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Acoustic stomp box

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Acoustic stomp box

Postby Nigel Austen » Sun Dec 02, 2018 6:58 pm

I'm looking to build or buy (if no more than £50 ) a stomp box for playing with a barn dance trio. Not looking for fancy footwork but just a simple main-beat bass drum sound operated by the foot , whilst playing an accordion .
Im particularly interested in what might be achieved using the EQ of my mixer (a Soundcraft Signature MTK ) . Ive seen various products and clips on youtube but they all seem to come out sounding like amplified floorboards - I'm looking for a softer bassier sound . I would be interested on thoughts about EQ on this e.g. if I bought or made something that really gives an amplified floorboard sound , could I get what Im looking for by taking the top and mid down and boosting the bass etc ? Or, do I really need to buy something that makes a deeper sound in the first place?

Grateful for any views . Cheers Nigel
PS I have heard all the accordion jokes ever told, so fight the urge if you think you have a new one!
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:33 pm

What's the PA you'll be playing it through? Have you got a sub? If not, you are unlikely to get any serious bass thump, regardless of any EQ.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:36 pm

One obvious option is to actually get a cheap small bass drum and pedal!
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:52 pm

I've been trying to find out what Cormac Byrne (the percussionist) might have used when I saw him playing with Show of Hands last Thursday. Unfortunately I was sitting very near the front just below the stage line, so didn't have a great view, but he was certainly tapping something to get a kick drum sound. But it wasn't just a plugged-in unit as I could clearly see an AKG C418 clip-on mic hovering just over the unit (maybe for some extra 'click'). But that produced very bassy sound (too loud and bassy IMO as I thought it interfered with the vocals).

Here's a video which shows him doing something with his right foot, but I'm not sure just what it is. But with the PA reinforcement it was a lot bassier than in the video.

https://youtu.be/o3WBOCBX4vI
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:58 am

There was n old tech rider from a Bellowhead tour which included a spec for their stomp box :-

"The Stomp Box (our equivalent to a Bass Drum) is impossible to travel with, but essential for the concert and so we will have to build one upon arrival.
To make one for the concert we require the following items:-
Square Plywood Top : 7-Ply Marine plywood, 60cm x 60cm
Wooden Base Struts: 2 x L 60cm x W 7.5cm x H 7.5cm 2 x L 45cm x W 7.5cm x H 7.5cm
Sticky velcro tape
Hammer and wide-headed nails (To nail velcro)"

They used a boundary mic inside.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:47 am

I've just remembered this device, I suspect it uses a magnetic pickup rather than a piezo device and sounds much better straight out of the box. Not available (easily, at least) in the UK so I built my own.

http://www.porchboard.com
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby blinddrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:23 am

Are you looking for a bass drum sound or something more 'woody'?
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:05 pm

If you can find a cheap used drum machine that has trigger inputs, you could easily make a trigger pad from some wood and a cheap piezo disk, and trigger the kick sound on that.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby yaire » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:19 pm

it's a little over 50 pounds but I think it will fit your bill:
The Ortega ANNAlog:
https://www.thomann.de/gb/ortega_annalog_stomp_box.htm
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby CS70 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:38 pm

One cannot but marvel at the resourcefulness of the gang here. :thumbup:

(added "build own kick box" to the future project list)
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:02 pm

Can post some design notes for the one I built later if anybodies interested?
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby ben howes » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:36 am

This might be your best bet.
https://www.roland.com/global/products/spd_one_kick/
Less faff to set up, and I'm positive you'll be able to find a suitable tone. Disguise it in a wooden surround if you feel like some wood work!
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Wonks » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:01 am

However, you are unlikely to get one for £50, though it is a good solution. Unfortunately, the £50 budget does limit the possibilities somewhat.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:27 am

More by luck than judgement, a flight case lid with a cheap mic wrapped in foam under it did the job very well when somebody's more expensive device developed a nasty crackle. We auditioned about 4 different lids, and a 19" 8U one - 8mm ply? - did the job.

I've seen a regular kick pedal + cajon (possibly with snare wire removed) used to good effect. Think it may have had an extra bit of wood screwed to it to give the pedal something to clamp to.

Also seen chap on a tall stool just "stomping" on a cajon with his shoeless foot.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Nigel Austen » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:44 pm

Wow!
thanks for the usual SOS deluge of ideas ! Really appreciated . Looking into it , I don't think Ive actually heard an acoustic box with the sound I'm looking for - the one exception was when I saw Spiers and Boden play as a duo - they had a really great mellow kick drum sound - it was through a large Sub and I think the point made about getting an decent kick drum sound without a sub is bang on the nail. We don't use the with our line up but now thinking the best sound so far was from the Roland SPD 1 Kick but a bit over budget . I am going to look out for a used on a bit closer to budget and possibly try it with our usual speakers (Dynacord A115's) . If it doesnt sound good enough maybe invest in a cheapish sub that would be dedicated to the job .
Once again , contributions really appreciated and a lot to think about . Cheers Nigel
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:37 am

You've set me thinking again about stomp boxes and I re-jigged my drummer/mate's home made stomper with a precision pickup an iron plate.... It sounded shit.....so I'v gone back to piezo for that one. I suspect the problem is that the top is too thick. I'll try a few things and post back here if I find anything useful. :thumbup:
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby ben howes » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:22 am

The spd 1 is a neat single box electronic solution. However a second hand Roland tm2 or cheap alesis box or old drum machine with a trigger input would do the same job. Just add a 20 pence piezoelectric element on some ply with a bit of mouse mat on top. Tweak the trigger settings a bit. Have fun.
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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:02 am

Fascinating!

Just a point about piezo transducers? To get a really deep sound out of them they need to go into a very high impedance. For acoustic guitar, not less than 5meg is suggested and 10 is better. For this thumper I would go for 22meg or even more. The bog S TL072 can cope with that quite easily but there are better jfet op amps, in fact it might be wise to avoid the '72 as they can "latchup" if overloaded.

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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Hewesy » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:18 pm

If not too late the Porch Board is worth a nose, though I suspect they have gone up in cost...

On a Bellowhead note Jon Boden now solo tours with a board but it is large enough for him to stand on an use both feet. He uses a stick on mic and/or piezo depending on the gig. Phillip Henry is another great floorboard player to check out. Both have/had YouTube vids showing their rigs off.

Seth Lakeman uses a smaller homemade unit, and alternates between heel and toe for thump or click type tones. I think that used a mic inside and he could mute it onstage.

Seasick Steve had a flight case with a guitar pickup inside, or go proper folk band with an old sturdy suitcase and a bass drum kick pedal.

DIY could be your friend here, and enable you to dual purpose it as say a case or box for other gear for transport.

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Re: Acoustic stomp box

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:02 pm

Yup, definitely fancy a large board like the Bellowhead one (600 x 600 mm) so I can stand on it and stamp both feet. T'would make me look taller too which would be a hidden bonus :smirk:
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