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Finhol Auto Stomp Player & KickBox Mark III review

Digital drums for the one-man band

  • £390
  • €490
The small stomp box Auto Stomp Player is a "human controlled drum computer", and takes an input from the KickBox

MusicRadar Verdict

The KickBox is a modern take on the foot stomp, while the Auto Stomp provides a fuller backing. Here's to the one-man (or woman) band!

Pros

  • +

    Fills out your sound (as a guitarist). Hi-fi kick sounds.

Cons

  • -

    Little dynamic range. Expensive for a foot stomp - though cheaper than a drummer!

With a decidedly lo-fi heritage, the humble foot stomp is a great way of giving the solo player a bit of bass-drum like kick. German brand Finhol has applied some serious ingenuity to the Mark III KickBox, with its low-profile walnut box, superb anti-slip matt base and choice of two digital samples - kick drum or cajon.

"We have a choice of 12 drum 'patterns', from lone bass drum or cajon to bass drum"

The small stomp box Auto Stomp Player is classed as a "human controlled drum computer", and takes an input from the KickBox, or other foot stomps.

We have a choice of 12 drum 'patterns', from lone bass drum or cajon to bass drum, snare or rim, plus hi-hats; we have similar combinations from the cajon, including a shaker, and both straight beats and a couple of shuffles.

In manual mode, as you kick in your quarter beats the snare and hi-hat follow in tempo. In auto mode you set the tempo with four kicks and the pattern plays until you kick once to stop it.

Sounds

Both units sound clean and contemporary. The level between the different drums on the Auto Stomp is preset, and in drum computer territory it's basic stuff - there's no dynamic range, so the beats can sound a little relentless, but it'll certainly fill out a solo/duo performance.

The KickBox III is very neat if you want a hi-fi kick. The Auto Stomp Player is ingenious, if a little relentless in use. But both will appeal to the increasing number of us who need to fill out our performances, but retain a human element.

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.