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Since the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010 an entirely new market of music tools have cropped up in the iPad’s wake—from tuners to recording apps and even amp modeling apps.
DigiTech has harnessed the power of the iPad and coupled it with their expertise in the pedal world to create the iPB-10 Programmable Pedalboard. Rather than relying on custom computer hardware the iPB-10 instead uses the same iPad architecture used by thousands of app developers to create a processing machine that you can plug right into a multi-fx pedalboard shell. The combination of high quality touch display, iPad horsepower and Digitech’s modeling software—the iPB-Nexus app—creates an all-in-one amp and pedalboard combo that’s ready to rock the studio or stage.
If It Looks Like a Pedalboard
The iPB-10 consists of three separate parts; the physical pedalboard unit, your iPad, and the iPB Nexus app. The pedalboard itself is metal and rock solid, and the iPad is installed by lifting a protective latch, which reveals a power connector. Once the iPad is in place and the cover is lowered the iPad becomes the display and focal point of the unit.
On the left of the iPad are two stomp switches labeled Stomp and Amp. To the right of the iPad you’ll find Up and Down switches for selecting from the effects banks and a small LED display above that denotes what banks have been selected. Below the iPad are two rows of five stomp switches. The top bank is labeled A-E and the bottom is 1-5. All stomp switches have an adjacent red LED indicator to indicate activity. On the far right of the unit is an attached expression pedal that is used for volume, wah, whammy and other effects.
The back of the unit includes a guitar input, an amp loop consisting of send and return jacks plus a ground lift switch (very handy), and a stomp loop with send and return jacks. Next to that are stereo ¼” outputs with an amp/mixer switch for proper output matching as well as dual XLR outputs with a ground lift switch. There’s also an output volume pot along with a stereo 1/8” headphone jack, footswitch jack, USB output for direct recording to a DAW via USB, and a 9V power input. The included power supply is a lump-in-the-line 9V, 2amp that is capable of powering the iPB-10 anywhere in the world with the included adapters.
The iPB-Nexus app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store on the iPad. No copy protection or serial number/activation code is necessary as the pedalboard itself is required for true functionality.
Setup and iPB-Nexus
Having the iPad as a display is a thing of beauty and this is without question the best looking multi-fx display I’ve seen to date. The app is laid out very clearly with the amp model on top and five pedals displayed below. The bank and patch number along with the name of the patch are clearly labeled on the top left of the screen. Touching on an amp, cabinet or FX pedal immediately brings up a choice of all available options.
There are 54 amps, 26 cabs and 87 pedals to choose from. And because the iPad is a touch screen all parameters are controllable by touching and dialing them in. A built-in tuner mutes the volume when in use, a volume icon that allows you to easily adjust the volume of your presets, and a Settings page displays app and firmware versions as well as tuning reference and output level controls.
The help system is built right into the app so if you ever get lost the manual is just a touch away. You can also use the MyTones section of the app to search for tones via a variety of criteria to make it easy to locate a preset.