VFE PEDALS' MASTER PLAN
As you probably already know, I have returned to teaching high school math full time. VFE Pedals has been embedded into the programs at IDEA High School in Tacoma since September. I have learned a LOT this first year, and have big plans moving forward.
Here is a summary of what has been accomplished in year one:
- I developed simple booster kits for students to learn about audio circuits
- VFE funded the purchase of DIY kits for students to build and modify audio gear
- I developed 12 easy-to-build FX for a pedal building class of 40+ students
- VFE high school interns have developed a unique fuzz pedal (limited run coming soon)
- I held a student design contest for a new VFE logo, which we are using now.
The 2016-17 school year was a great start, but I have much bigger plans moving forward. Here is my vision for the next two years. These programs require funding from VFE, so your support of VFE Pedals will go directly to support these high school courses.
- New year-long class that teaches students how to build, modify, and design guitar pedals.
- Develop several pedal projects for this new course through my Patreon page. You can learn, too!
- New year-long class that will partner with VFE to give students real-world training in marketing, social media, business planning and accounting. The idea is to use VFE as a way to give students a feedback loop on their ideas - which is much more integral to learning than a letter grade.
- Expanded, paid internship program that partners with these two courses to lead groups of students as they learn about web design, graphic design, manufacturing, quality control, inventory management, accounting, video production, audio recording, and more!
- Work with students to design, develop & launch 3 new pedals in 2018.
- Students will design a booth for the Tacoma Guitar Festival in May 2018, featuring many works built and designed by students during the school year.
- Special month-long workshop to give students an opportunity to work in the music industry. The students will design a booth for NAMM, including all marketing materials, and the course will culminate with a week-long trip to the NAMM Show in January 2019.
- New year-long course that teaches students how to repair analog gear. I hope to open up a repair shop that charges only parts + shipping, giving students an opportunity to fix gear from musicians across the United States.
- Launch an artist program specifically aimed to help high school students in Tacoma get the gear they need to take the next step as musical or visual artists.
Oh, and I plan to launch a new pedal in the fall called the "Klein Bottle". In short, the Klein Bottle is a multiband loop mixer with independent feedback loops. In use, this means you can plug in any pedal/rack effect into one of the FX loops, and then route/filter/loop an instrument input signal to create an infinite array of unique tones.
As a whole unit, it's quite complex. Looking at just one channel (out of 3), here's what you get:
- HPF/LPF filters to set what frequency range of your instrument gets sent to that FX loop
- PRE gain control to adjust for EQ changes, or to add gain/distortion to pedals in that FX loop
- MIX control sets the amount of that FX loop's output gets sent to the master output
- Independent feedback controls to route part (or all) of the signal from that FX loop return into the FX loop send on the other two channels
Additional features include:
- Trails switching option to let the FX signal decay naturally (or keep the internal feedback loops active when the pedal/loop is off)
- Phase shift on channel 1 to adjust for phase shift problems can arise with parallel FX mixing
- Clean level to blend in the dry signal to master output
- Master level control to quickly set the output volume of the final mix
I expect to launch the Klein Bottle on Kickstarter around September/October of this year. We'll launch a full feature demo around that same time.
Thank you for your support of VFE Pedals. Let me know if you have any questions!