#1
for all you electronics wizzes out there.

when you design a stomp box, whether it be a compressor, od, fuzz, delay, etc...what is your process? do you start with a tried and true schematic, then change the component values? im also curious, when youre designing from the ground up, i suppose youre after a certain wave in the end result, and that would answer the question, "why and where do you use 'x value capacitor' or 'x value resistor'." am i correct in my assumption? or is there another way?
My Rig

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Honey Burst
Fender MIM Stratocaster Ash Natural
Crate v18 2x12
Eleven Rack
Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret
BBE Sonic Stomp
BMP with Tone Wicker
Dunlop Cry Baby
#2
First thing a guitar signal is way way more complex than a sine wave.

When looking and designing pedals it is good to show and apply changes to a sine wave though. They are so simple and using them for examples and basic principles is great. Sine waves are great for showing clipping and how it works.

As for designing pedals I find what works good is starting with a tried and true design. Change parts here and there and find out exactly what each is doing. From there tweak values and material types. Add little ideas you have seen in other designs that you think or neat or try to implement one of your own ideas.

This works well for me... In the end your design may be nothing like the design you started with and totally different and you can call it your own.

There are tons of great circuit simulators out there too, check em out.
#3
Designing a pedal around a sine wave would be like making a sculpture based on how it smells. A sine wave is a picture of a sound. It's a cool analysis tool, but using your ears is far more important than your eyes.

I do different things for different designs. With something I don't have much experience with, like say a reverb unit, I'll look at existing designs and then mutate those to my liking. With something I'm more comfortable and familiar with- like a Jazz amp- I'll start with an idea of the final product and then build it from the ground up.
"ground up" is a misnomer though- there are certain conventions that need to be followed, and so that means that everything is in some way based on some other work that's come before.

"To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create a new universe" -Carl Sagan
#4
Ground up you will still be using snippets of other designs. If you have no experience at this best to start with proven designs then go from there. But beware there are many schematics out there with flaws etc. Usually you change values seeking a specific tone or customizing for your set up.
#5
i see, thanks for the help. it all makes sense, you cant always re-invent the wheel. i just feel like i have no talent, when im using someone elses design. BUT, im definatly going to push the envelope with changing things. Maybe combining effects.

thanks again!
My Rig

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Honey Burst
Fender MIM Stratocaster Ash Natural
Crate v18 2x12
Eleven Rack
Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret
BBE Sonic Stomp
BMP with Tone Wicker
Dunlop Cry Baby