What Is Coda Music Technologies?
Of all the venues in all the world, I walked into this one. As I looked out into the crowd I realized something... this is crazy enough that it actually might work.
And that for me was the moment I knew I was on to something,
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hi, my name is Rob and I started Coda Music Technologies. Coda was formally founded in 2015. But like any good story, it starts way earlier than that.
Like many guitarists I grew up playing in rock bands, playing way too loud in garages and storage units, and knowing my band was going to be the next big thing. We were not.
I was into gear at an early age and “collected” (read: hoarded) as much as I could. Odd guitar heads, a ton of rack gear when that was the big thing, guitars, pedals, cabinets, even reel to reel tape machines. I wanted all of it.
After I graduated high school, I went to a recording trade school with the goal of becoming an audio engineer. Simultaneously I did freelance recording engineering work at awful hours. Such is the life. The band I was in at the time built a pretty legit studio in a garage where I spent the rest of my free time. Writing, rehearsing, recording, hanging out, and drinking way too many energy drinks.
Between school, freelancing, and running a recording studio, I was able to cut my teeth and dive deep into all things audio. That’s where my passion for music spawned an even deeper passion for gear. Really geeking out about why I like something and how it did the thing I like. And more important to the story, understanding and finding gear that solved problems.
Over the next few years I worked in retail music stores and for some pretty well-known music gear companies, did luthier work, and continued to play in various bands.
Something I started to see that was very common to cover band, session, and church musicians was the burden of sheet music and chord charts. I experienced it myself. It was unorganized, chaotic, and messy. Around the same time I also befriended musicians in other walks of life. Orchestral musicians, utility players, singer songwriters; a wide variety.
And they all had the same issue: using paper music in an exceedingly paperless world.
With so many apps that handled charts and sheet music, there should also be an easy, hands-free, wireless way to control them.
Somewhere around the early 2010s I started to ideate on a hands-free, wireless solution. Bluetooth was taking over the world so I knew there had to be something there.
Because my bands never made me an overnight sensation, I wasn’t the millionaire I thought I’d be by then, so I kept the idea as just that; an idea.
But it kept nagging me. I’d see gear that would come close to what I was envisioning, but would still miss the mark. I could only take so many close-but-not-quite options before I decided to take action.
I couldn’t take the cheap plastic pedals anymore. They weren’t designed for musicians based on the build quality or by how they functioned. They also weren’t smart or practical enough for musicians to use in real world applications.
So I decided to take the leap and build my own. But in order to do that, I needed to raise funds. Having little capital or collateral (in a post 2008 world, not being a rock star) I had to get creative.
So after spending all the money I could on prototypes, I decided to take care of two things at once. I’d see if people were actually interested in this crazy idea, and if they were they’d prove it by backing the project on Kickstarter.
And man did they prove it. All I had was various prototypes of what would become STOMP.
There was no finish. No graphics or text. Just a metal enclosure with buttons and jacks. But it did exactly what it needed to do. And it did it exceptionally well.
As I stood on the stage at the Kickstarter launch party, seeing how many people were physically there supporting the project, not to mention the backers I had across the country online, I knew that I was onto something.
I think that STOMP resonates so well because it’s made by a real gigging musician solving problems gigging musicians have. It’s durable (I ran it over with a truck to prove it), clever (features you actually use and some you didn’t know you could), compatible (with almost every software musicians use, even DAWs), and useful in so many different applications. It's also 100% made in America; not just designed in America, not just assembled in America - 100% made in USA.
STOMP is only the beginning. And we’re extremely excited for what comes next.
Who Is Coda Music Technologies
I like to affectionately call us a gypsy company. If you’ve ever heard of a gypsy brewery, we’re kind of the same. We build our pedals in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in USA, but we don’t have an office building with a ton of overhead. We utilize the best talent we can find, without the constraints of regional talent.
Here’s the band that keep the lights on at Coda.
Rob’s the founder and big cheese of Coda. He’s also the one that comes up with the ideas, manages day to day operations, works with engineering and manufacturing, and basically spends all of his time working on the ins and outs of running a company.
Rob loves to come up with new ideas that are aimed towards solving a problem. That’s how Coda started after all. While he’s a very practical and pragmatic personality, he’s also a bit of a dreamer.
Favorite piece of gear: "I'm a sucker for vintage stuff. I have this old ‘80-something Yairi cedar top acoustic that I got off ebay for like $400 bucks...it's got dings and dents all over and what I think is a cigarette burn at the headstock. It sounds great and I just love its character."
Rodrigo is officially known as Tech Support, but he does WAY more than his job description outlines. If you’ve contacted Coda in the past couple of years for questions about pretty much anything, he’s the dude that’s helped you out.
He’s also a researcher, does a lot of the web and social management, and pretty much whatever else needs to be done.
Rodrigo is a super knowledgeable gear head and an exceptional guitarist.
Favorite piece of gear: "That's really hard...but if I had to choose one "on a desert island" pedal I'd definitely go with a Strymon Bigsky. Reverb for days. Makes any clean tone sound immensely better. Plug in a Tele and you're off to another dimension!"
Mike is the content creator for almost everything you read. If you’ve ever shook your head at a bad joke in an e-mail, article, or on social media- he's to blame for it.
He’s been around since the beginning of Coda in one way or another (testing prototypes, providing design and function feedback, being a good sounding board), and has been on full time for the past 2 or 3 years.
Mike is a guitarist, and dabbles in drums and mandolin. He's a big proponent of physical gear, but is starting to come around to some of the digital options.
Favorite piece of gear: "My most prized instrument is my MIM Fender Strat I bought new in 1998. It has a pretty rare midnight blue finish that looks purple in most light. I've done a lot of modding to it over the years. Right now it has Fender Custom Shop Fat 50's pickups and the Brewster tone knob mod. It has natural distressing and carries a lot of sentimental value. It sounds, looks, and plays awesome!"
(I’ll Do You One Better) Why Is Coda Music Technologies
Our entire purpose, besides awesome movie references and an excuse to talk about gear all day, is to provide musicians with the tools they need to enhance their performance. I’ve used way too much cheap gear in my life and I know the importance of quality. Both in build quality and functionality. When you’re at a gig the last thing you should worry about is your gear. So our promise is to deliver the best quality gear that can take all of the rigors the road can throw at it.We’re constantly finding ways to innovate using the latest technologies. We spend a lot of time in R&D to make sure what we make is the absolute best it can be.
And we’re here to provide you with the absolute best support possible. We understand gigging musicians because we are gigging musicians.
Who Uses Coda?
We have a wide range of working musicians in the Coda Artist Family. From living rooms to big stages, arenas and clubs, STOMP can be found on pedal boards all over the world.
Check out our roster here.
If you’re interested in joining the Coda Artist Family, you can apply here.
As a thank you for reading through our full story, use promo code OURSTORY for a free iOS charging cable with purchase of STOMP.