Fun with Electro-Harmonix

Heavily modified my Frequency Analyzer to utilize a single installed jack to function as either an expression pedal input(without expression pedal in the FA is just as normal) or a Carrier In depending on the position of a switch.  The Carrier needs to be a line level, so I needed a boost circuit built into the pedal, so there’s a dial to control the amount of boost if needed from an instrument input.

So low and behold, the Frequency Analyzer with Selectable Expression Pedal or CV Input jack, toggle and pad to accommodate various CV input levels and automatic link of Input signal to Carrier.  With LED.


L.R. Baggs Gigpro

The Little Jake requires a preamp, which can be a wide number of things.  To make things easy on most bassoonists I work with someone from Chicago that makes a very simple preamp housed in an Altoids tin with a belt clip that provides the necessary impedance buffer and signal boost in a compact package.  There are some EQ problems with it depending on your rig though – as it’s a very bass heavy signal.  I temper that preamp with an EQ pedal or just at my amp.

Most of the time I prefer to use a slightly more expensive belt clip preamp made by L.R. Baggs called the GigPro.  For about $100USD it provides a similar impedance buffer and drive that the Little Jake needs, but also provides gain and volume controls and a two band EQ along with a “trim” that can help avoid any extra boomy-ness.  Here are my settings that I use with this and my rig.  It changes slightly sometimes, but basically this is it:


Click to view the image a little larger.  I’ve added red lines to clarify where the Trim, Bass, and Treble knobs are pointing, since it doesn’t photograph well.  If anyone is using the Little Jake and wants to try it out, this can be purchased at many music stores both locally and online.

Little Jake tutorial

Safely screw in the threaded adapter version of the Little Jake bassoon pickup.

Chopped Liver, completed and demo’d

This is the first one that I’ll be selling.  Actually this one uses the original board that I made, with caps swapped out and some re-set components, new pots and totally re-wired and put into a better enclosure.

Meatball clone is done!!!

I’m so glad to have this project finished.  Sounds great so far, although I can’t get the expression pedals to work quite right and I haven’t tried it with bassoon yet.



on the board

hand drawn



This will be quite beefy

Meatball components

Meatball in progress guts

Partial Meatball

Some spaghetti

Video content

A looping video with me using just the HOG and two delay pedals.  Taken with my digital camera, so the quality is crap, but whatever.  It was fun.

Cheap delay and a DIY pedal

Board update!

February board

Got a second Echohead because they were on clearance at Musician’s Friend.  I’m not really sure how to use two delays yet, but I couldn’t pass up the deal.  I then altered my tap tempo box to have tap tempo switches for both pedals.  While I was at it I did a little bit of nicer artwork on my looper and the tap tempo box: permanent marker covered in scotch tape!

This meant my Looper is not off the board, which is fine, because I’m OK carrying it along when I know I’m doing looping, otherwise there’s not really a reason to have it on the board.  Someday I’ll have an EHX 2880 anyway, which will have a dedicated board with it’s foot controller.

Anywho, I started work on a DIY noisegate.  I have the enclosure there just filling in space while I wait on the PCB components.  I etched my own PCB for it, and will post a little step by step pictorial about that whole process when we get that far.

Little Jake Model “H”

In conjunction with Paul Hanson, I’ve created the Model “H” of my Little Jake bassoon pickup.  This is identical to the normal Little Jake, but with the threaded interface that Paul uses with his FRAP.  This provides a more secure connection with the bocal.

Because this will not come out of the bocal if there is a pull on the chord, I highly recommend that you attach the wire to the long joint before the slack of the wire goes to the preamp.  This will assure that if you accidentally tug on the wire it won’t break the Little Jake!


Board re-do

Recarpeted the effects board and changed the signal chain around while I had everything off the old carpet.  Turns out I like the envelope filter after dirt after all, even though I didn’t think it would work at first.  Frequency Analyzer also sounds better after the envelope filter, not before, and sounds just fine after dirt, so it all works out.

Chain is now EQ > HOG > (Direct out to Mixer) Effect out > Noise Box > Distortion Booster > MMM > DFW Envelope FIlter > Frequency Analyzer > Small Stone > TB Loop > (Send to Mixer) > Return from Mixer blends in dry signal from HOG and microphones if needed, else > Echohead > RC-2 > Amp.

Very versatile and everything sounds great!