Here are some of the reasons I upgraded to the iPB-10:
  • Need replacement pedalboard. I was using a GNX4, and after years of abuse, the memory card was becoming flaky. I liked having the internal memory to permanently store patches and the memory card to hold my set list. After the memory card started going out, it took too long to shuffle patches around to prepare for a set, or too long in between songs to set the right patch. With the iPB-10, you don't have to worry about losing patches when setting up sound banks. You never overwrite a patch. You just assign it to a spot, and the old patch is still available, just unassigned.
  • Better patch management. On the existing Digitech pedals, it is difficult to keep track of patches. While the GNX4 LED display is better than a lot of the other Digitech pedals, 8 characters leaves a lot to be desired. Also I love x-Edit, but it isn't that great as a patch library. The iPB-10 seems to fix all of this. I don't know if there is a character limit for the patch names, but I can enter ridiculously long names (over 50 characters!). I can also finally store an artist and song name with my patch, and have a descritpion field where I can write what patch I built it from, on what date, and what I changed. I often use a stock patch for a song, but rename it so I know I am using the right patch for a song. Then I go back and improve the original patch, but the copied versions are out of sync. It will still take some work, but the Description field will give me a chance to know when to update copied patches.
  • Why use a PC when you own a iPad? If you haven't used an iPad, you might not understand this, but once you own an iPad, your desire to use a traditional computer largely disappears. Computer desktops generally chain you down to a desk somewhere where you really don't want to be, and are usually old, clunky, finicky beasts. Laptops are better in that you can pick up and go somewhere, but it's like dragging an anchor. You still need a safe place to put it (desk, table, lap), if you are going to be using it for any length of time you'll be searching for a place to plug it in, and once you get it going, you are anchored to that spot. If you are brave enough to walk around your house with a laptop, how safe do you feel about it? And whether Mac or PC, do you really like the idea of using a laptop in a live music situation? How much special effort do you need to go through to make a system robust enough to hit the road? An iPad is true mobility. Take it anywhere and go. It's like bringing around a pad of paper. I have never run out of battery on it. It doesn't crash and I don't lose files. It just works. The touch interface for the iPB-10 just makes sense. Most people who use it will like it. Say what you want about tone or price, but the touch interface is way easier to use than menus. Try one. You'll like it!
  • Integration with iPad apps. The iPB-10 can be recorded in GarageBand on the iPad. I can play songs on my iPad and jam along. I can use my iPad as an electronic music stand or as a metronome. I do a lot of that stuff on my computer today, but it sucks to play guitar at a desk. Having an iPad in my rig is going to open doors. So far most of the guitar to iPad interfaces have sucked. This is one of the few that is using the dock connector, which should be significantly better.
  • GarageBand, GarageBand, GarageBand. I am loving practice with the iPad. It doesn't take long to create a rhythm track and chord progression to jam along with. I got out of the habit of practicing with a metronome. Now with the iPad, I'm practicing with drums and sometimes other instruments too! It is great for practicing a solo. I didn't expect this to change the way I work so much, but it is.
  • Digitech is just getting started... I expect that over time, Digitech will add functionality to the iPad app that will work will all pedals, not just the new one, the same way all the pedals used x-Edit, not just the new one. I just hope it's quick! I see that they are hiring programmers, so it's great that they are moving in that direction, but maybe it will take a while yet before they have something to show for it.