A randomly triggering Automatonism (virtual modular) song recorded in Pd (using recorder delivered in 2.1 update).

My first Berlin Wall Distortion circuit board etching failed. I’m using a halogen lamp to transfer the circuit and I think the heat is causing the positive photoresist to stick to the board. My old natriumpersulfat might have been exposed to moisture etc. So I’m investing in ferric chloride and a new batch of developer agent. The Berlin Wall Distortion is a relatively costly project… I’ve used 40-60€ in components alone.

“Writing is the physical hope of a counternarrative” says Frances Morgan in Technology Now: Sonic Feminisms from ICA London.


Version 0.2: Berlin Wall Distortion Pedal – Circuit Layout (2017)

Important sites, border crossings and roads of West-Berlin 1961-1989. Routes between markers/components are mapped to work as a circuit for a distortion pedal (there are bridges were the road cross). Red routes are on the face of the circuit and gray routes under the circuit (they follow the U-Bahn routes / excluding the 9v in). Components are located on important landmarks and diodes are located border crossings (diodes will be connected to switches outside the board, from were they return to the ground). The wall is ground and connects outside of the circuit. Off board components include A10k, A100k potentiometers, 22uF capacitor/4.7k resistor/led, audio in/out jacks, a rotary switch (2 pole, 3 positions for signal in to the airport caps), a 3PDT footswitch. etc.

Any tips on improving the design welcome! I’ll redesign the layout to fit a 7x10cm circuit board and etch it.



Managed to assemble a working distortion pedal on a breadboard. First attempt to transfer the design on a perfboard failed but I have enough components for a trial and error approach. The capasitors and diodes I selected were optimized for drum sounds. I’m working with the the Tonefied DIY club: Bad-Ass Distortion design.


Great pedal building guides from Tonefiend – DIY CLUB.

  1. Breadboarding a Bad-Ass Distortion Circuit 1/4 (.pdf)
  2. Controlling and Modding a Badass Distortion Circuit 2/4 (.pdf)
  3. Transferring Your Distortion Circuit To Perfboard 3/4 (.pdf)
  4. Boxing and Finishing the Project 4/4 (.pdf)

10min dirt pedal – Optional modifications & Beginners breadboardin tutorial from Diy guitar pedals.

Fuzz for a Fiver (video) & photo tutorial a 5€ project by Dan Peartree.

A complicated build Build your own DS-1 distortion (.pdf) from Diystompboxes.com

A detailed guide with easy schematics Build Your Own Tricked-Out Electra Distortion by Nicholas Kula (2016).

Foot-switch wiring for Guitar Pedals (.pdf) madbeanpedals.

Detail and electrical theory Design Your Own Distortion by Rikupetteri Salminen.

Computer aided alternatives Electrosmash.com (digital multi-effects).