Summer School Electronics

Last week, we got a minute to talk to our bud, Mark, from Summer School Electronics


Q: What was your first encounter with guitar and/or pedals?
A: I played drums before I played guitar, and my friends, who I would jam with, had these little bright colored boxes that said Boss on them. They would plug their guitars into them and we would jam Smells Like Teen Spirit and those boxes made the guitars sound like the album. It was great. After a few weeks of jamming they would bring in a wah wah or a delay or chorus and it really made tunes interesting. When I decided to learn guitar and got my Squier strat pack, I needed to get a DS1 at the same time. it was a no brainer.

Q: When did you start getting into building?
A: I started building during the 2020 shutdown. In normal times I was teaching all week and playing 3-4 hour gigs every weekend. During the summer of 2020 I had so much free time with no shows or rehearsals and kids being on summer break I wanted to pick up a hobby/project. It was either buy lego kits on ebay or a pedal building kit. I figured if I enjoyed the pedal kit I could sell the pedal to fund future kits, and my wife wouldn't ask why we had so many legos at the house. One kit led to 2, that led to orders from friends and down the rabbit hole I went.

Q: When did you design your first pedal?
A: In the Spring/early Summer of 2021 I wanted to switch from building clones to having something that had my stamp on it. I got a breadboard and began researching circuits more and more. I decided to start with a 250-topology and began making some mods on the breakboard until I found something I liked and then began playing with Kicad to design the pcb, and had my friend Steve help with the artwork. Summer School Electronics was launched and The Gus Drive was released for Preorder in Sept. 2021.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: Currently I'm a full time Math AIS teacher for grades 2-8, and a part time musician playing in a variety of bands around Syracuse, NY.

Q: Any long term goals?
A: I would love to take Summer School Electronics full-time. We're still growing and I'm planning to continue teaching until it reaches a point where I physically can't do both. I've always loved music and wanted to make songs that would impact people the way others' music has impacted me. I like the idea of paying it forward in the long-term. In the world of gear I would love to think that something I built inspired a riff for another musician or gave them a sound that they could then pass on to listeners to be inspired. If people enjoy the products and they're useful, that's a goal achieved.

Q: Any other hobbies besides music?
A: I wish I had more time for hobbies. My wife has a side-hustle selling antiques and I like helping her out hunting those down and selling at flea markets. I've found and flipped a few cool things myself over the years.

Q: Pets?
A: Our brand mascots, Gus and Gladys are my 2 black miniature schnauzers. They were both rescues during the pandemic, and hang in their dog beds under my desk where I build. So, naturally the first 2 pedals I released were the Gus-Drive and the Gladys. Mostly because when gigs resumed I'd be playing until 2 in the morning and it was nice to look down and see my buddies on my pedalboard.

Check out his site!

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