#1
ok guys heres the dowllow. My passion is music and i would like to be a touring musician when i grow up, I'm 15. but my other passion is pedals! Ive built a few and owned like almost a hundred and I'm only 15, like most kids i know that play guitar don't even know what pedals are and the ones that do don't know shiiit. it irritates me. So if the musician didn't work out how would i make pedals for a living? Like zack vex etc. Electrical engineering major? Thanks
#2
Yep. That will teach you a ton about how and why pedals work.

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#3
ZVex is hardly an EE. If he is, I feel very sorry for him judging by the state of his work.

You don't have to be an EE to make pedals. That's a bit like going to West Point to play Call of Duty. No offense to any EEs that currently make pedals as an occupation.

That said, some understanding of how electricity works, and how circuits work, would be very helpful. There's more than a few books out there on building pedals, but some solid understanding of the physics behind it would put you well on your way to becoming a pedalmaker.
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#4
Step 1: Take vintage pedal design and use same value parts in yours, but only ones that cost $10+ a piece, not because they sound better, just because they're "boutique."
Step 2: Hand paint your enclosure.
Step 3: Setup a website with pictures displaying how awesome your pedal looks.
Step 4: Make videos of your legendary "new" design, playing Mustang Sally.
Step 5: Send prototype unit to moderators on TheGearPage.
Step 6: Start thread on TGP to show your revolutionary new pedal.
Step 7: Release pedal at obscenely high price.
Step 8: Watch idiots on TGP line up to buy your "boutique" pedal.
Step 9: ???
Step 10: Profit $$$
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I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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#5
you guys think that it is a really dangerous biz? I mean compared to a lot of things there are not a ton of pedal makers. would it be hard to make a decent living doing it and even potentially become the next EHX or boss?
#6
It's possible, but very difficult. Because of the current competition among pedal, you would have to make something very revolutionary to get a good foothold in the market.
...
#7
yeah, I don't think a university degree is the right path... that's like studying structural engineering if you want to be a brick layer, it might help but its overkill... and will probably be a waster of time, studying irrelevant stuff instead of actually doing what you want.

building pedals isn't a big profession so there isn't a normal way of getting into the industry. I suggest:

- try to learn as much as you can now,
- build stuff, fix stuff and tinker with things,
- as you get older maybe try to find a local pedal builder and see if you can work for them, hopefully your work will speak for itself by then.

Personally I'm unsure of the prospects in this area...
---
#8
well im doing ee asa moajor
dont expect to be building pedals for a living but once i get the money and space i do plan on building amps and shizz fpr fun and selling them cause its fun

what im saying ug is expect to have me selling a bunch of homemade amps and pedals on here in 3-4 years for fairly cheap(till then broke collee student)

op...alsmot forgot doing the major if your only going to be building pedals is kinda overkill but if it interest you you can study it and maybe get the degree and a "real job" and do the pedal thing on the side caus eyou enjoy it
Last edited by supersac at Sep 19, 2011,
#9
i'm an EE, and i tell you that you don't have to be an EE to make pedals and get big. even making amps. it's pretty simple, spend a good month or two studying pedals and/or amps, make a few units at your own expense. this part is key. they won't sell, you get experience.

then you can probably sell pretty nice units starting out with friends and friends of friends who play music. good connection with local musicians is something you want. they'll advertise for you. make a website as you go. have an ebay account, start posting things (listing a buy it now auction is free atm on ebay).

post on these forums helping people (not advertising) and preferably don't ask dumb questions that may lower your credentials online. how you present your knowledge is key. not how much knowledge you have, but the way you present the limited knowledge you might have. many of the big companies (not naming anyone) are very good at this. that's how they gain respect.
Call me "Shot".

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#10
Quote by supersac
op...alsmot forgot doing the major if your only going to be building pedals is kinda overkill but if it interest you you can study it and maybe get the degree and a "real job" and do the pedal thing on the side caus eyou enjoy it

i agree with this, and this is my plan.
Call me "Shot".

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Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


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#11
i just can't see myself doing a day job. i know its naive but i really want to pursue my dreams. even if its hit or miss. you only live once right?
#12
It's a tough market. You just have to cross your fingers and hope you're design is the next big thing and people catch on to it. There are a ton of awesome builders out there that don't have companies and aren't super famous, but their work rivals that of anything production or boutique that I've seen.

That being said, those builders, and even smaller companies I've seen, have some awesome stuff, but it just goes unnoticed. There have been some really awesome concepts come out in the past few years that I thought would catch on very quickly, but they don't seem to gain much interest.
#13
i hope fuzz huggers get bigger i really love their ab-synth it makes some jank ass noises lol
#14
Quote by MatrixClaw
Step 1: Take vintage pedal design and use same value parts in yours, but only ones that cost $10+ a piece, not because they sound better, just because they're "boutique."
Step 2: Hand paint your enclosure.
Step 3: Setup a website with pictures displaying how awesome your pedal looks.
Step 4: Make videos of your legendary "new" design, playing Mustang Sally.
Step 5: Send prototype unit to moderators on TheGearPage.
Step 6: Start thread on TGP to show your revolutionary new pedal.
Step 7: Release pedal at obscenely high price.
Step 8: Watch idiots on TGP line up to buy your "boutique" pedal.
Step 9: ???
Step 10: Profit $$$


Step 1: Take vintage pedal design and use same value parts in yours, but only ones that cost $10+ a piece, not because they sound better, just because they're "boutique."

this step doesn't actually happen.

it's more like step 1: take vintage pedal design and use parts even shittier then what was available in the past. wire it like shit.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#15
1. Become TGP member
2. Befriend a few TGP'ers
3. Build Tubescreamer clone
4. Send said Tubescreamer clone to TGP friends saying it's a new design
5. Wait for them to hype it up so they can be the first to own new hype drive
6. Orders pour in
7. ???
8. Profit

In all honesty, it's a cluster**** of a business that will only infuriate you. Avoid it IMO. I'm a current EE major and I've been building stuff since I was 15. I've sold a couple dozen pedals only to see people turn around and flip them for more than I initially charged after they lowballed me. I'm thinking about releasing my current project when it's finalized and possibly a few others I want to start working on but I can't stand your average boutique pedal buyer so I probably won't.
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#16
Quote by AcousticMirror
it's more like step 1: take vintage pedal design and use parts even shittier then what was available in the past. wire it like shit.



True story.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#17
Quote by AcousticMirror
Step 1: Take vintage pedal design and use same value parts in yours, but only ones that cost $10+ a piece, not because they sound better, just because they're "boutique."

this step doesn't actually happen.

it's more like step 1: take vintage pedal design and use parts even shittier then what was available in the past. wire it like shit.


Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#18
Quote by ECistheBest
i'm an EE, and i tell you that you don't have to be an EE to make pedals and get big. even making amps. it's pretty simple, spend a good month or two studying pedals and/or amps, make a few units at your own expense. this part is key. they won't sell, you get experience.

then you can probably sell pretty nice units starting out with friends and friends of friends who play music. good connection with local musicians is something you want. they'll advertise for you. make a website as you go. have an ebay account, start posting things (listing a buy it now auction is free atm on ebay).

post on these forums helping people (not advertising) and preferably don't ask dumb questions that may lower your credentials online. how you present your knowledge is key. not how much knowledge you have, but the way you present the limited knowledge you might have. many of the big companies (not naming anyone) are very good at this. that's how they gain respect.


converse to this, im not an EE and i agree you dont have to be one to make good pedals.

the internet has all you need. just have a good head on your shoulders and you should do fine. just be unique with them!

its not really something anyone can do for a living though.. i know i sure wont be doing it full time any time soon.
mojostompboxes.com
#19
Quote by AcousticMirror
Step 1: Take vintage pedal design and use same value parts in yours, but only ones that cost $10+ a piece, not because they sound better, just because they're "boutique."

this step doesn't actually happen.

it's more like step 1: take vintage pedal design and use parts even shittier then what was available in the past. wire it like shit.


and besides, the parts arent $10 each if you know where to shop.
mojostompboxes.com
#20
Keep in mind you're only 15.. Everyone wants to be a famous rockstar at 15. I used to for a good 2-3years... Now i look back and i'm glad i decided not to pursue it.
#21
Get the EE. Then you can make pedals and make a living. Versus being a poor pedal maker.
#22
Quote by fly135
Get the EE. Then you can make pedals and make a living. Versus being a poor pedal maker.


heaps of pedal makers are most likely not EE's.
mojostompboxes.com
#24
We don't want another Zachary Vex
Call me Dom
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#25
to the guy bout the rockstar bit. i know its so cliche, 15 year old wanting to be a rockstar. For real i have known this was what i wanted to do since my parents for me my first guitar when i was 6....It is quite scary though, thinking of the risk involved. All the fun jobs. Why isn't my passion surgery or trading stocks :L
#26
Dude, for now, just do a bunch of reading and learning. One of the blogs in my profile is nothing but information about pedal schematics and building. Read all of it. Build kits. Do mods. Do repairs. 3 years from now when you're looking at colleges, see if you still want to major in EE. Like the others said, it helps, but you don't need to know subatomic physics to build a pedal. Sure it might help, but if you know what some resistors, transistors and diodes do all lined up (or paralleled) then that's good enough.
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#27
Its a tough racket.
Takes a lot of time to learn good basics.
You don'y need to be an EE, but its not gonna hurt, And then you got some way of feeding yourself while you pursue your dream.
Hell, you may end up building something equivalent to Axe-FX in an MXR enclosure.

Its fun and its also addictive.
Learn where to get quality parts for good prices.
Even look around for old parts at ridiculous prices. For fun if for nothing else.
And if you don't consider that "Fun" pedal building is not for you.

Read stuff here :
http://www.geofex.com
http://www.beavisaudio.com
http://www.muzique.com/lab/main.htm (also check other sections of that site).

That should give you a start on the technical end of things.
#28
Quote by LaidBack
Dude, for now, just do a bunch of reading and learning. One of the blogs in my profile is nothing but information about pedal schematics and building. Read all of it. Build kits. Do mods. Do repairs. 3 years from now when you're looking at colleges, see if you still want to major in EE. Like the others said, it helps, but you don't need to know subatomic physics to build a pedal. Sure it might help, but if you know what some resistors, transistors and diodes do all lined up (or paralleled) then that's good enough.

I think this is quite right. Any books? Kits? and such you would recommend? I would like to get to the point where i can build my own pedals that have the sound I made, not a byoc site . But i think thats the way to start.
#29
Like I said, there's a blog in my profile that has a bunch of sites that will help starting you off. I got bored at work one day when it was slow and put it together for myself, and for anyone else. There are books, but go by the interwebz for now. It's free-er, right? Kits? Got to BYOC (build your own clone).
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#30
i love univibes. would this be really hard to build?
Last edited by superquin at Sep 19, 2011,
#31
Do a university degree in something relevant, and that you enjoy. Make the pedals on the side. Seriously. You'd never be able to sell enough to make a living but you could help pay for college/your expenses.

Once you've done it for a few years/have a degree you could either fly solo or try and get a job with a pedal manufacturer or something.
#32
Do an engineering degree if you want to be an engineer, not because you want to make pedals. A hobbyist can make pedals, you don't need a degree for that.

Two sites to look at to fuel your introduction into the hobby:
http://tonepad.com/projects.asp?projectType=fx
http://buildyourownclone.com/fxkitindex.html
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#33
Quote by superquin
I think this is quite right. Any books? Kits? and such you would recommend? I would like to get to the point where i can build my own pedals that have the sound I made, not a byoc site . But i think thats the way to start.


Honestly, check out basic electronics sites and you probably know more than most boutique pedal builders. Wampler has some good books out on modding and cookbook design. RG Keen has a great book on doing layouts. Craig Anderton (HC moderator) wrote the bible on DIY FX pedals. GEOFEX is an awesome site, AMZ is an awesome site and just gather pretty much any tech info you can. Forums like Freestompboxes.org and DIYstompboxes.com are good for finding info and have a ton of knowledgeable dudes posting there.

I also really recommend learning about common circuit blocks and then reversing/analyzing both pedals that you like and that you don't like and find out why they sound good or bad. All of that knowledge is kind of useless if you don't know how to apply it.

Quote by superquin
i love univibes. would this be really hard to build?


Compared to most pedals, ya. But if you buy a PCB there's no reason you can't. Tuning it for the deepest throb can be tricky but other than that there's not a whole lot to it. Pedal circuits are all very simple compared to anything else. Especially analog. Making your own layout for the Univibe is a bitch though. The lamp and LDR section is tricky to get right without making a total mess of traces.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs