[interview] Mid-Fi Electronics: Doug Tuttle

Here's FXDB's interview with Doug Tuttle of Mid-Fi Electronics:

How did Mid-Fi Electronics start?

I started building effects when I was 16/17 (I'm 30 now), as soon as I had friends with internet, building effects was the first thing I looked into.

Justin Philpott's site is where I did most of my learning. Along with the LOOOOOONG list of schematics on the Diystompboxes page, and a few others.

I built a few things here and there for years for my friends, then suddenly It was my job.

Where do the name and logo come from?

I was eating pizza at a place called Hi-Fi and my buddy commented that his slice was a little more "Mid-Fi".

I kind of have a logo, I ordered a rubber stamp that said Mid-Fi and had a little stock image of a flower next to it, and that's that!

What sets Mid-Fi Electronics apart from other builders?

I make no claims! Just making some stuff I like.

How do you start on a new pedal?

Normally I won't be able to sleep and I'll just think of a new way to implement this building block with that.

The time to go into production varies greatly, sometimes years, sometimes a week.

How do you name your pedals?

The name comes after the pedal is done, and it's just a vague description of what the pedal sounds like to me.

When I came up with the Clari(not), I thought one of that settings sounded like a clarinet, so I named it "clarinot", then changed it to "Clari(not)", because I thought it looked cool that way.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Just me, at a desk in my living room.

All my pedals are hand wired, painted/stamped/stickered/whatever.

How important is the look of your pedals?


How important is parts selection?

Not really, there are certain brands of ICs that I need, as others won't do the same "tricks".

But as far as passives go, I just order whatever looks good to me at the time.

I really like using dipped ceramic caps, but I just think they look cool, and they are cheap.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

I like the Clari(not), when it came out there was nothing like it. Now there are a few.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The What?, the parts were just too hard to come by.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

I think the Pitch Pirate is the most popular. I think it's because it has a safety net, as in if you don't like the crazy sounds you still have a chorus/vibrato pedal.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I try and make things that are different then what is out there, stuff that can be extremely outrageous, or very tame and still unique. Things that can be used tastefully/musically, and also completely wild.

Yep, I've made stuff for a bunch of people, but they never said these things to me with the intent of me using there words to sell shit. I feel like that would be a betrayal of trust. If they say it in print it's one thing, but I won't be posting snippets of private emails on my website anytime soon, that shit is tacky.

What does the future of Mid-Fi Electronics look like?

Mid-fi is like a stay at home minimum wage job.

Some day I hope someone offers me a ton of money for my designs so I can sit around and record all day ;)

Are you working on any new products?

I'm always working on 100 things, which ones will see the light of day is as much a mystery to me as it is to anyone else.

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