The One Man Band or OMB is a MIDI-compatible, app-connected gadget for your guitar that – hold onto your hats – allows us guitarists to make our guitars sound like any instrument we choose. It also has a backing track mode, making this an attractive proposition for singer/songwriters looking for a new tool to inspire. But there might be one caveat…
It is often said that guitarists sometime have a narcissistic tendency and that if they could, they would play every instrument in a band. OMB aims to make that happen – or at least to give players a toolkit that lets them play other instruments and/or play along to backing tracks. The system is made up of a bit of hardware that’s fitted to your guitar and an app running on a tablet.
But One Man Band can also convert your guitar’s signal into MIDI, so in theory you can use this device to control synths, MIDI hardware and plug-ins in your DAW of choice. The system comes in two versions for acoustic and electric guitars respectively. It all sounds pretty nifty.
Hang on, won’t there be latency? OMB say they have that covered. The “capacitive and inductive tech” used here avoids latency issues, allegedly. But you will need to modify your guitar somewhat. It looks like buyers will need some basic soldering skills to add the OMB to their instruments. You could also get a technician to do it for you, though.
But the company is also selling the system pre-installed on three guitar models, two acoustics and one electric. There’s also a foot pedal for controlling the app hands-free.
The company is using crowdfunding to bring this new technology to the masses. The first target is already smashed, so we could be seeing guitar players busking in shopping centres using this device in the not too distant future!
This is an interesting idea that could be a lot of fun to use. I don’t find it too ugly and it looks a little similar to a Gibson Maestro tailpiece strapped onto your guitar and not too intrusive. Of course, you may want to mount it onto a older guitar first and not your prized new instrument, as I’m sure it will leave some kind of mark when you take it off.
RRP – USD from 399
- One Man Band and it's accompanying App: OMB/Kickstarter