Unless you’re a guitar player, you may have never heard of a wah wah pedal. In 1966, while rebuilding the beatles style Vox Amplifier for the Thomas Organ Company, a young electronics engineer named Brad Plunkett was creating some test equipment. In doing so, he accidentally stumbled on a circuit that made an odd “Wah” sound effect. It was similar to the sound made when trumpet players mute notes with a hand or hat. Plunkett and the other engineers were intrigued and attached an organ volume pedal. Playing a Saxophone through their new wah-wah pedal, they impressed the boss. The company created a patent called ‘foot controlled continuously variable preference circuit for musical instruments’. The pedal was marketed in the US as the ‘Cry Baby’ and other countries as the ‘Vox pedal’. Soon after it’s release, some of the most famous guitarists were quick to put it to use. Clapton used it on tales of brave Ulysses and Jimi Hendrix used it on Burning of the midnight lamp. Today, the wah wah pedal is at the foot of nearly every electric guitar player.
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