[interview] Black Velvet: Gerben Tigchelaar

Here's FXDB's interview with Gerben Tigchelaar of Black Velvet:

How did Black Velvet start?

I started building pedals during my Bachelor course in electrical engineering, where I specialized in music systems. At a certain moment I had developed a distortion pedal which I thought was really great (the Blue Edition). That's when I started Black Velvet. After a number of requests I introduced a second version of the same pedal with more low frequencies in its response, which became the Orange Edition.

I did learn a lot from Dolf Koch during my internship at Koch (the amplifier brand).

Black VelvetWhere do the name and logo come from?

The name just popped up.

The only thought behind the logo is that the blocks in the logo represent VU meters.

What sets Black Velvet apart from other builders?

1. The highly transparent sound of the Blue Edition.
2. The very good response on bass guitar of the Orange Edition, it really keeps the sound of the bass guitar straight up in the band mix.
3. The aggressive response of both pedals to guitar volume and sound.

How do you name your pedals?

The Killer owes its name to its aggressive sound

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Everything is done in house.

The enclosures are standard enclosures which are then silk screen painted.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Very important. And I think they look great.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?Black Velvet Killer (Blue Edition)

Logically, the Killer pedals (I have no others).

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The Blue Edition, since it was the first to build. The Orange Edition was about the same, but with some small changes.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Orange Edition is more popular. Probably because it also works great on bass guitar where it stands out more with regard to competition.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I think the Killer pedals are usable for everyone, due to their very high range of sounds.

There are some famous users:

  • Christian Livingstone (The Datsuns): I tried hundreds of pedals and I really like this one... (pointing towards his distortion pedal). But I tend to like this one (The Killer, Blue Edition) a bit better. Can I use it during the show tonight?
  • Vernon Reid really liked the Orange Edition, but it lacked gain for his purposes (although it already has a gain of app. 62dB)
  • Bass player of Dutch rock band Moke (Marcin Felis) uses the Orange Edition, just as Thijs Lodewijk, who plays with a number of prominent Dutch artists.

What does the future of Black Velvet look like?

Just continue selling great Killer pedals. There are no new pedals planned at the moment.

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