I’ve been getting into pedal building, to the point where I’m a little concerned about how big this obsession is getting. Frankly, I think about it ALL the time these days. I had no background in electronics prior. I’ve always been a ‘hacker’ in a way, but more of a ‘breaker’ in reality, but I’ve always wanted to fix things or see why they work, etc. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few tricks/techniques and tools, and I’m at the point where I can start to get my head around basic pedal circuits and what not. For me, the satisfaction comes with the application. To build something.. and then play my guitar through it is completely rewarding, and I absolutely love it.
The world of pedal building is overwhelming when you first start. From understanding electrical components to the basic fundamentals of electricity you are exposed to a lot of new and challenging things right off the bat. When looking at pedal circuits, you’ll most likely see them as schematics on the web, and it’s hard to translate that to physical components.. well it was for me at least. I was having trouble going from schematic to board, but one thing that has helped immensely is this great FREE program called DIY Layout Creator.
Basically, it’s a piece of software (I did mention it was FREE right?) that will allow you to place components on a virtual board. This is really great to ‘see’ how the circuit develops and it’s helped really translate schematic to reality. I personally like veroboard (strip board) for this since this translates well from schematic really easily for me. You can also use perfboard or PCB layouts as well.
If you’re interested in building pedal circuits, I would highly recommend this program. You can download it here.