. This is where the OMEC Teleport comes in. It is, essentially, an audio interface in a pedal. The real genius of this little unit, however, is that it’s not just a way to get audio into your Mac/PC/iDevice etc, but also for getting that audio back out and into your signal chain. Think of it as a way to use your computer/phone/tablet as a pedal, and you’ll start to see the potential of this tiny little unit.
Seriously. There are literally no end to the sonic possibilities that this pedal afford you. Aside from the obvious “record your pedalboard direct to your DAW”, you can play polyphonic audio-to-MIDI instruments on an iPad (like designer Daniel Gomez showed us at NAMM this year, viewable on the Guitar Interactive YouTube channel), or you can use software amp sims through your real amp’s FX return. Use it with your phone and, say, Bias FX for the most portable modelling rig imaginable. Use it with a live-oriented DAW like Mainstage or Ableton Live to access the kind of wild signal processing possibilities that even the most advanced pedal units can’t touch. No doubt you’ve already thought of a few more applications that I’ve missed.
Of course, none of this matters unless it sounds good, and I’m happy to report that the Teleport performs beautifully in this regard. It’s quiet, fast and preserves the behaviour of your guitar’s pickups and pots beautifully, even in bypass. The two outputs are assignable within your DAW to enable some smart signal routing possibilities, or as a stereo pair to run out to two amps or a stereo channel on your PA.
Long story short, the Teleport is a pedal with limitless potential. It probably won’t appeal to you if you’re a “guitar, cable, amp” kind of character, but if you’re a tech-savvy type who wishes you could leverage the power of your music-making software as part of you’re guitar rig, then you’d be mad to pass this one up.
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