Shane Speal Footstomper Setup and Troubleshooting Guide
The Footstomper percussion is an active, low end instrument that delivers sounds ranging from natural foot tapping to a pummeling bass drum blast. The key to its construction is the concert-tested positioning of internal contact pickups and the on-board preamp.
Shane Speal on Developing the Footstomper
Foot percussion devices left me unsatisfied. I wanted a stomping instrument that felt like an extension of my right foot… a device that delivered explosions even with the slightest tap. The only way to get that sound was to develop my own stomper.
My homemade stompers were used in all my concerts. If something needed changed or improved, I’d take it back to my shop and tweak it until it was right. The trial-and-error process lasted over seven years.
“Like a Combat Boot to the Chest:” I became known for directing soundmen to dial in the Footstomper tones “like a combat boot to the chest.” In other words, the instrument was dialed in at the PA system board with 100% bass thump so intense that it could be felt in the chests of the audience members. The result is a downbeat from my right foot that would sound like a massive bass drum, filling the air with pure rhythm.
This instrument has gone through at least six different prototypes over the course of seven years of shows, from dive bars to festival stages and straight in the re-cording studio.
My search for the ultimate foot percussion has ended. The Footstomper is the answer.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE: The Footstomper plugs directly into a PA system or amplification system with a quarter inch guitar cord. A 9v battery is required in the onboard preamp of the instrument. The preamp has a volume knob and four EQ sliders for bass, mids, treble and presence (highs). While tapping your foot on the Footstomper, dial in the PA system and preamp sliders to desired tone.
- To achieve Shane Speal’s “COMBAT BOOT” low bass sound, dial in the preamp to 100% bass with zero mids, treble or presence. Turn the volume knob to 100%. Dial the PA system or amplifier to 100% bass and zero mids, treble or highs.
- “Back porch” foot tapping tone: Dial in Footstomper with 100% bass, 25% mids, 75% treble and 25% highs.
NOTE: Various shoes and boots will deliver different tapping tones. Have fun trying different footwear!
EXTEND BATTERY LIFE by removing guitar cord from Footstomper when not in use.
Footstomper Troubleshooting Checklist:
No sound produced or only a slight clicking noise when tapped:
- Check to see if your guitar cord is connected securely to the Footstomper and the PA system or amplifier.
- Is the battery fresh? (Use the red light indicator on the preamp to double check.)
- Push the battery compartment in to make sure it's securely clicked into place.
- Check your preamp settings. Is the volume knob turned up on the preamp?
- Is the Footstomper too close to monitor? Try adding some distance between the two.
- Check your preamp settings. Too much treble or presence dialed in on the preamp EQ?
Excessive low-end (60 cycle) hum:
- The Footstomper is an acoustic/electric instrument with internal contact mics that are fed to a pre-amp. Hum is a possibility on some larger PA systems. Add a simple noise gate pedal or hum eliminator box in your signal chain between the Footstomper and the PA system.
Footstomper slips away from me as I stomp it:
- Add a small non-skid carpet under your stomper and stool.
Footstomper is too high off the ground and not ergonomic to sit on a chair and stomp.
- Switch out your chair for a stool approx. 20" high.