Q&A 2020: Everything you Wanted to Know About OMB Guitars

What is the OMB Guitar?
OMB’s technology converts your guitar playing to MIDI signals with no perceived latency. The software can change your guitar into any MIDI instrument from our vast library (Currently for iOS users), or any other software \ App you choose to work with. OMB will also provide accompaniment of a full-size virtual band that tracks your playing in real-time. The OMB Technology comes as an upgrade to D.I.Y. kit that converts your own guitar into an One Man Band Guitar! Installing the DIY requires technical abilities including soldering expertise.

If you are not comfortable installing the kit yourself, we could help you find a luthier in your area. Interested in finding a luthier? email elad@ombguitars.com  – For those of you who don’t want to install the OMB add on kit on their guitar, or if you want to add another guitar to your collection, OMB offers a variety of branded guitars with OMB add on kit installed on them by our own technicians. Go to our online store, choose the guitar you want us to install it on and we’ll ship it to you ready to go with the OMB technology. Take the guitar out of the box and start playing.

How is OMB different from Other Products?
(Like from Roland G-/ Digitech Trio/Les Paul Recorder/Variax/Boss SY-300/ Fishman Triple Play)

OMB converts your guitar playing to MIDI signals without any perceived latency and doesn’t disturb or change the original sound of your guitar, it adds another rich dimension to your playing, OMB could also accompany you with a full size virtual band that tracks your playing in real-time. OMB is designed mainly for live playing and controlling and less for studio work Tech wise – OMB detects the touch of the string on the fret and converts it to MIDI at that point, it doesn’t convert audio to MIDI. In a way you could say OMB predicts what you are about to play, it happens even before you strum.

Besides the huge advantage of low latency, with OMB’s  innovative technology you could separate the detection of the chord you are playing from what you are strumming and provide a full-size virtual band accompaniment to the chord that is being played.

Can OMB keep up with fast music like Black Metal?

(HAIL!) YES!

Will the kit work on a left-handed guitar?
Absolutely!

Is the product suitable for a 12 string guitar?
Sorry, at this point – no.

Is the kit suitable for nylon string guitars?
Sorry, at this point – no.

When are we to expect a bass guitar product from OMB?
Sorry – We can’t promise a specific time. But it’s always on our minds.

Will the kit work on an electric and an acoustic guitar?
The kit works on any 6 string guitar with metal strings! We support 6 different models of electric guitars and 2 acoustic guitars, if you own a different type, shape, bridge, you could contact us to see what kind of modification might be needed if at all. Please see the list of supported models here. Please note:

  1. The metal strings should not be coated with any polymer material (Most strings aren’t).
  2. We recommend working with the strings we provide which have been tested and allow better performance and last longer. (for acoustic – D’Addario Nickel Bronze series, for electric – D’Addario Nickel Wound EXL120) can be purchased, email: elad@ombguitars.com
  3. If you own a unique shaped guitar, please make sure there is enough room behind the bridge to mount the add on. We have a list of acoustic and electric guitars with our technology for sale – you can see the products here: OMB Pricing

What do I need to know about the OMB App?
The OMB App is now available for iOS users. In addition, you could connect the OMB guitar to many other apps and choose the one that works best for you.

We recommend trying the following apps For accompaniment: Xmure. Using the Xmure app you will benefit for our special collaboration with them and get some content for free. The Xmure also supports the OMB Pedal and can be controlled by it.

For solo sound: GarageBand, SampleTank

How can I connect to other apps?
It is very easy to connect to other apps. Turn on the OMB kit, turn on the OMB App, tap the top right menu, scroll down to Bluetooth, and press connect. Check the connection on main screen, press the solo level icon (add pic), place the guitars on a table face up. Press each string individually on the 5 th fret (no need to strum) and make sure you are getting a digital sound out of the app. You can now switch to other apps.

Connecting to keyboard – (attach link to Yamaha Video) – most keyboards with MIDI output, function as slaves. In order to connect them to the OMB guitar (which also functions as a slave), you must use a computer as a converter.

  1. Connect the keyboard with a 5 pin Midi cable to USB, to the MIDI IN of the keyboard and the USB side to the computer.
  1. Connect the OMB guitar to the computer, using a standard USB type c cable.
  1. Open a MIDI software (i.e MIDI-OX) – options – midi devices – Assign the input to OMB guitars Assign the output to the keyboard (could come up as the name of the Midi 5 pin converter) You are now good to go Connecting to MIDI module – there are 2 kinds of MIDI modules.
  • Those who function as slaves {i.e – Roland BK -7} (they don’t have a USB MIDI port), connect it like any regular keyboard with the 5-pin cable (explained above)
  • Those who function as a master {i.e Ketrion SD-90} (have a USB MIDI)

To connect the OMB guitar to those kinds of modules, simply use a standard USB type C cable from the guitar going directly to the module.

Calibration?
calibration is needed in order to synchronize the acoustic sound of the guitar to the digital sound coming out of the device connected to the guitar and providing the sound (iPad / phone / module / keyboard / computer) A good calibration could be the difference between perfect accuracy to getting false notes. We recommend to take your time during calibration and pay attention to the instructions on the screen. Calibration should last about 1 minute.

Calibration is needed every time you replace strings.

Other things that might affect calibration and require additional calibration: hot/cold weather changes, moisture, moving the device from one guitar to another. Before calibration please make sure the bottom of the strings and frets are clean and don’t have unseen corrosion, dirt, moisture or other. You could use regular steel wool to clean it. Please note – the cleaner the surface, the better results calibration will provide.

Hard calibration?
In case you’ve calibrated a few times and still trigger wrong notes please try “Hard calibration”. Please make sure to clean the frets and the bottom of the strings before calibration. Remaining (unseen) corrosion could affect calibration.

Use paper the size of a business card to cover the frets that are not being calibrated at that moment. i.e. place the card on fret two and three under the strings and start calibration. When you put down the capo on the first fret, make sure the strings on frets two and three that are now covered with the card, are not touching the frets. When the green line ends and becomes a red line on the second fret, move the card to frets three and four and calibrate fret 2. Please do that to all 12 frets. On the second part, please make sure you are pressing the strings on fret 5 starting with the low E.

Went through hard calibration and still triggers wrong notes?
A few things could cause wrong triggering. If calibration did not help, please check the setup and make sure that when pressing the string against a fret, the string is only pressing that specific fret and not touching another fret. That could cause wrong recognition.

If you are using the add on kit please make sure all joints are properly connected (soldered) to the frets. If one of them is loose it could affect recognition and trigger false notes.

Connecting the sound to an amp – OMB technology only transmits data via Bluetooth or via cable not audio.

In order to connect the digital sound to an amp – you must connect the device you are using (phone / tablet / module / computer etc) to the amp. That connection will supply the digital channel. It won’t amplify the guitar. In order to amplify the guitar, use the regular gear you would normally use.

How to connect the phone / iPad tablet to amp?
Use the headphone jack (3.5mm) to connect the phone to the amp. Please note – this connection will only amplify the digital sound coming out of the phone / iPad / tablet /. If you wish to amplify the guitar as well, use the regular gear you normally use.

Can I use one device for 2 guitars?
Yes, however you will need additional parts to add to the second guitar. The brain is removable. Once you have the base parts on both guitars the brain could be easily removed. Please note – any time you switch the brain to another guitar – you will need to run calibration on the new guitar. (not a big deal).

What would I use more than one pedal for?
You could assign almost any feature in the app to be controlled by the pedal. Each pedal could control up to 5 features at a time. If you play live, sometimes you might want to control more than that.

i.e Pedal 1 – assign to control patterns A ,B ,C, D’s start /stop
Pedal 2 – assign to control tempo up / down, mute int 1,2,3
Pedal 3 – assigned to control recording features.
Pedal 4 – assigned to control solo & sounds.

Can the pedal control other apps besides OMB App?
Yes – the pedal can control Xmure for iOS.

If I use Xmure do I get free content?
Yes -when you enter the Xmure app, scroll the page to OMB. You will automatically get 9 styles for free and another 8 for 50% off.

Refund Policy?
Refund is possible if the kit was not opened. Once the DIY kit is opened and an attempt to install was done you can no longer return the kit.

Warranty?
OMB’s warranty is 6 months on the add on kit or pedal. It includes all electronic components and mechanical design issues as well as installation if it was done by OMB. It doesn’t include installation if that was not done by OMB guitars Ltd.

2 Responses
  1. Kelvin Olson Reply

    When will you support alternate tunings, like the Jamstik always has? (I don’t have one of those yet, ‘cuz I want to actually play my actual guitar, like I have since the 1980s, using several tunings other than the only one you support.
    Dobro.
    Open G.
    Drop D.
    Keith Richards.

    Another option: if each of the six strings transmits MIDI on a distinct channel, then one can absolutely re-tune individual strings with inline devices already available off the shelf (or in software).

  2. Henry Reply

    Sir I use an upgrade and an iPad with iOS 13.5.1. I want to connect by cable to eliminate any interference or latency. I tried with Apple Certified – Type-C USB to Lightning cable, but do not know how to check the connectivity. How do I go about connecting the omb brain to the iPad by cable. Please advice. I also will appreciate any guide on connecting omb app to GarageBand. Thanks a ton sirs. Prayerfully Dr. Henry

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