My newest pedal is a collaboration between myself and artist Laura Bennett. Known for painting unique designs on a few other company's pedals, this is the first time anyone has actually let her create her own pedal from the ground up, including the sound of the circuit and a blank canvas on the box.
Using inspiration from certain bands, sounds, even just random words, the sound of the pedal pays homage to that "wall of sound" heavy distortion. The pedal has lots of available gain and volume, similar to the clear but still insanely heavy sounds of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc... It's a high gain pedal for those who don't want to sound like a cliche heavy metal sound, a nice blend between high gain amp-like distortion, fuzz, gated fuzz, octave fuzz, and everything in between.
The controls are volume, gain, and texture. volume and gain are pretty easy to understand and work in the traditional ways, but texture is a unique feature. The only way I could create the tone we were after for this was to make the circuit as amp-like as possible, and that's where the texture control comes in; it is sort of similar to the negative feedback found on some amps, except controllable. At it's lowest settings, it lets the rest of the circuit take over for nice "normal" distortion pedal sounds, from clean-ish "just there" grit to high gain crunchy tones. As you turn the texture up, things get more fuzzy, and seem to have even more gain with more of a fuzz than distortion flavor... then, about half way, a slight gate kicks in, allowing you to have an eerie brief silence between notes (this depending on the gain knob also)... and with the gain full up, and the texture maxed, odd, crazy octaves and random notes happen, almost uncontrollable... low notes instantly trigger a lower octave then jump up to the root, creating broken robot type sounds reminiscent of a traditional octave fuzz... high notes fizzle and chords make sounds that are just... well... weird.
Truly a fun, unique collaboration and an awesome looking and sounding pedal.
Penny Pedals 2008 update
All Fingerpints now include a second footswitch standard! The seond switch bypasses the Gainknob control, which allowsyou to crank up the gain with a tap of the foot. This is great for adding a little "more" to leads and solos or just loud sections of songs, or actually activating the octave functionwith the texture knob set right.