Effects

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...
VFE Pedals: Go for relaunch!

VFE Pedals: Go for relaunch!

THE TWO-CAR garage. It’s a life landmark right up there with the house it’s attached to. The square footage is seductive. Some would dream of hot rods, others perhaps a man cave. For Peter Rutter, and other pedal builders like him, the two-car garage is the office… and the manufacturing facility, assembly line, parts store, and shipping center. One half of his garage has been consumed by all things VFE Pedals, but things are changing for the eight-year-old company.  more...
Malekko on a mission

Malekko on a mission

MALEKKO HEAVY Industry co-owner Josh Holley has come a long way from painting pedals in the driveway of a house in Austin, Texas, but that is basically how it was done when the synth geek turned MI entrepreneur started back in 2006. Today, Malekko is the majority occupant of a building Holley now co-owns in the heart of Portland, Oregon’s Buckman neighborhood, east of the Willamette River.  more...
Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: <i>Gear!</i>

Welcome to NAMM-aheim, CA. Pop: Gear!

THE 115th NAMM show is in the books, and it was a big one according to show organizers. The National Association of Music Merchants said a record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands were showcased at the 2016 affair, a 7% increase in exhibiting companies over last year’s event.  more...
Blackbird Pedalboards finds new nest

Blackbird Pedalboards finds new nest

SOME BUSINESSES are born out of necessity. Some are built out of desire. Still others... are just flukes. You’ll find by talking with many of the smaller gear manufacturers around, that their businesses were born from first doing a little something nice for themselves... and then that ‘little something nice’ catching the attention of a fellow musician, and snowballing from there.  more...
Black Cat Pedals purrs along

Black Cat Pedals purrs along

TOM HUGHES loves gear. He isn’t shy about it. So stoked are the flames of his passion for the lineage of vintage noisemakers, that back in the early 2000s he set out to compile a book that would be become the go-to tome for those seeking knowledge regarding old school pedals… Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects. Color us unsurprised to find when we visited the Black Cat Pedals shop in New England that a pair of glass cases full of top-flight stomps was there to greet us, including a Mike Beigel-signed Mu-Tron III, a Bob Sweet-autographed Mojo Vibe, a Hot Chili Tubester, big-boxed Gainster, a gold Klon Centaur and a variety of wood-boxed Electro-Harmonix pedals among others.  more...