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Michal Pilař -

IDORU P-1: A Pedal Track Player that Can Save Your Gig

I'm sure it's happened to many of us – the amps and pedalboards are in place, the tubes are ready, the cables are plugged in, the guitars are tuned and you're ready to start the soundcheck when suddenly... the laptop with your samples, backing tracks and lights isn't running as it should. Ideally, a restart will help, but it may also be that your device requires an update. Imagine that! You're at a festival, often short on time for your soundtrack, stressed, and all of a sudden this happens. That's when your musical dreams are slowly crushing down. Can the Idoru P-1 backing track player solve this nightmare? We'll find out in the following review.

Windows OS users have surely encountered it at some point, but in a few cases, also Apple device users have experienced this situation. The truth is that most computers aren't built for the treatment they're subjected to for most of the concert tours. Setting aside the fact that we often want out-of-this-world performances from them, it also happens occasionally that such equipment suffers a fair few knocks during unpacking, packing, or simply during the transitions between gigs. This behaviour simply takes its toll at some point – after all, it is primarily a tool for everyday office work.

Yeah, but what about it, you might say. There aren't many alternatives. The various sampling devices are nice, but often quite limiting or too expensive. And what if I told you there is something out there that isn't expensive, is pretty easy to use, and has the computing power to spare? The truth is, such a device is lying on the table in front of me.

Idoru P-1

Idoru as a resilient centrepiece

What is it? Behind Idoru is a bunch of Berlin-based designers and engineers who have set themselves the task of providing musicians with a device that will keep all samples, backing tracks, and even, for example, lights in one place like a laptop, but which will be so durable that it will withstand all the violence that any such device goes through during a tour. Only time will tell if the second task has been accomplished, but, after closer inspection and familiarization, the first task has definitely been accomplished.

The Idoru P-1 is a surprisingly compact audio and midi player in the form of a floor pedal that is tailor-made for musicians. Right after unpacking, you will admire how resilient the pedal looks. Solid and surprisingly simple – there are three switches on the bottom raised section, as well as a nicely readable display, two knobs and three flashing buttons. That's all. In the package, we then find an SD card for firmware updates and, of course, an adapter.

Idoru P-1

All the tracks under control

And how does it all work? Incredibly simple! First, you download a simple application from the manufacturer's website, to which you can easily drag and drop your files in WAV format. The app is minimalistic and clear. You can import individual tracks into it, mix them and assign them to individual outputs located on the top. There are six outputs in total and you can make a custom mix for each one. There's also a special mix for the headphones, so you can send the drummer, for example, their mix, independent of the other tracks and straight with a click.

This way you can prepare a whole setlist where you can name individual tracks and also adjust their order. Once you're happy with everything, you click the import button to import it into the P-1. Then you just remove the SD card and insert it into the device. There, now you have all the tracks in the pedal and therefore everywhere on you. You can use either the footswitches or the buttons next to the display to move between loops. The Idoru P-1 also has a MIDI input and output, so you can use it to control your drum machine or lights.

Idoru P-1

Meaningful and clear controls

The Idoru P-1 is somewhat of a groundbreaking pedal – not in terms of features, but in how easy it is to use. Sometimes, when trying out something this complex, you can feel the frustration of not getting something right, despite having a thick manual open right next to you. That hasn't happened to me even once with this pedal. Everything made sense, and the overall clarity helped a lot. You just can't go wrong with it.

Will the Idoru P-1 become a new classic in music gear? Only time will tell. But it definitely has the potential.

Tagy gear review IDORU P-1

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Michal Pilař