One day in February 2019, I was at the Lorraine, a bar in the Francisville neighborhood of Philadelphia. People were talking about a letter that they’d received, and someone produced a copy. It claimed that all the food that they’d eaten since the first grade was still alive in their bodies, and that the only way to save themselves was to be mixed with molten metal and be turned into steel statues. The letter suggested meeting at a vacant lot in Brewerytown to discuss it further, and ended with “Do attend.”
Pretty standard stuff.
Many people attended. I attended. To my knowledge, no steel furnace was erected, but there was certainly a fair amount of steel furnace cosplay. Mostly, it was just people enjoying a buzz, feeling like they were in on a joke, reveling in this bizarre life.
Whenever I kick the switch on the DO ATTEND pedal and its little furnace light flickers on and my guitar becomes an unwieldy saturated mess, I go back there just a little bit. Do your thing, Philly.
DO ATTEND is a simple two-transistor fuzz, built from spare parts. Instead of having a potentiometer for the fuzz, it has a fixed resistor so that the fuzz is always pegged, and there is instead a potentiometer on the bias of of the first transistor so that it will do the gated thing where it barely works. The other knob is volume. A traditional Fuzz Face uses germanium PNP transistors, but this has silicon NPNs (BC183s). The circuitboard isn’t much bigger than the switch.
I got a box of those little fake tea lights and dissected one to see what made it go, thinking that I could add the flickering circuit to this to make the indicator light look more like there was there was steel furnace in there. It turns out that there is no circuit? I guess it’s just the LED itself? So it’s got that LED in it and it mildly flickers.
In practice, this pedal turned out to be quite noisy. Not sure if it was the flickering LED, the lack of power filtering, or the ludicrous board layout, but it was kind of unusable. I redid it using a One Knob Fuzz circuit, like the Aggressively Disinterested pedal, but this one has a bias control, a normal non-flickering LED, and different transistors (2N2369s) for variety. The fixed bias value in most of the circuit diagrams that I could find was around 10kΩ, and in my first build I used a potentiometer with the same max value, so it could really only be adjusted in one direction. This time, I found a somewhat rare (given current supply chain issues, anyway) 20kΩ potentiometer, so I can adjust it in both directions now. I’m kind of glad that I did, because when it’s at at 10k according to the meter, it still sounds a little gated and I need to be at more like 12k to make it sound “normal.” But I have that option, and it will do pretty convincing 60s fuzz sounds.