What (is the end of days fuzz challenge)?
At some point in mid 2021, on what was meant to be a lovely, slow, relaxing day off, my brain was struck by the god of fuzz lightning and an idea for what I reckon will be a particularly gnarly fuzz was born, so I spent the rest of the day furiously drinking tea and drawing out the basic concept in a super rough schematic.
Being that fuzz-based insanity is a dish best shared, I thought it would be fun to see if any other pedal builders might want to join me in a friendly competition to see who could build the fuzz most likely to bring about the end of days, so I laid out the challenge.
It is an open invitation for pedal builders/ companies of all levels. If you – or anyone you know – wants to join in, go for it! All you need to do is read the rules below, and get designing and posting.
If you know a fuzz builder of any level who might be interested, let them know!
If you’d like to see any of your favourite pedal companies take part, hit them up, let them know it’s going on. Everyone is welcome.
We hope you follow the hashtag #endofdaysfuzz on instagram to get posts from everyone involved (a few are listed below). Just remember it’s early days yet, a lot of people have ideas, but they haven’t posted about them yet. There will be plenty coming next year!
Why (is the end of days fuzz challenge)?
For pedal enthusiasts following the hashtag, you get to cheer your favourite small companies and friends along, and hopefully you get to discover some new small time builders who are doing fun and interesting things in fuzz and beyond.
You also get to follow the birth and development of several new fuzz pedals at once and an insight into how your favourite small builders operate.
For the builders taking up the challenge, I hope it pushes you to design something that you might not usually design.
I hope it gets your work in front of new eyes and allows your current followers to enjoy your process. I know a lot of people taking part in the challenge really deserve a bigger audience. There’s some fantastic talent already involved. I also hope it gives you the opportunity to connect with more of your fellow builders too.
Another thing worth mentioning is that whilst Instagram has been an invaluable tool for a lot of us smaller companies to reach people, unfortunately our posts being seen at all has become increasingly reliant on paid promotions (all hail the algorithm). I’m hoping this challenge both does a little to counteract that and helps to spread the joy of designing and using effects to sculpt sound and the music we create. Whether you’re a pedal user or a pedal builder, without you and your support we wouldn’t exist.
I’m secretly hoping for some good old fashioned trash talk and friendly banter too.
When (is the end of days fuzz challenge)?
The challenge will be running throughout 2022. We’ll be wrapping it all up in December. The start date is just whenever you start. As long as you can get it done by the end of the year, it’s not too late.
Who (is the end of days fuzz challenge)?
A lot of names you probably recognise (and a bunch you should definitely check out) have already thrown their hats into the ring. So far we have some beasts including…
Electronic Audio Experiments, Fuzzrocious Pedals, Electrofoods Ultd, Mountainking Electronics, Rare Buzz Effects, Master Effects, Holy Island Audio, Malaise Forever Customs, Vaderin Pedals, Intensive Care Audio, Swamp Witch Pedals, Fowl Sounds, Damnation Audio, Dusky Electronics, Lollygagger FX, Moose Electronics, Cascade Pedals, Collision Devices, Gear Ant, BSRI Audio, Spruce Effects, Spun Loud Effects, Weird Noise Pedals, Deadbug Circuits, Rude Tech and honestly just far too many to mention.
What are the rules and guidelines?
An “end of days” fuzz is defined as being a fuzz pedal that is super gnarly and/or unbelievably amp crushingly loud and/or obnoxious, chaotic, out there and/or full of magic that will actually bring an end to the multiverse.
The rules are…
1 – It must be an original design. No clones.*
2 – It cannot be a pedal that you currently have (or have had) in production.**
3 – Use the hashtag #endofdaysfuzz for any social media posts.***
4 – It must be complete by December 2022.****
* The definition of a clone here is using an existing circuit you did not design WITHOUT significant changes, additions or modifications. Any starting point for your design is fine, but it must be significantly different by the end.
** It must be something new you’re working on now, or it can be a new version of an existing design as long as it is significantly different and gruesome.
*** We encourage everyone to use the hashtag when posting about their fuzz. The hope is that you will post about every aspect of the design process you feel comfortable with. Breadboarding? Great! Sound samples? Wonderful! Artwork ideas? Absotootley!
**** A working prototype is fine, it doesn’t have to be a finished product or even ready for release. Entrants can join in at any time as long as they use the hashtag for social media posts and have something ready by the end of the year.
Just to be clear, since coming up with my initial end of days fuzz idea, I have spent zero time developing it. I will be returning to the design properly at the start of the year to work on it and get some prototypes on the go. Hopefully it’s not just five Divvies in series.
No-one owns the name ‘end of days fuzz’. It is a shared hashtag for the challenge. The actual fuzz pedals that get designed over the year will each have their own name, otherwise there’d be like 50 plus pedals in the world called ‘the end of days fuzz’ and it would be a nightmare.
Will these pedals actually make it to the marketplace? Really that’s up to the individual or company designing them. We feel it’s unfair to add production in as a rule, as some people taking part are hobbyists and may not have the time or resources to build more than a handful. If you like any of the pedals you see and hear, message the builder and let them know!
Our own design will be available at least a limited run, depending on how dangerous it is. If it proves popular enough, we’ll definitely consider keeping it as a part of the regular line up.
Will this be happening again in 2023? Probably not, but we’ll see. If one of us does actually bring about the end of days then it’s a definite no. If not, who knows, maybe we’ll have to have an end of days phaser challenge.
As of yet, we have nothing in place to judge a winner. We were initially considering measuring success in thimblefuls of blood from the judges’ ears, but that’s difficult to gather and store. Taking part and making new friends may have to be the prize, we’ll work it out nearer the time. As always, if you have any suggestions give us a nudge!