nunoOne of the coolest new pedals we were able to try at the latest L.A. Stompbox Exhibit was the Grain, a creation of California based manufacturer Nunomo, run by Japanese designer Ryosuke Kojima.

This stompbox is an intriguing take on granular tremolo with added overdrive and pitch shifting circuits – it’s one of those “synthy” pedals that combine several different circuits in an original way to produce unexpected sounds.

First of all, the tremolo is set to a fast oscillating square wave – creating that sputtering on/off effect comparable to a fast strobe light. Rather than being controlled by the user, the effect’s speed is synchronized to the pitch of the input signal: the lower the notes you play, the slower the tremolo will be, and vice-versa.


At 100% depth, the tremolo is set to cancel two cycles out of four from any note’s frequency, creating a grainy sound.

This allows the tremolo to “lock in” with each note’s wave cycle (see image on the right), canceling some cycles of any note it filters, therefore creating those grainy tones its name implies.

The black knob on the top left controls the tremolo’s depth, the one underneath the effect’s overall volume.

This effect is then integrated by three pitch shifting circuits controlled by three separate knobs that can go down, respectively, 2, 3 and 4 octaves, with the effect of enriching and warming up the signal. The knob on the far right is the overdrive’s gain.

The two toggle switches work as follow: the one on the left, called Mode, alternates between “Always On” mode (tremolo is always on) and “Momentum” mode (tremolo is activated when the Momentum footswitch is pressed. The one on the right, called Tran, fine tunes how quickly the tremolo’s depth changes during a transition.

The right footswitch is for bypassing the effect.

Check out the videos below!