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Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:46 pm

Hi guys, any of you into making pedals at all?
I’m after something seemingly simple that doesn’t seem to exist at a decent price or in the exact format I want.
I need a single channel bypass looper/fx looper/AB pedal or whatever you want to call it with a volume boost control.
I’ve found a few with passive volume so I can turn down but I need the boost and it needs to be in compact pedal format and have an led.
I’ve found a few diagrams for the looper and a few for a booster but don’t know how to combine them.

Has anyone ever built anything like this?

The reason I need this is that I have a trem pedal that I love but the tap tempo is only accessed by holding the pedal for 5 seconds but then you can’t switch it off unless you hold for another 5 seconds.
The plan is to keep it always on and on tap tempo mode and use the bypass looper to engage the effect. The boost would be to combat the perceived volume drop when using a tremolo pedal.

Cheers,
Chris
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby James Perrett » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:14 pm

If you make up a splitter lead to split the signal two ways you could use somethiing like

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Bypass/FY4

to select either the direct signal or the tremolo signal. Both signal levels can be adjusted. If the tremolo isn't loud enough just turn down the direct signal on this pedal and turn up the amp a little.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:34 pm

Boss LS-2

Does exactly what you want.

Longest serving pedal on my board...
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:52 pm

Yup, put the passive attenuator in the direct signal path (with a treble bleed maybe) is the simplest way but I'd have thought it would be better to buy a different tremolo that doesn't reduce the average volume (they all must have a gain stage built in).
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:10 pm

James Perrett wrote:If you make up a splitter lead to split the signal two ways you could use somethiing like

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Bypass/FY4

to select either the direct signal or the tremolo signal. Both signal levels can be adjusted. If the tremolo isn't loud enough just turn down the direct signal on this pedal and turn up the amp a little.


That's good thinking. Are Belcat reliable these days? I had a Belcat overdrive years ago and it lasted a matter of days!
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:10 pm

Humble Bee wrote:Boss LS-2

Does exactly what you want.

Longest serving pedal on my board...

Ahh of course! Can't believe I overlooked it.
Having said that I find the height of Boss pedals make them a bit cumbersome and I wouldn't mind something with a lower profile due to it's potential space on the board and it maybe not fitting into its bag.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:12 pm

Get a new pair of Chelsea boots as well. It will make you feel better! ;)
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:14 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Yup, put the passive attenuator in the direct signal path (with a treble bleed maybe) is the simplest way but I'd have thought it would be better to buy a different tremolo that doesn't reduce the average volume (they all must have a gain stage built in).

Unfortunately most Tremolo pedals in my price range don't have this feature. There is no actual drop in volume, just that part of the signal is missing, tricking you into thinking there's a drop. my current one fits the bill as I'm not a massive user of it but it's very good at what it does but I think I'd use it more if I could use it in the way described.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:16 pm

I'd simply get a different and less ridiculous trem pedal. HTH.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:25 pm

Wonks wrote:I'd simply get a different and less ridiculous trem pedal. HTH.

Not really. Can you suggest one?
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:34 pm

gingertimmins wrote:That's good thinking. Are Belcat reliable these days? I had a Belcat overdrive years ago and it lasted a matter of days!
I have two of those belcat pedals, well, the insides thereof, built into a homemade casing, and they've been completely reliable for me.

And whilst we're on belcat and cheap tremolos, I've got one of these as well: https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Pedal/1S6S
Which does the job fine for me, but you may have higher standards. :)
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:52 pm

blinddrew wrote:
gingertimmins wrote:That's good thinking. Are Belcat reliable these days? I had a Belcat overdrive years ago and it lasted a matter of days!
I have two of those belcat pedals, well, the insides thereof, built into a homemade casing, and they've been completely reliable for me.

And whilst we're on belcat and cheap tremolos, I've got one of these as well: https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-B ... Pedal/1S6S
Which does the job fine for me, but you may have higher standards. :)

Thanks drew, I need tap tempo on my tremolo and don't have the money to spend much on a pedal that isn't used that much. My thinking is that for under 25 quid I could build this bypass looper and have me a tremolo pedal that gives me all of the function that I need until I decide that I love tremolo enough to drop 250 quid on a tremotron (awesome pedal but far beyond what I need!)
I've just come across the TC electronic pipeline which is cool, has tap tempo by holding the pedal for 1.5 seconds but reverts back to standard switch operation if untouched for a bit. Seems a fair compromise but at 75 quid is a bit more than I can warrant at the moment.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Humble Bee » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:53 pm

Tremolo pedals are precious things when you get to like them and if you like yours keep it and work around it.

Tremolo does rob a bit of energy it's true but most of the time in a live situation it rarely poses any problems. Just live with it. For tracking in the studio it's obviously never an issue.

I have gone through a good 10-15 different tremolo pedals in my days and out of the 3 I kept; Strymon Flint, T-Rex tremster and yes the Boss TR-2 only the T-Rex have a level setting but I never missed it on the others.

But if it does bother you get the LS-2 and get used to it. It's one of these pedals that doesn't make any sound, but it's so versatile and practical when playing live that it has never left my setup.

I have two and I bought them used for around €50.

Switching between fx with fine level tuning. Solo volume boost adding fx or not (I have a pog and a slap delay in one loop for this purpose)

People are so comfortable these days and I consider myself lucky that I don't have to lug around a B3 or an ampeg. Or a Drumkit for that matter.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:55 pm

gingertimmins wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Yup, put the passive attenuator in the direct signal path (with a treble bleed maybe) is the simplest way but I'd have thought it would be better to buy a different tremolo that doesn't reduce the average volume (they all must have a gain stage built in).

Unfortunately most Tremolo pedals in my price range don't have this feature. There is no actual drop in volume, just that part of the signal is missing, tricking you into thinking there's a drop. my current one fits the bill as I'm not a massive user of it but it's very good at what it does but I think I'd use it more if I could use it in the way described.

TBF I found that with Wah pedals. You can buy an excellent clean boost pedal (like this https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/TC-Electronic-Spark-Booster-Mini/T7A?origin=product-ads&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxtTOttLI3wIVbZPtCh2I7gzNEAQYASABEgKGEfD_BwE) for the price of a half decent pub meal, make a simple loop pedal and use one in series with the trem?
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:05 am

Humble Bee wrote:Tremolo pedals are precious things when you get to like them and if you like yours keep it and work around it.

Tremolo does rob a bit of energy it's true but most of the time in a live situation it rarely poses any problems. Just live with it. For tracking in the studio it's obviously never an issue.

I have gone through a good 10-15 different tremolo pedals in my days and out of the 3 I kept; Strymon Flint, T-Rex tremster and yes the Boss TR-2 only the T-Rex have a level setting but I never missed it on the others.

But if it does bother you get the LS-2 and get used to it. It's one of these pedals that doesn't make any sound, but it's so versatile and practical when playing live that it has never left my setup.

I have two and I bought them used for around €50.

Switching between fx with fine level tuning. Solo volume boost adding fx or not (I have a pog and a slap delay in one loop for this purpose)

People are so comfortable these days and I consider myself lucky that I don't have to lug around a B3 or an ampeg. Or a Drumkit for that matter.

Yeah, I really love what I hear some people do with tremolo so I'm trying to get me a slice of that pie!

Sam Spoons wrote:
gingertimmins wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Yup, put the passive attenuator in the direct signal path (with a treble bleed maybe) is the simplest way but I'd have thought it would be better to buy a different tremolo that doesn't reduce the average volume (they all must have a gain stage built in).

Unfortunately most Tremolo pedals in my price range don't have this feature. There is no actual drop in volume, just that part of the signal is missing, tricking you into thinking there's a drop. my current one fits the bill as I'm not a massive user of it but it's very good at what it does but I think I'd use it more if I could use it in the way described.

TBF I found that with Wah pedals. You can buy an excellent clean boost pedal (like this https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/TC-Electronic-Spark-Booster-Mini/T7A?origin=product-ads&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxtTOttLI3wIVbZPtCh2I7gzNEAQYASABEgKGEfD_BwE) for the price of a half decent pub meal, make a simple loop pedal and use one in series with the trem?
That was an initial thought but I really don't think it will fit on my board. We're talking a few mm and it may squeeze on but one pedal to serve both purposes would be preferable.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Humble Bee » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:07 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
TBF I found that with Wah pedals.

I have found this as well. More with wah pedals than tremolos.

The solution I have found is this:

http://www.glab.com.pl/index.php/en/pro ... h-pad-tbwp

I doesn't only make switching the wah much simpler in a live situation but, since it is a sort of momentary loop pedal, also to ad a boost or overdrive pedal to the deal making any level or intensity concerns manageable.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:33 pm

Interesting but it doesn't address the gain issue.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby ef37a » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:13 pm

I would not be at all surprised to find Mr Orchid doing a wee box with 20dB or so of adjustable gain. If so you can be pretty sure the specs will be close that which physics allows!

The height of pedals issue comes up quite frequently and I am surprised no pedal box owner has come up with the obvious solution? A selection of pieces of MDF of various thicknesses clad in Velcro. Thus pedals can be levelled up to match the highest in the box.

Those that know of my last doings will know the reasons for my interest and the pedals were reviewed in the Hallowed Pages a few years ago.

Dave.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby gingertimmins » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:21 pm

ef37a wrote:I would not be at all surprised to find Mr Orchid doing a wee box with 20dB or so of adjustable gain. If so you can be pretty sure the specs will be close that which physics allows!

The height of pedals issue comes up quite frequently and I am surprised no pedal box owner has come up with the obvious solution? A selection of pieces of MDF of various thicknesses clad in Velcro. Thus pedals can be levelled up to match the highest in the box.

Those that know of my last doings will know the reasons for my interest and the pedals were reviewed in the Hallowed Pages a few years ago.

Dave.

My height issue is slightly different, the boss unit would sit at the back of my board but it’s height means it’s a real squeeze getting it into its bag.
A bit of an oversight when I built my board. If I could relocate the pedal to the front it would be ok but the front of the board is filled with pedals that need easy access.
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Re: Self build fx looper with boost

Postby Humble Bee » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:14 pm

What board do you have?
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