1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Onboard Whammy knob?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by funkalicious101, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. i was looking at some of matt bellamy's guitars and was very impressed with the built in z-vex fuzz factory, this got me to wondering if some kind of pitch shifting function could be installed on a bass guitar and manipulated with a knob.

    even if it only had one setting (i was thinking octave up) i would still think it .

    is this even possible? or would everything required for this be too much to fit inside an instrument?
  2. thats a cool idea :)

    i wouldn't suspect it'd be that hard, but a bit of routing might be necessary
  3. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I have no idea how big the Whammy PCB is, but I'd assume it's possible.

    Heck, since it's all digital, it could probably be reduced to a solely software application and stuck on a flash drive of some kind.

    you could probably have it down to 2 knobs, one for the whammy control, and the other to change the setting. Maybe either a small LCD to display the setting, or a LED/ pointer system to show wich setting it's currently set. use a pull-knob for bypass?
  4. That sounds like a really cool idea. I'd want an actual whammy bar instead of a knob, simply because it'd be way cooler.

    Somebody needs to do this.

  5. Problem will be getting power to the circuit. Batteries are fine for low power stuff, but a run of the mill whammy sucks a LOT of juice. Running mains power to your guitar is definitely not recommended, nor would running the 9VAC parallel with your instrument cable be a good idea (induced noise.)

    Besides, I don't know about any of your guys, but my hands are often too busy to even adjust the volume while I'm playing, let alone kicking in/out effects as well!!!
  6. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    sounds good other than the 9VAC running to it :eek:

    AC isn't good for this situation
  7. hmmm, i never really thought of powering it.....
  8. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    I think what you need is a bit of MIDI. That is the way Mr Bellamy does it. Some effects, such as the Zvex and Phase 90 are built into his guitar. As far as I know, the whammy is done by midi control though.

    In simple terms, his whammy sits on the floor, and he has a knob and a switch on his guitar. The switch does effect on/off, and the knob acts as the whammy expression pedal. He can then change presets on the floor, and use the knob to actually whammy.

    However, his whammy pedal is also MIDIed up to a Rocktron All Access board, and an expression pedal, so that he can change preset effects patches and settings with the footswitches, and control the whammy with the expression pedal while he is playing, so he doesn't have to attempt to play and operate the knob on his guitar at the same time. Otherwise, the whammy would be useless while he was actually playing, and he could only use it in the gaps between songs, which would be a bit of a waste of a whammy pedal.
  9. if it was just octave up would it still require as much power?
  10. fryBASS


    Aug 8, 2006
    New Haven, CT
    Stop stealing my idea!! :p

    I was thinking why not have an on the bass effect of some sort? I mean, we already have so many knobs and switches that we can put on our instruments today, why not add on-board effects too?
  11. If all you want is octave up there are lower power ways of doing it. If you use Whammy guts then you employ DSP. The power requirements for DSP (and the associated chips) do not fluctuate much with processing load, they tend to just steadily consume significant power.
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Would a TRS cable work with phantom power? I mean... you couldn't have other effects in the chain, but it might work?
  13. Yes, and it's been done for years by EBS with fairly limited marketing success from what I've seen.

    Trouble is phantom is classically DC, and Whammys are AC (I think) so smooshing a whammy circuit board into your bass is a bit more involved than just the smooshing bit.

    I can't say for sure, but it's my feeling that running 50/60hz AC (even low voltage AC) in parallel and close proximity to an instrument cable is asking for trouble.

    The thing no one has been able to work out is whether the AC is important to the Whammy. Does it reference the line frequency or... what!? (rhetorical)
  14. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    I saw Fender has a new VG Strat where it has A dial that electronically changes your tuning - I guess dropping the pitch down or up electronically?

    It seems to be a built in whammy effect?


    It seems a built in electronic alternate tuning or octive up or down would be a great idea, at least as usable as a Drop D tuner?
  15. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Here's an idea if you're really bored and have far too much money: Acquire a Bass Whammy, gut it and install into your bass. Run the 9V AC up a cable beside your guitar cable. To stop hum being induced, & while you're hacking away, balance the output from the guitar either actively with a SSM2142 (create a power supply with the 9V AC), or passively with an audio transformer. Then at your amp you'll need a differential receiver circuit, again either active or passive, and voila! Hum-Free On-Board Bass Whammy delight!™ :hyper:

    You might as well go 1 step further and multipin the whole lot together so you only have 1 cable to your bass. :p

    Anyone bored and rich enough?
  16. Well I guess I'm out.
  17. Just to clear something up, I didn't mean to give the impression that it's impossible to do what the OP suggested. All I was saying is that there's likely a bit more to it than just smooshing the circuit into the guitar and connecting the power!
  18. sonicvi


    Jun 10, 2005
    Houston, TX
    In the 60's Vox made guitars with wah-wah built in that you controlled with a palm lever thing so you could still play while using the effect. Something like that might work here too.
  19. I wonder if anyone from Line 6 is reading this??

    This thread smells like a new Variax :)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.