Five Life Hacks from Empress to Save Time!

August 08 2022

Five Life Hacks from Empress to Save Time!

Get a quick glimpse into the efficient world of Empress Effects

5th August, 2022 - John Peippo

We know you love sinking countless hours into playing our pedals, so let Empress return the favour and share a few of our life hacks to give you those precious hours back. Or perhaps you want a quick glimpse into Empress factory life, then come along for the tour!

1. Label everything

How many times have you done something and needed to reread the manual months later? Why not copy those instructions right onto said thing-a-majig? Check out our customer service Echosystem where we've stuck the looper manual onto the front just so we always know how to use it.

2. Be organized and create homes for everything

How do you not lose your much needed tools? Build them a home! Empress is no stranger to tool gremlins. That's why we love using colourful tape, foam, and other organizational devices. And for routinely used items, make sure to build their home in open sight and not in a hidden location. Below are the foam tool caddies we made for the customer service and repair office and for the mini pedals production cell.

3. Use Hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts

We’re pretty techy here, and I’m sure you are too! So for Empress, using keyboard shortcuts is probably one of our number one time savers. Our design team uses them constantly to blast through computer work, and on the production floor, each builder uses them to prompt all of the build commands. We have a walkin' bass button and a smashin' drums button, do you?

4. Use checklists

How do you get work done without losing your mind? Use a checklist, of course! Breaking down an entire task into segments can ease your mind. Plus no need to remember things when everything is all laid out for you. As examples, here's our Buffer testing steps which go along with a helper ZOIA to ensure each pedal meets the same exact standard. Next is the start of day and end of day lists builders follow to make sure the cell is prepared for pedal building or is ready for the next builder. And the last image, is of our very flashy enclosure box reminder; turn on the light for which pedal needs more enclosures, and then you can replenish with ease!

5. 3D Printers are our friends

Not everyone has access to 3D printers yet, but we can't talk about life hacks without bringing them up. Do you need a specific tool? Well you can make it! At Empress you can’t walk a foot without spotting something that was 3D printed. From tools, to holders, to even full-on pedal prototypes, it can all be printed. We’ll even print specific production parts such as the ZOIA’s SD card retainer or the pressfits for the Reverb’s lightpipes. Below are our 3D printers that are running almost constantly (hidden to the right is the back of the ZOIA production cell in case you wanted to know where ZOIAs are born!). Next is our Euroburo calibrator/tester, which is probably our largest chunk of 3D plastic. You can see it in action in our Euroburo Build Video. And lastly is one of the 3D printed jigs we use to hold the PCBs nice and secure during assembly. This one is for our Heavy pedal, but almost all of our pedals have their own specific jig made just for them.

That’s all for now!

If you enjoyed the little tour, please let us know at and we would be delighted to make more content like this to show you our little home up in Canada!

John Peippo

John Peippo has done Assembly, Customer Service, Repairs, Shipping, and other random tasks here at Empress

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