Projects: FX Kit - a Digital Effects Pedal Platform


Effects and audio processes are an integral part of the electric guitar terrain. The goal of this ongoing project is to draw from the profession, past and present, and help create a platform and resources for others to enter into and further the proud tradition of “pedal making”. To this end, we’ve developed (and are continuing to develop!) an integrated approach consisting of the following linked components:

FX Testing Rig

FX Testing Rig.

a software programming tool for prototyping effects and deploying them to a microcontroller. Learn more .

FX Development Primer

FX Testing Rig.

a guide for developing effects using the FX Testing Rig and Max. Learn more .

Start here

Pedal Assembly Primer

FX Testing Rig

a guide for building a digital effects pedal using a Daisy Seed and a Terrarium PCB. Learn more .

This platform is an example of how music-making, software, and hardware converge in our lab. In our initial tests, a student team of three listened to a song, identified an effect, and were able to build an audio process in code to emulate that effect (see the "lover" pedal and this article we published). We then piloted an event whereby teams developed an effect in just a single day—an event that later became our FX Hackathon . This project is in constant development by the Electric Guitar Innovation Lab, so please check back often!

an Overview of What We're Doing

Project Personnel and Collaborators

-V.J. Manzo, Founding Director and PI of the Electric Guitar Innovation Lab
-Ryan McKenna, WPI alumnus and Research Associate for the Electric Guitar Innovation Lab
-Our hardware and software-to-hardware integration is based on the work of Electro-smith using the Max programming environment developed by Cycling '74 .
-Cross-institutional collaborators including Matthew Halper of Kean University
Collaborators from the profession including software developer John King, multimedia artist Steve Holec , and The Les Paul Foundation
-All of the many WPI students who have participated in this research and music-making including Imogen Barnes, Allie Rozear, P.J. Mara, James McAlese, Tyler Reiser, Leagsaidh Collis, Sam Krimmel, and Ryan Tougas
...and a very special thanks to many other students, faculty, musicians, makers, and associates who have helped support this effort! Please reach out if you would like to get involved!