“The Wookiee” is my implementation of the Uglyface by Tim Escobedo.
It is an oscillation based distortion/fuzz with an envelope control. Complete chaotic noisy madness, just the way I like it.
Most DIY effects are clones of commercially available effects, but the Uglyface is one of the few that is unique to the DIY community. You can’t just buy one, you have to make it. Kinda like a light sabre I guess.
I built this on a PCB from MusicPCB, it was a great quality board that was really easy to work with. I might try more of their stuff.
Once I got the circuit working, I started on the enclosure. The enclosure was an old one full of random holes from previous builds. I had the idea of covering it in fur to make it look like Chewbacca, because it seemed to suit the noises this thing makes.
After drilling the holes I needed, I bought some fake fur from Spotlight and stuck it on with SikaBond Spray Fix. It’s pretty much super glue in a spray can.
Then it was just a matter of mounting everything inside.
I’m really happy with how it turned out. There’s lots of awesome crazy noises in this box. I’m not getting the laser sounds that some builds seem to get, but I think the nature of the circuit is that it’s pretty random and unpredictable, so I might try some different ICs and cap values and see how that changes things.
The Hairy Elephant is a fuzz based on a very similarly named pedal. Its controls are: Volume, Tone, Hair, and Pinch. I built it in search of that buzzed out, right in your face, can’t be ignored, fuzz sound à la QOTSA or Jack White on Lazaretto. It gets pretty close, and can almost sound like a torn speaker. There’s heaps of bottom end (works well on bass too apparently), and with the ‘Tone’ cranked there seems to be more top end than my Fuzz Factory too. The ‘Hair’ knob controls the amount of fuzz, and ‘Pinch’ lets you get that gated chop – and can go from very aggressive sounding single notes to that 8-bit gated sound.
I’m pretty happy with how these turned out.
They sound great, and I think my builds are getting neater.
I built two of them simultaneously (based on this layout). I prepared, populated and soldered both boards, drilled holes in both the enclosures, added all the off-board stuff (pots, jacks, foot-switch, LED, etc…), wired them both up, and finished them off with a nice sticker for the bottom. It wasn’t really much more work than just building one. Maybe what I’ll do in the future to try and fund this DIY addiction, is build two of everything and chuck the second one up on eBay. Both of these pedals are accounted for this time though: one for me, and one for the other guitarist in my band, Mitch.
Because I love my first Fuzz Factory clone so much, I decided to make another one. The aim of this build was to be a lot neater and to make it as sturdy as I can so that it is more “gig ready“. It’s gotta handle touring and having beer spilled on it. I used the Madbean Zombii v5 PCB rather than Vero this time, and put it in the same size enclosure that the original Z. Vex ones come in. I scored a couple of NKT-275 Transistors from the guy who etched the board for me (I haven’t got the gear for that), and they sound great. They seem to be a lot smoother than the AC128’s in my other build.
This is probably my favourite pedal so far, and it lives happily on my gigging pedal board.