#1
Hey everyone, so I've finally decided to get into pedal and amp building. I have soldering experience, some electrical experience, and have repaired/fix small pedals, DIs, etc. but I have some questions that I think would help me out before I actually start doing these things (and yes, I'll be starting small with pedals and tiny amps before I work my way up to large ones).

1. How would I be able to tell what values of components change the tone of a said device? (IE: Increasing/decreasing the value of a resistor/cap on an OD pedal will do what? Brighter, darker? More gain, less gain? Etc).

2. Tying into question 1; one of the things I want to build is a Fulltone OCD V4 clone. Sure I can get the schematic and copy it, but if I wanted to tweak it and make it my own, well... see question 1. What changes in components would make tonal changes (and why), and with that knowledge, how would I go about using it to make my own designs for pedal/amps, etc?

3. Aside from lead, the soldering iron, sponge to clean it, hands free device, and the components themselves, is there anything else I would need? All the other times I've worked with equipment that's about all I needed (and was available )

As far as I know, that's all the questions I have. I can find parts and have metal boxes machined for me. I just need a little bit more knowhow before I actually start doing it.

Thanks everyone!
#2
Every component affects the overall sound in some way, some more than others. There's too much to explain here but I suggest you start by reading these articles:
http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/tstech/tsxtech.htm
http://www.electrosmash.com/tube-screamer-analysis

I'd also suggest you read up on RC filters and Op-Amp circuits. If you understand those you'll be able to tweak brightness and gain of most overdrive pedals to your choosing.

As for tools, something to cut and strip wires with can be handy.
#3
Quote by sashki
Every component affects the overall sound in some way, some more than others. There's too much to explain here but I suggest you start by reading these articles:
http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/tstech/tsxtech.htm
http://www.electrosmash.com/tube-screamer-analysis

I'd also suggest you read up on RC filters and Op-Amp circuits. If you understand those you'll be able to tweak brightness and gain of most overdrive pedals to your choosing.

As for tools, something to cut and strip wires with can be handy.


Awesome, something like that is just what I was looking for.

As for the strippers (lol), thanks for the reminder! I knew that would come handy, but forgot to list it. I hope I don't forget it again, cause I do need a new pair.

Thanks!
#4
Figure out the design of basic filters (butterworth low/high pass filters). Something simple like this filter could act as a nice treble control for example http://sim.okawa-denshi.jp/en/Sallenkey3Lowkeisan.htm. Stick a potentiometer in instead of one of the resistors and voila, you have a pedal with a single knob.

Yeah, I'm a signals engineer by training so...I understand that the actual analysis of these circuits is pretty crazy. I'd recommend a basic systems and signals course; that'll get you started in the right direction. If you just want to mess around though...yeah, I'd recommend just looking up circuits and changing stuff until is sounds cool.