Friday, November 19, 2010

Tap Tempo Tremolo

Here's a first run of a square wave tap tempo tremolo design. We're keeping it simple. One LED to flash the rate, one to show when the pedal is activated. The knob controls the depth. Left switch is on/off, right is to tap the tempo. Runs on 9VDC only so no battery. This is available on the specials page for $100. Future runs of this pedal may be built.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Custom Shop: Tremolo / Reverb

This recent build was for Liam from Yellowbirddd looking for a great-sounding reverb and tremolo. The plan was to keep it simple for ease of use and to save space while traveling. The tremolo has depth and rate controls, the reverb has volume and tone controls. I'm surprised more reverb pedals (and delay pedals) don't have a high cut control to better match an overly bright guitar or amp.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cease.Transmission Prototype 2

Here's another Cease.transmission prototype this time without an LED to prolong battery life. Same internal circuitry as the original model just with the addition of a volume knob. Currently posted on the Specials page for $75.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Deluxe Cease.transmission update

The latest addition to the deluxe prototype is the volume knob. There are two more prototypes planned until the actual retail model is released in a few months. This one is still available for the previously posted price of $90. Check out the Specials link on the fxdoctor home page to see if it's still available.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Channel Selector Rehousing

Here's a recent project to put a Kustom '72 Coupe footswitch into a (much) smaller casing. I like the utilitarian look and the recessed LEDs should provide years of carefree service.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Deluxe Cease.Transmission Prototype

The cease.transmission was originally developed to be a quirky noise maker for studio and DJ use. Eventually guitar players started snatching them up but quickly found that since the original model doesn't have an input jack that it is difficult to add to their pedalboards. This prototype was designed to fix that problem. The input and output jacks are setup in the same location as most standard guitar effects. They are wired in parallel yet will not load down your guitar signal. The LED is on when the effect is switched on and pulses with the lower frequencies generated. The toggle switch was chosen over a stompswitch because the device requires your hands to "play" the touchpad. The unit is still battery only, but draws no power when off and about 11mA when on (about the same as a Boss Chorus Pedal). As of this posting, the one pictured is available for $90 on the specials page. More may be available in the near future and may lead to a deluxe model.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Pedalboard

Here's an update from last year's post regarding my setup. I finally picked up "The Pedalhead" from NYC Pedalboards so here's the new layout.

This is the final layout although I plan on changing a few things. The plan is:
Modded Vox wah (standard overhaul/ true bypass)
Dual Scalpel & Temporary Mute for TU-12 tuner
    (Artwork borrowed from the incredible Daniel Danger)
FXdoctor Overdrive
Big Muff styled Heart Fuzz
Bass Bit Fuzz (added gain control)
8-Bit Fuzz
DM-2 based analog delay (casing used as a place holder)
DD-5 (with high cut and reverse kill)
Ernie Ball Volume pedal
Boss RC-20XL

I'll substitute in a Metatron for the Heart Fuzz or RC-20XL depending on what band I'm playing with. I'll build a mini patchbay and use it as a riser for the TU-12 at some point. All powered using a daisy chain and a Visual Sounds power adapter. I've used a Dunlop DC Brick in the past but wasn't impressed so switched back to a daisy chain.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Boss TU-12 tuner mod

Something about the mechanical needle on the TU-12 tuner just works better than the LED indicators. I find myself using the TU-12 over any other tuner but on a dark stage it can be irritating to deal with. Here is a simple mod to add an LED inside to illuminate the needle. You can see how much extra light there is on the right side of the display where the LED was installed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Danelectro Danecho Buffer Mod

This post is for you serious pedal geeks. A common mod for the Danecho is to use a better input buffer to prevent signal loading and retain the clarity. In an attempt to show visually what is actually happening I ran a white noise generator into a frequency analyzer. The image below shows the graphs of first what the white noise looks like, and second what it looks like when run through the Danecho while in bypass. You must click on the image below for it to enlarge then it cycles between two images every 5 seconds so be patient. You'll notice a large drop off across the entire spectrum and the treble region (right side of the graph) is exceptionally weak with the Danecho in the signal path. Simply plugging the pedal into your signal chain with decrease your signal strength and clarity. The modification as well as other mods are offered on the "Modifications" page at

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Manual Flanger

Here's an old Cutec flanger which was modified to add a bypass switch for the LFO. This means instead of the swooshing sound the toggle switch allows you to stop the sweep wherever you'd like. It gives all sorts of filtered and metallic tones. The Depth, Manual, and Color switch function in both modes while the Speed control only works in the stock mode. This modification is available for all effects with a rate control (chorus, phaser, flanger, etc.). This pedal is available on the Fxdoctor Specials page for $40 currently.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Small Stone modifications

So I'm sure most of my readers are off preparing for a show since it's a Friday evening, but I'm going to start offering free mod giveaways through this blog. I like to test my new modifications on as many people as possible, and what better way than to offer them for free to my readers. You send your pedal, I mod it and send it back, you tell me your favorite settings.

So here we go, the update for the Small Stone is going to be a redesign of the "Color" circuit. The "Color" switch is going to be changed to Depth which gives you two settings. Then you get a Resonance switch which gives you three settings of resonance. You get a total of 6 combinations, 2 of which are identical to the stock settings. It'll be fun. Email directly with questions or if you'd like to send in your pedal.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mini-Monster Face Organ

This is a hand held noise maker which is a smaller version of the Monster Face Organ posted a few months back. Same sound but with only 5 user selectable frequencies. Limited runs will be available at $80 each.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Metatron Sample-Hold Filter

So if you saw the previous entry you may be wondering what the pedal looks like and get some more details on it. The one pictured above is the first completed prototype that will be for sale. The final controls (as of now) are Intensity (amplitude), Range, and Rate. A few advantages over some vintage Sample-Hold Filters:
1. Low noise and updated ICs.
2. Runs on a single 9V source thanks to a voltage inverting circuit.
3. True bypass.
4. The LFO is muted in bypass to prevent any ticking bleeding through when off.
5. The addition of a Range and Intensity control.

The prototype above can only be powered by a 9V adapter. The silver circuit on the right is just a hole plug. Currently available for $165

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Metatron Sample-Hold Filter

The Metatron is a project I've been working on for years but never had time to complete. In the video I am using a nearly completed version of the most recent prototype. The pedal is based on the Maestro Filter Sample/Hold pedal which has been discontinued years ago. While sonically they may be similar, the signal path is 100% original and in no way a copy of the Maestro. You can expect modern amenities such as true bypass, 9V power (no worries about dual batteries or 18V adapters as found on the original and clones of the original), possibly a blend control to tame the novelty aspect of the pedal, and so on. Email to be put on an unofficial mailing list regarding this specific pedal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MIDI Mouse jack relocation

Here a second pair of MIDI and power jacks were installed. This allows for every square inch of pedalboard real estate to be used efficiently without needing to change the orientation of the pedal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dan Armstrong Purple Peaker Rehousing

These devices are certainly unique but the fact that they mount directly to your instrument isn't acceptable for many guitarists. Here is a rehousing with the addition of a DC jack and a volume control. The layout allows room for a bypass footswitch to be added in the future if needed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fuzz prototype update

In an effort to improve the 8-Bit fuzz (and possibly make it Bass guitar friendly) I started working on this prototype. The knobs are as follow: thickness selector, gain, input bias, - cut, + cut, feedback recovery, volume, and a focus switch. Expect to see add-on options for the 8-Bit Fuzz in the future. Controls to adjust the amount of glitch (sonic stability control) and to increase the sustain should be available soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Napkin rehousing project

After speaking with a client he requested that his tone generator be rehoused from its cigar box into a steel napkin dispenser. The difficult part was fitting everything into a smaller face while clearing the internal springs of the napkin dispenser. This is what I received to work with:

A quick scan and some measurements of the internals gave me a layout that would be acceptable. This involved quite a bit of measuring to keep the components clear from any moving parts.

Once the drilling was completed it was a matter of lengthening wires to make it all fit and populating the casing.

And there we have it, a completed rehousing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blue Microphones Icicle rehousing

Here's a quick rehousing to fix a few issues with the Blue Icicle, an XLR to USB adapter. This rehousing puts the jacks at the back and controls on front which is important for keeping cables under control. The mic jack was upgraded with a solid metal one. The knob is easier to access and visualize the actual position. The power LED and phantom power LED are now separate. The metal casing is also a step up from the white plastic tube.

UPDATE 30 May 2010: I've installed a small condenser capsule into the front so I have an all in one for portable recording. Works great for recording everyday events.