A stompbox is a great addition for any solo or duo musician. It adds a little while you are singing and playing. It also can lay down a beat so you don’t have to rely on one or two instruments to do so. A stompbox (or stomp box) also allows a Cajon or hand percussionist to add to their sound.
But with technology comes new ways to get that stompbox sound. Miced blocks of wood can give way to drum pads. Those drum pads can do more than just kick drum, which can change per song. But there is still something about going old school.
So let’s throwdown old vs. new with two products from respected companies. Logjam Prolog – the analog stompbox, vs. Roland SPD:One – maker of electronic drums.
You might think there’s only going to be but one sound from this block of wood, but you would be highly mistaken. The Prolog can produce a lot of tones on it’s own. Add in simple effects, and you can get this pedal kickin (pun intended).
The Prolog is a block of wood shaped like a shoe. At the front is a Piezzo pickup microphone. The 1/4″ TRS cable sends the signal to the mixer, where it is equalized, and given effects.
Different sounds can be made by where you strike the block with your foot. Additionally, the type of shoe can play in shaping the sound – harder sole shoes vs. rubber sole shoes.
Main downfall to this pedal is simply the fine tuning with the mixer. You may need an additional EQ pedal to get the sound your looking for. Also, the block can become sensitive depending on how much gain you give the device. It’s still a mic in a box, which can cause sound issues.
This is a new concept for Roland – single trigger pads that can work solo, in in a group. The SPD:ONE has 4 different pads. For this review, we’re looking at the SPD:ONE Kick. This pad gives us ten different kick drum sounds, along with various percussive instruments. Casaba, cowbell, claves, hand claps, and even a user channel where you can import your own sound.
The SPD:One runs on 4-AA batteries, or plugs in with the standard BOSS PSA adapter. The trigger also will adjust tone, reverb, and even distortion, to give you some new sounds to work with.
With these features, you can use this like a Kick drum – beats on 1 and 4 – or another instrument on the off-beats or accents (such with the cymbal sound). You can also mount the device to a stand for hand percussive options.
One major issue with this pedal is some of the options are hard to change when you have it on the floor. The “instrument variation” – which allows you to switch between cowbell and claves – is not clear on which position it is in. If you start the song and are in the wrong voice, you might be stuck with it until the end.
In the Video
We look at both pedals, as I play some of my original songs and covers. I switch between the Logjam and Roland, along with use the pedals in tandem. I talk about more pros and cons of both devices.
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