jack that doesn’t mute the signal for other
outputs when in use.
There are left and right unbalanced outputs (- 10 dBv) for use in connecting to
guitar amps, as well as left and right balanced outputs (+ 4 dBu) for studio output,
powered speakers or monitor and mixing
consoles. Balanced outs are important on
a unit like this because if you’re using it
onstage, you can drive the cables up to 200
feet or so without degrading the signal.
The Direct Out provides a clean, unprocessed instrument unbalanced signal with
no separate volume control. This is the
output you should use when not using the
StompIO as the audio interface. Last is the
Class-A mono IN, where you of course plug
in your instrument.
Don’t forget that this unit uses A/D (analog
to digital) conversion when plugging in,
as well as D/A conversion on the output.
According to IK, they have used extremely
high-end components not only on the converters, but also throughout the unit.
The basic StompIO setup is shown below
The main objective of StompIO, besides
changing patches and outputting sound
from the IK software, is to provide players
the ability to modify any software parameter without the need for a mouse, monitor,
or keyboard. However, it can also be used
as an ASIO or CoreAudio class-A DI to a
The StompIO itself features several basic
modes. Play Mode is the default start up
setting, which lets you step through any of
the 4,000 patches (yes, you read that right).
Patches run from 000 to 999 with four
programs per (A thru D). When turning the
unit on, it will also automatically call up the
last patch you were playing—something I
grew to like very much.
Selecting or switching patches is simple.
Use the Bank Up/Down switches to select a
preset. You’ll see the bank number change
and begin flashing. Then press the footswitch (A – D) to load the chosen patch,
and you’re in business. To set a Patch’s
delay-based Tempo, simply hit the TAP
footswitch four times (or more) at a quar-ter-note rate. This is a great feature to have
when playing live.
Edit Mode is where you do the tweaking.
To put the unit into Edit Mode, simply step
on the Enter switch. From there, you use
the various buttons to navigate through
the menus, offering the ability to change
anything from cabinets and amps to Global
input levels. Yes, it certainly takes some
getting used to, and at first, I often found
myself just going to the mouse and doing
it manually like I’ve always done. But the
objective was to learn how to use it on the
floor, so I persisted.
It does become quite simple to stomp
through a variety of sounds until coming across one to build upon. From there,
selecting the various cabinets, mics and
effects is what makes this product so useful. However, even after learning how to
control the parameters with my feet, I still
found it easier to combine that technique
with a mouse. Maybe you can’t teach an
old dog too many new tricks, but that’s
how I feel.
Aside from simply tweaking amps, you can
also dig into the control menu, which is
where you assign any of the expression pedals, knobs and switches. This unit can also
go quite deep. Certain things, like Sequence
patch switching mode, are critical to understand if you’re playing live, as you don’t
want to stomp up to patch 2,344 during a
show. Once things are in place, you can easily setup up to 16 custom-ordered sequences, with up to 999 patches in each.