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iOS Update Vol. 16: DigiTech iStomp

This week Mitch has me desperately needing a DigiTech iStomp, and I don't even play guitar!

iStomp is an independent DSP stompbox that you program with new effects from the iPad. This is an interesting approach; the signal path is never going through the iPad itself, so you avoid the hiss and static people report in IK Multimedia's iRig. Sweetwater has a nice 3 for $300 deal that's worth checking out.

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Reader Comments 5

Clever device and business model. It's a shame for consumers that digitech didn't/couldn't work out a way to stuff the pedal with IAP from existing stomp box apps. I haven't really gone down the iOS guitar effects path but surely lots of people have already heavily invested in amplitube or similar competing products. Now, to use this nifty bit of gear, they have to IAP themselves to death again.

October 15, 2012  | person_outline Will

thats correct...I too feel that this is baiting them more of the must-have-all-pedal types.
keep making everyone buy the same reverb and delay and again with different names ;-)

And its only one stompbox for a reason , soon you will get a iPedalBoard with 3,6,9 pedals and then you can all load different "plugins" on them.
Then next comes , iPedalAndLooper , with a 24 second looper inside ....
keep on buyin..

meh.

October 16, 2012  | person_outline Pat

Well, I think if it's actually used as "that one-off extra pedal", then it seems pretty cool. For example, I have a fairly big pedal board, but I don't have a flanger. Being able to experiment with one in my actual signal chain, without actually buying one, would be neat.

October 16, 2012  | person_outline Chris

I really don't understand the iStomp. Other than the "privilege" of buying individual patches one at a time, and the pleasure of having to hook up the iPad and download on any change, why would you do this?

I've got a Digitech RP355 multi-effects box, about $200; I love the thing. It has a ton of effects built in; distortion, amp simulator, flange, delay, looper, chorus and pitch shift, expression pedal, even a drum machine... If you're not going Tom Morello style analog old skool, then the all-in-one digital boxes seem like the right way to go. My guess is that the code for the "installable effects" is pretty much the same as what's in the 355; it's just repackaged for people who own iPads and want to pay more while getting less.

Line 6 makes a similar multi-effects box, as do Boss and a few others -- all of them are great, and are cheaper than a couple of iStomps.

And to tie into the MIDI jitter discussion.... To do the DSP, the audio needs to run through an A/D converter, which will put things into buffer-sized chunks. A single iStomp does some processing, and then there's D/A conversion to go back out. If you chain a bunch of these together, that's multiple A/D-D/A conversions, plus the latency of the processing for each box; long chains insert lag. An all-in-one box can apply the effects on each buffer without a long pipeline, so you only get a single buffer's worth of delay, no matter how many effects you apply (this is also the way that desktop apps like Logic do it, AFAIK).

Of course, people listen to Justin Bieber. There's lots of things in the world that I just don't understand.

October 16, 2012  | person_outline Fessaboy

Fessaboy, nailing it. A lot of those $200 pedals also have things like expression pedals (or support them via inputs) and tap tempo. And, oh, hey, presets.

October 16, 2012  | person_outline Will
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