Everyone must have seen those wooden pedals that guitar players stomp on to create a pseudo kick-drum accompaniment, but to date the ones I've tried have needed serious amounts of EQ to achieve any tonal depth. Strictly speaking they aren't pedals at all as they have no moving parts, but as I don't know what else to call them I'll stick with the term.
UK company Log Jam produce a range of wooden stomp gizmos at different price points, the Prolog 'Chris Woods Signature Edition' reviewed here being the most sophisticated. The concept is simple enough: the wooden pedal incorporates a resonant sound chamber and a dynamic mic capsule so that the device can be plugged straight into an amp — ideally a full-range acoustic/keyboard amp or a PA system.
Built from sapele, an African relative of mahogany, and finished with linseed oil, the pedal is notionally foot-shaped and increases in depth from back to front, being only 2cm deep at the back. The underside has a non-slip rubber mat attached — essentially the same stuff you can buy at hardware stores, so it is easy to replace — and the output exits on a jack at the right-hand side of the 'toe end'. Overall, the pedal measures 300 x 125 x 42 mm, and there's not much else to say about it other than that you plug it into a suitable amp (or recording system) using a guitar cable, then tap your foot in time as you play your guitar or other instrument of choice.
The sound changes slightly depending on whether your shoes have hard or soft soles, but I was immediately impressed by the depth of thump available. With the EQ set flat, the sound reminded me of a late '60s kick drum. If you need more attack then it's a case of using hard-soled shoes, and maybe dialling in some 2.5 to 4.5 kHz EQ boost.
While not to everyone's taste, the Prolog is the best instrument of its kind that I've tried to date, adding a welcome, if simple, rhythm section for solo acts or duos when all they have free between them is a spare foot. If you are a fan of Seasick Steve, or you aspire to be a Carsick Kevin, then the Prolog is surely the Stradivarius of Stomp devices, whether for live use or for recording. I'm impressed.
£99.95 including VAT.
$140.69 excluding delivery.