RailHead Effects, USA
Here's your chance to get the scoop about how RAILhead Effects started, and who, exactly, makes these neat little boxes of noise.
I like to say that RAILhead Effects was born out of necessity. Yeah, I know that's kind of cliché — but it's true.
Ages ago, I decided to setup my pedalboard so that I could easily swap between playing electric through my miked Goodsell Super 17, or playing my acoustic directly into the FOH board. Since I wanted to run both guitar types through all my effects, a simple A/B switch was the answer — so I bought the lowest priced, name brand switch I could find. My initial goofing around let me know the little guy worked great, so I strapped it on my board and headed out the door to play.
Once I started using it in a live setting, though, I realized it had a fatal flaw (in my opinion): no LEDs to indicate which channel was being used.
Since I've always been a tinkerer, I decided I'd modify the investment and drop-in some LEDs as opposed to buying a whole new switch. When I set out to do this, though, I also realized the pedal's jacks weren't in the prime spots as far as fitting perfectly onto my board.
The answer? You guessed it: I decided to build my own. I sourced out the parts, played with different layouts, monkeyed with various configurations, and finally settled on a final layout design. At this point, I had the perfect A/B switch for my needs — but it was ugly. Thankfully, my wife just so happens to be a painter, so I handed over the blank shell and she performed her paintlery magic upon it.
And thus our flagship pedal, the Switcha Rooski, was born.
RAILhead Effects' massive operation is managed by a whopping two people: me and my wife.
In all seriousness, though, it's just the two of us. I come up with the effects I want to build and take care of all the "electronic stuff" — my wife takes the blank shells and makes them pretty. Sometimes I have a distinct idea for what I want as far as graphics and art go, and other times, I just let her do whatever comes natural.
I've been playing the guitar since 1985, and I've always been fascinated with analog technology. Since I love working with my hands (especially detail work), it was only a matter of time before my love of music fell into sync with my love for electronics.
My wife also plays the guitar — but the viola was her first musical love. She's also painted all her life, drawing loads of inspiration from her late Grandmother, who was always a marvel with canvas and oil.
My wife and I met in college because we were both in bands: I was in a heavy rock band named Free Association, and she was in a girl band named The Blue Sugars. It didn't take our band very long to figure out we'd have a better turn-out if The Blue Sugars opened for us (and we eventually got smarter and realized it was better to let them be the half-time show, thus ensuring an even larger audience), so we started hanging around one another a lot during our practices. Eventually, our drummer and I started playing in their band, and things progressed from there (read: she just couldn't resist my total coolness so she set about to woo me).
The rest, as they say, is history.
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