iStomp And iRig Stomp - The First Stompbox Guitar Interface For iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

6/18/2013 9:13:07 AM

Two stomptastic programmable pedals

Let me tell you, back in the day, when we bought an effects pedal, by golly, if it was a distortion pedal, it stayed a distortion pedal. These two newfangled pedals can be reprogrammed to just about any effect you desire. (Without even needing to trudge through the snow, uphill, both ways.)

The Digitech iStomp is clearly the better of the two. It's also remarkably easy to use

The Digitech iStomp is clearly the better of the two. It's also remarkably easy to use. Plug the included cable into your iOS device, open up the free Stomp Shop app, and load one of the over 40 effects. Presto, you’ve got a new effects pedal. Every time you load a new effect, it flashes the memory of the device with the new effect. You can adjust the effect with four physical buttons on the pedal, just like a regular effects pedal. The effects in the Stomp Shop range from free to $9.99. The 10 free effects include overdrive, delays, and the like, so they should cover a decent amount of your needs. I've got a ton of pedals, and the iStomp produced a nice clean signal in my chain with no hissing.

The iStomp was our favorite, but it's much more expensive and must be plugged in.

IK Multimedia took a different approach. With the iRig Stomp, you always need your iOS device plugged in, and the AmpliTube app running. Stomp on the pedal, and the active preset in the app will play through your speakers. I really had to play with the presets to get a good sound combination between my app and the pedal, especially if there was any gain on either device. Usually, trying to use it to give my crunch sound a little boost (similar to an Ibanez TubeScreamer) created a persistent hissing. Adjusting the gain knob in the app fixed it, but it's not quite as load-and-forget as the iStomp. However, you can combine multiple effects in an AmpliTube preset, so it's possible to use the pedal as a multi-effect. Since it needs to be plugged into an iOS device to work. I'm leery of gigging with it unless I take extra security precautions.

Both stomp boxes are solidly built. I tend to stomp on my pedals with the grace of an aggravated elephant, and I have no doubts about how these will hold up to the abuse

Both stomp boxes are solidly built. I tend to stomp on my pedals with the grace of an aggravated elephant, and I have no doubts about how these will hold up to the abuse. These pedals are great for session players or guitarists who may need a different effect based on the song they're playing; with a quick reprogram or preset setting you can change from a delay-laden U2 sound to a death metal sound and everything in between.

The iRig Stomp needs AmpliTube running on an iOS device to work, but lets you combine multiple effects.

The bottom line. For the price of a boutique pedal, you can get two effects pedals you can reprogram with a variety of sounds. Either of these is a solid addition to any player's pedalboard.


·         Digitech


·         Price: $150

·         Requirements: iOS 4.3 or later

·         (+) Solid construction. Amazing variety of downloadable pedals. Integrates well with your existing pedalboard.

·         (-) Requires a power source.


·         IK Multimedia


·         Price: $60

·         Requirements: iOS 5.1 or later

·         (+) Solid construction. Can be used as a multi effect pedal. Affordable price. Runs on a 9-volt battery.

·         (-) Requires iOS device to be plugged in during use.


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