[interview] Rainger FX: David Rainger

Here's FXDB's interview with David Rainger of Rainger FX:

How did Rainger FX start?

I reviewed pedals since the 1980's, and bought any interesting ones. Got them modified - or built from scratch... Then thought 'why don't I try this?'. I got a book out of the library, then another one, started making one-offs, then started then company.

I got help from my dad Peter Rainger, and from Lincoln Fong. Roger Mayer and Zachary Vex always inspired me. Plus loads of other people.

Where does the name come from?


Where does the logo come from?

I like orange - and black. I had fun making it one evening. Then I got on with something else.

What sets Rainger FX apart from other builders?

New sounds, new ways of manipulating sounds, new ways of operating them, plus seriously fun presentation.

How do you start on a new pedal?

I get an idea, research it, find relevant circuits/articles, try things out on breadboard, adapt it, start again, re-think. Eventually order a 1-off prototype board, and tweak it. Then order a batch of them, plus boxes. Takes about one year plus?

How do you name your pedals?

Anything with attitude.

Can you tell us something about the production process?

Other than pcbs and boxes, all in-house by me.

  • Circuits: hand-wired, pcbs etched mainly out-of-house, through-hole components...
  • Enclosures: bought 'off shelf', also made for me. Painted by my enclosure manufacturer, plus vinyl labels.

How important is the look of your pedals?

Very. I think people underestimate this aspect a lot. Also, how important a visual representation of the sound too.

Is parts selection important?

Yes - for some parts.

Which of your pedals makes you most proud?

All of them. I think they're amazing - both sonically and as objects themselves. The KIL Switch and Compactotron had about 2 years of development... very challenging stuff.

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The KIL Switch. It's hand-etched, covered in LEDs and a major project to build one.

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Dr. Freakenstein Fuzz. I think part of its popularity is that it's a fuzz - and it works different ways.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

I make pedals for strange guitar players like me. Trying to influence the mainstream...

Not many famous users so far: John Frusciante (ex Red Hot Chili Peppers),...

What does the future of Rainger FX look like?

I hope to introduce a new line of effects pedals, and upgrade my manufacturing again so I have to do less of it myself (although I love it). I'd like to see the dining room table again...!

I have some outrageous pedal ideas to do - and I think I know how to do them! I really think they'll freak people out. I don't know how universally popular they'll be - but I'd buy them. You've got to try your ideas.

Are you working on any new products?

  1. Vektor Q - a pitch controlled filter modulator
  2. Minor Concussion - a triggered compressor. Part of the new 'Department Of Connections' range from Rainger FX.
  3. Conjoined Fuzz.

The first of these should happen by Xmas 2011.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Also check out Effects Database's social media accounts: