I’m a huge fan of Red Panda’s output - I love the V2 form-factor and extended feature sets of its 5 core pedals. In fact I should really own more - while the only one I’ve thus far acquired has been the V2 Particle Granular Delay.
At this year’s virtual Winter NAMM Red Panda introduced their new and improved Bitmap Bitcrusher - which is fantastic and category-leading, and this week for Summer NAMM they have updated their remaining Raster Digital Delay to V2 format.
One thing that attracted me to the Particle - besides its enhanced feature set - was the inclusion of 4 onboard presets. I observe that only 3 of the 5 pedals have the same type of 4 onboard presets - the Bitmap, Particle, and now Raster. While each of these pedals has a quite individual control topology.
These pedals feature smart Stereo In/Out via TRS Y-Splitter Cable - which isn’t necessarily ideal for me - but very doable. If I recall properly - that feature was only possible on the Particle with a later firmware update.
Generally though - all of these have significant merits - that size of enclosure is just ingenious - sitting half-way between Compact and BB-enclosure status.
I believe the Particle Granular Delay and Tensor Tape Effects / Time-Stretcher are the two perennial bestsellers here. The Particle was my second fully stand-alone Granular Delay after the Montreal Assembly Ct5 - and I definitely want each the remaining ones here. Where each of those is a bona fide leader in its respective genre - and particular at its size of enclosure. Of these slimline medium-enclosure editions the Particle still comes first for me - followed by the Bitmap Bitcrusher, Tensor, Raster and then Context.
Obviously I have plenty of Reverb pedals already - so the Context is not necessarily to[ of my priorities list - but it’s still a very cool edition. My next reverb is likely the CXM 1978, then the the Walrus Audio R1 - and then possibly the Red Panda Context. Still so much to do!
Most likely the next Red Panda for me is the Bitmap, then Tensor.
I really like the look of the Raster too - while it’s a slightly lesser priority for me at the moment. Essentially a fantastic take on those Rack-style Digital Delay units, with some really smart pitch and frequency shifting, wave-shaping and modulation.
Each of these pedals has between 7 and 15 controls, and most have 4 onboard presets, with 127 available via MIDI.
Here follow further details on each - starting with the brand new Raster. The visual has been somewhat symmetrically / aesthetically arranged! :
Alas no demos yet - will update as soon as something materialises, while the new edition looks undeniable cool - with no less than seemingly 15 controls - while there is no manual out yet either - so tricky to verify how everything works exactly!
Red Panda describes its new V2 Raster as :
"The Raster is a digital delay with a pitch and frequency shifter integrated into the feedback loop. Forward or reverse delay can be shifted once or have continuously shifted repeats. It delivers a wide range of sounds including modulated and harmonized delays, reverse delays, chorus, arpeggios, infinite descents, chaotic self-oscillation, and continuously evolving soundscapes."
The Raster's Controls (6 knobs + 9 switches/buttons) are - Shift, Feedback, Delay, Blend, Rate / Wave-shape, Depth / Wave-shape, Modulation Type, Preset / Save, Direction/Loop, Wave / Alt, Range / Divisions, Momentary / Latching / Tap-Tempo, Momentary / Latching / On/Off.
Raster Key Features :
Red Panda's Bitmap 2 Bitcrusher is likely my next Bitcrusher pedal - whenever that happens - while I'm still in the market for an EHX Mainframe, and earlier version of Iron Ether Frantabit - oh and probably the mid-size WMD Geiger Counter.
For its size no other pedal provides more Bitcrushing features - with all kind of really smart secondary processing. This will certainly happen one of these days, while it's not quite at the top of the priority list currently.
Controls - Mix, Crush, Frequency, Filer, Rate, Drive, Preset / Save, Envelop / Destruction Destination, Waveform / Shape, Envelope Modulation, Aux / Tap / Preset, On / Bypass.
Key Features :
Even though I have number of preferred Reverb Workstation pedals - including the Strymon BigSky, Boss RV-500, Source Audio Ventris. EHX Occeans 12, and Strymon NightSky, And in terms of my priorities I'm likely getting either the CXM 1978 or Walrus Audio R1 next - with likely the Context coming after that. Unless Boss finally consents to release its long anticipated RV-200.
Controls - Blend / Balance, Pre-Delay / Delay Time, Decay / Feedback, High-Frequency Damping / Dynamics Ducking, Low-Frequency Damping / Dynamics Threshold, Mode : Room / Hall / Cathedral / Gated / Reverse / Plate / Spring / Granular, Modulation / Rate, Shift.
While most similar Reverb Workstation contain 11 or 12 algorithms / Modes - this still has a finely tuned number of 8 algorithms - including rarer varieties - Gated, Reverse, and Granular. So a really decent balance of algorithms - also with plenty of controls available including all those shift+ secondary parameters. As is common with all these pedals - the Context Rever is priced at RRP $299.
This was actually Red Panda's first pedal to take the new V2 format which all others have now finally been updated too. This is a perennial favourite along with the Particle as two of Red Panda's all-time bestsellers. It carries a series of Tape Effects - including Stop and Hold, Directional / Speed, Time-Stretching, and Pitch-Shifting. It's certainly down on my acquisitions wishlist - but not yet a significant high level priority.
Controls - Speed, Time, Pitch, Blend, Hold / Looping Mode : Overdub / Record-Replace / Next (Dual Buffer), Hold Loop Direction : Forward / Alternating / Reverse, Randomization, 2 x Momentary / Latching.
Key Features :
This is my first and only Red Panda Pedal to date - and sort of shares rotational duties on slot #37 with the Boss DD-200 which tends to be the mainstay. Occasionally going in on slot #34 too. This is everything a modern granular delay pedal should be - and the 4 onboard presets are a major aspect of its appeal - alongside those finely calibrated 5 Delay and 3 Pitch-Shifting Effects.
Controls - Blend, Chop / Freeze, Delay / Pitch, Feedback, Mode : (Delay) Density / LFO / Reverse / Pitch / Randomization / (Pich) Detune / LFO / Density, Parameter, 4 onboard Presets / Save, Tap-Tempo / Freeze Footswitch, On/Bypass Footswitch.
Key Features :
These are all fantastic and formidable pedals - particularly at this format of enclosure size. I will certainly be adding a few more to my collection - with the Bitmap likely next as mentioned.
I have preferred choices to the Context - although that is still hugely impressive, but will likely be the last of these that I add. These will mostly go in on slot #34, and occasionally on slot #37 in place of the Boss DD-200. Certainly very easy to fit into the pedal-chain - note the need to use TRS Y-Splitter Cables for Stereo Input / Output.
Do you have any favourites of your own here? And which if any are you considering to acquire next.
All pedals are typically available direct from the Red Panda Webstore - while batches sell out quickly, and the Raster has yet to materialise for pre-orders.