Sine Effect Electronics design and build guitar and bass effect pedals, and was founded in 2014 by ex-Glasgow guitarist Grant Stab. He describes the project as combine a passion for music with his obsession with tweaking things.
Using parts from all round the world, Sine Effect builds original pedals from their workshop in Scotland, 100% by hand. No clones. All pedals are designed to be useful, flexible and dependable, and each circuit reflects the wants and needs of many-a-player who’s tested them!
“I’m a guitarist. I don’t sport a lab coat and calculator, I wear a leather jacket and carry guitar picks. I messed around all the time at school, and cared more about music and writing than I did maths or physics. Yet somehow, well into my 20’s, I taught myself how to make effect pedals. I have no idea how that happened.
I founded Sine Effect in 2014 after about 5 years of being shuffled around the Job Centre. I have Asperger Syndrome, and all their attempts to get me into work… didn’t work. I was eventually offered a choice of going on yet another work programme or starting my own company, so I chose the latter. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I followed a valuable piece of advice I’d learned from years of playing in a band: “wing it”. Wing it I did.
Before all that, starting in 2007, I spent two years studying at the Academy of Music and Sound in Glasgow. To this day, I still reap the benefits of having studied there. Not only did I learn a ton about music, but I met a lot of people who would later help test or buy my pedals, learned various aspects of running a business and how different people use their equipment. I had a really fun time, too.
Pedals must start out with a need, or an idea for a cool sound. You can’t just come up with one for the sake of it. I usually start on a new design by doing loads of research on similar products, seeing what people like or don’t like about them, and I build a few rough prototypes. Once I’m happy with everything, I use a PC to design a circuit board (which is basically a puzzle game). Then I’ll send the circuit board design away to China, and order parts from the UK, Europe and the US while I wait for the boards to arrive.
Once the circuit boards are all soldered up, they need a home. Luckily, I always take care of that beforehand. I drill, sand, paint, label and varnish metal boxes so they’re shiny, sturdy and so hopefully people will be proud to have them on their pedalboards. It’s important that people know what the controls actually do, especially at a gig where you only have a few seconds to act.
Sales and word-of-mouth are on the up. I’m really grateful for my customers, who come from all over the place and are a friendly bunch. I appreciate their needs and struggles as a musician myself too.”
– Grant Stab