Digitech, one of the leading manufactures of guitar pedals, amps, accessories, and more, has announced the iStomp, the world’s first fully programmable guitar pedal. You can check out an image of the pedal below. What you have is a very normal looking stompbox with four knobs, stereo in and stereo out. I’m also 99% sure that it uses a standard 9V power source.
The way the pedal works is that you purchase it for $229.95 (MSRP), which gets you the correct cable to hook it up to your computer, a power adapter, and two initial downloads (Total Recall Delay and Redline Overdrive). Then, you get online and look through the iStomp store through the various effects, of which 24 will be made available upon launch. The effects will range in price from $4.99 to $19.99 and will include exclusive Digitech models, classic Digitech and DOD sounds, and third-party licensed models. Guitarists can test out demos of each pedal by downloading a 10 minute trial.
The idea here is that guitarist will only have to buy one or two pedals and keep their computer with them at gigs, whereupon they can change the sounds with the click of a button. Since the effects are connected to the user account, multiple pedals do not require multiple effect purchases.
While I’m intrigued by this product (and it really does sound awesome), I’m much more of an analog kinda guy. All this digital processing doesn’t really appeal to me but I can see why it would appeal to the younger generation of guitarists, especially those who are just starting now. Hell, I remember the fuss the Line6 POD made when it first came out. It was unbelievable. I guess what it boils down to is that we live in a new world and, as much as I prefer a good ole’ tube amp with an analog delay pedal, I’m well aware that aspiring guitarists see the world in a vastly different, far more digital way than myself.