I'd like to start building my own pedals...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Eak, May 19, 2011.

  1. Eak

    Eak Member

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    I've built various kits from BYOC and GGG and I've always had a good time putting them together. I want to start modding and designing a few pedal for fun, but I have no idea where to start.

    I can't read schematics and I know very little about electronic components. Does anyone have advice on how to get started? There's various books on amazon, but the review always vary and I wouldn't want something I'm not going to learn from.

    Thanks.
     
  2. swal

    swal Member

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    www.diystompboxes.com has everything you need. Read the FAQ, build the booster they have a full walkthrough on, and have fun. Also go to geofex.com, it is RG Keens website, head engineer for Visual Sound.
     
  3. WesKuhnley

    WesKuhnley Member

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    While I won't discourage you from learning, why is it that so many guys build a couple kits, then decide they can design their own circuits, without knowing anything about electronics? I guess everyone starts somewhere, but there just seems to be a rash of these every few months...

    A quick google search will yield more info on circuit design that you can read in a year...I suggest spending MUCH more time on DIY type sites and learning how existing circuits work, before you decide to try to "roll your own". Listen to the results of your work, don't listen to internet hype, and you'll be better for it.

    Try this.
     
  4. Stratm69

    Stratm69 Member

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    My biggest advice for you would be to START SMALL.

    The Fuzz Face circuit is perhaps the easiest and highly modifiable.

    I would buy a copper-clad from Radioshack, buy the materials needed, and etch your own circuit board. There are plenty of videos on Youtube of how to do this.

    After etching the board is completed, just drill the holes and buy all the parts and wire it up.
     
  5. Nashville76

    Nashville76 Member

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    Determination plus perseverance plus imagination = untold possibilities of success.

    Go for it. Learn.............
     
  6. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Vendor

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    ...and another flower blooms. :)
     
  7. rogue.guineapig

    rogue.guineapig Member

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    Freestompboxes.org is probably one of the BEST, and buildyourownclone.com...their forum is incredibly helpful.

    I've been building pedals for 3-4 years now, and I'm just starting to learn what things do. (IE, Zener diodes 101 over the last two days)
    In all honesty, I'd find an electrical engineer who understands small circuitry and low voltage stuff and learn from him....because to understand enough to design and build a circuit, you're gonna need some college level ed--either your own, or someone handy like a friend who knows a ton.

    I'd start by building stuff NOT from a kit, like a fuzz Face or whatever, and by sourcing each part etc. Learn the different parts and why they do what they do.
    Free stomp boxes and BYOC forums are loaded with guys with incredible knowledge...eat it up man...they love it.

    careful though...it's addictive. :D
     
  8. amz-fx

    amz-fx Supporting Member

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  9. heavysoul

    heavysoul Member

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    yeah i'm pretty good with a soldering iron and have modded and built pedals from kits. but not having any background in electrical engineering, i know i'm probably never going to design my own circuit.

    but know that a lot of the circuits from boutique pedals are re-hashed from classic stompboxes.
     
  10. KidArchitect

    KidArchitect Member

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    I'm with ya on this - go for it. I've done the BYOC thing and am curious too!

    Sorry, no advice, just moral support. Let us know what you find!
     
  11. aflynt

    aflynt Member

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    Try building and playing around with some of the circuits that R.G. Keen has 'technology of' articles up on Geofex for. Use that as a jumping off point for learning more about the building blocks of different types of circuits.

    -Aaron
     
  12. Eak

    Eak Member

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    Thanks for all the support guys, I can't wait to waste my money on my own pedals instead of someone else's.
     
  13. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Vendor

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    Now you're talkin!

    BYOC was where I got my start a few years ago. Great forum there with a really friendly, welcoming group of folks.

    I'm a moderator at FreeStompBoxes, but I think it's not a good place for a beginner. Once you're learned a bit and half-way understand what is going on, swing by FSB and just absorb the info floating around. While there tends to be a fair bit of negativity there (less so lately than historically), you can also learn a ton from some very insightful analysis and commentary.

    Just be aware that once you have built several pedals and have a feel for what is going on, it's going to radically change the way you look at the pedal "industry" as a whole. You'll feel way more respect for some companies, and way less for others.
     

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