Evolution of a Stomp Box (Part 5)



If I could condense a simple drum module and trigger circuit into one box, then maybe people would buy it instead of the traditional stomp box.

The only way to do that would be to design one from scratch.

In my working life I've had many jobs, including; printed circuit designer, electro-mechanical draughtsman, integrated circuit designer and computer programmer. I've also performed in various bands throughout my life. All those skills have helped me to design and create the "Footsie" Stomp Box. It has taken me, off and on, about a year to finish the project.

This is the first prototype for the "Footsie" stomp box. It's not very long because I didn't have enough spare wood to make a bigger one! It has a 12 way rotary switch for drum selection and a sensitivity control for the piezo. You can also see a battery compartment as well as a 9V DC input socket.

I had another go at using piezo transducers for the trigger. Again this didn't work out because of the false triggering caused by foot movements. This is why most wooden stomp boxes are wedge shaped.

I decided to use the Pizzato switch instead. I also removed the battery because it didn't last very long.

Plenty of spare wood now! It took about 6 prototypes to get it right. The first prototype was way too high to be playable and had to be changed. I tried out brass for the metal parts, but found it harder to work with and more expensive than chrome and aluminium. Maybe I could bring back the brass for a special edition in the future.

I am very pleased with the final design. It has an almost "Steampunk" look to it.

Here is the beating heart of "Footsie". The prototype circuit board has been modified many times as the design evolved. Compare it to the 3D mockup of the final board. I've managed to squeeze 24 drum samples into the chip you see at the front of the board. The software I used for the PCB design is an excellent free product called "DesignSpark".