Duh Voodoo Man's "Aura & Mystique" Boost-Overdrive Pedal

Here's a pedal I'm very proud of, because it's an original layout design and it's "from scratch", not using a kit or even a commercial PCB. Not only that, but it commemorates the recent world championship of my beloved NY Yankees, who recently won the 2009 World Series after a 9-year wait since their last championship. I've been a Yanks fan since I was a little boy, so the combination of their achievement along with the effect project I was planning at the time resulted in this one-of-a-kind pedal.

The basic concept was not original--to build a two-in-one effect featuring a combination of circuit clones two highly touted effects: the Fulltone OCD overdrive and the Z-Vex SHO boost. I had seen this combo done by DIY builders at the BYOC forum, and since I've never owned either of these pedals, I was very interested in trying one myself. Using veroboard layouts of the two circuits--Stratotrasto's OCD v.4 layout, and Andrew Carrell's vero plan for the SHO--I combined the two into a layout on a single piece of veroboard, along with a couple of additions of my own. Most significantly, I added a 3PDT toggle switch wired to allow the switching of the order of the two effects, so that the pedal could be run with the boost into the overdrive stage or visa-versa (see that HERE). The other addition was a "master volume" pot for the SHO, which generally comes only with a gain control. For anyone interested, a full layout of the pedal, including all the wiring, is posted HERE. The component information is included in the two original circuit layouts linked previously.

It takes a lot longer to build a pedal like this one, especially if you count all the planning that goes into developing the hardware layout and sourcing the required parts. Naturally, fabricating the circuits with veroboard takes much longer than using a nice PCB, and you have to be much more careful about placing parts correctly, cutting traces where needed, and neatly soldering the components in place. I'm happy to report that once finished, the effect fired right up and both the OD and boost stages worked the first time. The only problem was that the OD gain pot worked backwards (reduced gain in the clockwise direction), which turned out to be an error on the OCD layout I used. But that was a 5-minute fix, and the pedal works perfectly now. Sounds great, and I'm very pleased with how the enclosure graphics came out. This pedal was a LOT of work, but definitely worth the effort!

'Aura & Mystique' boost-overdrive pedal - top
'Aura & Mystique' boost-overdrive pedal - gut shot

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