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#176294 - 10/13/12 01:39 PM [Off-Topic] Is anybody here particularly handy?
eddie1261 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4393
This is a completely strange request for a rather strange thing.

I use my ESQ-1 a lot for organ. The base sound is a really good approximation of a Hammond. Here's what gets strange. I run it through a tremolo effect box. As it is, I velcro the thing to the top of the keyboard and use my left hand to turn the speed knob to make the rotation faster and slower. I want to take the guts of that pedal and mount it into a dead wah or volume pedal but I have no fabrication skills. Inside the old wah pedal is a gear type mechanism. This scheme would call for that gear to be connected to the bat of that knob so the pedal would turn that knob when the foot presses down. I have it in my mind but no idea how to translate it into a finished product.

Anybody have those kind of skills and interest in a new science project?
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

#176295 - 10/13/12 04:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: eddie1261]
Cornet Nev Offline

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 330
Loc: Lancashire UK
Kind of a great shame there is a large expanse of water between us, otherwise if you lived in the next street, I could have looked, then shaped. I have a lathe, milling machine, welding gear, and lots of hand tools as well. In fact could have made what you want from scratch probably, and due to the fun of such a project, it would only have cost you a few beers in the local bar.
However, if pictures were provided, and a rough sketch of what you have in mind as a finished job, I am sure advice will be forthcoming.

#176296 - 10/13/12 04:48 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: Cornet Nev]
Don Gaynor Offline

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 8005
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Water? What water?

#176297 - 10/13/12 05:26 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: Don Gaynor]
eddie1261 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4393
Don, we are aware that an Oyrishman is not familiar with the concept of water. No sense ruining good whiskey with water, right?

Nev, it would end up looking like any other volume pedal but have the tremolo guts mounted sideways so I don't know what I could draw up. Maybe a photo of the guts of the tremolo pedal case it is in now.
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

#176298 - 10/16/12 09:03 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: eddie1261]
trapper456 Offline

Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 343
Loc: Montana, USA
Just a suggestion: Find a college that has an engineering department. Tell them what you want. They may charge you some but they will get what you want done. I have done this and have had wonderful results.
Music is an expression that is a universal language

#176299 - 10/16/12 09:19 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: trapper456]
Mac Offline

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA

1) Find a Volume pedal, an old wah pedal, an old MIDI expression pedal, what you need is one that uses a Potentiometer that is turned by the pedal action (NOT one that uses lightbult with shutter to phototransistor or the like, although it would be possible to use one, it would likely take more circuitry and savvy ti implement.)

2) Now you will have to identify the resistance and taper of the original Potentiometer in the target device. It will likely be a Linear Taper pot.

3) Once known, you then have to obtain a potentiometer of the same value and same mechanical mounting and shaft dimensions as the one in the Volume Pedal.

4) Remove the pot from the Volume Pedal and replace it with the new one of the right value. This may involve having to drill a small hole thru the shaft of the new pot for a pin, or it may be done using epoxy adhesive to hold the gear or pulley to the pot shaft.

5) There are three connection points to the pot, you need to find out which one of the three references Ground or Chassis Common.

6) Use a standard two-wire with shield "mic" or balanced type cable to go between the pedal and the unit. Wire the shield to the pin that is Ground on the unit's original pot after disconnecting it.

7) Don't make that cable too long, just long enough to reach where it has to go.

All that said, be advised that there are MUCH better tonewheel organ and rotary speaker simulators around today. For example, the CASIO WK series keyboards with the Drawbar Organ section sound simply amazing and the street price for new is under $500. A used one can be found for a lot less.

PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.

#176300 - 10/16/12 12:01 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: Mac]
eddie1261 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4393
Are we talking about the same thing Mac? I already have the hardware I want to use. I just need someone who is able to mount it sideways inside a pedal and use the existing gear from the dead pedal on the bot of the pot in my Danelectro that I will dismember. I am not looking to build one from scratch. And I am nowhere near that gifted to know pot values and such.
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

#176301 - 10/16/12 01:06 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: eddie1261]
Larry Kehl Offline

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2121
Loc: New Mexico

If your are set that you want to use a exisintg term pedal "redux" in new guts fine. I'm sure any competenat tech (at local music store even) can take that old WAH pedal (better than volume since it also has a ON/OFF switch under the rocker) and transfer guts. UNLESS in the existing trem pedal components are surface mounts then I doubt he'd bother. At that point he would do like Mac suggested (match pot values, get replacements, and work it from there)

or again Mac's right on the other points (as usual) just some random info (cheap to expensive)

for 49.99 at AMS

for ~$220 boss RT-20 Rotary Speaker Sound Processor

or for ~ twice that (at around $450)

Neo ventilator

or for even a little more $$$ a Hughes & Kettner Tube Rotosphere

I have one of these (older model) - it is VERY good! As a guitar analog stomp box snob I also own way too many vibe clones - both of Bob Sweets, two from Fulltone- Deja and Mini Deja, and a few others - none of which are on my board now - only Sweet's Mojo vibe since it is smaller ands sounds identical to Bob's orginal)

While I REALLY like the H&K (not the firearm, BUT I do own a few of those as well) for organ AND guitar but it takes too much floor/board space for just guitar.

So for guitar I end up using an Analogman Bi-Chorus (I actually have a few of his other Clone Chorus's as well) - good for guitar use but not the depth/bass, slow/fast - break sound needed for a convincing B3. And for Organ - I just use the keyboard/synths built-in FX (and the worst of them is pretty good if set properly and would work live).

good Luck


Edited by Larry Kehl (10/16/12 01:07 PM)

#176302 - 10/16/12 05:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: Larry Kehl]
rockstar_not Offline

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7455
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

I had an ESQ-1. I also still have a VFX-SD, although non-functional at present. The organ sounds in the ESQ-1 are really pretty crummy, even compared to the lowliest of Casio keyboards you can buy at Guitar Sinner these days for just over $100. The organs on the WK-200 (or whatever it's current model number is) run laps and circles around the ESQ-1 sounds. I just checked, it's the WK-225. I bought the WK-200 on a Black-Friday sale at Guitar Center for right around $120 in 2011. Guessing a similar deal is available coming up this Black Friday. I should really make some recordings with it and post them. They are great sound generating keyboards (keybed leaves something to be desired - my fave is still my VFX-SD keybed).

That was the point Mac was trying to make. That Tremelo pedal must be great to get one to think Leslie, using the ESQ-1 sounds as a starting point.

Here's a challenge for you: Visit GSi's website and download the freeware Organized Trio VSTi.

It will honestly rock your socks off for both genuine drawbar/tonewheel organ sound as well as for it's built-in leslie effect. It's free. Did I mention that it's free, as in it costs nothing?

I will make it really easy on you - here's the link.

In that .zip file are also 3 great electric piano simulations which are way better than most sample based electric pianos, a stand-alone leslie effect called Mr. Donald (guess what Mr. Leslie's first name is), etc. This one download may be your favorite download of freeware/donationware ever. I am entirely serious about that claim. Let's put it this way, these VSTi are what made me a believer in play-through of VSTi being something I will never ever give up. They also are probably what made me go entirely 'in the box' for sound sources - until this year.

For home recording purposes, these VSTi and VST will kill the ESQ-1/tremelo effect. Trust me on this - I'm one of the few on this forum who rocked the ESQ-1 for years, cassette tape data I/O and all.

I know you are an Ensoniq man - as I am, or was I should say. I vouch that you will become part of the GSi following if you simply give them a run through. In order to appreciate them, you will need to be using ASIO with low latency so that there is no perceptible lag.

I've since become owner of a few of GSi's pay-for VSTi due to winning some monthly song contests at and choosing GSi plugins as the rewards. I have VB3 and Mr. Ray 73 Mk II as a result. I can vouch that the freeware/donationware products are just as usable, though a little more taxing on the CPU.

Anyhow, I'm guessing you'll bulldog the hardware solution anyways for the fun of it. Just be aware that the software side is a much more authentic sound that you might be overlooking.

Oh, the latest axe that I bought just about a month ago (first synth I bought since the VFX-SD in 1989) - is a Casio XW-P1 because of it's tonewheel organ simulation on-board. One big disappointment, is the overdrive effect is unusable. It's a great pristine condition B3 emulation, run clean - but I'm either gonna have to wait for a firmware update for the overdrive, or go external, as what's on-board is really disappointing. The box that lots of folks are coupling with the XW-P1 to compensate for the overdrive is the Neo Ventilator. Since I only paid about $420 for the XW-P1, I won't be buying this pedal,

At about 3:25 in the video he demonstrates the tube drive effect in the Ventilator pedal.

Anyway the GSi Organized Trio will make wide smiles appear on your face - almost guaranteed. You should be able to assign whatever kind of control you feel like to make the leslie speed change. I like to make the footswitch control switch between fast and slow speeds.


#176303 - 10/16/12 06:23 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: rockstar_not]
eddie1261 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4393
Let me answer this way Scott. The ESQ organ sounds may be crappy in your mind by 2012 standards and compared to what a plug in will do, but when the ESQ was new in the mid 80s that organ sound was great, and the idea is to make do with what I already own. I could also go out and buy a Hammond and a Leslie, but it wouldn't be hardware hacking. Virtual instruments are great at home but this is for (my very rare) live play and hardly worth my spending $500 on. For that kind of money I will keep turning the little knob by hand. Slowly to the right to speed it up, slowly to the left to slow it down. My sampler has buttons that start and stop the effect but I rarely travel with it. I prefer to have passable piano, passable organ, passable strings, passable horns.... in one board rather than carrying several boards and a laptop and a ton of discs.... For home use, I have a B3 plugin and the Hammond in Garageband is awesome. You guys know me by now. It's the journey, not the destination.

Remember the climb up Mount MOTU? Once I got to the top I sold the stuff off and went on to something else. I'll figure out how to mount that pedal in a foot device of some kind. May take a bunch of cutting, soldering and scotch tape, but I'll make it work. No wires, 1/4" jack in and 1/4" jack out... I mean, it has jacks now...
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.

#176304 - 10/16/12 10:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: eddie1261]
rockstar_not Offline

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7455
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Didn't know it was for gigging. Got a laptop? I've gigged those plugins using a vsti host. I understand run what ya brung so I get it.

#176305 - 10/16/12 10:58 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is anybody here particularly handy? [Re: rockstar_not]
eddie1261 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4393
See, you are getting to know me Scott. I use this phrase often and I live by it. Life is truly about the journey, not the destination. The idea of finding a way to repurpose this existing tremolo pedal AND meld it with another device is the kind of thing that drives me.

Back in the day, I had a Texas Instruments TI 99-4A computer. It had this big expansion box the size of a toaster oven and a big flat cable 4" wide and 3/8" thick that plugged into the side of that tiny computer. That box held 32k memory cards and a floppy drive controller card. Everybody told me I could only use 1 of the 32k memory cards. Well, I bought a second one, took the clamshell case off, and looked at it and saw a terminating resistor. I desoldered that resistor, put it in the box in front of the other one, and suddenly I had a whopping 64k of RAM. THEN they told me that the computer would not support hard drives. I burned out 3 IBM hard drive controller cards before I figured it out, but I went to the next month's club meeting with my 64k of memory and a 20mb hard drive!! Now, those experiments cost me more money than it would have cost to buy a used computer with the same equipment, but I considered that to be cheating!

Apply the gist of that story here.

(Figuratively speaking)

I want to CLIMB the mountain, not be dropped there by helicopter.
I will continue to post in the songwriters forum but will be keeping my opinions to myself as far as the off topic forum goes.


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