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  • New pedal builder...What does what?...What goes where?

    Can someone please explain to me how potentiometers ,capacitors,resistors, and diodes relate to getting a certain sound?I figured out how a breadboard works so I know I'm ready to start experimenting.I'm looking to make analog mods chorus,flange,phase,reverb and octave as well as tube screamer and big muff mods.

  • #2
    Can someone please explain to me how potentiometers ,capacitors,resistors, and diodes relate to getting a certain sound?I figured out how a breadboard works so I know I'm ready to start experimenting.I'm looking to make analog mods chorus,flange,phase,reverb and octave as well as tube screamer and big muff mods.


    Not trying to bust your balls here, but what you are asking for requires lots of study & research into circuitry design. Most people & companies tend to consider such things as 'proprietary'. As such they are more than likely to not share any details. In many cases they are forbidden to do so by law, copyright or otherwise.
    Member of New England chapter, Mazi Bee Hard Rockin' militia







    Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey


    Also, I think the line between smartass and dumbass lies in whether or not your joke works.









    Originally Posted by mattburnside


    Most guys would lay low, lurk, post in another forum, whatever. Not our boy darial. He just kicked open the ****************house door and lurched out, pants around his ankles, both guns blazing.









    Originally Posted by ChuckyB


    Dear Expressway,
    You have made added a slutty ray of sunshine to my otherwise mundane morning. Thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Charles.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's kinda like asking "how do I build a car?". Too complicated to explain in a thread like this. You have a couple of options.
      1) Get a soldering iron and learn to use it. Buy a peddle kit and follow the directions (probably have to learn to read a circuit diagram). You can build your own peddles and probably find discussion forums like these on how to modify them to get tones you want without actually understanding the electrical theory involved. This would be purely a for the sake of having something to do besides watching "Two and A Half Men" reruns, because it certainly won't save you any money versus buying the pedals you want to start with.

      2) If you want to learn to design your own circuits or how to modify existing circuits to your hearts desire to achieve certain results, you're gonna have to learn basic electronics. There are colleges which cost money, or there are numerous online resources to actually learn these skills. Some of the best ones I've seen are gone, but a quick google search says there's still a bunch out there, like http://www.electronics-tutorials.com/basics/basic-electronics.htm for example. People spend years learning this stuff so it's hard to answer in one thread.

      Comment


      • #4
        Building from scratch will cost 3X as much as buying a good used pedal.
        Suppliers and pedla manufacturers buy parts in bulk so they get a big discount
        on parts costs. As an actual tech, I used to be able to buy many parts at low prices.
        Now they got costs rigged where it doesnt pay to build your own other then from an
        educational perdpective building simple stuff.

        Most new pedals use micro chips and micro circuitry with multi layered boards that
        can only be assembled in a factory wave soldering parts in. You need a microscope to
        even see the connections clearly no less soldering them in by hand.

        As far as your answer goes, whats the difference between different parts for different tones,
        some of it is in the design of the parts themselves and how they are manufactured.
        The bulk of it is in the circuit design and parts chosen for that design.

        You can design an ideal circuit as an electronic engineer and have every aspect perfect on paper
        When it comes to actually building it its a whole different ballgame. You have to be just as expert
        with all the parts available from manufacturers, In fact, If you've ever worked with engineers you'd
        know they may have huge libraries of manufacturers specs, crossover references, etc that thay use
        to find the parts that match their designs.

        Parts are manufactured with specific ratings, tolerances and values.
        Some will manufacture one of a kind parts with specific values is the buyer has
        enough cash to pay for a specific assembly line run. Its easier and a whole lot cheaper
        to choose from what manufacturers already have on hand though.

        An engineer will choose a part for a circuit based on its specifications and costs,
        then he takes those values and tolerances and changes his ideal design to work
        with those parts chosen.

        Thats the whole thing in a nutshell pretty much. Once he figures out
        where he can get the best parts for the best price, he will order in huge bulk
        at a good price. Then hopefully his assembly costs are too high so he still makes
        $1 or two on a pedal. Then he still has the cost of marketing them.

        If the pedal is a simple analog design, and you know your componets specs,
        You can replace items in a circuit and get luckey in getting better tonal results.
        Much of it is highly subjective though to a persons hearing. many mods done on pedals
        deal with caps that have different EQing effects, or resistors that have changes to gain.

        The parts themselves though are not mystical. A tech learns the science behind the parts and
        all that mystical mojo bull**************** dissapears. You learn to read parts with test equipemnt that
        are extensions of your eyes and ears so you can look into a circuit and "know" what affect
        a component has on a circuit because you can "see" its behavior on a scope and hear the difference
        whan changes are made.

        Using the test equipment is only part of it too. You need vast experience with circuits or
        you'll just be a fool wandering around in the dark with it. Believe me you use all the trigonometry and
        formulas when deciding on making changes. Most techs have to learn it because thay have to.

        When you repair gear like I did for a living, you quickly learn that half the parts in a circuit
        arent being manufactured any more or just arent available as generic parts. You spend allot of
        time cross referencing parts that might work as a substitute, and spend the rest of the time
        fighting with manufacturers to get them to sell you the proprietary parts. You often have to be liscenced
        to work on their equipment before thay will even sell you the replacement parts.

        Back in the day, when gear was designed to be repaired, you could get circuit diagrams to repair stuff.
        Now days you wont even be able to look up the part number and know what the part is. Manufactures
        may require you to send the gear to them for repair because thay dont want pirates stealing their designs.
        They even stick dummy parts in circuits in key areas that look like resistors and caps. When someone tries
        to copy the design by what they see, the circuit burns up.

        So, for simple analog designs, stuff thats been around for many decades, there have been enough techs
        who have tinkered with the designs to get different results, you can build and modify those circuits
        easily enough. Some sites even sell kits with diagrams that are basically paint by numbers.
        You dont learn anything really valuable other than the fact you can solder parts in like a monkey
        on an assembly line. If you really want to learn whats going on inside, go back to college and persevere.

        After 2 years of study and lab work learning all the basics, you may start to see the bigger picture behind
        it all and start tieing it together for your own interest. Then you still have to get a job in the field where
        you will use what you learned and get actual hands on experience while you pay the loan off.
        By then, you're working full time and either dont have time to build your own stuff, Dont want to because
        its too much like work, or you make enough where you can let someone else bust their balls building it
        and buy what you want new and just enjoy using it. In the end thats the best option anyway, because
        most of the better gear cant be built at a reasonable cost.

        Comment


        • #5
          Building from scratch will cost 3X as much as buying a good used pedal. .................In the end thats the best option anyway, because most of the better gear cant be built at a reasonable cost.


          Not one single word of BS to be found in that post. Very well said WRG. Case in point are my CNC driller/ router machines that I work on every day. They are early/mid 70's vintage. The controller cabinets have some boards in 'em that were new from the factory in about 1972. They have been upgraded a time or two since then, had parts replaced on 'em more than a couple times. Our tech guy worked for the original builder way back in the day and knows his **************** to the point where he's forgotten more than I know. How it relates is that replacement electronic parts are getting VERY hard to find. Not to mention that the builder will not just give you schematics of your machine any more..... but they will gladly charge you 50-100 bucks for a copy of a 40 something year old blueprint. Of course these components are not factory serviced any longer... meaning nobody at the factory knows any technical data either. If they did, it would cost 500 bucks an hour for a phone conversation. No lie on that, my boss had to do one about 7-8 yrs ago and was dumbfounded when he received a WTF bill for a 'technical conversation'.

          So one of my machines decided to go on the fritz yesterday morning. The machine lost it's mind.... the memory appears to be fried. After going through the usual repair hoops, I had to call tech service in. It was beyond me or anyone else in the shop. He's still at it, and at this point even he is getting damn frustrated.
          Member of New England chapter, Mazi Bee Hard Rockin' militia







          Originally Posted by Chicken Monkey


          Also, I think the line between smartass and dumbass lies in whether or not your joke works.









          Originally Posted by mattburnside


          Most guys would lay low, lurk, post in another forum, whatever. Not our boy darial. He just kicked open the ****************house door and lurched out, pants around his ankles, both guns blazing.









          Originally Posted by ChuckyB


          Dear Expressway,
          You have made added a slutty ray of sunshine to my otherwise mundane morning. Thank you.
          Sincerely,
          Charles.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree, excellent post WRGKMC!

            I think the board layout might have something to do with end result. Three times now an outstanding prototype was turned into 10 uninspiring clones by changing the board layout for speedy production. I guess it could still be tolerances... idk.
            Scale based improvised songs
            Minecraft music lessons

            Comment


            • #7
              If I were you, I would consider going to www.buildyourownclone.com and check out the pedal kits they offer. Some are entry level/very easy to build and you can learn through soldering/putting them together about pots, etc. Now they also have a decent support forum over there. That's where I would start. There are other kit sites, but BYOC instructions are more detailed, IMHO.
              HCBF Mesa Brigade Member #2

              Comment


              • #8
                ^^^ I agree Thud. Finding individual components for anything but a simple build is a major pain in the ass.
                Then you still have to make your own PCB board which is a whole other topic.

                With a kit you will likely more than you would for a unit of simular quality, but at least you have all the right
                components and competant pictorial guides to follow.

                Techs like myself have collected parts over a lifetime. I've had plenty of shops that closed down and inherited
                complete parts bind full of resistors, caps, transistors etc. Then instead of throwing away that old
                TV, Tape deck, radio, you canabalize every useful component from the carcas and just throw away the bones.
                Then you set up bind with labels so you have an organized set of parts. Every so often you have to buy some
                items in bulk. you can get a much better price on 10~100 resistors or caps than you can on buying one.

                I suppose when I retire from my high tech job I may go back to repairing vintage gear for some extra cash.
                God knows I'll likely need it. I figure in another 10 years many techs who grew up on tubes and analog gear will be dead
                so demand for my experteese on the old gear will be even more in demand. Especially if you have allot of the vintage parts
                available. I got one box of about a thousand Bumble bee caps. They sell for insane prices now. I cant imaging what they
                would be ten years from now.

                I also suggest you learn electronic component symbols like these that can be googled up. http://library.thinkquest.org/10784/circuit_symbols.html
                I been reading them since I was a young kid of 6 years old so I forget they arent a second language to others like thay are to me.
                You need to know what the symbols are in order to read schematics and know how components connect.
                They are the road map electrons flow. If there are symbols you dont understand, look them up. you may not know
                how they do things but you'll at least have a general idea so you arent completely lost.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i learned off aaron's forum. the beginner project was my first and a fun one.

                  http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php
                  My Band: www.bornundersirius.com
                  esp ec 1000 vb & silverburst
                  96 usa rhoads bolt on i never play
                  madison divinity II
                  ampeg vh 140c
                  cabs loaded with seventy 80's and g12's crossed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Building from scratch will cost 3X as much as buying a good used pedal.


                    This isn't entirely true, at least as far as some of the kits go. $90 for a nice, true bypass GE tone bender kit on BYOC is quite reasonable. Granted you need about $45 dollars in equipment and supplies.

                    Also, for rare/discontinued circuits, DIY can be much cheaper than the used route. $74 for a slow gear clone kit isn't bad either.

                    Still it's something you have to enjoy because it can be a PITA and it does require patience especially in if you're a beginner with rudimentary assembly/soldering skills. If you do not enjoy it, the subjective value of your time more than makes up for the price difference.

                    SB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ^^ There are exceptions to every rule. I did say good used pedal there, not new, and
                      I should have included some exteremely simple vintage pedals that cost $10 in parts can sell for
                      hundreds of dollars. In cases like that it would make more sence to build one and thats why many do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, I am the exception to the rule.

                        You may have heard of those guys who were self-taught HAM radio operators, who later grew up to be satellite designers at Raytheon. Well, I'm kind like that.

                        I was born in '58, and had one highschool class in basix electronics from an old HAM operator who loved to pound I = E / R into the heads of all the hicks in Roseburg Oregon (Gibb Walter, THANK YOU...and RIP).

                        I took 2 years of proto-engineering classes at Portland State Univ, which was comprised of writing programs in Fortran IV and BASIC (ooooooo/aaahhhh) back in 76/77....on a Harris, punchcard-driven mainframe that had a cracked motherboard (I kid you not.....)

                        From there, I was all self taught.

                        Resume...I ended up doing the following:

                        - Worked at Tektronix for 3 years as a tech, while schooling during the day.
                        - Worked at Rodgers Organ, voicing.tuning and helping develop one of the first Bradford Organs (go look it up).
                        - Worked at Cardiac Resuscitator Corp, and helped get the very first AED thru FDA Approvals and onto the market...look in any shopping mall, that thing on the wall that you hook up to a heart attack victim...yeah, I worked on creating the very first one.
                        - Worked for over 11 years at Mentor Graphics... helped design a Hardware Modeling Library that allowed you to plug in an arbitrarily complex device into an software simulationby simply plugging it into a board (which I helped design, both conceptually and the PCB). Then I helped test a Full Custom IC Design set of tools. Then the same for hispd PCB design tools, a bit of work on a cabling system (the one Catia OEM'd to re-sell to Boeing for the 777 design), and even a bit of testing for some hot-**************** (and damn-crappy, imho) autorouters that were non-deterministic, full of design-rule-violations and WAY overhyped, bitd....the guys at Cooper/Chen hated me....literally hated me.

                        ...then I got stupid and went off to Dental School....so you can call me "doctor" if you want.....but I'd laugh in your face if you did (I also taught at the same school for 3 years on how to care for severely medically compromised patients : end-stage _fill_in_the_blank_, transplant patients, fragile diabetics, etc).




                        ==================
                        So, here's how I got started:
                        ==================

                        A Basic Electronics course....teaches you OHMS Law, Power Laws, roles of capacitance and inductance.
                        You can get this at a local community college.

                        A few good books:
                        The Op-Amp Cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/Op-Amp-Cookbook-3rd-Walter-Jung/dp/0138896011
                        The CMOS Cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/CMOS-Cookbook-Second-DON-LANCASTER/dp/0750699434/ref=pd_sim_b_5

                        Filters and TTL and other stuff, I taught myself by reading texts and databooks (they don't exist anymore, afaik...too bad. Many a cold, lonely, female-companionless night was spent reading those things).

                        Along the way, I got taught soldering by an ex-Navy tech who was trained to NASA spec (and beat that **************** into me).
                        I was taught wiring by a guy who did prototypes for the M1A1 Abrahms tank.





                        After a decade or so of that, teaching myself tube theory was...not so bad.












                        ...so....I forgot what your question was...(damn this Alzheimers all to hell....)


                        Oh yeah, who do resistors and capacitors and op-amps work.
                        a) start with that basic electronics class.
                        b) get a BYOC or F**K IT YOU BUILD IT kit...get those soldering skills up to speed.
                        c) play music...NEVER forget to play music.
                        d) surface once in a while....get an understanding/nerdy/glasses-wearing/horny gf/bf....never let them go.

                        And leave some room for the finer things in life....like farming and food preservation.
                        It's served me well.
                        Blind Doc Jones' Pickles....Cures What Ails Ya

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While a lot of the projects are maybe obsolete, Craig Anderton's book "Electronic Projects for Musicians" is still a good read for the walkthrus and just some basic information

                          I don't know if radioshack still has their little Forrest Mims "notebooks", but those are good, simple reads on various things.

                          there are the kit companies like the guys mentioned, that's a good way to get some hands-on

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Start at www.beavisaudio.com and work your way from there. That site has a lot of good information for a starter.

                            Build yourself something like a simple boost or overdrive on your breadboard, and start experimenting with different value resistors and caps to see what they do to the sound.
                            Guitars -> Pedals -> Amp -> Rack -> Rest of the amp

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Look in the Resources sticky at the top of this forum as a good place to start reading.

                              regards, Jack
                              AMZ Free Effects Projects
                              Guitar Effects Blog
                              Twiitter

                              Comment













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