As I said before sometimes you can't win them all, but that doesn't mean you should cease persevering. The initial results of my Runoff Groove Umble clone (I've dubbed the Humble) were nowhere near what I had hoped for. Since biasing JFETs was new to me I wasn't shocked, I was just disappointed. Things looked bleak at first, I was lost and confused about how I was ever going to make it work. I knew I had come this far and I wasn't about to let it go under any circumstance. Sure, I'm an idiot and I made mistakes but I decided to sit down and try to fix it the best I could. I think I've learned a lot along the way and the end results are far better than where I was before. I've learned to never give up on something you're passionate about, and keep trying to do the right thing and make it better. Eventually you'll get there.
|Truly Humbled by this build, but the results are worth it.|
This redemption spurred on my desire to fix up a few of my older builds that had some minor issues. Both my LPB-1 and Boss OD-1 clones had wandering transistors that needed to be addressed. Initially I used sockets to test which transistor(s) sounded best in those pedal builds, but once the pedals were enclosed in their aluminum homes I noticed they didn't always want to work. While investigating the situation I found the transistors had wandered loose and needed pushed back into their socket to make the pedal work again. Instead of removing the sockets I decided just tacking one leg of the transistor onto the socket would keep it from wandering out of place. Voila! Job done.
Technically all the pedals I've built are functional, but some do have issues that require more involved troubleshooting than even the Humble pedal did. My initial feelings when I test a new build are a mixture of hope and the understanding that there might be an issue, so I need to try and troubleshoot with a clear mind if it doesn't work the first try. Sometimes I've had to rebuild the board all over again, sometimes I've wanted to throw the whole project into a woodchipper, promptly followed by myself, but that doesn't solve the problem. I just take a breath or two, sit back down and make sure it's wired correctly, then go over some basics that I know I can solve right away.
As for progress forward, well that's a bit of a dicey situation. I originally planned 2022 as a relaxed year where I would only build half a dozen pedals that I really need to build and spend the summer actually using them to create some music. That, however, is not exactly how things are shaping up. My original to build list consisted of the LandTone Centaur clone, my Blues Master (Bluesbreaker clone), my Rata Blanca (Rat clone), an EQD Disaster Transport Jr. delay clone, a Rub-a-dub Reverb Deluxe clone and another pedal I'm not going to discuss yet, as it will get its own post once it's done. Since four of the six pedals I planned to build came together so quickly I figure I could add more pedals to my list. So far I've added two pedals to the list, one of which I'm planning to mix two pedals together to make one.
One of the newly added pedals has already been built. I wasn't sure at first whether I wanted to build it, but because it really didn't need that many parts I figured I may as well. Thus, the Shoe Pedals Pixel clone was born. I'm not a big fan of fuzz, but I am a big fan of vintage video games and this pedal brings them both together. It took me a little while to get that 8-bit sound dialed in, but when I did I was very impressed. Not only that but it actually has a very useful fuzz hidden in there, which is kind of changing the way I feel about fuzz as an affect.
|Part of the Class of 2022: Blues Master, Rata Blanca and Disaster Delay.|
I still have a few projects to start and I'll get to them when the time is right. I have some ideas where I'm going to try modifying and mixing together a few pedals to build a kind of unique design of my own making, and a few other pedals I want to take the time and get them done right. Trust me, regardless of how those plans work out I'll be posting the results here as either tales of success or yet another cautionary tale of my failure. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it all goes. Wish me luck!