Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Madbean Fall 2014 Pedal contest

I'm thinking of entering the Madbean Fall 2014 Pedal Contest.  I have a look-a-like pedal which i screen printed but have been trying to get the guts to work out just right.  After using my cardboard method of laying things out, I basically have a 6 way clipping Rat circuit that goes between the standard Low Pass Filter or a variable notch filter.
This is the same circuit I've used before, but I left one of the clipping options open so that it's clipped by just the Opamp itself.  This sounds really really LOUD!  It's pretty close to the red LED clipping, but when you switch between the filters you really start to hear the difference.
I haven't tested it out with a proper amp yet, its been mostly running through a small practice amp with headphones, but there are some minor sonic issues to work out.  Here is what it's looking like all boxed up.

The issue still remains that there is a rather high pitched noise that goes on with the pedal while there are no notes being played, there is a lot of strange interaction between the guitar volume knob and the pedal.  Almost like the volume pedal is tuning it.  I was advised that it might have to do with the input impedance of the pedal.

I put an LPB-1 in front of it, and that just made the sound very muddy, but only when the LPB-1 was maxed out, anything below 75% made the whistling noise.  This could be a solution, but then all the interesting clipping sounds can't be as easily distinguished.  It is something that is going on with the input of the pedal.

I'm going to try changing the pull down resistor to make it much larger, right now its 1M. The largest I've been advised for this circuit is to increase the input resistors to 2M. We'll just have to see. Another alternative is for me to try and putting in a separate circuit in the beginning to see what it will sound like. I'm thinking something along the lines of a buffer or a simple compressor.

I'll have to see how it goes, I can tell it has the potential to sound really good, but its' just needing some further tweaking.  Apparently this PCB has issues with this high pitched squeaking noise.  The other populated PCB does not have this problem at all.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Updates Updates Updates

After a couple months of being pretty busy, I'm finally revisiting to update you all on a couple of projects I've completed and have been struggling with.

First and foremost, I have pretty much completed the Matsumin Valvecaster which I'm calling THE DREAM EATER. (I still need to finish up the wiring, there is also some radio interference with this pedal, but other than that it sounds pretty neat).

The Rundown:
This pedal is a tall 1590BB sized enclosure with the tube portion sticking out. The black sparkle was a pain in the butt and not advisable. It looks nice, but created a rough sandpaper like texture on the surface. I had to have multiple layers of clearcoat running over and over it to try and smooth the surface enough to screen print it.   Screen printing turned out OK, but the white paint I have has more of a tack like consistency than a paint like consistency and makes white ink prints look "worn".  Which is fine by me, but its just something to note.

The other issue is regarding the tube itself.  I used a socket for this, but tried to find some way to have it installed so that it wasn't sitting on top of the enclosure, but was peeking out.  Somewhere close to the height of the knobs.  This took a couple attempts with l-shaped brackets and washers as spacers, but I was able to mount something in the side to make it look OK.  I think next tube based pedal I try, I'll just mount on top of the enclosure or just have it hidden inside.

The next project I was trying to work on is a work-a-like of a prototype pedal created by Death By Audio.  It is the little know Evil Filter prototype, it is basically 2 pedals in 1.  A fuzz with 6 way clipping selection, and an active filter. So I've taken the BYOC mouse, which has a 6 way clipping switch and the Madbean Weiner Wah and put them together to try and see how it works. This is what we have to work with thus far:

The first thing you've probably noticed is that it looks like it's on a piece of cardboard. Yes it in fact is, I find that this allows me to drop it into the final enclosure when I have gotten on the wiring done somewhat tidily.  I already have an idea for the artwork so it allows me to map out where things will go to verify them fitting in.

So now that we've seen the messy gutshot, here is how I see it when I look at it.  I need to finalize the spacing issues and all, but below is what I want it to look like in the end. I'm calling it Dark Matter, I built this pedal for Mary and am looking forward to getting it printed drilled and up and running.
I'm thinking Red on Black would look really cool since it already has the Red LEDs.