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The Skinny On The Red Witch Synthotron
The New Zealand native analogue boutique pedal company Red Witch has been seen strutting their new pedal the Synthotron around as of late giving the first looks into what it does and how it sounds. Here we have a dazzling demonstration of what makes Red Witch such a unique company. They have made something of a habit of releasing various established types of effects bundled into one pedal offering unthought of potential.
The Synthotron is no different with its four different effect sections dubbed the synthesizer, the tremolo, the sample/hold, and the filter. The primary effect of the Synthotron gives your guitar a very old, square-type of a tone that if anything reminds me of the soundtracks to the old Nintendo games I grew up with. The added effect of the filters and tremolos certainly add to the feel and suffice to say it all really kicks ass.
The synthesizer is the meat and potatoes of the Synthotron and it really brings a thick, old, analog feel – but thanks to the extra effects it permits new ideas to blossom from it. The synth controls are divided into two sections on its own the first giving you control to blend one or two octaves up as well as a knob that controls how much decay the effect gets. The second control works the same only for one to two octaves down and the same decay control.
Ultimately this lets you play a synth and a bass at the same time while retaining the guitar’s regular sound if you so choose, and what makes it really snazzy is both octave up and octave down controls have separate decay knobs so you can have the high octaves ring out while the bass plays staccato and vice versa, or you can just leave it to respond to your playing and ring out as long as you are fretting a tone. Because each effect has its own toggle switch you’re also not obligated to use both octave up and down at once. You have the freedom to choose to play synth bass, or synth tones so high that only dogs can hear them.
The next feature is the tremolo control that more or less works like a basic tremolo effect. With the flip of the toggle switch you have one knob to toggle how dry or how wet the signal is or how fast the warble is. Like the other effects the tremolo has its own separate toggle switch permitting you to use the Synthotron as a tremolo pedal on its own. There aren’t really any surprises behind how the tremolo functions. It shines brightest when its coupled with the synth effect giving you more texture to work with.
Sample / Hold
The sample/hold effect is probably where the 80s influence really comes in at. It can be kept simple to a basic filter effect, but coupled with the synth it can garner a sort of technoey filter effect and gets quite an electronic sound as you expand or limit the range and velocity. I know it’s probably blasphemy to say such a thing on a guitar web site, but hey. I like it so there it is.
Price & Release Date
If you’re interested in something like this the currently scheduled release date is April, 2012 with a price tag of $399.