I guess my interest in guitar electronics began in my teens. I had little money and not much technical ability but I managed to hack together enough electronics to amplify my acoustic guitar (a Sears Silvertone jazz guitar) so I could jam with my best friend, who happened to be a drummer.
Then for a number of years, I played mostly acoustic guitar. In the early 90's I bought a Fender Strat Squire II and really got interested in electric guitar. By that time, I had completed my Master's in Electrical Engineering and got interested in experimenting with guitar effects for my own use. I built a compressor and then a distortion effect, neither of which ever made it to market.
The vision for Asonix soon came into focus, so I set out to design a "real" product. The Nite-Owl was born. I felt I needed a unique feature for my product, so I added an internal effects loop. Sadly, the market never really accepted what I had hoped would be a "must have" feature.
Although the classic Nite-Owl tone has never changed, it went through a couple more design improvemnts before reaching its current form factor. The internal effects loop was removed, a standard 9VDC adaptor jack was added, and we switched over to Switchcraft audio jacks.
In addition to the Nite-Owl, Asonix also makes the Texas Dirt blues overdrive pedal and the Amigo true bypass pedalboard switcher. A brand new overdrive pedal, called Tangent 5, is scheduled to hit the market very soon.
Both the Nite-Owl and the Texas Dirt received nice reviews in Guitar Player Magazine. The pedals have been used by a number of bands in the studio. In fact, the Chevelle used a Nite-Owl while recording their soon to be released CD.
On the road, Asonix pedals have been used by Shawn Roberts (touring guitarist for Sister Hazel, Lonestar, and Terri Clark), and Michael Feingold (touring guitarist for Erykha Badu).
Our sound bites are recorded by me in our own little studio. The signal path has a 1x10" cabinet loaded with an Eminence "Ragin Cajun" speaker that is enclosed in concrete blocks and close mic'ed with an SM58. The amp is a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. In addition to Asonix effects, I sometimes use an MXR Phase 90, Crybaby Wah, or MXR Carbon Copy ... that's it.
The guitar signal goes into a small Behringer mixer and into a stock Dell computer sound card and I record/mix using Cakewalk Music Creator. In order to give an accurate representation of our pedals, I avoid compressing the heck out of everything ... which is why you need to bump up the volume when listening to our sound bites. The main guitars are a Strat Squire II (loaded with Fender high output noiseless pick-ups) and an Epiphone LP.
The Asonix workshop consists of a production grade ESD workbench and soldering station. All of our PC boards are hand soldered using a combination of surface mount and leaded technology. There is a second production area for metalworking that has a drill press. The enclosures are powder coated and silkscreened by outside contractors. Each pedal is "burned in" for at least 24 hours and individually guitar tested.
Click on a pedal image to enlarge!