"We’re not just a tech company, even though we invent some of the highest technology products in the world. It’s the marriage of that plus the humanities and the liberal arts that distinguishes Apple."
This quote came from Steve Jobs describing Apple’s philosophy towards their products. Today’s review item the Griffin Stompbox is an example of what he may have had in mind with that statement.
The Stompbox is a studio quality for channel effects pedal board that can be used with musical instruments primarily with the guitar in mind. It works in conjunction with any compatible iOS device such as an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch along with a free downloadable iOS app.
Stompbox is designed by Griffin in conjunction with Frontier Design Group to replicate pro-quality effects pedals for a fraction of the cost. This pedalboard pairs with the included Griffin GuitarConnect cable released last year to add effects to your guitar setup. Now your iOS device can double as an effects pedal, metronome and more.
The Griffin Stompbox comes packaged in a cardboard box with an image of the device used with an iPad and guitar. A list of features in several different languages is found the back of the package along with product details on the sides.
Inside the box we find the Stompbox pedalboard, GuitarConnect cable and manual.
At first glance the Stompbox looks like a standard multi-switch foot controlled pedalboard with a silver metal body surrounded by black plastic. On the bottom we find a rubber material that keeps the device from sliding when stomping down on the unit.
On top there are four metal foot activated switches each with an LED above it. At the top center of the Stompbox is the Griffin name and logo. Off the back we find a cord with an Apple Dock connector along with a ¼” jack for expression pedals or a volume pedal.
It is very apparent that Griffin took care to build a solidly constructed effects pedalboard as it will be stepped on, knocked/kicked around and possibly dropped especially if you perform live shows.
The included GuitarConnect cable has three connectors on it; the single 1/8” connector attaches to the headphone jack of the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad while a Y-cable features a ¼” plug that goes to the instrument and a 1/8” jack connects to either the user’s headphones or amp.
By itself the Stompbox is just a metal box with 4 foot switches, to get functionality you’ll need to download an app that is aware of the pedal’s presence. Currently iShred LIVE is the only such app; luckily it is free.
A professional-quality pedal for your effects.
With four assignable foot switches and a 1/4" effects pedal input jack, our StompBox allows musicians to use a compatible iOS device (i.e., iPhone, iPad or iPod touch) as a portable, programmable effects board and practice rig. StompBox effectively recreates the experience of an actual pedalboard.
Developed in partnership with Frontier Design Group (developers of iShred LIVE, iShred, Guitar, and other apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch), StompBox brings a new level of realism to iShred LIVE by replicating the performance-ready durability of pro-quality effects pedals.
Connect StompBox to your iPad or other iOS device with a built-in 1-meter heavy-duty dock cable. StompBox gives you a bank of four professional quality user-assignable foot switches. In back, there’s an industry-standard 1/4" mono jack to plug in a volume or expression pedal.
- Studio-quality 4-channel effects pedalboard for use with guitar and other musical instruments
- 1/4" jack accepts volume, wah-wah, or other expression pedals
- Brings true pedalboard experience to iPad; interfaces with Frontier Group’s iShred LIVE app to switch between effects, start and stop practice tracks or metronome, and more
- Heavy-duty built-in 1-meter dock cable links StompBox to iPad or other iOS device
- Includes Griffin GuitarConnect Cable with 3 connectors for your musical instrument, your iOS device, and your sound system or headphones for private practice
- Allows foot-switch control of other StompBox-enabled apps for iOS devices
- StompBox is AppPowered
Setup involves plugging the Stompbox into your selected iOS device via the dock cable emerging from the back of the pedal board then attaching the GuitarConnect cable to the headphone jack of the same Apple device. Next plug the ¼” cable into the guitar and your 1/8” speaker or headphones into the GuitarConnect cable. Now you are ready to rock.
To start using your virtual pedals open the iShred LIVE app. The app comes with three free pedals and additional pedals and options can be bought within the app for $1 an effect. Compared to buying a physical pedal that price is not too shabby.
For this review the GuitarConnect cable that came with the Stompbox was defective but Griffin quickly replaced it with new working version.
Besides the virtual pedal effects iShred LIVE also includes a metronome, tuner, recorder and song selector within the app. The four foot switches are assignable meaning you can control effects, music playback, metronome activation and more with your feet.
Each of the switches on the Stompbox controls a bank which has four customizable channels yielding a total of 16 user configured presets.
Stepping down and holding the foot switch button activates one of the banks. Tapping the specific foot switch allows the activation of a channel. The LEDs in front of the switch will indicate that it is active. These LEDs also light up during tuning of the guitar and when using the metronome.
There is a learning curve with the iShred LIVE and the only instructions are found within the app, Griffin does not provide instructions in the package or online. Currently the Stompbox only works in conjunction with this app but Griffin states this peripheral will work with apps coming out in the future.
One drawback to using the Stompbox is the iPhone, IPad or iPod Touch need their own stand or they become relegated to the floor or a low table. Either option is not ideal and I wish Griffin included a mic stand mount with the Stompbox package.
In the past owning numerous guitar effects was an expensive proposition plus setup of this type of system was often a pain in the neck. With the Griffin Stompbox this is no longer the case. This multifunctional pedalboard offers numerous effects (some for an additional fee – usually $1) along with a built in tuner, metronome, recorder and song playback interface.
The Stompbox is a pleasant addition to both the professional and the amateur guitarist’s setup. With it you can get your Wah-Wah on or add a Phaser effect to your tunes. The options and permutations are numerous.
While it is expensive for an Apple peripheral for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch it well worth it as an investment. Griffin should be adding more apps to take advantage of it in the future providing even more bang for the buck.
+Inexpensive virtual effects guitar pedal
+Free iShred LIVE app
+Easy to add more virtual pedals through the app
+GuitarConnect cable included
-Only one app currently available for it
-No included mic stand for the Apple device
To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.