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soundog

HX Stomp for Home Studio Use

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Since Line 6 added the MIDI Control Center and a couple of more blocks to the Stomp, I decided to purchase one. Plus, I’m recording at home a lot more than when I had pre-pandemic gigs,  and I wanted to see how the Stomp would integrate with my studio. It does so nicely. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

 

Setup: I’m using an Apollo Twin for my main audio interface. Its tasked with microphone input, and for controlling my monitor speakers (2 sets). I’m using the Stomp for guitar and bass input (I was using the Apollo before). My DAW is Logic Pro X running on an iMac, running Catalina OS X. Your mileage may vary on another OS or using a different audio interface, but things should be similar.

 

Cabling: Stomp to Mac via USB. Apollo to Mac via Thunderbolt. The Stomp L and R Outputs are cabled to the Apollo L and R Line Inputs via balanced TRS cables. (I link the Apollo L and R inputs so I can set levels with one knob.) I’ve got my studio monitors coming out of the Apollo. I can connect headphones to either the Stomp or the Apollo for monitoring (more on this later).

 

I run the Stomp in Snapshot mode, so I ran a TRS Y-cable out of the Expression jack, with the tip side going to a little pushbutton switch to turn the tuner on and off. And the ring side goes to my expression pedal for Wah and Volume pedal.

 

Sample Rate: I run my studio at 48k sample rate (24-bit), which plays nicely with the Stomps default sample rate.

 

Monitoring: I avoid software monitoring from a DAW whenever possible, because I don’t like latency, however short. I just don’t. One of the beauties of the Stomp and the Apollo (and many modern interfaces) is that you can use real-time monitoring of your input with zero (software) latency. With the Apollo, you can use its built-in DSP for real-time monitoring via plug-ins. Same for the Stomp; you can have real-time monitoring of your wet guitar signal.

 

I use the Apollo for monitoring with headphones when recording tracks using microphones (so I’m hearing the microphone input along with the DAW output). I use the Stomp for monitoring with headphones when recording tracks using guitars (I’m hearing the wet guitar input along with the DAW output). I’ve tried using an aggregate device so I could use the Stomp for input and the Apollo for output, but then I still have to deal with using software monitoring and the latency it introduces. I’ve also tried using Blackhole, Jack, and Loopback apps as a workaround…. but can’t get around latency tied to software monitoring. So …. I use either the Apollo (microphones) or the Stomp (guitars) for real-time zero-latency monitoring when recording tracks, selecting the appropriate interface in Logic.

 

Recording Guitars: I select Stomp as my audio input and output device. I record two tracks; one stereo wet via the Stomp’s USB 1/2 channels, along with USB 5 dry mono (in case I need it later for re-amping, using with Native or another amp sim plug-in (I like S-Gear and Neural DSP). I monitor through headphones in the Stomp (with the Stomp set as Logic’s audio out L/R). I almost always have HX Edit running alongside Logic when tracking guitar because its so much quicker to tweak things. After recording, I switch my Logic audio back over to the Apollo for mixing through monitors or recording tracks via microphone.

 

MIDI Clock: I have Logic set up to send MIDI clock to the Stomp via USB for time-based guitar effects such as delay. With HX Edit running, I can quickly see if it’s working by looking at the Tempo field in the upper right; if it says [External] I know synch is working.

 

Practicing (No Computer): Since I’ve got my Stomp cabled to the Apollo, I can easily play straight through to my monitors without requiring my computer or DAW.

 

I've tried a number of guitar doo-dads in the studio, (plug-ins, Kemper, Strymon Iridium, etc) but find the Stomp to (perhaps) be the best well-rounded solution so far....

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Thanks for sharing! These are the exact components I'm trying to work with as well. Trying to figure out what other cables and such I need to buy now to get a workable setup.

 

On 1/16/2021 at 6:26 PM, soundog said:

I use the Apollo for monitoring with headphones when recording tracks using microphones (so I’m hearing the microphone input along with the DAW output). I use the Stomp for monitoring with headphones when recording tracks using guitars (I’m hearing the wet guitar input along with the DAW output).

 

If you have the analog outs of the Stomp plugged into the Apollo, can't you also monitor the guitar with headphones into the Apollo?

 

On 1/16/2021 at 6:26 PM, soundog said:

I monitor through headphones in the Stomp (with the Stomp set as Logic’s audio out L/R).

 

I've found that when recording and monitoring through the Stomp via USB, my playback levels of the recorded guitar are much lower than the monitored levels. Have you run into this issue or found a way around it? This is why I was starting to lean toward tracking via analog outs instead of USB.

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I should update this before replying to your questions. I've changed my setup a bit! I now run my guitar into a Samson MDA1 direct box (low cost, excellent quality), which splits the guitar signal. One of those signals goes to the Stomp input, the other (XLR, which also powers the Samson) into Apollo input 1. I take a mono wet signal out of the Stomp into Apollo channel input 2. When tracking guitar, I monitor the wet signal for inspiration (through Apollo headphones, mixed with my DAW output), but record the dry/Apollo 1 guitar signal. @vanb777, this gives a more robust guitar track level that I'm used to and can control; the Stomp USB record level is also too low for my liking (I adjust Native's input level accordingly). And, yeah, I now monitor the guitar with headphones into the Apollo. All my audio ins/outs (and headphones/monitors) are controlled through the Apollo; keeps things more manageable.

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That makes sense. I'm gonna give that a shot. Thanks for the quick reply!

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