[interview] GizmoAudio: Charles Luke

Here's FXDB's interview with Charles Luke of GizmoAudio:

How did GizmoAudio start?

We started in 2008.

GizmoAudio SawmillWhere does the name come from?

We make audio gizmos therefor Gizmoaudio.

What sets GizmoAudio apart from other builders?

Original designs by a true electronics engineer/musician. 99% of pedals are just a rehash of someone else's design. We are determined to not be a "me too" company copying other peoples designs. We consider this unethical and uninspiring. We have over 35 years of electronic design experience which gives us the ability to truely think outside the box. The Sawmill design is patent pending.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Some of this is purely serendipity. Some times I just stumble onto a particular sound. Some of this is me looking for a certain sound. We generally get an idea and then prototype a design on a proto board. I have a couple of test pilots I use and let them try the design and get their feedback. Next we will do a board layout. We also do a case design at this point. I'll usually do a prototype run of 5 pedals and let people try them. After that, we go into production. Takes 6 months to a year to release a new pedal.

GizmoAudio workshopCan you tell us something about the production process?

This depends on quantities. For 50 or more I use a local contractor here in Atlanta to place parts on the pcb. For small quantities, I build them in-house. Right now we have one builder, me. All final assembly is done by me.

Hand assembled pcbs. Steel case is custom designed by GizmoAudio. Has an internal steel mounting plate for mounting the pcb an has tabs and tab holes for holding switches and pots in place. Paint is powder coat for ultimate in ruggedness. Two color silk screen.

How important is the look of your pedals?

I try to make pedals that look as good as they sound.

Is parts selection important?

We use premium parts - metal film resistors, film caps, premium opamps. Custom steel cases.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

Sawmill is primarily for uses where soft breakup is needed. Typically blues, country, and worship. Future pedals will address more aggressive styles.

What does the future of GizmoAudio look like?

We have two new designs and a third one in development.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Also check out Effects Database's social media accounts: