Andrew Schibilla is a guitarist and the one-man force behind Analog Endeavors, a pedal company based just outside of Minneapolis, MN. He specializes in utility pedals such as switchers, controllers, and routers for pedalboards. I personally own two Analog Endeavors pedals and through my correspondence with Andrew have quickly discovered that he’s a great guy who makes quality products to serve guitarists. I thought it would be great for the rest of you to get to know Andrew and get more of the story behind Analog Endeavors.
(Daniel) Q: You’re a guitar player, do you play in any bands?
(Andrew) I play regularly in two Americana groups [Almighty American and Hope Country], an indie-rock group [The Cloud Hymn], and fill in with a few other bands/artists around the Minneapolis area.
- Almighty American – www.almightyamericanmusic.com
- Hope Country – www.hopecountrymusic.com
- The Cloud Hymn – https://thecloudhymn.bandcamp.com
(Daniel) Q: Do you also play at church?
(Andrew) I do! I’ve basically played in churches in some capacity from the moment I started playing guitar (around age 12). I am currently at Mercy Hill Church on the weekend and Westwood Community Church occasionally during the week.
(Daniel) Q: What inspired you to get started with pedals?
(Andrew) I’ve always been a tinkerer, and when I was in high school I convinced my dad (an electrical engineer) to build an amp with me. From there, I started to spend countless hours perusing forums and websites to learn more about circuits and stuff. I started by modding some old DS-1s, building little boost circuits, and selling tap tempos on eBay back in 2011. From there it’s become a fun outlet for me both from a production/manufacturing standpoint and creative/aesthetic standpoint, implementing dozens of different controllers, switches, routers, as well as custom cabling options. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment for me to create something with my hands, and I love the chance to add to the visual aesthetics of a customer’s board and enhance the versatility and functionality of it at the same time.
(Daniel) Q: What is your best-selling product?
(Andrew) This seems to go in waves. Recently it’s been the Micro Expression Wheel or Stereo to Mono Sum Patchbay. I’d say either the AUX2 or AUX3 historically, though. At this point, there are a handful of pedals that utilize the AUX2, so the size, simplicity, and price point of the AUX2 is popular with a lot of Strymon, Boss, Eventide, and Source Audio users.
(Daniel) Q: Have any customer requests led to an idea/product that’s been successful for you?
(Andrew) Yeah. A lot of the products I offer are more or less a result of customer requests. I’d say over half of my orders this year have been customized to some extent, and the custom requests that I get numerous times become more standard offerings. The biggest success this year has been introducing the Stereo>Mono Patchbay, which allows you to set your board up for stereo output, but toggle to mono if you’re in a situation where you only have one amp. It’s a small, simple utility that can be very useful especially for worship players that alternate between stereo and mono situations but don’t want to have to rearrange their whole board for each scenario.
(Daniel) Q: How has your business changed since you started?
(Andrew) It’s actually crazy to think about the past 6 years! The main change is just the sheer volume of units I’ve shipped in the past couple years. What started as a few orders a month has grown to 60-80 per month on average. Secondly, the consistency and aesthetic of the products has taken some huge steps. I used to spray paint bare enclosures and ink stamp every pedal way back when I started, but for the past year+ all the products I regularly offer are professionally powder-coated and have screen printed graphics.
(Daniel) Q: Do you still offer mods on pedals?
(Andrew) I do! It’s not a main part of my business, but I do offer external tap tempo type mods to a number of different pedals and have modded a number of DL4s with some fun additional features as well.
(Daniel) Q: Does the worship guitar player scene play any role in what products you offer and the success of your business?
(Andrew) I definitely think it has. I’d argue the worship guitar scene has hugely impacted the direction the gear market has gone in general. The vast majority of customers I interact with are a part of that scene. The nature of church music often means you need to be somewhat of a “tone chameleon”, which I think is why you see huge boards on church stages. Because of that, companies like Strymon, Eventide, Source Audio, Boss, and others have propelled the industry forward with feature-laden effects packed with different tones and options. A lot of my products are “MIDI alternatives” – simplified, more affordable options for players that want more control over those features/parameters/tones without diving into MIDI. So indirectly it plays a role in the products I offer, but I tend to be more concerned in making products based around the best combination of space utilization, function, and aesthetic appeal, regardless of whether it’s for a church player or not.
(Daniel) Q: Is there anything else you think we should know about you?
(Andrew) Just that I love the opportunities I get to work with so many different customers and musicians across the country. I’ve had multiple experiences of setting up for a gig on tour or meeting someone at a show who knows Analog Endeavors and uses my products and it’s such a fun (and kind of surreal) way to feel connected to the larger community of guitarists and gear nerds everywhere. I’m really thankful to be a part of it and to be filling a need in the market.
(Daniel) Q: What’s in your personal rig?
(Andrew) The rig is always changing, the blessing and curse of running a pedal company is staying up to date on all the new gear. For my church board, I’m currently using a Klon-style drive (Teletronix Mulholland Drive or ARC Klone), a Bondi Breakers, and a Walrus 385 for drives. Then a Boss VB-2W into a volume pedal (waiting on a new Lehle that I’ve heard amazing things about) into a Strymon Brigadier and Avalanche Run for delays, and a Neunaber Slate for reverb. I built a custom 3-loop bypass switch unit w/ a master tap tempo for this board, and use a Micro Expression for the Avalanche Run as well. I generally play either a 72 Deluxe RI Telecaster w/ Lollartron pickups or a Starcaster RI w/ MojoTone WRHB pickups into a Matchless SC30.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Andrew through this interview. Be sure to check out the Analog Endeavors pedal collection on their website and hit Andrew up if you need any custom utility pedals. http://www.analogendeavors.com