Build a Custom Tremolo Effects Box

Nick Normal

I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

421 Articles

By Nick Normal

I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

421 Articles

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The latest addition to our Weekend Projects series is an Optical Tremolo Box. Inspired by Charles Platt’s article about online DIY guitar stomp-box communities (MAKE Volume 15, page 82, “Stomp Box Basics: Tremolo and Fuzz”), MAKE Technical Editor Sean Ragan took up the challenge of building this project. He used a cadmium sulfide photoresistor as the light sensor — a component we have used in previous Weekend Projects (see Light Theremin). This component, in combination with the flex light (or sunlight) and custom-designed “sweep disks,” provide you with the ability to create a wide range of tremolo. Also as our first project box build, Sean set the bar high for both design and function. Watch the video below for some clever tricks on fitting components. And when you build the Optical Tremolo Box, be sure to send us pictures and an audio sample of your build!

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