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TC Electronic Impulse IR Loader review

Instant impulse responses for your rig in a super-compact format

TC Electronic Impulse IR Loader
(Image: © Phil Barker / Future)

Guitar World Verdict

An affordable pedal for the storage and practical use of impulse responses.

Pros

  • +

    Compact size.

  • +

    Easy operation.

  • +

    Classy IRs included.

  • +

    Plenty of space to load your own.

  • +

    Acoustic guitar treatments.

Cons

  • -

    None really, but a headphone output would have been handy.

When it comes to cabinet emulation, impulse responses (IRs) provide digital snapshots of a real speaker, mic’d up in a real space. Having IRs at the appropriate point in your signal chain enables you to send realistic sound to front-of-house or for recording.

TC’s Impulse IR Loader – a tiny pedal the same size of the company’s mini-pedals such as the Ditto looper – aims to simplify and facilitate that function. The pedal offers 25 built-in IRs alongside 74 empty slots for loading your own IRs of up to 200ms in length. It also has EQ in the form of low-shelf and high-frequency filters.

12 of the 25 onboard IRs are official Celestion speaker cab IRs covering a whole range of popular options

Operation is simple. There’s a knob for setting the overall output level and a pair of backwards and forwards buttons to scroll through and select the IRs. If you want to utilise some EQ, just press both buttons together. The left one will then give you the Low EQ, the right the High, with the central knob setting the amount of boost or cut. 

The footswitch has two modes, toggled between by holding it down – it can be set as a bypass switch or has an A/B mode to instantly toggle between two different IRs in real-time. 12 of the 25 onboard IRs are official Celestion speaker cab IRs covering a whole range of popular options from a single 10-inch speaker up to 4 x12s.

TC Electronic Impulse IR Loader

(Image credit: Phil Barker / Future)

The next eight are TC Electronic Pedal Platform IRs, which include amp simulation and work really well in converting your pedalboard to a DI-ready guitar rig. On top of those are five pleasant-sounding acoustic guitar IRs, designed to transform brittle piezo pickup sounds to more of a mic’d acoustic tone for direct connection to a mixing desk/PA or for recording. 

We particularly liked the one that gave our battered old Yamaha some of the sonic flavour of a Martin D-28. While the set of 25 offers you plenty to work with straight out of the box, a USB connection to a computer lets you drag and drop IR files to the pedal using TC’s free dedicated IR organiser for PC and Mac.

Specs

  • PRICE: $129 / £109
  • ORIGIN: China 
  • TYPE: Impulse response pedal 
  • FEATURES: True Bypass 
  • CONTROLS: Level, 2x Navigation buttons, footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output, USB
  • POWER: 9V DC adaptor 100 mA (not supplied)
  • DIMENSIONS: 50 (w) x 92 (d) x 50mm (h)
  • CONTACT: TC Electronic (opens in new tab)

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Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.