Musical equipment technology
has been advancing at an astounding rate
over the last several years, and the iStomp
by DigiTech is no exception to this revolution
of gear innovation. This single-button
stompbox looks disarmingly simple,
but it differs from anything else on the
planet by allowing the user to load and
store any single effect that’s available in
DigiTech’s Stomp Shop software app for
iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (iOS 4.0 and
later). And unlike other app-based effects
systems designed for Apple devices, once
an effect is loaded into iStomp you simply
disconnect it from your iPhone and use the
pedal just as you would any other stompbox.
The important point here is that all
of the processing power is in the iStomp—
and there’s a huge amount of it too—so the
effects sound and feel much more realistic
than those that rely on the limited datacrunching
capability of an iPhone.
There are currently 26 effects available
from Stomp Shop (many more will be
added in the coming months), which range
in price from $.99 to $9.99. Another great
feature of this system is that you can try out
any effect for five minutes free of charge—
and there’s no limit to the number of free
trials either. Once you purchase an effect,
it automatically loads into a “My Pedals”
library on your iPhone. So if you decide to
change from, say, a distortion pedal to a
delay, the effect you swapped out is always
available if you decide to reinstall it or load
it on another iStomp.
Outwardly, the iStomp pedal is a straightforward
looking unit that features a sturdy
metal housing with dual 1/4" input and
output jacks. The four knurled metal knobs
have a high-quality glide when rotated, and
the pedal is topped off with a roadworthy mechanical bypass switch. The ability to
manually select the color of the status LED
is especially handy if you’ve got more that
one iStomp on your pedalboard.
Once I had all of the components
unpacked, the Quick Start Guide prompted
me to download the DigiTech Stomp Shop
app into my iPhone, which took less than
60 seconds. At this point you’ll notice that
you get two pedals for free: the Redline
Overdrive and the Total Recall Delay. These
are great effects to start with. The Redline
has a very organic and amp-like distortion
sound that works great for rock rhythm
playing or for super-searing solos with the
Gain all the way up. The effect is also very
responsive to changes in guitar volume.
I also found the Total Recall Delay (one
of the three delay choices) to be a very
inspiring sounding true-stereo effect that
offers up to one second of delay time, is
dead quiet, and features a tap-tempo function
on the bypass button.
Moving on to some of the other effects,
the Amp Driver ($4.99) is well suited for
hitting the front end of your amp with a
hotter signal to elicit sonic breakup without
altering the amp’s fundamental tone.
The high output made it possible to get
any note to feed back, even at low amp volumes.
For a classic TS-808-style overdrive
tone, the Screamer ($4.99) does a great job
of delivering that tube-flavored distortion with enhanced midrange presence—the
extra gain is a welcome bonus too.
The Glimmer Drive ($9.99), which is
modeled on the Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive,
allows you to mix in an unaffected clean signal
to the overdriven sounds to create clearer
and more articulate distortion tones. The
pedal can be used as a clean boost as well,
and the tone stays completely clean even
when the Clean Mix knob is dimed.
The Fuzzy ($9.99) replicates the grittiness
and even some of the dynamic qualities
of a good Fuzz Face, and Spring Tank
($.99) sounds every bit as deep, wet, and
spacious as a Fender Twin’s reverb in a
side-by-side comparison. I also found
the CE Chorus ($9.99), Opto-Tremolo
($6.99), and the Stone Phaser ($9.99) to
be excellent-sounding two-knob modulation
effects that offer rich tonal textures
without overpowering the basic character
of the amp.
All considered, iStomp is a highly useful
tool for any player that needs an inexpensive
way to keep a variety of quality sounding
effects at their fingertips. Because it uses its
own DSP to create highly realistic effects,
iStomp is a unique animal in the kingdom
of iOS-enabled modeling devices. So if you
like the concept of having a closet full of
effects in your iPhone, but still want the
solid feel and sonic vibe of a pedal under
your foot, iStomp is the way to go.
CONTACT DigiTech, (801) 566-8800;
PRICE $149 street
CONNECTIVITY Two 1/4" inputs, two 1/4" outputs,
iOS jack (connector cable
POWER 9VDC (power supply included)
KUDOS Rugged construction. Easy
touch-and-go operation. Excellent-
CONCERNS Pedal does not indicate what
effect is active, and control
functions must be labeled or
remembered. No battery power.
Watch John Myung of Dream Theater on Ernie Ball: String Theory (VIDEO)
Allman Brothers Band To Release 8-CD Set "The Fox Box" with Oteil Burbridge
TWA Releases the DM-02 Dynamorph Envelope-Controlled Harmonic Generator
This Week in Free Stuff: Music Maker DAW & Field Recordings
Video: Mixvibes RemixLive 3.0 Brings Finger Drumming to Android
Drag-and-Drop Sound Effects from the Cloud to Your Projects with Soundly
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul
DISCOVERY – Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
How To: Chaos Rules
Prisma Accardo: A Boutique Beauty Built from Hard Rock Maple Skate Decks
Watch Chuck Berry Rock the Grammys with Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Thorogood
Line 6 Introduces Echo Farm 3.0 64-Bit AAX Native Plug-In
Body Count Premiere New Song and Music Video, "Black Hoodie"
Papa Roach Announce New Album Details for 'Crooked Teeth'
Exclusive: Interview with Northlane Guitarist Josh Smith on Surprise Album Release, 'Mesmer'
Andy Summers Discusses His New Album, ‘Triboluminescence’
Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and Brad Gillis Talk New Album, 'Don't Let Up'
Reggie Young: Legendary Memphis Session Guitarist to Release Debut Solo Album
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470