BUMBLEBEE

SWELL + COMPRESSOR

This pedal is discontinued, but it available until November 29 as part of our Klein Bottle launch.

Create ambient textures and unique effects with the BUMBLEBEE, a combination swell & compressor pedal. A wide attack ranges yields bowed guitar, reverse delay, and slow, synth pad-style effects. Blend it with the optical compressor for a unique “blooming” effect, or isolate the  compressor & use it to tighten up your tone. Combine with the Blueprint or a reverb pedal for a taste of sonic heaven. The BUMBLEBEE loves bass too!

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

BUMBLEBEE BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Low Noise Op Amp

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

A modern, high-speed op amp was chosen for its low-noise and high-fidelity properties.

USA Made PCBs

All Analog Circuitry

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

Digital swell effects can be hard to predict & play. The all analog design of the Bumblebee means it responds naturally.

Extended Headroom

DualMode Switching

A simple voltage inverter circuit was used to effectively turn 9V into 18V. More voltage means more headroom & bigger tone.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 15V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

1.8M-ohm

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~40ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

37 RESISTORS

32 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

9 TRANSISTORS

9 DIODES

2 OP AMPS

3 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
8 POTENTIOMETERS
3 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

1 OPTOCOUPLER

HOW THE BUMBLEBEE CAME TO BE

THE STORY

The very first pedal I built was a clone of the Boss SG-1 Slow Gear. It barely worked. After countless hours of finding my mistakes and modifying the circuit to swell longer, I was hooked. I went on a pedal building and modifying rampage, which eventually led to designing my own circuits - and the Bumblebee was one of the very first VFE designs.

 

The Bumblebee is a result of a long-evolution of design, always pushing the envelope to see how slow I could get a guitar or bass to swell. This quest led to the addition of the compressor to the front end of the circuit, which allows for long swells to ring out without dying off too quickly.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of the Bumblebee circuit:

 

#1 - The original was a Boss SG-1 slow gear clone I built as a hobby. It featured extended range and much-need mosfet boost circuit.

 

#2 - When the current control layout was first created, the jacks wouldn't fit into the thinner enclosures we use now. So I combined two effects into one box. One of these pedals was called the Echo Ohce, which combined the effects that became the Bumblebee and Blueprint. The original Echo Ohce had a control labeled "TRIM" to adjust how the FET swell responded. In other versions, this control became a factory-set internal trimpot.

 

#3 - The first compact version utilized the same basic layout as the current version. A MIX control was added to blend the compressor & swell circuits together (which works in the reverse direction as the current version). Many minor revisions have been done to make both the compressor and swell sections more versatile and easier to use.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Latest tweaks to circuit for more natural compression and swell

- Internal T.BASS trimpot affects the how the swell circuitry responds to bass vs. treble frequencies

- Dual-Mode switching