Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quick Tip: Stomp boxes make great live effects units.

I had always thought stomp boxes were reserved to the realm of the guitar and being completely unusable for a LivePA artist because of their low sound quality and mono outputs. I have quickly learned however that not only are stomp boxes completely appropriate for use with synthesizers, but for a LivePA artist, they very well may be the most flexible and transportable option for external effects in a live set.

Stomp boxes have really grown and come a long way in the past decade and there now exists a stomp box for just about every effect imaginable. There are even stomp boxes for singers!!!! Perhaps one of the greatest assets of stomp boxes is their obvious portability. Most of them come in a pretty standard sized package and can fit in the palm of your hand. They are super easy to use, very hands on, modular, lower power consumption and very affordable.

One of the other really nice benefits of the stomp box is that they really are a modular piece of kit. They are designed to be chained together, and the whole design of the stomp pedal for activating the box not only presents a nice easy target for the dark club, but also presents just a simple logical design approach in general. They almost always have plenty of knobs of them for live tweaking, and chances are you don't even need a manual to get it up and running. Add to the fact that there are several cases out at your local music store that you can pick up to transport and chain a few boxes together for quick live setup, and you have a pretty fantastic effects setup just waiting in a suitcase.

I myself use a really simple and cheap Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal (~$40) to dirty up my Korg EA-1. It is a simple, and cheap approach to add just a little something to my sound when I need it.

So head on out there and give some stomp boxes a try for a quick, easy and effective way to add some more effects to your rig. The plethora of distortion options alone should make any dance artist giddy with delight, but also look into some some of the other ways in which you can use stomp boxes. Try out that exciter, bass enhancer, delay or reverb pedal. You never know what might find its way as a regular into your rig.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that there are people out there who aren't doing this already.