NAMM Diary - Day 2 of Show January 26 2018
Still on east coast time with my internal clock. Going into today, I want to check out the other guys' pedals in my booth. I also want to spend time talking with Paolo, our organizer. He's a great guy and works incredibly hard to put all this together.
Today was pretty good. Got to walk around and see some of Hall E. The DBA guys have some really great pedals out this year. Fewer people at our booth were serious about looking at pedals. Matt from Mattoverse had a lot of people checking out his stuff today, so it was good to see folks liking his stuff. I got to blast my ears some with the Launch Code with a bass feeding. Lots of fun seeing what can be done with the clean blend control.
NAMM Diary - Day 1 of Show January 25 2018
Stranger in a strange land...
Since this is my first time here, I'm trying to get acclimated. One thing I don't like is all the contradictory info available. Show opens at 10, but exhibitors can meet with sellers for appointments between 8 and 10, but no mention of how to do that. Breakfast starts at 8:30, and people are already lining up (it's 7:30). Must be one fine damn breakfast. If your badge gets lost or destroyed, it's $100 to get it replaced, so be careful! All being equal, I'm really excited to get in and get going. The Hilton is a beautiful building.
Need to procure some coffee, water and fruit or something healthy to eat, post haste. Too much poisons from airport food yesterday.
This is probably a better experience after you link up with folks at the show, the packs seem happier than the looks of desperation on the faces of the lone wolves. I'm a people watcher, so this is like Christmas. And chain wallet guys sound like reindeer bells.
Side note, Bjorn that does designs for Bearfoot, One Control, etc. was on my flight from Chicago to Santa Ana. You can recognize him from a mile away, he looks like a rocker Skellen Skarsgard. Didnt get to talk to him. Havent seen anyone else i recognize yet.
NAMM on drugs would be the worst experience anyone could ever have. Sensory overload, start to finish. Briefly got in line for breakfast, but decided against it since I'm still carrying my equipment around. Need to make a store run tonight. You forget all of your hardbaked traveler instincts with all this stimulation. Camping or otherwise, source fresh water, secure reliable and easy food, set up your base of operations, map out all the usuals (bathrooms, entrance / exits, etc.) Tap water in Anaheim turns to dust apparently. I kid you not, my clothes iron started spitting out sand-like dust this morning. Need a filtering water bottle.
I pulled a 24 hour work marathon before leaving to go to NAMM and during that I listened to Let it Beep by Royal Bangs. A lot. Like, too much. The whole album is still playing on repeat in my brain.
So, it's 2:49pm. Been in the booth all day, met some really great people. Folks are having the predictable reaction to Launch Code. People that like synths, fuzz, and nontraditional sounds like it. Lawyer rockers are scared by it. Oliver from DBA came by, filmed a demo of his new gear, and tried out my stuff, Mattoverse's, and Main Ace's. Really nice guy. Here's the thing about the pedal industry. It's so insane because it doesn't appear to be bound by traditional market pressures, and it is a crowded market, but the people I've met don't view each other as competition. We all get excited for each other and we're all just trying to get by. No one is planning to get rich at their peer's expense.
Night now, end of day 1. Walking on the sidewalk in Anaheim, it's so strange to see folks smoking weed in the open. Imagine if it was decriminalized across the nation, all the people no longer serving time for non violent offenses, increased tax revenue. I digress, there are plenty of arguments for and against, but it does add to the other worldly feel of Anaheim during NAMM. Disney's monorail, Tower of Terror peeking over the hedges, castles, sound and people everywhere.
Didn't get out much, but here's my favorites of the day...new picks coming from Dunlop are AWESOME, modular synth section was amazing, some new Ibanez guitars are nice. Want to try out my neighbors' pedals tomorrow, they all look amazing.
Grubhub is doing the Lord's work btw...Day and Nite Tacos delivered to my room.
NAMM 2018 Diary - Day 1 (travel) January 24 2018
Exhausted, and the plane hasn't even left the ground.
One of the bad parts about creating something like effect pedals is you agonize over designs for months and months and you settle on a sound and function set, and then you're stricken by inspiration at the 11th hour and it throws your notions on their head. That has been the case with Launch Code.
I had originally designed it with one set of features and a very specific sound in mind, and then as NAMM was approaching I was spending time in the workshop listening to music and certain textures gave me thoughts about how I could change the circuit and go a completely different direction.
Launch Code was originally a comparator fuzz with selectable waveforms (triangle and square), octave up switch, and gating control. The other half of the pedal was an oscillator that the player could tune but it was only mixed with the guitar when you held down a momentary switch. It also used the guitar signal to drive a vactrol that could cause the oscillation pitch to drift. That version sat on the breadboard for a long, long time, being periodically tweaked and messed with. It's still on a breadboard. The original concept' s inception came from watching a friend set off a toy ray gun beside his guitar pickups. I thought it would be cool to do that all within a pedal. The footswitch would act like an air raid siren.
Then, one morning I was getting ready and out of the blue the song Girl by Beck got stuck in my head. I liked the cheesy chirpy synth line and had the idea that it would be cool to make a guitar sound like that without midi pickups or digital pitch tracking. So, I literally went back to the drawing board in the months leading up to NAMM and redesigned the circuit. I know a pedal's hitting the sweet spot when I'm wasting way too much time playing with the prototype, and that's what happened with Launch Code. Unfortunately, that meant a lot of long hours leading up to the show. So, while I'm worn the hell out, I'm stoked for people to try out the new boxes. This long flight / layovers will give me a chance to sleep anyway.
Update - halfway through Chicago layover. So. Bored. Though I have become the God-king of gate C16 due to my multiple power strips brought for the show.
Sat next to a guy on the way up from Charlotte that talked about how electric guitars don't matter (acoustic instruments are the only ones where workmanship shines through). Sigh.
Side note - Wendy's breakfast is truly a treat if you can ever get it. They have this sandwich that has eggs, cheese and tomato and it is so good. A pleasant break from normal fast food breakfast fare. I missed Wendy's breakfast in the terminal by 15 minutes this morning.
Landed in Anaheim, checked into my motel and promptly passed out. Let's go, NAMM DAY 1!
Winter NAMM 2018, here we come!!! January 17 2018
We're going to be at Winter NAMM this year, booth #3231. As such, orders between 1/24 and 1/29 may be delayed to ship until 1/30. If you are at the NAMM show, come find us in Hall D. Look for the guy with a big red beard and awesome pedals, can't miss 'em! When you get there, try out our two newest pedals!!!
Launch Code is a synthy fuzzy crazy pedal. I think you'll enjoy bleep blooping the time away with it.
Next, we have a distortion that'll rip more faces than an ill advised halfipipe session, Asphalt Lunch
I've had a ton of fun designing these boxes of mayhem, so come on by if you're in sunny Anaheim next week and check them out!
2017.11.26 News Feed November 26 2017Pedal giveaways, new 2018 models, and NAMM, oh my!!!
2016.11.27 News Feed November 27 2016Cyber Monday Deals! Use the code "CYBERMONDAY2016" to get a custom etched pedal for the price of a stock one. This is an insane deal, and it's for one day only! Happy holidays!
2016.09.05 News Feed September 05 2016
Adieu, Adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow...
We are discontinuing a few of our older pedals to make way for new units in late 2016 / early 2017. We are not building any more Weird Beard, Dirty Old Man version 1, and Fuzzy Memory version 1 pedals, and remaining stock will be listed on clearance on our Reverb.com store (check it out here). This is your opportunity to scoop up some awesome pedals up at a killer price!
Speaking of new pedals, we've got several cooking in the lab right now. We can't give any more details at this time, but needless to say, we're super excited for the new year.
The Carolina Guitar Show was awesome, and we loved getting to meet some people and have a lot of folks try out pedals. We're going to have a Butch drive pedal and a Science Friction delay up at the Brooklyn Stompbox Exhibit on September 10-11 at Main Drag Music. You can get more details on the show here. Bring your guitar, it's guaranteed to be a good time! The other exciting news I have is we're getting some boxes sent out to our friends at Gear Gods for some shootout videos, starting with the Dirty Old Man 2. Needless to say, we're all a-buzz with excitement. More to come on that in the near future.
2016.08.26 News Feed August 26 2016It's that time of year again...the Carolina Guitar Show! Come down and hang out with us, try out some pedals, and drool over the "eye candy" guitars that will be on display. It's always guaranteed to be a good time! All the pedals in our store will be 15% off at the show, and that discount is extended to web orders as well. Use the code "GUITARSHOW" to get the discount at checkout.
2016.02.20 News Feed February 20 2016
New Year, New Pedals!
At the South Carolina Guitar Show on February 27 and 28, we'll be releasing three new pedals for you fine folks to try out! First up, a new pedal for 2016, SCIENCE FRICTION!
We've always loved the sounds you can get through unorthodox pedal placement in your chain, and one of our favorite is placing a reverb or delay before a dirt pedal and hear how the decay affects the distorted tone. This pedal features a delay fed into a distortion circuit, however we tweaked the range of the time control (Space) so that you can even get reverb sounds with it. You can also crank down the Mix control and use the pedal as a regular distortion, or bring down the Drive control and use the pedal as a regular delay, with the added benefit of uncontrolled oscillations being clipped by the distortion circuit. We can't wait for you to try it out and see how much fun you can have!
Next, we have the second version of the FUZZY MEMORY delay...
This is another pedal designed for FUN. A refined buffer section was added to reduce the "tone suck" that's pretty common with delay pedals, and the filtering section was also refined to give beautiful, warm repeats. The real fun starts with the momentary footswitch and the Birth/Death control. In Birth position, the momentary allows you to swell the repeats out of control. In Death position, the momentary acts as a killswitch, allowing you to create rhythmic patterns that then get fed through the delay circuit, giving you all kinds of unique sound creation opportunities.
Lastly, the DIRTY OLD MAN circuit was redesigned from the ground up to give that same awesome drive sound and almost limitless tonal options, but now with a lower noise floor and footswitchable gain settings. Now you can set a mild overdrive for your rhythm sound, and a higher gain setting for leads, and switch them on the fly. It's just a really good-sounding, versatile drive pedal, now made even more flexible.
So come on out to the SC Guitar Show in Spartanburg on February 27 and 28 and try out these and other awesome pedals!
More info on the SC Guitar Show below...
2015.10.25 News Feed October 25 2015
THE HALLOWEEN SALE IS UP AND RUNNING! NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 1!
All version 1 family pedals (Weird Beard, Dirty Old Man, Fuzzy Memory) are 30% off! I'm making some room for the new versions that are getting ready to come out, so these have GOT TO GO. Use the discount code HALLOW15 to get the discount applied in cart. This is only good for items that are in stock, so first come, first served.
Also, get FREE SHIPPING on any item in the store with the discount code HALLOWSHIP
2015.10.16 News Feed October 16 2015
Howdy, long time no see!
Sorry I've been so quiet on the digital media and website fronts, I've been keeping busy!
I've been exploring adding a new product line to the site...speaker cabs. This is mainly out of necessity, I was having a hard time finding a good open back 1x15" guitar cab to pair with my rig, so I figured I could build a few myself and see if anyone wants one. Will have them up on the store soon if anyone is interested.
Quietly Playing with Yourself...
Having a little one sleeping in the room adjacent to my studio has presented problems when it comes time to squeeze in some jam or pedal testing time. As a result I've been on a gear journey to find a way to get great tone while keeping noise to a minimum. I have done digital modelers in the past, and I don't want to go that route this time (in fact, I have been selling off most of my digital units from the studio lately, shipped a Tonelab LE and a Digitech RP1000 this week). Since I'm sure I'm not the only one going through this (if you have apartment neighbors, kids, time constraints, etc.), I'll be making a series of videos to share my experience. I'm dubbing them "Adventures in Quiet", and should start in the next week. A sample of the units I will be testing in a quiet playing set up...
- Various tube amps with speaker loads
- Blackstar HT Dist
- AMT F1
- AMT V1
- AMT O2
- AMT S1
- Carl Martin AC Tone (the big one)
- Joe Meek GBQ
- Randall RG13
- Radial Tonebone Classic
- Tech 21 Character series
- Leeds v2
- British v2
- Electro Harmonix EHX Tortion
I'll test these units with their own speaker emulation as well as some standalone speaker emulators. Should be fun!
So, the release of Fuzzy Memory v2 was pushed back a bit to incorporate more bells and whistles so you can get more bang for your buck. It will be released during the upcoming Halloween sale though, so keep an eye out.
Speaking of which, Halloween sale coming soon! More details this week...
Lastly, I read an interesting article on sexism in music instrument sales on Reverb.com's blog recently, and it got me to thinking, why's there no dudes in guitar marketing? No male-shaped eye candy? If for no other reason, it should drive home the rediculous nature of the double standard in marketing. To address this, I'm working on artwork for a new fuzz coming out this year. Let me ask you, what's fuzzier than fuzzy? How 'bout a BEAR HUG? And so, my new fuzz, Bear Hug is coming soon. Adorned with all the manly fuzz one can handle, I think you'll like it. The circuit will rip your face off, and the artwork will be...fuzzy. I'm excited to turn this bear on. All joking aside, it's gonna freakin rock.
So that's what's up with me. Getting a deluxe vinyl version of my buddies Thing Sloth's album Lenoirmous ready. Interesting story, Chris, Dave, and Sam recorded all 14 tracks for the original in one looooong ass session, at the risk of life, limb, and vocal chords. It's a great punk album, and I'm proud to have been involved with bringing it to the masses. Buy it when it comes out, and support independent music.
That's all for now, folks!
2015.04.26 News Feed April 26 2015
In May, we are going to be releasing a new version of the Fuzzy Memory delay / echo / reverb. It sports a newly designed input buffer and dramatic changes to the filtering section on the repeats. Also, if you go with the infinity switch, it'll be a soft touch, so no more risk of popping. I'll put it to you this way, as soon as I finished the first one, I knew I wanted one on my board :) If you can't wait to hear it until May, check out this review and demo over at Pedal of the Day...
Also, make sure to follow Pedal of the Day on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. because they are always posting great gear. I feel like I hear about something new every time I visit their site, and they are awesome people, so give them some support!
That also means that around that time, I'm going to DEEPLY DISCOUNT the v1 Fuzzy Memory pedals that I have left in stock, so keep an eye out for that.
Butch pedals will be back in stock soon. I'm afraid that I may have gotten a bad batch of transistors (they weren't packaged in a static shielded bag, and I've had a couple in the batch go noisy) that I used in some of the early Butch pedals, so I may be doing a recall on those and fixing them up free of charge if anyone is having any issues. The pedals will still work, but they may be a little noisier than I originally intended when I released them, and I don't want you guys to be disappointed in that pedal because it really is awesome (if it's not got that hiss going on). More to come on that, and I'll be contacting those of you that purchased a Butch in the first run individually to let you know of the issue.
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