#1
hey fellas, I'm a EE major and part of getting your BS is the Sr. Project. What I was thinking is building my own effects board. Similar to that of a Tone Lab LE or a comparable product. I guess since I've never seen one in person (lol) I don't quite know what all is stuffed into one. Few Effects I'm looking for:

Wah
Volume control

tremelo
delay
echo
Chorus
Modulation


etc etc.

Baisically if some of you Sr. members were to buy a board, what exactly do you want out of it. I want some opinions here from everyone, MODS INCLUDED!!!! as to what i should try and put in this board.

I'm thinking instead of one HUGE PCB, it will probably be made of several smaller ones per the effect.


thanks fellas
#3
You could certainly buy several pedal kits (or components), and put them all together in one chassis. That would probably give you the best quality too.

If you wanted to make a 'does everything with an LCD screen and printed ciruitboard' pedal, I'd come up with a new project. Those things require knowledge of programming and software, and are basically closer to calculators than pedals in their design.

EDIT: Forgot to mention the one my friend did. He built a pedal with Fuzz (Big Muff style), Octave (high and low) and Boost all in one. Not impossible, and stupid useful to boot.
Last edited by jean_genie at Aug 15, 2009,
#4
make a whole bunch of pedals and put them in one enclosure.
Jackson RR5 ivory w/ EMG 81/85
Jackson DX6 w/ SD Distortion & Dimarzio Super Distortion
Fender Starcaster Sunburst
Mesa/Boogie DC-3
Johnson JT50 Mirage
Ibanez TS-9
Morley Bad Horsie 2
Boss CE-5

ISP Decimator
Boss DD-6
Korg Pitchblack
#5
Two (possibly 3) octaves up, please
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#6
some of you must have missed in my OP that more than likely that I'd design it around several PCB's instead of one giant PCB.

The ability to get it to display on an LCD screen is not that hard either. I work for a world leader in sign technology and Work with PCB's, circuits and designing/developing circuits on a daily basis. Also, May not know that EE stands for Electrical engineer. If you think that this would be impossible to do, i'd be ashamed to know the college in your area!

so we've got octaves, MASSIVE gain and the effects I've listed.


to kind of get the ball rolling, what are some of everyone fav. pedals to use?
#7
Digitech Whammy. If you can somehow get damned close to the sound from the Whammy II, that would be awesome, but if not, oh well. It only does 2 octaves up, but I think 3 up would be incredible.

If possible, could you do scalable gain? I.E. those of us who are not metalheads but still want to use your awesome pedal could dial it down and get some good rock/punk distortion-gain-whatever sounds from it?
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#8
Quote by Copaman
Digitech Whammy. If you can somehow get damned close to the sound from the Whammy II, that would be awesome, but if not, oh well. It only does 2 octaves up, but I think 3 up would be incredible.

If possible, could you do scalable gain? I.E. those of us who are not metalheads but still want to use your awesome pedal could dial it down and get some good rock/punk distortion-gain-whatever sounds from it?



when you say...scalable gain...meaning...different intensities of gain? if so...yes..that is a must. I like playing some metal here n there...but I'm mostly in classic rock, but its always nice to bring it down to some light distortion for just a little edge playing the blues.


fun stuff here...idk how log it might take to get done..but it WILL get done :P
#9
Yes, you are correct.

Also, make it BIG. I want to be able to change settings on the fly so big knobs are a must
build 1, finished 1/15/11

Every time I try to pick it up like falling sand,
As fast as I pick it up,
it runs away through my clutching hands.
There's nothing else I can really do...
#10
TS, when you said you were an EE, Electrical Engineer, it made me think of this joke that floats around my campus. It seems that our EE majors get the short end of the stick, because whenever someone who is an EE gets asked what their major is, they say EE, and the person asking the question always says "Oh you're an Elementary Eduaction major, that's cool!" I'm an Aerospace Engineer so maybe that's why I think it's funny. Sorry for my off topicness, I just had to say it lol

Anyway, the suggestions so far sound good, hope all goes well.
#11
Real tube preamp/distortion/overdrive module. With a window so you can see the tube glow
#13
Quote by chip46
TS, when you said you were an EE, Electrical Engineer, it made me think of this joke that floats around my campus. It seems that our EE majors get the short end of the stick, because whenever someone who is an EE gets asked what their major is, they say EE, and the person asking the question always says "Oh you're an Elementary Eduaction major, that's cool!" I'm an Aerospace Engineer so maybe that's why I think it's funny. Sorry for my off topicness, I just had to say it lol

Anyway, the suggestions so far sound good, hope all goes well.



naw, thats hularious!


big knobs are a Must.... and tube glow = sexy

thats why i REALLY like my blues Jr. ....besides the amazing tone.

and forgive me for being blunt....compressor? what does it do/effect of it?
#14
Quote by slingshotjr
if i wer to get one i would want massive amounts of gain


Typical newb answer.

Delays are great, especially the reverse effect
Quote by letsgocoyote
No I'm not Jesus. I would aspire to be though. I think under circumstances he would let you pay less if you needed to.
#15
Quote by jlangholzj


and forgive me for being blunt....compressor? what does it do/effect of it?


A compressor does what it sounds like. It "compresses" your signal. Anything that is loud will be brought down, and anything quiet will be brought up. It makes the overall signal even. It is a favorite among country guitarists and some hard rockers.
#16
Wah>Compressor> Chorus>Octave (like the Micro POG)>OD (TS9 Clone)>Fuzz (Muff esque)>Modeling Delay (with presets and tap tempo like the DL4)>Reverb>Volume.

If you could make that in one box with a buttload of knobs and buttons, I would sell my pedalboard and buy it from you.
#17
Quote by jlangholzj

Baisically if some of you Sr. members were to buy a board, what exactly do you want out of it. I want some opinions here from everyone, MODS INCLUDED!!!! as to what i should try and put in this board.


and that is going down the path to failure. ever hear the expression "you can't please everyone"? someone might say put a fuzz in it, but you have dozens upon dozens of different iterations of fuzzes each with their own nuances. same goes for distortion and the countless different tubescreamer circuits. if you tried to just do those 2 types of pedals with every possible mod you wouldnt have a pedalboard. it'd be much more akin to a modular synth. plus unless you put a patchbay on it you'd be restricting the effect chain to something that doesnt work for every guitar player.

instead of trying to stuff a box with effects everyone likes why dont you just stuff it with effects that you like and use since you would be the one who would be using it after all.
#18
i would want high quality effects with routing options. since you are doing everything on separate PCBs the routing options shouldnt be a huge problem, and if you put some time, effort and money in then neither should high quality.

and you are right, getting things to an LCD screen isnt that complex. however it is basicly going to require a microprocessor that is possibly separate from your effects. if you are serious about this kind of thing, i have a couple ideas. and as an EE, i am fairly certain they are all possible.

to start pick something like 4 or 5 effects and get them working fine. i would say if you do 5, i would pick a fuzz, an overdrive, a delay, a phaser, and a chorus. maybe replace fuzz with a compressor. you could do a wah/volume pedal as well, but im not going to include that in my list of pedals because i would basicly just tack that on the front end. so basicly start with getting designs for your chosen pedals and have them all built separately.

next ive got a two ways my routing idea would work. first one would have 4/5 areas with 3 knobs and an LCD. have a separate area with an LCD that is where you pick your order. that microprocessor area would then use relays to then send the effect to the correct LCD and knobs. so basicly you can have the effects in any order and that order is displayed on the individual LCDs. the individual LCDs would also display what paramater the knob is to control.

my second idea would be simpler, but similar. have the effects controls up at the top. then you would basicly be just routing the control of the switches at the bottom of the board with your microcontroller instead of all of the knobs as well. each switch would have an LCD to tell you what effect it was controling. then once again a large LCD would have the routing options and stuff to control that.

and of course i would want to be able to do something like the 4 cable method that most nicer multi-fx have. so i could choose to have the first part of my chain of effects in front of the amp, but then the back half of the effects in an effects loop.

the other big option would be to have a master bypass switch, either with a good buffered bypass or maybe true bypass. one of the complaints about things on the market now is that you cant just take it completly out of your chain.
#19
I like jof's ideas. The master bypass especially is a good idea. I wish my multi-effects unit had a master bypass, and I am building a bypass loop because it does not.
#20
+1 on the effects, this is no way shape of form meant to please everyone. As stated, there's at least 12 different "voices" of distortion that I've heard, and that can be had for every effect. So getting something that EVERYONE would like...would be almost impossible.

however, I'm asking for opinions on the TYPES of effects, stuff you guys can't live w/o . I've only been playing for 4-5 months and i seem to be catching on rather fast. Some of the easier rock songs like alot of ACDC stuff and the likes I'm getting down very well. (of course, 12 years of piano experience helps ALOT!)

anyway


I'm rather (lol) newbish to the whole effects world and some of you sr's who have been playing for 12 years at least know what kind of effects you rely mostly on. I know stuff like the crybaby II wah's are liked and generally most fuzz pedals are better. I've got 2-3 different guitar shops in the area i can go to..and of course...the internet is your friend.


--------------------


my idea for the board would be 5-6 fixed effects. Forgive me for being blunt...but what would the point be of changing the order of the effects?

basically, fixed order of effects. Two buttons, one larger one smaller per effect. one knob per effect.

smaller button would control which facet of the effect you'd be controlling...ie..gain, tone, volume, etc. that would then be displayed on the individual screen for the effect.

larger button would be on/off switch for the effect.


by shaping the actual board correctly, i should be able to put the screens and knobs side by side and offset and stack the PCB's internally to drastically cut down on the size of the board.


So for effects we're lookin at:


Distortion
Fuzz
Chorus
Delay
tremolo
echo
compressor


tach a wah pedal and a volume pedal on the front and we have a veener!


I'd also like to build in a loop station.

up front, have one massive button for a TRUE bypass and i think we'd be good?
#22
hmmm...

nao that DOES throw a wrench into the thing eh?

hmm...leme get down to buisines i think i can do that w/o having to switch everything around in program, only which button you press when