Archive for the ‘Volume War’ Category

Volume War Finished!

Posted: November 30, 2011 in FX, Volume War
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The Volume War is also finished (phew what a busy week!). Well I say finished, but I’m still lacquering the base, but that will be done tonight so I’m classing it as near as dammit! You can’t see from the pics that the LED is blue when it is on (rhythm) and red when off (solo).

I have been busy the last few evenings sanding, cleaning and priming the enclosures for this trio of bad boys, and also preparing the overlays. All is going well so far, just waiting on the colours to arrive now so that next week the pedals can all be coloured, decals applied, lacquered and then populated. Pretty exiting times! I also got in a few more bits from Doctor Tweek, check him out if your from the UK and looking to buy some pedal parts. His site is great for buying the gear for one-off pedal builds, and he has thought of a hell of a lot, from components to finishers and tools! So the plan is to hopefully have working finished versions of all three pedals within the next 10 days or so, that is if Skyward Sword doesn’ take up too much time!

Edit  – 17/11/11: Well the postman has been to work and I’m STILL waiting for the paints to arrive! As they are coming to my work address that means all prgress is off until next Wednesday, when I’m next in. This takes the record for slowest enclosure paint job in history!

Here’s the finished artwork for the Volume War. I have modified the logo a bit, and made the background fully opaque. The reason I  had it semi transparent before is that when I print onto waterslip I have to use draft printer settings to avoid too much ink getting onto the paper and smudging, and this makes the colours look a bit translucent as more white of the paper gets through. I think this was the right overlay to go for, the others were a bit confusing/dull/irrelevant. I did love the Ikaruga overlays, but hell I may do an Ikargua themed ‘Bullet Hell’ pedal in the future… hopefully painting will start on the Leech and Morse Device tonight (providing the primer turns up)!

These were the final contenders, and some of them may surface at some point, who knows! It was great designing them, I love the hand drawn looking pedals but I also love using pre-existing images like these. The grahics are from (left to right) : Advance Wars (DS), Ikaruga (Gamecube version), Ikaruga (Gamecube version), Strikers 1945 (Arcade), Ikaruga (Gamecube version),  Ikaruga (Gamecube version), Ikaruga (Gamecube version), Dynablaster (Arcade) and Xenon 2 (Amiga).

After a very relevant comment about the tanks facing the wrong direction, I have decided to add some vertical Ikaruga overlays to the mix! I’ve also made the Advance Wars logo (the one contour version) a bit more vibrant. What’s the consensus?

And how many contours on the logo:

1

1

2

2

3

3

So in the end I didn’t go with Advance Wars inspired art work, I have gone with an actual Advance Wars background! Well, here it is.

Three contours
The knob is going to be a bright red Davies style knob, and the enclosure is going to be pearl white, with this overlaid on the top. The LED is going to be a two bi-colour LED, thinking blue for rhythm, red for solo. I’m pretty happy with this overlay to be honest, I love the 8/16 bit era, and while Advance Wars wasn’t from this era it took a lot from it. Anyhow,  I’m pretty sure the Gameboy Advance was 16 bit…

So I have been having this idea for a pedal for a while that is really basic. There are already loads of pedals out there that do a similar job to this, but most in a subtly different way.

Basically I want a pedal that boosts my volume during solos and drops me back for rhythm. For me though a traditional volume pedal is no good – I don’t want to change my sound, I just want it louder. Using a volume pedal or a clean boost will blow this, as it will change the signal the pre-amp is getting therefore altering the tone when the input signal is at different levels. So the solution has to lie in after the pre-amp.

I think Award-session do this best with their solo booster pedal. This sits in the FX loop and acts as a secondary volume that reduces the volume getting fed to the power amp (you set it up so when it is off you have your “boosted” volume, and when it is on you have your rhythm volume), therefore not altering the main tone produced by the pre-amp, but creating 2 switchable volume levels. It is a great idea reducing power amp volume rather than boosting, and one I’m surprised more people don’t embrace. By the way check out Award-sessions Cleartone cables – they are a bit of a gem for a great price.

This is going to be housed in a Hammond 1590A, it will be passive but have and option to use a LED to indicate when the pedal is NOT engaged (i.e. in solo mode) and the name is inspired by those jams where each guitarist (bassist or whatever) constantly cranks his own volume a bit so in the end both players get increasingly louder until they can’t hear each other talk and they have reached the point of utter bnoxiousness ! The pedal is also likely to take a bit of an artistic nod from Advance Wars (google it if you are unfamiliar, or just look below for an idea!) and in an ideal world I would love an LED bar graph to show the current rhythm volume (compared to solo) kind of like a defcon meter, but in all honesty it probably won’t be feasible in  the enclosure (seriously just squeezing in one 3dpt, 2 jacks, a 9v power socket and a pot can be tight enough).

Advance wars image

First things first though is to get the first Leech and Morse Device painted, decaled and operational!