Nice Volume Control Demo
Oct16

Nice Volume Control Demo

The video says it all. This is all part of combining the Wah and MIDI controller into a single unit with the new Volume and Expression out. So far so good! (Xanadu by Rush was a song I played since I was a young kid in Canada. Great song!) Stay Tuned,...

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TDK “Band” Loves SoulPedal®!
Sep20

TDK “Band” Loves SoulPedal®!

We just returned from the TDK Dev Conference in Silicon Valley (Sensor Technologies… yes, the same TDK that made audio tapes). It turns out that several TDK executive members, including CEO Jon Nelson, are also musicians. Apparently, there’s a TDK band, and they all loved SoulPedal®. In fact, it was Jon who introduced me to several TDK Directors and insisted I meet Rich Fry, Director ICT Sales who is now eager to engage as a SoulPedal® Beta Tester. Over the years, first impression to this technology have always been with amazement and awe – 100% of the time. Whether that translates to a sale or acceptance in the industry is only just starting to come into focus. It can’t be just cool or another wireless product; it’s got to add value. That’s exactly why SoulPedal® is being shared in a personal and custom way in our Beta Program. Playing devil’s advocate, there is obvious excitement among TDK staff because their technology is being applied in a brand new way to something they love to do for fun. So I asked Rich “Are you excited because it’s using TDK’s motion technology, or do you believe SoulPedal® is something you’d buy, and why?” His answer was both candid and encouraging. “Yes (to the TDK), but often in our band we are pointed to without warning when it’s our turn to solo. That’s hard to do if you’re not quite ready and right in front of your pedals.” He went on to say that “…given the fast change-over times between band line-ups, it would be great to have a faster setup.” So Change-over Time may not be just a Manufacturing indicator, and not having to run cables round “trip” from the amp to the pedals and back does add value (pun intended). The photo isn’t my actual setup, it’s just a teaser to get people thinking simplicity and ease of use. But I wouldn’t put it past someone duct-taping SoulPedal® to their rig to just throw on stage in a hurry. Initial, we’re not replacing your sacred pedal board, it’s an enhancement and a new feel for now, but that Wah pedal may have a finite life. I really can’t wait to see what people think of the variable taper for starters. Aside from the TDK Band buzz, the meeting with motion experts yielded some great tips that will directly translate to a better product. In fact, positional accuracy (in a multi-pedal configuration) could maintain around 3 mm accuracy over a 1 foot distance using our existing Beta design (which is actually using older technology). They already do this in the medical industry,...

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Meet our 1st Beta Tester
Jul29

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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