The Catalinbread Tremolo8 is a comprehensive and creative multi-mode pedal mostly centered around the classic tremolo + reverb combo, but mixing in also other effects like chorus, filters, and ring modulation.
The top three knobs vary their function according to the selected parameter – here’s a table with the descriptions of what parameter they affect in each of the 8 modes (click for bigger image):
The fourth knob (Mix) sets the wet/dry balance. Check out the videos!
Catalinbread Tremolo8, Builder’s Notes
“Tremolo” is only scratching the surface. With 8 unique programs, the Tremolo8 shows you what volume modulation is truly capable of.
In a past life, this project started as a pedal for our personal enjoyment; a digitized model of the Fender Showman’s “harmonic vibrato”. The experiment was a resounding success, so we started experimenting with more LFOs and more tremolo styles.
We really like the sound of tremolo splashing against a reverb like Magnatones or Vibro Champs and our previous work on the Topanga Burnside reflects this. At the same time, we are suckers for bigger ethereal reverbs so we decided to add some trem-specific reverb algorithms and a subtle tone control. After researching and implementing them to exhaustion, we discovered that not all LFOs are created equal and some are much more equal than others.
A sawtooth LFO leads to wild reverse-esque sonic manipulation and a fluttery compressed sound when set low. A square wave with a duty cycle control (“on” time) leads to a thumping, stuttering reverb sound, so why not turbocharge the square wave to a few kilohertz and churn out some wacky sum and difference frequencies?
In a completely different program, trem modulation with chorus floating on top sounded too good to leave out. When working on the Many Worlds we had so much fun with the envelope-controlled phase angle that we wanted something like that in here, so we crafted an envelope-controlled trem rate with adjustable sensitivity and attack/decay, leading to head-spinning effects when letting chords ring out or when cranking some touch-sensitive solos.
RATE: Controls the speed of the trem. There are exceptions based on your program, take a look at the matrix below to see them.
MIX: Controls the wet/dry mix. Turn knob clockwise to hear more effect and counter-clockwise to hear less.
SPACE: Controls parallel reverb mix except for Program 6, where it controls chorus depth.
TONE: In most programs, this is a high-pass filter that occurs between the trem and reverb sections, helping tighten up your sound before it hits deep space. Certain programs use this knob to perform program-specific functions.
PROGRAM: This is your program selector. Refer to program matrix to see what each program does.
If you unscrew the four screws on the back of the Tremolo8 and remove the backplate, you will find an adjustable gain trimmer and a buffer switch.
ADJUSTABLE GAIN TRIMMER: Adds more overall gain to your signal. Turning up too far introduces distortion.
BUFFER SWITCH: We ship the Tremolo8 in Buffered/Trails mode, so long reverb trails don’t cut off when you switch the pedal off. If you’d like to change this, remove the backplate and switch it to True Bypass.