As smart phones and smart cars have gone from novelty to normalcy in the past decade, smart pedals seem to be following suit, with the Xtomp from Hotone the latest innovation.
The Xtomp (pronounced ‘Ex Stomp’? ‘Ztomp’? ‘Chtomp’?) is a Bluetooth enabled pedal that allows users to choose from a massive library of digital sounds and effects to play with. The digital effects are based on vintage and modern pedals and amps, and with six LED-backed, mappable knobs, the possibility for tweaking the sounds is great. It also features stereo I/O, true and analog bypass, and USB connectivity for future updates.
Backed by free iOS, Android and PC software with a multitude of different effects packed in, the sleek pedal opens up new avenues for guitarists to experiment with.
Whilst it isn’t the first kind of smart pedal we’ve seen, with TC Electronic being especially forward with their TonePrint capabilities, it is probably the most exciting. Although the upfront cost is pretty hefty, it could save users thousands of dollars in pedals that they buy for one or two uses.
Additionally, it could turn out to be a great creative tool, allowing for different sounds and concepts to be tapped into by users experimenting with the pedal. It remains to be seen how reliable the Xtomp is, but if it proves to be useful in a live setting, it might be seen on more and more pedalboards in the studio and out at gigs.
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