Rhythm & Detonation

The 4 Horsemen of the Apocolypse, Rat.

This is a 4 knob rat featuring Albrecht Dürer's artwork from his woodcuts of the book of Revelation. The artwork is a cropped portion of The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The circuit is a 4 knob rat distortion made with the LM308N opamp and 2x 1n914 clipping diodes. The 4th knob on a 4 knob rat replaces the 47 ohm resistor with a 500 ohm pot so you can adjust this part of the circuit. Fully counter-clockwise the rat gets very trebly and squeaky with huge upper harmonics and a propensity to feedback. Turned up about a quarter turn it is in the sweet spot of a stock rat, but as you turn it further clockwise the bass tightens up and gets less fizzed out and more punchy.

The pedal is housed in a horizontal hammond 1590BB enclosure is painted in Almond colored enamel. The knobs are black davies 1510 with a water clear red led.


Custom Jim Pedal

Krylon Ivy Leaf spray paint, black davies 1510 knobs, yellow led.


Great White Shark Muff

This is a big muff tuned for bass; it also sounds great with down-tuned guitars.

The artwork is from the John Copley painting "Watson & the Shark."

Enclosure is a CLIFF 125B, paint is Automotive White, knobs are white Davies 1510, and LED is waterclear red.

The PCB is from Caps n' such.

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Tap Tempo Tremolo

This is a great project supported by Taylor over at musicpcb.com.

The tap tempo tremolo is the first and only DIY trem project that allows you to tap in the rhythm with a foot-switch. This capability makes it easy to synchronize a rhythmic trem to the beat of your song. Besides that, it’s a great-sounding trem, and certainly among the most versatile tremolo circuits.

The TTT covers territory from smooth and deep “throb”, through the classic “repeat percussion effects” to hard chopping square wave. It features eight different waveforms, and the wave distort function allows one to change the character of each wave drastically.

The TTT uses a digital micro-controller to do the tap tempo and create the waveforms. It then uses an opto-coupler to control volume. The audio path remains analog all the way through, while giving you the complexity and versatility of digital control.

This was a really fun build, and it sounds great. The TAPLFO micro-controller actually makes it easier to build than a standard LFO tremolo.

For the artwork I used an image of the Inversion House,  an art project in Houston that happened a few years back in which two artists "inverted" a house. I painted the enclosure automotive white and used a super bright blue LED for tap tempo, and a super bright red LED for the true bypass. I used white Davies 1510 knobs and a Hammond 1590BB-sized enclosure.

The controls for the effect are TEMPO, which controls the rate of the tremolo effect; WAVEFORM, which selects one of eight waveform shapes (ramp up, ramp down, square pulse, triangle, sine wave, sweet, lumps, and random); MULTIPLY, which selects the subdivision factor for the tap tempo switch, quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note triplets, or thirty-second notes; and DEPTH, which selects the depth of  the tremolo effect.

Inside the pedal is a trim pot to control the overall volume of the pedal so you can match the effect pedal to your bypass level or boost the effect level if you want.



The Ampeg Scrambler is a nasty octave fuzz that originally came out in 1969. It became a highly desired effect, and at one point the original units were selling for more than $1000 on eBay. I built this clone using the layout found over at TONEPAD. Some of the components found in the original units can be hard to find, but I was able to purchase the 2n5306 transistors, and the new old-stock 1n456 GI general instrument diodes from Small Bear Electrical.

The controls are for TEXTURE, which controls the amount of upper octave content in the fuzz; and BALANCE, which mixes clean signal in with the fuzz.

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black echo-pre

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Moby Dick

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zebra fuzz

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Shibbz Rat


Born On The Bayou – Tremolo

Born On The Bayou Tremolo. This is an optical tremolo pedal I made using Madbean's Double Flush project board.

The controls are:

BALANCE, which controls the mix between effect and guitar signals.

INTENSITY, which controls how hard the LED is driven. Turning up the control increases the intensity of tremolo.

PULSE, which controls the rate of the LFO. There's a wide range of slow to fast, with the maximum range stopping just before the tremolo becomes un-useable.

VOLUME, the overall output. Note that changing the Balance control may require some changes in the Volume control to preserve the overall output. There is enough gain in the circuit to maintain or exceed the bypass signal.