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Pedal Ideas ...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bigtexashonk, May 13, 2010.


  1. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    So I have a professional audio friend who is putting together ideas for a line of boutique pedals. What kinds of pedals would we as bass players most like to see developed and with what features?

    Suggestions welcome ...
     
  2. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Whatever it is, please try for something original. I'm sure you can cram another fuzz box or light OD into the market, but that's boring.

    I want a delay built for controlling self-oscillation. It should have a pitch tracking function -- you play a note and it starts oscillating. When you play the next one, it ramps the delay time up or down such that the oscillation is now at new pitch. Loudness should vary by attack envelope, so the louder you play, the louder the oscillation is.
     
  3. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    This plus when it disengages it plays the delay tail out.

    I would also like to see an analog LFO pedal that can control the rate, frequency, and amount of oscilation. Really simple.
     
  4. A sorta-transparent analog chorus that doesn't have a volume swell when turned on.
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Serious advice (I take this subject seriously):

    He needs to do some deep research here in this forum. A thread just casting for ideas is not going to profit him at all. He needs to read about what is already on the market, and what we like or don't like about it. He needs to look for what has the "buzz", and what lived up to the hype afterward versus what died out.

    Also, I don't know your friend, but there are oceans of dabblers who go around saying that "if you can imagine it, they can build it"--but in reality all they can do is make yet another fuzz pedal. So your friend needs to hear that, and understand that if he doesn't want to be like a grain of sand on the beach, he needs to actually bring it, some real electronics skills and the education and creativity to do something truly worth paying attention to.

    If he's just one more average fuzz builder, he can go stand in the back of the line.

    Areas where there is room for growth include (as Swimming Bird said) pitch tracking, dynamic-responsive parameter changes, and expression-pedal controls. Also multiple bands i.e. two or three way crossovers with each band having separate processing. And peak limiters. There are buttloads of good compressors, but very few really good peak limiters.
     
  6. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Great start - keep it coming folks! Much appreciated to all. I very much trust the advice I've gleaned from TB and I'm counting on the feedback to this thread to guide what will come.
     
  7. Synth with manual decay foot lever.
     
  8. Hector_G

    Hector_G

    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
  9. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    A stand alone analog UP octaver. Kind of like the Octron, sans the octave down.
     
  10. Clean or dirty octave up? :eyebrow:
     
  11. Toggle switch or blend knob... next move is yours:bag:
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I think what he was getting at was that there are plenty of stand-alone octave-up pedals out there already. The caveat is that they are all "dirty", not clean.
     
  13. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    My understanding is that an analog octave up is a product of distortion, so it can't be *completely* clean, but I guess about as clean as possible for that kind of effect.

    PS-Since you can get octaves via analog, I wonder if it would be at all possible to do say a 5th, but as an analog effect, not digital. Think like an Analog version of the Akai Unibass. Someone who builds effects may want to step in and tell me how difficult and/or impossible such a thing would be. :D
     
  14. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking-As clean as possible considering how they are produced.

    Doesn't the FEA Growler produce 2nd order harmonics? I've been eyeing that thing...
     
  15. Definitely a dedicated octave up pedal.
     
  16. Innovate instead of imitate...

    - Pedals that use Tesla coils
    - A fuzz that doesn't sound like a group of people passing gas at the same time
    - Pitch changing effects (ex. Eventide Pitchfactor)
    - Recreate a sonic boom - not very musical or realistic but would definitely be the talk of the show
     
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Harmonics, yes--but it's not an octave-up pedal. The harmonic effect is quite small compared to the fundamental you play.
     
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Very difficult, but not impossible. One of my favorite vintage pieces is the blue-faced MXR Pitch Transposer, which is an all-analog device that can produce any audible frequency from your input. It has pots which adjust the frequency in a continuous (not stepped) manner. As an accessory it came with a clock-radio style 1RU meter that would tell you the frequency it was outputting (but not the note or its interval relationship to the input, you had to figure that out yourself). The Pitch Transposer itself was 2RU, and packed full--not an empty chassis by far.

    It was discontinued and replaced by the black-faced digital version because the analog one was too expensive to make, and too finicky for most people to use outside the studio.

    But it was done to perfection in the late '70s, so it could certainly be done again--at a steep cost. :)
     
  19. CopperheadLXXIX

    CopperheadLXXIX

    Aug 9, 2003
    Jax, FL
    Innnnnteresting! How well did that thing track? And would it still be very expensive to do if the pitch(es) were fixed (again, say a 5th) as opposed to a variable control? Even if it were simple controlwise (dry & effect level)?
     
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It tracked perfectly. So perfectly in fact that when I came to this forum I was under the misapprehension that analog octavers never had any tracking or glitching problems. I have since learned that many cheap pedals don't work that well.

    It might not be quite as expensive to make because the MXR had a unique control system that added to the cost-to-manufacture. It had four knobs, each for completely independent pitch settings, and the knobs were touch-sensitive (conductive, you couldn't wear gloves). So switching between the four "presets" involved tapping the knob with your finger. Or if you wanted on to be set at a fifth and another to be a crazy random modulation, you would access the one for the 5th by tapping its knob, and then crazy-modulate the sound by turning one of the other knobs; it switched instantly and silently between presets. So after going crazy for a bit, all you had to do to go back to a 5th was tap that knob. It is a super cool system, and it worked perfectly, but I'm sure none of that was off-the-shelf from a catalog. So eliminating the presets and trigger knobs would help. But the majority of the cost was still the engine that produced the effect, which would not be easily altered for lower cost.
     

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