ao link
Filter content by area of interest
Boost and Overdrive

Cooper FX Arcades Modular Multi-FX Workstation : Card Spotlight Series #6 : LOFI

Bitcrushing and Lo-FiCooper FXDelayGlitchModulationReverb+-
Share to TwitterShare to Facebook

The 6th card in my series is very much core Tom Majeski territory as a number of his original hardware boxes operate in similar areas - just with a few more parameter controls at your disposal - this is more like a subset of that actually. This can in some ways be considered somewhat adjacent to the Generation Loss Card - with some interesting oddities thrown into the mix to spice things up.


Two of these modulations are likely my favourite Arcades algorithms to date - also in how they inspired me to play - but more of that later. There’s quite a bit of ambient noise on tap here, with signal smoothing and damping - as well as somewhat more spiky bitcrushed tones. I’m not 100% clear on the musical usage scenarios for a couple of the Modes - while everything else really does inspire some interesting and dynamic playing.


Generally I didn’t mess around to much with the core ABCD - Dry, Wet, Tone and Clock parameters - while I did though tweak Tone and Clock Rate for a couple of the bitcrusher style algorithms - in order to get slightly more or slightly less of what I was hearing!


Tip 1 - There is real need for me to adjust tone on both Reverb algorithms here - which can be a little dark otherwise


Tip 2 - Altering the Clock Rate can give you even more interesting or more subtle bitcrusher tones and textures


1 : VHS - VHS / Tape Effect Emulation with Pitch Modulation and bandwidth reduction

Warbly, slightly chorusey texturising VHS tape-style effect - very straightforward and easy to dial in - just set desired amount of Wow and Flutter - and adjust filters to taste! Simple,elegant and effective.

  • A : WOW - Amount of slower random modulation
  • B : FLUT - Amount of Flutter modulation
  • C : LPF : Low Pass Filter
  • D : HPF : High Pass Filter

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(9) (9) (11) (8) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

2 : Vinyl - Dusty Crackly and Warped Vinyl Noise Effect

Fantastic low-fi texture with some cool swirly stuff happening on top of snap, crackle, pop and hiss of Vinyl simulation. Possible my favourite algorithm to-date! And undeniable cool for intro and outto sections of tracks.

  • A : RPM - (Revolutions Per Minute) - Speed of Pitch Warbles
  • B : DPTH - Depth of Pitch Warble / Modulation
  • C : AGE - Amount of Filtering and Saturation - essentially 'dulls' throughput
  • D : NOIS - The degree of Vinyl Noise - Snap, Crackle, Pop and Hiss!

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(3) (11) (2) (5) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

3 : Crushr - Synth Style Dirty Square Wave fed into highly resonant Envelope Filter and with Sub Octave boom

Cool Swooshy and Squelchy Synth Style Effect with an extra Sub-Octave kick. A little bit raw in some ways, but does the job nicely, and can easily be used in musical context - I had a lot of fun with this algorithm - not quite what you expect.

  • A : SEN - Sensitivity of Envelope Filter
  • B : DET - Detune : turn up to detune one of the synth voices
  • C : SUB - Amount of Sub Octave
  • D : RES - Degree of Filter Resonance - watch out for oscillation at higher levels

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(10) (1) (1) (10) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

4 : Delay - Low Fidelity Delay with Flutter and Sample Rate Reduction

With my preferred settings - this is an amazingly cool textured delay - bas a sort of metallic spring quality to it - just sounds fantastic for bouncing off rhythm lines, and is great for playing off and responding too in turn. A very simple effect really - but one of the more magical ones to play with. I think I had a certain serendipity about locking in those settings and getting lost in the groove.

  • A : TIME - Delay Time between hitting strings and first audible repeat - also controlled by TAP footswitch
  • B : FBK - Degree of Feedback / Repeats
  • C : SRATE - Degree of Sample Rate Reduction - introduces that metallic spring texture
  • D : FLUT - Degree of Random Flutter Modulation

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(8) (9) (1) (10) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

5 : Reverb - Dusty and Spooky Reverb inspired by CBA Dark World

Indeed this is a very suitably wooshy / dusty / spooky reverb as described in the title. Much like with the Vinyl Mode - I like to max out the Noise element for maximum atmospheric impact! Very straightforward to use and easy to dial in.

  • A : DCY - Decay of Reverb / fade-out
  • B : MOD - Degree of Random Modulation
  • C : NOIS - Amount of Instability and Hiss
  • D : LPF - Low Pass Filter : apply to darken / dampen Reverb

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(1) (12) (5) (10) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

6 : RngMod - Ring Modulator with Fine-Tuning and Randomisation

This is quite an odd one - with the Ring mod notes anchoring this effect, but some crazy randomised oscillation / arpeggiation happening over the top. I've decided to call my Preset below - 'Argument Overheard in a Droid Workshop' - as that's what kind of springs to mind. Great for some sci-fi atmospherics, but not so sure on the musicality of this one within a song-structure. This was particularly tricky to dial in, and I'm still not sure how to use this successfully within a musical context. No doubt a weirdly cool effect - possibly best deployed incidentally.

  • A : FREQ - Frequency of Ring Modulation
  • B : FINE - Tune / Refine Range of Modulation
  • C : RAND - Degree of Randomization of Frequency
  • D : RSPD - Adjust Speed of Randomization

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(3) (2) (2) (5) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

7 : BitVrb - Smeared LoFi Reverb with Sample Reduction on Tails

This is another one pretty much exactly as per the overview title - very much a smeared, bitcrushed reverb - you need to adjust Tone and Clock Rate here to get optimal effect / impact. I would like a bit more of a dampening action here to make this more like a soft spring - vs medium hard one really as is. Both reverbs can tend towards the dark -meaning some Tone adjustment is typically desirable.

  • A : DCY - Decay of Reverb Tails
  • B : DIFF - Degree of Diffusion / Smearing
  • C : DIGI - Sample Rate Reduction on Reverb Tails
  • D : AMNT - Amount of Signal that is fed into the Sample Reducer

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(1) (2) (5) (8) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

8 : Synth - Bitcrusher infused Synth with Filter and Attack Control

I've called my Preset below 'Dr Who' as that's what it reminds me of - a sort of sharp stabby synth with some residual warble - another great sci-fi style effect, while I did eventually find a number of suitably musical ways to deploy this versus the rather odder RingMod above!

  • A : SEN - Sensitivity of sampling
  • B : CRSH - Sample Rate Reduction of Synth Voice
  • C : LPF - Low Pass Filter
  • D : ATK - Attack : Time taken for synth voice to fade in - squelch!

Example / Preferred Settings :

'A' 'B' 'C' 'D'
(9) (10) (5) (9) o'clock (7 is min, 5 is max)

Final Thoughts

Lofi is something of a game of two halves for me - I really love the first half of effects - in particular the Vinyl and Delay Modes.


In the latter half the Reverb and BitVrb are quite usable really - while the Ring Mod and Synth Algorithms are more than a little bit odd. I was able to deploy the Synth fairly musically in the end - but still a very textured sci-fi edged effect. While I found the Ring Mod a little hard to dial in - and those random oscillating / arpeggiating elements really get in the way of any melody. So while I was able to get a cool effect - it didn't really inspire any music structures for me - and rendered it rather more as an ambient soundtrack effect.


A couple of these algorithms are a little tricky to dial in - but by and large these are mostly very easy to adapt too. Everyone should at least try out the Vinyl and Delay effects with my settings - you will be smitten too!


I wonder if Tom will ever offer up a custom card service like David Rolo does for his Molecular Disruptor. It would be rather cool to specify a gig-ready card or two which contained all the algorithms you wanted to deploy for those songs - on just one or two cards - you could split the playlist, and switch cards in the interval if you needed more variety. Certainly something worth considering ...

Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Add New Comment
You must be registered and logged in to comment
Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
News Navigation

2021 50

July 26

June 20

2021 July Boss Month Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VII - Boss Level Endgame
"Thank you JM - glad you enjoyed the coverage. T"...
4 days ago
2021 July Boss Month Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VII - Boss Level Endgame
"Thank you for an enjoyable month of articles "...
5 days ago
Boss GT-1000 CORE vs 200 and 500 Series Pedals
"Hey Slats - I'm well aware of Flamma and have "...
7 days ago
Boss GT-1000 CORE vs 200 and 500 Series Pedals
"You really must check out the Flamma pedals. They "...
7 days ago