I was recently contacted by a guy named Marcus who was looking for a custom MIDI controller that could be used with a guitar pedal that accepted MIDI input. First of all, I’ve never seen a guitar pedal that could take MIDI input but… that’s pretty cool.
Marcus said it was a bit of a rush because they were leaving for tour in two weeks. That was a bit rough, and I wasn’t sure I could get something custom built (and delivered) in two weeks.
Well, we traded a lot of emails, and I sent a render of what I thought I could get done in time using hardware I had on hand. (Marcus also suggested some large knobs.)
It was a bit large, and Marcus suggested a specific Hammond enclosure. It seemed a little small, but I did a render and included the size of knobs I usually use, and thought it would work…
So I decided to go for it, told Marcus I would order some of the enclosures, and while I waited for them to ship I did a 3D print of my model to test the fit of things.
Once I put it together I realized I had to move things bit, but was confident it would all fit okay.
Marcus shared a video with me Neil Finn & Liam Finn Of Crowded House [Guitar Rig Tour 2022] to show the existing setup. Wait. What!? Yes… Marcus is the guitar tech for Neil Finn from Crowded House, Split Enz, and Fleetwood Mac. Okay, that was wild! I was building hardware for Neil Finn.
Also, I did not built one, or two… but three of them. As Marcus says “If you have one, you have none. If you have two you have one.” And this is because things break. Getting three was probably a safer bet, since if two broke they’d still have one. (I really hope these don’t break though!) Part of what a guitar tech does it make sure the guitarist always has equipment that works, so that involves a lot of spares. (This isn’t a new concept to me as it was a good rule when I built interactive exhibits.)
And the pedal that takes MIDI input? It’s the Art Van Delay by Bondi Effects. (How can you not love that name!?) The manual goes into depth about how MIDI can control it. I believe the Art Van Delay will replace a Boss DD-3 delay pedal Neil has been using.
This is probably one of my favorite builds. Marcus was just awesome to work with. I ended up checking out a few interviews with him and he seems like a great guy, so that make things even better. Also, I built hardware that will be used by Neil Finn while Crowded House tours across Australia. Hey now, hey now… that’s pretty cool!
My only regret is that I wish I could have got the enclosures powder coated as I’m not a huge fan of the bare metal. Since this was a rush job there was no time for that, but I did polish them up a bit on the buffing wheel before they went out. Otherwise I do love how they came together and I’m proud to have built them. Cheers!