New Toys, May They Grow Up To Be Stompboxes

I recently “finished” my first attempt at wiring up my inaugural electronic creation, a true bypass loop box with an adjustable feedback control. I used a schematic I found on the Beavis Audio Research site (thanks Dano!), slightly modded to add one additional LED in series and using a DPDT for the feedback switch instead of SPDT (I had planned on wiring one of the LEDs to it so was going to use the second pole, but then I realized it’ll look a lot cooler if both eyes are red instead of just one).

I’m calling it the Red Eye because of the art on the box and my clever LED configuration. Of course since this was my first project, it doesn’t work.  The red LED’s light up and it works in bypass but nothing else, so I guess I’ve got some troubleshooting ahead of me.

Once I finally get it working, my hope is to use it to run my Boss DD-6 through it semi-permanently.  You see, the DD-6 is a great unit with a lot of possibilities and potential, but one fatal flaw – it’s tap tempo control is activated by holding down the footswitch for 2 seconds.  While you hold down the switch the effect is already engaged (at the currently set rate). Once you’re in tap and you set your rate, then you have to hold down the switch for another 2 seconds, which disengages the tap but leaves the effect on, and once tap is disengaged you can stomp the switch again to turn the effect off.  So tapping with the effect disengaged is impossible, which means if you don’t want a mess of ill-timed repeats while you set the effect you pretty much have to stop playing for 10-15 seconds.

Adding the Red Eye will let me leave the effect in tap mode semi-permanently (or at least for most of a gig) and turn the effect on and off independently, so I can then tap out the new tempos with the effect turned off.  Then the additional switchable variable feedback loop would let me conjure up infinite repeats (and hopefully induce DD-6 self-oscillation) on command.  That is if I can get it all working (hopefully that happens before the next 3052 gig)…

In other news, I’ve just received my Tube Screamer clone kit from JD Sleep’s General Guitar Gadgets site, and I’ll be trying to tackle that soon.  Hopefully I won’t screw it up.


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