[Harp-L] Digitech iStomp first impressions

I wrote last week to advise that I'd just ordered a used Digitech iStomp, which I was planning to use with the multiphonic pitch shifter software Digitech provides for this device (along with a lot of other stuff).  The device arrived a few days ago, and I've had the opportunity to test it.  Short story: it works as advertised.

The multiphonic pitch shifter (which Digitech calls the "swing shift") will simultaneously produce an octave, one and two octaves up, and a 5th up.  The proportions of each in the sound can be precisely controlled in real time via a row of 4 rotary dials.  This is close to ideal for emulating an organ, since you can modify the components of the tone easily and precisely.  The pitch shifting, as per Digitech's generally excellent implementation of anything having to do with pitch, is clean and tracks up and down the harp with no discernible lag.  

I positioned the thing in a short FX chain with the iStomp at the start of the chain and a Digitech RP500 on the back end, the latter running a patch with a rotary speaker effect (and an amp model, of course).  This setup produces perfectly usable organ tones, with a higher degree of realism than you can produce with only one pitch-shifted line at a time.  

Assuming that the RP on the back end is an RP255, which is the minimum RP device if you want an expression pedal to modulate the rotary speaker speed up and down, the cost for this setup (buying everything used) is about $150.  You could cut that price by about $50--to $100 total--if you just bought two used iStomps, which are generally available on guitarcenter.com for about $50 apiece, and ran the rotary speaker emulation (which Digitech provides for free as a download from their site) on the second iStomp.

This all assumes that you already have an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device.  If you don't, then you have to figure the cost of one of those into the setup.  But if you have one of those devices, this appears to me to be the lowest-cost approach to achieving a quality organ sound.  

I'll post some samples of the sounds his rig produces to my site at hunterharp.com in he next few days.  
Regards, Richard Hunter

author, "Jazz Harp" (Oak Publications, NYC)
Latest mp3s and harmonica blog at http://hunterharp.com
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