Battery-powered overdrive pedal for guitar effects

10th June 2020
Alex Lynn

Analog or digital processing of music signals can provide new effects. Active overdrive effects recreate the overdriven clipping effects of those early valve amps. The GreenPAK SLG88104V Rail to Rail I/O 375nA Quad OpAmp, with its low power and low voltage advancements, can be critical to overdrive circuits.

Typical overdrive designs on the market today run at 9V. However, using the Dialog Semiconductor’s IC, makes it possible to achieve an overdrive that is extremely economical in its power usage and running on such a low VDD that it can work using only two AA batteries at 3V for extended periods and extremely long battery life.

To further preserve batteries left in the unit, a mechanical switch for disengagement is used as standard. Also, as the footprint of the SLG88104V is small with the minimal amount of batteries used, a small lightweight pedal can be made if desired. All of this combined with likable sound effects makes it a leading overdrive design.

The SLG88103/4V incorporates innate input protection to prevent overvoltage at its inputs. Because of the GreenPAK IC’s tiny package and very low power consumption, it is easy to succeed in achieving a low power overdrive pedal that is less bulky and runs on only two pencil-type batteries for a great length of time.

AA batteries are easily available, and there is the possibility that they will not be changed for the life of any working unit. All the features make the device extremely easy to maintain and characterises it as an ecologically-friendly solution. Furthermore, it can be built with a small number of external components, so it can be low cost, easy to make, and as stated previously, lightweight.

Check out the application note devoted to the battery-powered overdrive pedal for guitar effects  implementation here

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