Our topic today will undoubtedly arouse the curiosity of the modern guitar player as we talk about the Top 9 Glitch and Stutter Pedals of 2023. The list covers pedals from Boss, Catalinebread, Red Panda, Meris, Pigtronix, Bananana, Solid Gold FX, and Hologram Electronics.
From exciting video game effects to old dial-up internet sounds to stuttering and skipping notes and glitched-up tonal artifacts, you can always be sure what you’ll hear when you use one of these pedals. It’s all about experimenting and finding the sweet spot that works for you.
As more traditional guitar players who shy away from experimentation may benefit from some basic information, let’s answer a few questions before diving deep into today’s post.
What does a glitch & stutter pedal do?
Glitch and stutter pedals employ a concept that uses different algorithms to break down specific passages of play into smaller chunks. These chunks are then played back in unique ways to produce stuttering gaps and glitchy sounds depending on the selected mode on the pedal.
The circuitry in some of these units adds looping capabilities to the pedal. You can then dig in deep and manipulate parameters like how these looped chunks are timed, in which sequence they’re played, and much more.
How To Use Glitch/Stutter Pedal In Action?
Glitch and stutter pedals can add a new dimension of character and creativity to your sound. Most units allow temporarily activating the glitch/stutter effect to emphasize a passage of play that works equally well when playing individual notes, chords, or a gut-wrenching solo.
Glitch and stutter pedals can be ideal for certain genres of music. For instance, using these pedals for electronic music will surely add great stuttering textures and glitched artifacts to your guitar sound. There can be lots of melodic applications related to these pedals. It’s all about how you unleash your creativity.
Top 9 Best Glitch & Stutter Pedals 2023
1. Boss DD-3T Digital Delay
After the immense popularity of the Boss DD-3 delay pedal comes the new and improved DD-3T Digital Delay.
The newer version brings many improvements compared to its predecessor, the DD-3, which ruled pedalboards for about three decades. Some advanced features include more repletion time, a tap tempo feature, and streamlined looping thanks to the cleverly engineered circuitry inside.
Measuring 2.37″ by 2.87″ by 5.12″, this Boss pedal is powered by a 9V power supply. Another convenient feature of most Boss pedals is their ability to run on batteries which adds to the unit’s portability. In addition, the “Mode” section of the pedal will satisfy all your glitch/stutter delay requirements.
- E-Level & Feedback
The pedal has a row of four knobs that control various aspects of the sound. Starting from the far left is an “E. Level” knob. This acts as the volume control of the delay effect. If you want the delay level closer to the original sound signal, move the knob to the right. When turned up, the input signal and the delay will have the same volume. You can eliminate the delay sound by turning the knob to the extreme left. Feedback refers to what is heard in response to the original input signal. Turning the “Feedback” knob to the right increases the number of repetitions. If the knob is turned clockwise, the number of repeats starts to decrease till you hear a single delay sound.
- Time & Mode
This section is where some exciting glitch and stutter effects can be conjured up. The “Time” and “Mode” knobs are to be used in combination to get the best results. The mode knob can choose between 4 options: S. 50ms, M. 200ms, L. 800ms, and “Short Loop.” Each of the first three options has a range. For instance, the small setting covers a range of 12.5 msec – 50 msec. The medium and large settings have ranges between 50 msec – 200 msec and 200 msec – 800 msec, respectively. These ranges signify the delay time. The time knob can then be used to vary the length of the delay time depending on the selected mode. In the Short Loop mode, you can play a sound and press the pedal to have it looped for as long as the footswitch is pressed. Here the time control can be used to choose any value between 200 and 800 msec. Another fun aspect of this mode is rotating the time knob to get crazy pitch variations when a sound is looped.
There is a wealth of inputs and outputs in the unit. Starting from the right, there’s a standard quarter-inch input for plugging in a guitar or bass. Next to it is a “Tempo” input where you can plug in a footswitch to activate the tap tempo feature. The unit is compatible with FS-FU, FS-6, and FS-7 footswitches. On the left of the pedal are two outputs. The jack labeled “Output” sends a signal that includes the delay effect and the input signal. The second output marked “Direct Out” sends out only the direct signal. The power input can be found on the top of the unit, and unscrewing the “Thumbscrew” reveals the compartment where the 9V battery can be inserted.
The DD-3T is solidly built and offers several improved features compared to the older model. The dual outputs give you much freedom depending on your amp setup, and the available controls provide plenty of options to get the delay effect how you like it. The mode and time knob manages various time ranges quite well.
Although an impressive unit, one thing comes off as a bit odd. If the pedal already has a footswitch, why add a separate jack for an external footswitch to control the tap tempo? You might want to check a pedal that has that feature built-in to save you from spending the extra amount.
2. Catalinbread CSIDMAN Glitch/Stutter Delay
You can spot this one from a mile away, thanks to the eye-catching bright reds and blues on a pale-yellow background.
There’s a fascinating story behind how the pedal was engineered. The credit can be given to the owner of Catalinebread, Nick Harris, whose creative juices started flowing when he experienced his CD player skipping between tracks as he drove. This gave him the idea to implement the phenomena in his next pedal, so the CSIDMAN was born.
Decorated with the words “CSIDMAN” all over the user interface, you see plenty of controls on the pedal at first glance. Taking in 9 – 18V of power, the unit measures 1.29″ by 2.48″ by 4.48″ and offers the best of both worlds. Being a hybrid pedal, the input/dry signal goes through as analog, whereas the delay is purely digital.
- Feed & Mix
Adorned with five knobs, the CSIDMAN is an exciting pedal to experiment with. The “Feed” knob controls the feedback or the number of delay repeats. Moving the knob clockwise increases the repetitions. The “Mix” control sets the mix between the input signal and the delay effect. Turn the knob to the far right, and the wet signal is all you’ll hear. Conversely, going to the other extreme will deliver 100% of the dry signal.
- Time & Cuts
The “Time” knob sets the delay time. A maximum time value of 725 mS can be set. To make optimal use of the stutter feature of the pedal, the “Cuts” knob is of the utmost importance. By fiddling with the control, you can decide the speed at which the CSIDMAN stutters or skips.
Finally, the “Latch” features, used along with the Cuts knob, control the duration for which the pedal remains skipping during a repetition or cycle. The knob can be turned to the left if you prefer no skipping. To the far right, you’ll experience the most skipping. At the noon position, there is a 50:50 ratio between skip and non-skip mode.
The connections on this pedal are pretty standard. The right has a quarter-inch input, and another quarter-inch output port can be seen on the opposite side. Also, besides the output jack is a 9-18V power input. Unfortunately, the CSIDMAN isn’t battery-powered.
As far as the functionality goes, the pedal is quite versatile. One can use it as a standard delay pedal or make it stutter like an old CD player close to its end. The Latch and Cuts knobs give you all the random stuttering you need to woo your audience.
Overall, with a decent delay and stutter pedal, the CSIDMAN has a few shortcomings. Firstly, most Catalinbread pedals are a bit on the expensive side, and the same case exists here. Secondly, adding a tap tempo feature would surely be an added benefit.
3. Red Panda Tensor
Here’s a pedal ideal for those who like to have many options at their disposal.
The complex interface is enough to make some think twice about trying the Tensor out, but with complexity comes ultimate control over every fathomable parameter. You can get your sound just right and melt some faces with the stuttering trails of your guitar solos.
With its capabilities, hardly any other pedal in the market can hold a candle to the Red Panda Tensor. The multiple modes are cleverly executed, and you get truckloads of playback and looping options to play around with to add more creativity to your guitar playing.
- Speed & Blend
Starting with the knobs, the “Speed” control adjusts the “tape speed.” When the knob is set at noon, there is no change in the playback. Going clockwise creates a backtracking effect where chunks of what you play are reversed and added over the original signal. The intelligent processor inside the Tensor can adjust to whatever is played and automatically sets the size of the passage of play and reverse time. The “Blend” control is a mix ratio knob, so you can choose how wet or dry signal is heard.
- Pitch & Rand
If you want to experience some pitch shift, the aptly named “Pitch” knob is your friend. In the 12 o’clock position, you won’t hear a change. However, you can experience subtle to more intense pitch shifts as you experiment with the control. The pedal’s Pitch range is between minus two and plus two octaves. In addition, the nearby “Rand” knob controls the amount of randomization that happens to your sound. All the parameters available in the pedal will manifest randomly depending on where the knob is set. At higher values, you’ll hear more intense randomness, while in a lower setting, the random effects will be less frequent.
A unique parameter on the pedal is the “Time” control. Like the other controls, there’s no alteration to the sound at the center. You’ll notice the time stretched or compressed as you deviate from this position. What’s genuinely ingenious, however, is that there is no change in Pitch. That’s why there’s a separate pitch on the unit. You’ll also hear audio artifacts as the time value is adjusted further up or down.
- Hold & M/L
On the center of the pedal are two switches that offer three different modes within themselves. The switch marked “Hold” has overdub, record, or NXT modes that come into play when the sound is being looped. In record mode, the loop being played is replaced every time you play something. More of what you play live in the overdub setting will be layered over the previous loop. Finally, the NXT mode uses dual buffers, switching between them to play them alternatingly. The M/L switch toggles the Momentary and Latch functions. In Latch mode, recording a loop entails pressing the hold button once to start the recording and pressing it again to end it and begin playback. In Momentary mode, the concept is the same; however, once the hold button is let go, the pedal will stop recording and start playback.
- Dir & M/L
The second switch also allows choosing between three modes of play. When a loop is recorded, the switch can help toggle between Forward, Alternating, and Reverse settings. This means the loop can usually play, be reversed, or alternate between forward and reverse playbacks. Once again, the M/L switch comes into play to enter Momentary and Latch modes.
A lot is going on under the hood of this highly advanced and intuitive pedal. With three playback options, three different looping modes, the momentary and latch feature, and many other controls, this stuttering beast has little to dislike.
The knobs aren’t labeled, so a lot of guesswork is involved. Someone with an untrained ear may feel a little lost at times. Furthermore, it all comes down to preference, as some of you pedal rookies may think that the Red Panda Tensor overcomplicates things unnecessarily with a plethora of complex controls on its interface.
4. Meris Ottobit Junior
A truly ingenious and insanely versatile unit, the Ottobit Junior is a force to be reckoned with.
Built and designed in the United States, this pedal is unique in what it does and can create sounds that none of the other pedals discussed thus far are capable of producing. The Ottobit will shift your guitar into a bit-crushing mode so you can add some unusual arcade game sounds to your repertoire.
The pedal has dimensions of 2″ by 4.25″ by 4.5″ and works on 9V of power. A quarter-inch input to plug in an instrument and left/right output jacks are on the back of the unit. The Ottobit also has an input jack for connecting a midi device. The same jack also allows expression pedal connectivity.
- Soft Buttons
The pedal has two soft buttons above each footswitch that light up when pressed. Pressing and holding the “Alt” button on the left and rotating different knobs will reveal their alternate functions. The soft button on the right can toggle between the sequencer type.
On the Ottobit are two footswitches, one of which has dual functions. The left footswitch can be tapped to set the tempo of the stutter or sequencer. Long pressing this button will hold or freeze the buffer of the stutter. The switch on the right activates or bypasses the pedal.
- Bit-Crushing (sample rate, filter, bits)
The Bit-Crushing section comprises the top three controls. To the first right is the “Bits” knob that changes the depth of the modulation from 1 bit to 24 bits. Next is the “Filter” control that adjusts the low pass ladder filter through which the cutoff frequency can be set between 96Hz and 24kHz. Finally, the “Sample Rate” knob helps develop the sample rate between 48Hz and 48kHz.
- Stutter, Sequencer, Sequencer Steps
In the second row of controls is the “Stutter” knob helps adjust different aspects of stuttering, such as stutter speed and length. In addition, the “Sequencer” knob is handy in setting how many times a sequence will be played. The options here include twice, 4 times, 8 times, and infinity. In addition, each of the six knobs can control a step of the sequencer in their alternate setting.
- Sequencer Mult
Finally, through the “Sequencer Mult” control, the speed of the sequencer can be set. Whatever tempo is set using the footswitch’s tap tempo ability, the sequencer multiplier with multiply the tapped tempo by 1X, 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X, 32X, 64X up to 128X.
Crazy arcade video games, insane filtering, guitars stuttering all over the place, and a six-step sequencer on board with dual types, what more could you ask for? The people at Meris have gone all out to pack this sober-looking black box with a wide array of features to experiment with.
The Ottobit Junior is a unique pedal that may only be for some, considering what it does. Yes, it has substantial controls to alter stutter length and time, however, many purist guitar players avoid such units due to their unorthodox sound characteristics. However, those who like to experiment will surely get a kick out of this one.
5. Pigtronix Infinity 2
It’s easy to discredit the Infinity 2 by Pigtronix as just another looper pedal, while it’s so much more than that.
While the ordinary looper is designed to play a loop repeatedly without too many variations, the Infinity two is equipped with a couple of footswitches that help record two loops and alternate between them depending on user preference.
This is handy, especially when you’re looking to play a pattern that involves a verse followed by a chorus, for instance. And what’s more is that the overall functionality is kept very simple and to the point. Furthermore, the minimalist design and narrow dimensions make it fit on even the most crowded pedal boards.
- Decay & Volume
The pedal has an easy-to-navigate layout with a couple of knobs. The “Decay” knob sets the decay time of the loop when in overdub mode. If the knob is turned fully counterclockwise, the loop fades away after a single cycle. Turned to the far right, the loops are layered over each other at full volume. The second knob is labeled “Volume” and sets the loop’s volume. Keeping the knob centered at 12 o’clock achieves unity gain.
- Modes (Stop)
Also, towards the left of the unit is a soft button that selects the mode. The four modes can be seen below the button. Each mode has a corresponding light that illuminates when selected. The modes include “Stop,” “Once,” “Octave,” and “Undo/Redo.” In Stop mode, the loop will stop at the end of the cycle.
- Modes (Once, Octave & Undo/Redo)
When the Once mode is selected, the ongoing loop starts from the beginning and is played once. Tapping the switch will make the loop stutter. Finally, in the Octave setting, the sample rate switches to 24kHz. Pressing the switch again pushes the sample rate to 48kHz. The fourth mode is “Undo/Redo.” You can use this feature to undo an ongoing overdubbed passage or to redo and overdub.
The back panel has a row of inputs and outputs. Starting from the far left is the 9V DC power input. Next to it are a couple of quarter-inch inputs and quarter-inch outputs for stereo applications. The pedal also allows connectivity with an external footswitch which can be connected to cycle through the modes. Finally, there’s a Type Micro-B USB port for firmware updates if needed.
The good thing about the Infinity 2 is that it breaks the barriers of simplicity and provides more versatility than the average Joe looper pedal. The dual knobs make things easy to level out, and the modes allow several uses of the two available footswitches.
Although the Pigtronix Infinity 2 is a handy dual looper with a stutter feature and can provide hours of noodling and songwriting fun, it doesn’t have a voice of its own. So, if you’re looking for a pedal that has the glitch and stutter feature and is capable of dishing out some effects, you might want to check out the rest of the pedals on the list.
6. Bananana Mandala
This tiny pedal from Bananana has a lot going on inside its compact yellow and blue exterior.
Having a dimension of 3.66″ by 2.05″ by 1.93″, this minuscule unit will easily make room for itself in your current setup. With 8 comprehensive settings that can be easily activated using the different colored “Mode” control in the unit’s center, the Mandala is undoubtedly something to check out.
Moreover, each mode can be further adjusted using three different knob controls, creating a plethora of possibilities you may not have explored before. Even the behavior of the footswitch can be controlled through some creatively engineered switches on the unit.
- Function, Volume, Time & Mode
The main feature on the pedal is the “Mode” knob. The “Func” knob can adjust relevant parameters for the selected mode. The “Time” knob can be used to set the time of the repeats manifested by the selected mode. The “Volume” control adjusts the level of the modulated signal.
- Up & Down Modes
In the “Up” mode, whatever signal is fed through the unit is repeated, and the Pitch changes with every repeat. The change in Pitch can be set between a range of +1 or +12 and is chromatic. The “Down” mode works oppositely. The sound fed through plays repeatedly, but the Pitch decreases with each repetition. Again, the pitch change is chromatic and can be set between +1 and +12.
- Random & Reverse Modes
When the “Random” mode is selected, the received sound is repeated for random time periods. These periods can be short bursts or slightly longer chunks. You can choose the playback speed between two options, 1X and 2X. In reverse mode, the original sound is played repeatedly but in reverse. The rates here can vary between 1/2X, 1X, and 2X.
- Repeat & Square Modes
The “Repeat” mode is relatively simple and repeats the last signal fed through. There is no alteration in Pitch here, just some unmodified repeats. The playing speed can be varied between 1X and 2X. The “Square” mode has to do with the signal’s waveform. The last received signal is turned into a square wave and repeated. You can also through some octaves into the mix in this mode, giving way to some fascinating results.
- Trigger & Square Trigger Modes
In the “Trigger” setting, the last phrase played is looped automatically when there is a gap in the input. The speeds in this mode can be varied between 1X and 2X. The “Square Trigger” takes things a step further. The signal is first converted to a square wave and then looped automatically when there’s a break in the input signal. In addition, you can also experience a blend in the input octave and a sound that is one octave lower to create some exciting variations.
- Latch & Kill Dry
There are a couple of switches at the very top of the unit. You can choose the footswitch’s behavior through the “Latch” switch. The switch can be pressed once to activate or deactivate the effect. The other option is to have the mode activated temporarily for the duration the switch is pressed down. The “Kill Dry” switch helps toggle between wet and wet/dry options. You can choose to output only the wet signal, which can be helpful in some situations.
The pedal has so many unique sound-generating capabilities that it’ll keep the curious guitar player inside you busy for hours. Pairing it with other effects units can be even more exciting. With 8 modes at your disposal, you can glitch and stutter into the night like nobody’s business.
While some pedals are designed so that just by looking at them, you can have a good idea of what the controls are all about, the Mandala does take some getting used to. It’ll take a while to get well-versed with each mode and figure out what the other function knobs will do in each scenario.
7. Alexander Syntax Error
The colorful Alexander Syntax Error has everything you need to conjure tonal magic.
It’s a pedal that will take you decades back to when arcade games were in full swing, and the painstakingly slow dial-up connection would initiate with a sequence of odd-sounding tonal gibberish before connecting to the internet superhighway.
You will find four control knobs on the Syntax Error pedal, two of which are multifunctional. Furthermore, the unit has 4 different effects modes and midi connectivity, so the 4 onboard presets can be expanded to 16 when an external midi controller is connected.
The resolution of the sound or sample rate can be set using the “Sample” knob. You can select a higher sample rate by moving the knob to the left. However, if the requirement is to generate a more degraded sound, moving the Sample control to the far left will deliver that result effectively. When the knob is rotated while pressing the “Select” button, a “Bonus” parameter is activated, which controls different aspects of the selected mode.
- Code & Tweak
The “Code” knob can set parameters like speed, gain/distortion, and sample clock direction depending on which mode the pedal is currently in. The “Tweak” knob also works similarly and controls different aspects of the set mode. It can adjust variables like depth, cutoff frequencies, and buffer length in various modes.
The “Mix” control is much like a kill-dry switch in that you can decide how much of a wet or dry signal needs to be generated. When turned fully to the right, the dry signal is completely lost. When paired with the Select button, the “Volume” alternate function is activated so the levels of the wet and dry signals can be controlled.
- Effects Modes: Stretch & Cube
In the “Stretch” mode, the incoming signal is pushed through a buffer and then played back. You’ll need to adjust the Code and Tweak knobs to get the maximum out of the mode. The playback clock and buffer length can be set using these knobs, where the speed can be set between +1 & -1. In addition, the Bonus knob can be used to create some trippy delay sounds. The “Cube” mode sounds a bit more normal. However, there are a lot of advanced calculations happening in this mode. The gain and mix of the effect can be set using the Code knob. There’s also a low-pass filter that helps shape the tone.
- Effects Modes: Ring & Freq
If you’re a fan of ring modulation, the “Ring” mode is where you need to be. This setting combines a sampler and a low-frequency oscillator with a ring modulator. The Hold and Tweak controls help set the speed and depth, respectively. Further equalizing in sound can be done using the Bonus knob. In the “Freq” mode, the input signal’s frequency can be changed by a fixed amount. You’ll also notice a change in the Pitch. However, the intervals or gaps between the notes are not maintained. The amount of shift in the frequency and the amount of signal fed through for frequency shifting can be varied using the control knobs on board.
Very few pedals around can do what the Syntax Error does. In one, you get some stutter-based effects, ring modulation, tremolo emulations, low-pass filtering, gain control, speed and depth adjustments, and much more. If you’re into experimentation, you’ll never get tired of the Syntax Error.
Pedals of this category are somewhat of an acquired taste. Some of the more traditional guitar players would likely stick to conventional methods of expressing themselves through their instruments using effects like distortions, delays, flangers, tremolos, and the like.
8. Hologram Infinite Jets
Whether it’s chord work, subtle single notes, or solos, you will get something unique from the Infinite Jets.
The unit is programmed so that its internal circuitry works out the dynamics of the musician’s playing style and then recreates the sound with the help of its dual-channel sustain and sampling capabilities. You’ll also find a separate “Glitch” effect on the board that is fully adjustable.
All this creative engineering is packed in a rather hefty 7.4″ by 4.7″ by 1.5″ form factor with an unusual three foot switch configuration. However, you get many features, including 4 effect styles, two separate channels, 10 different presets, and 2 slots for saving your settings.
The Infinite Jet has a powerful brain inside it. Pressing the central Bypass and B footswitches for a couple of seconds enters the pedal into calibration mode. Now, connecting an instrument and playing a few passages of notes and chords will educate the Jets unit to adjust and react accordingly.
- Trigger Modes
A metallic witch on the pedal helps toggle between three trigger modes. You can choose between “Poly,” “Mono,” and “Manual” modes here. In Poly mode, any note or chord played will continue sustaining into the following played passage, giving way to some intriguing, sustained harmonies. “Mono” mode is slightly more direct and will only sustain a single note or chord at a time. In the “Manual” setting, either of the modes can be used independently.
- Envelop Time/LFO Shape
You can further deep dive into a note or chord’s attack or decay time by adjusting the “Envelop Time” knob. The pedal brings 6 different waveforms to your disposal. You can choose between Sine, Square, Triangle, Saw (two variations), and a random mode that triggers different waveforms randomly.
- Gain & Dry
Placed on the top right are a couple of knobs, the first of which is the “Drive” control. You can not only control the output gain using the knob, but it also works as an equalizer to shape the tone’s brightness/dullness. Next to it is a “Dry” knob that acts like a kill dry control to eliminate the dry signal from the mix if needed.
- Voices – Glitch
The general concept of the “Glitch” mode is that the input signal is broken down into smaller pieces and then looped. The mode has two subdivisions. In Glitch A, the chords or notes played are chopped into smaller portions, and the user can decide the playback length out of four variations. In Glitch B, the chunks of the input signal are played back randomly.
- Voices – Blur & Synth
The “Blur” voice removes the boundaries of the audio signal in that the initial attack and decay are subdued. This gives the sound a unique characteristic making it well-suited for ambient guitar music. The “Synth” section is subdivided into Synth A and Synth B. Some exceptionally hard-hitting synth sounds can be experienced in Synth A while Synth B recreates gentle synthesized choruses inspired by Synth pads of the 1980s.
- Voices – Swell
You can create volume-based swells in the “Swell” voicing and generate some helpful tremolo sounds. Here again, there are A and B modes where Swell A triggers volume-based enveloping and Swell B helps create fuzzy, sustained violin-style tones by adding wave shaping.
- Dimensions/LFO Depth & Envelop Time/LFO Frequency
Each set of voicing has variable dimensions that can be set using the “Dimensions” control. When Blur or Swell voices are selected, the Dimensions knob controls the Space/Feedback. In the Synth voicing, the Filter Cutoff can be managed through this control. In addition, you can also alter the Sample Length of the Glitch A voicing or select the Sample for Glitch B using this multifunctional knob. With the “Env Time” knob, the user can choose an infinite sustain time, so the previous note keeps ringing till the following note is played. Another exciting feature is the ability to loop notes according to the selected waveform.
The Infinite Jets pedal from Hologram has so much to offer that it’ll be years till you can fully understand what all it’s capable of. With 4 voices and 2 variations in each voice, you can have many options at your disposal. The controls are engineered in such a way that they adjust according to the modes to give you ultimate control.
Where the complexity of the pedal is its strength, it also happens to be its weakness. Perhaps more suited for seasoned veterans, the Infinite Jets may not be the best choice for beginners or intermediate guitar players who consider themselves a bit technologically challenged.
9. EM-III-Multi-Head Octave Echo
The EM-III furthers the legacy of Solid Gold Fx’s former flagship device, the Electro Man.
Packed inside the much smaller EM-III is a technically advanced circuit board capable of delivering analog echo warmth, pristine digital delay, profound fluttering echo repeats, intense glitching, and momentary oscillation features.
And don’t think that the pedal can only be limited to serving guitar players. You can use it with synths and even drum machines to create exciting glitch and stuttering patterns to break free from conventionality.
- Time, Repeat, Level
The “Time” knob affects the delay time and can be set within 70 milliseconds to 1 whole second. Next to it is the “Repeat” knob that specifies the number of repetitions. When turned up, the repeats will increase and overtake your original signal. The volume of the delay effect can be adjusted using the “Level” knob, allowing you to eliminate the wet signal or give it a boost to cut through the mix.
- Flutter & Color
The “Flutter” knob is more of a modulation control and mimics the wow and flutter of classic tape echo machines. At the noon position, the modulation turns off. The depth of the slow modulation can be altered when the knob is moved to the left of the center. Moving to the right increases the fast modulation’s depth. In addition, the “Color” knob adjusts the tone of the effect. When the knob is centered, there’s no equalizing. Moving to the right, however, brightens the tone, and moving the other way enhances the lower frequencies.
Inside the unit are a couple of dipswitches tasked with various responsibilities. The first dip switch helps in setting the direction of the glitch effect. When the switch is on, the glitch slopes downwards, slowing down the delay. When off, the glitch ramps upwards and speeds up the delay. The second dip switch focuses on the behavior of the trails when the pedal is bypassed. When on, the trails will linger and slowly fade away. When off, the trails will stop abruptly when the unit is disengaged.
- Footswitches & Connectivity
On the pedal are two footswitches with multiple capabilities. The left switch can set the tap tempo of the echo/delay and create a warp effect when long-pressed. The footswitch on the right activates or bypasses the unit and glitches the sound in real time when long-pressed. All the ports found on the pedal are top-mounted. The panel includes two standard quarter-inch inputs/outputs and a 9V power input jack.
Indeed a more modern and improved version of its predecessor, the Electroman, the compact EM-III, is in a league of its own. Now you have even more controls and more significant possibilities to shape your sound thanks to controls that change the rate, number of repeats, color, and level of the delay/echo.
There’s not a lot wrong with this pedal, as it ticks all the checkboxes regarding performance and adjustable parameters. Perhaps the one thing missing is a separate input jack for an external footswitch to control various aspects of the modulation.
Red Panda Particle 2
After the success of the original Particle pedal, Red Panda has gone a step further with the new and improved Particle 2.
Dubbed a “granular delay/pitch shift” pedal, the V2 takes after its senior with many of the same controls and a more ergonomic interface with minor changes in the layout. This time around, the second iteration of the Particle pedal has 5 delay-based modes and 3 pitch shift settings.
Other handy features like Midi connectivity, the ability to save presets, multifunctional tap tempo, and freeze-based footswitch functionality add to the user experience. Moreover, the good people at Red Panda have packed all of this in a much smaller packing measuring 2.5″ x 3.05″ by 4.75″.
There are two footswitches on the pedal, each of which has multiple functions. The left switch can be used as a tap tempo control to set the pace of an effect. The switch can also be long-pressed to unlock freeze mode. The right footswitch activates the unit and can also be used to adjust the division of the tap tempo and activate alternate functions of some of the knob controls.
- Blend & FDBK
The pedal has two rows of three knobs on the interface. Starting from the left, the “Blend” knob controls the wet and dry signal mix. Turning the knob to the right delivers 100% of the wet signal and vice versa. The “FDBK” or feedback knob controls the number of echo repeats you hear. In its alternate setting, the knob can also control the tone of the feedback.
- Chop & Delay/Pitch
Between the 7 o’clock and noon positions, the “Chop” control adjusts the grain size. The freeze threshold can be set as you move past the 12 o’clock position. In other words, the selected delay buffer’s amplitude threshold can be set as the knob is moved past noon to the right. Depending on the selected mode, the Pitch can be shifted between an octave range of +1/-1 using the “Delay/Pitch” control. The delay time can also be set using the same knob.
- Mode & Param
The mode knob in the center of the unit gives many options. Here you can combine multiple features to conjure up some fascinating tonal characteristics, including five settings paired with delay: Delay + Dens, Delay + LFO, Delay + Rev, Delay + Pitch, Delay + Rnd, and three settings that combine Pitch with other options like Pitch + Dtune, Pitch + LFO, and Pitch + Dens. The Delay/Pitch and Param controls automatically adjust to set different mode features.
There are many modes for studio and live applications. Once you get past the intimidating interface and dig deep into the functionality, you’ll realize how easy and fun the pedal is. But there’s more to it than meets the eye, as connecting the unit to a computer via the USB port gives access to the Web Editor, which opens doors to even more customization.
Granted that the Particle 2 indeed provides loads of modes and several functions that have the potential to quickly become part of your guitar playing, it comes at a steep price. If you can settle for a more basic unit, you may want to look at some of the cheaper options on the list.
Let’s face it. Not every guitar player would be too psyched to experiment with glitch and stutter pedals as they’re a bit unorthodox and aren’t directly related to the musician’s skills. However, they’re entertaining to play with.
The Meris Ottobit Jr. is perhaps the most unique pedal on the list, as it offers a six-step sequencer and a ton of stuttery goodness within. The Infinity Jets pedal from Hologram Electronics gives you dual variations for five voices, opening doors to unimaginable possibilities.
Similarly, the Alexander Pedals Syntax Error, Red Panda Particle 2, Bananana Effects Mandala, and Bananana Effects Tensor are all loaded with switches and mode knobs, so you can try different combinations to create fascinating glitch artifacts and stuttering stop-and-go notes.
Finally, if you want a looper pedal to help you with songwriting but also need a unit that adds glitches and stutter to your guitar sound, you can kill two birds with one stone thanks to the Pigtronix Infinity 2.
Sultan Zafar is a guitar player from Islamabad, Pakistan. He has been playing music with various mainstream musicians for over 20 years. He is a song writer and music producer. These days he spends his time exploring different music genres and collaborating with fellow musicians on various projects. Read more..