Archive for June, 2012

Work on the No Tomorrow is going well. I’ve given it a bit of an overhaul. After looking at quite a few dirt box schematics the distortion circuit is actually unintentionally similar to a heavily modded MXR distortion +.  After looking at the MXR’s circuit I have changed how the gain is set to mimic that… seems much nicer how they have done it and easier to specify an accurate maximum as resistors come in much more frequent values opposed to pots. I have got rid of the lofomofo speaker control and added a boost control to restore any perceived decrease in signal after the lofi filter has done its work. The lofi setting is also footswitchable and features 2 degrees of lofi-ness, which I haven’t quite decided on yet. I’m also using the Jack Ormans big muff tone control again. I have one space left for control, could have either a noise circuit for additional lofi-ness, or a toggle to change the hard clipping diodes between say LED’s and 1N4148’s, or a toggle to change between hard and soft clipping to give the circuit a feel a bit more like an overdrive in soft mode… Who knows, I’ll board it up and give it a test and try and decide for good, hopefully get some videos up too. Here’s another graphics mock up to give you a better idea of controls

And here is a very low res version of the revised circuit. Again I don’t want to uploaded it as it is in an unfinished state and will just cause annoyance for anybody in the future looking to build it. Just to give you an idea though:

No Tomorrow Update 4

Posted: June 21, 2012 in FX, No Tomorrow
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The No Tomorrow is starting to get rolling again, with a few pretty big changes. I’m going to ditch the sample rate reduction, which there is no denying was a major part of the pedal. In reality I’m not loving the distortion/crusher mix at all. In its place is going to be a fidelity control which will blend the distorted signal with the infamous  lofomofo circuit (will probably be modded to some degree), after the distortion, so any amount of lofi-ness will be available. I’m also getting rid of the separate variable high pass and low pass filters and replacing them with the standard Big Muff tone control. So here is a list of the new controls:

  • Gain
  • Starve
  • Tone
  • Volume
  • Mix (fidelity and speaker)
  • Speaker
  • Lofi/midfi toggle control to change the depth of the lofi setting

This pedal is defiantly becoming a very strange beast, but I’m loving the idea of a really lofi distortion, which is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I was heading towards a lofi fuzz route, but I think the No Tomorrow would benefit from that part of the circuit.  I’m also toying with the idea of reducing the hard clipping to soft clipping so that it has more of an overdrive feel to all out distortion, who knows.

Here’s an updated idea of the artwork:

As an after thought I would love make it into a cartridge for the Devi Ever Console II at some point (probably omitting the speaker control and fixing the fidelity to lofi).  Circuit to follow once I have finalised the values.

Here’s another demo of the Liquid Eclipse (Subdecay Liquid Sunshine clone I built for Steve).

A bit of a break

Posted: June 17, 2012 in General
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I’ve decided I’m going to take a bit of a break from building pedals for a while, due to a few factors which make building pedals in my free time that bit harder. There’s loads of reasons for me not going to be able to dedicate much time to it, one being we’re releasing a new robot at work which I’ll be busy programming the next few months which is a time when I’ll need to be pretty focused all day making building in the evenings much harder, followed by an even busier time when my partner Beth and I are getting a boxer puppy, so time then will be even tighter as I’ll be busy roaming the hills and picking up poo.

Building pedals is something I love doing but with everything else at the moment it is starting to piss me off a bit at times so a break is needed!

That said I am going to keep working on the No Tomorrow as and when I get a chance until I’m happy with it, at which time I will probably try building a few small batches of it. So other than progress on that, I may be a bit quiet for a while on the pedal front!

Liquid Eclipse Demo

Posted: June 15, 2012 in FX
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My good friend Steve has put a video up of the Subdecay Liquid Sunshine clone I built him as a one off:

As I’ve never played a Liquid Sunshine myself, and the circuit apparently changed a lot after Brian released the original onto the net, I have no idea if this is what a LS should sound like, but it sounded good for low gain stuff anyway!

Rock on Steve!

So this morning I had a brief conversation with Devi Ever over email regarding the Console 2 project. For those that don’t know about Devi or the Console check out the kickstarter here.

Basically the Console is an exciting new platform that is in effect a base unit that takes pedals in cartridge form. This is great as it allows many builders to produce pedals for far cheaper (no 3PDT’s, no input jacks, no 9v input or battery snap, no drilling, no painting etc) and it looks cool. I’d basically commented that when I finally get the No Tomorrow up and running I may do a cartridge version for the console, and Devi was keen to add me to the ever-growing developers list (some great names on there). As it is I’m not going to commit to producing a cartridge of the No Tomorrow – I  don’t even have it up and running yet, but when I do who knows…  The thing is, I haven’t even finalised the features of the pedal, yet alone the circuit, so it is hard to commit to squeezing it all within one of those cartridges. Plus, at the moment I’m finding it hard to dedicate much time to 0xd FX.

Best of luck to Devi with the Console, it looks cracking and there are some great developers on board. I have my personal reservations about it as a gigging tool, but for bedroom and studio use it is looking truly excellent!

Here’s a quick one-off, I built a Subdecay Liquid Sunshine for a friend based on that old Liquid Sunshine schematic that is floating around on the web. It has an internally switchable feedback loop and it sounds pretty nice (once you have biased the FETS well!). I’m not really an overdrive kind of guy, but for low gain stuff this is very nice. It’s a little way off of the LS that is on the shelves as apparently Brian Marshall made lots of tweaks and mods to this circuit before releasing the LS. So far I’m liking it with singles a bit better than hummers, and with the feedback loop engaged. It’s not the kind of thing you fiddle with, but if you did want to you could put a toggle switch as a control to take it in and out of the circuit. The circuit and vero layout is readily available on the net, I added in a resistor for the LED but that was about it. I must say I am a huge fan of the black powder coated enclosures (thanks to Doctor Tweek!), just be careful if you use a uni bit to drill the holes as mine slightly countersunk the LED mount hole which obviously removed the paint, forcing me to use a nut on the outside to cover up!