Man, I love watching Simon the Magpie on YouTube. I have to say, he’s one of my favorite YouTube channels out there. Definitely check him out, especially if you’re into nerding out on the DIY/MIY level.
I often get asked by people/players that are interested in getting into pedal building or modification, where they should start. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any easier than circuit bending pedals. I think this is a great starting point. Basically, the concept of circuit bending, is short circuiting paths to get unexpected results to the signal. To test sounds, all you need is a wire and start connecting solder points and see if you like the results. If you do, you identify and mark those points. From there you would solder a wire/lead to those points with a SPST toggle switch in the middle. That SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) toggle switch will turn on/off the bend you have in there. More points – add more toggles, or get creative with combining bends with a more complex switch.
I like the idea of starting with circuit bending, because all you need is some hook up wire and SPST toggle switches. Very easy to get. Not a lot of expense (here is a 10pack of SPST for $7). From there, you could build on your component collection and tackle more complex modifications.
Simon is now doing a “You send it I bend it” series where you send him pedals and he tweaks them up. But, I like this because it shows his process, and if you’re interested in bending yourself, you can get some good insight.
For this episode he’s bending the Danelectro Chili Dog and the Danelectro Chicken Salad. Both of these pedals are super crappy, and super cheap. They are no longer in production, but I bet you can find these on Craigslist, pawnshops or eBay for hardly anything. Which makes this very low-risk.
Let me know what you think by commenting below!