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User Review

Authentic Sounding with a Wide Array of Guitar and Bass Cabinets - Reviews Hotone Audio OMNI IR

Value For Money : Correct Audience: Anyone
The sound you produce (using the same gear) with a 1x12 cabinet as opposed to a 4x10 cabinet can be significantly different and particularly when comparing a Fender cabinet to a Marshall or MESA – each company has its own flair and uniqueness that can sound great with one type of guitar or a slew of pedals, and yet sound mediocre with other gear.

The OMNI IR is an impulse response pedal that enables you to get that cabinet feel and depth while playing into a FRFR speaker, into a mixing board (PA system) or into your DAW. Based on other IR pedals in its price range, it sounds as good as the best and definitely better than others (no names mentioned, but I have found some IR pedals/devices sound boxy and as though playing through a metal can or drum). The OMNI IR sounds authentic, clear and detailed. In the demo included with this review I work through three different preamps by Victory – The Countess, The Sheriff and The Kraken. I apply each to various cabinet sizes on the OMNI IR, but in each instance I strum a few clean chords so that you can hear Channel 1 on each of the preamps, and then switch into high gear with Channel 2 on each. Thus, you get to hear small (1x10) and large (4x12) cabinets with three different preamp types, as well as three different guitars. Often I use a MESA cabinet on my Axe-Fx II Mark II, and when running through all the samples on the OMNI IR I found one that could go head-to-head with the Axe-Fx (in terms of matching the tone I like). As it so happens, it’s a MESA cabinet (although there’s a Bogner 2x12 I really like as well).

The OMNI IR offers a very good selection of 39 of the most popular sizes and cabinet models, and it’s quality makes its $199 USD price reasonable. There are eight cabs in the 1x10 and 1x12 categories that mimic the likes of Fender, Marshall, Orange, Gibson, Vox and MESA. There are nine cabs in the 2x12 category with responses from Selmer, Two-Rock, Fender, Vox, MESA, Orange, Marshall and Bogner. There are three 4x10 cabs that mimic Fender, Bogner and Marshall. There are thirteen cabs with responses from Marshall, MESA, Friedman, Orange, Randall, Engl, Diezel, EVH, Bogner and Electro-Voice. To even things out, there also are six bass cabinets that mimic Ampeg, Eden and Gallien-Krueger. Having all these responses in a small pedal format is ideal for those home studios recording/playing direct to DAW, but a godsend for those plugging direct to a PA/Mixer (common in many night club settings). Extremely easy to use and dial in a great tone, no matter your gear, you can create several unique sounds/tones simply by selecting different cabinets – and without having to haul around actual cabinets.

The OMNI IR’s knobs and switches provides access to all controls and parameters (visible via the OLED screen), but also accessible through the free computer OMNI software (which I find easier to navigate) via the included USB cable. OMNI IR has a Master volume control and a Function knob. When turning the Function knob left or right a preset is selected. When pressing down the Function knob you access the menu system, whereby you can make a number of changes (again, this can be done via the computer software) to any of the 39 presets. Through onboard or via the software you can set the preset volume and control and the frequency/gain for bass, midrange, treble and presence. The ranges vary for each, such as Low (frequency range of 50Hz-500Hz with gain of 10Hz -12~0~+12dB) Midrange (frequency of 500Hz-1kHz with gain of 10Hz -12~0~+12 dB) , High (frequency of 1kHz-5kHz with gain of 0.1kHz -12~0~+12dB) and Presence (frequency of 5kHz-16kHz with gain of 0.1kHz -12~0~+12 dB). You are able to change and save any preset to any of the preset numbers (besides resetting the factory settings). The Footswitch is assignable so that it can bypass, mute or scroll up or down the presets. Like the OMNI AC (acoustic) pedal, the OMNI IR has a Thru so that you can blend your original guitar tone with one from the OMNI IR. As well, there is a balanced XLR out (to a mixing board, for example) with a ground lift option, a headphones jack and an Aux In (to connect an MP3 player or other device). The OMNI IR comes with its own 9VDC power supply while consuming less than 200mA of power.