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where to begin- custom effect pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cloren, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. cloren


    Nov 15, 2007
    san francisco
    I have an effect I'd really like to have but don't think it exists- anyone have any tips or clues on where to begin building (or at least commissioning) a custom effect pedal?

    here's the inspiration- when i solo the series wired bridge pickup on my roscoe beck bass, the harmonics ring out incredibly clear. I found that I LOVE the oscillation effect of turning the passive tone control up and down after hitting a harmonic chord. it really makes my bass sound like a vibraphone

    The pedal would essentially be an external passive tone control that oscillates in volume.
  2. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    There's going to be other people on here that might be more qualified to answer, but would expression pedal control be good enough, or did you want it to oscillate on its own?

    I would think that the expression pedal would be as simple as finding a volume pot with the appropriate value potentiometer inside, and wiring it like a passive tone control. I think that if you've ever soldered something before (or even not) this would be pretty doable.

    If you wanted it to oscilate, its going to be trickier (if you want to build it yourself) as you're going to need to build (or find someone to build) an oscillator to change the tone control
  3. rcubed


    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    Get a volume pedal and add a capacitor.
  4. It could be a little more involved than that, rcubed. A passive tone control is slightly more than just a simple RC filter. If it is truly passive then the inductance of the pickup will be having an impact, resulting in a peak in the response around the cut-off frequency.

    Often these simple ideas are the hardest to implement. Perhaps a MOSFET as a variable resistance to act as the tone pot...
  5. cloren


    Nov 15, 2007
    san francisco
    cool thanks for the tips guys! I think for what im going for an expression pedal would be a little too laborous. I'm really aiming for a xylophone type oscillation effect.

    I have to explore the sound a bit more but my initial reaction from hitting several harmonic chords was a ringing, almost leslie-cabinet type effect. fretted notes were not affected by the tone change that drastically (as the dip/rise in the tone knob was only slight). it was really cool. ill post some youtube videos when i get the chance to show you what i mean.
  6. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I would hire a midget to stand next to you on stage and turn your tone pot for you....

    probably cheaper (in terms of rate per hour) than building a custom pedal? :meh:
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Certainly more entertaining.
  8. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Are you kidding? Little people are unionized and/or usually have Hollywood agents.

    If you want to save money, outsource the job to third world children. :D

  9. ya- was going to recommend this option myself. mario is a cool dude- and if its possible- he can do it- and itll be done right.

    quite true- my brother wanted to hire one for a frat party- but the hourly rates were ridiculous- at least in the san diego area at the time. i do not have nationwide quotes as of yet.

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