Meet our 1st Beta Tester

Meet Kody Raine, local career musician, awesome vocalist, and our first Beta Tester. His focus is on the SoulPedal® MIDI controller with his current rig for an enhanced live performance. Our meeting was just a chance encounter at Good Time Charlies after his duo performance with Ethan Newman on Bass. Although SoulPedal® wasn’t quite ready for Beta testing (and you wouldn’t be the first to wonder if or when that would ever happen), discovering use cases just became priority well worth completing the MIDI portion ASAP, then accept $299 for Beta Membership¹ when the full product is ready. It’s one thing to get input on user forums to say “ya gotta have MIDI”, but to collaborate and explore technology as part of a live performance, and get paid, that’s got some real jazz! It was refreshing to hear his view of benefits and uses… the simplest things like “I could be looking up in the air with eyes closed jammin’ away, and engage SoulPedal® without ever having to look for my pedal.” It’s so cool to hear other creative types jump in. Kody currently has his Laptop DAW, MIDI Interface, Delay Pedal, Synth, and Drum Machine all connected up preparing for this integration. We also discussed using our toe-tap method for setting the tempo, so lots to explore there as well. Or maybe just a live drum kick might be useful- essentially the MIDI artform to explore. ¹ Beta Membership is defined as a collaborative group of 10 users who agree to pay $199 to test the Insole Pedal and MIDI, (plus an optional $99 to experience the Wah/Vol-Drive/Ext Expression Controller), to help further both the artist’s performance and SoulPedal® Technology Development (SPTD). The musician keeps the tested technology at no additional charge. The Wah portion will be available when … you know. (Just need to breadboard the new buffer section to get the right Drive clipping sound using parts in-house, then complete the PCB layout to build 10 Beta...

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Controlling a Boss DD-7 Delay Pedal
Jun19

Controlling a Boss DD-7 Delay Pedal

I don’t know why we didn’t think of this sooner… Here’s a hack that emulates an EV-5 Roland Expression Pedal. Just needs a stereo jack output that connects right up to any Boss Expression Input (or Roland product of course). Not only that, but our controller already has a minimum level adjustment like the EV-5. We might want to figure out a simple way to set and hold the pedal, and have previously tested using a quick twist of the foot (using the Z-gyro sensor in the pedal)… add that to the code To-Do list. Shown is a close up of the wire I soldered to a tiny BROKEN lead off the Digital Pot… as in no lead, just a stub! Obviously it would be a clean connection off the second channel of the chip, but I can’t believe it stayed long enough to test this (why all the tape to hold it). The first channel of course controls the Wah effect. And I might either put in some jumpers to let this be a volume swell, or just create a separate box to simply patch through the audio as a volume...

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Fast, Smooth, and Quiet – SoulPedal
Apr06

Fast, Smooth, and Quiet – SoulPedal

Is it possible to fall in love with a circuit? I did! Smoother: Opto-Isolator LED is now controlled by Current not Voltage (duh). Naturally responsive now. Quicker: No LED turn-on time (biased on both ends to exactly match LED useful range). Force Sensor in the pedal was selected – Easily replaceable, and High Z for even better battery life. Eliminated Digital Noise feeding back into the DC supply (was OK before but needed isolated supplies). Take a close look at that Wah board. That’s the one I’ve been tweaking the past month and planning to replace very soon. (The controller is still good with 15 built to 75%, and the Pedal PCB is OK but the insole design in your shoe will change.) The analog components are nostalgic using Panasonic Caps and a Red Fasel coil from Italy for that original sound. Right in the center is your automated DPDT switch. That’s what kicks in/out the effect (so to speak) for True Bypass. I used a COTO Reed Relay and I’ve never ever had one wear or degrade on me (sealed switch in an inert gas). Upper left corner are all the caps for the overall tone range. Thanks to Anderton articles on DIYstompBoxes.com, A. G. Keen, and Geofex.com for getting me up to speed over the years. I have no idea who you are, but thanks! I’m sure some of your parts are in these first units. Truth is, I’m finishing 15 units that were on hold for 2 yrs. If you saw Silicon Valley this week, well… I’m Richard. I’m targeting some Beta Testers this summer, 2018. I may never build any more of this design and it will be a while before the Bluetooth version would be even started, but that’s the plan. My partner is still waiting for cash-flow. That’s not the goal anymore (taken from the Musk playbook). I’m not advertising, but you might see me soon at a Guitar Center. I’ll try to get that on video. Oh, and besides MIDI out and Data Out (for Arduino), if all goes well I’ll add Expression Out. That’s a tricky one so I might just give you 3 wires and a guide. It’ll be a 10K pot controlled in parallel with the Wah, used to control your own Wah circuit or your best Stage Show thingy. I’ve always imagined Slash controlling his Wah AND a giant puppet of himself grooving in unison. I’ll get there, watch. I’ve had the vision ever since I saw Fergie and Slash stuck in one spot on stage (Superbowl halftime years ago). Everyone was dancing all around him, but he was...

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Can you believe I’m going to try again?
Feb06

Can you believe I’m going to try again?

Hope to dust off the old pedal and demo at the STEM http://www.southwestmakerfest.com in a couple weeks. Got some new flex cables today, so was able to load new code again. Gotta get the basic Wah working for now. Gyro calibration is tricky… they gyrate no matter what. Stay tuned...

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Variable Tapered Pot?
Feb10

Variable Tapered Pot?

It’s no secret we’re digitally controlling a fully analog Wah (complete with a J201 driven output boost/buffer) from within your shoe, but here’s something really new. A digital pot typically has 2 channels, so why not put the 2nd one in parallel (off the 1st tap) with the one that controls the LDR, right? This allows for a user adjustable taper (curve response of the pedal) so you decide the “feel” with the turn of a knob (along with a second knob for sensitivity related to foot pressure). Come check it out at the Tempe Guitar Show March 7th and take one home for the first time ever....

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Under the Hood
Mar25

Under the Hood

This is our 3rd prototype (underside) used at last years show in Tempe (a bit outdated actually). It slips in your shoe and runs off a CR-2032 battery in a drawer. Since last year’s show, we’ve added more advanced motion technology (a 9250 by Invensense, same as in Drones) to track foot motion. And if you thought that just a Wah-wah pedal was in the works, think again. We’ve successfully tested a 3 pedal simulation that sends 3 Program Changes out the MIDI port, but it’s still being refined. There is so much more possible with gestures, just wait! The receiver (shown in other photos and same size as conventional pedals) uses an internal antenna – so no stupid antennas sticking up, right? SoulPedal® is currently based on TI’s CC430 – an SoC + Radio in a single chip. The screws are there to allow for access to the port for software updates. We plan to provide a dongle so you can Flash load the latest updates. Range is 50 feet either direction – enough for Rock Concert sized Stages. The original prototype would go over 100 feet in all directions, so it’s only a matter of time… The entire pedal weighs only 3 oz in your shoe, including...

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