Interview with Sine Effect Electronics Glasgow, ScotlandWritten by Krach Werke
New guitar and bass effects company based in Glasgow, Scotland. Effects designed and built by a musician with other musicians in mind. Suddenly craving a new tone? It's a Sine.
"Our mission is to make great-sounding, easy-to-use, versatile pedals that you won't find anywhere else."
Name: Grant, aka. Mr. Stab
Company Name: Sine Effect Electronics
A quick introduction please, name, company, location:
Sine Effect Electronics is an effects pedal company based in Glasgow, Scotland. It was started in late 2014.
What got you started making gear?
I've been using, modding and learning about music gear and software in various ways throughout the years, but it wasn't until 2013 when my then-drummer broke his foot, putting my band was temporarily out of action, that I decided to make a simple mixer project out of boredom. Then it kinda escalated and soon I was making pedals for friends. They seemed to like what I was coming up with, and at one point in 2014 I had the opportunity to take a bunch of cash off the government (boo!) to start a company. After years of unemployability due to being an insane semi-autistic guitarist deviant, I decided it was a good way to try and do something I was comfortable with and apparently good at, and make a living in the process. It was a risk, but I figured a bit of improv can be fun.
What gear do you make?
I make guitar and bass effects. I don't make clones: I try to make original circuits using my own take on design, so I have something different to offer. The emphasis is on usefulness and robustness, but I try to make them look good, too. A distortion pedal and a boost pedal ("Disphoria" and "HD Boost") are currently available; two grades of parametric EQ pedal are slowly becoming available ("MiniPara" and "MegaPara"); and a phaser is in the works.
Where do you operate from?
Sine Effect currently operates from my house in the Gorbals, Glasgow. I'm hoping to move into a dedicated premises someday, with a testing area that's coincidentally a convenient practice place for a band. For the time being, I need to focus on getting a good reputation established.
What about making gear do you like the most?
Coming up with the circuits, drawing the circuit boards, soldering things together and testing the pedals are my favourite parts of it all. I don't enjoy finishing the boxes' appearance as much. People tell me they like the finishes, but it's not something I have as much background in, so I'm more paranoid about it.
Is this a hobby or full time operation?
Sine Effect is a full-time operation. It's an uphill struggle and I'm probably an idiot for going through with it, but slowly but surely, more and more people are buying and liking my effects. At the moment it's a constant battle between the balance books and getting more pedals out there, but I'm increasingly optimistic. If all else fails, at least there'll be a bunch of my pedals living on in the wild, continuing to help people make loud noise.
Who inspires you/who do you look up to musically, IE what gear do you admire?
If I understand the question... I like companies that started out with people who were musicians at heart, with varying degrees of technical background. Just a bunch of guys trying to make stuff sound cool. There are loads of em - Marshall, or Electro Harmonix, or even ProCo, where someone came across a weird anomaly in a certain chip and realised it sounded great, giving birth to the Rat distortion. I think the online DIY community is bringing loads of new ideas to the table as well, and I think there are some hugely-intelligent and generous unsung heroes out there.
...If I've misunderstood the question: I like Black Sabbath.
What pisses you off/what do you like; about the boutique audio gear building industry?
I like that there's a much wider range of pedals available today, and I like that there now seems to be more drive to have the most original or fully-featured gear possible on the market than when the hand-made business was less of a "thing". The industry seems to be fleshing out more and the humbler companies are increasingly becoming the standard, like Fulltone.
I hate the myths and misconceptions. I think various marketing tactics throughout the years have exaggerated or distorted facts about audio equipment in general. There's a very deliberate exploitation of the fact that peoples' guitar/bass tone is quite a personal thing, but they'd prefer to focus more on actually making music than learning what goes on under the hood in their gear.
Are you still in a band or play music and do you use your own gear?
I'm still a hopelessly-obsessed guitar player. My band is called "Heavy Smoke", and we've been together since 2010, so about five years now. People know me through that as "Mr. Stab", for some reason. You can check us out on Facebook, on Soundcloud or at www.heavysmoke.co.uk . I use gear which I built throughout the years before I started the company, which includes modified a Tube Screamer, a rebuilt CryBaby and a fantastic compressor designed by someone in the DIY community called the "Engineer's Thumb". Fairly-recently I started using a Sine Effect MegaPara at gigs, and it's been really handy in re-shaping a new pickup's output.
Favourite Guitar Maker? Ibanez
Favourite Guitar Effect? Modded TS-808
Favourite Amp Maker? Marshall
Favourite Music Genre? Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Favourite Band / Artist? Black Sabbath
Favourite Guitarist? Randy Rhoads
Favourite Instrument? Electric guitar
Favourite Drink? Coffee
Favourite Place? Glasgow
Favourite Food? Coffee