Heaviest. Stompbox. Ever.

I’ve been breathlessly awaiting one of these since I saw this. It’s Korg’s Miku Stomp, a spinoff from the company’s Vocaloid voice synthesizer. It tracks your pitch as you play and responds with a synthetic voice that forms various syllables and phrases.

There’s some cheating here: The effect’s latency is quite severe, so I […]

Ultimate Lipstick-Tube Guitar (with experimental tone control & onboard overdrive)

Screenshot 2015-04-05 12.43.36

Okay, it’s not the ultimate lipstick-tube guitar for everybody, but it probably is for me. It’s my third lipstick-tube pickup experiment — and definitely my favorite.

You may have heard some of these parts before: I used the neck for all my Mongrel Strat projects, and the Strat-sized Seymour Duncan pickups appeared in my previous […]

A Quick Compressor Class

Do compressors confuse you? And who don’t they confuse?

My just-posted Premier Guitar column covers some basics and walks you through a typical guitar compression scenario (with many audio examples).

Using a variation on a technique borrowed from engineer Michael Paul Stavrou’s cool recording technique book, Mixing with Your Mind, I start with extreme […]

The Live Looping Lesson

This one’s a labor of love: Premier Guitar just published my live looping lesson. Included are most of the hard-won looping techniques I’ve acquired over the last few years. I crashed and burned 100 times onstage so you don’t have to! ;)

The percentage of my life spent looking at this exact view is […]

Lookit — My New Pedals!

Awesome! I just received production prototypes for my next three stompbox releases, in the wake of last month’s launch of my Duh Remedial Fuzz. I’m still making minor tweaks, but these should be available in just a few weeks. Whee!

Filth is a freaky joystick fuzz. Cult is my oddball take on Rangemaster-style single-transistor […]

DIY Zero Hour!

You can build an awesome-sounding designer distortion pedal for about $45. (Joe’s hand sold separately.)

Have you been reading about DIY guitar effect projects for years and thinking about giving one a shot?

Here’s a good excuse: Premier Guitar just published my “Build Your Own Stompbox” article, which just may be the most ambitious […]

Duh for Days

Wow — I can’t believe my eyes! After years of planning, scheming, and screwing around, my very first batch of production fuzz pedals has arrived at my distributor, ready for sale. Will they gather dust or sell like hotcakes? That depends on you, dear reader!

You can read about the Duh Remedial Fuzz, hear […]

Curse My Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!

At long last, I reveal my blog’s sleazy ulterior motive: hoodwinking you into buying my crap! Bwa-ha-ha.

I exaggerate. But after several years of scheming, I’ve figured out a way to bring my stompbox designs to market that will permit me to keep doing stuff I love, like writing geeky stuff for my blog and […]

Museum of Lost Effects:
Interfax Harmonic Percolator

Few guitar pedals can rival the cult cachet of the Harmonic Percolator, a singularly ugly distortion stompbox produced in minuscule numbers in the early ’70s by Interfax, a small company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And guess what? They sound ugly too, though they’re ugly in a cool and useful way.

They don’t get much […]

Double Double MIDI Trouble

I just recorded a solo version of one of my fave film themes: Jerry Goldsmith’s main title to the 1967 spy spoof In Like Flint. I’ve adored the melody since childhood, and I blame it for instilling the love of chromaticism that made possible my extraordinarily uncommercial career.

I’d previously posted another version […]