MUSIC: Homemade Instrument/Pedal/Other Discussion
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Thread: Homemade Instrument/Pedal/Other Discussion

  1. #1
    Maybe I didn't love you Mackie Messer's Avatar
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    Default Homemade Instrument/Pedal/Other Discussion

    Instruments, effects, mics, amps, even modifying existing devices, if you did it yourself (or would really like to) then talk about it here. Tips? Questions? How-tos? Bring it here! We'd love it!
    I'll start it off with some tips:
    Buy two or more of everything--if you screw it up the first time, you'll be able to try again immediately.
    When you're done soldering anything, make sure to cover up any exposed wiring so that nothing shorts. I've found that duct tape works, but electrical tape is easier to work with.
    Don't solder directly over the table. A cookie sheet , or even a few layers of foil should be perfectly fine, as long as you don't touch them with the iron.
    Don't mod anything that still has power to it--remove the batteries and, if need be, unplug it.

    Anyway--here's a simple how-to, I've tested it myself:
    How To Turn a Toy Voice Changer into an Effects Pedal
    This should work with most of 'em. It's a really easy fix, too.
    Here's what I used:
    A length of mono audio cable with one male end and one female end. (I used 1/8" to 1/8", the standard most headphone jacks use--it's really easy to get 1/8" to 1/4" connectors to plug it into an amp.)
    A cutting tool of some sort.
    Soldering iron with solder
    Electrical tape
    A screwdriver with a long, thin neck (Or a thin enough knife, or a long enough pair of scissors. Can't recommend using a jeweler's screwdriver, though)
    Electronic Voice Changer

    1: If the mouthpiece is connected to the voice changer, but not part of the casing (For example, it's on the other end of a cable), then cut it off, preferably as close to its base as you can get. That way, you have more cable for later.. If it's part of the casing, then...
    2: Open the casing with your long, flat, narrow object of choice. After that's been done, unscrew any components that might be attached to the casing.
    3: The mouthpiece and speaker are probably attached to the circuit board by one positive and one ground wire each. Cut the wires connecting both components to the board, as close to said components as possible. You won't need either of those pieces, but you'll definitely need the wires intact!
    4: Cut the mono audio cable into two pieces. It doesn't matter which one's shorter and which one's longer, as long as there's enough cable on both ends for you to strip the wires. Strip a bit of the insulation off the positive and ground cables which were once attached to the mouthpiece and speaker.
    5: Okay, there's two types of mono cable I know of, so follow whichever step applies to the one you have.
    5a: If you got one where the positive and ground are two separate insulated cables, then strip part of the insulation that surrounds both cables before stripping a bit of insulation off each. The positive is the one with the red insulation.
    5b: I've seen this model used more in headphones, but it might be of use: Strip off a length of insulation. You should see exposed wiring surrounding another rubber casing surrounding even more wiring. Gather all the wires and pull them to one side of the casing. This is the ground. Strip a shorter length (at least 1/4" shorter) of said rubber casing. The wire within this casing is the positive.
    6: Solder the positive and ground on the female end to the positive and ground that were connected to the mouthpiece. Do the same with the male end and the wires that were attached to the speaker. Be sure to insulate the solder points so they don't short out!
    7: If you're going to use the original casing, then make sure to put a small hole or two in it so you have somewhere for the new cables to come out. Then bolt everything back into place. Either way, you should have yourself a working pedal now! Have fun!
    Last edited by Mackie Messer; 4th October 2011 at 03:33 AM.
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  2. #2
    ☭ The Great Uniter ☭ Mißingnåen's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: Homemade Instrument/Pedal/Other Discussion

    I like this thread.

    I actually posted a blog a little while back on a mod I did on my strat over the summer. It was a neck pickup bypass switch, so more combinations of pickups would be allowed. Here is the blog. There are pictures!

    I've done a few other music related tinkerings in the past. I made a circuit for a wah-wah pedal, but it kind of turned out more like a wee-wee pedal.

    I actually just recently purchased a Squier strat for the sole purpose of modding. I haven't gotten around to doing anything with it yet, but I'll post it here when I do.


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