Once upon a time, a couple of former Strymon and Line 6 folks got together and started making 500 Series rack modules under the name Meris. Eventually they started producing pedal versions of two of the modules. I saw one of those pedals, the Ottobit Jr., demonstrated back in January by Nick Reinhart and Juan Alderete on the great YouTube channel Pedals And Effects. It immediately struck me as potentially a perfect multi-effects pedal for Guitar Moderne readers. As luck would have it, in February, Nick introduced me by email to the Meris people who were kind enough to send one when the review models became available. I dove in and here are the results.
One of our sponsors, Red Panda, offers a bitcrusher module to the small group of players who purchase Line 6’s Tone Core modular pedal. Now those of us who don’t own that unit can have all the cool sounds from the module and more.
The Bitmap ($239 street) is a true bypass bitcrusher pedal with fractional bit reduction and sample rate modulation. A bit crushing algorithm adds the warmth and grit of classic samplers, while reducing the signal from 24 bits down to 1 bit. A noise gate provides maximum sustain without sputtering on staccato notes. Sample rate reduction creates inharmonic overtones and aliasing distortion. Triangle, square, or random (sample and hold) Sample rate modulation adds inharmonic motion. An expression pedal input allows control over the frequency.