What Is A Stompbox? How To Make Stompbox?

Music is a constantly evolving animal. How we make music, and make it our own, has changed through history, and that means that throughout that history there were moments that changed the face of music irrevocably. The advent of the stompbox was one of those moments.In this article, we will dig down what is a stompbox & how to make or use it.

What is a Stompbox?

If by now you are wondering "What is a stompbox?",look no further.

​The stompbox, or effects pedal is a technological device used and embraced by musicians all around the world, which alters the sound of their instrument, resulting in a customized and identifiable tone or style.

​The popularity of the stompbox alone tells us something about the increasing emphasis on the use of effects as a means for musicians to create their unique sound, style, and tone.

​Although most commonly used on electric guitars, the effects pedal has also found it's way to orchestral instruments, such as the violin, viola, and cello.

​Although most commonly used on electric guitars, the effects pedal has also found it's way to orchestral instruments, such as the violin, viola, and cello.

​Initially put to use in military technology, then medical and business technologies, by the early 1960's the transistor found it's way into the music world.

​Today, there have been further advances in the music industry, resulting in a variety of digital resources for creating effects and manipulations.

​However, the stompbox has remained one of the most favored tools utilized by musicians.

​How To Make a Stomp Box

​A quick Google search of "How to make a stomp box" will quickly turn out thousands of results, all giving slightly different directions. That is because no two stomp boxes are the same.

Because the purpose of a stomp box is to create unique effects, signatures, styles and tones, they are often designed with specific effects in mind, usually corresponding with the musicians genre choice.

​But let us run through the basics.

​The basic stomp box consists of the following:

  • Pedal board: This is essentially the container for your stomp box, usually a simple panel or flat board. These can be bought or made in a number of DIY fashions.
  • Pedal(s): A stomp box may have several pedals for various effects. The pedals you choose will depend on the type of music you want to play.

A few examples of pedals are: Wah-wah, delay, flanger, fuzz, distortion, tremolo, and chorus.Traditionally the stomp box is used to create the aforementioned effects. But they can also control several basic functions of your instrument such as volume, and equalization. so may also have pedals for those.

  • Tuner: This is used to keep your instrument in tune, and is considered very helpful.
  • Input jacks: This is where you will connect your instrument.
  • Output jacks: This is where you will connect the stomp box to your amp.
  • Switches and/or buttons: These will be used to either activate or deactivate effects.
  • Knobs, buttons, and sliders: These will control and fine tune your various effects.

Stomp boxes are as varied as the musicians that make them, and easily customized. However, building your own stomp box isn't for everyone. And there are many trusted brands which specialize in the industry, such as Pedaltrain, Behringer, Gator and SKB.

How to Use a Stompbox

  • Power your stomp box: Most stomp boxes are fitted with two power sources: a 9-V batter, and an AC adapter.
  • Plug the pedal in: This means plugging your instrument into the pedal, and the pedal into the amp.
  • Turn on the amp: The amp should only be turned on after all of the cables are connected.
  • Turn the pedal's knobs to their default positions: For most pedals this will mean turning knobs to 0.
  • Individually adjust each knob and/or slider: Begin playing your instrument as you make adjustments to your various effects, until you are satisfied with the sound.
  • Make changes between modulated and un modulated signals: Now satisfied with your effects, therefore you can make quick changes between tones with the foot pedal.

Now that we know all of this, let's get started and discover the art and science of the stompbox.

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