I received a Roland AP7 Jet Phaser that was taken out of its original case (top left) and housed in a plywood shell and gigged to no end. The owner is Mitch Jones from Australian legendary post-punk band Scattered Order. The AP7 is a phaser/distortion pedal that provides the swooshing lead sound made famous by the hair metal gods of the ’80s. A six way MODE switch selects between two clean phaser modes, and four jet modes – a combination of differently filtered distortion plus phase sounds. There are also knobs for LEVEL (volume), RESONANCE of the phase and SLOW RATE. The final knob allows a “base slow speed” of the LFO of the phaser that is ramped up to maximum with a stomp of the FAST/SLOW switch. This take-off sound gives the Jet Phaser its signature sound.
I was asked by Mitch to move the RATE switch to a toggle instead of a stomp. In its place, a Mute/Killswitch was put in as he runs the effect into a mixer. The RATE switch is more of a ramp switch, with the rate increasing and decreasing much like a jet taking off! I was also asked to make the pedal extreme! So after much prodding around, I managed to find several circuit bends that took the pedal from an 80′s shred machine to a unique textured phaser. If you have heard Scattered Order, this will fit in quite nicely.
When circuit-bending I aim to provide a few different types of noises. Oscillations (sustained high/low pitched notes) are common, as are different EQ options by concentrating on filter/tone sections. I also like to add in some white noise bends and volume boosts to take the effect to the next level. Luckily, I was able to find all of these bends in this phaser. The video demo below shows the various EQ shifts in resonance, some white noise and some level boosts that work with different frequencies of the effected synth. Also, with circuit-bends being completely chaotic and random, some unexpected combinations of these bends gave some fantastic results.
After bending, I rehoused the pedal into a large new white enclosure, added the MUTE switch and a blue LED to show the rate of the LFO. The artwork is from the cover of a Scattered Order 12″ “A Dancing Foot And Praying Knee Don’t Belong On The Same Leg”.
The video below is a Korg Trident being played through the new AP7 and going through each of the circuit bends to show the combination of new sounds available.