Here's FXDB's interview with Dan Burgess of This1smyne Effects (T1M).
This1smyne Effects is run by Dan Burgess. The company is located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
How did This1sMyne Effects (T1M) start?
I started buying units off eBay for routing my board, and they were notoriously cheap. Stuff would break on me ALL THE TIME, and being poor and in ministry (youth pastor) I couldn't afford to just scrap stuff, so I started to fix them. just learning one unit at a time. Soon my friends started bringing me their broken pedals, and asking me to build them routers/loopers/tap tempos and modding their pedals.
I think I started originally modding/repairing and stuff in 2005, and I became 'official' with a logo/name 2006/2007. but it was already pretty built up at that point, with a good number of designs and 'niche' type builds (E3D mini buffer etc).
Again it was me in my apartment, and my buddy Matt Podesla was the one who said I really needed to get an official 'name'. so I'd give credit to him for pushing me with getting started.
I didn't really get any help from the DIY community. there were plenty of good guys out there doing their thing, but I really wanted T1M to be well 'governed' and I wanted to know my art. So I learned everything I could through trial and error. I'm a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to pushing myself.
Inspirations were guys like Analog Man, Keeley and Paul C: guys who built quality stuff with integrity. Solely out of respect for them I don't build 'clones' or copy their mods: which was what I was finding on a lot of the GGG and BYOC sites. people were mostly just copying what other people were doing. But Keeley/AM and the 'real' boutique guys. Empress Effects comes to mind here too, I spent a good few hours talking with Steve Bragg through the Super Delay debut.
T1M began as a missionary venture to equip and encourage worshiping musicians, and it became my full time ministry focus in 2010 based on the influence/inspiration of similar missionary minded guys like Francis Chan, Mark Driscoll and Alan Hirsch.
This1smyne came out of an email address that I've had since I was 18. Pretty much everything I've done I've logged as the tag name "this1smyne" so when I started building for my buddies they would pass off my contact information as this1smyne-at-hotmail-dot-com, so the logical name at that point became This1smyne Effects.
What sets This1sMyne Effects (T1M) apart from other builders?
I build quality products at an extremely competitive price, and will often sell customers OUT of my products if they won't benefit/help their rig. The personal touch and I'd pray the ethical integrity of T1M has been what's grown the company. My units used to be more unique, but several builders have begun to offer similar products and in the Google/internet age everyone is a builder/modder. I read that 300 pedal companies were incorporated last year alone!
People know that when they buy This1smyne they're buying a hand built product made with quality products from a guy who stands behind his work and cares more about the customer than the money. They know that Dan is building their pedal, not some 16 year old kid with a soldering gun.
How do you start on a new pedal?
I usually develop new products as 'one-offs' for customers. people will approach me with an idea for a unit that they can't seem to find on the current market, and I'll tweak my brain and mess on my bench until I can either make that idea a reality or realize that it's beyond my current abilities (or the abilities of current equipment). Usually when I get more than a dozen requests for the same product I'll start offering it on the products page. This can take anywhere from a few months to a few years... for example: when Eventides were first hitting the market the E3D was good enough, but as people started getting several units at a time on their boards: the E5D and the E3MED became regular requests, so those were added to the standard offerings about a year after the E3D.
How do you name your pedals?
The whole mini thing was derived from customers requesting 'that mini tap tempo thingy' or 'the smallest XYZ you can build'. Thats kind of the theme across my utility category: if it can be done smaller WHY NOT.
The Pearl is based out of a verse in the bible from Matthew (13.44-46) where a guy finds a treasure in a field and sells everything he has to buy the field to gain that particular pearl. Based off my personal experiences (and those of MANY of my customers), the Pearl can cover a lot of ground and is the ONLY overdrive you'd ever need...
My Touch Drive is sensitive to your playing dynamic, and the punch drive is exactly that: strum a power chord and get slammed in the gut.
Can you tell us something about the production process?
I build all pedals in house with a single contractor doing occasional batches of circuits and mini buffers to help alleviate the work load. Currently there are two other builders with T1M, one works part time (about 15 hours a week) and the other is on an as-needed basis (roughly 10 hours a month). Both are full time worship leaders who needed additional income to support their families.
All the circuits for T1M products are perfboarded and PTP hand wired. NO PCB's or SMT parts are used in ANY part of ANY this1smyne product.
Enclosures are all high quality Hammond enclosures bought in powder coated black standard, looper enclosures are custom made here in the States. When painting is necessary (custom colors) it's a spray and bake type using automobile paint and primer. I am working towards a full powder-coating station, but it's still in the works.
Logos are Sharpie and decal/graphics are under clear coat on custom units.
How important is the look of your pedals?
I'm more into utility. I build pedals to be used, NOT to look pretty... however in that vein the look has been pretty defined: black w/silver writing. And I dig it. Simple, to the point and easily recognizable as T1M.
Is parts selection important?
Yes, I try to use the best possible parts for every device. I'm not a huge NOS fan (not too into the fuzz market) but I've definitely seen better results using higher quality components. And shipping around the globe you don't want something to break because you saved five cents on a transistor or cap.
I've actually been developing a 'pro build' of the Pearl using NOS Bradley resistors and mica caps and super high end PTP type construction. Built just like an old PTP amp. Every part of the circuit impacts every other part, and it's up to the builders to do our job so that the musicians get the best tone out of their unit that they can. We need to pay special attention to EVERYTHING.
I'm really happy with the success of the Mini Buffer, just a remarkable little device.
And than my flagship overdrive, the Pearl, continues to be my personal go-to overdrive (it's the only drive on my live board and has been my main drive for 5 years now) and is starting to turn some heads of guys who are sick of having 'trendy' drives on their boards. If you want RAW rock and roll, the Pearl is a must.
Which of your pedals was your toughest build?
I was into rehousing for years, and would take some challenges that just should never have been attempted... Those are by far the toughest because you have to find a way to squeeze a circuit board with tons of mods into a box that it wasn't designed to fit into... They would take so long I just stopped offering them...
Also programmable loopers. without doing PCB and IC based routing (analog throughout) they're so time consuming and costly that they're just not worth doing anymore.
Which of your pedals is the most popular?
The Mini Buffer is probably the most popular overall, and followed by mini taps and the E3D. The mini buffer as itself is a unit that in appearances does nothing, but when plugged in transforms your entire tone, it's been a secret weapon to many a guitarists board.
The mini taps are just SMALL... like, really really small... those and my mini expression pedals add tons of flexibility to a rig without adding any weight or even taking up any room. Standard expression pedals are HUGE, but a big knob placed down bottom on your board (or even strapped to your guitar strap!) can expand a pedals usefulness live and help you get some really unique tones.
The E3D IMO should be a standard offering on all Eventide pedals. Those units are so fantastic in every way... but to get the most out of them you really need to have an external footswitch. Short of a midi controller (which again are often HUGE) there isn't another offering smaller and more convenient than the E3D.
And the Pearl is lurking as well... melting faces and scaring the timid into peeing themselves on stage.
T1M has developed a niche in the worshiping Church community and a small niche in the mobile urban communities of the world (musicians using mass transit like subway/busses). I've gotten units into the hands of a LOT of different artists, but I don't have the build power to advertise and push into new markets right now. I'm at 110% work load already and I've not advertised or pushed product yet. So it's probably my own doing, but I like the personal relationship I develop with clients, and have such a small price margin due to the ministry side of the company that I would be paying stores to take my stuff and sell it, which just doesn't make sense. So to keep prices low and to keep that personal touch I've stayed away from offers from guitar stores/PGS/et all and have maintained the word of mouth approach.
I've got a good number of guys using my stuff, not too many are well known outside of the worship circles. The Pearl is all over MTV sound clips thanks to John Flannery. The 'free credit report.com' band, Daniel Carson, Wayne Young, Matt Podesla, Tenth avenue north, Tom Anderson (anderson guitars),... there are a bunch listed on the website...
What does the future of This1sMyne Effects (T1M) look like?
T1M has been in steady growth over the past few years, and it looks to be continuing along that line. I have been incredibly blessed to be able to use the financial blessing of T1M to bless others (donations to global missions, Passion, adopting our baby girl) and the influence of T1M to equip and encourage worshipers towards Kingdom Impact and setting the bar high in their local communities.
Short term goals are to get the ever growing emails under control and revamp the website for easier navigation (and updated information as well). Also adding additional videos and updates to the artist page with some board pictures and such.
Our Goal and Mission (focus) is and will always be to provide quality products and rig advice at the lowest price possible so that customers can use the money they save to bless the less fortunate. A portion of every unit bought goes to support customers who head on Impact missions trips around the globe (and local missions as well). I've got the mentality of a Pastor rather than a businessman, so if I ever ended pedal production it would be because God opened a door for ministry for me elsewhere that was clear enough of a calling that I could no longer provide the services that I do while in that ministry position.
Are you working on any new products?
I've not really had a lot of time with the baby to develop like I used to... so right now am focusing on getting the word out there on the Pearl and maintaining the supply to keep up with the demand on the current units. My 'Modern Overdrive' should hit the site sometime this summer/early fall, and I've been working on a compressor, but it's been in process for a while, and I'm not sure if I'll ever formally introduce it as the market is pretty saturated with compressors at the moment.