After making a pedal for Luke from Soho a few weeks ago I figured it would be careless to not make something for James to use as well ?
I've been doing work for these guys for a long time now and James uses one of my Ram Heads as his main fuzz, just like Luke. We've spoken a lot over the years about pedals, tones, sounds etc and James has always been very open and trusting when we chat about gear. Since recording the new album James's pedal board has actually got less complicated, while Luke's has grown. James is much more the "rhythm" guitarists now and his board shows signs of that in it's simplicity.
He now tours with a delay (the AWESOME Retro Sonic), an overdrive (the AWESOME Hot Cake), and a fuzz (the AWES..... well, one of my Ram Heads) run into a reliable old Marshall 800. It's a pretty solid and great sounding R'n'R rig.
So when it came time to make something for James it made sense to just make his board ......... as a pedal ?
Because, unlike Luke, he needed stomp switches I knew this was going to be one of my "double" pedals to give him room to stomp so it gave me room to squeeze whatever I wanted in, or so I thought. Like Luke's, I started laying out the PCB's, switches and thinking of anything that might be useful if this was going to be his only pedal on stage. The outline was there as his current board was working for everything he needed so there were three pedals needed.
I started with my Overdrive which is based on a classic Op Amp, silicon diode clipping circuit with a few tweaks and a transistor driven active tone stack with HEAPS of volume output. Next up is the new Tym Tyme Machine delay, which I'm actually still tweaking and working on but I'm pretty stoked with it so in it went. These two pedals can be switched for which order they run in. James and I had spoken about what order to run effects in, which as far as I'm concerned is TOTALLY personal (ie: there is no "right way") and we'd talked about the difference in "delaying the OD or OD'ing the delay" so I thought it might be good to give the option ?
Next up the signal can either be sent to an effects loop or straight to the Ram Head. I did this so if he ever adds (or needs) pedals to this equation, the pedal can still be used because as it is now, it can be OD/Delay/Ram Head or Delay/OD/Ram Head OR anything else before or after the OD/DELAY ......... make sense ?
The Ram Head is then wired to go straight out OR get sent through a Tym Tone Boost. I put this in for the same reason I put one in Lukes. If you're at the mercy of a dull hire amp, the Tone Boost can liven things up so the plan was you would turn this on, set your "clean" settings and leave it on to make the amp nice.
It all runs on a standard Boss style 9V power supply.
There's a lot of knobs here but I think the layout is fairly simple for the amount of control you have. The OD and Ram Head are simple Vol/Ton/Gain as on the original artwork. The Delay has been added below the OD with F (Feedback), M (Mix) and R (Rate) and the Tone Boost is under the RH with V (Volume) and T (Tone). Everything is "protected" with the handle because if you've seen a Violent Soho show, or seen James's pedals you would know that people just TRAMPLE all over their gear. His Ram Head has knobs that point in every direction ............
The EL (Effects Loop) and TB (Tone Boost) switches are protected, along with the IN/OUT jacks by a piece of aluminium extrusion. There's LED's for each effect and one for power so you know when some kids kicked your power supply out !!
So ......... until the next one.