Getting Started with the FV-1:
A first look into DSP
You're maybe wondering how all these pedal compagnies are making crazy complicated effects in a small footprint. The answer is almost always digital processing.
One very popular Digital Signal Processor (DSP) amongst pedal makers is the Spin-Semiconductor's FV-1. It is easy to integrate it into a pedal design and coding was made relatively approachable. There're far more complex DSPs out there, with a lot more option like Analog Device's SHARK DSP used by Strymon, but the FV-1 will be able to handle most guitar effects.
Getting into digital signal processing is not an easy task, especially if you're not used to a digital workflow. The good news is that there's fantastic tools and documents here to help. I made this article to help you put everything together and follow the steps in the right order.
What's a DSP Anyway ?
A Digital Signal Processor is a very specialised microprocessor made for processing signal in real time. In order to do real time processing, the processor must reliably finish all its computing in one clock cycle. This is something generalists microprocessors, like the one in your computer, are not good at. The architechture and set of instructions of a DSP are optimized for speed. Most modules of the architecture are the same that in a regular microprocessor.
You can find DSPs in a lot of audio equipment like digital mixing tables, digital audio interfaces, effects racks and even microphones.
I hope this tutorial was helpful for the builders out there yearning for more possibilities. These examples are very basic but they will help you to have a grasp of the capabilities of DSP and the FV-1.
As always do not hesitate to point out mistakes or ask questions. Have fun!