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The move back to analog (2015- )

In Brasil I had used my dark blue analog Elegy through a Lemo connector and a McMillen Stringport interface into a Hackintouch (a Lenovo 310 touch laptop with OSX installed). FireWire became obsolelete and I also modified the turquise Elegy to Polybass and a Roland/Boss GP-10 which also serves for jams without laptop.

the Akai LPD8 works well for the looping commands as it is sensitive and noiseless and cheap and small. but the modification to the sliders was not satisfactory, they do not move easily enough and/or the base is not solid enough


the next pedal will be to the Sensel Morph


The second digital Instrument (2008-2015)


Elegy FW

Paradis Elegy with FireWire
made by Rolf Spuler


there are only 3 of those guitars, all made in 1986.
the first dark blue Elegy I used exclusively during 20 years (seriously: I did not even feel like trying other guitars any more, which I loved so much before... I wish I could have found a woman like this hahaha)

this Elegy had a problem and was sleeping during those 20 years and when the FireWire idea came up, was the great solution for me!
Philipp Scheidegger made the genious PCBs and I did the ugly wiring

the third Elegy is white and lives with Dennis in California



MacBook Pro with Mathons Poly and EchoLoop VST Plugins organized in Bidule


left click here to download full size screen

note that the MIDI out of the Echoloop's go to the Wifi Midi, so all the leds, the state and the loop grow becomes visible on the pedal, which I find extremely important:
no stress to look at two different places!
no blind stepping!



TouchOSC controlling 2 Echoloop and other parameters


botom right the volume swell thing, not quite as smoth as the good old pedal, but much smaller and does not need to be oiled. the heel can stay on the ground when the fader is not to long and horizontal, and turning the foot is at least as acurate as the classical "gas pedal" movement




This has been my bass player since I created it in 1985!
I even had a patent for it
originally it was a 19" unit called PolySubBass
some years ago, Rolf made it SMD and now calls it only PolyBass and builds it in his guitars
it needs separate strings and works delay free and glitch free and in phase, so it adds to the natural string sound, instead of sounding like a synth or octaver

I made it a VST plugin as well, you can get it on request (if you have separate strings in your computer


the drop-D-head is Rolfs construction (and probably his idea as well?.
he offers a newer version with a pen like press button to switch back to E
I do not use the switch, I am totally used to D (which I usually pitch starting from C)

The first digital Instrument (2005-2008)


this was a hard start.

left behind the laptop you see the Presonus FW interface. Its not really needed but helps to receive the headset microphone (which I could connect to the guitar but then realized its not practical because you ripp off the headset when you put the guitar down :-)

I tried with a MacMini but had to sell it because it did not stop creating clicks and I learned the hard way that the cause was the shared video memory

with this AMD Athlon64 PC it worked better, but I never really felt at home

with assistance from BridgeCo who created the FW chip for the guitar and Presonus (and M-Audio and...) I got a driver that included both FW inputs.
the supply of the Presonus also feeds the guitar which is connected to it (since the laptop only has a 4pin FW connector that does not supply)

note that the pedal has a little brother which is empty and connects to the PC-1600 board in the big brother. it was great for BrotherSync jams


I do not know why I shoot the picture cutting the FW connector at the guitar...

... and left mothers trash bin in the picture hahaha


The analog Instrument (1985 - 2005)

This machinery made me play happily for 20 years with little changes
sure, I kept soldering in the pedal to interconnect and control the elements in different ways
upgrading the Lexicons
eventually added the AirFx which I miss most of all that old gear because it was so quick and funny and alive...

the wooden box below was made by a carpenter friend in Weisslingen I sadly enough do not remember the name off (as usual, I did pay for some of his work, but not all the time it took to figure out the construction which is never straigt forward for me :-)
I took it to Brasil when I moved there in 1993 and later I made a simpler copy to use in Switzerland (which you see above)
I do not understand why the industry did not come up with such a product, its so much easier than seting up on a table you see the point with the inclination: it allows the cables to pass and at the end of the show I just stuff the cables into the back and close.
this first version of the pedal contains Penny+Giles faders (next to $100 each!) and they worked smoothly all those years.
the switches had a reed contact and a magnet to actuate it, thus no oxidation and no noise.

the top black unit is my own construction. it contains two PolyDistortions, a PolySubbass, some filtering and distortion (more info) and a "speaker simulator" (a highcut, really), a headphone amp and a Midi Controller (controlled by the pedal and controlling the Lexicons)
the PCM80 did the effects before the loop and the PCM90 the reverb after the loop.

my way through the Live Looping Tools:



Roland SDE 3000 with 3,5 seconds delay, rhythm tap (not instant!) and feedback pedal.


t.c. 2290 with 4 seconds delay, tap and feedback pedal.
Partner musicians use the delay unit together with me. I gave them a volume pedal for the input into the delay, easy to understand,
but I had to control FeedBack for both musicians and dreamed of changing my part while the partners would loop on...


t.c. 2290 with 11 seconds delay, tap (t.c. called it "learn") and feedback pedal.
Multiply was done manually by calculating and typing new delay time into the unit!


Lexicon PCM42 heavily custimized with 20 seconds delay, tap, feedback pedal.
I had the best looping tool 5 years ahead!
Creator Gary Hall explains the HW to me so I managed to replace its processor by a board of CMOS chips doing Tap-Tempo and Multiply function as I invented it in Rio de Janeiro and programmed later in the LOOP software.


Paradis LOOP delay. Finally a Record function! Memory is not cheap, but we can buy the loop time we need.
Finally BrotherSync: From now on a second unit serves the partner musician. The first experience was with David Hopkins.


Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro. Delay times are not a question any more. The only problem left is noise floor and mono.
I got used to reverb after the loop, so I did not care to carry a second Echoplex, the box was at the limit...


Nephew Johnny first programmed a simple loop app for the Chameleon. Then we saw it was much easier to develop VST.


When the VST Plugin worked for me, partner Kim Flint became afraid that I was stealing the LOOP software and forced me to stop.
At home I continued using it, but I did not feel free to play in public any more.
At the last solo gig with the old HW I met Daniela, the mother of my son Icaue!


Rick Walker calls me out of my isolation and I play the VST Plugin for the first time in public with Arild Anderson at the Y2k7 LiveLooping Festival!
A few days later I manage to settle with Kim, buying his part of Aurisis.

2010 Kim dies in a downhill bicicle race. the Echoloop VST plugin is published by Mathons.com. I loose more and more interst in looping and prefer to play free and with many people

Master Moacir Massa and his help for my system

Sr Moacir worked at the national petrol company and raised 13 kids in his huge house. The garage is a collection of precious old tools and he and some of his sons appear every day there and create wood and metall art and fix cars and such.

first they built this chair for me:

then around 2002 we built this pedal, using the PCB of a Peavey PC-1600. Its only 25mm high which is not only handy for transport but for operation: the heel can stay on the ground.

The First Guitar Amp, from Alpha 77 parts

first concert 1974I never bought a guitar amplifier. As soon as I started playing, I also started to assemble PCBs for Hermi Hogg, owner of Alpha 77, an incredible one man company that made all the sound mixers, amplifiers, cabinets, effects, multicores... for the well known swiss bands like Island, Tea,,, even Can came from germany for some special constructions. We built Chorus before that name existed for the effect, pitch shifters, and of course wahwah, distortion... and finally a digital delay and a discrete DSP... but the import equipment became cheaper and cheaper and Hermi finally started developing measuring systems for the animal hospital :-(

I recently found this picture of my first concert about 1974 playing Wishbone Ash and some impros. the first guitar was a terrible Excellsior (you can see it leaning against the wall), but this Ibanez Tele was great. about 1977 I traded it for a Guild Les Paul for a bit fuller sound.

This Les Paul 1968 had a great sound. I equipped it with a Bartonlini Hex Pickup and a LEMO connector to the polyphonic distortion. But on this very tour in 1983 with Renato Cappellis first roling stage, the Mistral, the heavy wind of the south of france, broke its head for the second time and we did not fix it any more. It was to heavy anyway, bad for the back.

I also had a Kramer metal neck with a great Strat like sound. We later built the PolyDistortion into it and I finally sold it to Luiz Caldas who uses it still as he told me in about 2008.

You can see the modular amp on the left edge. The power amplifier sits in the back of it. The huge pedal was also Hermi's construction.
More about this equipment here.