Brian Duguay's Detailed Bio

 

 

I met Brian awhile ago due to a common interest in Wacky guitar pedals.  It was to be a most fortuitous meeting, as it led to our partnership in building the official Pre-built B.Y.O.C Guitar Effects Pedals.  Brian is a very talented electronics tech.  His build quality is ridiculously clean.  When you examine his pedal guts, it appears that there is hardly a millimeter of extraneous wire, ensuring that you get every last drop of tone out of your rig. :-)

Brian's typical VB-2 Build

A customized B.Y.O.C. Wah

A fully-socketed Screamer Overdrive (un-populated and populated view).  The user can swap out tons of components without ever touching a soldering iron.  The tonal options are endless with this one.

 

Oh yeah, he is also a really nice guy, a family man and a helluva good guitar slinger.

Anyway, in Brian's own words, here is a bit of what he is all about:

 

"I blame Andy Summers from The Police.  I was a guitar/patch cord/amp kind-of-guy banging out Teenage HeadRamones, and Sex Pistols tunes in ’79 until I heard ‘Message in a Bottle’.  By the time, he made the September ’82 cover of Guitar Player magazine I already owned every type of effect pedal he used. This marked the beginning of my fascination with guitar gear and the search for tone.

Fast forward to ’85, when I arrived at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario for the Music Industry Arts/Recording Engineering course.  Armed with a Squier 52 re-issue Tele, a Traynor TS10, and a pedalboard the size of a Toronto Bachelor pad, I set out to further my education in sound manipulation. 

Lucky for me, part of the course required that we take basic electronics.  Unfortunately, the classes were Friday mornings at 7:30am and I barely scraped by with 51%.  Turns out it’s very hard to stay awake, let alone make it to class that early in the morning after the ritualistic Thursday night partying.  My introduction to electronics while in college was not a total waste of time, as it was through one of the teachers there that I first saw a copy of theDIY guitar gear enthusiast’s bible (Craig Anderton’s Electronic Projects for Musicians). 

Moving along to ’87, I finished college and continued the sound manipulation with a band formed while I was there.  We called ourselves ‘the Saddletramps’ after a passage read from a paperback found in a dumpster by Ken Horne, our drummer.  Cowpunk is all the rage and Saddletramps’ lead singer Andrew Lindsay introduces me to R.E.M.  Our band falls somewhere in the middle of that scene, thus rendering extra tone tools unnecessary.  As a result, my monolithic pedalboard was reduced to an Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man and a Boss CS-3.  Besides that, I had learned only a year earlier about ‘True Bypass’ from a prominent local London musician/gear tinkerer.  That and a chance outing to see The Alarm in concert in Detroit opened my ears to the pure sonic power of pure, unadulterated guitar tone.

Throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Saddletramps were a 5 piece band that included singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer.  My gear selection was consistently changing.  I had gone from just a few pedals to a rack mount Roland GP-8 (a highly under-rated product) and Korg (Cylon - Knight Rider) Tuner combined with an interface panel/power supply I built myself.  What remained constant, however, was my interest in how all of this stuff works.  The internet and a job/career change to follow helped there. 

In August of ’99, I was hired for Electrical Production at Wescam in Burlington.  At the time, Wescam was gaining a strong reputation for their development and integration of Gyro Stabilization technology used with cameras for Entertainment and News Gathering and Military applications.  We all remember the famous slow speed chase footage of the White Bronco driven by O.J. Simpson.  That was us. 

Having to conform to Military specs coupled with using $1000.00 soldering stations, helped me develop my soldering and circuit board assembly skills.  This goes far beyond the ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’ rules that the mechanical assemblers have to abide by.  Just prior to my new job, I bought a board-making kit from Radio Shack and had started to make my own pedals.  With my new daytime surroundings, crammed with Electrical Engineers, electronic components, and oddly enough, other like minded musician’s, the atmosphere was perfect for continued learning.

Also in ’99, The Saddletramps had morphed into a new band called Loomer after Scott Loomer our lead singer, and in 2002, we decided to record an album with an old friend who has a studio.  By this time, I’d built a handful of Tube Screamers and Dyna Comps and officially earned the title of ‘gearhead’ by my band mates.  

At the end of one recording session, the studio owner ‘Lurch’ (Chris Rudyk) gave me a couple of pedals that he had scored at some yard sales in exchange for studio rack and cable wiring I had done for him.  One of them was this obscure desk top device called the ‘Duet Vocalizer’ by Lynn, which at the time, was yet another piece of gear that needed fixing.  It would turn out to be very fortuitous.  After unsuccessfully ‘Googling’ for information, the ‘Vocalizer’ was relegated to the out of sight, out of mind heap of unused gear, pedalboard parts, and repair jobs I’d eventually “get around to”.

During the next few years, I built a few more pedals.  A Roger Mayer Octave pedal, a couple more Tube Screamers, a handful of True Bypass wah mods, and a few Univibe-like pieces, all thanks to the World Wide Wonder Webz.  Remembering Andy Summers and his Pete Cornish made pedalboard, I divided my idle time between pedal and pedalboard building.  After redoing my own board for the umpteenth time, I build one for a bandmate and a few other local Guitar players.  Word got around and I was fortunate enough to build boards for Colin Cripps (Junkhouse, Jim Cuddy, Crash Vegas etc.) and Juno Award-winning Blues guitarist (and personal hero of mine) Jack De Keyzer.

Thanks to my borderline OCD, the non-functional Vocalizer eventually starts to get to me and this time around Google proves more successful.  If anyone in the continent of North America is going to own another one of these pedal rarities, it was Scott Hager, owner and operator of Axe...and You Shall Receive.  After discovering this, I sent Scott an email asking if I could have a look at his Vocalizer, so that I might get mine working.  By this time, I’m well aware of Build Your Own Clone and soon find out Scott distributes them in Canada.

Scott and I hit it off very well, as you might expect two helpless gearheads would and when I mention my pedal-building pastime, Scott’s eyes lit up.  He explained to me that the pre-build service offered by Keith on his BYOC USA website was demanding too much of Keith's time.  Scott asked me if I’d be interested in helping out.  

Well...years later and well over a thousand plus kits later, I no longer need to refer to a resistor chart to know its value.  20 years ago, way too early on Friday mornings, when Chuck, our Basic Electronics teacher tried teaching us that, I was still a non Greek-speaking, hung-over, deer caught in the headlights. Not anymore. 

Brown 1, Red 2, Orange 3, Yellow 4, Green 5, Blue 6, Violet 7, Grey 8, White 9.  It’s the rainbow really, when you think about.

Brian Curtis Duguay

www.loomeronline.com

www.myspace.com/loomermusic

 

 

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We are very picky about the product lines we carry here.  They must have great tone, stellar reliability and the right vibe.  Thus far, We are very impressed by all of the manufacturers we deal with .  In addition, the manufacturers we carry all have one big thing in common:  They are all Super-creative People that are fun and easy to deal with!