OMG it’s an OMEC Teleport!
Pedals. Endless pedals. The guitar universe is littered with countless devices for altering one’s sound. Pedals come in all shapes and sizes and can create just about any sound one could dream up, and even some sounds that are the stuff of nightmares. Some other pedals are clones of a clone (*coughcough* overdrives), while others are completely original and totally new. For a (typically) lower cost point, guitarists can easily add these small sonic devices to their rig to color their sounds and tones in entirely new ways that may take their songwriting and general creativity to entirely new places. Unfortunately, this typically often leads to a bad case of GPA (Guitar Pedal Addiction- see a specialist), in which a small collection of floor pedals can quickly turn into a massive board full of electronic wizardry. GPA can then lead to broken relationships, empty bank accounts, intense loss of days and nights, and possibly angry neighbors. But this is all another topic for another day. We're here to talk about just ONE very unique pedal.
Pedals indeed come in all shapes and sizes, with a seemingly endless variety of knobs, sliders, and controls. But have you ever seen a pedal with no knobs or no displays? Just a simple switch, a few jacks, and an LED?
Something like this?
If you saw this tiny pedal in your local store, you might find yourself curious about what this device could do, asking yourself or the salesperson: “Why would I buy a tiny pedal for so much money that doesn’t appear to do anything to my sound?” or “It has no knobs, what does it even do?” The answer is more along the lines of - it’s what it doesn’t do to your sound. And there lies the inherent beauty of this matchbox-sized stompbox. Enter the simple-yet-elegant OMEC Teleport.
For those of you who may be familiar with recording studios, you will know that an audio interface is the literal hub of all modern studios. The audio interface is required to take the analog signals that are created by a guitar rig (or any other analog source) and convert them to digital so that they can be processed and recorded by a computer (the process is then done in reverse when the computer translates the digital signals to analog for replication on a set of speakers). Audio interfaces are the devices that handle this first step of the above process. Some of the most familiar and popular audio interfaces are ones like the Focusrite Scarlett, the Presonus AudioBox, or the Universal Audio Apollo. These pieces of gear can get pricey however, meaning a guitarist looking to simply interface their guitar rig may be buying features that they will never use.
While the above-mentioned are wonderful pieces of high-end gear, they often require a good amount of desk space and extra cables/PSUs, are not built for the road, may have compatibility issues with various electronic gear, and may have TOO much candy and be overly-complex for a guitar-centric purpose. For years, guitarists have needed a device that was simple and small enough to be portable and easy to use, yet had to rely on studio-oriented devices that just didn’t gel with a guitar rig as it were.
Well, this small pedal is, in fact, a full audio interface condensed down into an “everything you need, nothing you don’t” guitar-friendly stompbox so that you can interface with computers or smartphones quickly and easily, and without the need to carry a massive rackmounted or desktop piece of gear with you. After all, it is 2021, and it should be easy to connect a phone to a guitar.
There are two main ways you can use this tiny interface. The first way is the most traditional, where you would run your guitar signal into the Teleport, and then direct to FOH/PA system or via USB to your preferred iOS/Android/Mac/PC device! This method allows you to run your guitar signal either direct to your gig’s PA, eliminating a lot of the headaches that come with mic’ing amps, or having amps altogether, along with giving the sound guy a clean, predictable signal to work with.
The second method is a bit less conventional, but far more magical. Think of this method like a hybrid bridge of sorts, a bridge that, in essence, acts like a digital loop. Bear with me, we’ll explain and demonstrate more, because the ins and outs give you some REAL potential for signal flow creativity.
Picture you are sitting in a recording studio working on a song, and your producer tells you that a guitar part you are tracking could use an effect like a phaser or chorus, only you left your pedals at home, or worse, you don’t even own one! Your palms get sweaty as you realize you don’t own the pedal, and worse off, you already own a few of them as plug-ins! But then you remember- the OMEC Teleport is on your pedalboard!
This digital looping tactic can allow you to splice in any of the many easily-available studio plug-ins (that many of today’s guitarists already own) and insert them anywhere in your signal chain! This is also a game changer because if you have some go-to favorite effects that aren’t “real” and only exist in digital form (you know, the digital knobs on your favorite plug-ins are set up JUST the way you like them), this pedal allows you to insert those “not real” pedals into your “real” signal chain! What?!
It is here where the name Teleport makes so much sense, as it can Teleport part, or all of a given signal chain to right where you need it- instantly and easily, and without coloring or quieting your tone! It can then Teleport it back to where you want it, depending on how you route your signal path. The OMEC Teleport boasts extremely low latency as well as a buffer to ensure that your signal stays strong and true as it makes its way wherever you are sending it. Hell, the pedal is so transparent thanks to its "real pedal" impedance, that it reacts as expected to your volume knob settings.
While this thing seems almost too good (and complex in its own simplicity) to be true, it DOES require a power supply that is not included; but don’t fret, it thankfully runs off of the very same 9V center pin-negative plug that you already have for all your pedals. Whew!
What else does it do? The pedal comes pre-bundled with a copy of AmpliTube Orange Edition with 4 Orange amps and 7 stomps, and boasts a single TRS ¼" input with stereo TRS ¼" outs that you can use to make some real signal magic happen (more on that below), along with high-quality AD/DA converters to keep your signal sounding true no matter where you send it. The only other things on this tiny pedal are a robust footswitch, power input, and an uber-common USB port to handle all the data-transfery-nerdery. We also can’t stress JUST how amazing it is to see gear that plays well with Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iOS. More of this, please, music industry as a whole.
So you've read about the what and the why of this remarkable pedal, but what about the who? This pedal-sized audio interface was designed by professional musician Danny Gomez after he began to see the need for needing a full audio interface that didn't take up a desk or rack-sized amount of space, be too fragile for the road, or be overly complex and expensive. Too many guitarists were craving ways to connect to computers (and now phones) and had no way of doing this easily, and with that, the seed for the Teleport was planted. As the old adage goes, 'necessity really is the mother of invention' and Danny saw a prime opportunity to create something truly magical for working guitarists of the modern era.
I mean, why not let the man himself explain:
"As a touring musician, I needed something simple that allowed me to bring my studio software & apps with me on tour. Teleporting the studio to the road and the road to the studio with the first interface ready for your pedalboard. Record, play, practise or discover new virtual instruments. No boundaries, no limits, anywhere, anytime."
This isn't just another random pedal built by some company to sell to purists. Nay, this is a proper piece of studio kit, in a robust guitar pedal chassis, built by a guitarist FOR guitarists. Fast forward a couple of years, and this pedal is now right at home on the pedalboards of guitarists around the world. You know, players like Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad, DTP), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Tim Stewart (Lady Gaga, Rihanna) and Brian May (Queen).
If you’re wondering about the name, by now “Teleport” should make perfect sense because of how it can send your signal just about anywhere; while OMEC comes from Orange Amplifiers’ division of electronics wizards: Orange Music Electronics Company, as Gomez explained to us. OMEC is actually the same company that invented the OMEC Digital Amp back in 1974 (we’ll have to do a String Thing about this bad boy in the future)...
...as well as the now-legendary “lunchbox amps” when they created the game-changing Orange Tiny Terror in 2006.
There are also some other REALLY fun tricks this pedal can do as you begin the journey of interfacing your guitar with the computer world. For instance, you can use software like MIDI Guitar 2 to make your guitar sound like a grand piano, organ, Stranger Things-style synth, or anything else you choose to map the inputs to! What?! Let YouTuber Mary Spender show you how it’s done:
Ever want to connect your whole guitar rig into your iPad? How about if you’re already a pro audio nerd and own a ton of fun studio plug-ins? That’s right, you can now use those in your rig! Hell, you can even use this tool for a personal IEM rig. Why not learn how to hack your guitar rig with Fluff:
So yeah, this pedal might look a bit bare, or “too basic” on the surface, and appear to be too mundane to justify a $140 price. Indeed, it might look like a VERY simple guitar pedal (because it is), but in reality, what you are actually getting is not a guitar pedal, but a road-ready pro grade audio interface that will open entirely new worlds of possibility to your music making. Because it doesn't make sounds, it instead can open tons of doorways to endless sonic exploration, music making, and creativity.
If reading about this crazy device has your musical mouth watering, then you just happen to be in luck, as the fellow String Things over at FRET12 are giving one of these audio interfaces away in an Instagram giveaway that runs from whenever you are reading this until September 14, 2021! Enter the giveaway here.
If you happen to be reading this after September 14, we just might give another one away in the future, so make sure to follow FRET12 on social for all sorts of cool gear giveaways. You heard it from me here, your zombified pal, String Thing; but shh.