Stompbox 1.0

stompbox-v1Stomp box made from a Musician’s Friend shipping box, cardboard tubing (using inside for support), and packing tape.

A contact pickup from Radio Shack was placed on the box with double-sided tape. Wire was soldered to the pickup and routed to a pill bottle fitted with a 1/4″ jack. This was my dad’s idea from a previous pickup experiment. In this incarnation, the signal was processed with a tube compressor (could also use a preamp), then into my pathbay for other routing.

Technique: The box above is played with the right foot. I used the box almost as a footrest with both feet on the top. This helped with my posture while also allowing me to play without the box sliding across the room.

contactcloseAt the time, I was using the Roland VS-1680 as my recording medium. EQ was applied there. One problem with the cardboard prototype was caused by the plastic tape that I used. I got a “sticky” tape sound along with the more thud-like stomp. This could be avoided with paper-based tape, or glue. Using my left foot to dampen the box helped keep the stickiness to a minimum. My next prototype will be wood, eliminating the stickiness completely.

To hear an example of this technique, check out “I’m Goin’ Down” from Cadillacs & Tarantulas. A new version of the stomp box is in the works using wood and a second pickup.

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