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The Perfect Mini Guitar Pedal Design

Guitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesIdeal Pedal FormatPrototype-X

In my continuing quest for pedal perfection, and following on from my piece on ’The Perfect Compact Guitar Pedal Design’ I now present a brief overview on my perfect mini pedal. In this instance the original source template is a Pigtronix micro pedal but with some significant modifications.


I have tried to cram in a serious amount of technology into a mini pedal, so I am not sure in this instance, whether it would stand the addition of Fender Pedal-style illuminated dials - possibly that takes things over the line. Apart from Stereo connectivity though, the Mini pedal retains most of the key elements of the Compact version, just to a lesser degree. So instead of 6 Control Dials we have 4, instead of 4 x 3-way Voicing toggles we have 2, and in place of 6 presets we have 4.


I long considered how many Control Dials to have - some Mooer and Donner pedals can have as many as 6 - but those are of the tiny micro size which frankly I find fiddly, so the ones employed here are of reasonable size and proper quality - say milled aluminium.


Using the ’ALT’ switch can also give you alternative or secondary functions on each of the Control Dials - so in effect giving you 8 control parameters. I would use the ALT button also to save Presets. The way that would work is to double-tap the Preset LED along to the required one in the sequence, and then hold down ALT button and footswtich simultaneously. You can then scroll through and cycle round the 4 presets with a simple double-tap on the OptoMash footswitch.


As before the hypothetical OptoMash footswitch combines the best of GigRig’s OptoKick optical footswitch for seamless latching, with the best of TC Electronic’s MASH pressure-sensitive technology - so you get maximum functionality out of a single footswitch - where you can use it on a single, double-tap, and momentary basis, as well as on an expression-pedal basis by applying different degrees of pressure to the footswitch.


Obviously the Mini Pedal has a limited enclosure space to fit complicated circuits, so the Mini pedals can never quite compete with those of larger dimensions. Nevertheless I feel that we can evolve and innovate significantly from those currently on sale, and this is what I have attempted to do here. This all relies on a degree of micro-engineering which may not yet be fully conceivably possible, that said, none of the features I refer to here are revolutionary, but all based on existing feature sets - so surely someone is not too far away from achieving something like this.


I of course look to companies like TC Electronic, whom I feel would benefit enormously from such pedal designs. The issue with most of TC Electronic’s pedals is that they have no presets, and even though they have TonePrint abilities - there is no easy way to switch during live playback - bar manual manipulation. Many players buy two of each pedals to be able to set short and long delay and switch easily between them - here you can simply double-tap between 4 presets - which could all be TonePrints if need be!


Note that I’ve tried to illustrate the mini pedal in relative scale to the former compact one. Note also that the mini pedal follows the compact convention in having clearly displayed power requirement and output volume, and comes with a BPM time-sync port to sync tempo between several pedals.

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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