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Pedal Builders: Are effects your full time job?


phishmarisol

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Hello All,
This is from Andrea Weaver, aka "Mrs. Joel". Joel from HBE/HomeBrew Electronics, Inc. has done this full time for almost 3 years now. He was an amp tech at a music store and one thing led to another....and he had to go full time. I still work a "regular job" approx 3 days a week. We work on pedals 7 days a week sometimes 16+ hours a day. We have one full time sales rep and one full time employee. We are constantly trying to take the time to figure out how to delegate things better....but we are both so picky that it is hard to do that. I myself am really proud of what we have done. Joel is a little more humble than I.
Take care!!
Andrea Weaver
www.homebrewelectronics.com

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Full time for me, plus it allows me to be a stay at home dad. I hire out bits and pieces depending on how busy I am -- I have a couple of guys who I totally trust who help me catch up on pedals when I'm behind. I actually enjoy writing my books more than assembling pedals all day though -- that tends to seem too much like factory work so I design the pedals, have a fellow in Washington who builds them, sends them to me, I double check everything and test each and every pedal before sending them out the door.

It's quite a bit of fun when things are running smoothly. :D

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this is a great thread.

I have just order a kit to build my first amp after having built a few kit pedals and stuff. So at the moment I am just expanding my knowledge.

I am still studying but would love to one day work building pedals or amps or both.

Maybe once I have a real job and am not on a student income I will be able to start investing some money into it so it can become more than just a hobby.

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For what it's worth, I've been thinking recently about going full-time, but not on the pedals. I think the living is to be made in supplying the pedal business - not as a parts dealer though, more of a service provider. I think there are a couple of untapped markets.

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Originally posted by dot-dot-dot

For what it's worth, I've been thinking recently about going full-time, but not on the pedals. I think the living is to be made in supplying the pedal business - not as a parts dealer though, more of a service provider. I think there are a couple of untapped markets.


How 'bout me and the Mrs. move over to the UK, we'll merge Monkey Wire Audio, become the biggest company in Europe and eat lobster and cocaine of Playmates' titties... :love::cool:

Man, if I read some of your stories (Dave Fox's for instance) I wish I could have that...
I love to wake up after 10am, solder a bit, coffee, internet, solder, coffee, practice guitar, listen to some music, rehearse with band, play gigs, coffee, sleep...

Yes, when you're a certain level of musician, P.A.-guy, 'coffee' becomes a verb. :freak:

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Originally posted by dot-dot-dot

For what it's worth, I've been thinking recently about going full-time, but not on the pedals. I think the living is to be made in supplying the pedal business - not as a parts dealer though, more of a service provider. I think there are a couple of untapped markets.



Ah yet another supply side guy! Yes, if you wanna make money in a gold rush it is better to sell the implements than pan for it yourself. Which means raw materials and/or finished goods retail. But that is a bit boring.

It is a cool way to make a safe living but for me it could ever only be a way to offset my costs of opperation. If I were even at that point, I am still and will be tossing the notion in the air if I want cases by the pallet to come to me predrilled or not (predrilled I can't resell raw materials as easily). I just like building pedals too much at this point, but eventually I will need to work less hard for money.

I have been doing this fulltime for about 2 years now. It is not only expensive in regard to PO's but it has cost me a relationship with a girl, cost me a band, cost me any notion of freetime. No xbox for me let alone much time to play my guitars. HCFX is about all the time I have off. Good thing I live extensionally through people who play for a living and those who aim to. :) In exchange, when I retire I will have some good country songs to sing!

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Originally posted by catalinbread


In exchange, when I retire I will have some good country songs to sing!



"Even my dog left me, because of solder-fumes"

"Honey, why you rather handle that solder-stick than yer own..."

And name your country-speedmetal band "In-capacitor". m/. :mad: .m/

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Originally posted by Speeddemon



"Even my dog left me, because of solder-fumes"


"Honey, why you rather handle that solder-stick than yer own..."


And name your country-speedmetal band "In-capacitor". m/.
:mad:
.m/



LMAO, well all that is really leaving me is my mind. Isn't due to heavy metals, but lack of time. I am sort of enjoying the decline though I have to admit.

BTW, I would love to have a metal/country band. It is a sort of a dream of mine. Then I heard a lick Mastodon put in the middle of the tune "Megalodon" and it cemented that notion in my damned head. Of all of my amps none of them are ballsy enough for metal. Of all of my guitars none of them are pedal steel enough for the licks I wanna make. :evil:

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Originally posted by Speeddemon


Rickenbacker 360 or a '54 Tele into a Diezel Herbert.
:eek::cool:



Damn you are crazy! :D But no, Tele's are meant to be played into Fender's. I have never seen a Diezel in real life, though I am curious. In regard to higain for me I find a 2203 Marshall is plenty of meat. Those Diezels play tricks with subharmonics don't they? If so is that due to the amp or the cab design? All I know is they are in everybody's rig from Metallica to Billy Corgan to that wanker in Muse.

Now a pedal steel into a Diezel maybe something a bit cooler than that Mark Wood character. :freak:

But I am "watching" a few Ebay auctions for louder amp that requires a sealed 4x12 for proper ROCK.

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Started in 2001, I think there's a thread on some board that talks about my first compressor in March or April, full time from then on (yes, two full-time jobs stinks BAD!)...I quit teaching college in May or June of 2002, Had 2-3 employees by then, it's been a blur of 14-18 hour days since. Now we are up to about 16-18 employees depending on who is naughty and nice. My employees just kick ass, they are incredible in so many ways. All but 2-3 or three are guitar players/musicians and have a heart for this work. Some just blow me away with there abilities, could be where we are without them.
This work is a blast! Hung out with the Doobie Brothers this weekend and was able to let them demo the Katana, TMB, BD-2 and Compressor, they took them all! Plus got to talk about Coffee and Hawaii with Pat Simmons quite a bit!
There were some other effects on their board made by HC members, so the guitar tech is really hip and so is Westwood music who let them test and try out all the latest and greatest from the custom built/small manufactures out there.
This business is hard work for sure, managing business and putting out fires is a hard job...find time to sit down at the bench and design is near impossible any more. Again, wouldn't trade it for the world.
:love:

rk

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Originally posted by RossCompress

Started in 2001, I think there's a thread on some board that talks about my first compressor in March or April, full time from then on (yes, two full-time jobs stinks BAD!)...I quit teaching college in May or June of 2002, Had 2-3 employees by then, it's been a blur of 14-18 hour days since. Now we are up to about 16-18 employees depending on who is naughty and nice. My employees just kick ass, they are incredible in so many ways. All but 2-3 or three are guitar players/musicians and have a heart for this work. Some just blow me away with there abilities, could be where we are without them.

This work is a blast! Hung out with the Doobie Brothers this weekend and was able to let them demo the Katana, TMB, BD-2 and Compressor, they took them all! Plus got to talk about Coffee and Hawaii with Pat Simmons quite a bit!

There were some other effects on their board made by HC members, so the guitar tech is really hip and so is Westwood music who let them test and try out all the latest and greatest from the custom built/small manufactures out there.

This business is hard work for sure, managing business and putting out fires is a hard job...find time to sit down at the bench and design is near impossible any more. Again, wouldn't trade it for the world.

:love:

rk



:thu:

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Originally posted by catalinbread

Ah yet another supply side guy! Yes, if you wanna make money in a gold rush it is better to sell the implements than pan for it yourself. Which means raw materials and/or finished goods retail. But that is a bit boring.

 

 

True - I'm looking at it from this perspective though; I enjoy making pedals because to some extent I can do it at my own pace. If making pedals becomes my day job, will I still enjoy it? Whereas something related and relatively safe could pay the mortgage, and I could carry on making pedals as more of a hobby.

 

I do have a great deal of respect for anyone with the guts to go full time though!

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Full-time.

We're in that awkward and costly prototype stage, where we aren't quite far enough along yet to tell anyone what we're doing or take any deposits. It's a scary time, because a lot of money is going out and none is coming in yet.

Thanks to all the builders who have posted their success stories. It's inspirational to hear from all of you who have made it happen.

And now, I get to yell at myself: BACK TO WORK, SLACKER!

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Originally posted by BigFoot

Great thread.


Another item of interest (at least to me): for the folks that are pedal builders full time, do you have a background in electronics?

 

 

I don't. My wife does. I just read all of her EE books and aquired a bunch of other books and read a whole lot. I know a few of the other guys do have a background or education in electronics though...

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id like to know how you guys come up with original designs? do you just start with cloning other pedals and substituting parts/altering the circuits until you find what you like? or are any of you knowledgeable to the point that you can look at something and know how it will sound by the components that are in it?

ive been studying up and am going to attempt my first build (a rangemaster clone).

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Originally posted by amanonfire

id like to know how you guys come up with original designs? do you just start with cloning other pedals and substituting parts/altering the circuits until you find what you like? or are any of you knowledgeable to the point that you can look at something and know how it will sound by the components that are in it?


ive been studying up and am going to attempt my first build (a rangemaster clone).

 

 

Some guys clone the TS9 or 808 design and tweak it. Nothing wrong with that. Like a lot of guys I started out with fuzz circuits, but that got old for me. I like od's. So initailly I started with the DOD 250 cause there wasn't a current production one I liked. Yes I tweaked it to my liking, but after a while it wasn't like that circuit. After becoming fimiliar with the how many ways you can do op-amps and transistors I started designing my own circuits.

 

You have to remember that there are only so many ways to do op-amps and transistor circuits. Once you become familiar with the parts and the different sounds they do you can get an idea of what it'll sound like by just looking at schematics and or parts. Although you should never asume that it will be that way. You really need to hear it.

 

That's why we prototype this stuff. I have gotten to the point now where I can draw it out to get an idea of where to go with it, and a good aproximation can be had that way, but then it needs to be physically made. Either on an experimentors board(bread board), or a rough soldered circuit. Designing circuits can be very time consuming till you get the proper out come. My last 2 designs took 5-6 months to do, but there was a paritcular sound I was going for, and new what it should exactly sound like.

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Guest Anonymous

All my designs come from pure experimentation. I usually have an idea in my head of what I want, but the end result has always been due to the will of the circuit more than my own.

devi-

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Guest Anonymous

Originally posted by BigFoot

Great thread.


Another item of interest (at least to me): for the folks that are pedal builders full time, do you have a background in electronics?

 

 

No.

 

devi-

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