So this weekend I realized that I wanted to build an auxiliary, 3 switch pedal to extend the functions on the Eventide TimeFactor delay pedal I purchased off craigslist last week.
(2010.09.01 – EDIT: So I also wrote Part II of this DIY with a video explaining a little on why I decided to do this. Click HERE to go to Part II.)
I had a SPST switch left over from a tap tempo pedal I built for the Boss DD-20 that I played on for a good six months before coming across the TimeFactor. The Boss is a great pedal, but when it came down to the TimeFactor vs DD-20, it wasn’t even a contest. The DD-20 had to go. I should post some video soon to show the functions of this new AUX pedal and give a brief review of the TimeFactor after I have some more hours on it.
Anyway, to get back to this pedal….I had one switch, needed two more to get a comparable pedal to the Digitech FS3X or FS300 pedals that they sell to work with their loopers, etc. which Andy uses in his demo of the Repeat function of the TimeFactor:
I did some searches for a DIY project yielding results which were equivalent to the Digitech pedals mentioned above. I found this:
So I went down to “The Shack”. Thats what Radio Shack is having Lance Armstrong call them in their commercials now to make them seem like a hipster place to go. Well, hipsters never go to Radio Shack…NERDS, GEEKS and DORKS go there. Sorry guys, thats what we are..be proud of it. Even rock stars wouldn’t be going there. Yeah they might have custom pedals with a diode, transistor or resistor that came from there, but really, they would never go there. Their techs would go there instead. Lance Armstrong goes there? C’mon. Guys who build ham radios or custom robots that are programmed to keep their creators company while they work on the next fleet of uber-geeked out mahines go there. And guys like me. I am building some pedal to control my other pedal while I woodshed up some awesome melody that sounds like a spacey theme song for some sci-fi flick. Yeah…I am hip…I just got back from “The Shack”….sounds more like Ted Kaczynski’s woodshed than it does Lance Armstrong’s post-tour lounge.
Just kidding Radio Shack…I love you guys. Don’t ever stop carrying my precious geek fare…no seriously, please don’t leave me. No where else readily has this stuff nearby.
Here is a picture of the parts I needed from The Shack
(2 packs of the pushbutton switches, 1 pack of silicone diodes, 1 pack of stereo jacks):
One thing I contemplated about for a day or two was the enclosure. I really like This1sMyne’s Eventide Aux Switch and was really close to actually just having him build me one (and eventually I hope to buy a looper strip with this 3 button pedal integrated into it from him), but I found a really cool enclosure in my garage that would soon be thrown out by my wife if I didn’t reuse it for something.
In June, T-Mobile had a great promotion where you could sign up for a family plan on the day before Father’s Day and get any phone for free. My wife and I got myTouch 3G Slides
They both came in these 7×4 inch boxes that look like aluminum, but are really just plastic with rubber sides. They are 2+ inches tall. These are near the dimensions for the Digitech foot switch mentioned above (per amazon) and I figured that I had two so I could mess up on the first one if need be.
I decided to place each switch 1.5″ up from the bottom of the enclosure box, each one 2″ apart from the other. I had the two on the ends at 1.5″ in from the edge of the box. I think it yielded good results (bad photo sorry):
I put the stereo output jack on the bottom half of the box, just far enough from the hinge to fit. I wanted to allow for extra switches and another jack for future endeavors using this same box if I so desire:
Then I wired it all up as specified in the diyguitarist.com link that is mentioned above:
Closed it up, connected my 1/8″ stereo cable with 1/4″ adapters on each end:
Then I tried it out with the TimeFactor.
It appears all my terrible soldering skills did not yield in an epic fail in this attempt. I did get very superficial burns to the enclosure box 😦 as well as my finger on my right hand…NOT my fretting hand 🙂
This AUX pedal is really great. I have 6 switches now for the TimeFactor:
2) Repeat (see Andy’s demo above…truly a great function for us ambient pad lovers)
3) Tap Tempo
4) Preset 1 for Bank 1-50 (haven’t updated my software yet, still have only 10 banks, but with 20 presets total its still plenty)
5) Preset 2 for Bank 1-50 (again, only using 10 today)
6) Bank up (starting at 1, going to 50
So, I know I can assign the function to the particular switch, but haven’t read much more than that. I will look at how to go to bank down as soon as possible. That would definitely be useful…not sure how to do that yet.
As I continue to learn more about this pedal and how to maximize my effectiveness of these 6 switches, I will post some more, including a demo video as time permits.
I am also getting a new amp soon, so with all the new gear, I may need some motivation to post more. Feel free to comment and spur me on to post more on this.
Reading more in the manual about the functions of the AUX switch for the TimeFactor I found this, starting on page 30:
The rear panel Aux Switch stereo phone jack supports up to three independent momentary
switches using Tip, Ring and Tip+Ring. Aux Switches do not disable TimeFactor’s
Footswitches – the local Footswitches are always active. Aux Switches can be programmed to
perform a number of functions and they make it easy to connect a dedicated Tap Tempo
switch or Repeat switch or Preset Switch.
As noted above, the TimeFactor has two operating modes, Bank and Play. An Aux Switch can
be used to instantly toggle between the TimeFactor’s Bank and Play Modes. Alternately, some
users may want to have all six switch functions immediately available (3 from each Footswitch
Mode). A set of three Aux Switches can be connected and assigned accordingly.
Aux Switches can also be assigned to parameter values allowing you to switch between two
parameter values. For example, you could assign an Aux Switch to change Delay A’s feedback
level (Fdbk A) from 0 feedback when the switch isn’t pressed to 100% when it is pressed. To
program the Aux Switches see the System Mode section of this User Guide.
1) You must use a stereo phone 1⁄4” plug to connect Aux Switches.
2) Toggle switches are not supported. Only momentary switches will work properly.Aux Switches can also be assigned to parameter values allowing you to switch between two
parameter values. For example, you could assign an Aux Switch to change Delay A’s feedback
level (Fdbk A) from 0 feedback when the switch isn’t pressed to 100% when it is pressed.
3) Simultaneously pressing the switch assigned to the Tip and the switch assigned to the Ring
will trigger the function assigned to the Tip+Ring. The Aux Switches should be pressed
Refer to http://www.eventidestompboxes.com for information on recommended Aux Switches.”
Looking into the System Mode section of the manual reveals this for the AUX Switch:
“[AUX SW] – Program Auxiliary Switches
Up to three Auxiliary Switches can be assigned as controls for the Effects
parameters and system control. The three Aux Switches are connected to the rear
panel 1⁄4” stereo phone jack. TimeFactor detects closures by sensing whether the
tip, the ring or both the tip and ring are grounded. Note that you must use a
stereo phone plug when connecting three Aux Switches.
To assign the Aux Switches first press the Encoder to select AUX SW. You will see
two fields (split display) of the Billboard display (left/right) showing Parameter
destination and Control source assignments. An arrow pointing to the left
(Parameter) is flashing (if it’s not, press the Left Footswitch to select this field)
showing this to be the selected field for editing.
To assign the switches, first select the TimeFactor parameter or function (the
destination) that you want to externally control (Mix for example) and then select
the Aux Switch that you want to control it with (the source).
To Setup Parameter Destinations
Turn the Encoder knob to select an external control destination. Destinations
include the TimeFactor parameters and functions that can be controlled by one of
the Aux Switches. The choices are:
BYP – Toggle Bypass/Active. (Bypass type selected in BYPASS)
BK + – Increment Bank number switch function.
BK – – Decrement Bank number switch function.
TAP – Tap tempo switch function.
RPT – Repeat function.
P/B – Toggle between Play and Bank Mode.
REC – Looper Record
PLY – Looper Play
STP – Looper Stop
KB0…9 – Because of the limited space in the Billboard display, the Parameter
Control Knob names cannot be meaningfully displayed. Instead, for display
purposes, we’ve numbered the knobs from 0 to 9 as follows:
The notion of using an On/Off control source like an Aux Switch to control a variable
parameter bears some explanation. Consider a variable parameter like Dly Mix. You may want
to be able to use a remote switch to instantly change from 100% Delay A to 100% Delay B.
Or consider Delay Time. You may want to be able to use a remote switch to instantly change
from 100 ms of delay to 250 ms.
After you’ve selected a Parameter Control Knob, you can set two values for the parameter; a
minimum value [MIN VAL] and a maximum value [MAX VAL]. Each time the assigned switch
is pressed, the parameter value instantly toggles between the minimum and maximum value.
When a Parameter Control Knob designator is displayed (KB0… KB9), pressing the Left
Footswitch will display [MIN VAL]. Turn the associated Parameter Control Knob to set the
minimum value. For example, if KB0 was selected, turn the Mix Control Knob to set the
minimum value. The Billboard displays the knob value while you’re turning the parameter
knob and times out to display the selected [MIN VAL] when the knob is idle.
Push the Left Footswitch again to set the maximum value for the selected Parameter Control
Knob. The Billboard will display [MAX VAL]. Turn the associated parameter knob to adjust the
maximum value. The Billboard displays the knob value while you’re turning the parameter
knob and times out to display the selected [MAX VAL] when the knob is idle.
The parameters controlled in this mode are system-wide and will apply to all Effects and
Presets. For example, if DigitalDelay was running when you entered System Mode, the Delay
Mix Knob is used to set the relative levels of the two delays. You could assign an Aux Switch
to DlyMix (KB1) with [MIN VAL] set to 100% Delay A and [MAX VAL] set to 100% Delay B.
You can then set Delay A’s delay time and feedback for one type of delay effect and Delay B’s
delay time and feedback for a totally different type effect. Pressing the switch will toggle
between the Delay A effect and the Delay B effect. If another Effect or Preset is chosen, the
Aux Switch will effect the delay mix for the currently loaded effect.
Now consider another example, if VintageDelay was loaded when you entered System Mode,
you could assign a switch to the Xnob parameter to control the amount of “hiss.” In this
case, an Aux Switch can be set up to toggle between a little hiss and a lot of hiss (e.g., 3 to
7). In this case, if another Effect is loaded, the Aux Switch will still control the Xnob
parameter. If, for example, DigitalDelay is running, the Aux Switch will change the crossover
Note: When a Preset is loaded, the switches assume the MIN VAL for the assigned
parameters. Pressing the switch for the first time after a Preset load, will toggle the parameter
to MAX VAL.
Note: While it is possible to assign more than one external controller to any parameter, doing
so is likely to cause confusion and is not recommended.
To Setup the External Control Source
Press the Right Footswitch to select one of three Aux Switches. There are two ways to select
the Aux Switch – Manual Select or Learn Mode.
For Manual Select simply turn the Encoder to choose the Aux Switch. The choices are:
TIP – Aux switch jack tip connection
RNG – Aux switch jack ring connection
T+R – Aux switch jack tip + ring connection
To use the Learn Mode to select the external control source, Press the Right Footswitch again.
“LEARN” is displayed prompting you to press an Aux Switch for automatic assignment. Press
the Right Footswitch again to exit LEARN mode and revert to manual source selection.
Press the Left and Right Footswitches to toggle between Source and Destination to make as
many assignments as you wish.
The default patches for Aux Switch control are as follows:
The other Aux Switch Control destinations ([BK+], [BK-], [P/B], and [KB0]…[KB9]) are
unassigned as indicated by [—].
Note: It is possible to assign the same Aux Switch to multiple destinations. In other words,
you could assign [TIP] to control Bypass AND Tap AND Repeat AND etc. The benefit of having
the same switch control multiple functions can be very useful however, you should keep in
mind that, if you have previously assigned a Switch to a control destination, you may want to
clear the assignment before setting up a new assignment. In fact, the default settings use
this capability to provide both the normal Play functions and the Looper Play functions.
When done, Press the Middle Footswitch to go to top level System menu.”