To open Dr. No’s Analog Imaginarium I start at the beginning with the first story of my very first effect. More stories will follow from now on, along with unique items such as one-off, never-before-seen inventions and effects, prototypes, archives and more. First story and unique item is about the first effect I build. Have fun reading the whole backstory about the Drive-0-Matic at www.drno-effects.com
This Drive-0-Matic no#01 true collectable with a story comes straight from the archive and private collection of Dr. No, and is now available for sale. (Sorry, this item is sold)
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Welcome to Dr. No’s Analog Imaginarium.
The story of my very first (working)…built effect.
This is the 1st Drive-O-Matic I built. Yes…the very first one! He survived more than 500 live shows by the heaviest and loudest hard-working band in the Netherlands, Peter Pan Speedrock. This Drive-0-Matic survived gallons of beer ending up on stage, freezing and scorching hot temperatures in the van, traveled the world in distance, was switched on and off more than 10,000 times, appears on several records and recordings, and was later discovered by Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell who ordered two modified versions for Soundgarden and used his modified Drive-0-Matic model as its main drive pedals in his last years.
From 1998 to 2008 I was a Guitar Technician and Roady of Peter Pan Speedrock, with which I worked 150 shows a year at the height of their career. Around 2000, I had already started delving into building my own effects. I was mainly interested in old effects with a “soul”. These were financially unfeasible for me at the time to own and play. One day a musician friend said “why don’t you make them yourself or learn more about them?”. My interest was aroused. I mainly received a lot of information from a friend who had started collecting from day 1 that the boxes of tone were available on the marked….I was allowed to borrow the most exclusive but also now legendary models to investigate them technically as study cases……as long as I gave them back in original working condition, which was sometimes difficult when I had to unsolder a component to determine the value….. Time passed and an interest became an obsession. I spent hundreds of euros, that was a capital investment for me at that time, on components and self-etched printed circuit boards, which ultimately ended up in the growing effect graveyard pile after months of trying. The housings of my first brews were often old toys such as 1:18 scale cars (which later spawned the Ford Falcon Fuzz from), tin cans, old wall connection power boxes and even cigar boxes and plastic dog toys.
Because of my 24/7 obsession and creation mode, the cut-off wire ends of resistors, diodes and capacitors were scattered throughout the house. At one point my girlfriend was so furious because she had her foot pierced with a cut off component wire for too many times, that I had to withdraw my laboratory and experiments to the attic room.
In addition to Roady and tech for Peter Pan Speedrock, I also had my own band merchandise company, which I started around 2000, and later continued this together with a friend under the name Blendomatic.
Because my hobby of tinkering and experimenting did not yet deserve a name, I released my first effect, under the name of my band merchandise company Blendomatic (hence the name Drive-0-Matic). The creation of the Drive-0-Matic arose after I told the band what I was doing in my attic room on the band bus on the way to the umpteenth stage we had to play. Peter van Elderen (singer and guitarist of Peter Pan Speedrock) challenged me to ask if I could make something for him. Because I already knew the difference between a resistor and a diode and what different combinations could do, I accepted the challenge. Even though my interest and ability was mainly in creating simple Fuzz effects, I chose to go for a strong Booster/Overdive, which I had also studied in the meantime. After a year or two of generating an even bigger scrap heap of failed models, holes in wall’s and doors from aggressive excesses where the next failure was thrown up against the doors and walls out of frustration, I was getting closer to what I thought was the right thing to create and had the potential to become something.
Keep in mind that the internet wasn’t yet an information source, and everything had to come from my self-taught self exploring physical examples that were fortunately at my disposal.
Here I discovered for the first time that I could also listen carefully to the needs of someone’s question and translate it into a manifestation. Of course also because I sat in the tour bus for days every week with the subject in question and his music and playing style was stuck in my head like a mantra. I did not dare to present the first two prototypes to his critical assessment, but I did dare to do so with the third. I thought this was something that could really work. To make sure it would sound with his setup, I secretly locked myself up with his setup for a few hours to test it thoroughly. With all modesty, I was now really satisfied and proud of myself that all the effort, pierced feet, holes in the wall and a scrapheap that was visible from the moon, finally paid off. Now time to finally present it…..
It was an instant succes! Peter van Elderen immediately offered to make a design for it himself, integrating the iconic by Bass player Bartmann PPSR logo. Fun fact about this logo is that the Bass player of Peter Pan Speedrock, Bartmann, designed the logo based on the icons Philips and DAF from their home city Eindhoven the Netherlands by merging the original company logos.
Side track…Later the band even received a legal letter from Philips who did not want to be associated with their music style and reputation, and that they had to change the logo. Bartmann cleverly avoided legal action by exchanging the stars for skulls..
The Drive-0-Matic’s still has the old logo that Philips did not agree with. My first working copy after years of trying was an immediate success. On tour, musicians increasingly asked if I would like to make something for them too. The first copies reached the local music scene, where I mainly gave them away as gifts.
Dr. No Effects was born. I confiscated this first build and replaced it with a new one because I wanted my very first effect back. This loaded with adventures and magic, unique, priceless copy has been in my archives all these years and is now going to someone who can make music with it again and recognizes its value.
This 1st Drive-0-Matic comes from the Dr. No Archive and comes with original box, all original dirt marks, dried up sweat, blood and beer stains and a certificate of autheticity.