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DIY Whammy

6/23/2004 11:54 PM
DIY Whammy
Any ideas of how to make an octave stompbox with an expression pedal.  
Anything is welcome
7/5/2004 5:11 PM
Mark Hammer

Octave-down units can not be turned into Whammy-like pedals by simply adding an expression control. They use a specific approach which limits them to generating one or two octaves down and that's it.  
On the other hand, analog delay lines CAN be coaxed into providing whammy-like performance if you change the delay time as you play. Sampling out at a faster or slower rate than you sampled in will produce a pitch change identical to what happens if you change the speed of a vinyl recording to be either faster or slower than it was recorded.  
In fact, in the 70's, Electro-Harmonix produced a pedal that was almost explicitly designed for pitch bending. The E-H "Hot Foot" was an entirely mechanical wah-like pedal, that came with a flexible shaft that could be bolted to the delay control on a Memory Man. If you worked the Hotfoot pedal as you played, you could get pitch-bending in a downwards or upwards direction. Unfortunately, as effects pedals got smaller and Boss dimensions (with small closely spaced knobs) became the standard, it became impossible to use the Hotfoot (they needed big heavy pedals with knobs far apart to work well).
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