Many professional musicians need to have charts, sheet music, or lyric sheets on a gig. Thankfully, the days of clunky music stands and falling papers during a show have long passed. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops have become today’s preference for keeping your notes (pun intended) right in front of you. But you still need to take your hands off your instrument to scroll or turn pages. Flipping through pages of sheet music can not only cause a distraction for your audience but can also interrupt your performance. The Coda Music Technologies Stomp Bluetooth Page Turner and App Controller takes your performance into the 21st Century by eliminating distractions and letting you keep your hands where they belong… on your instrument!
One of the first notable things about the Stomp is its sturdy metal enclosure making it ideal for the rough and tough perils of live performance. Coda Music Technologies touts that it’s rugged enough to be run over by a truck, though we didn’t have an opportunity to test that claim. We can assure you, however, that Stomp feels quite durable. Its size and weight (12 oz.) makes it easy to pop into your gig bag. Looking at the face of the Stomp, you will see three buttons: Power, Repeat, and Mode. There is an LED status indicator on the face that indicates if the Stomp is connected, not paired, or if the battery is below twenty-five percent. It will also let the user know if the Stomp is paused when using a virtual keyboard. The backside of the pedal has an extended range antenna with a range of 50 feet, a USB charging port for your device (tablet, cell phone, etc.) and a port for an optional power adapter (by default, the Stomp runs on a 9V battery). Stomp is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0, iOS, Android, Mac OS and Windows.
When we used the Stomp in a live performance setting, we used a power adapter instead of a 9V battery. However, if you plan on using a 9V battery, you will need a screwdriver to open the bottom panel. We set up the Stomp before the performance by pairing it with our iPad (it supports iPad 3 or later and iPhone 4s or later). Pairing the Stomp was a cinch to do, just as with wireless headphones and other Bluetooth devices, and the LED indicator stopped flashing once pairing was complete. The next step was to find a compatible app for our lyrics. We initially had our lyrics in PDFs on our iPad which was not going to work for the Stomp, but on the Coda Music Technologies website there is a list of compatible apps.
Once our lyrics were loaded into a compatible app, we were able to try out the Stomp during our performance. It took a little while to get the hang of how much pressure was needed to step on the switches in order to scroll through the pages. The foot switches can be a little noisy—potentially an issue for classical musicians, but that did not make any difference in the live Rock band setting we were performing in.
We liked that the Stomp provides the ability to turn On/Off repeat messages from button presses to avoid accidental page turns if you leave your foot on a switch too long. And another unique feature is virtual keyboard access: depress both footswitches simultaneously and the pedal temporarily disconnects and a virtual keyboard appears on your tablet/phone/etc. for typing. Depress the footswitches again to hide the keyboard and return to functioning.
Additionally, the Stomp can start and stop a metronome and be used to trigger backing tracks. If you use advanced music notation apps like OnSong which can follow a master app running on one device, attach one Stomp to a tablet and that “band leader” can effectively turn pages on multiple devices at once, keeping all of your singers or musicians focused on the right page of sheet music or lyrics.
The Stomp came with an easy to follow manual with every function explained thoroughly, and Coda Music Technologies has a number of helpful tutorial videos as well.
The Stomp sells direct for $129.95. The price is a bit higher than other page turners we have looked at, but it’s certainly a more durable product than the less costly alternatives.
Whether you are a singer or an instrumentalist, this pedal is a useful tool for performance. It’s a great asset for musicians who need to keep their hands free from page turning or scrolling
Coda Music Technologies