deets pedals (part two)

the hardest part about building a pedal is making everything fit inside the box. this is the most critical part. one wrong drilled hole and it goes in the trash.

here we have the switch, the input and output jacks and an led light.

then we add the volume knob, circuit board and 9v hookup. this little guy will have no battery hookup because, a) batteries suck. b) look at how small this thing is. you couldn't fit a battery if you tried. i was pretty impressed with this one.

and here she is all closed up and ready to plug in.

and here she is fired up for the first time. no sparks or smoke so i guess it works. that wasn't the case for the other two. look at that light shine.

here is a look at the first three in the collection. they're all boosters and they all sound awesome. simply put, they go from a clean volume boost to a low gain distortion. what's interesting about these boosts is that they change the impedance of your guitar so you're actually sending more juice to the amp. when you start hearing distortion, that's no chip or circuit working it's magic. it's actually your tubes breaking up because it can't handle what is being thrown at it, much like turning up the volume to ten on a tube amp. people report tubes actually shattering when these things are cranked all the way, and older sets of tubes just dying in minutes. but as a clean boost, it makes your pickups hotter which gives you a more solid low end and and more chime on the top. just a more articulate sound overall. that's how i like em. just turn them up a little and never turn them off. the one i make for myself will not have an off switch. i love this crap.

song of the month

crap. no name country dudes from the 70's will never stop getting to me.

deets pedals (part one)

i'm not a big fan of guitar pedals because they cost so much. i bought three of them in 1997 and have had them ever since. but because i'm playing guitar for the cmg band, i needed a booster pedal to boost up my volume for my sweet solos. so i bought one and it cost me like $200. they retail at $315. what a drag. so opened up this thing to put in a battery and inside the pedal was the smallest circuit board i have ever seen. now i'm thinking $200 for this? i just got ripped off.

but reading into it, you're paying for the idea and circuit design. good enough. but if you read further you realize that there are only a handful of original designs when it comes to guitar circuits. so all these pedals you see are just variations of an original idea. mostly separated by a few changes in the values of resistors, ect..., which change the sound ever so slightly.

so that means all these pedal makers are hacks. and i know for certain that i'm a hack. so i went out and got a bunch of electric components to whip up a little something of my own.
so what i did was download some schematics of some pedals i liked or thought would be cool and started trying to understand how they work. i knew this would take me a long while so i started on the artwork which is really the raddest part anyways.

i used water slide decal paper and just printed out some designs. waterslide decal paper is the best. i never knew it existed. you want to put some shit on a mug or on a model train, check this stuff out.

i found a lot of people making clones of famous boost circuits. so i figure i'd go the cloning route to kick it off. so the first two circuits i'm building are rooted in the mxr "microamp"

and the zvex "super hard on."

simple and sweet. real basic electronics going on here. a handful of parts and now we have a circuit.

got a few aluminum cases, drilled holes, painted them white and put my decals on them and coated them clear. introducing the deets "little man" and the limited edition "blunt mechanic krackle" made for ben barnett. if anybody needs a boost for solo's, it's that dude.

so the next step is to wire these dudes up and pray that they work.

wine (part 2)

holy crap. fermentation is done. i might have let it run a little too long actually. i take the rotten juice and fruit and throw it into this torture device. it's called a press and that's what it was born to do.

so the press squeezes the crap out of the fruit to get every last drop of wine. notice the screen filter. this is to filter out all the creatures that died when i was stomping my grapes. crickets, spiders, and tons of fruit flies are another reason why wine tastes so good.

it's all about funnels. all that juice into this glass bottle.

then you slap a water trap cap thing on the top and let this thing fart out carbon dioxide for a few months and let the dying yeast settle to the bottom. party at my house in a couple of months. stay tuned.

wine (part 1)

i know this is supposed to be a blog about music but i wanted to show a bit of the wine making process for this year. i started making homemade fruit wine a couple of years ago because it sounded fun. i think i'll do it every year until i die. nothing is better than making wine. maybe because it's such an ancient tradition and i'm totally into antiquing. so here's a bit of a window into my process.

you get a couple of coolers and go down and get your grapes from 100 year old italian dudes. they laugh at you when you bring down coolers. usually there are a bunch of tough looking guys filling the beds of their pickup trucks with grapes. this year was no exception. they get meaner and hairier every year.

i picked up 81 pounds of shiraz grapes because i was missing australlia. i will dedicate this batch to brisbane. by the way, wine grapes taste way better than table grapes like 100%. i don't know what grocery stores are thinking.
so next i throw all the grapes into a new trashcan and have my way with them. i eat a lot of them as i'm smashing those little homies.

i had to add a lot of water because these little guys were way overripe. then i add the yeast and let this thing breathe for a while. it looks gross right now. the yeast will make it even grosser.