Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

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Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby flood » 13 Apr 2013, 10:03

This is all hypothetical, but here goes:

I'm starting a small effects and amps company, and want to focus on doing very small runs (5-20 of each pedal max) of nicely finished and generally sexy-looking (outside AND inside!) pedals. Here are my ground rules:

1. Donate a portion of all income from sales to a worthy and proven charity (for primary education, protection of the girl child, anti-human trafficking and the other very fundamental problems affecting my country)
2. either work on original circuits (if any such thing actually exists anymore...), or credit the source if it's a clone or uses a part of an existing circuit.
3. unless there is a very compelling reason not to do so, publish the schematic.

something that's fascinated me since my early DIY days are tim escobedo's circuit snippets, which are marked as non-commercial use only. lately, i was breadboarding a circuit of his and made a few modifications to come up with a truly cool sound (which possibly nobody will like but me, but anyway...)

my question is: if i designed and sold a pedal, for profit, that used tim's circuit as a PART of it, and differs in the sense that it has more going on than changing the basic functionality, would that constitute fair use?

if not, does anybody know how i can get in touch with tim to approach him directly about this? is he on this board?

i've learned pretty much everything i know from the DIY community, and don't wish to violate the spirit of sharing in any way.

(just re-read the above, and it sounds too cryptic: full disclosure, the circuit in question is the PWM, and my changes to the circuit include higher gain on the 386, possibly an input buffer, and putting the unused inputs to use with an additional PWM module, possibly some LFOs and just maybe a 4046 based VCO circuit. I'd be happy to share the schematic once i'm done poking around, i'm looking for nasty grimy digital synthy fuzz).

thanks for and chiming in!
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby Nocentelli » 13 Apr 2013, 15:58

I'v not heard of Tim Escobedo posting here or anywhere else DIY-pedal related for many years: If you did track him down and he said "No, you cannot use any of my circuits in a commercial venture even with modifications" a) How would you feel? b) How could he stop you? There is pretty much nothing any designer can do that would stop use of their circuit - If you were to sell an "Escobedo PWM pedal", and marketed as such, there might be trademark issues but that is it. Morally, it's a different ballgame. However, speaking entirely personally, but with the vague notion of consensus on this board, what is morally wrong with most booteek companies is when they market a pedal as a revolutionary breakthrough in sound sculpting, and it turns out to be YAFF/YATS/YABM/Timmy.

If you feel, or if Tim tells you it is wrong to use his design in any way, shape or form, I'm sure you could find another workalike design by someone else who has less stringent restrictions on their usuage, or even work up a workalike using different components that you can claim as your own.
brownwhopping wrote:How can I learn by reading threads an making circuits, when some day I can see a lawsuit or somebody beat me in the face for that?
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby flood » 16 Apr 2013, 09:37

Nocentelli wrote:I'v not heard of Tim Escobedo posting here or anywhere else DIY-pedal related for many years: If you did track him down and he said "No, you cannot use any of my circuits in a commercial venture even with modifications" a) How would you feel? b) How could he stop you? There is pretty much nothing any designer can do that would stop use of their circuit - If you were to sell an "Escobedo PWM pedal", and marketed as such, there might be trademark issues but that is it. Morally, it's a different ballgame. However, speaking entirely personally, but with the vague notion of consensus on this board, what is morally wrong with most booteek companies is when they market a pedal as a revolutionary breakthrough in sound sculpting, and it turns out to be YAFF/YATS/YABM/Timmy.

If you feel, or if Tim tells you it is wrong to use his design in any way, shape or form, I'm sure you could find another workalike design by someone else who has less stringent restrictions on their usuage, or even work up a workalike using different components that you can claim as your own.


Thanks for the perspective... well, I've never owned a bow-teek pedal in my life (except the hartman analog flanger, which is just fabulous) and am pretty happy with the budget/lowfi stuff I buy. What puts me off is the attitude of the companies, more than anything else... the FB debacle comes to mind. I have no idea why people have a problem admitting that they at the very least based the design on something that already exists.

I'll try to track down Tim, if possible. I live in a country where the Boss Metal Fail (MT-2) is still revered to be the holy grail of distortion, and experimental pedals have never had a chance. For this reason, if I do go ahead with this pedal (and others like it), I will be limiting the numbers to between 5 and 15 pieces of each. There's simply no market for it, I'm just doing it for the love of doing it, really. I'm fairly aware, both from my own experiences and observing others, that I won't be making a livelihood out of this. It's more of a Sunday job, I guess. And if some proceeds can go towards a good cause, that's even better.

Nonetheless, I'd be a lot more at ease if I could get through to the person directly and get their go-ahead/stop immediately/let's talk numbers before slamming something out. Maybe I'm overthinking and overworrying.... but that's exactly what I do best. :hmmm:
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby flood » 16 Apr 2013, 09:38

Nocentelli wrote:I'v not heard of Tim Escobedo posting here or anywhere else DIY-pedal related for many years: If you did track him down and he said "No, you cannot use any of my circuits in a commercial venture even with modifications" a) How would you feel? b) How could he stop you? There is pretty much nothing any designer can do that would stop use of their circuit - If you were to sell an "Escobedo PWM pedal", and marketed as such, there might be trademark issues but that is it. Morally, it's a different ballgame. However, speaking entirely personally, but with the vague notion of consensus on this board, what is morally wrong with most booteek companies is when they market a pedal as a revolutionary breakthrough in sound sculpting, and it turns out to be YAFF/YATS/YABM/Timmy.

If you feel, or if Tim tells you it is wrong to use his design in any way, shape or form, I'm sure you could find another workalike design by someone else who has less stringent restrictions on their usuage, or even work up a workalike using different components that you can claim as your own.


Thanks for the perspective... well, I've never owned a bow-teek pedal in my life (except the hartman analog flanger, which is just fabulous) and am pretty happy with the budget/lowfi stuff I buy. What puts me off is the attitude of the companies, more than anything else... the FB debacle comes to mind. I have no idea why people have a problem admitting that they at the very least based the design on something that already exists.

I'll try to track down Tim, if possible. I live in a country where the Boss Metal Fail (MT-2) is still revered to be the holy grail of distortion, and experimental pedals have never had a chance. For this reason, if I do go ahead with this pedal (and others like it), I will be limiting the numbers to between 5 and 15 pieces of each. There's simply no market for it, I'm just doing it for the love of doing it, really. I'm fairly aware, both from my own experiences and observing others, that I won't be making a livelihood out of this. It's more of a Sunday job, I guess. And if some proceeds can go towards a good cause, that's even better.

Nonetheless, I'd be a lot more at ease if I could get through to the person directly and get their go-ahead/stop immediately/let's talk numbers before slamming something out. Maybe I'm overthinking and overworrying.... but that's exactly what I do best. :hmmm:
In the interest of full disclosure, I am Animal Factory Amplification.
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby pinkjimiphoton » 08 Jul 2013, 00:12

tim escodbedo's email is at the bottom of the circuit snippets page, and he DOES respond to some things... i emailed him a year or so ago, and he replied. fwiw
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby flood » 08 Jul 2013, 06:18

pinkjimiphoton wrote:tim escodbedo's email is at the bottom of the circuit snippets page, and he DOES respond to some things... i emailed him a year or so ago, and he replied. fwiw


Thanks a lot pinkjimiphoton. I'll drop him a line sometime this week. BTW, I love your videos :) Regards from Bombay!
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby pinkjimiphoton » 08 Jul 2013, 15:14

thanks flood, all the best from willimantic, connecticut, usa!! ;)

hope he responds. he did. once. when i wrote back i didn't get a reply, but i think i crossed the line asking something about one of the circuits.
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby atreidesheir » 09 Jul 2013, 02:59

A thought I had was there are several pedals in production in garages around N America with bits and pieces of the escobedo arsenal integrated or the core of the circuit. As long as you do not use his name to promote (acknowledge the creator and giving credit is not the same), there is nothing to object to really. I think you are being a good citizen of the DIY community to ask, but it is kind of like asking Joseph Heller's permission to use the phrase Catch-22.
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby DrNomis » 09 Jul 2013, 03:36

I'd say at least discuss it with Tim Escobedo first and let him know that if you do make any money it's going to some worthy causes, you never know, he might just give you permission, the only way you're going to find out is by asking him, it's always a good policy anyway.... :thumbsup


My two cents worth.... :thumbsup
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby flood » 29 Aug 2013, 09:40

DrNomis wrote:I'd say at least discuss it with Tim Escobedo first and let him know that if you do make any money it's going to some worthy causes, you never know, he might just give you permission, the only way you're going to find out is by asking him, it's always a good policy anyway.... :thumbsup


My two cents worth.... :thumbsup


Thanks guys. So far it's been a no-go since my PWM-based circuit refuses to perform on PCB, but does fine on breadboard. I've been tied up working on some other designs, I'll probably explore this a bit down the road and write to Tim once I get it working. Cheers!
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby soggybag » 02 Oct 2019, 01:38

I contacted Tim E. about selling some pedals from one of his circuits about 10 years ago here’s what he said:

I do have a policy that has worked out well for several short runs by other makers. For commercial use, I generally charge a licensing fee for each unit. For a run of 25 units or under, the fee is 10% of selling price or $10 USD per unit, whichever is cheaper. For a production run of of 25-50 units, the fee is $5 USD per unit. 51-100 units is $2 USD per unit. Over 100 units is $1 USD per unit. For significant numbers over 100 units, a lower fee can be negotiated, depending on the selling price.

Of course, non commercial use incurs no fee.


I figured I’d build 10 so that would have added $10 to the cost of parts which was about $25. I figured I’d be selling for $100 each. Which would leave me with $65. It didn’t seem like a good business.
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby Jan1966 » 02 Oct 2019, 18:32

You would make £0

Most of the people here have probably already built, experimented, Used, Tim Escobedos ideas for their own use.

Sorry
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Re: Tim Escobedo's circuit snippets and their usage

Postby soggybag » 09 Oct 2019, 05:46

It’s really tough to make any money building pedals when you factor in labor. You really need to get the cost of materials down to the minimum and your build process as streamlined as possible. In just do this on the weekends for fun and order small numbers for parts. I keep myself and band mates in pedals.

DIY pedals don’t go for a whole lot. Commercial stuff sells for more but when you’re competing with EHX, Boss, and Dunlap who all sell high quality stuff at very reasonable prices, it’s a tough market. You’d have to get your costs down to $25 to $50 a unit to sell at $100 to $200.
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