So how many times have you broke a Rock Band kick pedal while playing "Run to the Hills" on expert? None? Me either. Drums are too damn hard. I have, however, managed to break two while playing savagely through the medium career. All this serves to prove is that the Rock Band peripherals are terrible. Not that this is news to anyone at this point. It's a good thing that some people have taken up a proactive solution to this problem. The visionaries at Rock Pedal have formulated an answer to kick pedal woes: the Rock Pedal. Coincidence, or company name based off the product? You be the judge. Silly comments aside, they were kind enough to send us not one rock pedal, but two in preparation for the LanOC v3 Drum-off. Since then, we've had the opportunity to test the product proper, and this is what we thought....
Review Sample Provided by: Rock Pedal
Review by: Tomikaze
Pictures by: Tomikaze and Garfi3ld
Adequate would be an accurate summation of the rock pedal's packaging. It arrives in a brown cardboard box. There you go. No pictures, no frills, no ridiculous sealed plastic. The phrase "If it ain't broke don't fix it" comes to mind. I understand that we live in an age where bright and shiny pictures are the norm, but this is merely luxury. The fact that your rock pedal got to you in a safe and efficient manner is all that really matters, unless you're that weird guy who lines his apartment walls with decorative products. Accompanying the rock pedal in its brown box are a drum key, a rubber stopper, a beater with plastic and felt surfaces, a 1/4" adapter, and a warranty card.
Design and Durability
Rock Pedal didn't leave anything to chance with their product. They took an extraordinarily durable all-metal pulse kick pedal and modded it to be compatible with rock band. It utilizes a double chain drive and a thick high tension spring as its mechanism, meaning that you'd be hard pressed to damage even the moving parts of this kick pedal.
The aggravating thing about the Rock Band kick pedal is the thin weak spring that it uses to provide an opposing force. The actual pedal doesn't balance on such a flimsy spring very well, allowing the drummer to not only raise and lower the pedal, but also from side to side. This is an unnatural movement in a kick pedal, making for uncomfortable play as well as prompting fragile plastic to twist and break. The Rock Pedal suffers from none of this as the mechanism doesn't rely on a weak spring placed under the pedal, but uses a system akin to an axle. This results in the pedal having two and only two motions: up and down, as God and Nature and Neil Peart intended. This is to say nothing of how comfortable the rock pedal is in comparison. Everything about it is adjustable. From the height of the pedal to the tension on the spring, whatever makes you five star more songs is certainly possible. All this is achieved via a convenient adjustment key tool which is stored on the pedal itself, meaning you'll never lose it.
Since the pedal is real, the beater they provide can serve two purposes. It can either give you a more realistic drumming experience through its presence, or if you have a need for a kick pedal for real drums, you can actually use the rock pedal. So when they make you pay for a real kick pedal just to play a game, you can take comfort in the fact that it can be used in the exact same fashion as a real pedal. Countermeasures have also been put into place to prevent shifting around during play. The pedal has a mechanism at the front which locks quite securely onto the Rock Band drums, as well as two thick Velcro strips to grab carpet. The one and only small issue I have with the pedal is the Velcro. I like to be able to shift the pedal a bit when I find it uncomfortable, but Velcro renders it quite immobile. Also, if you think your carpet is clean, think again. The Velcro will pick up anything from hair to sock lint, eventually causing the underside to look kind of gross. The rock pedal boasts impressive compatibility with all versions of Rock Band 1 and 2 as well as the Ion kit with the use of the provided adapter. Interestingly absent is Guitar Hero World Tour, but impressive none the less.
Rock Pedal offers up a very nice warranty for a product that gets stepped on as a part of everyday use. Each rock pedal comes with a 12 month-they-fix-it-or-replace-it extended warranty. All my stock pedals have proven incompetent within a month of repetitive use. So this prevents you from dealing with EA and their "we'll charge you for a new one till the broken one gets here" warranty. Another interesting policy that Rock Pedal follows is a "30 day test drive" during which you can return the product at any time and be reimbursed, with an additional 13 dollars to help provide for shipping. Sensitivity Without a doubt, the rock pedal proves to be more consistent about registering due the difference in its and the stock pedal's mechanisms. Being more confident in the timing of the pedal allows you to drum with tighter note timings and with less skepticism as to the integrity of the pedal. Have you ever had a sequence in Rock Band you simply can't hit? Inevitably with the stock peripherals, you reach an impasse between the problem being you, lag, the drums, or the pedal. The rock pedal removes one item from the equation, it is a solid piece of equipment. One less peripheral to question is invaluable when it comes to performance. Conclusion Notice how I have had very little negative to say about the rock pedal? That's because the one major caveat of the product is its price: a hefty $69.95. Normally I don't include price in my pros and cons. My belief is that there is always someone that has the budget to afford such things. The reason that this rubs me wrong at all is that it costs more than a third of the special edition of Rock Band at launch. What you have to remember though is that this money saves you from one aspect of the peripheral headache, and that the real kickpedals that these are made of aren't cheap. This is called the "you get what you pay for" phenomenon, and really, you can't get any better than this.