About a year ago we introduced you to the Stompenberg project on this blog. We wanted to give you the opportunity to test effect pedals from home the comfort of your own home, online and without having to commute to the music store. Sounds pretty crazy right? Absolutely. But it works perfectly and with the current update we’ve added another level of innovation: a virtual speaker simulation, created in cooperation with Celestion! ?
A real affair of the heart, looking forward to your help
For us Stompenberg FX is a project that is very close to our hearts. There is nothing comparable in the world so far. We are obsessed with this pioneering concept, we solder, screw and sweat, along with our partners at Feinarbyte, non-stop, finding the optimal solution. And don’t even ask how many cables we have plugged in for you since the project started 😀 Numerous pedals have now been retrofitted by our technicians so that you can test out their sounds and parameters via the revolutionary online app.
Worldwide unique concept
The principle: An audio file is sent to an effects device while you, the user at home, are sitting at your computer, turning the knobs, virtually, listening to the changing sound and getting a better picture of the pedal of your choice. First, the pedals have to be rebuilt. The first step is to dismantle them, measure the potentiometers and replace them with digital potentiometers and switches. Each pedal is then equipped with a mini-computer. For the control we have developed a special audio interface, so that the pedals react as if there was a guitar connected.
Speaker simulation as the next evolutionary step
The next innovation is currently being launched: cab simulation via Stompenberg. With the help of so-called impulse responses – IRs for short – speaker cabinets are simulated. These impulse responses capture the characteristics of real speakers and reproduce them digitally. The speaker simulation is loaded in the form of .wav files. In the Stompenberg signal chain, the input signal from the pedal goes directly into the speaker. The ingenious thing: The signal you send through the simulation plays through your audio interface or headphones as if it were being played through a real speaker.
Testing effect pedals more optimally
You can test the pedals – especially overdrive and distortion ones – much better with the new speaker simulation feature. After all, transmission via speakers remains the domain of high-gain effects. The guitar signal sent via the audio interface of your computer is sent to “Stompenberg-Town” and then comes back to you modulated and “speaker simulated”. You can change the parameters in real time via the app.
Use factory or individual impulse responses
Integrated impulse responses from loudspeaker specialist Celestion are now available. To accommodate your personal requirements you can also upload your own impulse responses into the signal path. These will be only loaded into the browser, after leaving or reloading the page, they are gone again. Neither Stompenberg FX nor any other company stores them. Third parties have no access to them. Creative data protection, so to speak.
Latency during the online journey may occur
So you sit in front of your computer, play the guitar (or bass) anywhere in the world and the sounds are on their way to Treppendorf. As soon as it arrives, the signal returns enriched with effects. You must be aware that this cannot happen without a hint of latency. In live mode you have to accept a latency of up to 200 milliseconds. No need to be surprised or annoyed by that, the sound has, after all, come a long way. Our virtual motto is: “A sound goes through cyberspace, if not through the whole of Germany”.
The online queue: Stompenberg countdown
Since going live we have experienced an immense popularity by interested testers. Let us give you a brief explanation: Dozens of pedals can now be tested virtually. The technicians have configured many effects in a short amount of time. Currently, only one tester can be active per pedal at one time. If another tester connects to the desired pedal via an app, a countdown starts on both sides. The active user has 5 minutes left; the user in the digital waiting line can automatically take over after the active user has finished.
We cordially invite you to try this engineering milestone
We cordially invite you to try the application as a BETA tester and share your feedback with us. Due to technical limitations of other browsers it is best to use the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or a Chromium based browser (Opera, Brave etc.) to test the pedal simulation. Your experiences and opinions are really important to us. With your feedback you support us in further developing the app. We still have a long way to go before it is perfected. The Stompenberg community is going into the technological fast lane together and is not planning on slowing down. Be part of it!