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Bad Screamer: soft clipping overdrive (with transistors)

Working on a new circuit at this moment, it’s inspired by some existing guitar overdrive pedals.

The main gain and overdrive stage is basically one slightly enhanced Proco RAT gain stage but with more potential gain and volume (instead of the RAT’s multiple lower gain stages) . The clipping type is what’s called the “soft clipping”, with LEDs in the negative feedback chain. The LEDs in theory would allow for good enough output volume thus eliminating the need for an additional gain recovery stage after the overdrive stage. That’s in theory of course 🙂

Will be prototyping this on a board soon hopefully. Will still need to tweak its frequency behavior, and set up its minimum and maximum gain and volume. Might also add a tone control later – certainly not the one used in the original RAT, don’t want it to be scooped like that one. Will probably go towards some mid boost à la Tube Screamer instead. Sort of tempted by having a tone switch with two preset tones instead of a continuous potentiometer.

It has a buffer at the input. I’ll also test it without the buffer to see how this one-transistor thing behaves. The input impedance will be significantly lower without the buffer, it may bring some interesting results like easy cleanup using guitar’s volume. Don’t know if I need it, worth testing anyway.

The simulation is showing it’s doing something already 🙂

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Tomatoes

20 days later:

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I’m back

Well, the pandemic wasn’t easy on me but I survived. Hopefully this blog thing will continue – I’m working on several projects in parallel right now, audio electronics, vintage computers and some weird software. Will start by documenting what I’ve done during my 2020/21 “absence”, this will fill some void 🙂

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Blog Reveal

OK, this thing seems to work.

As a software engineer, I am too tempted to write a blog software to write my own blog in. “Drink your own champagne” so to speak. Using the newest and the bestest framework, augmenting my CV (hey – this is important!) and having fun while recording it all.

But no. After trying things and bits and bobs, I must confess that the old good and boring WordPress stays the best for that.

So be it – so what if it’s written in PHP (insert gagging sounds?). It just works and also installs in 3 minutes from a preinstalled “module” provided by my old web hoster.

It just works and gets out of the way and has tons of useful plugins for everything from CDN for static images (through Jetpack) to antispam for comments (Akismet). Worpress, you’re the winner again. I’ll let the blog stay out of the way and concentrate my efforts on fun and funky software and hardware that won’t break the blog itself 🙂

Welcome, hope this will be useful to someone! It will be for me 😉

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