History Lesson, Pt. 1
::update – the first batch of Peji’s are up and available – check them out here!::
So for those in the know, we’re currently on the verge of releasing a new pedal called the Pejibaye – which is a semi-transparent, darlington-based overdrive of all things. I know, I know – I’m supposed to be that synth-addled, noise musician sound artist inventor who makes the crazy stuff – I should be making strange boxes with envelope followers and feedback loops and whatnot. And for all extensive purposes, that’s more or less what I do when not setting DRM on eReserves or policing video for ADA compliance and whatnot. Or being a dad. Or scouring Baltimore to pick up the final check in’s for that competition on WTMD. But this one, yeah, not so crazy. Not to say that’s a bad thing – if anything, it’s been a challenge to get this one right – and I’m still not even sure if I’m entirely there yet. But, for fear of keeping it in developmental hell for a while longer and realizing that there hasn’t been anything new from the workshop in a second, here it is. I mean, it’s about time – considering that I started working on this design nearly 4 years ago.
This is how it happened. In 2012, VauxFlores was beginning to get a little attention in Costa Rica – not much, but enough that things were beginning to happen. And one of the things that happened was tat word had gotten out that I was open to custom work. I mean, I wasn’t that open, but I had a few spare boxes and could wrangle perfboard fairly well and know a couple electronics that offered most of the things I needed – and hey, a paycheck was a paycheck. So this one day, I get an email from this kid asking if I could build him something that could cop the tone from the amp of his favorite guitarist, who’s last name has a V in it and was in a band with his brother and that diamond guy. Yeah, him. Don’t say it out loud – do you want to get yourself sued???
I should’ve said no, but eh, it’s me. I like a challenge. So I researched said guitarists tone, gear and the schematics of his signature amp. And after a week or so of noodling, I had a sketch of something burnt sienna – off tan, but not quite the color of a certain sound that if I were to mention, I would probably receive a cease and desist order. Or so I thought – remember – it’s me. I cut my teeth on experimental guitar bands, REM and U2. I was after raw and processed, not fawn or umber. Fast forward a few weeks and lo and behold, I finished something that might actually pass as what this kid was after. And I drop him a line saying just that and he agrees to meet me and check it out. And the day comes when he’s supposed to pop over to the studio to check it out and he drops a line telling me that the bridge from his town to San José just collapsed and he literally cannot physically make it. This was all a bad thing for me because I was leaving for the states later that week and he happened to live near the airport. Whoops. Either way, the distortion section of what I built wasn’t all that great in my opinion – but the preamp – actually kind of cool. So I expanded on it and built a few prototypes for friends and friends of friends to a relatively decent deal of success – and now, nearly three years later, I can officially say that the Pejibaye is ready for the masses. More on that soon. It’s late and the day gig is expecting members of the press tomorrow, but rest assured – the Peji is indeed on it’s way. Stay tuned kids!