Building a Pedal Matrix

Many moons ago, I was approached by one Dave K with an idea for a guitar pedal accessory that he wanted to develop and market. The idea was to take several standalone effects pedal, and wrap a hardware interface around them so that a user could store different combinations of on/off effects. At the time, we had no idea what to call it (or whether or not it existed, for that matter), but I was pretty stoked about the idea and set out to make it.

Turns out the contraption he conceived is a variation of what’s commonly referred to as a pedal matrix. A true PM should technically offer the ability for a user to not only control effect on/off, but also routing configuration of the various effects hooked into the switchboard (our diagram below). There are three primary reasons I went with the design below:

  • Developing a mechanism to visualize the actual signal flow of a true PM can be rather convoluted.
  • The complexity of the device increases significantly with each added input, and our initial goal was a functional prototype.
  • I hadn’t even considered the idea of re-routing.

As it currently exists, the 1.0 version is functional (if not temperamental), and a second iteration is definitely in order. I’ll get around to posting a full description of its innards in the somewhat near future…

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