Matthew C Good : Musician, Software Engineer, Hobbyist.

Posts Tagged guitar pedals

“The Scream” Update

“The Scream” is starting to look finished, but it has two more steps to go. Chase’s “Good Vibrations” tremolo pedal is starting to look like a Jamaican flag. Oops. I think it will still be cool. It needs text, and then it will be done.

PWM Pedal

I was scrounging around yesterday, looking for something I could build/make…  When I realized that with but one quick trip to Radio Shack, I could be the neato PWM guitar effect pedal that Collin Cunningham video demo’d for Make Magazine.  So I did:

PWM pedal (foreground) with a few homebuilt friends

PWM pedal (foreground) with a few homebuilt friends

Here’s the guts:

PWM Guts

PWM Guts

It’s a really cool pedal.  Way different animal than other guitar effects.  It makes sounds that most closely resemble a synthesizer.  Hope to use it for some fake-synth parts on some of my tunes in the future.  It’s kinda “glitchy” though, which I think is by design.  But every now and then the pedal does something weird, and I can’t tell if there’s something wrong with the it, or if that’s just the way the weird pedal sounds.  For instance, it doesn’t always pick up every note, and I don’t know if that’s just how it works (it *is* glitchy) or if I’ve got something loose in there.  I’ve also got some rhythmic clicking going on when the pedal is engaged but I’m not playing.  I don’t think this is umm… desired behavior, but I checked my wiring and I think it looks good.  It’s not awful, and since I mostly do recording, I can edit it out fairly easily, but it would be much more nice if it just didn’t happen in the first place.  If I figure it out, I’ll update the post.

Good Vibrations

My tremolo pedal is done.  This is my version of the Baja Trembulator, which i have christened “Good Vibrations.”  A little overspray on the text stencil, but that’s okay.  I’m not very good at this kind of thing, so I’ll take what I can get.

It. Sounds. Awesome.

Homemade “Vactrol” using a red led and a photoresistor in some heat-shrink tubing.  Very fun.  Have to build one of these for Chase now.

Trotsky Drive Breadboard

After finally having some success with my “Mastodon Dave” guitar distortion pedal, I’ve been wanting to make a few more.  I’m continually amazed, however, at how many different electronics parts there are out there…  I’ve got coffee tins full, rubbermaid organizers full, and I STILL hardly ever have the parts on hand I need to make one of practically anything.  So I was looking around for a pedal circuit I could build without waiting around for parts to show up, and I found the Trotsky Drive.  After digging around to see what diodes I had, BINGO!  So tonight I threw it all together on the breadboard.

It sounds pretty good too, but it’s a little hummy – which I think is probably the breadboard.  A very simple circuit, but has a couple options for modding.  There’s a low-pass switch you can throw, and you can swap out the capacitor for different amounts of low-pass.  And you can mess with the kinds of diodes you use, and whatnot.  Fun project, with a Russian name, so I’m going to have fun painting this one.

Most of the trouble with this project was hacking through the various electronics components grab bags I bought to find the right parts.  The numbering schemes on the caps in particular are tricky.  I got a few that I think are caps, but I’m still not sure.  And how do I tell what kind a random diode is?  If I ever find out, I’ll let you know.