No flash plug
So the news came out yesterday of the Digitech iStomp, which on first glance seems kind of a cool idea. On second glance, with a camera in your hands, it sounds like an excellent idea. I spoke to the guys at Digitech about their new product, and you can see the video of that meeting above.
Some consumers feel that the "i" market is somewhat saturated of late. We have IK Multimedia doing a host of i-based products, and we have Digitech with the iPB-10. The iStomp is something that kind of changes the playing field a little bit, imagine the TonePrint pedals by TC Electronic, but with the ability to load a whole pedal into your stomp box, rather than loading in one signature TonePrint.
So the iStomp is essentially a box that hosts a digital setting, that setting can be changed to be almost any of Digitech's pedals, or any of the pedals they have modelled. You can only host one pedal at a time in your iStomp, but imagine the capabilities! You could have an overdrive in there for your rock band, and then a reverb pedal for your jazz band.
The 'virtual pedals' are relatively cheap, usually between $5-$10. You can demo them for five minutes before you buy them. This is a great idea for the consumer, but even better for Digitech.
Digitech could create virtual pedals that were previously too expensive to develop in a stomp-box format. That means that the awesome crazy-stupid pedals that only 500 people in the world will buy, will now be available through the iStomp format, because it makes economic sense for Digitech to do that.
Another great idea, which I discussed with the guys at Digitech, is the possibility to create signature iStomp pedals. Instead of just modelling a guitarist's sound, Digitech could work with and artist to let him create his or her own sound. So imagine Matt Bellamy from Muse creates his own synth guitar virtual pedal, you could use a sound that was actually created by the guitarist.
The one drawback of the TonePrint software by TC Electronic is that the public do not yet have access to the software used to create the TonePrint settings, but with the Digitech software, there is a very big possibility that you will eventually have access to the software that will help you create your very own pedal.
Imagine thousands of guitarists online, swapping pedals through downloads... Maybe you could potentially sell your pedal? Who knows?
The iStomp itself will cost you around $150 right now, so the ONE drawback I can think of is that you might want more than one of these stompboxes. If they created an iStomp 2.0, which had three stomp switches, and the ability to load in three separate pedals (or perhaps even just a looper), then I would be signing a chequebook right now.
As it stands, I can't wait to get my hands on one of these for review, because for guitarists who like digital effects, this is a big deal. For those who don't like digital effects, it's not a big deal!