The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 6

The short is gone.

But!

I’m still not getting the signal I expect. The clean is coming through nicely, but the effected signal sounds extremely muddy and gritty. To the point where its really unusable.

IMG_4946

A bit unsure where to go from here to be honest.

On the bright side, I’ve added the status LED to the circuit, and it lights up just fine :)

IMG_4947

The road to a simple DIY Pedal, pt 3

After a quick restock trip I have now soldered all the parts together.

IMG_4922

I made the mistake of attaching the input / output jacks before realising I had missed the foot switch. This was easily fixed though.

IMG_4925

One thing I found difficult was to determine the length of the connector cables to the jacks, dc source and the switch. This time I made them longer than necessary just to make it a bit easier to mount the components…

Next up is to drill the enclosure.

IMG_4926

Also, I can’t decide if I should add a status LED or not….

How do you learn?

In 2011 I bought an electric guitar.

In fact, my original plan was to learn the acoustic and to that end I had bought a Hello Kitty branded black guitar on an impulse while living in Tokyo.

kitty

After realising I didn’t have time to practice, it ended up (like I suspect so many other) standing in a corner collecting dust.

That is, until my wife decided to pick it up. She quickly learned the basics and watching her get better and better I decided it was time to give it another go.

At this time we were living in San Francisco, and I thought rather than buying another acoustic, I would get an electric to complement. A late evening trip to Guitar Center at Van Ness and our home was one Ibanez richer.

I_RG471_natural_flat

However, soon after buying the electric and learning just a few basic chords, I slipped via Midi into the world of synthesizers, and since then have spent the better part of the past 3 years exploring electronic music instead.

This all changed as part of our recent move, when I decided to downsize my musical equipment and get back to basics again. Now I’m struggling for the 3rd time to actually learn how to play the guitar properly.

This said, I do not regret all the time I spent learning software and synthesis as I also picked up some basic music theory along the way, and I can see how this helps in getting a better grasp of the guitar as an instrument as well.

I’m actually really excited to start this next chapter of Glitzerstrahl and I look forward to sharing the road with you all…

Please share in the comments if you have any tips for how to learn the guitar (especially the electric) faster :).

strat

My current (middle)

Building or Buying?

Let’s just get it out of the way, building your own pedals will probably never be cheaper than just buying them.

That is, unless you plan on building a lot of pedals. Economies of scale will likely never work in your favour, but if you stick with the hobby for a while I suspect you start to build up a supply of various components and tools, to the point where you can experiment with new builds with almost no additional investment.

Then it might just start to make economic sense…

Then again, I guess very few builders are into this stuff for pure economic reasons. I know I’m not. I do this (or I want to do this) simply because its fun. And educational.

My goal is to get to a level where I can experiment with effects that I dream up myself. I already have several ideas that I’ve been carrying around since I got into modular synthesis.

Hopefully this time around I’ll actually realise at least some of them!

Rock on! or off…

While my inspiration for the electronic side of the Glitzerstrahl project is running a bit low at the moment, I decided to do some intensive guitar practice instead. For this I need a new practice amp since I sold off my old ones when leaving the states.

So far I’ve narrowed my choices down to the following:

The Bugera V5 which is a tiny all tube amp with a power attenuator that allows you to switch between 5, 1 and .1 watts. This should come in really handy when practicing late at night. It’s a really simple amp with what sounds like a great clean channel and no frills except a built in digital reverb.

The Orange Crush PiX 35LDX which is a solid state amp rated at 35 watts with a 10″ speaker, digital effects and a built in tuner.

Both amps have headphone out and are comparable in price, so really the choice is between an all tube setup or a solid state. I can’t get rid of the feeling that the Bugera would sound just a tiny bit better (as in warmer, fuller and more natural) thanks to its tubes, but that the Orange would be more convenient.

Btw, I already have the pedals I would need to create most of the effects in the Orange box, but it would be more of a hassle to pull them out every time I just want to add a bit of delay…

Which one would you have chosen? Or would you go for something completely different?

Update: After much back and forth I ended up getting the Orange. Yes it may lack some of the tonal character of an all tube amp, but it makes up for it in convenience. Also, in all honesty the little different I could here in tone between the two is sure to be blanketed by my poor playing any way.

I’ll save the tube lure until I’ve learned to play properly and saved enough money for a really good one…