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The BRAIN!!!!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mohawk Freak, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    OK, I was gonna keep this idea to myself until I had the baby built but then I thought "we're a community, we share ideas" so I'm throwing my idea out there to see if it's any use to anyone else and if anyone had ideas on how to improve it (but if I find someones making a fortune from it there'll be some serious arse kicking in store!!!) It's called "The Brain"

    Essentially it's four features combined in one box.

    1) A true bypass. Just like a bypass box (could even be 2 loops if needed)

    2) An footswitchable a/b box (if I have the right thing) to select between 2 different basses plugged into it (with LED's to indicate which is selected). I use 2 and want to save on switching time. This section would also have some sort of volume adjustment feature to balance out the input difference from my active and passive. Probably just a centre notched pot with 15db of cut or boost for each input.

    3) A separate footswitchable volume cut/boost section. This would also be a centre notched pot with 15db (for example) either way. However, the point at which, and to what, the volume boost is supplied would be switchable. 2 switches would control this. 1 would select whether it was pre/post the fx loop. The other would select whether it was applied to the fx loop only/ clean (bypassed) only or both.

    4) This is where the concept began and the other things were added afterwards. Essentially this section would be a footswitchable blend control (between clean and fx loop) controlled by an expression pedal.

    This last section would have a number of applications. As well as allowing you to use guitar pedals that normally cut bottom end, it would also allow you to soften an effect. For example the Muse song "Plug in baby" has a main driving riff utilising an envelope filter and OD (or a synth of some kind). When the verse is reached the bass cuts to a mainly clean sound with the wet sound cut back to about a 3rd volume. Sounds really good. This could allow you to get more life out of some of the more extreme pedals by softening them but still providing a distinctive sound.

    Obviously the blend would ony work when the fx loop is not bypassed. But because the blend would be switchable you could cut from a totally wet sound to a blended one. Also you could fade between dry and wet or vice versa.

    The volume cut/boost was inspired by a greater desire for control and the frustration at the difference in levels between bypassed and wet in some pedals. My Q-Tron is great but when it's on there's such an annoying boost in volume. By being able to switch the volume boost before or after the fx loop you coul cut the volume without affecting the envelope, or drive the new volume level through the effects.

    All the sections would have LED status lights and all the stomp switches would have true bypass where appropriate (I think this requires a 3 pole switch or something).

    What do you all think? Any use to anyone? More to the point could anyone actually design a block diagram for it? I was gonna get a friendly electonic engineer to do all the technical stuff. I can build the chassis and screw parts on but that's it.

    Anyone offer any improvements?

    Anyone know of good suppliers of components, more importantly chassis?

    (Maybe I should learn electronic engineering!):(
  2. There's something like that called the switchblade... it's a midi opperated rack switcher that and allows you to place all your effects in the loops in any order you want and control your presets via footswitch. The new one comes with an eq and boost channel for each loop... they're expensive though. There are companies that make cheaper ones, like rocktech. Put it wont have as many features...

    Hey as long as we're sharring ideas :D here's my idea for a guitarist's distortion...
    Arbitrary fuzz with sylicon transistors to get a harsher sound, internal compasitors to get low signal compression at higher clipping levels. Half wave rectification to get a squarewave like tone. A frequency switch to toggle between high and low frequencies to control the arbitration of the fuzz's wave shape. A sub octave running in parrallel to the signal is mixed in through a level control... sounds like a fun little box to simulate synth sounds for a guitar to me
  3. Hugh Jazz

    Hugh Jazz

    Sep 13, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    What the hell are you talking about? :D :confused: ;)
  4. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    I pretty much follow you bigfeet!! Have you got the smarts to actually build it? You could always ask 3ms if they'll do it.

    I've heard of the switchblade. Sounds usefull but the primary drive behind "the Brain" was to build a footswitchable expression pedal controlled blend between clean and effected tone. The other things gradually got tagged on as I thought of them. AFAIK no one builds anything like this. The advantages are clear, as I've mentioned. Like your guitarists fuzz but it sucks all your bottom end? Dont worry about individual mods, just run it into this. Plus the other uses I've mentioned.

    By the way, anyone interested in a switchblade-like capacity might be interested in the (non-midi) carl martin combinator. you can plug up to 8 separate pedals into it and it has eight stomp switches which you program the pedal combinations into. You cant change the order but then it's probably no-where near the price. Unfortunately my guitarist bought one and had crackly-pop problems we just could NOT isolate. When the engineer opened it up it was shoddily constructed. The main chip had it's legs splayed and individual wires soldered onto it!!!

    Anyway, that wasn't the point. I don't want a pedal switcher but a Blend/true bypass/gain adjustment/input selector!!! :D
  5. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    Man! reading that made me think too hard!! That seems to be similar to what I had in mind in some aspects. Still no blend though. He'd probably build the features I wanted into it for sufficient £$£$£$£$ though! Shame I'm skint!
  6. hmmm, I might have to do that
  7. Some sort of mixer would be good? that way I could run a few different inputs and choose between either or both with a volume adjustment. I do this currently w/ my Akai headrush to balance out the diff between the dry and sample signals. The wet signal goes into the passive input so it is always loud enough. Raven labs makes mixer/DI. My GCX rack switcher is a great alternative as well..?

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