Whether you're a fan or not, there's no denying that the musicians who make up Brit chart-toppers Radiohead have certainly proved of great interest from a sonic strangeness point of view over the years. Case in point, Jonny Greenwood stutter guitar effect heard on tracks like the band's 2003 single Go To Sleep. While wired-in kill switches, on the edge tremolo pedals or signal destroyers like the excellent Farmer's Mill go some way to recreating a similar vibe, Greenwood's randomized glitch effect hasn't really been available outside of software patches. But if a Kickstarter campaign launched by a Radiohead gear jock is successful, a stutter stomp called the Feral Glitch could change that.
About five years ago, Radiohead fan David Karp began gathering info on the weird sounds that the band managed to squeeze from its gear. He says that one of most frequently-asked questions from visitors to The King of Gear archives has been "how do I recreate Jonny Greenwood's random stutter Max/MSP patch with guitar effects pedals?" – which you can hear clearly about 3 minutes in on the official music video of Go To- Sleep.
But without the luxury of a computer and interface, not to mention the necessary patch, for many gigging players looking to recreate that sound in a live setting, the quest was a fruitless one. Enter the Feral Glitch, a floor stomp that offers the kind of random signal stutter produced by the Farmer's Mill and others, and allows the player to control the tempo, and even run it on a short loop.
Users can choose a random Glitch effect and control the maximum length, or choose a fixed pattern. Players can control whether the straight guitar signal gets muted when the effect is activated, set the effect volume and enter true bypass mode to completely remove the pedal's influence from the signal chain.
A footswitch to the right will bring in the effect for as long as it's engaged, and kill the effect when released. And there's an internal trim-pot, which can be used to adjust the analog high-pass filter cutoff, which will alter how the effect actually sounds.
The King of Gear reports that the pedal is production ready, and is up on Kickstarter to fund a limited run of 25. The first five early birds have gone, so pledges for the remaining 20 units will need to be US$260 or more. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in April. You can see and hear the Feral Glitch in action in the pitch video below.
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