Author Topic: What do you love about pedal building?  (Read 3427 times)

Leevibe

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What do you love about pedal building?
« on: June 22, 2019, 09:21:31 PM »
This time of year I'm not able to be too active on the forum or with building because of all the other stuff I have going on. Checking in to post a build report and see what's happening around here feels almost somber. Everybody who has been at this a while seems to be slowing way down or even throwing in the towel. It looks like the flame is burning out.

As has been mentioned, many have built everything there is to build. The novelty has worn off, the way people interact on the internet has morphed. Fashions come and go in the music world as everywhere else. Etc. etc.

Still, there are some essential things about building pedals that don't seem to get old for me. I just wanted to share a few of them and see if anyone else shares some of the same loves. And maybe add to the list. So, in no particular order, here are a few of the things I love about pedal building...

- a shiny solder fillet
- seeing a bypass LED light up for the first time
- a perfect ET pour
- the look and heft of a populated PCB
- parts packages arriving
- just the imagining and planning of a build
- getting boards in from OSHpark
- seeing my artistic vision realized
- hearing a circuit do what it is supposed to do
- feeling certain that is sounds better boxed than when it was being tested. It's similar to the way new shoes made me run faster as a kid or the way washing my car makes it run better.
- the look of a drilled enclosure

There's lots more stuff like that for me. What I'm saying is that much of what I love about this is in the otherwise mundane elements that are somehow satisfying. I'm curious about what those elements are for the rest of us.

mjg

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 04:22:00 AM »
I think I've only finished a couple pedals this year, but I still tinker with it when I get time.  I still enjoy it, in particular:

- The relaxation I get from populating parts on a big PCB
- Experimenting with new enclosure finishing techniques
- Showing people what I build and having them say "You made that? Really?"
- Firing up a pedal and having it make a sound. 
- Being able to add way too many options, switches and knobs to a basic effect, because I can never make my mind up
- Learning how some of this stuff goes together in schematics, and occasionally understanding what's going on

Willybomb

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 04:25:59 AM »
I enjoy the enclosure artwork designing phase the most.  I like my builds to be ergonomically laid out, for the artwork to be cool (to me at least), and I like the challenge of getting a concept designed out and fitted into a reasonably sized box.

jimilee

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 05:20:11 AM »
For it, itís therapeutic. I can clear my head and forget about life for a while or I can solve lifeís problems. Either way, at the end of it all, I have a new toy.


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Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.

EBK

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 12:22:38 PM »
I love the smell of solder in the morning.
....
Smells like....
victory.
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fair.child

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 12:35:41 PM »
I love the smell of solder in the morning.
....
Smells like....
victory.

Really?? Watch out of California proposition 65

thesmokingman

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2019, 12:40:47 PM »
the groupies
once upon a time I was Tornado Alley FX

alanp

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2019, 12:58:24 PM »
Seeing a completed build that someone has done using a PCB you laid out is always satisfying.
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pickdropper

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 01:04:19 PM »
I love the smell of solder in the morning.
....
Smells like....
victory.

Really?? Watch out of California proposition 65

Donít smell your coffee, either.  That also bears a Prop 65 warning.
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dan.schumaker

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 01:08:34 PM »
Things I love:
-Making something out of nothing.  Taking a pile of caps and resistors and making something that makes noise
-That feeling after you make a pedal and thinking "no way this works", then miraculously it does!
-Seeing someone enjoy using something you made and knowing you made them happy
-And to reiterate thesmokingman.... the groupies  ;D

Govmnt_Lacky

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 05:26:42 PM »
That singular moment just before you strum a chord/hit a note while plugged in to a fresh new build. The feeling of the unknown. Will it work first time? Does it work completely? Will I spend the next 2 weeks on a debug?

That singular moment is worth every hour of the build!

gordo

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 06:41:13 PM »
Wait...you can get groupies doing this???
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thesmokingman

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 08:22:46 PM »
you're not?
See how the mere mention of sex has completely derailed this navel gazing?
That singular moment just before you strum a chord/hit a note while plugged in to a fresh new build. The feeling of the unknown. Will it work first time? Does it work completely? Will I spend the next 2 weeks on a debug?

That singular moment is worth every hour of the build!
that is about it really ... that and the fleeting sense of accomplishment.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 08:27:21 PM by thesmokingman »
once upon a time I was Tornado Alley FX

chromesphere

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 10:10:45 PM »
The moment you find out that complicated pedal your building isnt passing a signal.

No seriously, for me its creating something unique.  Sonically, physically, visually (youtube), pcb layouts, experimenting, finishing the enclosure etc etc. The reason for the enjoyment always comes back to the same thing.  Its a creative channel for me, like music and guitar.  It took me many years to realise this was the deep purpose of pedal building for me personally.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 10:12:47 PM by chromesphere »
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somnif

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Re: What do you love about pedal building?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2019, 11:09:29 PM »
That moment you realize you forgot to order a part from a site that charges ludicrous amounts for shipping.

That moment your second order arrives and you realize you forgot something else...

That moment you first plug something in and your hear a POP and smell smoke.

That moment you plug in your board and hear a loud squealing howl.

That moment you realize you were following the wrong version of the build docs.

That moment you knock your soldering iron off the bench.

That moment you catch your soldering iron after dropping it....

That moment you smell roasting pork for some reason.


....erm, wait, no, these are the opposite of what you asked for. Oops.  ;D