With season 2 of Orange’s original series “How to Void Your Warranty” almost upon us, let’s take a moment to reflect on the shenanigans of season 1 (“Hey, Farva!”).

Season 1 revolves around “Rob” (from our service department) demonstrating unique, and sometimes not-so-obvious, ways to destroy your Orange product, thereby voiding your warranty. I personally loved episode 2 when Rob plugged our O-Edition headphones into the speaker out of a 500 watt Terror Bass. All of the terribly tragic ideas for ruining our precious Orange gear were user-submitted and sourced from our YouTube comments.

In season 2 we’ve partnered with a variety of YouTube stars to find even more obscure ways in which your Orange products might meet their demise. Here’s a hint: don’t take your micro amp to lunch.

Here’s the full first season. Catch up now before we release season 2 later this month! – Alex (Global Artist Relations)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things …

… and technology.

Yeah, technology is a personal favourite of mine regarding music. For everything else I´m basically an analogue dog, but when playing or recording I like to get the most and as many colours as possible to paint sonically.

Over the years my rig evolved from a very primitive (and cheap) pedalboard that I even made myself with some hand shaped rough plastic, an IKEA frame and velcro, loaded with some of the cheapest pedals ever, to a VERY elaborated and expensive rig during my most intense session work years, to a two floor stereo pedalboard that came back to a pretty deceptively simple Pedaltrain NANO mini board 4 years ago.



Since I developed M1N1 (later Teleport) my palette became second to none and (even on early days when it was hidden on my monitors) I was thinking about the next App or software to download and include on my rig. It first appeared on my pedalboard 4 years and a half ago and the first premise was to integrate it as part of my analog guitar rig (no amp. involved thanks to my analog amp. sim. T.A.E. technology based preamps), so a bunch of my beloved analog stompboxes (Wampler, Keeley, T-Rex, BOSS… “you_name_it”), my Eventide H9 and M1N1 both for sonical adventures with digital rig emulation (amps of extra effects pre or post analog T.A.E. amp. sim. thanks to Eventide H9´s PRE/POST mode) and MIDI guitar (with no MIDI pickup thanks JamOrigin technology). This is my 2018 NAMM demo board.

In use:

As you can probably notice, there are two Teleports on the next picture… Why? That´s a good question. I was using the first one both to get polyphonic MIDI and pedal simulations (like a tremolo or a phaser that work better before my Massive Unity analog 1964 amp. sim.) and a second Teleport at the end of my signal chain both to enjoy stereo flexibility on my laptop plugins (imagine having Eventide´s studio algorithms like Physion on your pedalboard) AND to record directly to any software with my whole signal chain (boosters – 1st Teleport – 1964 – H9). Portability with myriad options, that’s absolutely me !!

Some personal favourites are:

JamOrigin MIDI Guitar

MIDI Guitar 2 is one of the most ambitious guitar processors ever made. It really listens to you and recognizes your playing. Add any synth or virtual instrument to your guitar effect arsenal with seamless integration with your DAW’s that will improve your workflow when recording or composing, loading Virtual Instruments, Effects, Impulse Responses, Samplebanks.

IK Multimedia Amplitube

A classic now, the game changer when released, always crunch amp. simulation heaven, with some of the best pedal emulations ever.

JamUp

Many versions came after it, but it was never defeated, original Positive Grid iPad App was my first love… and it’ll be my last (or not), but I still love their simple amp. sims and pedals (that sound great in conjunction with “real” pedals on my pedalboard).

Physion

Physion (formerly known as Fission) based on Eventide´s ground-breaking Structural Effects technology allows you to split a sound into its transient and tonal parts, independently manipulate and then fuse them back together. Apply it to any instrument for a no boundaries effects

ROLI

ROLI´s synths (both App and Mac versions) were key factors when I turned into MIDI Guitar possibilities. Not being able to play the keyboard I had to find a way to get that A MA ZING sounds under my fingers. OMEC Teleport was the AD/DA door and MIDI Guitar was the bridge.

MoForte / Wizdom Music

Being a HUGE Dream Theater fan, to have Jordan Rudess samplers on my guitar was a must !! And I did it !!

It can be downright scary asking guitar related questions online. Will you look like an idiot for asking the “wrong question?” Shouldn’t you already know how impedance works? Or that running a 200 watt head through a 5 watt cab will possibly cause a fire? Fret no longer (puns!), because we want to make the whole FAQ process less stressful.

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have already been releasing the “Orange Answers” series with our shop tech, John “Denzil” Dines. So do you struggle with compression and dialing it in? Do you struggle with how to bi amp? Just ask us and we will try to answer your questions through our FAQ section or YouTube channel.

Here is an overview of the first four questions we’ve tackled:

“Teleportation is the theoretical transfer of matter or energy from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them. It is a common subject in science fiction literature, film, video games, and television.”

 

Hi everyone, and welcome to the OMEC Teleport files,

My name is Danny Gomez and I designed and developed the OMEC Teleport with the Orange Amplification team. Let me tell you a little about myself and the circumstances that “teleported” me to here and now.

First of all, I´m a musician, I´ve been playing the guitar for 25+ years and working professionally the last 20; playing, touring, recording, demoing and producing. In 2014 I became partially deaf (left ear 1Kz -30dB), I couldn’t hear my wife Martha or my son Neio properly. Imagine trying to play with less harmonic content, there are notes that simply weren’t there.

That said, I recovered in a couple of weeks, but they were horrible days and due to the severe treatment and the fact that I hate needles (even being highly tattooed as I am), I hate them and I will faint during blood tests. So, imagine a week of being connected to a machine, trying to recover your hearing… You need to think about anything else, to keep your mind occupied.

The first day was horrible so, on the second day, I decided to win this battle, by both thinking about a way of not fainting during the session and improving my portable playing experience, just in case I couldn’t recover enough to keep playing professionally.

I dictated to Martha, my wife, the full block diagram and schematics of a new product, called the M1N1 (M.artha 1 N.eio 1). My plan being, to create a mini pedal with a retro-futuristic name, M1N1, sounded good enough. I got the file and sent it to one of our regular engineers to prototype.

A portable interface with a buffer and the right impedance to keep the playing experience. There was simply nothing like that around. There were big audio interfaces that sounded good (not very guitar-friendly or too complicated) and small portable toy-like interfaces (not sturdy enough for professional usage).

I needed the best of both worlds; tiny, simple, powerful and really musical (pedal to amp type interaction), something that can work with anything, immediately and with enough power to allow polyphonic MIDI through software (and no MIDI pickup installation).

When I received the first unit (that was a little larger than expected), and tried it, there it was! It sounded good, worked with Mac-PC-IOS-Android, reacted to my volume guitar control and was portable enough to take it with us to our first NAMM as Massive Unity Ltd (our UK based company). There we tried to find some alliances in L.A. to manufacture and distribute. It was a project that big that I couldn´t personally manage, while playing, touring and travelling around the world. We have an analogue pedal line that we can handle, but this was huge (I knew from the first moment).

2015 NAMM was great (once I felt confident enough to bring it out of my backpack at meetings) and we even launched the Cort-Manson Matt Bellamy guitar with Hugh Manson himself for several media titles (inc. Premier Guitar and Guitar World). We came back home with a bunch of business cards and some ideas. I immediately started to think about how to do it smaller, more pedalboard-friendly, while on tour (testing it live, well hidden under my monitors) I had the idea; same powerful chip, smaller enclosure. Solved.

2016 NAMM was even better, more demos, more meetings, evolved interface designs (in a 90´s Apple twist, we added iNterface to the project name), Cort, Kz GuitarWorks, Eventide, etc. All of them with the M1N1 iNterface. Some more meetings occurred. Once again I started my quest for the best and the tiniest interface ever !! Got it, same power on a mini pedal enclosure.

The same year, October, our family at Manson Guitar Works invited us to attend their Manson Guitar Show, to unveil and demonstrate their new Manson DR-1 and Cort-Manson MBC-1. The M1N1 iNterface rocked them all, but everyone was looking the guitars hahaha and playing right after legends like Bernie Marsden and Steve Howe never helps !! We joined Manson Guitar Works and Orange Amplification team and some artists for an Indian dinner.

Next year February, once again we traveled with Manson Guitar Works to the Birmingham Guitar Show. What an amazing show, amazing demos and amazing Indian dinner (the poshest Indian dinner ever) with Mansons and Orange´s Rob and James Deacon. During the night we chatted about music, gear and my demos, they seemed interested about the particular usage of their amps (I connected my interface´s outs to both amps effects returns to use them as powered speakers).

They asked me about that interface and my analogue pedal line and we agreed on a meeting at their booth for the next day. We spent an hour or so dissecting my designs and we exchanged our emails to keep in contact soon.

March, we were invited to Borehamwood Orange HQs to meet them all, including legendary Cliff Cooper and Ade Emsley !! We spent a couple of days there and we arrange a licensing contract… Orange Amplifiers would be manufacturing and distribute my interface worldwide !!

We started making some minor technical adjustments together (to work with the biggest boys in the industry, everything has to be highly detailed and it takes time). We decided to launch it as an OMEC product (O.range M.usic E.lectronic C.ompany) the 70s avant-garde division of the brand and John Dines came up with the Teleport name (retro-futuristic again… I loved it, thanks mate !!).

2017 NAMM !! More demos testing prototypes and new alliances (like our IK Multimedia deal that allow us to give you all this amazing Amplitube Custom Shop Orange edition with every Teleport unit purchased).

The Teleport was finished but it needed a route to market. We worked on all things marketing with the Orange amps marketing team, headed up by Charlie Cooper. That, plus the fact I was able to contact some of my idols with Alex Auxier (Artist Relations Manager) to get them on board, was amazing. Then getting their positive impressions about our new Teleport technology, was simply the icing on the cake.

2018 NAMM !! +20 private demos for media, dealers and pre-launch meetings. More supporters, more artists, more alliances, everyone is excited about the new Teleport technology !! Many brands offered their support on this pretty innovative launch: IK, Eventide, Joey Sturgis Tones, Cort, Positive Grid, MoForte, JamOrigin, T-Rex, etc.

Two years we´ve been working on this, absolutely no leaks and every proto better than the previous one, with the UK and overseas teams, testing prototypes on the road and international fairs (once again unlabeled and hidden from the public eye on my pedalboards)

… Now we are ready !! April 26th was the date, the date for launch!

Bass overdrive: A one way ticket to Asgard (Land of the Gods)

Lately overdriven bass has had a bit of a comeback, waking like the giants of Jotunheim from their icy slumber. Modern players, warmed to the tone of 1970’s dirt amps are seeking out flexibility from their instruments and the answer to their prayers is overdrive.

It’s a tone that is both classic and contemporary, a part of an arsenal of weaponry that can conquer lands we thought were out of reach.

Why the fascination with bass overdrive?

Bassists have sat back watching as their six-stringed friends rip it up while they happily provide the backbone to songs for a long time. Consider some of the greats: John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce (Cream) and Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, they all provide the most solid foundation you can ask for. But a new breed of player is on the march, notably Prophets of Rage’s Tim Commerford and Mike Kerr of Royal Blood, who fires off a searing attack of tonality, the lows and highs, removing the need for our 6 string relatives. No longer is this about keeping peace in our own world, it’s about taking Valhalla, claiming the seat from Odin and making all nine worlds our own.

Bi-amping your way to bass overdrive of the gods

Mike Kerr gets that awesome tone by splitting his signal two ways. One side is channelled and modulated to drive a guitar amp and the other goes into a bass rig. That means he gets that top end aggression from his bass overdrive pedal and pulsating bottom end too. It’s like he’s ripping down the gates to Valhalla and then wiping his brow with the draft excluder.

But it’s not quite as simple as storming the rainbow bridge and claiming the hall of the slain. Achieving that kind of monstrous tone has been all about using a mighty rig with two separate amplifiers and speaker arrangements. So unless you’ve got a strong back and deep pockets, bi-amping can feel out of reach to those waiting in the sidelines for their time to come. Unless that is you’ve got a trickster god on your side.

Loki and the overdriven bass pedal tone

Getaway Driver is the perfect tool to swipe away Odin’s throne, giving bassist two tones in one. This one small, inexpensive unit produces vintage vibe gain that has a real smooth compression overdrive sound that feels responsive like you’d gain from a Class A amp. For bass guitarists, this is the ideal tool to push forward driven bass riffs to cut through the drums. It’s like having a cranked modded ‘70s amp under your foot. If you want more raw power, using the 12 Volt input gives you a bigger, punchy sound of the EL34 tube. By contrast, use a 9 Volt battery and you’ll get a less bassy tone similar to the EL84 tube that is upper-mid focused.
But the linchpin to this bass overdrive pedal is the cab sim feature that gives you two outputs. The first output is transparent when bypassed, but once you engage the pedal you’ll get powering bass overdrive only the god of thunder could deliver. The second output offers a glacial clean amp sim channel that glimmers with harmonic overtones. Hook the second channel up to a DI box and you’ve got yourself a bi-amp.

Overdriven bass with added dirt

Just like the sound of any good armour as your charge into battle against the gods of Asgard, there’s a good chance that you’ll want more clank with your bass overdrive pedal. Orange’s Two Stroke EQ pedal gives you just that. By plugging the first channel output of the Getaway Driver into the bass EQ pedal you can carve your own unique tone, digging your ice sword into Yggdrasil, the tree of life like a Swiss army knife. As you watch its bark fall to the earthy meadow, regale in your victory as you revoice the tone of your instrument. Add more aggression across a band between 120Hz to 1.2KHz parametric or cut some of the wooliness between 850Hz to 8.5KHz, the 12dB boost gives you total control.

 

Bass overdrive pedal flexibility that’s tough to beat

In combination, the Getaway Driver overdrive pedal and Two Stroke EQ pedal seem like chalk and cheese. Loki and Thor. One unit is pure sorcery, capable of creating two distinct sounds from one unit. The other can shape mountains using the power of modulation, sculpting bass tone from searing attack all the way to subtle depths. Bypass both pedals and enjoy the transparency of high-class circuitry that adds or takes away nothing, just pure tone. Then go into overdrive to the max, riding Odin’s eight-legged horse out of the battlefield waving your flag victorious.

So, there is only one question left to settle.

Now that you’ve conquered the gods, who next?

The Crush Mini has seen multiple redesigns since its release in 2006 but none of these revamps have been as big as 2018’s. As well as appearing in the latest commercial for the Crush Mini, Mikey Deemus from Skindred had this to say:

“Make no mistake, this lil’ box of pure doom is mighty enough to shake, rattle and roll.. From headphones to the stage, the Crush Mini has got what takes!”

This article is an overview of these changes and why you should take the time to check this small but mighty amp!

Full tonal control

The control panel has been redesigned with a simple control panel, much like the Micro Dark. Three controls: volume, shape and gain, give you a wide range of tones.  The shape control gives your sound either a cut or a boost in the mids. Dialing back on the gain and pushing the volume up will give smooth cleans, before clipping into natural crunch the higher the volume goes.

Speaker Output

A new feature added in 2018 is the 8 Ohm speaker output, giving you the option to use with a speaker cabinet to open up your Crush Mini’s sound. Any 8 Ohm speaker will work and the onboard speaker disengages when the speaker output is in use.Trying the Crush Mini with an Orange PPC412 is a must and you will be surprised at how much volume this little amp can manage.

Battery Power

The Crush Mini can be powered by a 9V battery or a power supply (not included) meaning the Crush Mini can be played anywhere. The amplifier switches on when a lead is inserted into the jack socket or AUX-IN, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery.

Perfect for on the road

The amplifier is a perfect companion for the traveling musician, whether backstage or at home practice, the Crush Mini is ready for whatever is thrown its way. The In-Built tuner is simple, easy to use and means you are always in tune. Want to play along to your favourite songs? Simple, the Aux-In is there to give you this option and if you need silent practice the headphone out disengages the speaker, so you can jam in silence.

Moose Blood use the Crush Mini’s in the studio and the road.

Original “Pics Only” Design

The Crush Mini design is back to the classic 70’s “Pics Only” design which made the brand so famous. The wooden construction keeps the ethos of quality and reliability that runs through the Orange product range.

To find out more about the Crush Mini, click here.

 

 

 

This years Winter NAMM saw Orange release two special amplifiers. Our second signature amplifier – the Orange Brent Hinds Terror and the Rocker 15 Terror – something that’s been requested since we released the Rocker 15 Combo last year.

So other than the look, what’s the difference between them?

The Rocker 15 Terror has the classic Orange sound with fat mids and it’s got a gain control that allows you to clean that channel up if you want to. The Brent Hinds Terror, is more about Ade Emsley’s (our Technical Director) take on the hot rodded 70’s and 80’s amps that we all know and love, which is exactly what Brent Hinds wanted. It gives you a more aggressive upper mid-range and a gain control that brings a distortion right in from the get-go.

Both amps have a single knob natural channel which harks back to our Rocker 30 amplifiers of the early 2000s which a lot of people are still using today. Feedback on this channel was that people wanted it to be brightened up a little which is exactly what’s been done on the Rocker 15. However, the Brent Hinds is closer to the original Rocker 30.

We’ve made our own video going through some of the differences between both amplifier heads (see above). We also have have audio samples on the amps product pages which help you hear the difference between them. If you’re still wanting more, there’s a few comparison video’s appearing on on YouTube from various channels. Here’s a selection below:

 

As we’re all well aware Orange is known around the world for making kick-ass amps. But that’s not where their abilities end and in recent years they’ve also produced some mean pedals…and they’re all right here for your pleasure.

TWO STROKE

  • 12DB CLEAN BOOST
  • ACTIVE DUAL-PARAMETRIC EQ
  • TRANSPARENT BUFFERED BYPASS

 

Orange’s version of a ‘clean boost’ pedal combines an active dual-parametric EQ and up to 12dB of output boost. The Two Stroke is ideal for fine-tuning your sound or pushing your amp’s front end; subtle tweaks can add an extra dimension to solos, whilst more aggressive use of the pedal’s EQ can sculpt entirely new sounds. The Two Stroke can add an extra channel to your amplifier or re-voice your guitar’s pickups completely. Crank the high mids to jump through the mix, cut the low end to remove the woolliness that normally occurs with traditional boost pedals, or leave the EQ flat to hear more of what you already like.

The Two Stroke is also great for bass and acoustic guitars as a practical tool to remove unwanted ‘honk’ or feedback, making this pedal a valuable addition to any musician’s setup.

FUR COAT

 

  • VINTAGE FUZZ
  • ADJUSTABLE OCTAVE
  • GENUINE TRUE BYPASS

Loosely based on the vintage Foxx Tone Machine, the Fur Coat Fuzz takes its inspiration from the great fuzz pedals of the 70’s.
The Fur Coat gives you a fully controllable octave fuzz pedal. Separate switches mean you can choose between Fuzz or Octave Fuzz. The controllable Octave up fuzz means you can bring in the fuzz to whatever level you need and the EQ allows you to boost your Treble or Bass.
The Fur Coat is Orange’s only True Bypass pedal. This is because a fuzz is better at the beginning of the chain where it interacts directly with your guitar. Placing the pedal further into your signal chain will give the fuzz a more distorted tone.

KONGPRESSOR

  • OPTICAL CLASS A COMPRESSION
  • 12DB CLEAN BOOST
  • TRANSPARENT BUFFERED BYPASS

The Kongpressor is an analogue Class A compression pedal which adds an organic three dimensional quality to any rig. The pedal takes its inspiration from some of the world’s most iconic vintage optical studio units, employing a re-issue of the famous Vactrol VTL5C3 optocoupler that was responsible for the sound heard on countless hit records.

At lower compression levels the Kongpressor’s transparent but somehow fattening. It adds mojo and a glossy sheen to your core tone that you’ll truly miss when it’s bypassed. Even at extreme settings, the tone always remains musical with great feel under the fingers.
With controls for attack and release time, the Kongpressor can be tweaked to fine tune the transients and the bloom. Orange worked hard to make these parameters as forgiving as possible whilst still allowing players full control over the compression response. The pedal also features an active treble control for adding in extra chime and jangle, making the compression even more transparent.

Of course it’s outstanding for crystal clean country pickin’, but the Kongpressor also maintains the bottom end that seems to get lost in many compression pedals. This means it behaves impeccably with overdrive pedals or the lead channel of your amplifier, adding fullness and sustain.

GETAWAY DRIVER

  • ’70S AMP IN A BOX
  • CAB SIM OUTPUT
  • INTERNAL BUTTON

While the pedal adds vintage vibe to all amplifiers, the Getaway Driver really excels when used with an amp’s clean channel…even ones with a bright cap. It also makes a great clean boost, with low Gain and high Volume pushing amps over the edge into classic overdrive. The gain structure is produced using single-ended JFET circuitry running in Class A, just like a valve amp. The input buffer, output buffer and Cab Sim are handled using op-amps.

The Getaway Driver features a second output which is a buffered Cab Sim / headphone amp that also works into a PA (via a DI box) or directly into a recording interface. The first output is transparent when bypassed, however, when using the second output, the Cab Sim remains engaged. This means that the Getaway Driver can be used as just a Cab Sim on its own if needed. The voicing and gain structure of this pedal is based on a cranked modded ’70s valve amp. Running at 9 Volts, the pedal will have the character of EL84 valves, whereas 12 Volts will give an EL34 flavour. Use a regulated 9-12V DC centre-negative power supply.

 

BAX BANGEETAR

  • WIDE GAIN RANGE
  • BAXANDALL EQ WITH
  • FULL PARAMETRIC
  • MID CONTROLS
  • CABSIM OUTPUT

As a traditional stompbox the Bax Bangeetar is in a class of its own, boasting a unique and hugely versatile gain structure with extensive EQ controls. Dial in an enormous range of overdriven and distorted tones, delivered with a feel and responsiveness rarely found in pedals. Beyond that, though, this preamp pedal is an invaluable tool, allowing you to tailor your tone to any setup with absolute precision via its parametric mid controls. Find and eliminate problem frequencies in certain guitars and amps, shape broad mid ‘scoops’ or boost anywhere on the mid spectrum to suit any style. Plug straight into the front of an amp as a standalone drive pedal, or plug into the effects return to make the donor amp ‘disappear’! For even more flexibility, the second output takes your sound and passes it through our Cab Sim circuit, recreating the frequency response of a mic’d Orange 4×12” cab, ideal for direct recording or even connecting to a PA.

 

THE AMP DETONATOR

  • BUFFERED ISOLATED OUTPUTS
  • PHASE CORRECTION
  • COMPACT DESIGN

Featuring two buffered outputs, one with a custom designed isolating transformer, as far as Orange are aware the Amp Detonator is the smallest active, fully functional, buffered ABY pedal on the market. What’s more, it’s the only active ABY switcher that can be powered by a 9V battery. The transformer output has been meticulously engineered to be as transparent as possible, whilst both outputs are buffered with a low noise, linear circuit. Drive any length of cable to your amps with no loss of clarity and switch silently between them. The Amp Detonator also has a push-button polarity switch to correct common phase issues between amplifiers, keeping the tone fat and full. Finally, the tri-colour LED is a handy feature, especially on dark stages, indicating your current switching setting at a glance.

DID YOU KNOW…
All Orange pedals feature an internal charge pump which doubles the operating voltage of the pedals to 18V. They can be powered by 9V battery or standard DC adapter, or for even more output can also run on 12V DC. Running at a higher voltage has the effect of drastically increasing the headroom for super clean compression by the Kongpressor, incredibly low harmonic distortion from the The Amp Detonator and gives the Bax Bangeetar a wider dynamic range and more output, with even greater definition.

IF WE HAVEN’T TOLD YOU ENOUGH ABOUT ORANGE’S RANGE OF PEDALS YOU CAN FIND MORE IN DEPTH INFO BY VISITING: https://orangeamps.com/products/fx-pedals/

 

Added by Orange… the OMEC Teleport (click the photo to find out more)

Audio Interface meets guitar pedal

Orange is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018 and to celebrate we shall be taking a look over the next twelve months at some of our most famous and innovative amplifiers. This week we take a look at the OMEC Digital range.

What is OMEC?

By 1975 Orange had established itself as valve amp company, the company was looking to diversify into a new area of the market. Orange Founder, Cliff Cooper decided to look into the relatively the new computer market and wanted to explore a combination between his amplifiers and computers, Cliff explains the reason for the OMEC name;

OMEC stands for Orange Music Electronic Company. We chose the word ‘electronic’ to suggest digital and transistorised amplifiers, as opposed to the valve amps that had established Orange brand in the early 1970s.

The first amp

They enlisted the help of Peter Hamilton to design the OMEC digital, the brief was to design a ‘computerised amplifier’. The project had challenges due to new nature of the components – often never used in amplifiers before. Microprocessors were just beginning to appear which were expensive and needed to be made in huge quantities to be affordable.

Peter explains the components used:

The only sane way to do this job was with SSI and MSI (small and medium scale integration) logic chips. The choice was between TTL (transistor-transistor logic) which was power-hungry but easy to get hold of and well proven, or a new technology from RCA called COS-MOS, which used hardly any power but also had a habit of self-destructing due to static damage.

COS-MOS was too risky at the time, but that technology led to today’s CMOS microcontrollers, with built-in static protection, low power consumption and millions of transistors on a chip – one of those could handle the whole job for a few dollars.

The result was the OMEC Digital – the world’s first digitally programmable amplifier. It  had parameters for volume, bass, mid, treble, reverb, compression, and distortion. These were stored in memory for each of four channels, the numbers could be recalled by selecting a channel either from the front panel or the footswitch.

The OMEC Range

After the original OMEC Digital, a series was designed for both instruments and public address systems but with a more conventional front panel design. 5-band graphic equalisation section was added, which was especially helpful on the PA amplifier.

Cabinets were designed to compliment the amplifiers, for the guitar amplifier there was a sloped front design 2X12 cabinet, for the PA amps, straight 2X12’s and for the bass amp a 1X15 ported cabinet. The cabinets were sealed enclosures with front loaded speakers and open-weave black nyon sourced from Germany.

OMEC Cabinets

The Legacy

The OMEC Digital was a product ahead of its time, the high costs and limitations of the early parts meant the amplifiers struggled to catch on, as Cliff explains:

We spent a lot of time and money developing this revolutionary digital amp, and it still really upsets me to recall how we never really got a chance to market it properly.

Designer Peter adds:

Here was an idea before its time, I’m afraid. It was innovative, but there wasn’t a knob that went up to 11. I doubt that it was financially viable without investing a large amount of money. Months later the Z80 and 6502 microprocessors appeared and spawned the personal computer industry. The rest they say is history.

 

Orange is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018 and to celebrate we shall be taking a look over the next twelve months at some of our most famous and beloved amplifiers. To start we take a look at the Terror series.

Tiny Terror

The one that started a movement and became an instant classic, the Tiny Terror was a benchmark in amp design. As Orange’s Lead Designer Ade Emsley recounts it all came from a dinner at NAMM:

“The original Tiny Terror idea was conceived in a restaurant at NAMM with one of our sales guys. I just kind of said ‘I’m going to make an amp that fits in to an A4 piece of paper.’ He said ‘no you are not, don’t be silly!’ I said ‘yes I am!’ That was where the idea came up. So I built a prototype. That sales guy turned up a week later and I was like ‘I have done it!’ He was like ‘what?’ I was like ‘that amp that fits into an A4 piece of paper.’ He called me a mad bastard but then I cranked it up and he didn’t think I was so mad after that!”

The idea went from prototype to production, but the core idea of having a portable, giggable amp never faltered. Ade explains:

“The concept of the Tiny Terror was an amp you can carry anywhere. You turn up to play a gig and there are three bands playing. You turn up with your Tiny Terror in its gig bag and your guitar. Before the gig you’ve sorted out the use of a mate’s 4×12 in one of the other bands. Plug in with the volume on ten and the gain on about six and suddenly you’re into 1980’s AC/DC territory.”

The Tiny Terror became an instant classic and is still one of Orange’s most successful amplifiers and started the still prevalent trend of lunchbox amplifiers. In the first year of production 10,000 Tiny Terrors were sold.

Dual Terror

After the success of the Tiny Terror, thoughts turned to a new amplifier to add to the Terror range:

“I thought it would be nice to have two Tiny Terrors in one box, so you could switch between channels. You could have one cranked more than the other like the level for leads, so we did the Dual Terror.”

The Dual Terror is a 30 Watt, two channel, 4 X EL84 Terror head. It has a “Tiny Terror” channel and a “Fat Channel,” which is voiced warmer with more bottom end, gain and crunch.

“People had been asking for something similar to the Tiny Terror but with more power.”

The Dual Terror was also the first Orange amplifier to have the 4-to-2 tube switch to change the output valves of the amplifier.

Dark Terror

“Some people started to ask me for a Terror with an effects loop, which we called the Dark Terror. I had to change the preamp to make it four stages of gain. This was because at lower levels of gain it will drive the power amp when you are not using the effects loop, as any distortion you do after the effects loop will kind of make the effects loop useless. It only works with time-based pedals if the overdrive is made before the effects loop send.”

The amp was the first step into a high gain Terror and came with a shape control.

Jim Root Terror

Orange had never made an artist signature amplifier until we did a Terror for Jim Root of Slipknot. Ade explains the decision behind choosing a Terror

“I had heard he was wanting a signature model that was affordable to his fans; he didn’t want anything super high end. So I thought why don’t we do a Terror and put his Rockerverb channel on it. Instead of going cheap, we can go smaller and get the cost down that way. Then you have something that is affordable, that is all tube, that is built properly, and that sounds really good.”

The Jim Root Terror’s sound was taken from Jim’s Rockerverb MKI he used on tour and in the studio, and it gave fans the tone of Jim Root in a portable and affordable amplifier.

10th Anniversary Terror

The “Shiny Terror” was a limited edition Terror to commemorate 10 years of the original Tiny Terror and mark its discontinuation:

“We wanted to give it a Viking funeral! So we did a small run of stainless steel Tiny Terrors, handwired and built in the U.K. factory.”

It was sold with a matching PPC212 cabinet in British racing green, with Celestion Gold Alnico 10″ speakers. The Terror head and cabinet was only made in a run of 110 amplifiers.

The Future…

With the Tiny Terror being discontinued in 2016, and the rest of the Terror range still going strong, what does the future hold for this amplifier series:

“Moving forward, we will probably do something new at some point. I’m not quite sure what that is going to be…I’ve got a few ideas…maybe something with two channels… we shall see how we go…there might be a few options…”