[sdiy] OT: Guitar FX - Loopers & prices - what magic is in there?

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Mon Sep 9 01:20:22 CEST 2019

On Sep 8, 2019, at 3:24 PM, sleepy_dog at gmx.de wrote:
> > Nothing is priced based on component cost. Price comes from supply
> and demand
> true, although there seems to be a tendency in the realm of guitar
> pedals that it does not seem to be insanely off for not too niche
> things, with some exceptions. Well, maybe this is one of those. Or I
> underestimate it. But some multi FX have a lot more going on inside,
> compared to a looper.

I know what you mean about boutique guitar pedals. Like the audiophile industry, there is plenty of snake oil in that area. If only people weren’t willing to pay extra for crap.

I’m going to make a guess here and say that anything digital like a looper is not going to intersect with the crazy hype overpriced boutique guitar pedal market. I could be wrong, but I would assume those guys shun digital when looking for magic pedals.

> Yeah, the mechanics part tends to be a tough one DIY wise, with those
> mostly-metal things. That's why I toyed with the idea of repurposing
> cheap momentary switch pedals ad connect them to a box that's not for
> stomping on it.

That’s a good approach. I recently designed a phono preamp starting with the case from a $14 product. I only used the screw terminal for the ground lug from the turntable. The rest of the components were my design, arranged to fit the existing holes in the case.

There’s a wonderful diary in an online forum from a headphone amplifier designer who explained how the whole company’s success hinged on finding a way to make a custom case for less than $100.

> I guess before I'd go to the trouble to use an RTOS on something like
> the PI I'd be more inclined to use the somewhat familiar stm32f4, the
> devboard that has a decent amount of RAM on it, and IIRC even an audio
> codec, but I don't think I'll really have time for that, even though it
> would be fun to implment something like that exactly the way I want it,
> and not with the quirky / economical UIs those things tend to have.

Personally, I’d recommend going for broke. Rather than settle for a general-purpose processor like the ARM (STM32F4), take the dive and learn to program a DSP. Something like the Texas Instruments TMS320 or the Analog Devices SHARC, the latter of which is very popular in music industry products. There used to be the Motorola 68000 DSP, and I think that Freescale continued it, but it may not be available any more. I do have several audio products with 68k processors, including some chips that come with audio software in ROM.

> Anyway, thanks for your reply.

You’re welcome.


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