This is the backplate of the first pedal I ever made. The first one I ever made on my own. The first one I ever made not using some kind of kit. The first one I ever made with the intention of giving it to someone else. The first one I ever made with the intention of selling it to someone else. The first one I ever made while operating under the assumption that maybe I could actually do this. In case you're wondering, it was a bit crusher emulator for my bassist, Dom. Unfortunately, I don't have a recording to cue up of it, but you'll probably hear it at one of our shows.
That was roughly 1 year ago. I barely had any idea what I was doing back then. After 1 year, a dozen or specific effect builds, several redesigns, many hours of prototyping, a few repairs, and a lone tube amp build, I'd like to think I know better now.
This is the front of the most recent pedal I've built. A fully custom job. A twist on the reverb design I already offer. Fancy artwork. Totally souped up. Even this one took hours of breadboarding to get just right. Even this one had a misplaced leg of a capacitor somewhere. The difference being that now I know where to trust my work, and how to fix the inevitable little mistakes. I've reached some sort of enlightenment with this hobby/passion/whatever that I think every artist/musician/whatever eventually reaches if they stick with it long enough. To put it more simply: I can take my hands and make this "thing" do what I want it to.
It's certainly empowering, especially in spite of the tenants of free market capitalism that would seemingly be shouting at me: "You have to stop! This is not sustainable in the long run!" But damn if it isn't fun; and damn if it isn't rewarding to be able to be a conduit for the creativity of others, and perhaps play a greater role within this music community.
Which is why it was particularly nice to be able to make this first-order-for-someone-who-hasn't-been-jamming-with-me-for-10-years for Jake Detwiler. The dude has put my band on house shows, and bar shows. He's ran sound for us, and recorded our most recent album. He's probably done the same for you, if he isn't already playing with you. I feel no shame in doing this full-on lavishing of praise because it was an absolute pleasure to build this reverb, as was it to work with Jake, and to have played with The Morelings, one of the bands he's currently playing with. Links for both are below:
As for what to expect for Year 2 of Small Grey Pedals: I'm currently working on sprucing up the website a little more. I have a few more demo videos (that were also done with help from Jake) to edit, but once finished they will be up on YouTube and on their respective pages on this site. I have a few ideas for some limited-run special pedals, similar to the reverb above. i'm tinkering with some designs for a line of "budget" pedals that I can sell to you at a very reasonable price.
I'm sure if you're actually reading this you're aware that I still haven't fully set up the online store. Rest assured, I'm working on it. It's all boring financial ducks that need to be gotten into a row. Demo session scheduling and/or house-calls are also a bit touch-and-go at the moment, but I'm hoping to have a better system in place for that soon, as well.
Lastly, I'd just like to extend a thank you to those who've expressed an interesting in buying, those who have played through the pedals, those who have asked me questions, made suggestions to me, liked pages, followed pages, shared pages, and just generally let me blather on about clipping diodes. i truly appreciate all of it and am thankful to have connected with so many people that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Pedals are fun, noise is great, let me build something for you, the truth is out there, trust no1. That's it for now, I think.