It’s been rainy and cold here in Missoula, MT. Fall to Winter transition in full effect. This time of year is one of my favs for sure. I always seem to play more guitar, the wood shed effect I would say. The days are becoming shorter and the urge to go outside is pretty low in general.
Last night I brought out a new pedal by Malekko (who is based out of Portland, but at one point lived in Missoula as well). The pedal I brought out was the Malekko Scrutator, and this is what they call a ‘sample rate and bit reduction pedal’. So we’re *reducing* sample rate and bit? I thought to myself, things will get weird. I was not wrong.
The Malekko Scrutator has the following controls – Rate, Filter, Q, Preamp, Mix and Bit. There is an expression input as well – which I would highly recommend. I was using guitar with this pedal, and immediately, I said – “I don’t get it”, but then things started happening. By reducing rate and bit, you go into the realm of ‘glitchy’ tones. You can shape the frequency and what I feel is oscillation with the Filter/Rate/Q. The Bit controls the bit rate from 16bit to 2bit which can make things sound very interesting. Preamp handles the input gain, and there is a clip LED indicator. Mix is as you would expect, controls the mix of the effected signal.
The Scrutator is a tool for creativity. I’ve been on a major kick of trying to find the creative aspect of pedals vs. straight up tone shaping/enhancement of your guitar tone. This is what Fall does for me. This is the season that let’s my mind think outside of the box, and the Scrutator is perfect for this. When I initially said “I don’t get this” is because I was thinking *inside* the box. As I started fiddling with the knobs, I was creating absolutely weird/interesting sounds, that I’ve never heard from my guitar. I figured I would spend 30-40 minutes with this unit, and 2 hours later I had to tell myself to stop.
I found myself adjusting the Rate and Filter knobs quite a bit. With the expression pedal or control voltage input, you can assign the expression pedal to control Rate, Bit, Filter or Q controls (or all).
This is not the pedal for everyone.. it shouldn’t be, but for some of you, this pedal will be insanely awesome for you. I think this pedal would sound great with bass.. and insane with keyboards!
Check out this official demo video featuring Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse!
You can pick up the Malekko Scrutator for $189 directly from Malekko! Let me know what you think by commenting below!