Made this yesterday to house the first Falcon Drive.
I have an idea how to improve the =F= design a bit, but this is pretty much the idea. This will be the demo unit and ultimately go on my board, unless someone has a hankering for serial #0001.
Dark Satellites’ Be Still vinyl is available for pre-order on Bandcamp (click “Buy” below) (you can stream the whole thing, too).
Drew has made an incredibly good record. It’s catchier, it’s heavier, and it’s synth-ier than 2012 Are Here.
If it matters to you, I played drums on “Strange Song,” bass on “Just Dropped Out,” and mastered the album. This is the first thing I’ve ever contributed to that’s been pressed to wax!
The vinyl is a cool gray and taupe splatter to match the cover art, and we should receive it in June. $25 shipped to the lower 48. Drew will break even when every record is sold, basically; we will not profit on this. It is the definition of a labor of love.
This morning I finished the design for a new pedal, the Falcon Drive. I’ll be taking reservations for a small run of them soon.
There it is on the breadboard. Doesn’t look like much, maybe, but it’ll do a nice JFET mostly-clean boost (slight compression, fatness, & edge on the pick attack; nice!), an asymmetric MOSFET/LED overdrive, and a scuzzy Schottky diode drive.
The finished enclosures will be laid out like this, with Kingman-style stamping and finishing. The second footswitch, LED, and colored knob are for a second gain/saturation preset.
True bypass, quiet switching, extremely high (10M) input impedance and low (3.3K) output impedance are featured to preserve treble and drive long cables. The Falcon has a huge range of useable gain; I love it for everything from always-on unity gain buffer to dimed out.
Video coming soon-ish. Before the reservations are closed, for sure, so you can decide if you (or the guitarist in your life) need one!
2016 July 16, Saturday – Mars Lights at Records With Merritt, Kansas City MO, with Red Cities and Bogusman
2016 April 30, Saturday – Mars Lights at The All Star Rock Bar, Kansas City MO, with TBA
Booking: marslightsnoise (at) gmail (dot) com
Over the past two weekends I’ve made progress on my first run of six Kingman pedals, and have finished the first two. I know #0002, the one I’m keeping, will go into immediate use as Mars Lights continues to record our double LP.
Last weekend was given over to figuring out how to finish the enclosures. I tried various combinations of paint, stamping, Sharpie, dry sanding, wet sanding, and clear coating.
Simple as the Kingman circuit is, there’s no circuit board; just parts mounted to the enclosure, point-to-point wiring, and two capacitors.
Yesterday I started wiring. It’s not the prettiest but the connections are solid and it gets the job done. No one can hear my wiring!
The first one took two and a half hours, but it worked on the first try. I consider that a win.
After getting #0002 running (I numbered based on the enclosures. Wanted to do something special with #0001 and thought it would benefit from me making and correcting any wiring mistakes on my own) I wired #0001 up today. #0001 is the only enclosure I painted and will be the only one with black knobs. Future Kingmen will look more like #0002 with the clear knobs, but without the purple smears. I learned how to fix that, but thought that since purple is a royal color I would leave mine with the weird blurs.
Like I said, not the prettiest at all. Neither were a lot of great-sounding vintage pedals! I appreciate today’s beautiful PCB and wiring jobs as much as the next guitar player, but they’re not necessary for a circuit to do its job.
What have I learned?
While Drew’s over this afternoon, checking out my work mastering his new Dark Satellites record “Be Still,” please enjoy the track below.
I don’t know how many of you are familiar enough with late-period J.V. All*stars to appreciate this jokey butt-rock take on “Straighten Your Hair” (go listen!) but it is. spot. on. and just gets better as it goes on. It even includes a grunty metal “Ooohhhh!”
Here is the best music we heard in the past year. Most, but not all, was also released in 2015.
Top 12 (in random order) (it would have been 13; Cory tried to list “1989” again!)
Best Coast, “California Nights” (2015)
Waves x Cloud Nothings, “No Life For Me” (2015)
Selena Gomez, “Revival” (2015)
Beach House, “Depression Cherry” (2015)
A Is Jump, “Weird Nostalgia” (2015)
Blackalicious, “Imani vol. 1” (2015)
Brandon Flowers, “The Desired Effect” (2015)
Carla Morrison, “Amor Supremo” (2015)
Elder, “Lore” (2015)
Failure, “The Heart Is A Monster” (2015)
Halfwit, “II” and “III” (2015)
High on Fire, “Luminiferous” (2015)
Kowloon Walled City, “Grievances” (2015)
Monolord, “Vænir” (2015)
No Cave, “Eyes Brighter Than The Sun” (2015)
Sheer Mag, “II 7″” (2015)
Sleater-Kinney, “No Cities To Love” (2015)
Tame Impala, “Currents” (2015)
Torche, “Restarter” (2015)
Viol, “Deeper Than Sky” (2015)
Descendents, “Milo Goes To College” (1982), “I Don’t Want To Grow Up” (1985), “Enjoy!” (1986)
Joy, “Under The Spell Of” (2014)
Run-D.M.C., “Run-D.M.C.” (1984), “King of Rock” (1985), “Raising Hell” (1986), “Tougher Than Leather” (1988)
Sturgill Simpson, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” (2014)
Excited to check out: