CWS013 – Flute Filter Fuzz

This pedal has been in the works for a long time. I suppose the story starts years ago when I scavenged an old roadside Gulbransen organ, thrilled to find it overflowing with nice reusable poly caps, resistors, switches, pots, wire, and transistors. I got out my desoldering iron and went to work, filling drawers with parts that I hoped to someday use to build pedals with, even dreaming to make 100% recycled pedals with only parts that were destined to the trash dump.

While I haven’t quite made it to that level of reuse, this pedal perhaps takes a step in that direction. Instead of removing all of the components and starting from scratch with a new circuit, I wanted to see what some of the existing circuitry sounded like. This particular organ had separate modules for each of the sounds that it created. Conveniently, they were set up with an IN, OUT, +, and -, so it was easy to solder on wires and begin hearing what came out of it when a guitar was run through them.

The module that was chosen was the flute filter. What came out of it was actually nothing like a flute, but a surprisingly roaring fuzz sound that actually had quite smooth characteristics. The flute module was set up with several low pass filters which shaped the frequencies that were being boosted. High notes on the guitar were inaudible, while lower notes rang out with singing sustain. There was also a very strange modulation that was occurring, where the pitch almost sounded like it was going through a sequencer.

 

While I had the module on the bench, I went through the circuit and tested several points with jumper cables to see if anything interesting would happen. I found multiple spots that gave quite interesting results so those points got wires soldered to them. In the end, I added 4 switches to control these “shorts,” and an output cap with volume control. The switches X, Y, Z, and /, can be used in any combination.

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