Introduction: Ultimate Guitar/Sound Kill-Switch Pedal

Picture of Ultimate Guitar/Sound Kill-Switch Pedal

Do you need to be silent sometimes? Maybe do some Tom Morello style scratchen' on your guitar, but with both hands free? What about a damper pedal for your electric piano or a control pedal for your Boss or Roland gear that can be momentary or push-on push-off? This guy can do all of that.

When used with guitar, this foot-pedal kill-switch will momentarily silence your guitar if you step on it lightly, and stay silent if you step on it fully. Once it's fully silent, stepping lightly momentarily pulses your guitar on. Simple enough, but the uses are limitless.

You can use it as an on/off for your guitar, or strum a chord with it off and pulse the chord to the beat of the music, or tap it while it's on with some feedback and make your sound cut out  like it was sliced up by a DJ, all live, all with your foot, all with no batteries.

You can use this to pulse any sound source such as turntables, microphones, samplers, keyboard, and especially noisy circuit bent stuff, and give it rhythm hands-free.

You may even be able to build it with parts you already have.

Step 1: Check Out the Schematic

Picture of Check Out the Schematic

Creepily symmetrical right? One of the switches is momentary and the other is not. One or the other can short the signal or unshort it. This will do everything we're asking. Now we gotta find a case to put this magic in.

Step 2: Find a Case

Picture of Find a Case

For this example I chose an old sewing machine pedal I bought from the thrift store. Hopefully I didn't ruin the value of some old sewing machine somewhere.

You could put this in anything, and you don't necessarily have to mount the switches like I did either. If they are durable enough to step on directly, you could have both switches just next to each other in a box. Again I was determined to use scavenged parts and not buy anything.

Step 3: Mount the Parts

Picture of Mount the Parts

A tab from the top pushes down the momentary lever switch when the pedal is up.
if the pedal is pressed down far enough it will press the round common stomp switch underneath, just like a crybaby wah pedal.

I removed everything from inside several sewing machine pedals and discovered this one was shaped perfectly. If you mount the switches differently you can make this work in practically any sewing machine pedal, and I've built another one with the lever switch in the back instead.

Step 4: Be Glad

Picture of Be Glad

This fella isn't just for guitar, put everything through it all the time. It may for a short time even withstand being set on fire. Let me know how that works for you.

Bonus Feature:
You can use this as a control pedal or the damper pedal for an electric piano too. Just use either jack. For example it can replace any of these boss pedals. It does the same thing, just a little better. The boss pedals don't give you the option to be momentary or push-on push-off, you just buy them one way or the other.

This was wozn from the band Rooftop Ridicule
As always follow us around at rooftopridicule.com or myspace.com/rooftopridicule

Comments

KennethV11 (author)2017-08-03

how about some more info on what type iof switch you need? spst? or dpdt? or how about some info on how to wire it up? the pictures dont really show how the wires are run.

ritchie56 (author)2014-10-08

I like the physical implementation however, with an active bass or guitar, using a simple switch will cause a loud pop due to DC bias.

rkal (author)2014-08-25

Is there a video of how this works? I'm trying to decide between adding a killswitch to my guitar, or making a pedal to do that instead.

simdude2u (author)2010-09-18

is this an old sewing machine foot petal?

About This Instructable

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Bio: my name is Joe Wozniak and I sing, play guitar, mandolin, keyboard, and various circuit-bent things in the band Rooftop Ridicule. It's very likable ... More »
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