Hot Cherry Overdrive

JEK_20150326_misc_1110517

 

This month we have the new Hot Cherry Overdrive from Dang! Creative Services! This overdrive is the second stomp box in our Funktronic line of effects pedals. A clone of the classic Marshall Bluesbreaker, this pedal is a great example of a somewhat transparent overdrive. I brings a nice, natural sounding distortion with out bringing too much crunch to your tone.

These pedals were also finished in bright red by a friend of mine using a really fantastic automotive-grade two-stage polyurethane finish. Coupled with the cool, retro graphics, brought to you by Dang! Creative, the results, again, are absolutely stunning.

La Calavera: A Nasty Octave Fuzz

JEK_20150106_portfolio_1100943

Fresh off the workbench is this pair of stomp boxes designed here at Dang! Creative Services. These beauties will be marking a couple firsts for us. Firstly, La Calavera is the first in a series of pedals completed under the Funktronic label. Last year, we built the Funktronic Envelope Filter and decided to keep the name as an overall brand.

Secondly, these pedals were finished by by a good friend of mine who owns an auto body shop here in town. He was kind enough to paint these using the same two-stage process used in automotive finishing. The results are absolutely stunning.

This is the first in a series of pedals that I think represent some of the best work I have ever done. The “Calavera” concept art was appropriated from the popular Mexican card game, Loteria. I actually designed and built these with a buddy in mind who plays bass in a local Gothic/Pshycobilly band.

The pedal itself is a clone of the now-defunct Ampeg Scrambler. The Scrambler is a really interesting octave up ring modulator/fuzz pedal that produces a really sick, synthy-sounding fuzz. What makes this pedal really great is the Balance knob that acts as a wet/dry mix – an indispensable feature if you’re using effects with bass guitar. The Texture knob sort of increases the amount of octave-like effect.

3 New Stompbox Designs from Dang! Creative

stomps

Last few weeks I’ve been working on a little stompbox project. I designed three stompbox shells and will be building them out over the next few weeks. Here we have an Octave Divider, an Overdrive and an Octave Fuzz. The Octave Divider will be built from an original circuit designed by The Valve Wizard, while the Overdrive and Octave Fuzz will be clones of vintage pedals.

These will be pedals made almost entirely by scratch. I’ve etched the circuit boards and have been soldering the components in place. I’ll be posting images as the project progresses. I’m in the box-finishing stage now – one thing of note, is that a friend of mine with an auto body shop was kind enough to help me with the finishes. They look really fantastic.  I should be sanding them and applying the decals today.
IMG_1792

Funktronic Envelope Filter

JEK_20140815_portfolio_1090813_BLENDED-Edit

I just finished assembling this nifty little effect pedal. What we have here is what started a rehouse job that kind of mutated into it’s own thing. Years ago, I built a clone of an old MXR Envelope Filter from Tonepad. I’d modded it for bass by adding a “Deep” switch that added a couple of larger capacitors to lower the range of the sweep. Additionally, I’d added a couple of other mods recommended by Mark Hammer on DIYStompboxes.com.

Of course as with all bass effects, there was a sort of loss attack and low end which made using the filter onstage in a band situation a little uninspiring. I had decided to add a blend feature which would mix a little of my dry signal with the wet signal. Initially, I’d opted for a B.Blender circuit, but there wasn’t a pre-made PCB available. Looking around at some other options out there, I discovered the Paramix on GuitarPCB.com. The Paramix is a really cool pedal that would allow me not only to blend my dry signal with any effect in the effect loop, but would allow me to blend two separate effects independently of one another. Realizing that the Paramix was indeed a very powerful tool by itself I decided it would be best for me to make a box that would serve both the Paramix and the EF together.

Realizing that this would be a fairly cumbersome set of circuits, I came to the conclusion that I would need a larger enclosure. I found a really nice sloped steel enclosure over at EffectsEnclosures.com. David make these custom enclosures himself and they come in standard sizes. However, he happened to have had this extra large one laying around and he sold it to me at a very reasonable price. I gave it a little design that was my attempt at paying homage to some of the really cool looking old effects pedals of yesteryear such as units produced by Maestro and Mutron.

JEK_20140815_portfolio_1090800_BLENDED-Edit

The Paramix was a bear of build, mostly due to my ineptitude. Thanks to the guys over at GuitarPCB.com I was able to troubleshoot and get it working. They were a tremendous help. After a really specific round of troubleshooting instructions, I was able to find that one of the pins on the IC socket would not make contact with the circuit board. They advised me to stick a little jumper in there to make the pins make better contact.

In the end, the pedal works and sounds great. I put the two side by side as separate effects, mainly so I could place Envelope Filter anywhere in the effects loop chain. The Paramix does a brilliant job blending the wet and dry signals together and really brings out the low end in my filter. I can pretty much dial in the Isley’s Fight the Power tone instantaneously. Even better, it also unlocks the awesomely funky potential of the otherwise useless reverse sweep mod. Yay!