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This article was originally published in issue #68
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Tons of excellent sounds. Very affordable. Synth and Tone Capture features are very impressive.
Won’t switch channels on your amp.
Sounds best with 3rd party IRs.
DC: 9V, 3A
Dimensions: 410mm x 201mm x 62mm
Weight: 3.0 kg
Nick Jennison reviews the GE300 from Mooer; The brand new flagship multi-effect instrument processor for the brand. By combining the well-received Micro Preamp series, Tone Capture instrument matching technology, tri-voice polyphonic synthesizer module, and a wide-range of guitar effects and tools, the GE300 looks to be the all-in-one working station for musicians whether in a live situation, at home, or in the studio.
Mooer has come a long way from their origins recreating classic pedals in tiny enclosures. In the last two years, they’ve given us the all-singing-all-dancing Ocean Machine and the superb Preamp Live. Released at this year’s Winter NAMM, the GE300 represents another “level up” moment for the Chinese manufacturer. It’s a fully-fledged modeller and effects processor, and it’s might be a very viable alternative to a Helix/Headrush/AX8.
It’s a very solid feeling unit, with a brushed metal enclosure and a bright full-colour display. There’s an array of inputs and outputs around the back, including stereo jack and XLR outs and a stereo loops for patching in your favourite gear - or for using the 4 cable method with your amp of choice. There isn’t a dedicated output to switch amp channels, but there is MIDI I/O. There’s also a USB out for connecting to the editor software, but it also allows the GE300 to function as a class-compliant audio interface.
Sonically, the GE300 has everything you’d expect in terms of amp models and effects, with dozens of reverbs, delays and modulations and a ton of amp and cab sounds taken from their Micro Preamp series of pedals. The effects sound very impressive - particularly the more ambient reverbs, which are lush and immersive. The amp models are lively and responsive, although they are slightly let down by the cab models, which can be a little thin and nasal. Fortunately, loading your own IRs is a piece of cake, and this improves the sound of the amp models drastically.
In addition to the usual modeller fare, the GE300 has two standout features that set it apart from the crowd - a fully polyphonic synth and “Tone Capture”. The synths are very deep, with no less than three oscillators and either monophonic or polyphonic operation - including an arpeggiator for each oscillator! Tracking is very good, and there are some fantastic sounding presets to get you started, but for the synth-savvy the sky is the limit.
The “Tone Capture” is perhaps the most exciting feature on the unit. Taken from the Preamp Live, the Tone Capture block allows you to “model” the sound of any amp or pedal (particularly useful for overdrives), as well as for capturing your own cab IRs. It works very well, and the results are very accurate, but the most impressive track the GE300 has is its ability to model guitars. By comparing your target and source instruments, the GE300 can turn the bridge humbucker on your Les Paul into, say, a Telecaster neck pickup. The results are very impressive indeed: certainly close enough for live use, and it’ll allow you to drastically cut down on the number of guitars you need to take to the gig!
The Mooer GE300 is a very impressive entry into a very competitive market - it’s built like a tank, easy to operate and offers loads of great sounds. The synth and Tone Capture features set it apart from the crowd, as does the very wallet-friendly price.