Author Topic: Resources to learn exactly what components do in pedal circuits  (Read 1018 times)

Tuxedo3

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Hey guys, maybe it's my personality but I hate doing things without fully understanding why I'm doing them. Therefore, I'd love to learn the nitty gritty about why components are where they are in the schematic and what they do exactly in that portion. For example, https://web.archive.org/web/20150324215943/http://beavisaudio.com/techpages/HIW/HIW.png is amazing for describing what portions of the schematic do, this is ideal is also super helpful. Any other resources like this?

Matmosphere

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Re: Resources to learn exactly what components do in pedal circuits
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 06:44:45 PM »
Geofx.com is a pretty invaluable resource. For example: http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/tstech/tsxtech.htm

There are a few others as well. Tonefiend.com  has a few very detailed walkthroughs that break things down by component and discusses what using different values will change. Electrosmash.com has analysis of a few pedals, although I don't know that they go down quiet to that level. And I knew there are a few really detailed bom's that Brian has written up for madbean that go into quiet a lot of detail as well. If I'm remembering correctly the Slow Loris and the Flabulanche are both pretty in depth.

Happy soldering!

midwayfair

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Re: Resources to learn exactly what components do in pedal circuits
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2016, 10:23:59 PM »
In general: The wikipedia articles on types of components (e.g. look up "resistor") are decent places to start. Yes, some of it is hard to grasp when you're just starting out in electronics, but it's important to realize that electricity is electricity, we're just dealing with a narrow band of frequencies with our little guitar boxes.

For project-specific stuff, the best ways to go about it is to start with a simple circuit and read as many forum posts as you can on it (if there isn't a "Technology of" post on Geofex). DIYstompboxes has a longer history so discussion of a lot of the classic circuits can be found there.

Here are a few general rules with guitar pedals:

1. Everything useful is a voltage divider.
2. R(esistor)-C(apacitor) filter circuits make up most of the guitar pedal world, and they're just special voltage dividers. ;)
3. Usually it's enough to know that something does something without knowing exactly why. Understanding why a transistor amplifies is nowhere near as useful as understanding how to make it do so.

And I'll just mention that all the build docs on my site go into exhaustive detail if you exhaust the Geofex articles.
Myself's music & things I make: http://jonpattonmusic.com. My band: http://midwayfair.org. PCBs of my designs from: http://www.1776Effects.com (Bearhug Comp & Cardinal Harmonic Trem); http://www.jmkpcbs.com (Hamlet+ delay & Blue Warbler envelope vibe); Snow Day OD/Flabulanche: www.madbeanpedals.com

Tuxedo3

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Re: Resources to learn exactly what components do in pedal circuits
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2016, 06:18:09 AM »
Thanks for the responses guys, seriously they are helpful.

3. Usually it's enough to know that something does something without knowing exactly why. Understanding why a transistor amplifies is nowhere near as useful as understanding how to make it do

The reason I say that I want to understand them is because I want to be able to design a circuit and know what each segment is doing and what to do if I want to change an aspect of the sound. But I'm totally with you, I'd rather be able to understand how to effectively use it than just understanding what it does

Tuxedo3

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Re: Resources to learn exactly what components do in pedal circuits
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2016, 09:24:20 AM »
And I'll just mention that all the build docs on my site go into exhaustive detail if you exhaust the Geofex articles.

Also I found some explanations of your circuits on this forum and they are super helpful. Specifically the one about the Bearhug. So thanks for that, I'm learning a lot from them.