Effects

Dwarfcraft Devices turns 10

Dwarfcraft Devices turns 10

IN JANUARY of this year, the effects wizards at Dwarfcraft Devices celebrated their 10th anniversary — a decade of over-the-top distortion, mind-blending oscillation and things that go bloop and bleep in the night. The anniversary loomed large during our visit to the company’s current digs, which was at the rear of a building currently housing an art collective of sorts. The shop is split into two sections — one houses the main workstation area while the other holds offices and musical equipment for both testing pedals and play time.  more...
Math is music for Red Panda Lab

Math is music for Red Panda Lab

IN THE CASS Corridor section of Detroit, Michigan, you will find a bit of vibrance in a city that has been short on that commodity for several years. The financial crash of the late 2000s saw an immense amount of strain put on the city’s manufacturing jobs, chiefly in the automotive industry.  more...
Cusack hot on brand strength

Cusack hot on brand strength

Jon Cusack has a reputation in boutique pedal circles as the ‘go-to’ guy to assist with fixing a stubborn problem. He’s done it countless times, saving the bacon of his competition without fan fare... or many times compensation. But these selfless acts have come with a price — the growth and health of his own brand. That, he says, has to change...  more...
Walrus Audio talks pedal development

Walrus Audio talks pedal development

NEW PRODUCT launch day is always an exciting time around the shop for a pedal builder. Everyone is smiling, nodding, maybe a bit of high-fiving — generally a good time all around. That was the mood we found permeating through the Walrus Audio bunker in Oklahoma City a few months back. On the day of our visit, the crew was prepping for the demo video of their new 385 overdrive — a unique dirt pedal inspired by the amplifier section of a vintage Bell and Howell film projector.  more...
Keeley and Co. are on all cylinders

Keeley and Co. are on all cylinders

ON THE THURSDAY we visited Keeley Electronics in Edmond, Oklahoma, a challenge had been thrown down: Build X amount of pedals by noon and everyone can go home. Keeley had every confidence his team would meet the goal. He was already in his swim trunks. Edmond is a suburb of Oklahoma City. Situated just north of the capital city, it was voted #1 in a poll of perfect suburbs by CNBC back in 2011, highlighting its school system and level of education of those living there.  more...
Chasing Bliss… and quiet tape

Chasing Bliss… and quiet tape

THE DAY WE arrived at Chase Bliss Audio’s new offices in downtown Anoka, Minnesota was a monumental day for the company. A few days before a Uline representative had paid a visit to sell office supplies. While pens and paper are nice and definitely on the needs list, there was really only one thing the company was after, but didn’t know if it even existed — and that was quiet tape.  more...
The man behind BYOC

The man behind BYOC

DO IT YOURSELF. That’s a phrase that runs rampant across the widen spectrum of cable channel home improvement shows these days, but also has always had a strong presence lurking in the shadows of the MI community. Whether it’s tales of professional builders getting their first taste of electronics noodling via a Heathkit build or the like, both industry veterans and the tech-minded, gear-curious public have rarely shied away from eyeballing a set of internals and figuring out what makes them tick. Keith Vonderhulls, founder and chief parts wrangler for Build Your Own Clone, was the same way.  more...
Collaboration is key

Collaboration is key

OWNING AND operating a business in the music world, let alone the world at large, is a daunting task. I wear a lot of hats at Fuzzrocious. I design circuits, populate components on PCBs, order and sort components, deal with the public via phone/social media/e-mail/face-to-face, pay the bills, balance the books, work in part on the website, create and edit demo videos, plan and coordinate events, solder, drill, pay taxes, and much more... oh, and I have a family, too.  more...