Artificial Reflection : Great sounding hybrid delay pedal.
Hand made, beautiful sounding delay. Affordable. With some strange tones.
Please check this video with headphone. You will hear how good it is.
Artificial Reflection harvests the best part of Digital and Analog delay.
Why can't cheap digital delay sound good like high-end DSP equipped delays? What is the difference?
Answer is this : Cheap digital effect pedals use fixed point DSP because of the cost. Actually it is enough to make good sound at beginning of the signal path, but it will start falling quality due to signal manipulation in digital domain. Each calculation is stacking up error. If you have an experience with 16bit data on DAW or editing JPEG file in Photoshop and save and save again, you know what I am saying. They are good enough to store one shot data, but not good enough for manipulation. Floating point DSP is needed for manipulation.
I took different approach.
Artificial Reflection is a hybrid delay. Firmware is written from scratch for digital time shifting. Since feedback and mix is done by analog domain, digital domain doesn't need much signal manipulation (stored as 14bit). I could use Floating point for manipulation because manipulation is minimum. Processor can focus about sound quality. That's how I made such high quality sounding delay pedal. Lower bit data storing also helped to make the sound warm and rolled and mixed nicely. It's like 80 to 90's delay. I really love how the pedal rolls off the sound. It's hard to find even in high-end pedals or PC plugins.
When you turn delay time knob, it organically changes delay time like tape echo's position shifting. Delay time never jumps like some other delay pedals, it has done by changing playback speed. Same thing happens when you hit tap tempo button. Mix and feedback circuit is 100% analog. Feedback circuit is designed to be unique. It adds extra resonance to feedback tone. This extra resonance can be turn off by switch (I recommend to turn this switch to on). In result of digital and analog combination, feedback tone is very natural and organic. You will hear rolled off tone repeat by repeat, but it is not dramatic like analog delay. It's close to tape echo but it's little bit more Hi-Fi than typical tape echo emulation pedals.
Extra foot switches to control feedback and pitch shifting
I put two extra foot switches to control feedback tone. One is oscillation switch that enhances feedback. If you press it longer, it will be oscillated. Another switch is digital FX, and it has two modes. One mode is kill switch, which is my favorite. It will stop playback when you press the switch. It is simple but very useful feature to clean up feedback tone. Or, you can use it tremolo-like effect if you tap it multiple times. Another mode of digital FX is Pitch shifting. It has 5 pitch shifting modes (Descending : 4th, m3rd and 2nd. Ascending : 4th and 2nd). It doesn't change tempo of the feedback so it's more useful in real situation.
Koto Mode is like Artificial Reflection
Koto Mode is just one configuration of the pedal. When Delay time is minimum (around 10ms) and Feedback is set to almost maximum, then it will have totally different character. It makes fake acoustic resonance. I call it "Koto-Mode". Technically it could be close to flanger but no LFO involved (I don’t have it but EHX Electric Mistress’s Filter Matrix Mode could be similar one). It has some resonance points and you will hear magical feedback tone. Please check a demo video for the sound. By pressing tap tempo switch, you can enter Koto range mode. Time knob range changes to 1-20ms.
Artificial Reflection has 5 voice modes : Normal, Q1, Q2, Modulation 1 (Bright chorus), and Modulation 2 (Deep chorus). Modulation doesn't need explanation, but what is Q? Q is Q factor of the delay time.It blurs delay peek, less attack feeling and delay-ish resonance (Comb filter). It's very useful when you want to reduce attack tone, or more reverb-like feedback tone. It works with Koto-mode as well. It reduces resonance peak point and makes it more natural tone.
- Time, Feedback and Mix control
- Digital time shift and Analog feedback circuit
- Unique feedback circuit adds extra resonance
- Tap tempo button
- Extra Feedback (Oscillation control) foot switch
- Digital Fx Footswitch (kill switch)
- Pitch shifting (5 modes)
- Subdivision (Dotted Eighth, Dotted Eighth reversed (16th))
- 100% original software to archive the best tone.
- Up to 1s delay time
- Koto Mode (1-20ms delay time)
- 5 Voice Modes (Normal, Q1, Q2, Modulation 1, Modulation 2)
- Hand made silkscreen printing
- Hand made in USA
Risks and challenges
In terms of development, almost everything is done. I just need to finalize firmware. Artwork and switch position will be updated. One more LED will be added to indicate current voice mode.
Ordering parts is the part that I need your help. I can get parts at lower pricing if I can order more parts at once.
- (25 days)