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World's first open source stompbox arrives

A stompbox claiming to be "the world's first open source digital guitar effects pedal" is now shipping, after over a year of development. The pedal, the OpenStomp Coyote-1, allows users to create their own effects by writing programs for the pedal's operating system, and uploading them to the device via USB.

Writing open source programs means that rather than sticking to the familiar chorus, distortion and so on, users can create entirely new effects, much in the same way that Max/MSP can be used to make synths and effects from scratch. Unlike Max/MSP, however, users are able to run programs solely from the device – without a computer in sight.

Literally any effect you can imagine will be possible, from looping and glitch effects to ring modulation and more.

The spec of the pedal is pretty impressive. It's a twin footswitch stompbox with an LCD screen, four assignable knobs, a jack in and out (plus an additional jack that can be used as an input for a modulation source, for example, or another output for stereo sounds), a micro-USB port, an RJ11 expansion port and even a video output. The audio quality is a more than adequate 44kHz, 20bit. Information on the operating system is scarce, but OpenStomp says that everything about the pedal, including the OS, is user-tweakable.

Literally any effect you can imagine will be possible, from looping and glitch effects to ring modulation and more

Our impression is that programming the device would be a pretty involved process – likely even more so than in the aforementioned Max/MSP – but the open-source nature of the Coyote-1 means you can simply download other people's programs and effects over the net should you lack the sufficient programming skills yourself.

We've heard no sound samples as of yet, but whatever the Coyote-1 sounds like, OpenStomp deserves praise for delivering what is a truly exciting and original product.

The OpenStomp Coyote-1 costs $349 and is currently only available in North America (although more countries are promised).


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