As the developers of Power Music we keep a keen eye on what page turners are currently available. The page turner market has been fairy static for the last couple of years with the main offerings coming from AirTurn, PageFlip and various “budget” Chinese pedals.
Then recently I was made aware of the STOMP from CODA MUSIC. This got my interests because it looked like a quality product, so I got my hands on one and here are my thoughts on the STOMP.
The STOMP arrived from the USA with a 9V power supply (US plug) an Apple iOS Lightning Cable (more about this later) and a neat drawstring cloth bag for the pedal.
My first impression as I took the pedal out of its box was “this look a sturdy device”. The cast metal box looks like you could drive over it with a truck and the 5 button switches seemed high quality.
The first job is to unscrew the 4 Phillips head screws from the base of the pedal, remove it and plug in a 9V MN1604 battery, otherwise known as a PP3. While the base was off I had a quick look at the circuit board which was well designed and neatly soldered.
I am always a bit sceptical about the battery % which most Bluetooth devices display, however you don’t need to rely on this, the main LED on the pedal will turn red when the battery is less than 25% capacity so that’s how to tell when to replace the battery or plug in the 9V mains adapter.
I let the pedal go to sleep – about 25 minutes with no button pushes – to see how fast it comes back on. This is one aspect of Bluetooth pedals that causes anxiety among musicians. The STOMP is a star when it comes to powering back on. A single tap of one of the main buttons brings the LEDs back on, wakes up the pedal instantly and sends the page turn command.
So what do the LEDs and buttons on the STOMP do?
- Power on/off illuminated push button
- Repeat illuminated button
- Mode select button with 4 small LEDs to show selection
- Large LED to indicate Bluetooth connection status
- 2 heavy duty foot switches
You might also notice the small stubby Bluetooth aerial at the top of the picture. This appears pretty solid so I would have no concerns about it sticking out of the main body of the pedal. This gives a claimed range of 50ft which should be more than enough.
So what about the page turning buttons? These are fairly standard guitar effect pedal type foot switches. They are very robust with good tactile feedback however they are not silent. This might not be an issue for most musicians but in a studio setup it could cause a problem.
We also paired the STOMP with an iPad, iPhone and Mac. In each case the pairing was simple and fast and the pedal worked perfectly with Power Music on each device. The only issue about moving the pedal between devices is that you need to go to the Bluetooth setting and “Forget” the pedal to allow it to be paired to a different device. Unlike the PageFlip and AirTurn pedals there doesn’t seem to be a “Reset Bluetooth” function on the pedal to let it go into pairing mode. We did have one problem when moving the pedal from a Mac back to a Windows PC – the pedal crashed and became completely unresponsive. We had to remove the battery to reset it. We contacted CODA and they assured us that this is an issue they were aware of and will be fixed in future versions. Moving between Windows and iOS devices caused no issues.
On iOS devices the pedal acts as a keyboard so the onscreen keyboard is not available while the pedal is in use. Pressing both foot switches at the same time temporarily disconnects the pedal allowing the onscreen keyboard to pop-up and be used. Pressing both switches again reconnects the pedal.
I mentioned at the start of my review that the pedal was supplied with a USB to Lightning cable. Why? One of the unique features of the STOMP is that if you are using the pedal with the 9V mains supply you can plug in an iPad or other tablet and charge it through the USB A socket on the rear of the pedal! A clever idea which cuts down on the number of mains adapters you need to carry around.
So what are my conclusions about the STOMP? It’s definitely a quality engineered product with fast pairing and most importantly fast return from sleep mode. The USB charging port is an added benefit. It is not the cheapest option though with a USA price of $129.95 on the CODA website. Currently it is also for sale on amazon.com for $139.95 with an additional $36.84 shipping and customs duty if shipped to UK or EU. CODA are looking into setting up UK and EU resellers.
To find out more go to the CODA MUSIC website.
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