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what language is used to program pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by beyondhairy, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. hey... im soon going to enroll in school to learn electric engineering. but i would also like to learn a computer language that i could use to program pedals... for instance... a whammy like effect...

    i want to program the pedal to recognize the note and effect it accordingly based on the adjustable variable..ala the treadle...
  2. I'm pretty sure it's all circuitry.

  3. that's what i hope it is.... but then you gata think about it...

    how will the circuit board recognize a tone and adjust it accordingly?

    if this is actually possible, i will enjoy electric engineering that much more
  4. Encoded circuitry :eyebrow:
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Dude, what? There are a couple of things to think about here.

    One, programming languages are tools for writing code within a specific platform for distribution. If you are trying to get a given application to behave in a certain way, you write in the programming language that the application was written in. But pedals in general are not a broad platform, they are each a specific iteration of a task. What that means is there is no language for "pedals". If you go to work for Line6 or Zoom or whatever then you will have to learn the code they used for their programs. but outside of the Line6/Zoom/etc. individual platforms, that code is meaningless.

    If you want to get into digital programming, you'll have to learn a few different common languages just for building functional models, but you'll also have to create your own platform. I'm exaggerating a bit, there are simple modules you can buy such as a PIC microcontroller which will respond to common languages such as BASIC, and there are probably other exceptions I'm not thinking of at the moment, but the basic idea still stands: you want to make your own whammy, you have to create the whole thing from the ground up.

    Secondly, there's "analog" circuitry, which often includes logic or other digital (or "sort-of digital", there's some grey areas) elements. You don't need programming for that, but you need to understand logic and if-then elements much like programming. There are analog pitch followers as well as digital ones- which one works for your design, only you can say.

    Here's a clue: pitch = frequency, volume = amplitude; each note you play consists of those two elements; when you play an electric instrument the "notes" exist as AC voltage for a good part of their time on Earth; AC voltage is also measured in frequency and amplitude.
  6. a lot of useful information here, thanks a lot :)
  7. If there is a micro controller in it you will probably have to learn some kind of assembler language that is designed for the controller chip. Some like Atmels AVR will allow use of languages like c or C++.

    Most pedals are analog and the programming in them, except for things with specific DSP needs in them, are minimal. For digital effects, you should really get a background in DSP programming. By and large when it comes to pedals, a good understanding of EE will take you farther than CS.

  8. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Hey dude, I am studying Electrical Engineering and I can tell ya, like said in above posts, its all in digital logic and microcontrollers. I'm making my own now and don't "porgram them," just make sure I get the logic to do what I want it to. Good luck man!
  9. you are building your own whammy?

    would love to see how it turns out
  10. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
  11. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Well, whammy eventually, just finished an over drive circuit and now working on a Phasor for my guitarist. Keep in touch man, I want to know how things go for ya. Its tough, but soooooooooooo worth it.
  12. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    +1, most EE programs(at least where I'm at) will teach you both Electrical and Computer Engineering, and you are well balanced. The micro controller I'm using now is just a basic stamp and it works fine and an easy language.

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